The prospectiue glasse of vvarre Shevving you a glimpse of vvarres mystery, in her admirable stratagems, policies, wayes; in victualling of an armie, prouiding money to pay souldiers, finding out the enemies purposes, traps, and stratagems: ordering of marches, framing of battails, sundry fights, retreats, and the like, to auoide battell or fight. Furnished with argument to encourage and skill to instruct. By C.E. Warre is a schoole of necesary knowledge.
Cooke, Edward, fl. 1626-1631.
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Page  [unnumbered] THE Prospectiue Glasse of VVARRE.

Shevving you a glimps of VVarres Mystery, in her admirable Stratagems, Policies, Wayes; in Victualling of an ARMIE, prouiding Money to pay Souldiers, finding out the Enemies Purposes, Traps, and Stratagems: Ordering of Marches, Framing of Battails, sundry Fights, Retreats, and the like, to auoide Battell or Fight.

Furnished with Argument to encourage, and Skill to Instruct. By C. E.

Warre is a Schoole of necessary Knowledge.


LONDON: Printed for Michael Sparke, dwelling at the signe of the blue Bible in Greone-Arbor. 1628.

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Page  [unnumbered] TO THE HONORABLE Sir IOHN COOKE Knight, Principall Secretarie of State to his Maiestie.


AS shape beautifies an Image, so good acti∣ons commend a man. That which did com∣mend Lucullus most, was this, *Hee would ra∣ther deliuer a Roman Ci∣tizen from the hands of his enemy, then win all that his enemies had in their power. Lucullus in this did conquer himselfe; as Alexander did in containing from Darius his most faire wife and daughters; and Caesar, in spa∣ring Page  [unnumbered] to punish his greatest enemies. To whom Cicero said, that in other Victories, Fortune, Policy, & Souldiers, might claime a part, but in this, he alone should haue all the glorie.

Glorie, Thirst of prey, and loue of Country, were the three things that set all the Ro∣mans vpon admirable action. The first is counted but a *Ʋice; the second, no better then Theft; the third, is the Ʋertue Heroicall. In this Ʋertue Cicero excelled the other three, and therefore was honoured with this Epitaph, Pater Patriae.

He was called Father of his Country, be∣cause he kept it from decay.

All those that in their Consultations doe seeke the benefit of their Country, doe deserue the like like reward and praise. You then Sir, are to be praised and honoured of all men, whose Consultations tend to the benefit of the whole Kingdome: hauing obtained a Conquest of your selfe (being a Christian) far aboue that of Lucullus and Caesars. Ther∣fore you shall attaine a most sure triumph, the guide of whose Chariot shall be GracePage  [unnumbered] giuen from aboue, and Glory, that shall ne∣uer faile you.

It is reported of Roscius (the Tragedian) that men durst not aduenture to Act in a Tragedie in his sight, because of his ex∣cellencie in that facultie. And shall I dare to discourse of Warre (or any other sub∣iect) before so great a Statesman, so learned, exquesite a Mathematician as your selfe? Behold I were blanckt, and should stand as Queene Hester did (dead in all mens opini∣on:) did not your Septer of benignitie giue me life, and tell me that you are a Fauoror of Arts and Armes.

Therefore I take courage, and prostrate this my poore labor to Kisse your Honora∣ble hands, not as any addition to your vn∣controleable and approued knowledge, but as a weake Fabrick, which onely wan∣teth the support of your much admired goodnesse. Pleaseth it you therefore to accept my Booke, to peruse and allow of the same, that it may the more safely come abroad, and thereby deserue the better fa∣uour and acceptance of all the Readers Page  [unnumbered] thereof: as allowed of him, whose Noble acts as well within the Realme, as without, haue alwayes from time to time, so well appeared. So I shall be the more boldned, and encouraged to take the like paines hereafter, if good and meet occasion, may serue there vnto.

Euer vowed to you (Honourable Sir) in all dutifull seruice, Edward Cooke.

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The Preface to the Reader.

Iudicious Reader:

IT is not the least, but the greatest kinde of folly, when a man hauing but a little science, presumeth to teach not onely those which haue onely science, but such as haue most certaine experience. For mine owne part (among many) I am most free from this guilt: though for the good of many I haue published this Treatise which will make me thereby seeme guiltie. Yet I con∣fesse the Booke or Treatise is a collection of such notes as haue bin by me selected out of the best Tacticke writers both An∣cient and Moderne. All which I haue illustrated with ex∣amples, and precepts, the better to instruct all yong Comman∣ders; who by reading them may get much knowledge. But it may be these braue spirits are minded to get knowledge by experience, and not to ioyne experience vnto knowledge: therefore they affect the bloody fields of Africke better then the beautifull Schooles in Greece. Well, let them doe so; but in my opinion it seemes a farre better and shorter way (for them) to attaine to the name of worthy perfect Captaines, to ioyne experience vnto knowledge, then to get knowledge by Experience. For Mans life is short and subiect to many casu∣alties, oftentimes it is cut off before it can come to any such perfection as is required in an excellent man of War; where∣as small experience with diligent reading, and perfect lear∣ning of feats of Warre may frame and make many politicke Captaines in a small time.

I doe not meane that knowledge without experience can doe any great thing at all; but being ioyned both together, doubtlesse they may be as able to bring to passe as great and Page  [unnumbered] as merueilous things in valiant men in these our dayes, as they haue done to others before our time: To which not on∣ly experience alone brought them, but diligent learning and study of the Art of Warre, written and set forth by Histori∣call Writers and Poets. Innumerable are the Bookes which this age doth afford of the like subiect for their direction: the number of which I haue augmented by two; namely, The Character of Warre, and The Prospectiue Glasse of Warre. The Character of Warre, doth instruct them in the vse of the Postures, in the vse of Facing, Wheeling, Countermarching, Doubling, Distances, and the like. And how to Command a Company.

The prospectiue Glasse of Warre doth instruct them how to Victuall an Army, how to prouide money to pay Soul∣diers, how to finde out the enemies purposes, Traps, and Stratagems; how to direct an Army to march either by day or by night; how to Embattell; how to behaue themselues in battell, when to fight, when to auoide fight, with many o∣ther excellent things worthy of their knowledge. Then let them read, and reading they will learne to iudge aright of the Author; who puts a difference betweene the state of Phi∣losophers, and the state of Captaines; betweene the skill to read in Schooles, and the knowledge to rule an Army; be∣tween the science that wise men haue in Books, and the expe∣rience that others haue in war; betweene the skill to write with the pen, and others to write with the sword; betweene one that for his pastime is set round with deskes of Bookes, and another in perill of life, encompassed with troopes of e∣nemies. Therefore presumes not to teach any such graue ex∣perienced Souldiers; onely records what they haue done, or can doe; which he recounts to others to imitate, who it may be haue neither seene nor read them. Spare not then to iudge and censure him who will euer remaine thine.

C. E.

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A Battell both with Seconds, and Ayds for all attempts; containing 12000. Foote, and 4000. Horse, with Ordnance on the Hils, Reare & Flanks.

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After what manner a Commander or Generall should best prouide Victuals and Mouie to con∣tent his Souldiers, & how to finde out the pur∣poses, Trapps, and Stratagems of his Enemy.

VIctuals is the Soule of an Army: Money, but the Sinewes: with∣out the first your Army cannot at all subsist; without the se∣cond, but indifferently: but with both, admirable well. That your Army may haue both Soule and Sinewes, thereby to subsist long and well, prouide for it good store of victuals and money: Likewise prye into the wiles and stratagems of the Enemy in time, that it may go well with your Army. Which that you may well do, these precepts follow∣ing will direct you aright. But first of Victuals.

Page  2 Victuals consist first in conuenient prouision of them, then in safe keeping and preseruing of them, then in good distributing, or spending, or bestowing of them alwayes.

* All which you must carefully execute if you would not willingly taste of want.

1. Prouide for victuals before you vndertake the warre, for then is the time of best prouision.

2. In your warre begun, store your selfe with vi∣ctuals, either neere hand or farre off. And conduct it with good and strong conuoyes, lest the Enemy surprise it.

3. In your Townes of warre, either without or within, haue great store of Milles to grinde corne to sustaine you the better in a seidge: And bee sure to looke well vnto them, & sufficiently to defend them, especially those that are without the Towne.

4. If you beseidge Townes or Cities, you ought to hurle downe all Milles within and without, and to cut of the water from them, if you cannot keepe them for your owne vse.

5. Prouide that such neighbours as dwell neere vnto you, may safely bring victuals into your Campe without danger of the Enemy.

6. In case of necessity send your Souldiers into their Prouince to abide & be relieued with victuals for a time. Example,

Galli being in some distresse of victuals, choose the Citie Attella, a Citie full of victuals, to stay there vn∣till by their friends they might bee relieued, both with victuals and Souldiers. In which Citie their Souldiers for a while were largely relieued and freely, with or at the charges of the Cittizens.

Page  3 7. Seeke by all meanes to intercept your Enemies victuals; and lay seidge to those places from whence their chiefe reliefe of victuals doth come. Example,

The Captaines of Charles the sift, in the warres a∣gainst the Germans, lacked victuals somewhat, where on the other side, the Germans lying in a plaine fer∣till Country, had plenty of victuals, vpon the occasi∣on of the aoundance of the Country, being large; and partly because certaine friendly Cities and Countries lay behinde them on the otherside of the Riuer. For the same purpose Charles the Emperour went about for to gaine the Cities standing about the Riuer from them, and so the aduantage of the same Riuer with victuals: which was a braue act.

Like this was that of Francis Sforsa, who vnder∣standing that the Frenchmen, or Army at Nouaro, had great comfort of victuals from Biagrassa, he beseidged that Towne suddenly, & tooke it: by which occa∣sion hee tooke from them their chiefe victuals: And shortly after the French Army was faine to remoue.

8. If you are for to iourney towards the warres, iourney in a plentifull Country, and which hath in long time beene in peace. Thus did the French King Charles the eight when he came to the Citie of Ast.

9. Also you are to iourney in your Confederates Country, and who vpon very great occasion is to de∣sire your society, for such will ayde you liberally. This was likewise practised by Charles the eight when he inuaded Naples: For other wayes of getting of victuals, and preseruing them so got, peruse these presedents.

10. Some Kings, Captaines, and Generals, which haue either taken, or saued some Citie which was Page  4 likely to be lost, haue caused their Souldiers to be re∣leiued of victuals in the same; in the houses of them which were their Enemies.

11. Some haue vsed for to send certaine Captaines of Souldiers into other Cities, for to ease the present spending in the place where they were.

12. Some haue vsed to send all the poore and im∣potent people out of their Citie so beseidged, that their victuals might last the longer.

13. Some would suffer none either to returne or to haue reliefe of victuals: Which vnreasonable hard vsage needed not, if Gouernors would before hand, and before need, prepare both for abundance of vi∣ctuals, or else withall take order for the moderate spending of their victuals: For negligence of prouisi∣on of victuals in time, and mispending, or else lacke of good keeping or ordering them which you haue, should be well seene vnto. I pretermit this. And I fall vpon the prouision of money for the payment of your Souldiers wages.

* Hauing money sufficient, it is best to pay your Souldiers beforehand, or monthly.

1. If you be bare of money, pay some wages, and procure that the Souldiers may haue victuals good cheape all the while you lacke money, or imploy them where continuall spoyle may be had.

2. If you haue little money, pay a part of that o∣penly in the hands of such souldiers as are most like∣ly to make a Mutiny.

3. Some Generals when as their souldiers haue beene ready to reuoult or mutiny for lacke of pay, haue straight way brought them to the battell, for this purpose; if victory happened on their side, they Page  5 would pay their souldiers of the spoyle of their Ene∣mies, or else if their Army were ouerthrowne, then they should be cleerely and well discharged of the grieuous and dangerous complaint.

4. Some haue caused the Cittizens of Cities to receiue souldiers into their houses for to giue vnto them meate, drinke, and lodging, and to giue wages vnto the same souldiers. Thus did Anthony de Leua at Millan.

This was he that forbad all his Cittizens for to eate any bread but onely such as should bee bought of him: For which purpose he appointed in euery streete certaine houses where bread should be sold, at what price he lusted, and none durst do the con∣trary. By which kinde of means he got into his hands all such kinde of money as any Citizen of Millan had in his Chests, or else could make or reserue by any meanes or wayes; with which he payd his souldiers. This was his way, but some haue found other wayes besides these.

* 5. Some Generals haue gaged all their plate and Iewels vnto rich monyed men, to pay their souldiers.

* 6. Some Kings haue borrowed all the Iewels and ornaments of certaine great Ladies or Estates, which were their friends and kinsmen, and haue pawned the same to Vsurers for to pay their soul∣diers.

7. Borrow largely of your Confederates money, who seeketh your society in his warres: for his spe∣ciall purpose: The French King Charles the 8. could do this passing well.

8. Seeke of such a Confederate any other ayde or furniture for your warres, which furniture can Page  6 stay your laying out of much expence.

9. Seeme (to such a Confederate) to deferre your warres that you may the better wring forth of him greater summes. It may bee he may proue like Lodowicke Sforza Duke of Millan.

This Duke, seeing Charles the eight make no haste to inuade Naples according vnto promise, be∣cause Lodowicke was to worke a feate by Charles his comming, which otherwise hee was very hardly to do; he sent his sonne in Law with a braue Captaine into France vnto the King, offering him money, shippes, horsemen, and many other things of great importance, which the King accepted, and for that cause before did stay the warre. Thus much of this, which shall suffice for the wayes of getting of money to pay souldiers, and likewise for victualling your Army. I will now shew the wayes by which you may finde out your Enemies purposes, Trapps, and Stratagems. To doe which, well obserue these pre∣cepts.

* 1. First, you are to suspect vehemently, or else to feare, how your Enemy hath an invention by some subtiltie or politique stratagem, or inuention, or else some crafty deceite or wile to entrap, beguile, or o∣uerthrow your Army.

2. Next for such intents or purposes, you should entertaine very good and sundry espialls, who by all meanes are to be very attentiue, inquisitiue, curious, liberall, suspitious, and bold.

3. Which especially should remaine or abide neer the Court of your Enemy, or else neere vnto the Ar∣my of your Enemies, or in some friends Country of your Enemies, or neere some neighbour of your Page  7 Enemies, or in the way of your Enemies, or else a Common Trauellor, or else a Studient in the Land of the Enemies, or a subiect of reputation in the Land of your Enemies, or else a Merchant or common seller of wares, or a Barber, or a Victualler in your Enemies Country.

5 Which kinde of espialls, you are neuer to trust throughly, but euer to bee iealous of them, and to weigh and conferre their reports with the reports of other espialls, and with likely-hoods, oppertunities, and reasons.

Haue espialls continually, if it be possible, in your Enemies Army.

The Langraue, with other Captaines of the Germans, (against the Emperour Charles the first by name) had in Charles his Army 00. good Espials, whereby he al∣most euery houre had certaine knowledge what was done or said in Charles his Campe or Tents.

Charles the first Emperour lacked good Espials, for which cause he left many things vndone, which had beene for his singular profit, if hee had knowne of such occasions.

Therefore prouide you good Espialls; which Espials are so necessary in the wars as any thing else: for by them you shall vnderstand how your Enemie will fight, what hee will doe against your Army, Marching, Fighting, or Flying. Which motions, (or rather principall heads of the Art of warre) shall be handled in the foure next Chapters following.

Page  8


How a Commander or Generall should order his March, both by day and night for the saftie of his Army: How passe Woodes, Hills, and Riuers, beset or not beset with Enemies. With many other necessary circumstances apper∣taining to Marches.

I Am now to enter by degrees vpon these foure principall heads of the Art of warre: namely, Marching, Embattel∣ling, Fighting, and Flying from an Ene∣mie. All which I will deliuer with as good method, plainnesse, and breuitie as I can. I am to begin with Marching: wherein I pray obserue my method and order; which shall be, fiirst by pre∣cept to prescribe it: Then by Example to approue it; Example being the life of precept. I begin.

* 1. In Marching you must bee very mistrustfull of your Enemie, lest he entrap you with Ambushes.

2. You must therefore appoint some to march before to discouer suspected places; as Woodes, Mountaines, Forests, Rockes, Banckes of Riuers, Caues, Hills, hollow and deepe wayes. The most of which are rough and intricate, and scarce passable for the heauy Armed and horse.

3. The fittest for this seruice are your Musket∣teers; Page  9 I, and your Dragons to ioyne with them, for they may alight from their Horses and serue on foot.

4. You must march sometimes in one forme, some∣times in another, according to the place and occasion offered. Example.

Alexander at the Riuer Granicus marched with his horse foremost to passe the Riuer, and to assaile the Persians, who had opposed their Horse against him on the bankes.

5. Marching through the streights to fight the bat∣taile of Issos, he marched with his Horse behinde his Foot, because he was vncertaine how neere the Enemy lay, and was loath to put them to hazzard before they had libertie of ground to order themselues, and might haue assistance of the Foot. At the Riuer of Ister hee did the like; for hauing past the Riuer, hee marched through a Corne field, and therefore so marshalled them for feare of an Ambush. Otherwise it was his cu∣stome in marching (as it is the manner also at this day) to dispose his Horse halfe behinde, and halfe before: the Carriage in the midst, or Otherwise.

But how to March properly both by day and by night, with your Carriage truely placed, and euery thing rightly ordered, is a point worthy to be taken notice of: Briefely thus.

Being to March in the day, obserue the manner of March now in vse.

7. Let some Dragons and Musketteers march be∣fore to represse the Enemies incursions, and to search Woods and Forrests for Ambushes, and to surprise straight Wayes, Bridges and Foords. Send after them your Pyoneers to mend the wayes, to cut the woods that are in the way, least by bad way the Army be tyred.

Page  10 8. Let the Foot of the Vantguard (or right wing) follow, enery battalion there of in order, hauing halfe the horse of the Army before them, and all their bag∣gage and Carriage behinde them.

9. After let the battalions of the battell follow with all their baggage and carriage in the Reare, as the for∣mer. Let the battalions of the Reareward (or left wing) follow, with all their baggage or carriage behinde them. Let euery one of the battalions haue their shoot before and behinde. And let the remainder of your Horse bring vp the Reare. As for your Ordnance, di∣stribute that (as your Carriage) both behinde the Vant∣gard, the battell, and the Rereward; the better to serue against all attempts.

10. At night, quarter the Battalions of the Vantgard all in one place; those of the Battell all in another; and those of the Reareward all by themselues, but not too farre a sunder for feare of danger.

11. In the morning being to dislodge: First shoot off one peece of Ordnance, a little after that another, and so a third in his time. Shooting the first, the Army takes notice you will dislodge; therefore they trusse vp their baggage and load it. Shooting the second, they take vp their Armes and fall into ranke: shooting the third, they set forward to march. Thus Graue Mau∣rice did dislodge his Souldiers. Vespatian did it by the sound of a Trumpet (as Iosephus doth report) in the third Booke of his Antiquities, Chap. 3.

12. Being to march in the night obserue the Graeci∣an order.

Send your baggage and carriage before with a suffi∣cient guard. Then follow, first with your Pikemen, then with your light Armed (being Musketteers;) next Page  11 with all your Horse in the reare; the better▪ by breake of day to come all together into one place, as ought to be. This way your Army in the night is easily kept to∣gether, and is soonest espied if it breake.

13. Being to inuade an Enemies Countrie, march with your Carriage in the Reare. When you doe dis∣march from an Enemies Countrie, let your Carriage be in the Front, vnlesse great store of Enemies be sus∣pected to intercept it; then you must place it in the midst.

14. Now in fight you may dispose of it fiue manner of wayes; either before the Army, or behinde, or on the one flanke, or on the other, or in the midst. Before the Army, when you feare to be charged behinde: be∣hinde the Army, when you lead towards the Enemy: when you feare to be charged in Flanke, on the contra∣ry side: in the midst, when a hollow battell is needfull and fit. This last was practised by Sr Horatio Vere in the Pallatinate, and by the Graecians (as Zenophon doth re∣cord in his third booke of the Ascent of Cyrus.

15. Being to march through a wood obserue Zeno∣phons counsell. Let your Foot and Horse in order single themselues as the way fals out, and you shall make your passage the more secure and easie: Zenophon did thus, as you may read in his sixt book of the Ascent of Cyrus.

16. It were not amisse to haue some Musketteers to march on the sides of the Wood, to secure the rest within.

* 17. If your Enemy be in a Wood, Fenne, Hill, Fort, Towne, or other place of strength, that admitteth no accesse, send your Musketteers to shew themselues, and with a brauado to toule him out of his aduantage, and bring him into the field, where he may the more easily Page  12 be dealt withall: with these Musketteers send some Horse to set vpon him, if he dare to venture forth. Ex∣ample.

Alexander leading his Army against the Tribals that had hid themselues in a wood, commanded his Archers and slingers to run out and shoot, and sling among the Barbarians, to see if he could toule them into the plaine. The Archers and slingers spared not to let flye, and the Tribals being wounded with arrows, threw themselues out of the wood with all speed, to fall vpon the vnar∣med Archers. Then Alexander with his Horse present∣ly charged them, and being ouerborne by the Horse they fled through the Wood to the Riuer.

18. Alexander whensoeuer he was to vse expedition, marched away with the Horse and light armed, leauing the Armed to come after. The Armed are for a firme and stedfast fight, not for Concursions.

19. Being then forsome farre, yet sodaine attempt, leaue your Pikemen behinde, and march away with your Horse and Musketeers: for when celeritie is re∣quisite, who so fit to be imployed, as they who haue no∣thing to hinder their speed.

20. Being to march against an Enemy in his owne Countrie, giue the word to come to such a Prouince, but Inuade another: by this you shall deceiue your Enemy.

*Agesilaus to deceiue Tisaphernes, made countenance as though he would first inuade Caria; whereupon Ti∣saphernes gathered all his power together; but Agesilaus on a sodaine returned backe againe, and entred into Phrygia, tooke there many Cities, and won great spoile.

21. Many Generals besides Agesilaus haue done the like, then be not you carelesse of it; for by such a plot the Enemy some other time may perchance be drawne Page  13 to deceiue himselfe. Example.

Agesilaus vpon another time gaue out that he would enter Lydia, not meaning to deceiue Tisaphernes againe, but Tisaphernes deceiued himself, and thought he would haue inuaded Caria, a woodie Countrey very ill for horsemen, in which he was the weaker: but Agesilaus tooke the champion Countrey of Lydia contrary to his expectation, so that Tisaphernes was inforced to come with all the speed that might be to the rescue thereof: therefore leauing all his Foot behinde him, he came stealing vpon them with his Horse: Agesilaus vnder∣standing by his men that Tisaphernes was come (and had made some slaughter of such as were found stragling a∣broad out of order) imagined with himselfe that the footmen of his Enemies could not yet be arriued, there∣fore with all speed he thrust in among the horsemen (which he had) his light armed footmen, and comman∣ded them straight to charge the Enemy, whilst he cau∣sed the heauy armed men to follow at their heeles, as they did: but Tisaphernes men fled vpon it immediately, and Agesilaus men lustily followed the chase, tooke his Campe, and made a great slaughter of them that fled.

22. Being in an Enemies Countrie, march in battell array, and let your Pyoners worke the harder, for a long march here is dangerous. Send Horse and Musketeers a good way before, to search the hils, and to surprise them from the Enemy.

23. In marching betweene Mountaines and Hils, see that your Vantgard succour your Rereward, your Rere∣ward the Vantgard, if your Enemies goe about to inter∣cept or molest you marching.

Zenophon and Cherisophus did thus against the Cardu∣chans: Obserue the manner.

Page  14 The Carduchans by fighting took the streights which lay in their way, and indeauoured to hinder and shut vp their march: but when they opposed against the Vant, Zenophon from the Reate ascending the Mountaines, and gaining the vpper ground, remoued all the impe∣diments the Enemy could cast vpon the way: when a∣gainst the Reare, Cherisophus ascending vp tooke the vp∣per ground likewise, and freed the way from them that came behinde. So they alwayes succoured, and had mutuall care one of another.

* 24. Lighting in your March vpon deepe and im∣passible Riuers, and hauing no Boats (to make Bridges) to waffe you ouer; marching further to the heads of the Riuers, you may goe ouer without wetting your knees: Zenophon in the third Booke of the Ascent of Cyrus.

25. Being come to some passable Riuer, where the currant runnes exceeding strong; cause your Horse to breake the waters, and then let your Foot march ouer, but sheltered on each side with the Horse.

26. If the currant be ouer bigge, so that you cannot waide ouer; cut the same Riuer in diuers places, and turne it into the landward with other currants, and you may passe ouer with ease.

27. Being to passe a great Riuer where the Enemy on the bankes stands to intercept your passage; to with∣draw him from thence (and to deceiue him) seeme to leaue the attempt, and march away; then hauing left some behinde you to make a Bridge (vnknowne to the Enemy) returne when you see your time, and passe your men ouer with ease. Example.

Caesar hauing his Army on a banke of a Riuer in France and his passage being let of Vergintorige a Frenchman, Page  15 the which on the other side of the Riuer, had his men, marched many daies along the Riuer, and the like did the Enemy: wherefore Caesar encamping in a woodie place, apt to hide men, he tooke out of euery Legion 3. Cohorts, and made them to tarry in the same place, commanding them that so soone as hee was departed, they should cast ouer a bridge, and fortifie it, & hee and his other men followed on the way: Wherefore Ver∣gintorige seeing the number of the Legions, thinking that there was not left any part of them behinde, fol∣lowed also his way. But Caesar when hee supposed the bridge was made, turned backward, & finding all things in order, passed the Riuer without difficultie.

* In marching, to auoyd contention about place; let euery Nation haue his honour of place: That which had the Vantgard this day, must haue the Reareward the next day; and so of all the rest by turnes. Thus much for Marching.


How a Commander or Generall, should order his Battells, and how behaue himselfe in the time of Fight, and after the Battell lost.

THe substance of the Art Military doth subsist in this: How to order your Battell, and how to behaue your selfe in the time of Fight, and after the Battell lost: To do which, obserue these particular precepts, and you will be enabled to doe accordingly. I begin Page  16 with the ordering of your battels.

* 1. You are to chuse your place both for Rainging of your battels before fight, and in the fight of the bat∣tell, that the same place be able to containe your whole Army without disturbance.

2. Next in ordering your battels▪ you must consider what dangers are likely, or else may happen by causual∣tie or fortune, and to prouide for remedies by your or∣der beforehand.

3. Likewise you are to consider, that you ought not to order your battels in all cases and respects alike, but very diuersly as your case shall require. For you are to order your battels according, partly vnto the nature of the ground, partly vnto the quantity, quality, or regard of your Enemies Army, and partly vnto such respect as is fittest against such orders or battels of your Enemies best knowne to your selfe for your best aduantage.

4. You are to order your Army into conuenient parts, and to appoint euery one his place, number, and action.

5. You are to order your battels, that no part of your Army be any disturbance to any part of your battels.

6. Your are to chuse your place, and to order your Army so, that your Enemies cannot compasse you ei∣ther with their horsemen, or with their shoot, great or small, or otherwise to your hurt.

7. You are with discretion to learne and know the equality and inequality of the number of your Ene∣mies Army with your owne Army. For you can ne∣uer most aptly order your Army in iust battels, for to be ordered according to discipline of warre, before you know and consider throughly, the nature, force, and weakenesse of either of your Armies.

Page  17 8. Also you are to consider, how you may take any aduantage vpon any orders, prouisions, oractions; of your Enemies present order, weakenesse, or strength.

9. Consider also what kindes of aduantages the times of the yeare or the day affordeth, which can bee had by your Enemies or your selfe, or else of the Ayre, or else of Tempests past or present.

10. Further consider which things first are possible or may be; then which are likely; next which are ap∣parant before your eyes easie to bee knowne or to bee prouided for.

11. Which well knowne and considered, you are then to order your battels, to take your ground, for to plant your ordnance, to auoyd your dangers, to take your aduantages, for to worke your stratagems also for your most comfort, and so to fight accordingly. But how to order your battels, and so to fight accordingly, is to bee discussed of more largely; for therein is the chiefe substance of the Art Military, in which some Generals haue beene more expert then others.

Excellent Generals (of old) commonly did vse to ordaine of footmen apt for to fight, three great battels; a Vantgard, a Battell, and a Rearward; and two wings of their horsemen: And when they came to fight, they did set them for the most part in an euen front: The Battell in the midst; on the right hand the Vantgard, which was called the right winge; on the left the Reareward, which was called the left winge. Their order we doe in a manner follow: For wee haue Vantgard, Battell, and Reareward, which wee place in Front as they did; onely we differ in the kinde of Embattailing. By kinde of Embattailing, I meane not bils, & bowes; but grosse Bodies: For they parted their Army into three parts, Page  18 and Embattailed them into three grosse Bodies. Wee diuide our Army into three parts, but not into such grosse Bodies; as for example, Say wee haue 12000. Foot, and 4000. Horse; if we bring them into one front without seconds, we do thus.

In our Vantgard, or right winge, we put 3000. men, diuiding them into three battalions, sometimes into more, as we see occasion. In our Battell wee put 6000. men diuiding them into three battalions, euery one containing 2000. a piece, for the battalions in the Bat∣tell, must exceede those in the wings.

In our Reareward or left winge, we put 3000. men, diuiding them into as many battalions, with as many men in either of them, as was to bee in the Vantgard a∣boue mentioned. Our horse we place halfe in the righ∣winge, and halfe in the left winge, the ordinary place for horse. For proofe of this, looke into the ordinary pra∣ctise of the Netherlands, and you shall see them some∣times to put two Regiments into one battalion, some∣times but one, and sometimes they will make two bat∣talions of one Regiment. Wee as they are not tyed to any certaine number, but may vary as we see occasions.

Occasions are produced by the Enemy, by the ground, by our selues to our best aduantage, and there∣fore we do accordingly. If our number bee more, wee haue the more battalions; if lesse, the fewer, vnlesse some pollicie be vsed.

Some Generals haue Martialed their Army onely into one Battell, some into two, some into three, some into foure, some into fiue, some into six, and some into nine.

The Venetians at the battell of Taro, did martiall their Army into nine battalions; whereof three was to Page  19 fight with the Enemy, other three to bee aide to the o∣ther three fighting, and the other three was appointed for sundry other purposes and effects.

King Ferdenand, besides his ordinary battalions, had another standing aloofe behinde his other battailes, for to take aduantage, or else to helpe in necessitie as occa∣sion serued; which were light horsemen.

The Earle of Surry, at the battell of Sloddon, had like∣wise besides his ordinary Battels, one battell of light horsemen, with which hee discomfitted Iames (the fourth) King of Scots.

Iames King of Scots, at the same battell of Sloddon, did martiall his Army into six battailes, without horse reliefe, or seconds, which lost him the field. For the English with their horse (when the King had the better) would presently giue vpon his Flanks, so snatcht the victory out of his hands, hauing neither Horse nor se∣conds to recouer it.

The Argonians, haue diuided their Army into fiue Battels; which battels in forme of straight or direct hornes, were extended from the great battell or midle∣ward. But these were partly Horse and Foote.

The Heluetians, haue martialed their Army into three battels, without Horse or seconds; sometimes in∣to one battell onely of footmen, which was their vsuall forme by custome. But not to be imitated.

The Spaniard, haue martialed their Army into two battels; one of footmen in one winge, and another of horsemen in another winge, all in an euen Front. Now they do otherwise.

The Ancient Romanes, haue martialed their Armed foote into three Battels. The first subsisting of the Hastatij, the second of the Principes, the third of the Page  20Triarij: with Velites to either of them, and Horse in the winges. How their Velites (light Armed men) were placed, being too weake to deale with Horsemen, or armed Foote (without aduantage) I will shew you hereafter.

Some haue ordered a weake battell of Foot or horse∣men, against a strong battell of their Enemies Foote or Horsemen, thereby to bring their Enemies strength in∣to some stratagem, which was wisely done by the great Captaine Gonsaluo, against the Frenchmen. This Gonsaluo sent a noble Spaniard called Mondotius, against the Generall of the Frenchmen to fight with his Reare∣ward; which Mondotius, had a company of light horse∣men for to inuade the Reare of the Frenchmen, and with him likewise went two Cohorts of Calliuer-shot, which kept company in the front almost with them, being ex∣tended as in two spred winges. Mondotius horse left these shot, and inuaded freshly the hindermost of the French. The French barbed horsemen, with fury set vp∣on Mondotius light horsemen: Mondotius light horse∣men retired as though they were not able to encounter the barbed Horsemen: thus flying, caused the barbed horsemen to persue out of order: Then the Calliuer-shot keeping aloofe off (about a furlong) and in forme of a halfe Moone, shot of vpon the French barbed hors∣men, before & on the Flanks. Gonsaluo thereupon sent a company of his barbed horsemen to the aide of his light horsemen flying, & his Calliuers fighting: There∣upon his light horsemen returned, and ioyned with their owne barbed horsemen that came for aide, and both of them in order, did set vpon the Frenchmen out of order; the shot continuing on both sides, and backes as before. Which kinde of order (you see) and flying, Page  21 and ayde of the Spaniards, was for to bring first such French force to disorder, and so thereby to discomfort them the easlier, which was done to their mindes.

Some haue rainged certaine files of shot before eue∣ry battalion, to skirmish with the Enemy a farre off, and neere at hand, thereby to weaken him by degrees, be∣fore they did ioyne battell. This was pactised by Henry the fourth the French King, against Albertus Arch Duke of Austria, Gouernor of Brabant, in the name of the King of Spaine, when he came to raise the seidge at A∣mens. The forme of whose battell I will now describe both by word and figure: But first let me declare his number. For his number, it was 12000. foote, and 4000. Horse. Now hee ordered them in this manner: His foote was Martialed into nine Battalions; three of which were for the right winge, three for the battell, and three for the left winge; The three battalions on the right winge, were two Regiments of English, and one French Regiment; each flankt with Muskettiers, and containing very neigh 1000. Foote a peece; before euery one of which were placed nine files of Musket∣tiers; three in the right angle, three on the left, and three in the midst before them: (peruse the first figure follow∣ing,) euery file contained ten men. The three battalions for the Battell, were three Regiments of Swize, flankt with Muskettiers, with nine files of Muskettiers a peece placed before them as the other, onely these Regiments contained more men then the rest, being together about fiue thonsand. The three battailions for the left winge, were three French Regiments, embattailed as the rest, with Muskettiers before them in the same forme as the other; euery battalion containing aboue 1000. The King had 12 field Peeces, which to his commendations Page  [unnumbered]

The forme of the French Kings battell, containing 12000.
Foote, and 4000. Horse.
The Horse should haue beene higher placed, and more inclining to the three vppermost field Peeces.
Page  23 he planted Souldier like; Three foreright, three flank∣wise, six on either winge to annoy the Enemy, both in front and flancke. His Horse was raunged without these, not forthright, but obliquewise, to encompasse the Enemy; being in number 4000. in each winge 2000. two hundered in Front, and 10. in depth; that the one halfe of the winge might giue the charge, the other bee their seconds. Behinde the King were his Trenches, guarded with 3000. Foote to defend him from the sal∣lies of the Towne, therefore the King needed no se∣conds at all. But if you would see 12000. Foote, and 4000. Horse, embattailed both with seconds and aydes for all attempts, peruse the second Figure going before, (ioyned to that of the Kings.)

Where you shall see 15. battalions of Foot, martialed in a manner after the French Kings forme, viz. In the Vantgard or right wing, are three battalions of 500. a peece, Flanckt with Muskettiers; before euery one of which are raunged ten files of Muskettiers; three in the right angle, three in the left, and foure in the midst iust before them; euery file containing ten men, which shot are to make their way through the interuals of the battalions in the Reare of all, there to giue vpon the Enemies Flanks. In the Battell are three battalions, containing 3000. men, (a thousand a peece) flankt with Muskettiers, and with Muskettiers be∣fore them in the same fashion as the rest. In the Reare∣ward (or left winge) of the battell, are likewise three battalions of 500. a peece, Embattailed as the rest, with Muskettiers before them, in the same forme as the o∣ther: Behinde these battalions (for seconds) are foure battalions of 500. a peece, standing against the Interuals of their opposite battalions; which Interuals are 200. Page  24 foote broad, that the foure battalions may the better passe through them. These foure battalions haue shot before them as the former, which with the rest may march forth to skirmish with the Enemie; or stand still to second them vpon their retreate, before the Battels ioyne: after being in the Reare to giue vpon your Ene∣mies flanks as the other. The rest of the battalions are in Front but twelue foote distance one from another, and at three foote order.

The diuisions of Muskettiers are allowed six foote, that they may the better fall through, hauing giuen fire.

In the Reare of all are two battalions, of a thousand a peece, standing iust behinde the three battalions of the Battell, about a furlong of. On the Flanks of these are 800, Horse, 400. in each flanke, oblique wise, the better to start forth and inuiron the Enemy. In like manner are the Horse martialed in the outward flanks of the rest, but in greater numbers. peruse the Figure.

By the winges of these two battalions are two field Peeces ready turned and bent to the Reare, to discharge vpon the Enemy, if he should with Horse or Foote giue vpon that part; if not, then these field Peeces may bee with ease brought from thence to some other place to annoy him other wayes.

As for the rest of the Ordance, I haue planted them vpon two Hils opposite against the Enemies flanks, thereby to distresse him. And for the better perfor∣mance of this, I haue planted 700. Muskettiers to guard them; and will ayde them with more if neede be.

Now against this Battell hauing Ordnance in the Reare, and on the Hils, to distresse the Enemies Flanks, I oppose this Battell following.

Page  [unnumbered]

A Battell of 12000. foot and 4000. horse, with Ordnance in the midst, and on the wings. Described in the next page. The pricks inclosed with lines are 800. shot to surprise the enemies Ordnance on the hils.

Page  26 Here (or in the Figure going before) you see are sixteene Battalions. The Ordnance planted both in the Wings and in the Front of the maine Battell. The Ordnance in the maine Battell, hath before them 400. Muskettiers, ranged in the same forme as the Enemies, the better to hide the deceit: for so soone as the Muskettiers are cleare of the Battell, the Ordnance are to discharge vpon the Enemy to breake his maine Battell; and then the other Battels are to march on to charge the Enemy in disorder: the Horse are martialled outward on the wings, and stand obli∣que wise to inuiron the Enemy.

Now before the Horse giue the charge, eight hun∣dred Musketties doe sallie forth to surprise the Enemies Ordnance, being planting on the hils.

The Figure doth demonstrate it as plaine as can be, with the number of euery battalion; onely take notice that the shot before euery battalion are to make their passage through the interuals, and sides of the battailes, in the Reare of all; from thence to giue vpon the Ene∣mies Flankes, if occasion be, otherwise to aide their own men in the Fight. All the shot before the battalions are in number 1200.

This appointing of shot for to march before, and to surprise the enemies Ordnance (in such a place of ad∣uantage) was heretofore practised by ancient Gene∣rals, and lately by our great Commander Sir Horatio Vere in the Palatinate, though the Battel were vnfought.

The planting of Ordnance in the Front of the maine Battaile, betweene the interuals, to breake the Ene∣mies Battalia, was, and is at this day practised by the Turkes, and other Nations.

Likewise the placing of Ordnance in the Reare with seconds for all attempts, was, and is at this day practi∣sed Page  27 both by Italians, French, Germanes, and other Ge∣nerals besides.

You see then that all this is no crotchet of mine (as the pacing of the shot before euery battalion was no crotchet of the French Kings) but the vsuall custome of all Generals before and in his time.

The ancient Romans did continually obserue it in pla∣cing their Velites before euery Maniple. Their Velites were their light Armed, such as vsed throwing wea∣pons (in Latine Massilia) as Bowes, Slings and Darts. To a popular Legion they allotted 1200. Velites. 1200. Hastalij, 1200 Principes, and 600. Triarij. These made vp a Legion. This Legion of 4200. foot was deuided into 30. Maniples; ten of the Hastatij, ten of the Prin∣cipes, and ten of the Triarij. The ten of the Hastatij made the first Battell, the ten of the Principes the second Bat∣tell, the ten of the Triarij the third Battell: if but one Legion were Embattailed. To each of these Battailes were allotted 400. Velites, fortie to a Maniple: the Bat∣tels containing 3000. of well armed men, besides the Velites which were but lightly armed. How these Ma∣niples were placed: how far distant each Battell stood one from another: the order of the Velites: the num∣ber of their Horse, and how ranged by Troopes, must not be passed ouer. Briefly thus.

Thee ten Maniples of the Hastatij they set in an euen Front, leauing so much distance or void ground betwixt euery Maniple, as a Maniple it selfe tooke vp in stan∣ding. At a reasonable space behinde, were the Princi∣pes placed in as many Maniples; but so, that their Ma∣niples stood directly behinde the void places of the Ha∣statij. And against the bodies of the Hastatij, they left likewise spaces in the Principes, to the end the HastatijPage  [unnumbered]

The Embattaling of a Romane Legion; shewing you how the Velites were first pla∣ced, being in number 1200. They are marked with Prickes, being fiue in ranke, eight in depth, 40. before euery Maniple. The Maniples of the Hastatij are marked with H. those of the Principes with P. those of the Triarii with T. Fiue Troupts of horse in the right Wing, fiue in the left, and 32. in a Troupe.
Page  29 being ouer laid might retire into these spaces; or else themselues might aduance against the Enemy through the Internals of the Hastatij.

Lastly, at a larger distance behinde these were the Triarij set, aud deuided with spaces betwixt euery Ma∣niple, which spaces were great enough to receiue the Principes in case they retired also: but how bigge the crosse interuals were I cannot truely and soundly set downe; rather I beleeue they varied, according to the Forces and will of the Generall. Polibus noteth that Haniball in his Affrican Battell remoued the third Bat∣tell (for so he had diuided them according to the Ro∣man fashion) more then a furlong from the second. And although I dare not affirme that the Romans did the like, yet may I probably guesse it differed not much, because they had neede to haue such space to retire, and to auoid the mingling and confusion of Troopes. Now the direct waies were indifferent, sometimes of one di∣stance, sometimes of another, as vse required: if the Ve∣lites were there placed as often as they were, they had neede be broad, so large as to receiue them with the Ma∣niples; yet not so large as the crosse interuals, of which I haue spoke.

In the Crosse Internals the Velites were first of all placed, 40. before euery Maniple, aud so stood before the Battell did begin *: afterward they marched forth all together to beginne the Fight before the Army did ioyne: *they fought a good way before the Front, as our Forlornes doe, scattering and disbandied. After which, hauing spent their Darts and Arrowes vpon the Ene∣mies, they retired in good order through the direct wayes, and stood in the Reare of euery Maniple, as for∣merly they had done in the Front; from whence with Page  [unnumbered]

The manner of the Velites fight dismarching from their Maniples, mark∣ed with S. with their retreat in the Reare of all behinde the Triarii, marked with V. and prickes.
Page  31 their missiue weapons they annoyed the Enemy from thence ouer their owne mens heads: And sometimes were remoued from this station, to assaile the Enemy in Reare and Flankes. This remoue was through the di∣rect wayes of the Maniples of the Triarij into the Reare of all; for by the crosse wayes they could not passe, by reason the Horse were ranged in the sides thereof.

The Horse of this Legion were in number 320. diui∣ded into ten troopes, 32. in a troope: fiue troopes pla∣ced on the right wing, fiue on the left wing, oblique wise, withall closing in the Front, and opening in the Reare, like this letter A put downewards.

The manner of the Velites fight with their Retreat in∣to the Reare of all behinde the Triary is in the former page figured to the life. With the station of the Horse on the Flanks, to saue the Battell from inuironing, and to charge the Enemy in the Flanke, if the Enemy gaue the charge with his Horse in the Front.

I with Iustus Lipsus doe admire the Romane Em∣battailing, and will affirme as much as hee, that if this ancient discipline were ioyned with these our new found Armes, the old and new world would be subiect to one man: for surely if our light Souldiers (so I call shot) were mixt betweene the Maniples and be∣fore the Maniples of the armed, with Interuals and di∣stances for retreat, and that against the Horse and Ar∣med Foot, what Battalia durst assaile, nay, what Bat∣talia could resist vs? For in regard hereof our men should be alwayes fit to charge, fit to retire for a second charge. All which notwithstanding is to be done with long vse and exercise, least they trouble vs in the doing. If any obiect against the Romans discipline, because such Maniples are not able to cope with great Battaliaes? Let Page  32 them know, that the Romans did make their Maniples Cohorts; and their Cohorts were sometimes 500. sometimes 600. nay, a thousand if we beleeue Vegetius: and is not this our number when wee Embattaile? and will not you imitate them? well, if you will not, yet fol∣low the discipline now in vse; a discipline approued for instruction, instructing you to doe thus.

1. When your Battalia of Footmen come to ioyne Battaila with your Enemies Footmen, haue a great com∣pany of Muskettiers before you to hurt and weaken your aduersary before you ioyne battell or fight; which shot when they haue wrought their effect must haue roome ready open for them to retreat into the Reare; from whence they may be fecht to serue against the E∣nemies Flankes. Your Enemies Battalia in such case, comming without shot before, hath his next remedy in all haste to ioyne to handy stroakes. Your care must euer be to auoid confusion of fight.

Confusion of fight isto begin before your time, which causeth such inconuenience, as is cause oftentimes of losse: therefore in the beginning of your Fight take great heede that you inuade nor fight confusedly. Whereas euery part of the Army hath his ordinary time to fight: neither suffer any part of your Army to fight with your Euemy in any other fashion then you appointed him. And for such casualties and accidents as may happen to you in Battell or Fight, keepe these conclusions following in memory and heart, and they will much auaile you in time of neede.

2. If your Horsemen be oppressed with your Ene∣mies Horsemen, send for succour a supply of Musket∣ties, who may scattering and out of order, as occasion shall serue, shoot at the oppressors, and vpon occasion Page  33 retire and returne very often.

3. To these you may send a gard of Pikes for rescue, the better to bring them off safe: but if you inuade your Enemy with Muskettiers, with your gard of Pike send some Horse, that both may defend them from inuasi∣on of the Enemies Horsemen.

4. Likewise to giue the Enemy his hands full, follow him with a battalion resolutely, to put all or one of his battalions to rout; and hauing discomfited any one of his Battels, send onely a small or conuenient company to persue the chase, and with the rest inuade quickely some part of his Army fighting with any one of your Battels: This must of necessitie be done; for sundry vi∣ctories haue beene lost vpon this occasion: that when one Battell hath ouerthrowne his first encountered E∣nemies Battell, it hath immediately followed the chase, and not holpen his owne fellowes in danger.

Likewise in your first ioyning of Battell, if your fore∣ward gaine the victory, ioyne your other Battels imme∣diately whilst comfort is on your side, on your Enemies discomfort. This got Bucoy the victory at Prague.

6. If your Footmen be vehemently oppressed with your Enemies footmen; send your horsemen to inuade the sides of your Enemies, and with them some shot to hold them play: but if you can plant a peece of Ord∣nance against their flanke, it will much abate their courage.

7. If your Enemies come vpon you vnprouided and vnlooked for, send your Horsemen or shot, to skirmish with them, whilst you intend to make you ready for Battell. Also your Horse may extend themselues into a deepe Heirse battell, for to inuade your Enemies with their more trouble and stay.

Page  34 8. Or to deceiue your Enemies, march towards them with a company of Horse, and make semblance of fight, as if the whole Army followed. The Enemy at this will stand; your battels in the meane time be set: you by this may outface the Enemy, and returne againe without fight.

9. Then being in good order, if your occasion be such, that you would not haue your Enemies vnder∣stand of your orders and policies, cause you Horsemen to run vp and down: the dust, to let their fight. Doe the like if you haue planted and ordered your Army all in stratagems.

10. If your Enemies maine battell doe vrge very va∣liantly your foreward, and his other battell be not rea∣dy to helpe, or rescue, cause both your other battels one on the one side, and the other on the other side, freshly to inuade your Enemies maine battell; and herein you shall doe wisely, imitating your predecessours, the braue English, at the battell of Poytiers.

11. If you hauing a small and weake number, and you vnderstand that your Enemies goe for to distresse a cer∣taine aide comming to helpe you: where you be sent after the Enemy to inuade the backes of them when they be fighting with your aide; comming, set not you on rashly vpon your Enemies, before your time ap∣pointed; for if you fight with your enemies so, being stronger, before your aide haue set vpon their Front, you foolishly cast away your selues, and also leaue your aide in danger: and by your vntimely, rash, and vnwar∣like onset bereaue your selues of your aide and helpe. And withall you much comfort your Enemies, who might haue beene discomforted; for if you had obser∣ued your discipline and purpose, you should haue fol∣lowed Page  35 your Enemy closely, with as little noyse as might be, vntill your Enemies had set vpon your ayde; then in the heat of their fight, you should haue set vpon their backes, before your Enemies were knowing of your comming: which kinde of dealing had beene most hurtfull to your Enemies, commodious to your Ayde, and profitable to your selues; for warlike discipline is, that a weaker company neuer fight with a greater strength, without a speciall aduantage of time, occasion, and place for to helpe you. Also, neuer to breake your aduised determinate purpose, without you be either en∣forced, either drawne to fight by occasion of some no∣table accident offered by chance. Accident will hap∣pen; for in warres no most certaine rule can be appoin∣ted, which is not broken by some meanes at some seue∣rall times: therefore wait time, and so I proceede to o∣ther Councell.

12. If you abound in number, couet to compasse your Enemies, and to distresse them being weake.

13. If your Enemies abound in number, prouide by order, or stratagem, or place, that your Enemies cannot compasse you.

14. Plant your Campe or Army to fight in a very strong ground by nature, and helpe it by Art.

15. Some haue vsed to choose their ground fortified by nature, as Prosper Colonno.

16. Some haue no regard of the strength of the place by nature, but choose rather to fortifie all wholly by Art and industry, as the ancient Romans.

17. Some seeke places somewhat by nature strong, and by Art and industry make them more stronger. They fortifie themselues as well in Fight as in Campe, which the good Captaines of our time doe vsually.

Page  36 18. Therefore if you be vnwilling to fight, and your Enemies must needes fight with you, by your industry make a ditch three foot deepe, and fiue or sixe foot broad, and cast the earth towards you; which ditch, if you thinke good, let it be especially in the Front, also in the sides, and on your backes also, as Prosper Colonno would often dot.

19. Which Ditch, if it haue sundry places open and free for your Enemies to enter, of no great space, it shall encourage them there to enter; where if you prouide some stratagem against them, you doe well. The fittest stratagem for this occasion, is to place certaine Compa∣nies before the gaps, and certaine Ordnance behinde them to be discharged when they open in the midst.

20. Whereupon, if your Enemies desist, vrge them hardly, onely make a faire shew, but proceede no fur∣ther. For you are not to put your confidence in such weake fortification: nor in the arrogancy of your men to fight; by arrogancy many Armies are ouerthrowne, where by wisedome many are saued. I present you the Figure of such an Intrenched Battell to peruse; (in the next page following) but you may doe as you please.

21. If your Company be small, and your Enemy haue great store of Horsemen against you, so that you be likely to loose the Battell, if your Enemies againe set vpon you; if any great Wood be neere, seeke to saue your Army by the thicknesse of the same Wood, and suffer your Enemies to gaine your Ordnance, and Bag∣gage, and Victuals, that they spoyling the same, you may the better escape.

22. Likewise when you haue a Battell more then the Enemies, diuide it into two parts; and where you see any danger among your Enemies, send first one

Page  [unnumbered]

A Foure-Fronted Battell for Stratagem, being enuironed with a Ditch.

THe Ditch is 6. foot broad, and 3. foot deepe. It hath foure gaps (for sallyes) twentie paces broad, to allure the Enemy there to enter. It hath at euery gap fiue battalions of 300. a peece: it hath a field Peece behinde euery middle battell; euery middle battell must open in the midst, before the Peece doe dis∣charge; then the Horse must issue forth vpon the Enemy: for this cause the Horse haue their place in the midst, remote from the Foot, diuided into foure squadrons, (in the forme of a crosse) ready faced to the gaps: being in all 1600. the foot 6000. If you will haue no Horse in the midst, then diuide them into 8 troupes; place them for wings, in an euen front, or on the angles: so the Battell will be hollow, and the foot battels for the gaps but 3 a peece.


Page  38 part, and then another: or else, if occasion serue, ayde your Battels, as reason shall moue you to helpe.

23. And in the heat of your Fight, if newes come that your Baggage is in danger, in no case the Captaines must not suffer the Souldiers, or Horsemen confusedly for to runne for to recouer the same, in case of losse; but by aduice to send a company of conuenient men for to doe it, onely by their Commandements, and no o∣therwise; for by seeking to recouer the same pelfe or baggage, sundry Armies haue been ouerthrown, which otherwise might haue beene saued.

24. If your Enemies come ouerstrongly vpon any part of your Army, shoot off your great Ordnance a∣mongst the thickest of them, and when your great Ordnance hath dispersed them, then cause your Horsemen to inuade them so disordered most furi∣ously.

25. As for your Ordnance, you may plant them ei∣ther before you, or on your wings, or else vpon some conuenient Hils behinde you, to shoot ouer your heads; or on some high grounds on the sides, or be∣fore.

26. Some haue planted their Ordnance on a leuell ground behinde their Battell, and causing the Battell to open in the midst, haue deliuered the volly vpon the Front of the Enemy. In which case you are to marke, that if your Enemy so open, then his great Ordnance is so planted; and then you haue no better remedy, but to open your selues as you see them doe before you: In which case also your Footmen may suddenly fall down flat vpon the ground, and that safely, and rise againe im∣mediately after the Enemies haue shot; for in such a case they will neuer inuade you in your Front, before Page  39 their shot haue been discharged: and being down, your Ordnance behinde you may flanke-wise immediately play on them, if you were so prouided.

27. In marching against an Enemy, if you feare his great Ordnance shooting directly against you, fetch a long compasse to passe by them, and so to auoid them, if no greater impediment let you.

28. Likewise fearing your Enemies great Ordnance, let your iourney be behinde the couert of Corne high standing, creeping close, and your Pikes trayling, so couet to inuade the sides, or backes of your Enemies.

29. Some haue, being in danger of the great Ord∣nance, caused their seruants in Armour for to stand be∣hinde great trees, standing directly in the face or sight of the Gunners, therby to cause them to shoot off the more vehemently, as though the whole Battell came that way, and ment for to come vpon the Ordnance: In the meane space, vnder that colour, their Souldiers haue come conueniently some other way; or else behinde their seruants, creeping loe, towards their Enemies; which to imitate, you must beforehand learne perfectly the nature of the ground, which you are to passe, that you may take all aduantages which the nature of the soile can render vnto you.

30. If your Enemy March with all his Ordnance in the Vantgard, and his other Battels lagge halfe a dayes iourney behinde, follow him with all your power with as great celeritie and secrecie as you can, and so fight with him, being depriued of his chiefe strength.

31. If your Enemy March away in good order with his Ordnance before, and in the Reare of his Army so trauelling (not determined to fight) and you seeke by following your Enemy to fight with him, you must Page  40 haue a great regard vnto the place where your Enemy and you both iourny, and there a company of Dragons with Curassiers, or Pistoliers, with two or three field Peeces, are to be sent before to stay your Enemies, and to disturbe them; that when you see them thereby stay∣ed, you may haue the more leasure to order your Battels, and to make choise of your ground to fight. Then if you fight (if it be possible) by all meanes bring your great Ordnance round about your Enemies Ar∣mie; plant them vpon some high ground, that you may without impediment shoot free vpon your Enemies backes, or sides: and withall guard your Ordnance with a conuenient number of shot, that they may not be surprised by the Enemy, and turned vpon your selues.

32. If it chance that your Battell be ouerpressed by your Enemies, and begin to scatter, or for to disorder; then all your Captaines must with all diligence bestir themselues, first in exhortation, and comforting their Souldiers; then by bringing them againe into order, and turne them againe, which haue turned from their Enemies: If faire words will not serue, then let them vse foule, and from words fall vnto blowes, it may be that will force them to returne. If they persist and will flye, then let some few valiant Captaines as know such streights through which they must passe, runne before to possesse the streights; there after blowes and slaugh∣ter, force them to fall into order againe.

33. Bridges, deepe Riuers, streight wayes inuironed are to be set.

34. By which waies oftentimes recoueries haue bin gotten, although very deerely.

35. It is very necessary for a Generall to haue before∣hand Page  41 perfect knowledge of these wayes; that hee may somewhat the better behaue himselfe after the losse of his Battell.

* His behauiour after his Battell lost, consisteth best in his good prouision of all kindes of duties made before his Fight or Battell.

For if he haue prouided beforehand by wisedome some place of safe refuge, neere hand vnto the place of the Battell, hee hath very well taken order for all mis∣haps.

If he by wisedome before haue taken order that the enemy can in no safetie, but with his danger persue him, he hath well holpen his danger.

If knowing no other helpe to be likely, he began the Battell ouer night; in which case hauing lost the Battell, his Enemies could not persue him very farre: hee hath done very well.

If he haue beforehand, when hee saw himselfe likely to loose the Battell, in some conuenient place laid some Ambush, which in order will set vpon his Enemies, per∣suing out of order; he hath performed the part of a good Generall.

A good Generall will forecast what may happen, and therefore will consider alwayes of euery ground, as he passeth by it, what occasion it can worke, and how he can take aduantage, or helpe himselfe thereby; either by the impediments of his Enemy there, or else by some Ambush, or some other stratagem to be wrought vpon the occasion of the same ground, good or bad. And if his Enemy very wisely, and with good reasons and dis∣cretion seeke Battell or Fight, he with like wisedome and discretion wil auoid Battell or fight, and seeke to get away by flying: which is the next point to be handled.

Page  42


In what case it is best for a Commander or Gene∣rall to flye, and how.

AS great Iudgement was required of you in the ordering of your Battels, and behaui∣our of your selfe in Fight, and after the Battell lost; so there is as much required of you in taking time to Flye: for if you flye not like a good Souldier, but like one voide of iudg∣ment without Discipline, you will bring distruction to your Army, shame to your Friends, and dishonour to your selfe: but if you flye with iudgement as a Souldi∣dier, you bring safetie to your Army, glory to your Friends, and hope of victory to your selfe. That you may be enabled to flye thus with honour, obserue these precepts following.

* 1. When your Enemies being mightie, or else very strong, vrgeth you being weake in strength, helpelesse; then know, that vpon such an occasion (so necessitated) that a wise, orderly, and politicke flight is better then an indiscreet stay without reason.

2. If you be by necessitie compelled to flye, flye in order, and in Battell array, fully prouided of rescues and helpes, that your Enemies eagerly vrge you not.

3. Flye with sufficient space of time and place, that your Enemies cannot easily ouertake you before you come into safetie (I meane places of aduantages for you.)

Page  43 4. Flye in many parts and sundry wayes, which conceale, that your Enemies may haue no intelli∣gence of your meaning, and diuersitie of flying.

5. If you flye or auoid the fight; doe it either com∣pelled by necessitie, or subtiltie, or cautiously to bring your Enemy into your danger, or else to seeke places or occasions for your best, or better aduantage.

6. If you flye, your Enemy hardly vrging you in the Reare and Flankes; your Hosemen or else your Muskettiers, or both, should eagerly skirmish with them which persue so earnestly; so that your Army may in the interim win a good space of ground.

7. Before your Horse and Muskettiers should is∣sue out (as aboue said) you should haue a Peece of Ordnance remaining in the Reare of your Army for to shoot off vpon the vrgers, as opportunity should serue.

8. In like fashion two or three peeces of Ordnance in the Reare of euery battalia, trauelling, iournying, or flying.

9. Commonly your Muskettiers (in such cases last rehearsed) are vsed to be placed both in the Reare and Flanks, for the said speciall purpose; namely, to skirmish with such as doe disturbe your March; and yet to keepe on their iourney with the rest.

10. Some such as flye vse to leaue some great Stales or Ambushes, in places very conuenient (as Woods, Mountaines, Forrests, Rocks, banks of Riuers, Caues, Hils, hollow and deepe wayes, Corne-fields, and the like) for such a purpose, to intrap the vrgers, if occa∣sion can serue.

21. Sometimes (as Count Mansfield) they fire Page  44 houses to stay their Enemies following: and on that side the smoake fals (by reason of the winde) they lay an Ambush to intrap the Enemy. The like doe you, that the rest of your Army may passe with safetie.

12. When you flye onely the Battell, and seeke order and time conuenient for the same, send all your baggage and carriage before, and after them all your Footmen, and with a strong company of Horse fortifie your Reare, and leaue many fires in the Campe; And for time, choose a cloudy darke morning.

13. In your flying, or before, learne exquisitely of them as be skilfull of the wayes and places, where, how farre off, or how lye such places, as you hope may somewhat defend you from any danger of your Enemies, and make the greatest haste towards them.

14. If you can learne of any narrow passage be∣tween two great Hils, or betweene some great Riuer or Wood, & some dangerous Hill, or some other dan∣gerous place wherein you may safely rest from your Enemies, make haste thither.

15. In which case learne very diligently whether there be not some secret place in the same place of your quietnesse, whereunto your Enemies getting, may disturbe your quietnesse; and if there be cause, such kindes of dangerous places, to be either well warded, or else stopped by a trane-ditch, or by ano∣ther good way.

16. Also learne very diligently, whether your E∣nemy seeke not by their Horsemen to fetch a great Page  45 compasse about any side of your said place of your securitie, either to inclose you there, or else for to goe before you to some place of their aduantage a∣gainst you.

17. In which case, if your Enemies with their whole Army seeke to compasse the place, and for to be before you, take good aduice, if you may not turne that their practise vnto your commoditie, by some new inuention.

* As first, for to returne backe againe vnto some place of refuge; for you are else (as the Graecians) to seeke another way not suspected of your Enemies.

Or else to returne a little backe to giue a colour to your Enemy of flying away, so to draw him into the same streight to follow you the easier in his opinion, and to returne to incounter him the more easely.

18. A chiefe, or else a notable place of refuge for Flyers, is to flye to be vnder the wings, or safetie of some Citie, or else strong Fort, well furnished with great Ordnance vpon the wals; it is able to shoot o∣uer your flying Army into the Army of your prose∣cuting Enemy, and so hurt him, to his great danger, and your great securitie, and comfort many wayes.

19. If you flye, or iourney in three Battels, or more, euery Battell must alwayes be in sight of the next before or behinde, in such order, that the one be alwayes able to succour the other (in case it be inua∣ded by Enemies) so Flying, or Iournying. Otherwise, for lacke of such order and aide, one may be discom∣fited for want of others helpe. To conclude.

20. If Flying, your Enemy with a great compa∣ny of Horse and shot, inuade your hindermost Bat∣tell, Page  38 discharge two Peeces of Ordnance vpon them, or more, which will coole their courage, and will likewise by their roaring and thundering noise, warne your other Battels to make Alt or stand, whereby you may worke your will. Example.

The Landgraue with his Germaine great Army, when Charles the fift Emperour sent a great company of shot for to inuade their hindmost Battell, and to stay them, hee caused two Culuerins to be discharged vp∣on them; and all the Army staid. Thus much for Flying.


How a Commander or Generall must auoid Bat∣tell, and when accept of Fight.

THe wisedome of a Generall doth best appeare in the auoiding of Fight, and in the taking of opportunitie to fight; both of which are so necessarie in the Warres, that the one cannot be with∣out the other: but which of these for a time are first to be vsed, and for a time laid aside, resteth in the wisedomes of a wise Generall to determine.

Wisedome willeth you to begin with wars, when you see your selfe very strongly prepared, and your Enemies contrariwise altogether weake and vnpro∣uided.

And wisedome willeth you, as you begin well, so Page  39 to continue your warres wisely for your most com∣moditie.

In warres, if you either for lacke of knowledge, or by negligence, or else by pride let slip most apt occasions, you seldome after can get them a∣gaine.

To let slip a good opportunitie, bringeth both re∣pentance, shame and losse also.

Many haue felt this to their sorrow. Therefore let their losses admonish you to let nothing slip, that may either dispatch your warre quicke, or pro∣long it to your Enemies losse, and your owne ad∣uantage.

That you may be enabled to doe this, take these Rules for your direction.

* 1. If your Enemies be few in number, and raw Souldiers, ill furnished, ill willing for to fight, and not fortified by place: if you abound in number which are better Souldiers, you are to seeke the Bat∣tell. Vegetius, lib. 3.

2. When your Enemies aboundeth in all things, and therefore auoideth to fight, and where you want of prouision, and your Souldiers lustie, and desirous of Battell; there you may seeke Battell. Antony at Philippi against Cassius and Brutus.

3. Where you be determined to seeke the Bat∣tell, make good choise of your ground where you be to fight, and see your selfe in perfect order and direction, and yet seeke all aduantages you can by any meanes finde out. Prosper Colonno against the Frenchmen at Bicocca, and Bassan.

4. Though you abound in number, seeke not to Page  48 fight rashly, neither be very desirous of Battell, with∣out very good apparance of likelihood of victory: neither fight before you haue intelligence of your E∣nemies strength, pollicies, and orders, except ex∣treame necessitie compell you.

5. Auoide not to fight with one great Army, when you know, that if you stay, you shall short∣ly be compelled to fight with two great Armies.

This was well foreseene by Claudius Nero, and as well executed to his glory. Claudius Nero the Roman Consull, intercepting Asdrubals Letters (directed to his brother Hanibal, to meet him at Vmbra, to ioyne both their powers together, for the subuersion of the Romans) presently vpon the reading, left his fellow Consull in the night (vnknowne to Haniball) and with six thousand foot, and one thousand horse, came to Li∣uius another Roman Consull, who was to intercept As∣druball comming from the Mountaines into Italie, and there ioyning force with his, gaue Battell to As∣druball, ouercame him, and slew him before euer Haniball knew of his being in Italie. Haniball vp∣on this was much grieued, both for the death of his Brother, and the depriuation of his power, and re∣moued into the fields the Brutians. And for that hee had no power left him of men, to defend his Portres∣ses that hee held, being so farre off; hee gathered to∣gether all the Metapontancs, and the Lucanes, such as were his friends; and brought them all into the Countrie of the Brutians, where hee remained for a season, Counselling what were best for him to doe. Thus was Haniball brought to distresse by the wise∣domePage  49of one man, taking his time and opportunitie to fight.

Hauing showne you when to Fight; now let me shew you when to auoide it. Auoide Fight vpon these occasions:

* Where you by deferring the Battell are to finde all things in better case; and contrary, your E∣nemies are to lacke, and loose by the same victuals, wages, good will or friendship, you are to auoid Bat∣tell. Vegetius, lib. 3.

Where you abound in number and victuals, and other prouision, and your Enemy wanteth of your abundance, and therefore seeketh to fight, auoid you the Battell. Cassius and Brutus at Philippi, against Antony and Caesar.

Where the Enemy must needs dissolue his Ar∣my shortly, if he fight not with you; there you are to auoide the Battell. Pompey at Durazzo against Caesar.

Where you are in danger to loose a Realme, or two, if you loose the Battell, your Enemies are in danger onely to loose their present Army: Being no stronger then your Enemies, seeke not to fight. Hispani. Bell. Verona.

Where your Souldiers and Captaines be mar∣ueilously vnwilling to fight, seeke not to fight. Vege∣tius lib. 3. cap. 9.

* If your Enemies be poore and needy, beware of their necessitie; for alwaies necessitie makes men desperate, and causeth them to thinke there is no re∣medy but victory in fight.

If you be in any strong place, so planted that Page  50 your Enemy cannot fight with you, but with his great losse, seeke not to fight with him. Prosper Co∣lonno at Bicocca.

If your Enemy be so placed in a strong Campe, seeke not there to fight with your Enemy. Carolus Caesar in Germany.

Frenchmen are by long dalliance and time to be deluded, because they be hot, and desirous to fight when they be fresh, and eager to be put on in the be∣ginning of the warres; afterwards, when by long time they are wearied, they are tractable enongh: so will others be besides Frenchmen.

If you haue warres made against you by a number of confederate Princes or Magistrates (take Caesars counsell) deferre the Battell for a time, and weary them out by polliticke vsage. Keepe them from victuals; kill all such as goe for Forrage, or any other purpose; make many Alarams nightly vp∣on them in their Campe, and toyle them with watches and sodaine labours: By this meanes you shall make the warres seeme loathsome vnto them, and protract it the longer; whereby, they may fall into dissention one with another: for such a number of Confederates cannot long agree, but that some quarrels will fall out betweene them, or else some grudges; so that some may be deuided from the o∣ther by some kinde of perswasion or other, where∣upon you may, if you thinke good, giue Battell to the relinquished: or chase them (as the Imperials did the French out of Millan) with light skir∣mishes.

Page  51 For the better performance of these skir∣mishes, let all your Souldiers haue the perfect vse of their Armes. They may haue the perfect vse of their Armes quickely, if the Seriants doe but at vacant times plye and exercise them.


At the signe of the Angell in Lumberstreet, you may haue an excellent Plotforme for the postures of Pike and Musket.