The first Dialogue:
VVherein is declared the order of a Romane Legion, with their deuisions: and the manner of the Grecians Phalanx: also a forme of trayning to be practised and vsed amongst vs, with the vse and handling of each weapon in their kinde: and other militarie points.
FRiendly Captaine, your yesterdayes Discourses, haue so de∣lighted, contented and enflamed both my selfe, and these o∣ther Gentlemen, that we must needs entreat you to proceed, and to speake somewhat of the higher Officers of the field: wherefore I pray satisfie vs herein.
Gentlemen, I would those parts of skill were in me to answere your requestes, and to satisfie your expectations. Neuerthelesse seeing you are so well bent, and inclined to the vnderstanding of Militarie courses; I will, to my best abilitie and knowledge, declare vnto you such matters as I haue found by mine owne experience, eyther learned from the directions of braue Commaunders vnder whom I haue serued, or gathered out of the best authors which haue written vpon this subiect VVarre. Indeede at the beginning of these our speeches, I did not then thinke to haue marched so farre into this Martiall field,* for my fiue or sixe yeares discontinuance from action, had almost driuen all the courses, order and methode thereof out of my mind and memorie: but your curious demaundes and questions, haue both drawen me on, sharpened my wit, and refresht my memorie: wherein if I haue erred, or may misse hereafter (as no man but erreth, some more, some lesse) I submit my selfe to the censure and correction of men more experimented, and of better parts then my selfe.
Truely Captaine, you say very well; and I would we had many of no meaner partes, nor of no worse meaning then your selfe, in mine opinion; then no doubt, but our common souldiers should be better instructed, and be better dealt withall, then they now are by some of their Captains. But letting these mat∣ters passe; I pray what order would you wish to be obserued in the trayning of our souldiers here with vs in the countrie, sith we are commanded to traine, and as yet I see litle good order obserued in the same.
Touching the true and orderly trayning of your people in this our Mo∣derne Page 32Militia, I haue in generall roued ouer some part thereof alreadie; but not so particularly as such an action would require: wherein I could heartily wish, that, as neere as possible we might, we should reduce ourselues with such armes as we now vse, vnto the forme, manner, and course of the auncient Romanes in their Militia and discipline of warre,* although ages, seasons, and inuentions, haue altered much and many weapons by them vsed.
I pray what order did the Romanes obserue in their warres? and how were they armed?
The Romanes deuided their foot people of warre into men armed with heauie armour, (or, as we may tearme it, armor complete) and into light armed men.* Those which were light armed, they called by one common name, Velites; vnder which word they vnderstood all such as carried slinges, darts, bowes, crosse-bowes, and such like: the greatest part of whom, were armed with a skull or close Cellat for the head; and had, besides their other weapons, a shield or Target vp∣on their left arme to defend and couer themselues, and did fight or skirmish in straggling sort, a good distance from those that were armed with heauie or com∣plete armour in Squadron. Vnto those may we well compare our shot, especially them of the forlorne hope, or Enfans Perdus, as the French doe terme them. Their people armed with heauie or complete armour,* had first a Cellat or Bur∣gonet, which couered their head, and reached ouer their shoulders: then for their bodie a Cuyrasse, whose flappes or tasses couered their thighes, euen down to the knees; their legges and armes were armed with Greaues and Vambraces: and for their defence they carried a shield of foure foote long, and two foot and a halfe broad, bound about with a band of yron; and for weapon they had a sword, not ouer long, girt vnto their left side, & a short dagger vpon their right; and in their hand a Iauelin or Dart, which they called Pilum, the which at the beginning of their fight they did lance or dart at the enemie: vnto these may we compare our Corslets and Pykes, whereof we frame our battels or battaillions: and our armed halbards, partizans, and other short weapon. Commonly a Romane army con∣sisted of two Romane Legions,* which was a Consuls armie, and of two Auxiliarie legions, which were of their friends or confederates.
Their Legion consisted at the first, but of three thousand footmen, and three hundred horse;* but afterwards encreased vnto 5.6 or 8000. foote. Their legion they deuided into Cohortes, Maniples, and Centuries. Euery legion of 6000. foote, was deuided into ten Cohorts, at 600. to euery Cohort, and euery Cohort into sixe Centuries, after 100. men to euery Centurie: and euery Centurie into foure Maniples, after 25. souldiers vnto euery Maniple, or into fiue Maniples, at 20. souldiers to euery Maniple.* Moreouer, euery legion was deuided into 3. partes, or orders of battels, into Hastati, Principes, and Triarij. The Hastati were set in the front of their armie, in order of Squadrons thicke and sure; behinde them were placed the Principes, but with the order of their Squadrons more rare and thinner. After these againe were ranged the Triarij, but with the order of their Squadrons, much more thinner then the Principes.
Now their slingers, darters, archers, or crosse-bowes, and such light armed, were placed without these Battels,* or Squadrons on the flanks and front, between the horsemen and their armed battell: as we do, or ought to do (in mine opinion) Page 33 our shot, some fil•ers of Pykes, Halberds, and such other short weapon.
What sort of men thinke you fittest to be chosen for souldiers, and to be trayned; and what order in their trayning?
I suppose,* men of the better sort, from the age of eighteene yeares vn∣to thirtie yeares, are fittest to be chosen. Now the signes whereby to coniecture the persons most apt for warres, by the Phisiognomie, and proportion of bodie, are these: The eyes quicke, liuely & piercing; the head and countenance vpright; the breast broad and strong; the shoulders large; the armes long; the fingers strong and synowie; the belly thinne; the ribbes large; the thigh bigge; the legge full, and the foote leane and drie: for whosoeuer is of this disposition, and with these conditions, cannot chuse but be nimble and strong, which are two quali∣ties, chiefly to be required in a souldier.
I could wish that those Bandes which are appointed to be trayned (for of the Officers I haue spoken before) should be by their Captaine,* Muster-maister, and other Officers, trayned at the least once euery moneth, or oftener, as the wea∣ther and season will permit: and euery Caporall, with his Cabos de Camera, to traine and instruct their Esquadra, especially of shot, once euery weeke, or once euery fortnight at the least: ensigning them the vse of their weapon, and order of sleight skirmish:* For often practise maketh men readie, especially and shot, the which without readinesse and skill is a weapon of litle aduantage; and in the hands of perfect souldiers, is a weapon of great aduantage, and of wonderfull execution.
Now the seuerall companies, hauing bene well applyed and taught for a time by their Captaine and other officers,* I would wish, should once euery three monethes, meete and ioine some foure or fiue companies together, in some con∣uenient place, then and there to bring them into such formes as should be need∣full for so many companies. And once a yeare at the least, all the companies of the whole shire to meete in some most conuenient place together, then and there to be instructed in the orders how to march,* how to encampe, and how to fight: deuiding them into so many parts or battaillions, as vnto their chiefe Officer shall seeme good.
What course would you wish the Captaine of a single companie to ob∣serue in the trayning of his souldiers?
First hauing his companie leauied and chosen of the better sort of peo∣ple, as is said,* let your rawe Captaine, (for so I terme those which neuer were in action) prouide himselfe, if possible he may, of a good Lieutenant, and a suffici∣ent Sergeant, and a skilfull Drummer. Then let his people be suted with such sort of weapon as is appointed. The which I would wish to be (as I haue said before) to euery hundred of men, 25. muskets, 25. Calliuers, and 40. or more of pikes and corslets, and the rest, short weapon; as halberds, swordes and targets, and such like.
Now hauing suted euery man with a conuenient weapon, I would wish your Muster-maister, if your Captaine haue not the skil (for your Muster-master ought to be a man of experience) first to declare vnto them the partes that ought to be in a souldier in generall,* as before is declared; then to ensigne them the right carriage of their armes and weapon: then to knowe the seuerall soundes of the Page 34 Drumme: next to learne to keepe his ranke and file orderly; and so to march ey∣ther swift or slowe, step by step with the sound of the Drumme; then how to keep their array, being cast into a ring, or any other forme; with the comming out a∣gaine, and returning into a counter-ring; and out of the same into a march, and counter-march: then how to make their Alto or stand, and how to double their rankes, vntill they bring themselues into a iust square of men, if their numbers will permit it; and how to double their ••les, eyther vpon the left or right hand, and so to fall off againe, both from file and ranke: and being in squadron, how to turne their faces on either, or any part, making front on any flank or traine, as oc∣casion shall be offered. Then the perfect vse and managing of euerie weapon in his due nature and kind:* and so by a continuall vse they may (by good instru∣cters) become soone to be ready souldiers.
Here be manie good parts vnder a few words; but they are too briefe for me to vnderstand: wherefore I pray dilate more at large thereof: and first, what meane you by the cariage of his weapon?
*To discourse vpō al these points particularly, it wold be ouer long: & might better be shewed in act thē in words: yet to satisfie you somewhat herein, I will speak of the particulars here & there, as I shal be occasioned, & shal cal thē to me∣mory. First therfore,* the soldier that is appointed to cary a calliuer, is first to be en∣signed how to cary his peece vpon his left shoulder, with his flaske at his girdle, or hāging by at Port-flask, or Flask-leather vpō the right thigh, & vpō the left side of his girdle, to haue his touchboxe fastened by the string, hanging downe somwhat long by the strings, sufficient to be taken, and to prime his peece with touch-pow∣der: and on his right side a Bullet bagge or purse of canuas, or leather for bullets. Also some three or foure yards of match, in seuerall peeces hanging at his girdle, with one peece of match of a yard long in his left hand, holden fast by the third finger of the same hand, hauing the one or both the endes of the same, lighted, or fired.* Also to be prouided of a priming iron or wyer, of a steele and flint stone, to strike fire vpon any suddaine occasion, either to spare the burning of match, or to fire their matches if the same do chance to go out. Then how to charge his peece, either with his flask or bandelier, & thē to let slip the bullet down into the barrell after the powder, and to ramme the same with paper, tow or such like, thrusting the same downe with the scouring stick, if time will permit: or else (a more readier way) thus; After that the bullet is slipped downe vnto the powder, to put after the same some two or three cornes of powder, which will wedge fast the bullet. This being done,* let him hold his Calliuer with his left hand, (as in his charging hee ought to do the like) griping the same by the stocke, somewhat neare vnder the cock, betwixt his thombe and foure fingers; then, holding the nose of his peece somwhat vpward (for not to endāger his fellows) to take the one end of his lighted match, with his forefinger, midle finger, & thōbe of his right hād, & so to cock the same, hauing a regard that it may fall due within the pan: finally if it be a crooked stock peece, to set the same vnto the left side of his breast, retiring his right foot some halfe step behind the left, or aduancing the left foot some halfe pace before the right,* and so to take his due leuel: & holding the hindermost part of the stocke betwixt the thombe and fore-finger of his right hand, & with the other three fin∣gers to draw to the serre,* & so to discharge his peece with agility hauing done the Page 33 which,* to retire souldier-like, and charge againe, giuing place to his next fellow, or seconder. But being a straight stocked peece (the which I hold for the better) he is to place the same vpon the right side of his breast, fast against his shoulder, leuelling and discharging, as aforesaid. And for other armes he is to be fitted with a short sword, and meane dagger, and a Spanish morion. Now the musketier is to cary his musket vpon his left or right shoulder;* for it importeth not much on whether, so they obserue the order of the first rancke, with his Forke or rest in his left hand, fastned about his hand wrest or little finger by a string, hauing his flask and touchbox fitted as before is sayd, or hauing a bandalier, the same to be ouer the left shoulder,* and vnder the right arme. Now to charge the same, he must hold his musket with his left hand, hauing his rest trayling by the string, and put the but end of the stocke vpon the ground, then with his flaske or ban∣dalier to charge his peece with powder, slipping downe the bullet into the barrell after the same, and to fasten it with two or three cornes of powder, as is aforesayd; then to clappe the musket into his forke, planting the lower end or pike of the rest into the ground neare vnto his left foote, and resting the but ende of the stocke vpon his left thigh,* then to prime his pan with touch powder. And ha∣uing his match ready, as before is sayd, to take the peece of match that hangeth by the midle or third finger of his left hand, betwixt the thombe and fore finger of his right hand, and with his middle finger to measure at what length to cocke the same,* to fall with a proportioned length into the pan. The which being done, let him retire his right foote somwhat backe, and stand firme vpon the same: and holding fast both the musket and rest with his left hand, to raise the but end of his musket from his thigh vnto his breast, and to fasten the same firme and close vnto his right shoulder and brest,* holding fast the sayd hinder part of the stocke betwixt his right thombe and fore finger, drawing downe the serre with the other three fingers, and so taking due leuell to discharge. Hauing perfor∣med the which, let him vncocke his match, clap his musket vpon his shoulder with a halfe turne, and so retire, trailing his rest or forke by the stringe, and giuing place to others,* go charge again: finally for other armes, a reasonable short sword, a meane dagger; with no morion, but a faire hat and feather.
Thus I perceiue your fiery shot haue many busie skils, without know∣ledge of all the which it is hard to become a perfect shot.
True;* and therefore often to be practised: But here let the muster-maister and trayning Captaine be well aduised not to suffer their shot to cary any bullet about them, in time of their trainings, and fained skirmishes, for feare of danger, that might thereby ensue among themselues. But now and then after their training,* to take euery shot single, and to see him charge his peece orderly with pouder and bullet as aforesaid; and hauing a great but erected to that pur∣pose (the which ought to be in euery hundred or Baily-wicke) to cause them to leuell, and discharge at the blancke thereof, orderly one after another: encoura∣ging those which do make the fairest shot.
Now for the Pike,* which the Spaniards do tearme Sen̄ora y Reyna de las armas, the Queene and mistresse of weapons. The souldier which carieth the same, is to bee well armed with a good corslet, furnished with his gorget, Morion, tasses, pouldrons, vambraces, and gauntlets also; to be armed as he ought to be; whatso∣euer Page 34 opinion other men may hold to the contrary, supposing a bare payre of Cuy∣rasses onely sufficient: but I am of opinion, that the armed Picquier ought to bee armed in all points (as I haue said) for defence: and then to offend, to be weapo∣ned with a good Pike of ground Ashe,* of seuenteen or eighteen foote long at the least, well and strongly headed, with the cheekes three foote long, or there a∣bout: and for other weapon,* to weare a good short sword and dagger: for the dagger is a weapon of great aduantage in Pell mell.
*And if it be replied, that the souldier so heauie armed, is not for any great march,* or speedy execution; I say, that among well ordered Regiments, there are also yet some vnarmed pikes, that is without any corslet, or, at the most, the bare cuyrats onely and morion, the which the Italians do call Picche secche. Now these are reserued & imployed in such peeces of light seruice.* And the Picquier, either armed or vnarmed is to be shewed and taught the carriage and vse of his pike;* as first to tertiar or carry the same orderly vpon his shoulder, holding the same with his foure fingers vpon the vpper part of the staffe, & his thombe vnder the staffe, neare vnto his shoulder, basing downe the blunt end thereof, to aduaunce the point, and poizing the pike with an equall poize vpon his thombe and shoulder, alwayes in march keeping the lower end of his pike on the one side of his fore∣mans legge still aduertising that in march the pike is to be carried vpon the right shoulder, of euery souldier throughout euery file, sauing the vtmost file on the left side of the arrayes or ordinances, which are to carry their pikes vpon their left shoulders onely, alwayes regarding how those of the foremost rankes doe carry their weapon, the rest to do the same throughout euery ranke and file following: for order and forme do require the same.* Next hee is to be taught how to plant his pike on the ground, at any stand or Alto: then how to arbolare or aduaunce his pike, that is; to reare his pike vpright against his right shoulder▪ and with his right hand stretched downe vnto his thigh, to hold the same neare vnto the but-end be∣twixt his foure fingers and his thombe, stretching his forefinger downeward vn∣to the but-end of his pike, and so aduaunce the same vpright & high against his right shoulder, resting and staying the same with his right hand against his right thigh and knee,* as before is sayd. Now this is to be done at such times, as being brought into a Ring, and serreyng close shoulder to shoulder, then to aduaunce their piks in this sort at the enclosing thereof, & so to continue vntill they fall out of the ring againe into a larger march. Also the same is vsed by some, at their arri∣uing vnto the corps de guard, at the setting of the watch before their chief Com∣mander or officer; euen as the first ranke shall arriue into the corps de guard, some ten or twelue pases from the place of their stand; to arbolare their pikes; and so rancke after ranck, carrying them in the same order vntill they come vnto their place of station, there to make Alto, and to plant their pikes vpon the ground, as the squadron is formed.* But principally, the souldiers marching in squadron, and vpon point to come to the push of the pike with their foote enemy, then are they first to aduaunce their pikes, as is said, bearing the same orderly with the right hand against the right thigh, and the left hand aboue neare about the shoul∣der, and so to charge vpon the left hand and push,* standing firme and sure vpon the left foote. But if the squadron be charged with any troupes of the enemies horse,* then must the Picquiers cowch their pikes fast vnder the right foote, hol∣ding Page 37 the same 〈…〉 the left hand, and bow downe the point thereof against the breast of the hor•e,* hauing his right hand ready to draw his sword, if occasion shall be offered.
Now how necessary and auayleable this continuall vse and practise is, may easi∣ly be gathered from the sundry victories of the auncient Romanes. Who both in their Campes and Garrisons had their Tesserarios (which were as our Sergeant Maiors) to ensigne and teach their people of warre the vse and managing of their armes,* at all idle and vacant times. The old souldier, sometimes once in a day, and the Tirones, which we terme Bisognios, or new souldiers, twise in the day, or as occasion serued: so were their people alwayes ready and perfect. And againe they did not onely practise them in the knowledge of their weapons, but many times also did conduct their Companies for their recreation into the field, there causing them to run,* to leape, to iumpe, to wrastle, to throw the sledge, to pitch the barre, and such like exercises; and sometimes also to learne to swim, as a qua∣litie very befitting a souldier. Moreouer, they did many times cause their souldi∣ers, as well foote as horse,* to march armed at all points, euen as it were to serue a∣gainst their enemie, once or twise in a moneth, euery man carrying his owne pro∣uision and victuals, and giuing and receiuing the charge, euen as in hostile fight: and this did they for the space of ten miles, fiue out, and fiue home. Thus with these exercises they brought their people to be able, quicke, and ready to serue v∣pon all occasions, and did more good seruice with twentie thousand of such so trained and practised,* then with thirtie or fortie thousand of raw and vntrained men: But to haue a souldier to be very perfect, and a good executioner indeede, it is needfull to haue bin in some good peeces of seruice, & to haue seene men to fall on both sides,* which doth flesh & harden a souldier very much. Finally the good Picquier ought to learne to tosse his pike well, with the due handling of the same, and to be skilfull therein; sith it is the weapon he professeth: for 100 of ready pikemen, are better then 200 that know not the vse of the weapon. Now the halbarders ought to be fully armed with a corslet as is the Picquier; but in mar∣ching he is alwayes to beare the same on the right shoulder,* holding the lower end thereof, with his right hand almost close to his right thigh and knee.
You haue well discoursed touching the caryage and handling of the calliuer, musket, pike, and halbard. But now, I pray what meane you by doubling your ranke and file?
By ranke I meane euery row, or order of men, standing shoulder by shoulder,* either in march or squadron, reaching a long from the one side of the squadron vnto the other. And by file, I vnderstand all the line, order, or row of all the souldiers standing consequently one after another, from front to the traine, either in march or squadron. Now, the doubling of ranke or file is thus. First suppose your company to be of 100 pikes (as for the shot we will speake of here∣after) and you would bring them into a iust square of men:* first search out the Cubike roote of your number, and it is 10; then (after the first order) you shall cause them by the sound of the drum,* to embattell, to march vp in single files, at 10 men in euery file, & the head man of euery 10 to be a Caporal or Cabo de Ca∣mera; and as the first 10 is come vp vnto the place where you meane to frame your squadrō, cause them to make Alto; then cal vp the second file, at 10 per file, causing Page 38 them to march vp close pouldron to pouldron of the first tē, and there to firme & stand: then the third file, then the fourth and so consequently the rest, vntill your squadron be formed: your ensigne marching vp in the middle file, as in this fi∣gure may appeare.
An other order is thus: you may march them vp in 2, 3, 4, or 5, files at once, and 10 rankes (for the number euen or od importeth nothing) if at 2 files at once,* then are they marched vp and framed at fiue commings vp: if at 3 files at once, then at three marchings vp at 3 files per Maniple, which make 9 files, and 1 single file, at 10 men per file: which maketh your iust square of men. Now if you will march them vp, by 4 files at once, they are 2 marchings or Maniples, at 4 files, 10 rankes, and one Maniple, at 2 files per Maniple, and so againe is your squadron for∣med. And againe if you would march them vp by 5 files at once, and 10 rankes, they come vp in 2 Maniples, and so is your squadron iustly framed.
*Your squadron being thus framed & set, at 10 rankes, & 10 files, thē to double the rankes, you shall cause vpon an other sound of the drum, those of the second ranke, to step in betwixt them of the first ranke, beginning either vpon the left or right hand first, as you will: and the 4 ranke to double the 3, and againe the 6 ranke to double the 5, and the 8 ranke to double the 7, and finally the 10 to double the 9, so shall your battell or squadron come to be 20 in breadth, and 5 in length or depth; or 20 files and 5 rankes, which is in forme of a battell of double front as by these figures appeareth.
Here you see the rankes doubled into 20 files and 5 rankes. Then cause them vpon another sound of the drumme,* to fall of, or backe againe into their former places: and so to double againe vpon the other hand, and fall off againe. Now, to double the file;* cause the second file to double the first either vpon the left or right hand, as it shall please you to begin, and the fourth file to double the third, and the sixt the fift, and the eight the seuenth, and the tenth file to double the ninth, as in these figures following may appeare.
Page 40And here you may see the file doubled, reduced into fiue files, at 20 men per file, vpon the right hand: the like you shal cause them to do vpon the left hand: ha∣uing first caused them to fall off from their file, bringing them into their former square againe.
Then shall you go vnto the traine of your battell or squadron, and vpon ano∣ther sound of the drumme,* you shall command all your souldiers to turne their faces vpon a sudden towards you: then causing them to double both ranke & file that way, as you did the other way before: thus with a litle paines taking and pra∣ctise, you shall soone bring your souldiers to be ready and skilfull in these altera∣tions of formes, and many more. The like may be done with any other greater numbers, either in battels or battallion, or by making the front of any flanke.
But to what end serueth all this?
Marie, to many good purposes: For the first order of doubling the ranks (besides the readinesse it breedeth in the souldiers) doth serue to alter vpon a sud∣den your grand square of men,* into a square of ground, or into a battell of dou∣ble front, and to many other purposes, in framing of many small battallions one grand square. And againe, the second order in doubling of the files, doth serue to many such other purposes: as if vpon a sudden your foot enemy shall come to charge you vpon the flanke, then by doubling their files, and suddenly turning their faces vpon the enemie, they shall make of flanke the front, and so bee ready with double hands, either to receiue or giue the charge. For those battels of square of ground, or battels of double fronts, do bring many hands to fight at once: being verie aduantagious for footmen against footmen, as reason and ex∣perience proueth and sheweth.
And againe, if you draw or diuide your battell or battallions into maniples, to march through straights or narrow passages,* this order of doubling the files is verie ready and auaileable, as thus. If your battel or squadron be of 5184 pikes, whose square roote is 72: now your passage will permit but 8 men to march in front; then must you diuide your square root 72 by 8, so commeth it to be 9 ma∣niples of 8 men in rank or breadth. And say yet againe, that the straight or passage doth fall yet more narrow, or straighten lesse, then to containe 8 men in front, thē cause euery maniple, at the verie entring of the straight, to double their files, and so of 8 you shall make 4 files per maniple: the which being shouldred vp close to∣gether, will containe no more roome in breadth then the 8 did before. And ha∣uing passed the straight, cause them to fall into their former proportion, and so maniple after maniple in passing the straight.
But if the squadron or maniple were of od nūbers, it wold not so fal out.
*That importeth not: for the od file or rank which resteth vndoubled, may in passing of the straight, close vp shoulder to shoulder vnto the rest, obseruing their proper stations in files; and if the passage will not permit that, then to fall backe after the traine of their maniple, & hauing passed the straight, to sleeue vp in file, pouldron to pouldron of their fellowes, and so to fall into their former pro∣portion. The like of any other od numbers may be done with very great facility.
Now, for as much as I entend to frame both figures and tables of sundry sorts of battels and battallions, in our discourse following▪ I will at this instant bee the more briefe; supposing this, at this present to suffice. For he which conceiueth and Page 41 vnderstandeth this well, may do the like with any other numbers great or small.
And what course do you appoint the shot belonging to those numbers of pikes, to obserue in these alterations of proportion?
The shot appertaining vnto euerie such number,* may be practised in the like or semblable sort, either alone by themselues, or placed in two grand sleeues along by the flanks of their squadron or battallions.* As for example: If vnto the former number of 100 pikes, there were proportioned & suted 100 shot, calliuer and musket, these would I draw out into 5 per rank, which would make 20 ranks. Those 20 ranks would I cut off or deuide in the middest, so should I haue 10 ranks for to sleeue the one flanke of the battallion, and 10 ranks for the other flanke, at 5 men per ranke, or 5 files in euery ranke, which is all one. These 2 sleeues being placed, may be doubled with the pikes by ranke or file, for practise sake only. But if you were engaged to fight with the enemie, I would wish all great sleeues of shot to be deuided into many small troupes, the one still to second another: as hereaf∣ter shall be declared & shewed. And lo here another order: the 2 grand sleeues be∣ing al musketiers, as the battell or battalliō doth aduance & march on toward the enemy,* & comming once within reach of the musket, then the first ranks of these sleeues of muskets many discharge in marching in this sort. The first ranks step∣ping some two or three paces forward, & there those of the right sleeue to step one halfe pace toward the right hād, & those of the left sleeue, one half pase toward the left hand, hauing in the meane space made themselues ready, and cocked their matches, then with readinesse & expedition all those of thē first ranks, their mus∣kets being vpon their rests or forks, to discharge at once, and keep their station, & charge againe, permitting other rankes to proceed before them. Then presently those of the second ranke to step vp iust before the first rank, as the battell or bat∣tallion marcheth, and so to discharge as their former fellowes had done before: & then the 3. rank before the 2. & the 4. before the 3. and so all the other ranks con∣sequently with this kind of double march: and at the traine of the last rank, those of the first to follow vp againe:* and so consequently the rest. But if it chance their squadron of pikes to be distressed, & forced to retire, they are to discharge at the e∣nemy, retiring backe, vpon a countermarch, as these figures following shal plain∣lie denote vnto you the maner and order.
*There is yet another order of discharging of troupes of Muskets in vollie, the which I haue seene vsed by the Italian and Spaniard, thus. Your Musketiers be∣ing deuided into sundrie troupes, of 30, 40 or 50 in a troupe, the one to se∣cond the other: then the two first troupes standing vpon the two angles of your squadron or battell, may bee drawne vp by two officers, by three, foure or fiue at the most in a ranke: and the said officers being at a sufficient di∣stance to discharge, shall cause the Musketiers to close somewhat neere, shoulder to shoulder, and so wheeling them about in figure of a halfe Moone, shall at their due semi-circle, or halfe compasse, cause the Mus∣ketiers Page 43 to make Alto; and clapping their muskets on their rests, close one by an others shoulder, and each one hauing a care to his forefellowes, they shall at one instant, discharge altogether at one vollie vpon the enemy, and so retire, giuing place to other troupes: the maner and forme whereof shall by these figures fol∣lowing appeare.
Your calliuers or small shot, would you haue them to discharge in these maners and orders before spoken of and figured?
No;* but I would with the calliuers or small shot to be deuided into sun∣dry small troupes, of 20, 30, 40 or 50 in a troupe; and by their seuerall officers to be led vp, and to skirmish in single file, discharging readily one after another in file, and so wheeling about vpon the left hand, to retire, giuing place vnto o∣thers to second them, and to fall into their forme of troupe againe; and then re∣charging aduisedly to be ready to come vp to second others, as their turne com∣meth; of which maner of small troupes, shall often in our discourses following, be denoted and shewed. Now to conclude these orders of training, I will set downe one point more to be obserued by one single company, or two, or three companies ioyntly comming into the Corps de gard to their watch, reseruing many other particular matters vntil I come to treat of the office of the Sergeant Maior, where many Militarie points shall be at large discoursed. You must note that euery single company marching & training alone,* their pikes are first ranked by 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 or more in a rancke, according to their number (the number of euen or od, in ranke importeth nothing, as I sayd before) hauing their ensigne, and halbards contained within the center or middle ranke of their pikes. Then the shot is to be ranked altogether with the like number of men in a ranke, and Page 44 then to cut them off, or deuide them at the middle ranke; leading the one halfe of them vnto the forefront of the pikes,* and there to place them in euen files with the pikes, and the other halfe is to be brought vnto the traine of the pikes, and there filed in like maner, alwayes regarding to place the muskets of the first halfe of your shot, in the formost rankes, and those of the other halfe, in the hindermost ranke. Now thus marching on, and comming to the place of Corps de gard, the shot of the vantgard are to make Alto, or stand, then the pikes to march vp by, them; and the first ranke of pikes comming vnto the formost ranke of the shot, to make Alto also, and then the pikes to double their rankes, as before is declared, to bring themselues into squadron, euen ranke for ranke with the shot. This being done, then the other shot of the rereward is to march vp vpō the other hand of the pikes, ranke for ranke with the said square of pikes: and so is your squadron or battallion formed as by these figures following may appeare; where I suppose one or two companies together in march,* containing in all 100 pikes, and halberds, & 100 shot, they march on 5 per ranke; the shot of the vantgard makes their stand, then do the pikes march vp by them, & comming vnto their formost ranke of the shot do stand also; and there double their rankes, so are they 10 rankes, and ten files: lastly commeth vp the shot of the arereward & garnisheth the other flanke, euen ranke with ranke, and so is the squadron framed and garnished with shot.
Page 45Thus me thinks that I haue sufficiently intreated of this order of training, as for other sortes of imbattailing we will hereafter speake of, as occasion shall be offered.