The compleat gentleman fashioning him absolute in the most necessary & commendable qualities concerning minde or bodie that may be required in a noble gentleman. By Henry Peacham, Mr. of Arts sometime of Trinity Coll: in Cambridge.
Peacham, Henry, 1576?-1643?, Delaram, Francis, 1589 or 90-1627, engraver.
Page  177

CHAP. 14.

Of Exercise of the Body.

I Now from your priuate studie and contemplation, bring you abroad into the open fields, for exercise of your Body, by some honest recreation, since A∣ristotle requireth the same in the Education of Nobilitie, and all youth. Since the mind from the Ability of the Body gathereth her strength and vigor.* Anciently by the Ciuill Law these kinds of Exercises were onely al∣lowed of, that is, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which are the exercise of Armes by single combate, as running at Tilt-barrians, &c. coiting, throwing the hammer, sledge, and such like. Running, iumping, leaping, and lastly wrestling: for the first, it is the most Noble, those Epithites of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉,* and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, haue beene the attri∣butes of Kings and Princes, whose delight in auncient times was to ride and mannage great horses. Hereby you are ennabled for command, and the seruice of your Country. And what, saith Tullis, can bee more glorious, then to bee able to preserue and succour our country, when she hath neede of our helpe? It is the onely com∣mendation that Saluste giues to Iugurth, who did not (saith he) giu himselfe ouer to be corrupted by Sloath and Riot (as many of our Gallants now adayes doe) but as it is the cu∣stome of that Nation, exercised himselfe by riding, throw∣ing the dart, and running with his equals: and though he excelled all other in the height of glorie, notwithstan∣ding he was held deare and beloued of all men, &c. And Casar vsed the exercise of iding so much, and hereby be∣came so actiue and skilfull, that laying his hands behinde him, he would put his horse to his full carreer, make him Page  178 on the suddaine take hedge or ditch, & stop him, put him into a ring, and the like. And Marius after he had beene seauen time Consul, and fourescore yeares of age, exercised himselfe daily in the field of Mars with the Romane youth, instructing them to handle their weapon, to ride, &c. The like also did Pompey euen to his last expedition. And Virgil speaking (I take it) of the Spartan youth: saith,

Venat invigilant pueri, Sylva{que}, fatigans.
Flectr ludis equos, & spicula tendere cornu, &c.

And at this day it is the onely exercise of the Italian Nobility, especially in Naples, as also of the French; and great pitty of no more practised among our English Gentry.

Running at the tilt is a generous and a Martiall exer∣cise,* but hazardous and full of danger; for many hereby (euen in sport) haue lost their liues, that I may omit Henry the French King, with many other Princes and noble personages of whom Historie is full.

Tilting and Torneaments were inuented by Manuel Comnenus Emperour of Constantinople,* as saith Nicetas, who wrote about the yeare 1214. before his time wee reade not any where that this exercise was vsed vnder the Romane Empire.

The same Nicetas reporteth of a solemne Iustes or Torneaments which the saide Manuel Comnenus shew∣ed vnto the Latines at Antioch, what time they went to make warre in the holy land: for the Latines making a braue shew in their rich Armour well horsed, with their Lances, and presenting themselues before the Emperor; the Emperour to shew them that the Graecians were no∣thing inferiour vnto them in brauery or courage, ap∣pointed a day when they and the Latines (for the glory of either Empire) should so many to so many, and with Page  179 lances without points, encounter eyther brauely moūted, and made one of the number with his Graecians; who, saith Nicetas, so brauely carryed himselfe, that he vnhor∣sed two Latine Commanders, casting them from the saddle to the ground.

In our launces now adayes (of what wood soeuer they are made of) there is nothing so much danger as hath beene in times past: neyther in our moderno practise of warre haue they almost any vse at all. The Prince of Orange hath abandoned them, hauing not a Launce in his whole Armie, but hath Carbines in their roome. Spinola hath some troopes of them, yet not many, as I obserued. Those of Shertogen-bosch vnder Grobbendonckse, are esteemed the best horse Spinola hath.

For throwing and wrestling, I hold them exercises not so well beseeming Nobilitie,* but rather Souldiers in a Campe, or a Princes guard: neither haue I read or heard of any Prince or Generall commended for wrestling, saue Epaminondas Achmat the last Grand Sig∣neur and Emperor of Turkie, who tooke great delight in throwing the Hammer, and was so strong that he ouer∣threw his stoutest Iauizaries, there being reared in Con∣stantinople for one extraordinary cast which none could come neere, two great pillars of marble.

Running and Agility of Body haue beene esteemed most commendable in the greatest Princes and Com∣manders that euer liued;* and the old Romanes (next af∣ter trial made of their strength, and view of their limmes and person) chose their souldiers by running, for it was an old custome among them, to assault the enemy by running all close together in grosse to the charge. And Casar tells vs that strokes are surer laid on,* and the soul∣dier made more nimble and ready in running and by motion. Homer gaue Achilles (which perhaps some of our great feathered gallants would disdaine, yet hap∣ly better deserue) the epithite of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, or swiftfooted. Page  180 AndaAlexander we reade excelled all his Court in run∣ning. Sertorius a braue commander vnder Caesar, could nimbly runne vp the most steepe Mountaines, leape bro∣ken and vnpasseable Rockes, and like inuious places; insomuch as Metellus beeing sent with a powerfull Ar∣mie against him, he knew neither where to finde him, nor how to come by him, by reason of his nimble foote∣manship. Thereupon he sent his Colleague Pompey, who beeing by Sextorius ouerthrowne at the first encounter, escaped very narrowly; for beeing vnhorsed, and ha∣uing receiued a great wound, while the souldiers were busied in striuing, some for his horse, others for the most rich furniture (his caparison, bridle, saddle, stir∣rops, being in a manner all of gold, and shining with pre∣tious stones of inestimable valew) watching his oppor∣tunity, by swiftnes of foot escaped from them all, and re∣turned safe to his quarter.

Leaping is an exercise very commendable,* and health∣full for the body, especially if you vse it in the morning, as we reade Alexander and Epimanondas did. Vpon a full stomacke or to bedward, it is very dangerous, and in no wise to be exercised.

The skill and art of swimming* is also very requisite in euery Noble and Gentleman, especially if he looketh for emploiment in the warres; for hereby (besides the pre∣seruing of his owne life vpon infinite occasions,) he may many waies annoy his enemie. Horatius Cocles onely by the benefit of swimming saued his country, for when himselfe alone had long defended, and made good the bridge ouer Tyber against the Hetruscans, the Romanes brake it downe behind him,* wherewith, in his armour, he casthimselfe into the Riuer, & (notwithstanding a shower of darts & arrowes were sent after him) swam with safety into the city, which rewarded him with a statue erected in the market place, and as much land as he could en∣compasse with a plough in a day.

Page  181And as desperate was the attempt of a number of Ro∣mane Gentlemen in the first Carthaginian warre, who leaping in a night from the hatches of their ships into the Sea, by maine force thrust and drew the Carthaginian shippes into the hauen, and deliuered them to Luctatius their Generall.

And as resolute was that attempt (no whit inferiour to the former) of Gerrard and Haruey,* two Gentlemen of our owne Nation, who in eightie eight in the fight at Sea, swam in the night time, and pierced with Awgers, or such like Instruments, the sides of the Spanish Galli∣ons, and returned backe safe to the fleete.

Scauola, a man of inestimable courage, and who came with Caesar in his expedition for Brittaine, after hee had made good a whole day together, a mightie Rocke or passage against the Brittaines, in the night time loden with double Armes and an heauy shield, cast himselfe in∣to the deepe, and swam safe to Caesar and his fleete.

Neither is it to be wondred at, that the Romanes were so skilfull in swimming: for they were daily exercised in the same after their other exercises, and had a place in the Riuer of Tyber appointed vnto them for the same pur∣pose, adioyning to the field of Mars; and another of great depth, rough and full of whirlpits on purpose, to exercise their horses in.

Shooting also is a very healthfull and commendable recreation for a Gentleman;* neither doe I know any other comparable vnto it for stirring euery part of the body: for it openeth the breast and pipes, exerciseth the armes and feet, with lesse violence, then running, leaping, &c. Herein was the Emperour Domitian so cunning, that let a Boy a good distance off hold vp his hand, & stretch his fingers abroad, he would shoote through the spaces without touching the Boyes hand, or any finger.

And Commodus (saith Herodian) had so good an aime, that he would fixe on the brow of a Deere two shafts as Page  182 euenly, and spreading in distance, as if they had beene his owne hornes.

But for the further excellence and vse of this exercise, I referre you to that excellent booke of M. Aschams, intituled Toxophilus, wherein you shall finde whatsoeuer is requisite to be knowne of a compleate Archer.

Hawking and Hunting are recreations very commen∣dable and befitting a Noble or Gentleman to exercise; Hunting especially, which Xenophon commendeth to his Cyrus, calling it a gift of the Gods, bestowed first vpon Chiron for his vprightnesse in doing Iustice, and by him taught vnto the old Heroës and Princes; by whose vertue and prowesse (as enabled by this exercise) their Coun∣tries were defended, their subiects and innocents preser∣ued, Iustice maintained. For there is no one exercise that enableth the body more for the warre, then Hun∣ting, by teaching you to endure heate, cold, hunger, thirst; to rise early, watch late, lie and fare hardly: and Eusebius is of opinion, that wilde beasts were of purpose created by God, that men by chasing and encountring them, might be fitted and enabled for warlike exercises. Heereupon Alexander, Cyrus, and the old Kings of Per∣sia, employed themselues exceeding much herein, not to purchase Venison and purucy for the belly, but to main∣taine their strength, and preserue their health, by encrea∣sing and stirring vp the naturall heate within, which sloth and sitting still wasts and decaies: To harden the bodies by labour against the enemy; and withall, to search out the Natures of wilde beasts, which knowne, they might leaue the same recorded to their posteritie.* And the fa∣mous Phisitian Quercetan, aboue all other exercises com∣mendeth this as most healthfull, and keeping the bodie sound and free from diseases.

The old Lord Gray (our English Achilles) when hee was Deputie of Ireland, to inure his sonnes for the war, would vsually in the depth of Winter, in frost, snow, Page  183 raine, and what weather soeuer fell, cause them at mid∣night to be raised out of their beds, and carried abroad on hunting till the next morning; then perhaps come wet and cold home, hauing for a breakfast a browne loase, and a mouldie Cheese, or (which is ten times worse) a dish of Irish Butter: and in this manner the Spartans and Laconians dieted, and brought vp their children till they came vnto mans estate.

Hawking was a sport vtterly vnknowne to the anci∣ents, as Blondinus and P. Iouius in the second booke of his Historie, where he entreateth of the Muscouitish af∣faires witnesseth; but was inuented and first practised by Fredericke Barbarossa,* when he besieged Rome: yet it ap∣peareth by Firmicus, that it was knowne twelue hundred yeares since, where he speaketh of Falconers, and teach∣ers of other Birds: and indeed beyond him, I thinke it can no where be found that Falconrie was knowne. There haue beene many who haue written of Falconrie, Frede∣ricke the second, Emperour of Germany (whom Melan∣cthon worthily commendeth,* and equalleth to the anci∣ent Heroës, for his many victories archieued by his va∣lour: his skill in all learning, being able to speake foure∣teene seuerall languages: his libertie, magnificence, affa∣bilitie, milnesse, &c. Insomuch, that in him alone, saith he, ended and died the remainder of Ancient Maiestie) wrote heereof two excellent bookes, which Ioachi•• Camerarius (hauing by him the first Coppie in a Manu∣script) published together, with a Treatise of Albertus Magnus, of the Nature of Hawkes, and printed it at Norimberge. Budaus hath also written a large Discourse of Hunting and Hawking,* part whereof is annexed to the latter end of Henry Estienns French and Latine Di∣ctionarie: in English M. Blundeuiles booke is the best that I know.

By the Canon Law Hawking was forbidden vnto Clergie men,* as afterward Hunting, by reason the exer∣cise Page  184 and instruments wherewith beasts are slaine,* are mi∣litarie, and not so well agreeing (as they giue the reason) with spirituall warfare: but I cannot see but that they (many of them being great Princes, and pillars of the Church, daily employed and pressed with the weight of State affaires) may haue their recreatiōs as well as others. But to preuent their pastime, there is such an order ta∣ken with their Parkes, that many of our best Bishopricks can now adaies scarce shew one of ten, or twentie. Nor∣wich had thirteene Parkes, and of all other was most in∣iustly dealt withall. If they had taken away twelue and left the odde one, it had beene indifferent; but to rob the Church of all, was more then too much.

But as allow not altogether that seuere education of the old Spartan in their Children, hazzarding many times the healths of young and tender bodies, by some tedious ague; yea, also their liues, by the mischance of a leape or stumbling of your horse: so as much doe I detest that effoeminacie of the most that burne out day and night in their beds and by the fire side, in trifles, gaming, or courting their yellow Mistresses all the Winter in a Citie; appearing but as Cuckoes in the Spring, one time in the yeare to the Countrey and their tenants, leauing the care of keeping good houses at Christmas, to the ho∣nest Yeomen of the Countrey.

Some againe are so intent to their pleasure, that they neuer care for keeping within, as sometime was Mithri∣dates, that it is reported of him;*For seauen yeares space together hee neuer came within house, neither in Citie nor in the Countrey. And Barnaby Viscount of Millan, was so carried away with the loue of Hunting, that hee made a Law; whosoeuer should kill any wilde Boare, or had kil∣led any in fiue yeares before that his Statute was enacted (contrary vnto an ancient Edict) or were priuy to the eating of any at any Gentlemans table, should be impri∣soned and tortured after a greeuous manner. Beside, he Page  185 afflicted the Countrey marueilously, by dispersing many thousands of Dogges to be kept and brought vp in vil∣lages and among the Paisants, to their infinite trouble and charge. Mahomet Sonne to Amurath, on the con∣trarie, when he made warre in Caramania,* turned out of seruice 700. of his fathers Faulconers, and caused as ma∣ny of olde huntsmen to follow Armes, and his Campe, in stead of the kennell.