SIR IOHN SMYTHE his Proëme Dedicatorie, to the Nobilitie of the Realme of England.
RIght Honorable and most noble Lordes:
Euen as the wisedome and humi∣litie of the notable men of later ages, haue giuen greater honor to the ex∣cellencie of men in all Artes and Sciences of former ages and greater antiquitie, than to themselues; not onlie acknowledging them∣selues to be inferiours vnto them, but also, that the greatest skil and knowledge which they haue attained vnto, hath (in the greatest part) proceeded from such notable men, either by hea∣ring and obseruing their opinions, or by reading of their works, or els by reading of others that haue written of the iudgements and actions of such excellent men: Euen so, the vanitie and ouerweening of yong men, and chieflie of our Nation in this our time (I meane within these twentie yeares) haue so excee∣ded and superabounded, that they haue not been ashamed, not onlie to attribute vnto themselues greater wisedome and suffi∣ciencie in all Arts and Sciences, and speciallie in the Arte Militarie, than to the notable men and great Captaines of for∣mer ages and greater antiquitie, but also to dishable them in respect of themselues and their sufficiencie, and all others also yet liuing, that are men of greater yeares and antiquitie, than they are, both of our owne Nation, as also forraine, that haue Page [unnumbered] seene and serued in the well ordered warres of Emperours or Kings, in times past; saying, (to make the same more probable) that their warres are now growne to greater perfection, and greatlie altered from the warres of times past; vnder pretence whereof, they haue of late sought both by publique and priuate perswasions and inducements, to reduce all our auncient pro∣ceedings in matters Militarie, which they are vtterlie igno∣rant of, to their owne errors and disorders, procuring also (as much as they can) by their vaine and friuolous obiections a∣gainst our Archerie, to suppresse and extinguish the exercise and seruiceable vse of Long-bowes. But now, let vs come to consider, who are these of our Nation that doo attribute vnto themselues greater wisedome and sufficiencie in all Arts and Sciences, and especiallie, in the Art Militarie, than to the excellent men of former times and ages, and to the auncient experienced men yet liuing. Are they newlie fallen from hea∣uen with some diuine instinct and gift, to renewe, reforme, and teach vs the Arte Militarie? No, no such matter, but euen such as we knew children, or very yong men within these twen∣tie yeares. What then? are they Noblemen themselues by title, or descended of noble and excellent fathers, or themselues of great sobrietie, continencie and worthines of mind? No true∣lie, for such as are Noblemen by birth, or descended of noble fathers, or themselues worthie, doo knowe by good education and instruction, that experience is the mother of Science, and therefore, will not neglect nor contemne the wisedome and suf∣ficiencie of former ages, nor the opinions and iudgements of the auncient and experienced men of this time; but will (with hu∣mility) yeeld themselues to heare and learne by their experien∣ces. What then? are they endued with anie such rare gifts, or corporall presences, wisedomes and vertues, as I haue in my time knowne diuers, and doo yet knowe some verie fewe yong Gentlemen endued withall, that therefore we may admire, and thinke them to bee extraordinarie and notable men? No in troth, but some yong, and some now growne to be of the middle age, all which, are but after the common sort, both in their cor∣porall presences, and in their wisedomes and vertues, vnlesse Page [unnumbered] (peraduenture) somtimes, when they fall into argumēt of some such matters, that they would seeme to haue great skil of, then indeed, they shew themselues to be extraordinarie: for in steade of alleadging reasons and examples, according to the vse of o∣ther Nations, with quietnes and courteous phrase of speach, they argue for life and death, with hastie and furious wordes, as though there were no more in the experience of men of grea∣ter yeares, but that which they say: which in the opinions of all men of any iudgement, that are of wise and braue Nations, is thought more meete for the cōmon sort of such as are chiding womē, than for men that do professe any knowledge in Arts & Sciences, and chiefly Militarie. What? is the number great of these controllers of Antiquitie in matters Militarie, that are infected with so great an ouerweening? Certainely, no, the number of the chiefe of them is very small and fewe, and ther∣fore, sauing for Arithmetikes sake, not woorthie to be called Number. And those that are possessed with this ouerweening, are such as do presume of their long experience in such warres as they haue serued in, all which are more addicted to selfe-will, newe fashions and fancies, than to any reason and experi∣ence Militarie. What, haue they no imitators? Yes, many, that are abused by their perswasions: but yet they are such, as I doo thinke may bee easily perswaded and reduced to better iudgement vpon sound reasons and demonstrations vnto them shewed, or vpon the experience of some newe and well ordered warres. But now, I pray you, in what warres of Emperours, Kings, or formed Common wealthes haue these our such men of war serued, and learned their great pretended skill and suffi∣ciencie? by the which they may with the more reason and ex∣perience assume vnto themselues, to condemne the ancient or∣ders and proceedings Military of diuers forren warlike Nati∣ons, as also of our most valiant and wise ancestors; or the expe∣rience in the Art Military, of many both forren as also of some auncient men, yet liuing of our owne Nation, in respect of the warres that they haue serued in; and therefore, that vpon their greater experience and iudgement, they should seeke to reduce all our auncient proceedings and orders Militarie, to their Page [unnumbered] owne opinions and fancies, and therewithall, to procure the vtter suppressing and extinguishing of our auncient and pecu∣liar weapon the Long-bowe? Certainelie, all men knowe, that the chiefest warres that they euer serued in, where they haue learned anie experience, hath bene in the disordered and tu∣multuarie warres of the Lowe Countries vnder the States, or (peraduenture) some litle diuers yeres past, in the intestine & licentious warres of France. Well, if it be so (without any fur∣ther question) I doo not then meruaile, that they doo alleadge to set foorth and beautifie their owne sufficiencies, and to disa∣ble all others both auncient and moderne, that haue serued in the well ordered wars of Emperours or Kings, that their wars are now growen to greater perfection, and greatlie altered from the wars of times past, in the which I do concurre with them, and the rather because they verifie the olde Prouerb, which is, That such as were neuer but in Hell, doo thinke that there is no other Heauen. For true it is, that the ciuile and licenti∣ous wars of France, and the tumultuarie and disordered wars of the Lowe Countries, which haue beene their schooles, and the chiefe warres that euer they sawe, haue beene altogether without anie formed Milicia and discipline militarie, & ther∣fore farre different from the well ordered wars that haue bin in former times, betwixt Emperors, Kings, and formed common wealthes.
And now, because I intend in this Proëme vnto your Lord∣ships, as brieflie as I can, to shewe by what meanes our Nation hath verie much decaied, or rather forgotten all our auncient orders and exercises Militarie, with the wonderfull euills that haue in other ages, and do now (through long peace) threaten vs againe to happen, as also that it hath been impossible for them, or any others, to learne any Art or Science Militarie in the ciuill warres of France, nor in the disordered warres of the Lowe Countries vnder the States, but rather the contra∣rie, that is, disorder and confusion. I therefore will first make manifest by diuers examples, by what meanes and accidents, the Art and Science Militarie hath in many Empires, King∣domes and Common wealths, as also in this Kingdome, come Page [unnumbered] sometimes, to be vtterlie forgotten; and at other times, to growe to great disorder and confusion: and so finallie, that it is most e∣uident, that such of our Nation as haue seene and serued in no other wars, but in such confused and disordered wars, as afore∣said, could no wayes attaine to anie such vnderstanding in the Art and discipline militarie, that they may be anie wayes dee∣med, or thought worthie to controll or finde fault with the or∣ders and proceedings of our wise and worthie auncestours, nor of the olde and auncient Noblemen, Gentlemen and Captains yet liuing, that haue bene trained vp in matters of armes, as it shall euidently appeare by a fewe of their infinite vnsoldiorlike proceedings and disorders, which I will set downe in the end of this Preface. I thinke it is euident to all men of wisedome and discretion, that haue read diuerse notable Histories, with consideration and iudgement, as also that haue well con∣sidered of this our age, that there are two thinges of all o∣thers that are the greatest enemies to the Arte and science Militarie, and haue been the occasion of the great decay, and oftentimes, the vtter ruine of many great Empires, Kingdoms & Common wealths: of the which, the first is long peace, which ensuing after great warres to diuers Nations that haue had notable Milicias and exercises Militarie in great perfection, they by enioying long peace, haue so much giuen themselues to couetousnes, effeminacies and superfluities, that they haue ei∣ther in a great part, or els vtterlie forgotten all orders and ex∣ercises Militarie, in such sort, that when they haue been forced to enter into a warre defensiue for the defence of their Domi∣nions against any forraine Nation or Nations, that haue had a puissant and formed Milicia, they haue been so voide of the orders & exercises of war of their forefathers, that either they haue bin cōquered by their enemies inuading, or at least, haue been put in hazard of the losse of their estates and dominions, as it may verie well appeare by the Egyptians, who being one of the first Nations of the world, that had the Art and sci∣ence Militarie in great perfection, by the which they ••tained many victories and conquests. And thereby finding no Na∣tion that durst assaile them, they did after by enioying long Page [unnumbered] peace and prosperitie, so giue themselues to their delights, coue∣tousnesse and effeminacies, neglecting all orders and exercises Militarie, that being in processe of time, and in diuerse ages assailed and inuaded by diuers other warlike Nations, that had the Arte and Science Militarie, in great perfection, and were allured thereunto, partly by the wonderful fertilitie of Ae∣gypt, but chiefly, because the Aegyptians were growen effemi∣nate without anie orders and exercises Militarie, they came to be by them subdued and conquered, and euer since haue li∣ued in subiection, and seruitude to diuers other Nations. The Macedonians and Grecians also, that had vnder that notable conquerour, Alexander the great, and other notable Princes and Captains of those Nations, the Arte Militarie in great perfection, whereby they atchieued many notable victories and conquests, did after, by liuing in long peace, accompanied with great dissention, couetousnes and superfluities, so forget al their orders and exercises Militarie, that they came to be conquered by the Romanes: and of late yeares by their like negligence in matters of warre, were vtterly subdued and brought into ser∣uitude by the Turkes. The Romanes also themselues, after that they had by their notable milicia, atchieued wonderfull victories and conquests, through the peace but of a few yeares, did growe so to decay in their discipline Militarie, that Han∣niball that notable Captaine of Carthage, atchieuing diuerse victories in Spaine against the Romanes, and marching with his army through France, and passing the mountaines of the Alpes, did (before that the Romanes could renue and reduce themselues to their auncient Milicia) inuade Italie, and woon diuers notable battailes, and killed diuers of their Consuls and their whole Armies, and put Rome it selfe in great feare to be sacked and conquered. And if we list to consider of our owne Countrie and Nation in diuers ages, omitting infinite numbers of other examples of greater antiquitie, as also of la∣ter ages; we may see, that our auncestours the Saxons, that conquered and expulsed the Britans (the auncientest inhabi∣tants of this Realme) by reason that they found them altoge∣ther without any orders and exercises Militarie, wholie giuen Page [unnumbered] to idlenes, vitiousnes & delights, the same Saxons after, by lōg peace with forren Nations, being giuen to couetousnes, vice, and superfluities, as also to ciuile dissention amongst themselues at home, did so confound and forget their Arte and Science Militarie, by the which they in former times had bene con∣querours, that they themselues came after to be conquered by the Danes, and shortly after by the Normans. All which examples of conquests, and daungers of conquering, with infi∣nit others of great Empires, Kingdoms and Common wealths haue proceeded chiefly through the negligence of their Prin∣ces, Rulers and Magistrates, who through long peace, and ouermuch securitie, did gouerne their subiectes onely by lawes politike, neglecting and contemning all orders and exerci∣ses Militarie. And this dooth most manifestly appeare by many notable Histories that doo containe great actions.
The second cause which doth confound and disorder all dis∣cipline and orders Militarie, is, intestine and ciuile warres, as we may see by many examples, of the which for breuities sake, I will only alleage two; the one ancient, & the other of this time. The first is of the Arabians, which nation, vnder Mahomet that false prophet, & his successors, Halifas, conquered a great part of Europe, Affrike and Asia, & were (so long as they had but one supreme Halifa or Prince, to gouerne the Arabians and al their dominions by them conquered) so mighty through their excellent Milicia, that no forren Nation durst assaile them. But after, by their long liuing in peace and great pros∣peritie; in the end, through the viciousnes and insufficiencie of one of their supreme Halifas, that at that time raigned ouer them, fell into reuolt and intestine wars amongst themselues, striuing for the supreme throne and gouernement; in such sort, that in few yeres, they did so corrupt and confound their anci∣ent discipline Militarie, & so weaken themselues by many cō∣fused battels, sackings and spoiles; and by diuiding their great Empire into diuers partes, vnder diuers Halifas, that the Turkes (a new Nation, who had an excellent Milicia) did inuade their dominions, and within few yeares brought them into subiection to the Turkie Empire.
Page [unnumbered]Now the other example, which is of our time, is Fraunce, which kingdome (vntill Lewes the eleuenth did serue himselfe with mercinaries) had a well ordered Milicia, offensiue and defensiue, and that chiefly on horsebacke, and yet diuers yeares had some reliques and remnants of the same; but nowe in this later time, the French Nation, hauing continued seauen or eight and twenty yeares in ciuile warres amongest themselues, they haue so corrupted and confounded all their ancient orders and proceedings in matters Militarie, that they haue at this present, no shew, token, nor mention of the same, but disorder, disobedience and confusion; which hath proceeded of the like causes that brought the Arabians and many other Nations (through intestine warres) to corrupt and confound their Arte and Science Militarie, as it shall more particularly ap∣peare by that which followeth. I think all men of experience & iudgement in matters of warre, do know, that the first & prin∣cipall thing that is requisite to assemble and forme an armie, or armies, and to keepe the same in obedience with good effect, is treasure, to maintaine pay and reward, with seuere execu∣tion of excellent Lawes Militarie. Which, what Prince soe∣uer he be that hath, with sufficient Generals, & other Officers, to commaund and gouerne, may very well haue a well ordered Milicia; by reason that no souldiours well payd, and chiefly be∣ing subiects to the Prince that they serue, can vse any excuses not to obserue all lawes and orders Militarie, of Sea or Land, Towne, Campe or Field. Besides that, vpon any transgressi∣on of orders, it is lawfull for the Captains and higher Officers, to correct, reforme and punish, according to the lawes and ordi∣nances Militarie: from whence it commeth to passe, that e∣uen as the Citizens of a wel ordered Citie, through the execu∣tion of good lawes, ciuil and criminall, by excellent gouernors, doo liue in great order, quietnes and prosperitie, without any ciuile dissention: Euen so, an Armie in the field, being well payed, prouided for and gouerned, doo liue as orderly in towne, campe and field, without robbing, spoiling, or otherwise iniu∣ring any other, but the common enemie.
Now to maintaine, and continue the same, it dooth be∣houe Page [unnumbered] a King in his kingdome, and chieflie in the bodie of the same to be well obeyed; that by the quiet obedience of his sub∣iects, he may receiue all his customes, rents and reuenewes, with all other subsidies and aides, that of antiquitie his pro∣genitors haue accustomed to receiue; with newe supplies of men and munitions from time to time to ranforce his Armie or Armies. All which, the French Kings (through their subiects so often taking Armes, and such intestine warres so manie yeares) haue so come to want, that they haue not had anie meanes possible to maintaine any other but a deformed and disordered Milicia; by reason that the Nobilitie and Princes of the bloud, vppon diuers legitimate causes by them pretended, with their friends and followers, taking Armes against them, a great part of the reuenewe of the Crowne, with all other customes, subsidies and aides, haue in diuers Cities, Townes and Prouinces, come to cease, and the same to be en∣ioyed by the Kings enemies armed: by meanes whereof the French Kings, that haue liued in the times of these intestine warres, haue not had treasure to pay their Armies, whereby to keepe their men of warre in any discipline; Besides that, by those continuall dissentions, they haue lackt a great part of their Nobilitie and subiects, to ranforce their Armies. The Nobilitie also, and Princes of the bloud, that haue con∣tinued in Armes against their Kings (notwithstanding their vsurped reuenewe and treasure of the Crowne) haue beene as little, or lesse able to pay their men of warre; so that, all the intestine and ciuill warres, that haue continued so manie yeares in France, with the slaughter and destruction of such infinite numbers of all sorts of people, haue beene maintai∣ned and continued tumultuaritie, more by spoyle, sedition, passion and faction; than by any pay, order, and discipline Mi∣litarie.
Whereof it hath come to passe, that such Armies as haue serued vnder the French Kings, or vnder the Nobilitie, that haue continued in armes against them, (how good Officers & gouernors soeuer they had) could not haue any certen nor orde∣red Page [unnumbered]Milicia; by reason, that through the lacke of certaine pay, and no hope of reward for extraordinary deserts, it hath come to passe, that the souldiors thereby being made voluntary, haue obeyed their Captaines no otherwise than hath pleased them∣selues, altering and changing their weapons, as also themselues out of one band into an other, and sometimes horsemen to be∣come footemen, and footemen to become horsemen; besides their forraging and stragling from their Ensignes without or∣der; as also their negligence and lacke of vigilancie in their watches, bodies of watches and centinels, and by disordering themselues vpon euery light occasion both in battallion, squa∣dron and troupe. Captaines also, haue oftetimes formed, or rather deformed their bands, both on horsebacke and on foote, with armors and weapons, new inuented by themselues, with∣out controlment, different from all orders Militarie. The Ge∣nerals, and whole armies also, both of the one side and of the o∣ther haue very seldome, or neuer, according to the Arte Mili∣tarie, lodged themselues in any campe formed, but dispersed and scattered by bands in many Townes and Villages with great disorder. Besides that, both Captaines, Souldiors and all other men of warre, for lacke of ordinary pay, haue liued a great deale more vpon the spoile, and misusing of the common people, their fellow-subiects and friends, than vpon any spoile, or annoying of the enemy armed: through which great disor∣ders and lack of pietie, contrary to all diuine & humane lawes, it hath come to passe, that such Officers, Captains and Souldi∣ours that haue serued any long time in such licentious and tumultuarie wars (be they subiects or mercenaries) can very hardly after be reformed and reduced to containe themselues, and liue vnder any discipline Military, where Iustice without fauour is executed, because they neuer before liued vnder any seuerity of lawes Martiall; but haue spent their times, & lear∣ned their chiefe soldiorie, in such disordered & licentious wars, where in respect of spoile and gaine, they haue accounted and holden both friends & enemies al in one reckoning and degree. Now the ciuil wars of France hauing growen to be so disorde∣red, & without any discipline through their intestine dissenti∣ons Page [unnumbered] (as I haue before mentioned) with many other disorders, a great deale more orderlie, and particularlie set downe by that braue soldier, Monsieur de la Noüe in his discourses: how farre of further, then is it euidēt, that the tumultuarie, & con∣fused warres of the Lowe Countries haue been from all order & discipline Militarie, where both mercenaries and subiects, haue serued vnder subiects, called by the title of States? which gouernment hath been popular, and consisted of sundrie heads, and of those verie fewe Noble; but Merchants, Citizens and Burghers; whose pay as it was manie yeares to the English, French and other mercenaries more by words and promises, than by any good performance: so the seruices of such hire∣lings, were as disordred, and voide of all discipline Militarie; as it hath most manifestlie appeared by their proceedings and actions; some part of the which, (by the helpe of almightie God) I will set downe, that thereby it may be apparantlie dis∣couered, what kind of men of warre those disordred warres of the Lowe Countries haue bred and brought forth, and of what experience and sufficiencie, they may bee esteemed to be, that doo with such an ouerweening disesteeme, and condemne the great Captaines of times past, as also the old men of warre of diuers Nations yet liuing, in respect of themselues; saying fur∣ther, that their warres of the Low Countries doo farre exceed and excell the warres of times past in all perfection. And therefore, I will set downe and compare part of the opinions, proceedings and orders Militarie, of the great Captaines and men of warre, both auncient and moderne; with the straunge opinions, newe kinds of Milicias (or rather Malicias, and dis∣orderlie proceedings of our such men of warre. And in al those things which I in this Proëme will mention concerning them and their wonderfull errors and disorders Militarie, I will not set downe anie thing of mine owne knowledge, nor inuented, nor deuised by me, but a verie few of the smallest of an infinite number of their disorderlie proceedings, contrarie to all pietie, and discipline Militarie, which I haue heard manie, & manie times publikelie reported by manie valiant Gentlemen of our Nation, that haue detested the same; diuers of the which are Page [unnumbered] of verie good houses, and not anie one of them but that hath serued in those warres, some of them fifteene or sixteene yeares past, in the time of the Commendator major Requesenes, others of them a dozen yeares past in the time of Don Iuan de Austria, and others at the Earle of Leicesters going ouer, and also before. All which Gentlemen hauing been eye witnes∣ses of those wonderfull disorders (which haue redownded to the consumption and losse of many thousands of yong Gentle∣men, Yeomen, and Yeomen sonnes, and others of the most dis∣post and lustie sort of people of our Nation) haue mooued me (not vpon any hate, I protest, that I beare vnto any of them in respect of my selfe, but onlie for the great loue that I beare to my Prince, Countrie and Nation) to commit those things with great blame of writing, to the intent that hereafter the same may be some kind of terror to all others to take such barbarous and base proceedings in hand. And therefore will proceed to the matter.
First, it is very well knowne to all men of experience and iudgement in matters of Armes, that all such great Captaines as haue been Lieutenants generalls to Emperours, Kings, or formed Common wealths, or that with regiments of their owne Nation haue serued forraine Princes, as mercenaries (know∣ing that Iustice is the Prince of all order and gouernment both in warre and peace, by the which God is honoured and serued, and Magistrates and Officers obeyed) haue at the first form∣ing of their Armies or such Regiments, by great aduise of Counsell established sundrie lawes both Politique and Mar∣tiall, with Officers for the superintending and due execution of the same, which haue been notified to all their men of warre, as also at euerie incamping or lodging haue been set, written or printed in certaine tables in conuenient places for all soldiers and men of warre to behold, to the intent that none might transgresse through ignorance: All which by some of the chiefe of our such mercenarie men of warre haue been so vtterly con∣temned, or by them not vnderstood, that they neuer vsed anie such matter, but in stead of the same, haue onlie set downe a verie few written lawes, altogether cunningly and artificiallie, Page [unnumbered] tending to terrifie their soldiers from demanding of their paies due; as also from complaining of the misusages of their Cap∣taines and higher Officers: but to terrifie them from spoyling, robbing, and taking by force from the common countrie people their friends, with many other great offences, there was no prohibition, nor penaltie of lawes set downe; they often terming those to be best soldiers that could liue without pay, by stealing and spoyling most; saying further, that to forme and establish many lawes politique and Martiall, it was the manner of old dunsicall Captaines in times past, who did not vnderstand their excellent discipline of this time, and that all lawes of Towne, Campe and Field should bee in the wisedome and dis∣cretion of the Generall; which their grosse and ignorant con∣ceites, through their lacke of iustice, cost the liues of a great sort of braue men; for in stead of proceeding orderlie vppon lawes Militarie established (as aforesaid) they proceeded ac∣cording to such lawes as they conceiued in their owne simple braines. Whereof it hath come to passe, that manie of honest parentage haue been condemned to death vpon diuers offences, that the transgressors themselues haue not knowne to be trans∣gressions of death, and others that haue committed as great, or greater offences, haue escaped with verie little or no punishment at all.
Also, whereas in all ages and times, all Emperours, Kings, and formed Common wealthes, that haue employed their Generalls with Armies either in warres offensiue or defen∣siue, haue established a Counsell of men of great sufficiencie both in warre and peace to assist their Generalls; of the which some of the chiefe Officers of the Armie, by the right and due of their Offices, were alwaies of the same counsell, as also some others, according to the choise and liking of such Princes; and this, to the intent that their Generalls in all important mat∣ters should consult with them: The conclusion, and resolution of such consultations notwithstanding to remaine in the wise∣dome, iudgement and valour of the Generalls. And that like∣wise it hath bin alwaies the vse of all mercenarie Coronels both Almanes and Italians, that haue been hired into the seruices Page [unnumbered] of forraine Princes vpon all important occasions to consult with their Sergeants Maiors, and certeine other Captaines and Of∣ficers for the well ordring and gouerning of their Regiments. Euen so contrariwise, some of our chiefe men of warre that haue had great charges in the Lowe Countrie warres, haue not onelie contemned and disdained to haue anie counsell about them, or to take counsell of some of their Captaines and other Officers, but haue also spoken to the blame and reproach of some notable and very sufficient Generalls of this time, because they haue vsed in all important matters to consult with their Counsellors, saying, that they were therefore verie simple men, and that they were able to doo nothing of themselues, but onlie by the aduise of Counsell. By the which, our such men of warre haue not onelie shewed a wonderfull ouerweening, and lacke of discretion in those their vaine and fond opinions; but also haue in the gouernment of their charges (which was altogether of their owne heads) shewed themselues as fond and voide of all reason and order Militarie. Also, whereas all wise and suffi∣cient Generalls and Coronels haue alwaies had speciall regard, when the Enemie hath not been neere at hand; that their Ser∣geants Maiors, Captaines, & other Officers, should oftentimes in the field reduce their bands & regiments into diuers formes, and to teach their soldiers all orders Militarie, with the vse of their weapons in euerie degree, time and place, as also how to lodge in their quarters orderlie, and therewithall to vnder∣stand the orders of watches, bodies of watches, centinells, rounds, and counterrounds, with many other matters Milita∣rie, whereby they might be made prompt and readie to encoun∣ter with the Enemie: so contrariwise, our such men of warre in the Lowe Countries did very seldome, or rather neuer in∣struct nor teach their soldiers any such matter, whereby it hath come to passe, that their old soldiers Piquers with their piques, Harquebuziers and Mosquettiers with their weapons of fire, haue in certaine trainings here in England shewed and vsed such Matiches, as they haue giuen occasion to bee scorned and laughed at, by such old Captaines of experience as haue seene their doings.
Page [unnumbered]And whereas also all men of warre in times past haue had speciall care that all their soldiers should be fitlie apparelled and armed, according to the different weapons that all sorts of their soldiers did vse, and that they should not lacke any of their weapons, nor any part or peece of their armours, but that the same should be by them fitlie and aptlie worne, and from time to time kept cleane and neate: So contrariwise, some of our such men of warre haue holden these matters for such trifles, that they haue had so little care thereof, that they haue been contented to suffer their soldiers to goe euill weaponed, and worse armed, and many of them without any kind of armour at all, and in their apparell all to be totterd and torne, and some of them bare legged, or bare footed like roges: a thing neuer before heard off in any age, that men of warre, and chieflie the English nation, going to the aide of a forraine Nation, and the countrie and people wonderfull rich and plentifull in all abun∣dance, and their Captaines themselues verie gallant in appa∣rell, and their purses full of gold; that their soldiers should be in such poore and miserable estate. Also, whereas it hath been the vse of all great Captaines and Chieftaines, vpon anie long march & enterprise intended, with all foresight & prouidence to prouide plentie of victuall, and all other things necessarie for the sustenance of all their soldiers, euen to the meanest & least of accompt; as also of great store and plentie of powder & shot, with some ouerplus of weapons of diuers sorts for al accidents & employments, with al other things requisite: So some of our such men of warre vpon their occasions of marches and enterprises, haue prouided plentie of victuall onlie for themselues and their followers, suffering their bands & regimēts to straggle, & spoyle the people of the Countrie oftentimes to their owne mischiefe, & in the rest to take their aduentures, and sometimes to starue, or at least to be driuen to great extremitie of hūger. Besides that, for powder, shot, and ouerplus of weapōs, they haue prouided no more than that which their soldiers haue carried about them, which haue been with great scarcitie; which doth argue their small care of the health & safetie of their soldiers, & their little intention to doo any great hurt to the enemie, and therewithall Page [unnumbered] a great ignorance in the Art and Science Militarie. And whereas also in all well ordered Milicias, the commendation and sufficiencie of all Generalls, Coronells, Captaines and other Officers, hath consisted in knowing how to command, gouerne, and order their Armies, Regiments, bands and companies, and to winne the loue of their soldiers by taking great care of their healths and safeties, as also by all examples of vertue and worthines, not onlie by instruction, but also by action in their owne persons, venturing their liues in all actions against the enemie amongst them, and therewithall accompting of them in sicknes and health, or wounds receiued, as of their owne chil∣dren; and that all Coronells and Captaines of horsemen, ac∣cording to all discipline, haue vsed to serue amongst their horse∣men on horsebacke, and that all Coronells and Captaines of footmen, yea euen the verie Lieutenants generalls, and Kings themselues (if their Armies and forces of the field haue con∣sisted more of footmen than of horsemen) haue alwaies vsed by all discipline Militarie, vppon the occasion of anie battaile, to put their horses from them, and to serue on foote, and to venter their liues in the former rankes. Euen so contrariwise, the new discipline of some of our chiefe men of warre of the Lowe Coun∣tries hath been, neuer to winne nor procure the loue of their soldiers by anie affabilitie or fauour shewed vnto them, nor yet by anie care taking for their healthes and safeties, and vpon a∣nie accidents of sicknes, or wounds receiued, they haue present∣lie disesteemed them, as base and vile creatures, neuer com∣ming amongst them neither in sicknes nor health, but onlie vp∣pon occasion of seruice: and for anie instruction or examples of vertue and worthines in the actions of their owne persons to be shewed amongst their soldiers, it hath not been their delight nor profession; and for them to haue imitated the great and famous Captaines of al other times, both ancient and moderne, in venturing their liues amongst their soldiers (as aforesaid) according to their Milicia, that hath consisted more of foot∣men than of horsemen, it hath been contrarie to their newe discipline, which hath not permitted that they should learne a∣nie thing of anie great Captaines, but onelie of themselues: Page [unnumbered] whereof it hath come to passe, that some of our such chiefe men of warre in the Low Countries, whose strength in the field hath consisted of farre greater numbers and forces of footmen than horsemen, and that some other ordinarie Captaines also, whose charges haue consisted onlie of footmen, haue (presentlie vpon their squadrons formed, and approach or sight of the Enemie) mounted vppon horses of swift Carrires, and either haue ac∣companied their footmen vpon the flankes or rereward, being so well mounted, or els haue put themselues into some bands of horsmen; as though it were against their reputation to serue on foote amongst their soldiers; or rather (as it may be thought) that vppon anie hard accident they might be readie (leauing their soldiers to the slaughter) to saue themselues rather with the force of their heeles and spurres, than with any of sword, which amongst manie other, hath been one special cause that there haue been so great numbers of soldiers at diuers times consumed and slaine, and neuer anie Chieftaine, nor any other of our such men of warre. Which their newe discipline is such a mockerie, and so contrarie to all order Militarie, as that such are not to bee accoumpted worthie to take the charge of men, nor yet to bee reckoned amongst the number of soldiers.
And whereas also all great Captaines, Chieftaines, and men of charge haue holden for a Maxime, to preserue by all meanes possible the liues of their soldiers, and not to employ and ha∣zard them vppon euerie light occasion, and therewithall to e∣steeme the preseruation of the liues of a verie fewe of their sol∣diers, before the killing of great numbers of their enemies: Euen so contrariwise, the new discipline of some of our men of warre in the Lowe Countries, hath been, to send, and employe their soldiers into manie daungerous and vaine exploites and seruices, without any reason Militarie, hauing sure regard to their owne safeties; as though they desired and hoped to haue more gaine and profite by the dead paies of their soldiers slaine, than encrease of reputation by the atchieuing and preuailing in anie such enterprises.
Besides that, it hath been sometimes a practise by some of Page [unnumbered] our such men of warre, when they haue borne anie hatred or malice to such as haue serued vnder them, to deuise some dangerous enterprise of purpose to employ thē in, from whence they might hardly escape with their liues, to the intent that they might hit two markes at one shoote, that is, take reuenge of such as they hated, and gaine the dead paies of such as were there slaine; which was an infernall inuention. And this I would not haue set downe if I had not heard it most constant∣lie affirmed by some of those themselues, that haue been of pur∣pose sent to such banquets, and haue with great daunger esca∣ped out of such enterprises. And whereas there is nothing more requisite to keepe men of warre in obedience and disci∣pline, than pay and good vsage of their Chieftaines, Coronells, Captaines, and other Officers, (which hath been the cause that in all well ordered warres both ancient and moderne, the Generalls, Chieftaines and Captaines, haue alwaies vsed to procure and liberallie to pay, or to see the same paied to their soldiers, without defrauding them of any part thereof:) so some of our such men of warre haue in those warres procured pay for their soldiers; but when they haue obtained and receiued it, they haue vsed diuers waies to defraude them of the same, but chieflie two, speciallie to be noted; of the which the first hath been, that presently vpon the receipt of their pay, (or els that they haue been assured that they should receiue the same) with∣in a day or two daies after, they haue presentlie deuised some verie daungerous enterprise to employ their bands and compa∣nies in, to make proofe how manie in such exploytes should leese their liues, that they might enrich themselues by their dead p•ies; during which employments, some of our such chiefe men of warre that deuised the same, remained in great townes fea∣sting, banquetting, and carowsing with their dames. And their second policie and practise hath been, that they haue plainlie kept and conuerted (or rather peruerted) a great part thereof to their owne vses, lodging their soldiers dispersed and strag∣ling in Villages, and in stead of pay haue suffered them to goe alla picoree, that was, to robbe and spoyle the Boores their friends: whereupon it came to passe, that the Boores fearing Page [unnumbered] such mercenaries more than their enemies, did arme them∣selues, and stoode vpon their gardes, in such sort, that at times it cost the liues of a great number of our braue Nation. And for Captaines, diuerse wayes to become Merchants, and chiefly in selling their bandes one to an other, as also in let∣ting them to farme for a yearely rent vnto their Lieutenants, as if they were flockes of milch Ewes, it hath beene too of∣ten put in practise. And whereas also, all Generalls and Chiefetaines of all Nations of anie iudgement, vpon the ap∣proch of any Citie, Towne, or place fortified, haue vsed to ap∣proch the same with trenches, crosse-trenches, gabions, and diuerse other ordinary and extraordinary inuentions, (accor∣ding vnto the scituation of the ground) for the preseruing, and sauing of the liues of their Souldiors, and that they haue not offered to giue any assault, vntill by the battery and effect of great Ordinaunce, planted vppon 〈◊〉Caueleeres (by vs called Mounts) or by battery from the counterscarfe cut, and opened, the flankers of the bulwarkes, platformes, and reuelins haue beene taken away, and the Artillerie of the inward Mounts dismounted, and a sufficient breach in the Curtine made assaultable, with the drie or wet ditches filled to take away the effectes of Casamates, as also to make the en∣trance of the Souldiors into the ditches and breach more ea∣sie, and with lesse daunger; and otherwise with great or∣der of their Armies of horsemen and footemen reduced in∣to 〈◊〉 Squadrons and other formes, for the garde of their Campes and Field: So contrariwise, our such men of warre (being ignorant of all discipline Militarie) haue bene so prodigall of the liues of their Souldiors, that they haue diuers times sent them (as it were to the butchery) to giue assault to certaine skonces, and other such fortifications, without any such order of approach, or taking away any flankers, or making any breach.
Besides that, in this later time (I meane within these very fewe yeares) most grosely and ignorantly in the time of Win∣ter, with some thousandes of our braue English people, they laie Page [unnumbered] shooting off gunnes diuers weekes against some great Towne well fortified, with a broad and a large riuer nauigable being betwixt them, without anie other wayes besieging of it, their Campe lying in a wet moorish ground, where their soldiors in their watches and centinels stoode to the mid legges in dyrt & myre, with frost, snow, raine and mysts, and small store of victuall, and at their dislodging from thence, did dislodge stragling by bands, without any chiefetaine to direct and go∣uerne them. All which disorders cost the liues of some thou∣sands of our gallant English Nation, the dead payes of the which so great numbers of souldiors so fondly and wilfully cast away, did redound greatly to the enriching of some of our such men of warre. And now in the same later time, when all things should by all reason haue beene reduced vnto order and discipline, because the nature of the warre was altered from mercenary and voluntary, to princely authoritie; I meane the Sommer before the Earle of Leicester went ouer, our such men of war that had serued diuers yeares before in those parts deuised a newe inuention, neuer heard nor read of before a∣mongst any men of warre, but onely vpon some great lackes and extremities, and that was, that their Soldiors, in steade of pay with money, should be payed in Prouand, which was bread and cheese, and other such victuall of the best cheape and basest sort, and that taxed by measure; saying, that it was not conuenient that their Souldiors should receiue their owne payes, because they knewe not how to lay out their mo∣ney, but that they would spend it idlely; which simplicity and ignorance, if it had beene in them (as it was not) they, and their officers, by good instruction should haue reformed the same. But such couetous men of warre, vnder that pretence (as though their Souldiours had beene either naturall fooles or children) did contrarie to all Militarie order put the grea∣test part of their Souldiors pay into their owne purses, allowing them great scarcity of Prouand. By which means it came to passe, that diuers thousands of their Souldiors in those plenti∣full Countries, partly by hunger, and partly by euill lodging, & altogether by the small care and misuse of our such men of Page [unnumbered] warre did perish. Besides that, great numbers of such their sicke and starued Souldiors, by the order of the Earle of Lei∣cester, were in those partes embarked, and transported into Essex, Kent, and other partes of England, to recouer health, of which foresaid great numbers of miserable & pitiful ghosts, or rather shadowes of men, the Essex and Kentish carts and carters (that carried them) can testifie; of which, scarce the fortieth man escaped with life. Also, when any of their Sol∣diors, through the naughtines, or scarcitie of their victuall, or by their euill lodging, or by the pestering, or lying of two or three hundred of them together in some one Church, and so in diuers Churches, vpon the bare pauements, or vpon diuers other disorders, and misusages of some of our such men of war, fell sicke; our such men of warre presently did casse, and dis∣charge them out of their bands for dead men, turning their Prouand money with all ouerplusses into their owne purses, procuring newe supplies of well apparelled, and lusty yong men out of England, to the intent to serue their owne turnes, and to consume people after people. All which marueilous disor∣ders of some of our such men of warre against their Souldiors, contrary to all discipline Militarie, by them practized and v∣sed, with infinit others (which to rehearse would make a huge volume) were the occasion that manie thousands of the lustiest and dispost sort of our English people, were in those warres (as it were) wittingly and willingly cast away; besides great num∣bers, that at diuers times did choose rather to flie to the enemy than to serue vnder such cruell and disordered chiefetaines; And these wonderfull disorders, with innumerable others did continue and increase vntill such time as diuers yong No∣blemen lately comming to take principall charges in those wars, as also diuers knights and Gentlemen of Noble and of Worshipfull houses, and themselues of great valour and woor∣thines did complaine of, and discouer those most strange and wonderfull abuses, vnto the Queene, and to her Counsell; who vnderstanding thereof, did very nobly reforme and redresse diuers of those disorders, taking further order, that the afore∣said newe deuised Prouand should be abolished, and that in Page [unnumbered] steade thereof, the Souldiours should receiue their owne payes in money; which, with the wise and worthie proceedings and courses of the aforesaid Noblemen, Knights and Gentlemen, that began with great order and Discipline, to serue in those warres, some at, and others since, the going ouer of the Earle of Leicester, hath of late greatly preuailed and redounded to the reformation of diuers of those strange inuentions, and abu∣ses, inuented and brought into those warres by the aforesaide newe fantasied men of warre.
But now, for excuse vsed by some of our such men of war, for the casting away and losse of such great numbers, and many thousands of our gallant English people in those Lowe countrie warres, as also in later wars, (I meane not in France, where I neuer heard any blame, but great honour imputed to the Chiefetaine, and commendation to the Captaines; but in a very short warre of a great deale further distance, but of a wonderfull consumption of our braue Nation, through great disorder, and lacke of discipline Militarie: the particulari∣ties whereof, because I haue not hitherto handled, I omit) some of our such men of warre haue not beene ashamed, manie times to report and say, that all those braue people that haue beene consumed and lost in the Lowe Countries, and those o∣ther fore-mentioned warres, by their disorders (as aforesaid) were the very scomme, theeues, and roges of England, and therefore haue beene very well lost, and that the Realme (be∣ing too full of people) is very well ridde of them, and that if they had not beene consumed in those warres, they would haue died vnder a hedge, with diuers other such brutish and infer∣nall speaches, euen like vnto themselues, and to the newe disci∣pline by them inuented and practized, rather to dispeople a kingdome of England of the youth and floure thereof, than a∣nie wayes to doo anie hurt vnto the enemie. Whereas contra∣riwise it is very welknowen vnto all the Iustices of peace in al shires of England, from whence those Souldiors did go volun∣tarie, or otherwise, euen from the beginning of the first volun∣tarie warres, vntill this day, (sauing such as were leuied in the Citie of London by commission, and some fewe roges in one Page [unnumbered] yeare leuied in other shires) that they were in a verie great part yong Gentlemen, and in a farre greater part of Yeomen and Yeomens sonnes, and the rest of the brauest sort of Artificers, and other lustie yong men, desirous of a gallantnes of mind, to aduenture themselues, and see the warres, many thousands of the which (being the verie floure of England) did farre exceed, and excell our such men of warre both in goodlines of perso∣nage and worthines of mind; and these were no roges, nor theeues, nor the scomme of England, as those our such men of warre doo ofttimes report: for it is verie well knowne in all shires by experience, that such malefactors and base minded people, neuer had any desire, nor will to go into anie warres and actions Militarie, but haue hidden and absented themselues away during the times of musters and leuies, and when the same haue been past, they haue againe followed their vile occu∣pations of robbing, pilfering and stealing. Besides that, it is most manifest, that before some of our such men of warre tooke those voluntarie warres in hand, there were verie few theeues and roges in England, in cōparison that there are now, that haue come out of their discipline; for it is certaine, that this new de∣formed Milicia and euill gouernment of our such men of war, by suffering their soldiers for lacke of pay in those warres to go a robbing and spoyling the countrie people their friends (as a∣foresaid) hath brought many of them from good to euill, and made most of those that haue returned into England impu∣dent roges and theeues, that were true men before they went ouer. By which their merueilous disordered, and deformed discipline, it is come to passe that many, and many thousands of the brauest and lustiest sort of people able to weare armes, and to serue in any warres either offensiue or defensiue, are (as a∣foresaid) consumed in those warres, and the number of exer∣cised and expert soldiers, meete vpon any occasion to serue the Prince and Realme, by those seruices no waies increased; by reason that all such as haue come out of those seruices (vnlesse it be the Captaines, and a fewe Officers of bands) are almost all turned from miserable soldiers that they were in those Lowe Countries, to most impudent roges and theeues, that by no or∣der, Page [unnumbered] nor pollicie can be reformed and reduced to any honest course of life, all which hath come to passe through the extreme euill gouernement of some of our such men of war (as aforesaid.) And whereas they talke and boast so much of their new dis∣cipline Militarie, and of their owne sufficiencies, and that they doe exceede and excell all the ancient men of war of times past, as also such as are yet liuing: Certainely, all men that list may beholde their newe Milicia of their owne forming, as aforesaid, of theeues and roges that doe swarme in all the high wayes, and gaoles of England. Which doth make ma∣nifest the great insufficiencies of such as haue beene Au∣thors, actors and performers of that infernall discipline: some of the which also haue not contented themselues to worke the aforesaid great euills to their Countrie and Nation (before declared) but haue of late yeares, since they came out of those Lowe Countrie warres sought to bring to passe two other such notorious and deformed effectes amongst the English Nation, as may in time to come, be the vtter ruine of this most noble kingdome and people; euen as the like hath beene of diuers o∣ther great Monarchies: of the which two effects, the one hath beene to celebrate; the other to abolish and extinguish. That to celebrate, hath been to the feasts of Bacchus, with carow∣sing and drunkennesse. Which most foule and detestable vice, is enemy to all Discipline and Exercises Militarie, and to be short, to all vertues and excellencies both of bodie and soule, and in the rest is the very mother and nurse of effemina∣cie, of cowardice, of sensualitie, of rebellion, of couetousnes, and all other vices that can be imagined; as we may euidently see by our next neighbours the Flemings, and Dutch, whose vi∣ces and imperfections (sauing onely their pollicie to grow rich, and gather goods) for breuities sake I ouerpasse. And this forren vice hath bene brought out of those Lowe Countries by some of our such men of warre within these very fewe yeares, whereof it is come to passe, that nowadayes there are very fewe feastes, where our said men of warre are present, but that they doo inuite, and procure all the companie, of what calling soeuer they be, to carowsing and quaffing; and because they wil Page [unnumbered] not be denied their challenges, they will with many new con∣ges, ceremonies and reuerences, drinke to the health and pro∣speritie of Princes; to the health of Counsellors, and vnto the health of their greatest friends both at home and abroad; in which exercise they neuer cease till they be dead drunke, or as the Flemings say, Doot dronken. Which their quaffings, and carowsings, with all their ceremonies, is no other but a blas∣pheming and offending of God in the highest degree, a touch∣ing of the honour of the Princes, vnto whose healths they ca∣rowse, and a very offering of sacrifice vnto Satanas, or rather to Belzebub himselfe the Prince of feendes. Certainely, a wonderfull pitifull case, that anie of our such men of warre or nation vnder the pretence of souldiorie, and warlike Disci∣pline, should nowadayes in steade of praying to God, for the health of Princes, which hath beene alwayes very commenda∣bly vsed amongst all good subiects, Christians, drinke and ca∣rowse drunke to the health, & prosperity of Kings, Kingdoms, and States; And that men that haue beene created by God to his owne similitude and likenes, should contrarie to his glo∣rie, by such filthie disorder make themselues farre inferiour to most brute beasts. And this aforesaid detestable vice hath within these sixe or seuen yeares taken wonderfull roote amon∣gest our English Nation, that in times past was wont to be of all other Nations of Christendome one of the soberest; And this is one of the fruits and merchandize of their discipline that our such men of warre haue brought in amongst vs.
Now, the other effect that they haue sought most blindlie and maliciouslie to bring to passe, to the great daunger that vppon diuers accidents may hereafter happen to the Crowne and Realme of England and English Nation, hath been, and is to seeke to abolish and extinguish the notable exercise and vse of our Long-bowes and Archerie; by which weapons our auncestors, with many miraculous victories, haue made our Nation famous both in Europe, Affrick and Asia, so that in stead of Archerie, which is the soberest exercise of all others to auoide drunkennes and other euills, and a most manlie exer∣cise and wholesome for the health of the bodie, and to encrease Page [unnumbered] strength; and for battailes and victories of farre greater ef∣fect, than any other weapon that euer was or shall be inuented; our such men of warre vnder pretence of the excellencie of the weapons of fire by them misreported, would bring in carowsing and drunkennes: which two things, I meane of the neglecting and suppressing of the vse and exercise of Bowes and Arche∣rie, and bringing in of superfluities and drunkennes, hath been the ruine of manie great Empires, Kingdoms and Common∣wealthes, as it is apparant by the testimonie of many notable histories. As for example, the Aegyptians (before mentioned in this Proëme) vnder their most valiant and mightie King Sesosis or Sesostris, and other their notable Princes, did con∣quer a great part of Asia, Europe & Affrick by their notable Milicia, which did consist most of Archerie and Bowes: but after, through long peace, and the negligence of some of their effeminate Kings, the same warlike Nation did growe to such drunkennes and gluttonie, that thereby forgetting the vse and exercise of their Bowes, they were conquered and subdued Alexander the great, the greatest part of whose Armie did consist of Archerie, and after that many times subdued and kept in seruitude by the Milicia and force of Archerie of di∣uers other sober Nations. The Empire of Constantinople, and Rome also at such time as they were vnder one Empire, and that the Emperours held their imperiall seate in Con∣stantinople, as carefull as some of those Emperours were to keepe their subiects the Grecians in exercise of Armes, and chieflie of Archerie, yet after in the time of other Emperours that were careles and effeminate, their subiects giuing themselues, through long peace, vnto feasting and drunkennes, and neglecting the exercize of Bowes and Archerie, did so forget the vse of that most excellent weapon, that they were many times vanquished by the Milicia of the Arabians, that consisted most of all of Bowemen: which conquering Nation at that time gaue themselues to labour and trauell, and to the exercise of their bowes, with great sobrietie, and not to drun∣kennes. And the subiectes of the very same Empire of Con∣stantinople long after the time of their great ouerthrowes by Page [unnumbered] the Arabians, through the negligence of some of their effemi∣nate Emperours, as aforesaide, were by the constraint of cer∣taine imperiall statutes and ordinances of some other wise and valiant Emperours, reduced in a great, part from their drun∣kennes to sobrietie, and from idlenes to their ancient exercize of Archerie, by the which they did defend themselues against the Turkes and Sarazins (during the time of those woorthie Emperours) very valiantly; but after againe in processe of time, through the effeminacie and negligence of other Empe∣rours of no valour nor worthines, the said Grecians did re∣turne againe to their former drunkennes, superfluities, and vt∣ter forgetting of the vse, and exercize of their bowes and Ar∣cherie. Whereby it came to passe, that Mahomet the second of that name of the house of Otoman, with his notable Mili∣cia of Turkes and Ianissaries, that consisted most of Bowe∣men (a Nation no wayes giuen to drunkennesse) did vtterly subdue and conquere that Empire. Besides which examples, I coulde (if it were not too long) alleadge many others of ma∣ny kingdomes, and mighty Nations, that through the dete∣stable vices of drunkennes, couetousnes and superfluities, haue giuen themselues to effeminacie; and forgetting of all vse of their Bowes and Archerie, and other exercises Militarie: by meanes whereof they haue bene after conquered, and brought into seruitude by other sober and valiant Nations, that haue had the vse of the Bowe in great perfection. And to be briefe, there is no man that hath read many notable histories of great antiquitie, as also of later ages with obseruation, but hee shall most manifestly see, that drunkennes, couetousnes and super∣fluities, haue caused the forgetting and contempt of the vse of Archerie, and all other exercises Militarie, which hath beene the ruine of most of all the Empires, Kingdomes and Nati∣ons that haue beene knowne, or written of in Europe, Affrick, or Asia; And if any of our such men of warre be so obstinate, that they wil not beleeue such notable Histories, let them then resorte to the Bible, which is the Booke of God, and then (if they be not possessed with some infernall spirit, that doth breed in them infidelitie) they shall not onely there see the great ac∣count, Page [unnumbered] that King Dauid that holie prophet made of that wea∣pon after the ouerthrow and death of King Saul, slaine by the Philistines, great effectes perfourmed with that weapon by the Iewes vnder Iosuah their most excellent Cap∣taine, that did depose so many Kings; with many other particu∣larities: by the which it may be iustly gathered, that God gaue such excellent effects to that weapon, that when he diuers times promised helpe to the Iewes against the Gentiles, hee made speciall mention of that weapon. And when it pleased him to punish the Iewes for their idolatrie gluttonie, by the handes of the Gentiles, they receiued diuers ouerthrowes, by the effect of Bowes. Besides that, King Dauid dooth call Bowes a mightie power, and in his Psalmes, the vessells of death. By which examples before alleadged (that drunken∣nes and neglecting of the exercize, and vse of Bowes, hath bin the ruine of many Empires and kingdomes) I thinke all men of consideration and iudgement may euidently see what pernici∣ous and dangerous matters our such men of war haue by their euill and foule examples, and sinister perswasions, sought to drawe, and perswade our Nation vnto. Which with their innumerable disorders Militarie by them committed in the Lowe Countries, as also elsewhere, to the consumption, and de∣struction of many and many thousands of our Nation (as is before declared:) may, I thinke, euidently shewe how vnfit and vnable such men of warre are to compare themselues with the great Captaines of former times, or with the ancient men of war yet liuing, that haue bene trained vp in matters of armes in the warres of Emperours or Kings, as also how much more insufficient they are to erect and innouate anie new Discipline Militarie amongst vs, or any wayes to suppresse or find fault with the exercise, vse, and effectes of our peculiar, and most victorious weapon the Long-bowe.
And now that I haue in this Proëme laid open many foule & detestable proceedings & disorders of some of our such mē of war, practised and put in execution by them in the Low coū∣tries, as also some here at home, greatly to the hurt & preiudice of our country & Nation: I thinke it good to notifie vnto your Page [unnumbered] Lordships, that I haue not taken it in hand, & performed the same any waies moued therunto vpō any priuat hatred or ma∣lice by me to anie of them borne. For I protest, that if they were all my verie neere kinsmen, the cause being publique, I would respect them no more than I haue respected these; but as for those men whosoeuer they be, to my remembrance, I haue had verie little or no conference with anie of them. Besides that, there is none of them, to my knowledge, that euer gaue vnto me (in respect of mine owne particular) anie occasion of offence: but the verie originall and principall cause that hath mooued me to set downe my discourses following, as also this my Proëme to your Lordships in this forme and phrase, hath been the excee∣ding loue, and extraordinarie zeale that I beare vnto my Prince, Countrie and Nation. That seeing and foreseeing the wonderfull euills that haue alreadie, and are likelie daylie, and from time to time more and more to ensue (if the same bee not speedilie prouided for and remedied) to no lesse in processe of time, thā to the ruine or great hazard of this most noble Mo∣narchie; I therefore thought it my duetie, all priuate passion of feare, of loue, of hatred and affection set aside, to make manifest vnto your Lordships those great disorders and euills before de∣clared; that by your being put in remembrance, and knowing of them your Lordships (being the Nobilitie and Magnates of the Kingdome, and the verie eyes, eares, and of the King, and the bodie of the watch, and redresse of the Common wealth) may prouide for, preuent, and reforme the aforesaid great euills that doo threaten hereafter to ensue: al which haue come to my knowledge by the certaine and assured reports of verie many both wise and gallant Gentlemen of principall houses, and others of verie good sort, that haue serued some of them at one time, and some of them at other times, euen from the first voluntarie going ouer into those warres, till within these two yeares and a halfe, and within these three yeares last past; all which Gentlemen haue greatlie detested those afore∣said infinite disorders.
And now, because that no Chieftaine, Coronell, nor Cap∣taine, that haue in those warres gouerned themselues and their Page [unnumbered] charges with great care, reputation and worthines (and there∣fore deserued great praise, and commendation) shall iustly think themselues any waies reproached or touched, by any thing con∣tained in this my Proëme or discourses following; I notifie vnto them that no part of my intention nor meaning, nor any word to my knowledge in these contained, doo any waies sound to the touch or blame of any such worthie men, but altogether to their praise and commendation: for I would be sorie to erre so great∣lie, as any waies to touch with blame anie men of worthines, but rather with my word, writing and action, to encrease their reputations; for if I haue in respect of the publique cause tou∣ched our such men of warre aforesaid, with reproach, they themselues vpon a guilty conscience, will discouer who they are, by blaming and detesting my Proëme and discourses, by the which the honor and vertue of such men of worthines shall shine, and flourish the more through the cleerenes of their con∣sciences not touched, according to the old saying, that the re∣proching of vice is the honoring of vertue: for in troth, mine intention in this my Proëme, and discourses, hath been onlie to discouer the great disorders, and euils that some men of charge of our Nation (vnder pretence of a new discipline Militarie by them inuented in the Lowe Countries) did with great coue∣tousnes practise, and exercise, to their owne gaine and profite in that their disordered Milicia, neglecting and contemning all true honor, reputation and worthines, to the great dishonor of our Countrie, and Nation. That thereby all yong Gentlemen that haue mispent their times in those tumultuarie, and disor∣dered warres without anie discipline, as also all other yong Gentlemen that are desirous to followe the profession of Armes may reiect, and detest such newe disordered, and detestable dis∣ciplines, and reduce themselues, and followe the true discipline Militarie of all warlike and worthie Nations both ancient and moderne, which do all concurre and conforme in one; and that is, that all true and vniuersall disciplines Militarie doo (as I haue learned by hearing the opinions of diuers great Cap∣taines, as also by reading diuers histories) brieflie consist as fol∣weth. That be he Emperour King, or a Lieutenant generall of Page [unnumbered] an Emperour, or of a King that doth commaund and gouerne an Armie.
First of all, that he doo make God to be loued, feared and serued throughout his whole Armie: the second, that he doo knowe how to commaund and gouerne, with great prouidence, care, order and iustice, and by rewarding the good, and punish∣ing the bad, and by keeping his whole Armie in discipline to make himselfe to bee no lesse loued than feared. The third is, often to consult with his counsell, and to know, how of himselfe (after the opinions of his counsell heard) with valour to resolue and performe, and in the rest, himselfe to know vpon all doubt∣full occasions and acccidents, how to preuent, remedie and exe∣cute, as also to direct others with great skill and dexteritie. And these are the most principall poynts that doo belong to the Generall of an Armie.
The sufficiencie of Coronells doth consist in the gouerning of their Regiments with all care, valour, affection and diligence; and that they doo make their Regiments as well in particular bands, as in the whole bodie of the same, to obserue all orders Militarie in lodging, dislodging, in marching, and in fighting, as also that they doo liue in great order, without stragling, spoiling or any waies iniuring: And in the rest, that the Co∣ronells themselues doo with all obedience.
The sufficiencie of Captaines, doth consist in knowing how to gouerne and order their bands and Companies, & to winne the loue of their soldiers, by all examples of vertue and worthi∣nes, not onlie by instruction, but also by action in their owne persons, accompting of their soldiers as of their owne children. And in the rest to be obedient, valiant and resolute, as also of sufficiencie to performe and execute all commandements and directions with discretion, valour and iudgement.
The duetie and sufficiencie of soldiers, doth first and princi∣pallie consist, to be obedient to their Captaines, and all other their superiour Officers. The second, that they doo knowe how Page [unnumbered] to apparell and arme themselues fitlie, and to handle and vse their weapons in euerie time and place, and to knowe and ob∣serue al orders Militarie. The third is, to be sober, patient, and able to endure labours and trauells.
The sufficiencie of all higher and lower Officers of Armies vnder the Generall, is to knowe how to performe their Offices with all care, fidelitie, diligence and obedience.
And such a Prince or Lieutenant generall of an Armie, as hath those sufficiencies in him (that I haue before mentio∣ned) cannot faile to frame good Officers of his Campe & Ar∣mie, as also good and sufficient Coronells and Captaines. And such Officers, Coronells and Captaines cannot faile to make good soldiers: All which, with the seruing of almightie God, tendeth to the orderlie proceeding and managing of a warre in all affaires and actions to the end of the same with victo∣rie.
And this that I haue aboue set downe, is a principall part of a Milicia, and discipline Militarie of all warlike Na∣tions; and the contrarie is tumultuarie, and cleane opposite to all Arte and Science Militarie. And this I haue written in the end of my Proëme for a note and remembrance, for all yong Gentlemen of our Nation, that haue a desire to winne honour by following of actions of Armes. And now I proceed to my discourses.