Theorique and practise of warre. Written to Don Philip Prince of Castil, by Don Bernardino de Mendoza. Translated out of the Castilian tonge into Englishe, by Sr. Edwarde Hoby Knight. Directed to Sr. George Carew Knight
Mendoza, Bernardino de, 1540 or 41-1604., Hoby, Edward, Sir, 1560-1617.
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❧The Autors epistle to Don Philip Prince of Castill.

My Lorde.

IF the olde Castilian proverbe doe affirme, That by a nayle is lost a shooe: and by a shooe, a horse: and by a horse a Cauallero: and by a Cauallero a Cornet: and by a Cornet an Hoste: & by an Hoste a Battaile: and by the Battaile a Kingdome: and not onely the succession of Kinges therein, but many times religion: a losse in∣estimable: you may wel iudge, howe much more speedlie, manie other incōueniences may bring like losses, which by carelesnesse, and small heede taking, may succeede in warre, if that, which to looke too is of so small moment, may come to bee cause thereof. The consideration of which hath moued me to write vnto Your Highnes a briefe Theorique and practise of Warre, refreshing thereby the memorie with what I haue read and experimented in thirtie and so many yeares, which I haue folowed, seruing in that, and Embassages, the King our Soueraine, father to Y.H. since that my ouertymelie blindnesse hath kept me from being able to oc∣cupie any roome fit to serue Y.H. in, but only as a dumme Coun∣cellor, the office of bookes and paper, because they speake not but when they are sought, nor replie vpon ought they haue repor∣ted: which ought to binde Princes to spende some parte of their time in good letters: since besides tillinge of their wittes with them, and opening their eyes, to order things present by exam∣ple and warninge of the passed, (which maketh able to foresee thinges to come): Bookes and writings deliuer vnto Princes many truthes, which they that are liuing dare not presume to doe. And Page  [unnumbered] although many will holde it for a harde matter to make a Theori∣que of knowledge, which consisteth entierly in practise, as the exercise of warre, experience being the principall foundation ther∣of, Phisicke holdeth the same qualitie, by seeing in mens bodies, after the same manner as in warre, so diuers and vnlooked for euentes: A particular which causeth experimented Phisitians to bee of more estimation, then those that are onely Theoricall. This hath not bin any cause why the most learned in science should forget the Theorique which is in all, applying practise with it. Neither in the Mathematiques, and Geometrie, doth it leaue to bee of much profit, since that, except the reason and composition of lines and figures had bin first knowne, Architectistes could hardlie haue traced out edifices, for the building whereof this is not sufficient alone, except the maister workemen knowe what the nature of the deapth of the soyle is: by longe vse and experi∣ence the qualitie of the stuffe for the building: what sorte of stones endure longest the iniurie of the weather, and if it incorporate it selfe better with morter and plaster. In the game of Chesse the liuelie paterne of warre, which consisteth really in vse, those bookes leaue not to bee verie fruitefull, which are written of the Theorique thereof, aduantaging such as reade them, greatly in their playe. Likewise it may seeme to some, that I haue writtē many things, which such as are soldiors alreadie knowe, and some which are to bee founde in sundrie bookes. To satisfie the first, if reason of offending and defending had not been from the first creation of the worlde vntill nowe the verie same, the disposition of the people onely varying in the difference of weapons, engins, and in∣strumentes, which haue bin inuented for to obteyne, which soeuer of the two effectes, I mought be able to tell nouelties, the matter it self ministring me occasion: and God giuing to all men the pow∣ers of vnderstanding, memorie and will, wherewith to dispose the discourse & reasoning, no wonder is it, if for all this, sundrie wittes doe meete in one thought, when to doe it is grounding them selues Page  [unnumbered] on one selfe same cause. The which doth not hinder that some vnderstandinges may not surpasse more then others in finding the reasons and effectes of it, nor breede in mee any discontent, when myne shall goe after others, who haue passed before better then my selfe. To the second, although Bees doe not frame or make the flowers, yet the liquor that they drawe from them, doth not leaue to be profitable, & the coppwebbes abhorred, notwith∣standing they are wouen of their proper substance. Nowe, if Y.H. vouchsafe to looke vpō these my papers, rather like a bee, then a spider: I shall thinke the labor I haue spent in them, well besto∣wed, for the desire I haue to accomplish that duetie, wherein God hath placed me, making me your subiect: & to offer in reknowled∣ging of this, the litle might that is left me: In which Y.H. is more to respect the carrectes of the affection in presentinge it, then of the talent.

Our Lorde preserue your Highnes. From Madrid,the last of August. 1594.

Don BERNARDINO de Mendoza.