A MARTIAL Conference, Pleasantly discoursed betweene two Souldiers, the one Captaine Skil, trained vp in the French and Low country seruices, the other Captaine Pill, only practised in Finsburie fields in the moderne warres of the renowmed Duke of Shordich, and the mightie Prince Arthur.
Newly translated out of Essex into English, by Barnabe Rich gentleman, Seruant to the Queenes most excellent Maiestie.
Printed at London for Iohn Oxenbridge, dwelling in Paules church yard at the signe of the Parrot 1598.
To the most honorable and renow∣med Lord Sir George Carie, of the no∣ble order of the Garter knight, Baron of Huns∣don, Gouernour and Captaine of the Isle of Wight, Captaine of her Maiesties Gentlemen Pensioners, Lord Chamberlaine to her Mai•stie, and of her Highnesse most honorable priuie Counsell.
IT hath pleased your Honor in fauourable sort to accept of a first croppe of my vnsauourie fruits: vnsauorie I may well call them that come from so barren a soile, too colde and drie, to nourish dainties, or to affoord a pleasing plant, that may be sauourie to your Lordshippes taste: but the field is yours, your Lordship hath purchased it, and tied it by band; for euer bound vnto you by so many noble fauours, it hath plea∣sed your Honor to vouchsafe vnto me: the fruits therefore both of my labours and of my leisures are due vnto your Lordship, and doe appertaine vnto your Honor all by proper right, and euerie man is inclined to accept of his owne, and fauou∣rably to regard them, be they neuer so simple. I Page [unnumbered]haue therefore presumed to present you with a second croppe, not so seasonable as they shoulde be, by reason of mine owne ill husbandry, that can not obserue that Decorum looked after by Schollers and maisters of Art and method: yet I hope my errors shal passe for the easier payment, and be the better borne withall, my selfe being a martiall Professor; and continually armed to the proofe, with a seruiceable and duetifull heart to your Honor, and to that most noble and virtuous Ladie, your Lordships bedfellow, of whose fa∣uors I haue tasted, and of whole worthinesse the lesse I write, the lesse I wrong her, and therefore as a subiect too high for my conceit to reach vn∣to, I will leaue her to the praise of more happie pennes than mine owne, and may cease to write, but neuer to wish vnto you both, all honor and happinesse, that is not preiudiciall to true hap∣pinesse, and thus will rest
Your L. in all humble and dutifull affection Barnabe Rich.
To the friendly Reader.
THere is nothing (friendly Reader) more necessary immediatly after the knowledge of God, than to know how to mannage our Martiall causes, when it is most euident, that aswell Prince, country, religion, lawe, iustice, subiects, and all together, are vn∣der the guard and protection of armes, & as the establishing of all happy estates, e∣specially consisteth, first in religion and loue of God, and then in the knowledge and practise of Armes, euen so as there is nothing amon∣gest the religious, more perillous than Sects, so amongest Souldiers there is nothing more dangerous than to be diuided in opinions.
The greatest controuersie amongest vs heere in England, is the diuersity in opinions concerning the long bow, for that being our an∣tient weapon, and whereby we haue many times preuailed to the at∣taining of sundry notable victories, we are therefore stil so naturally inclined towardes it, that not onely the multitude and common sort, whose greatest arguments are fury and h•…t, but many others that vnder pretence of great experience and skill, will inforce themselues to defend it, who ranging their passions to the tune of reason, will many times render such reasons as are more out of tune than the very passions themselues.
In this Martiall conference I haue layed downe all the reasons that I haue heard aledged in the behalfe of bowes, the which I haue done to this purpose, that no blinde assertions, coloured vnder the pretence of great knowledge, shoulde make vs to affie our selues in that which is not, nor yet to neglect that, which onely is to be attai∣ned vnto by great practise. I haue likewise handled some other mat∣ters in a pleasurable sort, not of purpose to offend any man: and the Page [unnumbered]men that are most vnpatient are ouer contented to take words that are merrily spoken, in sport, for feare lest other might thinke they would not winch without a galld backe: then how much rather is a dumbe booke to be borne withall, being generally written, but espe∣cially where the title pretendeth matter of pleasure, and without of∣fence, if the Reader bring no offence with him.
There be some that will admit of no bookes, that are not drawne from the very marow and quintessence of wit, some other againe are better pleased with fantasticall and humorous deuises: but I vtter∣ly dislike that fantasticall humour, that writeth onely for his owne priuate praise, and not for some profite to others. If thou shalt finde me poore in Arte and Science, thou must vnderstand the penne is no part of my profession. And thus not to passe the boundes of an E∣pistle, I rest thine in all curtesie.
¶ A Martiall Conference, betweene Captaine Skill and Cap∣taine Pill.
GEntleman, wel ouertaken, I hope you are riding towardes London, whither my selfe am likewise trauailing, and would be glad of good company.
I am trauelling towards London indéede sir, and am glad I haue met with so good company as your selfe doe séeme to be, but I pray you sir, let me craue your name.
Sir, you shal vnderstand that I am by profession a souldier, and haue serued in the French and Low country seruices diuers times, and in some other expeditions I haue had charge, and therefore by such as know me, I am called by the name of Captaine Skill.
Truely sir, I doe loue you so much the better, for I my selfe am likewise a professor of Armes, and am called by the name of Captaine Pill: and therefore I must loue soul∣diers, nay more, I do reuerence them, nay more yet, I doe honor them: and I beléeue, that on• selfe same occasion hath now drawne on our acquaintance, and I thinke we goe to London both of one arrand.
And I pray you sir, what might that be as you doe thinke?
Mary I thinke that this mustering in euerie parte of the realme, and this preparation for the making ready of Page [unnumbered]souldiers, is a signe of same great seruice intended, and I thinke of you as I thinke of my selfe, that being a noble cap∣taine as I am, you would be glad of imployment, as I wold be, and for that purpose you are going vppe to London, to make sute for a company of men, and I promise you so am I
If that be your intent sir, God send you good spéed, but in trueth it is no part of my businesse: I neuer yet made speciall sute for a charge, and I will not beginne now, and yet I haue euermore béene willing and ready to serue my Prince and countrie, and so I will continue as long as it shal please God to giue me life and abilitie of body. But e∣specially in these dayes, when so worthy a Commaunder, so noble an Earle doth indeuour himselfe in his owne person, and hath so honoured his countrie with his exploites, that all Europe doth sound out his praise: first, the magnanimi∣tie of his minde in vndertaking, his resolution and prowesse in performing, his noble and valorous courage in conque∣ring, his mercy to the conquered, his incoragement to those that serue and follow him, his comfort to the one, his curte∣sie to the other, his affabilitie to both, his liberality to all, and his magnificence, as it hath not bin common to Generalles till now of late yeares, so in any enterprise that hée shal vndertake, who would neglect to follow him, that may not onely be said to be Englands Mars, but may also be ter∣med to be Europes Honour?
Captaine Skill, you haue inflamed me, nay you haue mightily inflamed me with an honourable desire, and although hitherto I neuer made triall of my martiall skill before any forraine foe, yet now by the faith of a Souldier I protesh, that whosoeuer be the commaunder, or whither soener the iourney, if I can get charge, eyther of horse or of foote, I wil approoue my selfe, and wil not tarry behinde.
I know not Captaine Pill how I might commend your courage, for me thinks I heare you say you neuer yet haue incountred with any forraigne foe, I pray you sir, where haue you then had charge?
Truely sir I neuer had charge, but once in Finsbury Page [unnumbered]fields, in the mightie incounters betweene the renowned Duke of Shordich, and the puissant Prince Arthur, where I was a Wister in the field, and had the command of such a gallant troupe, that if a man had the leading of them ei∣ther in France or Flaunders, he might be thought a verie vnskilfull Captaine that could not picke out a thousande pounds a yeare amongst them.
You should do wel to procure 150. of them for this expedition which you thinke is now intended: but I pray you sir, haue you neuer had any other command then this that you haue spoken of?
Why do you aske that question?
Because by your owne wordes you should seeme to carrie the title and reputation of a Captaine, againe you say, your iourney nowe towardes London, is to seeke for a charge, nowe both your title and your intent doe argue a farre greater abilitie in you, then you haue hitherto com∣mended in your selfe, for he is not worthy to be called Cap∣taine, nor fit to haue a charge, that hath had no better trai∣ning then Finsburie fields doth afford.
But nowe Captaine Skill, me thinks you skip a lit∣tle beyond your skill, for if you haue beene of that conti∣nuance in seruice as your self doth report of, if you haue not knowne, yet I am sure you haue heard of Captaines of lesse practise then this that I haue spoken of. Why man there be many of our Regiment, that are not onely reputed for Captaines by name (as to be called Master Captain when they walke vppe and downe in Poules, but otherwise by meanes of friendes they haue gotten charge indéede) when some of them knowe not so much as their owne place in the field: but I must tell you, you are too precise if you will not admitte of this: first hee that hath had but the conduc∣ting of souldiours (be they more or lesse) to the water side, though he neuer serued in the field, yet hee is a Captaine, nay he will be a Captaine, hee that hath but seene an en∣signe thrée times spread in the field, though he neuer sawe ensigne of the enemies, he must be a Captaine: he that puts Page [unnumbered]himselfe into the arming doublet, with the poynts with the siluer tagges, tied vp in the pitch of the shoulder, a scarfe a∣bout his arme, and a feather in his cappe, he shal be a Cap∣taine: and he that will gainesay any of these, let him take héede to himselfe: but to dishonour a Captaine deserues no lesse then a stabbe.
I know (indéed) that some of them are as colericke as the Brewers horse, but you shal sée I wil stād out of their way, and I would be loth to dishonour them more then they dishonour themselues, but is not he to be registred a∣mongst your crew of Captaines that will giue money for his charge, and will buy a companie of men, because hee would be a Captaine?
Marie sir I will stande to it he is worthie to be a Captaine, for he that hath money in his purse, and will dis∣burse it to purchase a companie of Souldiours, it argues great valew and honestie tooin him that will do it.
Valure as much as you list sir, but fie vppon that honestie.
Your reason why.
Because, if he be an honest man that buyeth a com∣panie of Souldiours, he shall neuer make his money a∣gaine of them.
And he is a foole that wil lay out his money to losse in this age.
Why then lette vs commend his wit, but not his honestie.
It is no matter sir what you commend or discom∣mend, I warrant you they are at a poynt for that: but there are a number of Souldiours noweadayes, who because they haue had a little more training before an enemie, then we that neuer saw an enemie, doo therefore thinke them∣selues to be so priuileged, that they would haue none to be imployed with charge but themselues, but they are decei∣ued, for perhaps we haue better meanes for the matter then they, for we haue money to procure friends, and we haue friendes to procure vs charge, when sometime they shall Page [unnumbered]go without.
And the most of them when they haue gotten charge, are as skilfull both to deceiue the Prince, and to coosin the Souldiours, as the proudest Captain in England, that hath serued longest.
Fie Captaine Skill I must néedes condemne you now, your words doo stretch too farre, howe vnséemely is it for Souldiours to inuey against Souldiours: what speake you of deceiuing the Prince, when euerie man doth seeke to liue by the Prince? he that hath an office and cannot gain by it, is a foole, and why should not Captaines helpe them∣selues amongst the rest? And for the coosining of the Soul∣diour, what and if a Captaine do now and then gette a crowne out of his Souldiours moneths pay, alas it is no∣thing, it will scarce pay for an ounce of gold lace: and hée that is not gallantly gilded, he is but of the basest sort of Captaines, and therefore they must haue helpes.
I haue knowne Captaines that haue worne both golde and siluer, without any cosonage or other deceit, either to Prince or Souldiour: and to say truly, gold and siluer is fittest for Captaines, for those that may be sayde (indéede) to be Captaines of worth.
There are not many of those, for I know verie few Captaines nowadayes that are worth much, and therfore he that will be a Captaine of worth, he must learne to shift betimes, or it will not be.
Captaine Pill, your construction of a Captaine of worth doth so commend your Martiall skill, that I thinke a man of your experience were more worthie to be made a great officer in the field, then to be so meanely imployed in the place of a priuate Captaine, to haue the command but of a hundred and fiftie poore Souldiours.
I tell you Captaine Skill my words are mysticall, and not to be conceited by euerie ordinarie Souldiour that is but of a darke & cloudy vnderstanding, and for this suffi∣ciency that you finde to be in me, I doe as highly commend your iudgement, that can so readily discerne it, and al∣though Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page [unnumbered]that I haue hitherto hidden my talent, yet now sée∣ing so many men of lesse training then my selfe, are so rea∣die to thrust themselues forward, and many times haue ob∣tained what they thrust so fast for, I will therefore venture my stake amongst the rest, for I sée it is but fortune that ruleth all, vertue helpes little, desert much lesse: Captaines are not so much appoynted for the knowledge they haue gotten by seruice, as for the friendes they are able to make, my Lord he speaks for one, my lady she sues for another: my Lord commendes his man for his stomacke, my Ladie shée prayses her man for his courage: men haue skill to per∣swade, women must not be denied when they sue, and hée that hath a good stomacke and is of a lustie courage, is fitte to be a Captaine.
Indéed valiance is a speciall vertue for a Souldier, if these men may be saide to haue it.
Why who will denie it them, or make any doubt but that they haue it? he that hath liued all the dayes of his life at home amongst his friendes, and neuer sawe an ene∣mie that might hurt him, and now wil make a special sute to be a Captaine, and to appose himselfe into so many pe∣rils, as he knowes not what they are, nor what they mean: who will denie this man to be valiant?
No man that is wise but will confesse him to be as valiant a captaine as euer ran him selfe in to danger with∣out iudgement, or as he that wil leape the hedge before hée hath séene the ditch.
Yet there he some that will saye it is a desperate kinde of holdnes, and they will call it rashnes, and foolish hardines, then they will make destinctions what is true va∣liance indéed, but these distinguishers are fitter for the schoole then for the field.
And I thinke these Captaines had neede to go to schoole with them, to learne a little wit howe to demeane themselues when they come to the field.
Why should you thinke so, do you imagine that martiall knowledge fit for the fielde is to be learned at a Page [unnumbered]schoole?
And how should he come by that martiall know∣ledge, that neuer came in the field?
And wherefore doe men séeke charge, but because they are willing to learne?
Let them first learn, to obey, before they take vpon them to commaund.
It is a base minde in a Gentleman to serue vnlesse he may commaund.
It is a vaine presumptuous minde in any man to séeke to commaund, before he knowes how to commaund.
Do you call it presumption for a Gentleman t• in∣deuoure himselfe to serue his Prince and country?
I say it is the most honourable thing that any gen∣tleman can indeuoure, but I cal it presumption in him that will take vppon him to commaund before he haue experi∣ence how.
And howe is experience sooner attained vnto, then for a man to be in place where he may commaund?
But that experience is at too high a rate, for the vnskilfull Phisitian, and the ignorant Captaine do buy their experience with the price of mens liues, and therefore in the olde time there was great regard had in the choosing of their Captaines, and no man might commaund or haue authoritie, that was vnder thirtie yeeres of age, but Alex∣ander amongst the rest admitted none to the place of a Cap∣taine that was vnder thréescore.
But men were not so capable in those days as they are now, for now there be some, if they haue but séene Soul∣diers trayned on Mile-end-greene, or haue borne office in a Midsummer sight, or haue bin at the fetching home a Maie∣pole, they wil by and by put themselues into the Captaines trayne, and they will looke as big as Haniball the great captain of Carthage, but he that shuld heare their table-talk when they be at their ordinaries, or amongst such company as knowes them not, but by their owne reportes, would thinke that the nine worthies were but fooles in comparison Page [unnumbered]of these men, they will shake off their skermishes, they wil martiall their battells into squares, into triangles, into sheares, into saws, into halfe moones, into snailes, into gées, into esses, and into more proportions then either Langius Vygetius, or Machiuell himselfe did euer knowe of, though he wrote the arte of warre.
Now for the winning of walled townes, the assailing of cittiedales, or the scaling of castles, what fortification so strong, which they will not surprise, but with discharging of two or thrée volies of oathes? And where was there euer Generall, were he neuer so noble, that could performe any seruice, how honourable so euer, which they will not censure and séeme to controule. In one thing they wil say, oportu∣nitie was neglected, in another they will say, aduantage was not taken, heere they wil say, discipline wanted, there againe, foresight was not had, this might haue béene pre∣uented thus, and that might haue béene done with better safetie tother way. Now who can thinke but that these men were crept into the very guttes of martiall skill, that are so skilful to finde all manner of faultes, and so expert be∣sides in all other militarie practise?
For the new discipline, they haue it as freshly at their fingers endes, as he that first founde it out, and they can commaunde with as good a grace. And do but imagine now that I were at a training somewhere about London, mark how I could behaue my selfe.
Souldiers ranke your selues into fiue, drawe forward shot, so, very well done: now rancke your selues into sixe, double your ranckes on the right hand, again as you were, march on faire and easily, double your files on the left hand, open your rancks, close your files.
No more good Captaine Pill, for héere is no body to maintaine the skirmish but you and I, and it is pittie you should appose your selfe to perill, where there is no better rescues at hand.
But howe do you like of my commaunde Cap∣taine Skill? you sée now I could do somewhat: but speake Page [unnumbered]truly, how do you like of it?
There is no man that can dislike of it, it may passe in dispite of all the pages in the court, but you neuer learned this at Finsbury, I am sure of that.
Wheresoeuer I learned it, no matter for that, you see I haue it, & cunning is no burthen, but do you not think my experience sufficient for the conduct of an hundred and fiftie souldiers?
Yes, and enough to cousin them all of their paye: and nowe I perceiue indéed that yong Captaines are farre more capable then they were in Alexanders time, or else they would neuer make so great sute to gette charge, but I sée it is skil that leades them vnto it, and I haue heard of some of those capable Captaines, in place where they haue béene imployed, that if they haue but once mustered 100. men, within one moneth after they will not haue 30. and yet I durst depose for them, that if they were brought to a dayes seruice, they would performe as great skil with that small number, as if they had fiue hundred to commaund.
I think so, and it is no great wonder, for take héed of any man that is once growne so capable that he is apt to take any thing, but I will tell you of a Captaine of a speci∣all vertue, that was once imployed, I will not tell you the place whither, but it is no great matter though I name you the man, it was Captaine Flant, who was sent with a hundred Souldiours to a place of seruice, where he had not stayed long, but he reduced his whole hundred of men in∣to a iust proportion of fiftéene, besides his officers, which was a Lieutenant, an Ensigne, a Sergeant, and a Drum. The 15 he reduced into three Squadrons, which was foure to euerie Squadron, besides the thrée Corporalles.
For his march, he would lightly ranke them into thrée, and his fiftéene men made iust fiue rankes, neuer a man to spare.
For an instant of seruice, vpon any ground of aduantage, he would bid them to turne their faces on the right or left hand, and then they were imbatteled into a broade Page [unnumbered]square, •…ue in front, and thrée in flanke. If vpon the plaine he were inforced to a square battaile, by thrusting in his Ensigne, his number was iust sixtéene, which being drawn into Maniples, of foure made a perfect square, euerie of like strength.
If at any time he were disposed to martiall them into Batalions, he would neuer make aboue three Batalions of his fiftéene men, neither would he admit any more then fiue men to a Batalion, because hee would do all things by proportion and art.
To shew his skill in the new discipline, hee would ranke his fiftéene men into seuen, which made two rankes, and one man to spare, then would he bid them to double their rankes on the right hand, so then he had iust fouretéene in ranke, but where be the files? and this is called the wile∣goose ranke. Now if they had but turned their faces to the left hand, then the file was fouretéene, but where be the rankes? and now they were drawne into an excellent pro∣portion, fitte to haue passed any straight that had not béene wonderfull narrow.
This is inough concerning his discipline, and now I will tell you how he passed a muster.
It fell out, that the Lord Deputie, or Generall, or some bodie it was that had the chéefe commaunde in that place, would himselfe be present at a generall muster, where Captaine Flant amongst the rest, bringing in his muster role, his officers being first called, his Souldiours were now to answere to their names.
There was first called Thomas Tatter, that had neuer a whole ragge to put vpon his backe, not almost so much as would hide his taile. Captaine Flant (quoth my Lorde) if the rest of your companie be in as good plight as this, me thinks they shuld be able to maintein a great daies march, because they are not pestered with too much carriage at their backes.
I warrant you my Lorde (answered the Captaine) you shall finde them all alike, and I hope your Lordship shall sée Page [unnumbered]so seruiceable a companie, as would be glad to get their pay in any place in Christendome: well passe you by Thomas Tatter, who is next?
What Slim, bare legged and barefooted both? it is not yet a quarter of a yeare agoe sithence I gaue you twelue pence to buy brooges, but I sée you haue spent your money at the alehouse: I will tell your Lordshippe, if this man would not sometimes take thrée pottes too many, hée were as braue a footeman as euer marcht vppon two bare féete, and I vse him indeede for my vauntcurrour, to dis∣couer Ambuscados when I march in Bodalia: well passe by Slim Slatter, the next.
come on Nicholas, a most dainty shot my Lorde, and an excellent marke man, I do value him to be worth foure men for his readinesse and skill: he hath but one fault, and that is, he will neuer carrie any pouder in his slaske, I thinke he would sell his soule for good drinke: passe by Nicholas Needie to the next.
a verie lustie fellow, and a speciall Souldiour, for a ward, or any place fortified: he loues not the fielde, but if he gettes into a towne, you shall neuer gette him out againe, till you plucke him out by the eares: Gilbert follow your fellow, and to the next.
an excellent shot, I had rather haue him on my side in the day of seruice, then sixe of the best shotte a∣gaine in the field, that are not of mine owne companie, hee hath lost the seere of his péece, but wee will haue it amen∣ded against the next musters, passe on Tom Trudge, who is next?
a man of a great spright, I haue known when he hath séene two hundred enemies in view, and he hath wisht them all fast bound, both hand and foote, and himselfe amongst the thickest of them all alone, and had but a browne bill in his hand: well passe along Dauie, and to the next.
mine owne countreyman, wee were borne both in a parish, and for seuen yeres togither, I was Page [unnumbered]sure once in a month to finde him in a paire of stocks, or in a pillorie: but for an able Souldiour, I would not leaue him for tenne other in his place: go along Thomas, the next his Camirado.
an excellent skilfull Souldier, more fit to leade others then to be commanded by any, he is so careful in his conduct, that I dare vndertake he would neuer leade his company (with his owne good will) where they should take any harme: Peter follow your Camirado, I do va∣lue that man for his skill to be worth 20 ordinary Souldi∣ers: the next.
an olde Souldier you may sée by all his fur∣niture, it will scarce hang together with very antiquitie: fo∣lowe your fellowes Iohn Dory, to the next.
stand forth man: What I thinke thou hast bin dauncing of Friskin that solde for & hath solde his hat∣band for good ale, but I thinke thou hast solde al the clothes from thy backe for good ale: but there treades not a better souldier vpon this ground this day, and although he be not very sumptuous in his apparel, yet I dare vndertake he shal shoote as farre out of a musket, as he that is clad in sattin and veluet: passe along Sim, who is next?
a man if it were to fight a combate for a kingdome, and not worth so litle as twentie mens pay: but a P. take the Beadles of Bridewell, they haue made him lame of both his armes, but I warrant for his legges, if it come once to running retrait, the proudest of them al can∣not mend him: passe along Laurence, to the next.
if I should speake of this man as I know he deserueth, I might craue patience to take halfe an houres breath. The seueral seruices that he hath séene, aswel vpon plaines, hilles, dales, streights woodes, groues, thickets & all other groundes of aduantage, the dangers that he hath escaped from Constables, Headborrowes, and such other that are the common disturbers of that society, that loues not to medle with her Maiesties Officers, the stratagems he hath deuised to passe watches, wardes and other am∣bushmēts Page [unnumbered]that hau bin layde to intercept him in his passa∣ges, if I should speake particuarly of his peregrinations what he hath séene & past, you would say that if a hundred men should attempt the like, if one escaped scotfrée, all the rest would be hanged. But to speake briefly of his know∣ledge in the arte Militarie, I say he is able to martiall an army of 20000 souldiers, to rancke them into any fit pro∣portion of bataile, either for the encounter in the fielde, or for the assault of a breach, to quarter them, to encampe thē, to bring them before any fortification, to plant them, to in∣trench them, nay, what can he not do that I my selfe can do? And what are an hundred ordinary souldiers to be com∣pared to a man of his seruice?
Héere the Gouernour interrupting Captaine Flant, de∣maunded of him how many there were yet in his roule be∣hinde to be called, the Captaine answered there were yet thrée, then said the Gouernour that maketh iust 15. men by the poule, but as you haue rated them, some one man to be worth foure, some other sixe, some ten, some twentie, and now this last you say at a hundred, by this reckoning you haue mustered already aboue an hundred & fiftie, and you haue pay but for one hundred, me thinks you do hinder your selfe mightilie to keep fifty or thréescore men more then you haue pay for.
My good Lorde (saide the Captaine) I would be loth to cousen my Prince, by taking her pay for a hundred, but I would bring her sixe score to the hundred, if I want of my number by poule, as it may séeme now I want a few, yet if these that I haue be duely considered of according to their worthines (that are all of them especial choice men) I hope her Maiestie may wish she had more such Captaines, that so regardefully doth tender her seruice.
But saide the Gouernour, your men do make no such shewe as you do commend in them, for there is not any one amongst them that hath a good garment about him, nor almost a paire of shooes to his féet. O my Lorde (an∣swered the Captaine) that is but their owne humilitie, they Page [unnumbered]cannot abide any pride, fie vpon it; and fie vpon these gar∣ded garments, these fethers and scarffes, they cannot abide them.
But how now Captaine Skill? me thinkes you are halfe a∣sléep, while I haue beene mustring of an hundred men, and yet haue past but twelue by the powle.
You are deceiued Captaine Pill, I am not asléepe; nay I am not so much as drowsie, for all this while that you haue séene me thus silent, I haue bin learning of Cap∣taine Flant, first the martiall skill that he vsed in his order and discipline, then the gallant shewe of selected Souldiers that he brought to the musters: but especially his fidelitie to her Maiestie, that would take pay for an hundred and serue her with fifteene, a great argument of his dutifull care.
but you must consider of his souldiers, what choice men they were, what speciall skill they had, and therefore how to be estéemed.
That is a matter indéed of great consideration, a very choyce company, some chosen from the stockes, some from the pillory, some from Bridewel, some I think from New gate, and all fit for Bedlem.
And why should you thinke them to be fit for Bed∣lem?
Who were he that should sée them so betottered, & betorne, but would rather thinke them to be mad men then souldiers? but how was Captaine Flant himselfe, I hope he was better suted for a Captaine?
You may be sure Captaine Flant wanted no sutes that was fit for a Captaine, and I wil not giue a penny for a captaine nowadayes that is not al to be gilded.
And two pence apéece were a great deale more thē some of them be worth, when they haue gilded themselues as well as they can.
You would make lowe prizd captaines, and I per∣ceiue we should haue captaines dogge cheape, if you might haue the rating of them.
I promise you I would value them by their expe∣rience, Page [unnumbered]not by their apparell, by their déedes, not by their wordes, for the Cornish diamond doth shine, yet but a coun∣terfeit, and the bray of an Asse is no lesse hideous to the sim∣ple than the roare of a Lion.
These are fowle comparisons, and great indignitie to the reputation of Captaines to be made Counterfeites, or to be reputed for Asses.
Captaine Pil, you mistake your text, I would bée loth to preiudice a captains page by my spéeches, much lesse therefore his maister: and is the perfect diamond the lesse to be estéemed of, because it is sometimes counterfeited? or may not a man say, an asse is but an asse, though he be wrapt in a lions skinne, without any offence to the lion himselfe?
But I speake of no coūterfets, I speake of captains, such as haue had charge, and haue had the leading of souldi∣ers in the field.
And I speake of no captaines that can either leade or commaund with skill, I speake but of counterfeits, that can doe neither of both, and yet wil take vppon them to be captaines.
I cannot tel what those differences be that you wold séeme to make betwéene captaines and captaines, but I call him a captaine that hath had charge in the field, and I think him to be skilfull enough, that hath courage enough to en∣counter with his enimie.
Then Iacke may be a Gentleman, because he hath bestrid my lord Maiors mule, but set a soole on horse backe, and he wil either catch a fall, or ride his horse out of breath: and for the corage that you speake of, who is so bold as blind bayard? But because you say you doe not vnderstand what the differences should be that I should make betwéene cap∣taines and captaines, I am contented to acquaint you with thus much what it is that I meane.
There is no estate, be it empire, kingdome, or other com∣mon wealth whatsoeuer, that may be saide to be established or surely setled, either from forraine inuasion or intestine re∣bellion, which is not strengthned, staid, vpholden, and prop∣ped Page [unnumbered]vp by force of armes. This was the cause that Salomon, who in the holy scriptures is called Rex pacificus, and was stil busied with the building of the holy Temple, forgat not yet to furnish his garrisons with expert men of warre, hor∣ses and charriots, neither hath there béene any well gouer∣ued commonwelth, which hath neglected this care, but they haue béene at all times, in all ages, and in all places especi∣ally prouident in this behalfe.
It would be tedious for me to deliuer, how chéereful they haue béene in incouraging, how liberal in rewarding, how industrious in training, how diligent in instructing and pra¦ctising of men to inable them with skill, and to make them expert in the knowledge and feates of war, when they were not ignorant, but would alwayes acknowledge, that both prince, country, life, libertie, goods, law, iustice, religion, and all together, depended in the skil of the souldier, and the knowledge of armes.
If the matter be of this importance, can you blame prin∣ces, that haue euermore béene scrupulous in the appointing of their armies, and would neuer admit of any to be condue∣tors, leaders, and commaunders, but such as by continu∣ance and practise were found to be of approoued skil, and of tried and knowne experience, and not to pester their squa∣drons with yonglings of little wit and lesse vnderstanding, who, because they haue séene souldiers alittle trained and made ready, or perhappes haue serued some moneth or sixe wéekes where they might sée alittle, wil vpon this presume to thrust themselues into charge, foolishly taking vpon them that they are not able to performe, when by the indiscretion of such a captaine a whole army may be ouerthrown, which may concerne no lesse than the subuersion of a kingdome, and the losse of a princes crowne.
The matter therefore is not lightly to be regarded, thogh I do not amplifie and inforce it as I could, and her Maiestie hath payed dearely for the seruice of some of these hasly mad captaines, in some places I could name, if I were disposed to inferre presidents: but letting this passe, if for the attain∣ment Page [unnumbered]of a séely occupation no lesse than seauen yéeres, ap∣prentiship is required, before a man may be thought suffici∣ent in skill or admitted to trade, how happeneth it then that in the Arte Militarie, wherein there was neuer man so wel practised (no though he had serued seuen times seuen yeares) which was not yet to séeke, and euerie day to learne, and yet nouices that haue not bene of seuen moneths practise, nay sometimes not of seauen wéekes training haue béene thrust into charge, that hath neither skil nor science to command, no nor to performe the least duty that appertaineth to a cap∣taine of vnderstanding.
It is not enough for a man that shall haue charge, to march before his company with a feather in his cappe, and a gilt leading staffe in his hand, not althogh he haue daring enough in him to bring his men to a hot incounter, for For∣tune is in nothing more variable than in the action of war, and more victories haue béene lost for want of skill, than for want of strength or corage: but if it be true that he that hath courage enough may be thought to haue skil enough, it were happy for our English nation, that are generally a people of so great courage and valure, as they are not agaïne to be se∣conded with the like, and yet euermore ouer reached by po∣licie, sometimes with the barbarous Irish.
The Captaine therefore that relieth so much in his cou∣rage without skill, is like a blind man in a dangerous pas∣sage, and thinketh scorne to be led: for although that cou∣rage be an especiall ornament, wherewith a Captaine should be iudued, yet courage without skill is not true va∣liance, but rather may be sayde to be rash and foolish hardi∣nesse, for so it hath euer beene defined by the wise men of the world.
That courage (saith Cicero) that is forward to danger without iudgement, may rather beare the name of lewd hardinesse, then of manlinesse: The want of knowledge bréedeth the want of skill (sayth Xenophon: And Solomon sayth, a wise man is euer strong, a man of vnderstan∣ding increaseth in strength. And Cato prescribeth thrée e∣speciall Page [unnumbered]speciall vertues that ought to be in a Captaine, that is to say, Experience Policie, and Valiance.
Here you may sée, that although Valiance be a speciall ornament for a Captaine, yet it martheth in the rereward, preferring the other twoo as more worthie, for it is not i∣nough for the valiant man to do what he can, but hee must likewise take héede that he attempt nothing but what hée ought, and therefore without experience he shal runne into many errors, and where Valiance serueth onely but for ex∣ecution, Policie is he that prepareth the meane.
But me thinks Captaine Skill, you are somewhat too nice in mincing of this word Valiance, which I do take to bee a naturall gift, but you would seeme to couple it I know not to what skill, and would admitte of no man to be valiant, that were not almost as wise as Solomon.
It I haue bin too nice in the mincing of my words, they are the fitter for your queas•ie stomacke, which I per∣ceiue to be neither of sounde disgestion, nor of sauorie vn∣derstanding, for although I do not thinke that euerie va∣liant man must necessarily be almost as wise as Solomon, yet of this I can vndoubtedly assure you, that there was neuer foole that might be sayde to haue any valiance at al,
But I speake not of extremities, for say that a braue and gallant minded Gentleman would couragious∣ly take a charge vpon him, though he neuer in his life had serued before an enemie, whereby to attaine to any know∣ledge, may not this man yet be esteemed for valiant? or would you not putte some difference betwéene him and a foole?
Iust as much difference as is betweene a gréene Goose and a gosling, and for his valiance you do partly know my minde: but you say that I haue alreadie minced the word ouer nicely, but I wil mince it a little better, be∣cause I would be loath you shoulde hurt your teeth in she chewing.
Valiance is a vertue that fighteth for equitie and iustice, for nothing may be holden for honest, that is voyde of iu∣stice, Page [unnumbered]and as that knowledge, skil, or. policie, that is seuered from iustice, is rather called subtiltie then wisedome, and in his best account is estéemed but for craft and deceit, so that courage that is forward to danger, more for vain glo∣rie and greedie desire, then for a common profite and a ge∣nerall good, is rather to be termed desperate boldnesse then valiance.
There is nothing therefore more inciting to true Chri∣stian valiance, then when a man shall remember he goeth to fight in a iust and honest cause: for when I know I shall aduenture my life in the maintenauce of Gods true reli∣gion, in the seruice of my Prince, or defence of my country, whether I liue or die, in this case I may liue or die in the seruice and feare of God: my quarrel is good, here is no cor∣rosiue to my conscience, that may dismay or terrifie me, and therfore I will adde thus much more, there is no man may be said to be truely valiant indeede, that is not truely reli∣gious, and hath the feare of God before his eies: for which cause Machiuell the diuels politician, in his politike Pre∣scriptions, thinketh that it is not conuenient for a Cap∣taine, to be ouermuch inclined to religion, because (sayth he) if he be too zealous, it might inféeble his courage: but the Captaines that he thus inticeth, be such as he other∣wise induceth to all manner of fraude, deceit, and iniurie, neither to make conscience of their quarrell, nor by what meanes they oppresse, so they may ouercome, for he knewe well inough, that if there were any feeling in them of true religion, that it would be a checke to their ambition and pride, and thereby an abatement of their harebraind rash∣nesse, which by them is called courage and valiance.
But let Machiuell go, and the rest to beare him compa∣nie, that do thinke that Christian valiance consisted other∣wise then in the maintenance of iustice and right, or that a man may be said to be truely valiant, that hath no respect to the equitie of his cause, nor remorse to his God.
Why then you grant that the Captaine that fea∣reth God may yet be valiant, though hee be vnskilfull.
If you will grant againe, that if a Captaine fea∣reth God as he should, he would rather be vncaptained, thē to be a conducter of men to the slaughter by his vnskil∣fulnesse.
Captaine Skill you do ouer reach me, but you can∣not discaptaine vs thus, for we will be captaines and haue charge too, say you what you list, or the best friends that wee haue shall faile vs.
It shal neuer offend mee, I will still wish that your seruice may prooue but halfe so beneficiall to the Prince, as I doubt not but you will make it profitable to your selues, and I warrant your friendes may then haue greater ioy of your preferment, then hope of any hurt that you will do to an enemie.
In good faith captaine Skill you are too precise, you are vp with your iustice, equitie, good conscience, and I can∣not tell what: I tel you captaine Skill, it is more preacher∣like then souldierlike: then you would cram more religion into one captaine then would suffice for thrée or foure ho∣nest men, it is better for a man (in this age) to be wise in re∣ligion, then to be so ful of zeale as you would haue him, and I tell you for my part I am iust of his religiō, that hauing seueral daughters, would not sticke to marry one to a papist, and another to a protestant: and I tell you againe they are no fooles that are of that religion.
Captaine Pill, holde you still in that tract, for you are nowe in the right hie way to promotion, and you may perhaps get an office when it shal fall, and therefore cling fast to that religion, for I tell you it is full of policie.
If it be so ful of policy, it is the fitter for mee that am a Captaine, for I heard you say, that policie was one of the three especiall vertues, that Cato would haue appertinent to a Captaine.
But in these daies there are many things, that do passe vnder the title of policie, that in Catoes time they would haue called flat knauery.
But I speake of the time as it is nowe, and you say Page [unnumbered]there be two vertues more, that Catoes Captaynes must be inspired with, and that is Experience and Valiance.
Now for experience, though I haue it not in such a forme of perfect discipline for the martialling of men, as I thinke Cato speaketh of in y• place, yet I haue one principle, which being wel obserued, may stand a Captaine in as much stead for his profit and cōmoditie, as any experience Cato could prescribe.
May I craue of you what principle that might be?
A matter of nothing among friends, but yet for him that is crept into a charge, & would be glad to make some gaine by his company, he must in no wise thinke that bri∣bery is sinne, or whatsoeuer he thinkes, let him be sure that he neuer open his lips to speake against it,
Perhaps you think that the Clerke of the Chequer would sometimes be angry with that Captain that should speake against bribery, and that would be the worse for him when he should passe his musters.
Perhaps I did not so much as thinke of the Clerke of the Chequer, but take this for a maxime, he that knowes both how to giue, & how to take a bribe, may run through any affaires whatsoeuer.
If you be so sure as you make semblance, wée wit set it downe, Probacum est. And now for Policie and Ex∣perience I perceiue you are very well furnished, but what say you now for Valiance?
He that will say I am not valiant, swoones I will giue him the stabbe.
Why is that such an argument of valiance, to stab a man sodainly before he be prepared to make defence?
Yea marrie is it sir, & you may easily know a Cap∣taine, if he be of any gallant courage euen by that same worde stabbe, for that must be still at his tongues end, then he must haue change of oathes, (for that is a wonderfull grace to a valiant man) and to thrust them from him as if he would make his audience to tremble, and heauen it selfe to shake but with the very breath of his displeasure. Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉
Page [unnumbered]These be infallible arguments of a valerous minde in∣déed, but you would tye valiance to iustice and conscience, and I cannot tell what: but what affinity hath valiance with iustice & conscience? the one is fit for the kings bench, the other for the Chancerie, and what haue souldiers to do, with matters of iustice, when you shall neuer see a Iustice of peace, that with his good will doth loue to come amongst them in place where they are?
Now for conscience, I thinke there is no man so vngod∣ly that hath not a speciall care of it, and I beléeue (for the greatest number) of as good remorce as the wolfe that went to sir Iohn to be shriuen, who hauing made a sorrowfull confession of his sinnes, was inioyned by his ghostly father for penance, to fast twēty foure houres, during which space, he might eate no more meate then in his conscience was worth aboue three halfe pence, the Wolfe going homeward met in the way with an ewe and her lamb, and being very hungry, yet hauing respect to his conscience (as the priest had inioyned him) valewed the ewe to be worth a peny, and the lambe to be worth a halfepeny, and thus did eat them vp both with a good conscience.
Well Captaine Pill I would that woluish con∣science were not in their bossomes that can do more hurte in England, then a hundred thousand souldiers are able to doo in Spaine.
A hundred thousand souldiers were able for to ouer∣runne all Spaine.
But a hundred of those wolues were able for to spoyle all England.
And hée that wil make himself a shéep, it is no mat∣ter though the wolues do eate him.
But these wolues are able to make Iack a napes a shéepe, a wise man a foole, and a foole a wise man.
Those are metamorphosing Wolues, but can they not make knaues honest men?
That they wil neuer do, but they wil sooner make honest men knaues.
Let those woolues go to the gallowes for me, and let not vs that are souldiers séeme to contend y• one against the other, but let vs learne of them.
What would you haue vs learne of them, to goe to the gallowes with them do you meane?
Let them goe to the gallowes by themselues that haue deserued it, and let vs learne of them to be wise, let vs learne of them to thriue and helpe our selues, and lets learne of them to runne smoothely through the world, for those fel∣lowes I warrant you can bite when they do not barke.
An ill condition that same, for I remember a foolish tale of a noble man sometimes here in England, who bear∣ing mallice to a poore gentleman that dwelt not farre from him, did by many meanes so couertly and slily wring and oppresse him, that the poore Gentleman, finding howe the game went, thought it best to séeke vnto him, and with sub∣missiue spéeches besought his lordship, not to stand gréeuous vnto him, protesting that he had neuer offended him to his knowledge, but would be glad to tender vnto him any ser∣uice that might be fauourably accepted of.
Why (quoth my lord) what should make you to vse these spéeches vnto me? My good lord (answered the other) I do finde my selfe to be crossed and hindered by many meanes, and I do vndoubtedly know that it is your lordships disple∣sure borne vnto me, that doth thus ouer-burthen me.
Why then (saide the noble man) if you do finde your selfe so ouerborne by me, you see then I can bite, though I barke not.
I do sée it, and féele it (my good Lord, answered the other) but I protest, if I had a dogge that were of that qualitie, I would hang him as soone as euer I came home.
And I promise you captaine Pil, I am of this Gentlemans minde, I do not like of these flearing curres, that will first fawne in a mans face, and after bite him by the shinnes, I woulde such curres were hanged (say I) and these base de∣meanours of all others, are vnfitting for souldiers.
I pray you captaine Skil, what is it that you do think Page [unnumbered]to be best befitting for a souldier?
I haue already tolde you, there is nothing more ho∣norable in a souldier than true christian valiance, which ex∣pelling all particular affectations (with inuincible courage) fighteth but only for equity and right, for what can be more blessed then this iustice and right, whereby we resraine all iniurie and wrong, giuing to euery one what to him apper∣taineth?
But you stand vpon the etymologie of wordes, and you would make Valiance to be but a deriuatiue, drawing it from Iustice, Conscience, Religion, and I wot not what, but if your distinctions be of worth, I know but a few cap∣taines in England, that may be saide to be valiant, and that were an ill turne for her Maiestie when shée should haue oc∣casion to imploy them.
You say I woulde deriue Valiance from Iustice, Conscience, Religion, and you knowe not what, but you would deriue it from stabbing, swashing, swearing, blasphe∣ming, and it makes no matter what: but for valiant Cap∣taines, no doubt but her Maiestie is better prouided than your vnderstanding doth serue to conceiue of, if not, shée might pay dearely for it in the time of seruice, for what suc∣cesse might be hoped for by these warres, that are supplyed by men altogether irreligious, prophane, godlesse, and some∣times vnskilful withal: far be it from her Maiesties thoght, to put her trust in those men that haue neither trust nor fear of God, or to commit her quarrel to their fortunes, whome God hath not promised to blesse, but hath confidently pro∣nounced against them his malediction and curse.
Without doubt (captaine Skil) you do too much ouer runne your selfe, your words do rubbe a great many Gen∣tlemen ouerthwart the shins more than you are aware of: what and if a Gentleman sometimes, of a braue and lustie courage should sweare half an houre together by the clocke? a wise conclusion I promise you, that for swearing of two or thrée dozen of oathes, a man should therefore be condemned to be irreligious, prophane and godlesse, a prettie iest, fitter Page [unnumbered]for a foole to sporte at, than for a wise man to beléeue, and for these fellowes that prate so much of religion, that haue no∣thing for an othe but, yes verily, and no truely, and I pray you sweare not, trust such a one he that listeth, but I can tel you what you shall finde of him: but away with the hypo∣crite, and giue me him that cannot dissemble, who speaking what he thinketh, wil sweare what he speaketh: here is no double dealing, this man hath neither falshoode forged in his tongue, nor passion smothered in his heart, but his words, his oathes, his countenaunce, his demeanour, and all his whole gouernement, shal bewray and lay open, howe hée is affected, to what he is inclined, and whereunto hée is dispo∣sed.
But for a man to expresse his anger in a milde and softly maner, it is more Meacocke-like than Souldier-like, howe disgraceful were it for a captaine vpon any discontentment, when he should thunder forth his furie, & that with such hor∣rour as the heauens should tremble at the very eccho of his oathes, but neglecting this captaine-like demeanour, as though he were halfe afraide, will pinch me foorth an oath; swearing like one of the Quéens silke women, now by gods dainty deare, I will not disgest so great indignitie, and by cocke and pie, I will be reuenged of the iniurie.
How ill beséeming were this for a Souldier? but most o∣dious and lothsome for a captaine: but these thréedbare oths are most fit for thréedbare fellowes, and let souldiers shew themselues in all their demeanours, lik men, and not like meacockes.
Without doubt captaine Pill, you haue spoken as wel in the commendation of swearing, as if you had béene a graduate in that profession: but yet for the courage that you would thereby attribute to those that doe vse it, it is like the commendation that a noble mans foole did sometimes giue to a merchant of London in the praise of his wiues ho∣nestie, which (as I remember) fell out in this manner:
A noble man that was inuited by a merchant of London to a dinner, brought with him a foole, who being but a natu∣rall, Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page [unnumbered]was yet so ful of sport (which pleased so well his Lorde and maister) that he woulde neuer haue this foole from his héeles: and comming to the merchants house, he founde a great Ape that was tied in a chaine without in the courte, with whome the foole incountering, the Ape amongst our newfangled fellowes, was not to learne, but had gotte the Mop, the Mowe, the Mump, the Nod, the Shrug, the Base∣les mains, the Congée, and all the rest of those graces; that are vsed by our Fantastikes in these dayes.
And the foole againe, hee could dowke with the Friar, looke askaunce with the Physitian that were casting of a womans water, grinne with the yong heire that had late∣ly buried a miserable father, gape with him that waited for a benefice, frowne with him that was chaunced sixe and seauen and all to ten, yet lost both by and maine: to be short, he could change his lookes, and make as many madde faces as he that takes Tabacco.
This glée betwéene the Foole and the Ape made the com∣pany mery, but specially my lord who laught heartily to sée the gréeting and entertainment that was betwéene them: at the last, the foole turning to the goodman of the house, asked of him, who that same was that he had so tied vp, whom the marchant answered, that it was one of his boyes: nowe by my troth (said the foole) it is a very pretty boy, and I war∣rant him, it he liue, he wil prooue a very good fellow.
Thus leauing the Ape, they were no sooner entred into the Merchants house, but the Foole espied a great Munkie. What saide the foole to the merchant, is this another of thy boyes? Yea mary is it Robin (said the marchant) this is an other of my boies, and as honest a man as the other, though he be somewhat yonger. Well (saide the foole) I warrant thée thou hast an honest woman to thy wife: Why so Ro∣bin (said the marchant) how knowest thou that? It must needes be (said the foole) thy boyes be all of them so like thy selfe.
Nowe I can not sée but that this commendation thus gi∣uen, doth as fitly concerne the womans honestie, as the prai∣ses Page [unnumbered]you haue so much indeuoured, may concerne any mans corage or valiance, for the babes that you so much set forth, they are but like the marchants boyes, this swearing, this staring, and this blaspheming, which you woulde haue so captaine like, they are all but Apes and Munkies.
I cannot tel (captain Skil) what construction I shuld make of your historie: but I hope you doe not meane to giue me the foole by circumstance.
I hope (captaine Pil) I shal not néede to do that, for if you were thorowly acquainted with me, you would saie there were no circumstance in me.
You say you professe Armes, and I am contented to be∣léeue you, you take vpon you to be a captaine, yet you neuer had charge but in Finsbury fields, you thinke that any man that is valiant is fit to haue conduct, & you cannot tell what true valiance meaneth. Once againe therefore I am con∣tented to tell you, euery vertue hath his counterfeit follow∣er, for as deceit, sometimes créeping in is called Pollicie, so Rashnes shrowdeth it selfe vnder the title of Fortitude: and as it is true, that all valiant men are hardy, so it is likewise as true, that all hardy menne are not valiant: and there∣fore briefly to conclude, he is not truely saide to be valiant, that is not first strengthened by God, and fortified againe by his owne skil and knowledge.
Now concerning Captaines, it is not the place of a Cap∣taine that dignifieth the vnworthy person, who is not able to execute it, but it is the worthinesse of him that is appoin∣ted to the place, that dignifieth and renowneth the rowme.
The title of Captaine hath béene an honourable reputa∣tion, it is now growne to be a matter of scorne to be called Captaine, when so many base and vnworthie persons will néedes march vnder that title, that knoweth not the least duty that appertaineth to a Captaine.
The antiquity would neuer admit of any Captaine that was either insufficient in skill, or openly detected for vice: swearing bréedeth hatefulnesse to al honest eares, couetous∣nesse extorting both of Prince and Souldier, pride bringeth Page [unnumbered]with it disdaine: but how odious a thing it is to sée a Cap∣taine himselfe to be glittering in golde, and to sée his poore souldiers to followe with no hose to their legges, nor shooes to their feete.
Cato being Censurer to make choyse of a General in the Panonian wars, openly disgraced and dismissed Publiu•, because hee had séene him walke the stréetes of Rome per∣fumed.
And as they were thus precise in the choyse of their cap∣taines, so they were as héedefull, not suffering them to en∣ter into vnlawfull actions, that were voyde of iustice, ho∣nestie, or pietie: they punished nothing with more seueritie then those enterprises that were either attempted against commaundement, or vndertaken against reason: but as they punished those victories that were attained by lewd and foolish hardinesse, so misfortune diminished not his re∣putation, that attempted with discretion, neither attribu∣ting cowardlinesse to ill successe, nor valiance to good for∣tune.
The campe in those dayes was a schoole of honour, iu∣stice, obedience, dutie, and loyaltie, but now a denne of de∣ceit, trecherie, théeuerie, robberie, and all manner of im∣pietie.
But if this regard in the choosing of captaines were v∣sed by the antiquitie so many yeares agoe, when armies vsed to appoynt the field, & when their whole forces were brought to an incounter, where the weakenesse of a cap∣taine might be the better borne withall, where there were so many superior officers to direct him, howe much more rather should we be more circumspect in these dayes, in the appoynting of our captaines, when his skill and knowledge doth not onely concerne the safetie or losse of many mens liues, (which euerie good captaine should preferre before the killing of his enemies) but especially seruice standing now as it doth, most comely in skirmishes, where the cap∣taine is not holpen, but with the aduantage of his owne experience? I wonder therefore how so many insufficient Page [unnumbered]men dare oppose themselues to vndertake a matter of so great importance, where their want of knowledge may sometimes be the occasion of too much rashnesse, and some∣time againe leade them into timeritie and want of cou∣rage, which may concerne no lesse then the losse of all to∣gither.
You say there is no circumstance in you, and then your plaine meaning must follow thus, you would not ad∣mit of any man to haue conduct, but he that hath experi∣ence, and I am contented to allow you that, but here is the matter, you thinke no man can attaine to this experience, that hath not serued in Flanders or in France: you say I haue serued but in Finsburie fields, and you sée me to make but a trifle of that: but captaine Skill, to deale without cir∣cumstance, as you say you haue done with me, and to tell you in as plaine termes as you haue told me, I thinke you do not know from whence experience growes, nor where it is to be sought for, you thinke no where but in Flanders or in France, but sir, you are deceiued, neither is it long train∣ing and much exercise that makes euerie man fitte to bee a captaine, although there is no man so vnapt, but with vse is made more perfect: but that experience that is fitte for a captaine, and that is worthie to carrie the credite of Mar∣tiall skill (indéede) is to be attained vnto without crossing the seas, nay, without any manner of training at all, and that by two especiall meanes.
I pray you lets heare the first.
The first is, when almost euerie ordinarie about London may be sayde to be an Academie of martiall skill, where many times those captaines that are of our Regi∣ment shall spende you the whole mealetide, be it dinner or supper, with nothing but martiall discourses, dilating of of∣fices, of orders, of lawes, of disciplines, of stratagems, of watching, of warding, of charging of retyring, of offēding, of defending, of winning, of loosing, of approaching, of sur∣prising, and you shall neuer heare them but they will still conclude with victorie, and therein consisteth their skill, Page [unnumbered]that they will euermore be conquerours, they will neuer loose by any misfortune, and yet but in one dinners discourse they will settle the king of France into a quiet gouernment, they wil banish the Spaniards from out the low countries, they wil reforme Ireland, they wil thrust the king of Spaine cleane out of Portingall, they wil take from him his Indies, and they will not forget to eate their meate, and to drinke thrée or foure healthes.
What seruice hath there beene, or may be so performed, which shall not be there lectured and read of a commenta∣rie drawne from the circumstances, euerie parcell para∣phrased and altogither metamorphosed.
Captaine Pill, as long as I haue liued, and as ma∣ny places as I haue trauailed, I could neuer tell whither to go where I might heare a lecture of the art Military to be read before, but now I perceiue it is at your ordinaries where you vse to dine and suppe.
Now you know where experience is to bee sought for, but from whom is it to be learned, what from your low countrey Souldiours onely do you thinke? no sir, there is no such matter, yet herhaps some of these readers haue been in France or in Flanders a fortnight or three weekes, but what is this in comparison of their skill, or how should they attaine to this grounded experience, that neuer saw an ene∣mie surprised in the field, and yet they will performe grea∣ter conquests but sitting at a table, then euer did Alexander when he conquered the world? you may easily thinke now this is not a monethes training in the fielde, that could thus inable these men, but that there is in them such fur∣ther science and art, as doth tarre surmount their fielde ex∣perience.
I thinke it be one of the seuen liberal sciences that doth thus inable them, and I beleeue this excéeding skill consisteth especially in the Art of Asse-trologie.
Your coniecture is pretie, and there is some ground to leade you vnto it, because by Astrologie they may cal∣culate both of fortunate and infortunate houres, and a cap∣taine Page [unnumbered]of that skill may helpe himselfe in all his enterprises, but for these men, they are not able onely to controule what is alreadie past, but they are of like abilitie to censure any thing that is yet to come, for let there be any enterprise vn∣dertaken, or seruice intended, and they will say aforehand what will be the successe, as soone as euer they doe heare of it.
It is wonderfull knowledge that you speak of, and I thinke it euerie way comparable with the phisition, that if he did but looke of a Cowes water, could tell how manie pintes of milke she would giue in a yeare: and now I per∣ceiue that the first of your two especiall meanes where mar∣tiall skil is to be sought for, is at a London ordinarie: now me thinks your second should be in a Barbers shoppe, for there be many learned discourses handled, or else I haue heard lies.
The second meane whereby to attaine to the full perfection of Militarie skil, is by reading of bookes, Lucul∣lus by that onely studie, became one of the noblest Cap∣taines of all the Romanes: & is it any maruaile, when there we may finde written a perfect forme, as well of orders, disciplines, stratagems, and whatsoeuer hath béene obser∣ued, practised, and experimented by the most skilfull Cap∣taines of all ages, and what knowledge our predecessors hath attained vnto by fortie yeares studie, we may part∣ly comprehend in one moneths reading.
A man if he haue séene the accidents what hath happened in the warres thirtie or fortie yeares, it may be sayd he hath séene much, but in bookes, what hath béene performed in a thousand, may be ouerlooked in a verie few houres.
I will confesse where experience is holpen by lear∣ning, there experience is farre more excellent, witte more pregnant and policie more readie, for without art who can conceiue the ordering and disposing of men into seuerall formes of battaile, and sodainely to alter them againe into new proportions, vpon new occasions, or what memorie can containe so many formes, and so many proportions for Page [unnumbered]all manner of numbers without Arithmetike: againe, for fortifications, who can comprehend any small knowledge in it, or any ingenious instruments, that may be either apt for offence or defence, that hath not some skill in Ge∣ometrie?
And as art and science is thus beneficiall to Martiall knowledge, so the reading of bookes may be of like impor∣tance, to giue giue vs light how warres haue béene arered, pro∣secuted, and performed, but he that hath no better experi∣ence then his reading, is as fitte to be a Captaine, and to haue the conducting of men to the fielde, as he that hath but read the art of Nauigatiō may be fit to conduct a ship to the sea: for although Galene furnisheth the phisition with ap∣prooued medicines for euerie disease, yet he were a despe∣rate patient that in an extremitie of sicknes would venture to take Phisicke of him that hath neuer had better practise then his reading.
Thus I perceiue you will not admitte that a man may attaine to any perfection in Martiall skill, by reading or by the studie of his booke, but he must néedes goe séeke it in the French or Low countrey seruices: and you do wel to arrogate to your selues this science and knowledge, but there are some other that are of a contrarie opinion, who do thinke, that amongst al the rest that doe professe armes, they must néedes be most insufficient, that haue had their onely training but in those tumultuarie and licentious warres, where neither order, discipline, nor any forme of tuo militia was euer obserued.
But what wars are these that are so tumultuary and licentious as you speake of?
The tumultuarie warres of Flanders, and the li∣centious warres of France, which haue beene first vnderta∣ken by sedition, passion, and faction, and sithence continu∣ed by spoyle, disobedience, confusion, and disorder, where the precepts and prescriptions of the great Captaines that haue serued in the well formed warres of Emperours and Kings, hath béene neglected, despised, and set at naught, by Page [unnumbered]newfangled fellowes lately start vp, with too much ouer∣wéening of their owne experience, who vnder the pretence of skill haue confounded all skill left vnto vs by the anti∣quitie, and in the steed thereof haue set vp a discipline of li∣centious libertie, of spoyling, of robbing, of disobedience, and disorder.
I would not for forty shillings that any wise man in England should be of this opinion, or that any foole were so madde to beléeue it.
I can assure you it hath bin confidently perswaded, by some that are not only knowne to be of a glorious wit, but also of no lesse vnderstanding in matters military, it is likewise receiued and beléeued, and by no sooles, but by a great number of men of all sortes, that do not only thinke those wars to be licentious, tumultuary, disordered, begun, maintained, and continued, against all right and honestie, but it is further beléeued amongst them, that those country seruices are vnfit to make a souldier.
But those men that wil not beléeue that those coun∣try seruices are fit to make a souldier, will easily beléeue that one of those country priestes may make a god.
I know not that, but what is this to the purpose?
Because if their beléefe be not méere madnes, it is a matter of more importāce to make a souldier thē to make a god, for they wil not denie but a priest may make a god but with thrée wordes speaking, but they wil not confesse how those wars will bréed a souldier in thirtie yeares training, it is no matter therefore what they affirme or denie in any thing, that are so blinde and senslesse in euery thing.
But for al that captaine Skill, there be many parti∣culars inferred against your Low-countrie captaines, that are both odious and reproachful to be recited, and yet are so receiued, disgested, & belieued for matters of trueth, as wil not easily againe be disswaded to the contrary.
And may I craue to heare some of those particulars what they be?
I will not sticke with you for that, but will recite Page [unnumbered]some of them as I haue heard them aleadged, neither will I speake of the low country seruices, how they haue béene managed in these latter times, but how they were abused, corrupted, and confounded, before my L. of Leicester came into that country, sith which time, those abuses, corrupti∣ons, and confusions then hatched vp, haue bin retained vn∣til this day, and are yet preiudicial to the lawes, disciplines, and ordinances left to vs by the great captaines of former ages, as in some particulars I will héereafter deliuer. But now a little of the seruices themselues, and first to speake of the intestine warres so many yéeres continued in Fraunce, where they haue not had any possible meanes to maintaine any other then a deformed and disordered Militia, by rea∣son of the long continuance of those troubls and dissentions, whereby the rentes, reuenues, and other aydes and supplies of treasure, haue so failed and wanted amongst them, that they haue not bin able to pay their armies, whereby to con∣taine their men of warre in any discipline or order.
The like again is to be said of the Low countries, where both Mercenaries and subiects haue serued, but vnder a po∣pular gouernment, consisting of diuers heades, where the hirelings of seuerall nations were drawne together, who through want of pay, (and hauing no other hope of reward for extraordinary desert) liued only by forraging, filching, spoiling, and stealing.
From hence it is not only to be presupposed, but may ra∣ther certainly be concluded, that such officers captaines and souldiers whosoeuer, that haue had their training & pra∣ctise in such licentious and tumultuary seruices (be they sub∣iects or mercenaries) are neuer fit after to serue in any refor∣med warres, who will not be reduced to cōtaine themselues vnder any seueritie of lawes martiall, where order or disci∣pline should be duly obserued.
These allegations (captaine Pill) that you haue here inferred with such pregnancy and skill, we may well deride them into three parts.
You meane you may diuide them into thrée parts, Page [unnumbered]I am sure you will not deride nor scoffe at any thing that hath beene formerly auouched by men of great grauitie and wit: but let vs heare your diuision.
Well, séeeing you will not haue it a derision, the summe of what you haue sayde is thus much in effect.
the want of pay, inforceth the breach of discipline.
Secondly, the breach of discipline inforceth but licenti∣ous and tumultuarie warres.
Thirdly, tumultuarie and licentious warres, traineth vp vnfitting Souldiours to be imployed in any reformed seruices.
Nowe for the first, that the want of pay inforceth the breach of discipline, it is not to be denied, but in those wars where Souldiours are not payde, or at the least prouided for of victual, that they must necessarily make disordered shifts, or famish: but doth the discipline of warre consist one∣ly in that point, that when Souldiours be kept from spoile, that then thy be kept in true Martiall discipline? I trow in the French & low coūtrey seruices they haue obserued other parts of discipline, or they could neuer haue triumphed in so many worthie victories, against so mightie enemies.
For the second, say that the disciplines of war were thus infringed and broken, doth this second assertion (that the breach of discipline ingendreth but tumultuarie and licen∣tious warres) therefore necessarily follow? if that be a con∣sequence, what warres hath there euer beene performed, that may be saide to be legitimate, but that the disciplines in some meane or other, hath béene infringed by disordered persons, or what gouernment vnder any Prince might not then bee detected and discredited, that hath his lawes and ordinances many times broken by disordered subiects? and the church of God prescribeth disciplines, which are continually infringed and broken, but shall wee therefore when we haue occasion to speake of this church, put to any opprobrious or vnreuerend additions?
Now who knoweth not but that the Low-country wars were first vndertaken for the rights and liberties of the Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page [unnumbered]Country, to frée themselues from a tyranicall gouernment, vsurped by the Spaniards, as also for the frée passage of the Gospel, and therefore both honest, iust, and godly? in like manner that of France, and therefore they cannot be sayd to be tumultuarie, licentious, disordered, &c. because their disciplines are broken, but they worthily to be suspec∣ted that will so maliciously report of them.
Now for your third consequence, that souldiours trained vp in those seruices, should be vnfit to be otherwise imploy∣ed in any reformed warres: the conclusion is too ranke, it smelles from whence it came, but is it not possible, that a Souldiour, because he hath béene driuen sometimes for want of pay to reléeue himself from famishment, (although by the breatch of law) shall afterward reduce himselfe, and be confirmable to any law, order, or discipliue, where hée should either be better prouided for, or duly payed?
I could alleage presidents to make for my purpose, but what should I néede? these colericke coniectures are well i∣nough knowne from whence they were first gathered, and by whome they haue sithence béene retained: by those that haue laboured at al times, and by all meanes, to disgrace and deface the whole actions both of France and Flanders, togither with the actours, because they know we haue euer∣more fought in the defence of the Gospell, in despight of their masse.
I must confesse, Captaine Skill, that for my selfe I neuer came in Flanders nor France, and therefore am able to deliuer nothing of mine owne knowledge, but what I haue heard by other mens reports, neither will I adde any thing of mine owne inuention maliciously to stander, I shal not néede to do that, for it is too much that is already publi∣shed and spread in the disgrace of your French and Low-countrey Captaines, if al be true that is reported, but lea∣ning generalities, I will speake of some particulars. They are accused, not onely for despising, but also for peruerting the lawes, customes, orders and ordinaunces left vnto vs, by the great and notable Captaines of former ages inno∣uating, Page [unnumbered]altering and inuerting al our ancient procéedings in matters millitarie by them prescribed into orders of their owne inuention, attributing to themselues greater science and skill, then they will séeme to acknowledge in our pre∣decessors, procuring moreouer (so much as in them lieth) by friuolous obiections and exceptions, taken against our Ar∣cherie, to suppresse and extinguish the seruiceable vse of our naturall English weapon, the long bow.
The matter is not great (Captaine Pil) whether these accusations be of your owne making, or of any other mans reporting, for any great substance or witte that is in them, and for this particular, it were no great matter to ac∣knowledge and confesse it to any man that would inforce it, for if it be a fault to innouate, I dare boldely auouch, there is no art, no science, no occupation, no handicraft, nor any other profession whatsoeuer, but they innouate, alter, and inuert, and that continually, and with great reason, when from age to age al things are perfected, bettered, and drawne to a forme of greater excellencie, then euer our pre∣decessors vnderstood of.
The reason is, our ancestors from time to time haue left vnto vs in writing, whatsoeuer they attained vnto by any manner of skill, knowledge, science, or art, and we haue put vnto it our owne inuention, and what we can otherwise apprehend by dayly practise, I hope then that Souldiours are not generally so grosse headed, when there is likewise left vnto them in writings, a perfect forme, as wel of orders, lawes and disciplines, as of all other obseruations, whatso∣euer hath béene practised by the most skilful Captaines of al ages, but that they could something better their experience by twentie or thirtie yeares practise, in the French & Low∣countrey warres, where so many honourable seruices haue béene so continually performed.
Or why shoulde any man finde fault with souldiours, though they innouate their orders in these days, according to the practise and condition of the time? may it not be done without any preiudice to the grounds and principles left Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page [unnumbered]vs by the antiquitie. The phisitions do fetch their directi∣on from Galen, Hypocrates, Plinie, Paraselsus, and such o∣ther that haue left vnto them prescriptions of phisicke, and from whom our phisitiōs at this present do fetch their grea∣iest light, but if they should now minister the self same me∣dicines vsed in those dayes by these learned Phisitions, a∣mongst tenne patients if they recouered one, they would kill all the rest.
Shall we say now, because our phisitions do innouate, that they do therefore attribute to themselues greater skill, learning, and science then they would acknowledge in their predecessors.
Now in martiall causes, although the antiquitie, who long before either Musket or Caliuer were knowne, armed their people with crosbowes, targets, long swords, glaiues, partisins, billes, and such other, and according to those sorts of weapons, proportioned their battailes, in such sort as they might bring most handes to fight, which was good and necessarie for that time, when the seruice consisted altogi∣ther by incounters of Pell Mell, and that they were still brought to handie blowes, and had no other vse but of ma∣nuall weapons, but our squadrons being now armed with weapons of greater force, and more aduantage, haue left their auncient obseruations to themselues, & haue follow∣ed an order perfected by time, and bettered by experience, when euerie Captaines page is not ignorant that the alte∣ration of weapon doth necessarilie inforce the alteration of order.
For our naturall English weapon the long bowes, if there be a naturall that would perswade better of thē, then men of experience doo finde seruice in them, I pray God sende him more witte, and that is all the harme that I would wish him, and so we wil leaue them for the seruice in Finburie fields, to the woonted Regiments of Prince Ar∣thur and the Duke of Shordich.
Some other accusations wherwith your Low coun∣try captaines are charged withall, is in the neglect and little Page [unnumbered]care they vsed euen in vsuall and ordinarie causes, for it is not vnknowne to any man that hath iudgement in matters Military, but at the first forming of armies or regiments, there is likewise prescribed lawes martial, the which are stil notified and made knowne, to the end, to containe their ar∣mies in obedience, and that none might transgresse through ignorance: but this your low countrey captaines haue still neglected, either vpon contempt, or by them not vnderstood, which bewrayeth their malice or want of skil.
The like neglect they vsed in the stablishing of their coun∣sels at warres, and in the training and making ready of their souldiers in the practise of their weapons, in the proui∣ding for them of powder, shot, munition, victualles, and all other necessaries, when they should march vpon any occasi∣on of seruice.
These, and many other like matters that are of common course and vsuall to souldiers that are of the least skill and experience, were by them omitted and forgotten, or at the least nothing at al respected.
I warrant you he that first smelt out these accusa∣tions, had a tender nose, but if he wanted not alittle wit, I am sure he wanted a great deale of vnderstanding, when e∣uerie souldier, if he be but of one moneths training, is not ignorant, that where they erect armies, they forget not in like case to erect laws, the which at the first are vsually pub∣lished with the sound of a trumpet, and after hanged vp in the market places, either of their camps or garrison towns, but these lawes and disciplines are euermore prescribed, by Generalles and Counsels of armies, and not by euerie par∣ticular captaine or Colonel (and yet a Colonel may institute for his owne priuate regiment) but not any lawes general, as your accusation would intimate.
Now the warres of the lowe countries were aswel sup∣plied with Dutch, French, Wallons, Scottes, as English, which were al mercenary, and hirelings are euermore to o∣bey lawes, and not to make lawes, but seruing vnder the prince of Orange and States, were likewise to receiue their Page [unnumbered]lawes from whom they receiued their pay.
But who was be of our Nation before my lord of Leice∣sters time that had authoritie to prescribe lawes, more then the French, Wallons, and Scottes? what, was it sir Iohn Norris, that noble gentleman of our Nation that had béene there a Generall, but is now dead, and what can I say of him now he is dead, that should not diminish the worth that was in him when he was aliue? what shal I praise his birth and honour of his race? the world knowes it was noble, but what is that in comparison of his vertues? What then? his experience and knowledge in the field that aduanced so ma∣ny victories? if his friendes should not applaude it, his foiled foes would yet confesse it: or should I commend his noble and couragious heart, that no misfortune could dismay, nor enemies euer daunt, why Flanders, France, Portingale and Spaine can witnesse this, and his enemies may spight at it, but speake against it they cannot? he is gone, but the honor he hath done to his countrey by his seruices wil not bée for∣gotten.
This noble gentleman, so highly renowned for his ser∣nice amongst the whole regiments, of English, of Dutch, of French, of Wallons and of Scottes, was especially autho∣rised and imployed as Generall: is there any man nowe so simple to beléeue that so great a captaine, reputed and well knowne to be sufficiently able to direct an army against so great an enemy as the Spaniard, was not of like skill to ordaine and establish lawes to containe his soulders in or∣der?
For those other neglects, for not establishing a Counsell at warres, for not practising of souldiers, and not for proui∣ding for them munition, victualles, and other necessaries when they should march, if these obiections were true, as they are most slaunderous and false, yet whom woulde you blame by these neglects but the Prince of Orange, and the States, the which if any man would take vpon him to doe, I thinke al the souldiors of Europe would hisse at him (as well enough they might) for who were so simple as to think Page [unnumbered]that so famous a captaine as the prince of Orange, so wor∣thily renowmed for the managing of martial causes, were yet so carelesse or ignorant, as not to prescribe lawes, and likewise to prouide necessaries, as wel as to procure forces.
Our English therfore are not to be charged with any one of these defects no more then were the Regiments of other Nations, namely the Dutch, the French, the Wallons, and Scots that serued with our Nation, al in one predicament, and receiued altogether their lawes from whom they recei∣ued their pages: and these ignorant ill willers, that would spie out these faults, onely to depraue the English, are not much vnlike the olde seruant that sometimes followes king Henry the eight, who vsed euermore to strike him that stood next vnto him.
There be some other obiectious against your Lowe country captaines for shameful misdemeanors to their poore souldiers, some for sending their companies into dangerous attempts, better hoping of their dead payes, then of any ser∣uice they could performe.
Some other vpon hatred and displeasure borne to theyr folowers, would deuise desperate enterprises, of purpose to be reuenged.
Others againe, when they had receined their souldiers pay, woulde likewise send them to the slaughter, that they might kéepe their payes in their owne purses.
Me thinkes you should tel me of some other of our captaines, that conspired and practised with the Spaniard against the Prince and States that gaue them pay, and yet sought to betray them in all their enterprises and seruices, and sometimes would surrender vnto the enemies, townes and fortes which the Prince had committed to their guarde and placed them there in garrison.
Captaine Skill, for these matters that I haue al∣ready deliuered vnto you, and many other, that I haue yet to speake of, all of them concerning the misdemeanours of our captaines sometimes toward their souldiers, somtimes towardes the country people that gaue them pay, and in Page [unnumbered]whose defence they came to fight, and although that in this nature thus alledged, there be many shameful abuses wher∣with they haue béene charged, yet to my remembraunce, I neuer heard of any mention made of treasons, or traiterous surrendring vp of towns to the spaniards, as you haue now mentioned, I would be loath to do them so much wrong as to charge them with those matters, that I neuer heard to be inforced against them.
And yet I can assure you, that these matters which you say you neuer heard of, were very true, and there were diuers of our English Nation that dealt most traiterously with the Prince, which did both conspire and surrender vp townes to the enemy: and what is the matter that these collections of treason were not as well gathered in the dis∣grace of our Low country captaines, being true, as the o∣ther which you haue heere inforced, being false, and some of them matters of impossibilitie, as those very last obiections by you alledged (which euery souldiers boy could controule) as hereafter I wil make more euidently to appeare, euen to him that hath but halfe a sence? But first of al let any man of vnderstanding considder with himselfe from whence these accusations against our French and Low country captaine should procéede, they are charged with many shameful abu∣ses, the most of them vntrue, the rest not worth the speaking of, and for some other that were odious and hateful indéede, namely, treason, trechery, confederacie, and conspiring with the Spaniard (and al of them apparant, and not to be gain∣said) these matters were neuer spokē of: nay these were no faults at al, but of my conscience were rather estéemed to be workes of Supererrogation, meritorious matters, and as good a ladder to scale heauen withal, as a Bul of Scala coeli purchased from the Pope.
Who seeth not now by whom these accusations haue bin collected? it is wel enough to be perceiued, that they haue on∣ly their procéeding, but from olde papistical enmitie, that hath euermore béene busied in defacing, disgracing, and de∣tracting those French and Netherland seruices, and neuer Page [unnumbered]sparing to backebile those that haue indeuoured themselues in defence of the gospel against their Pope: but the contra∣ry part euermore faultlesse though they performed nothing, but by treason, deceit, forgery, and al manner of villany.
It is yet within the compasse of our owne memories, and hundreds of thousands are now liuing that do well enough remember the very maidenhead of these wars, when they were first vndertaken, both in France and Flaunders, yea and in Scotland too, about matters of religion: howe long they were in armes and in ciuil broiles among themselues, whilest we liued here in England, by a most gratious go∣uernement in the calme of quiet peace: we heard of warres round about vs, but with vs we had none but at Westmin∣ster hall. Yet alarmes were sometimes hote amongest lo∣uers, when their Ladies were disposed alitle to be froward, our warlike instruments were laide aside, and almost out of vse, our shril trumpets for the field, were turned to stil mu∣sicke for the chamber, our drummes to tabrets, our martial exercises to maie games: this swéet and quiet peace brought with it a carelesse securitie, our gallant youths forgat to be∣stride the stirring stéedes, and walked vp and downe with feathered fannes in their hands, maskes to couer their fa∣ces, and tawdry laces about their neckes, they became effe∣minate in al their demeanours, disguising themselues like demi-harlots. Our happines was enuied by our neighbors that did inuirone vs, but what could they doe to disturb our quiet? it was the Lorde of Hostes that protected our Eliza∣beth: and in the middest of this our delicacie when the wars were in their greatest heat on euery side about vs, and their armies supplied by the most haughty hearts out of all the partes of Europe, some of our Inglish blouds, no lesse thir∣stie of honor, than he that is most couetous for pelfe, shaking off that nicity which the time had thē fostered, thrust them∣selues into these seruices. Amongst the rest, our noble sir Iohn Norris became a president to his countriemen, a pat∣terne for them to immitate, a lampe to giue them light, a loadstarre to direct them in that course, that leadeth vnto ha∣nour Page [unnumbered]and so to endlesse fame: his example gaue hart & corage to many others that folowed him, they serued in defence of the Gospel, they attained by their seruice to that perfection of martial knowledge, that they are thereby inabled to serue their prince and country against all foes domesticall or for∣raine.
Howe they bare themselues in those seruices against the pride of the Spaniardes, what honourable victories they obtained against the greatest and most experimented Cap∣taines that christendome could affoord, what ouerthrowes they gaue vnto them, and how many notable exployts they performed against them, the world I am sure can witnesse, and the matters are yet so fresh in memorie, that Spight may wel fret himselfe to the gall, but to depriue them of their honour it can not, and therefore they are driuen to these threedbare shifts, to slaunder them with misdemeanour to∣wards their souldiers, to accuse them with the breach of dis∣cipline, the neglect of lawes, with such a number of other trifles as would require a volume to expresse: and by this they would perswade, that such souldiers as had bin trained in suth licentious and tumultuary wars were neuer after to be imployed in any reformed seruices: and then if her Maie∣stie should haue any occasion to vse souldiers, where should she séeke for conducters that were of sufficiencie? Disgrace those that haue hadde the practise and especiall training in Fraunce or Flaunders, and howe many are there left? or where should we séeke for them, vnlesse at your eightéen pe∣ny Academs, where you tell mee you haue such reading of Martial Lectures?
But I would not wish we should hazard a dayes seruice to make tryall of the fortune and vnknowne experi∣ence of these Academicall Captaines: for the others they haue béen sufficiently tryed, and therefore are the better to be trusted. But notwithstanding, these disgraces that they would offer to our French and Low-countrey seruices, I cannot thinke that any Captaine, Gentleman, or souldiour whatsoeuer he be, that hath béene trained vp in those serui∣ces Page [unnumbered](so maliciously reported on) do thinke the worse of their owne skil or abilitie, because enuie coupled with ignorance, hath sought to disable them: Dixit insipiens cannot dis∣may them, nor make them to thinke so euill of themselues, but that they wil be alwayes readie to defend their credits, against any one that wil séeke to disgrace them. Leauing other circumstances, and to make a short conclusion for all togither, I do not thinke how that honourable Earle (that is the glorie of this age for martiall matters) doth any whit at all mislike his owne worthinesse, because he hath volun∣tarily opposed himself in those French and Low-countries: but howsoeuer it pleaseth him to thinke of himselfe, lette vs acknowledge him to be as he is, his countries comfort, our Englands Champion, whom Honor & Vertue haue stirred vp and pricked forward, but in the verie Aprill of his age, that he might become the guarde to his Prince, the refuge of his Countrey, and the bulwarke and castle of defence to them both. And now Captaine Pill that it might appeare to any man of reasonable iudgement, howe vnlikely those accusations are to be true which you haue hitherto allea∣ged, let vs but examine your thrée last obiections.
Some Captaines (you say) would send their Souldiers into dangerous attempts, rather hoping after their dead payes, then expecting any seruice they could performe.
Othersome vppon displeasure were sent to the like en∣terprises: and a third some, when they had receiued they: Souldiours payes, would send them to the slaughter, be∣cause they would keepe all in their owne purses.
What malicious reports be these? and yet not possible to be true, and I thinke (as I haue saide before) that euerie souldiers boy doth know it is death by the lawes of armes, for any Captaine to enterprise any attempt, without direc∣tion from the Generall or Councell at warres: perhappes some will say it is trueth, where the disciplines of warres are truly obserued, but the exceptions that are taken against those countrey seruices, doth onely procéede vpon that neg∣lect, because there was neither discipline nor order regar∣ded: Page [unnumbered]but let vs therefore a little looke into their actions, and let any man that hath iudgement but consider of the pro∣céedings, it will appeare that a poore Prince assisted with a few states men, and should continue wars so many yeares togither as they did against the King of Spaine, the Mo∣narch of Christendome, for dominions, for money, for wealth, for expert and trained Souldiours, for great and notable Captaines and commanders raked together out of Spaine, Italy, Germany, Burgundie, Wallone, Albanie, yea, from all the parts of Europe, with the best Counsellers of warres, Inginers of all sorts, and for all purposes, the best experimented that Christendome could afford, or mo∣ney procure, the which he consumed there in large and huge summes (as the world can witnesse) and yet two smal prouinces Holland and Seland, a little corner heaped next the sea, inuironed about with enemies on euerie side, ouer∣matched with numbers, what was it then that preserued them but their verie order and discipline, the which if it had béene so neglected, that euerie man might haue deuised and attempted what himselfe listed, their warres would quickly haue had an end, and the King again possessed of the coun∣trie? it cannot therefore be gainesaid, but that next vn∣der God, their greatest defence was their order and disci∣pline, prescribed and sette downe by the Prince of Orange, (who was not to séeke in those directions) and as by this I might well conclude, that they neither wanted discipline nor conduct, yet thus much I dare further anouch, and I do confidently affirme it of mine owne knowledge, that the breach of discipline in those Low-countrey seruices, were euermore punished with as great seueritie, as in any warres that hath béene vndertaken in our age, in what place or countrey soeuer.
We may therefore conclude, that they wanted a great deale of matter, that were driuen to picke out so manifest vntruthes to slander those actions, and as much as in them did lie, to disgrace the actours.
I perceiue Captaine Skill the first tale is neuer good, Page [unnumbered]till the second be heard: you haue verie reasonably (in my opinion) discharged these accusations, but yet those that haue béene the first reporters of them, haue deliuered them for such vndoubted truthes, and vnder the pretence of such Martiall skil, that there be many thousands in England that doe retaine them, and will hardly be disswaded to a contrary. And séeing I haue begunne to rip vp your abuses, I will yet continue to tell you what I haue heard, ill fauou∣red matters they be as they haue inforced thē against you, and therefore it would be much auaileable to your reputa∣tions, if they could be sufficiently excused.
It is no great matter (Captaine Pill) what euerie Goosecap doth conceiue in these matters against vs, he that would satisfie all, shall satisfie none: my desire is onely to sa∣tisfie the wise, and for any thing that you haue hitherto al∣leadged, I thinke a scoffe were more fit then an answere. But you say you haue more behind, you were best to empty your stomacke, for it is but draffe, and therefore out with al.
Your Low-country Captaines are accused for be∣ing too prodigal of their souldiours liues, for where it is e∣uermore a custome amongst Captaines that are of skill or iudgement, vpon the assault of any place fortified, to make their approaches with trenches, crosse trenches, gabions, and other inuentions as the ground will admit for the sa∣uing of their Souldiours liues, and neuer to make any attempt, vntill by batterie they haue made a sufficient breach, and haue displaced the flankers, and other artilery of the enemies that might be noysome or dangerous: but these despisers of all discipline Militarie, haue béen so care∣lesse of their Souldiours, that neglecting these principles, they haue sent them as it were to the butcherie, to giue as∣saults to Castles, Sconces, and other such fortifications, without either regard or consideration of any of these pro∣mises before spoken of.
I warrant you captaine Pill he that comes in with all these trickes for the surprising of fortifications, hath heard much reading at your London Accadems, and I be∣léeue Page [unnumbered]can better direct howe to assault the Castle in New∣fishstréete, then to instruct them that haue had any continu∣ance in the Low country seruices, which doth rather consist in assaulting and defending fortifications, more then in any other incounters in the fielde, and therefore he that serueth there, is not to learne how to giue assaults.
For the surprising of any Citie, Towne, Castle, Fort, Sconce, or whatsoeuer other place fortified, it is to be done by composition, by famine, by mining, or by assault.
Composition is first imbraced by all good Captaines, for that is done without the spilling of bloud on either side.
To winne by famine is vsed of policy, for the safetie of his people that doth besiege, but many times inforced by constraint, when the scituation of the place admitteth of no other forcible meane.
Mining is especially preferred, as well for expedition, as the lightnesse of the charge, if the ground will permit.
Assault is the last refuge, and cannot be vsed vppon any plot that is well fortified without batterie, yet in some other places not throughly holpē by nature, nor fully supplyed by Art are saultable inough with ladders and other prouision commonly vsed, before great Ordonance was inuented: and in the Low-countreyes wee had many earth workes, commonly called sconces, some of greater, and some of lesse importance, builded vsually vpon streights or passages, and fortified accordingly as was behoouefull for the place: and where any one of them were found noysome or preiudicial for seruice intended, there was likewise vsed such force and meane for the taking of thē in, as the scituation, or strength or force of the place required: and I haue knowne diuers of those Sconces haue béene taken by scale without any artil∣lerie, and yet without the losse of any one of the assailants: and what and if at some other time wee haue lost men by assaults? it is not possible but if the defendants wil do their indeuour as they ought, that assailants can enter without some losse of men, no not when there is made breaches most easie to be assaulted, and therefore he that could finde this Page [unnumbered]fault, I warrant you had good abilitie to find fault at any thing.
Your Captaines are yet once againe accused of flat cosonage towards their Souldiours, who to defeat them of their payes, gane them allowance of bread and chéese, and other victuall of the basest sort, which they call by the name of Prouand, a strange name, and as strange a deuise to coo∣sin the poore men of their mony, & in stéede thereof to giue them prouand, a matter neuer heard on before, as it is re∣ported by men of great experience, some of them yet liuing, that do wonder at the inuention, and doe very bitterly reprooue those that were the first inuenters.
Is bread and chéese become so contemptible, that it is reputed amongst the basest kinde of victuall, O shamefull slaunder to Essex, where so many good Chéeses are daily cre∣ated, and no lesse indignitie to Wales, where a péece of ro∣sted chéese is meate for a Monarch: but for those that will accuse our Captaines of cosinage towards their souldiours, because they gaue allowance of Prouand, if there be but as much Martiall knowledge in any of them, as there is good meate but in the paring of an Essex chéese, I will be conten∣ted to be tryed by al the captains pages that euer haue but séene an army to march about any expedition, and if they shall finde mee guilty, I am contented to suffer the most vnhappie death that euer any man did yet indure, (and that I thinke were to be peckt to death with Capons.)
The name of Prouand you say is strange, and the deuise vsed by our Captaines no lesse strange, to cosin their souldi∣ours vnder the pretence of giuing them Prouand to kéepe away their payes. For my life they that doo so much ad∣mire the name, do thinke that the word Prouand was first deriued from an Osterie, for there the Ostler doth kéepe his prouender and giues it out againe from thence by measure, and many of these Ostlers if they be not well lookt vnto, wil coosin a mans horse mightily in their Prouender, and this is the cause that they suspect Captaines of the like coosinage to∣wards their Souldiours in their Prouand: and I remem∣ber Page [unnumbered]a fellow that once brought his maister a reckoning of riding charges, and amongst many Items put downe in his bill, one was Item for a penieworth of horse bread two pence. His master beganne to chafe at the reckoning, and desired his man to make a better exposition of that part of the text, the fellow making a low curtesie downe to the grounde, answered, forsooth sir I dranke a pot of Beare whilst my horse was eating of his bread: now if there were any Captaine that vsed the like deceit, to drinke a canne of Renish wine whilst his souldiours were eating of their pro∣uand, and after would put it downe vpon his Souldiours accounts, then here comes in the coosinage, for otherwise, what commoditie for a Captaine to haue his Souldiours to be paide in prouand? if there bee any gaines to be made, it falles out to them that doe prouide and deliuer it, which is not the Captaine, and therefore to his himderance, for if he would make a profite of his companie, hee should doe it much rather with receiuing of readie money, then in recei∣uing of his souldiours payes in Prouand.
And for those that will affirme that the deliuering of Prouand was a matter neuer heard on before, but inuen∣ted onely by our Low-countrey Captaines, let them pre∣tend as much Martiall knowledge as they list, but I think they could not deuise to lay open their ignorance more ap∣parantly, then not to know that Souldiours must of ne∣cessitie be victualled vpon many occasions, how well soeuer they be otherwise payed.
One example that is familiar vnto vs I thinke may wel suffice: her maiestie hath seruices in Ireland, and in manie parts of that countrey, if she should pay her souldiours with ready mony, and not make prouision of victualles for them, where otherwise they can come by none, they might quickly famish with their mony in their purses.
This necessitie therefore hath euermore béene carefully prouided for, and the fault finders that vp think it so strange a matter, that souldiours should sometime receiue their pay in victualles, no doubt their seruice hath béene in plentifull Page [unnumbered]places, where they might either go to ordinaries, or send to the cookes for their dinner: yet I am not ignorant that vit∣tailers wil sometimes follow a campe, but not at all times, nor yet in all places: and this Prouand that is here so much wondered at, was no other but as her maiestie proui∣ded for her Garrisons in Barwick, and as all other Princes in Europe doe and haue done, wheresoeuer they haue held or do hold Garrisons of souldiours: and these prouisions are not commonly made of Phesants, Partrich, Quailes, Ca∣pons and other like dainties, but vsually of Cheese, Butter, Bacon, Saltfish, and such other victuall as shall néede no great cookerie, nor be long in making ready, especially vpon any expedition of seruice.
Those therefore that would perswade this victualling of Souldiours to be a matter neuer heard on before, but in∣uented by our Low-countrie Captaines, for their own pro∣fit and commoditie, they haue herein shewed themselues to be most simple and ignorant, and but in ordinarie matters appertaining to the warres.
Captaineskill, if I should prosecute these occasions accordingly as I haue heard them inforced against your French and Low-country Captaines, I might yet inferre a hundred other obiections, and all of them verie bitter and disgracefull vnto them: but I sée your answeres are such as it rather falleth out to their disgraces that were your accu∣sers, then by any meanes reproachfull vnto you that were accused: I will therefore omitte to speake any further in these particular cauils, and will come to a matter of greater importance, being a general il, the which if it be true, as the reporter doth confidently protest, it may concerne no lesse then our vtter wracke and ruine, and doth threaten in the ende the destruction of our English nation.
Marie Captaine Pil, he that could spie me out that infirmitie, were worthie to haue a phisitions fée, but he that could prescribe a medicine for the maladie, were worthie to be estéemed the Ascalaphus of his country.
The sicknesse is known, and the cause from whence Page [unnumbered]procéeding is likewise gathered, by those that are of great account for their experience and skill, it is found to proceede from a vehement hotte humour, abounding in your Low∣countrey captaines, who vnder the pretence of the excellen∣cie of your weapons of fire (your Musket and Caliuer) would thereby bring in carowsing and drunkennesse, to the abolishing and vtter subuerting of our artillerie, and the vse of our long-bowes, the ancient and naturall weapon of our countrey, by the meanes whereof we haue tryumphed in many notable victories from time to time, and age to age, the which weapon if we should now neglect, (as our Low∣countrey captaines doe altogither indeuour) this Noble Realme of England so famed and renowned by the seruice of our artilerie, should now be left to the spoyle, and remain but as a prey, fitte for euerie enemie that would attempt or assaile vs.
Without doubt he that was the first finder out of this disease, had as great knowledge & skill as the phisition, who would needes perswade his patient that he had taken a surfet by eating of a horse, because he saw a saddle lie vn∣der the sickmans bedde. But in goodfellowshippe captaine Pill, tell me true, is this an obiection against our Low-coun∣trie captaines, that vnder the pretence of the weapons of fire, they would bring in carowsing and drunkennesse, by meanes whereof (you say) they would suppresse the exercise of the long how, & whereby our country should he left a sitte prey to euerie enemie that would attempt vs.
Captaine Skil, what I haue receiued, that I haue deliuered, I haue tolde you the true circumstance of that I haue heard reported, if I haue failed in the manner, I am not mistaken in the matter, if perhappes I haue something missed of the words, yet I am sure I haue not erred in the sence.
Why now I know what the reason is why cookes will neuer be without a Iacke of beere in the kitchin, and what is it that makes Smiths to bee so locall, that if you misse them at the forge, you shal be sure to finde them in the Page [unnumbered]alehouse, they haue to deale with a thirstie element, the ele∣ment of fire, that brings in this carowsing & drunkennesse, that againe expels the vse of the long-bow, the neglect whereof threateneth Englands ouerthrow.
So nowe howe these matters are depending the one of the other, tyed togither with a packthréed, and I will shew you a similie how it may come to passe, an ancient collection to prooue by like circumstance that drinking may bring a man to heauen: and thus sayth the text: He that drinkes well, sleepes well, He that sleepes well thinkes no harme. He that thinkes no harme sinneth not, and he that sinneth not goes to heauen: here is now the conclusion, and he that can choppe me vp such Logicke, I hope may beare the bell for a Logician: let him go where he list.
Now for your water-casting wisards, that in the déep∣nesse of their experience (as you say) haue looked into Eng∣lands estate, and do think that the neglect of the long bowe may bréed such a surfet as you speake of. God be thanked the sicknesse is nothing so dangerous, as the silly ignorant sort would perswade it, the nature of the disease hath bin exa∣mined, and carefully considered of by men that are no lesse renowned for their wisedme & experience, then honored for the loue & zeale they beare to their country, they haue found the first to be a matter of no importance, but rather thought it behooueful and necessary for vs to inure our selues to that diet, which all the nations of the worlde besides do especi∣ally account of, and haue retained as a restoratiue to their better safty, which being by vs neglected, might be such a preparatiue for an enemie to take aduantage by, as your Physitians could neuer be able to restore, not with all the medicins they could compound, eyther of their crossebows or long bowes.
A foole •crach him then say I that would giue vs such pur∣gations, or vnder the pretence of a Cullis whereby to com∣fort vs, would giue vs indéede a potion that would vndoub∣tedly poyson vs.
What should I say more then to these calculating com∣panions, Page [unnumbered]that are so narrow eied to look into commō wealth causes, that they thinke the countries good is euermore neglected, where their owne foolish prescriptions are not al∣wayes obserued.
Let such vaine prognosticators fable what they list, God hath blessed England, he hath plentifully poured his bles∣sings vpon vs: first, in our most gratious Elizabeth, whom he hath established, and holden vp in despighte of all Popish practises, he hath deliuered her when she hath béene compas∣sed with many dangers, whereby he hath shewed his mercy to vs her people, whome she hath still gouerned in happy peace and prosperitie. He hath giuen her the assistance of a most graue and discréet counsell, amongst the rest Burghley by name, the man admired through christendome, whose watchful eies to preuent insuing mischiefes, haue euermore béene vigilant, whose wisedome next vnder God and her Maiestie hath béene the best conseruer of our quiet, and hap∣py peace, whose experience in commonwealth causes, is sin∣gular to himselfe. And for the action of warre. O noble erle of Essex, how is England blessed in thée? thou hast honoured thy country with thy victories obtained, enriched it with the spoiles of thine enemies, fréeed it from the force of foes that were ready to assaile it, whom thou hast dismayed and daunted at their owne doores.
If I should now speake of domesticall matters, for the ex∣ecution of lawe and iustice here at home, according to equi∣tie, right, and conscience, England may think it selfe happy, and the Court of Chauncery hath as great cause to glorie, where Egerton adorneth the bench.
Thus you may perceiue (captaine Pill) that England is in no such distresse as your dreaming dizardes woulde per∣swade, they threaten vs to be almost at deaths doore, when there is no manner of signe nor shew of sicknes, you sée who they be, captain Pil, that are Englands watchmen, and haue so consecrated themselues to the good of the commonwealth, that what perills may passe which shall not be by them dis∣cerned, and what forraine practises or domesticall disorders Page [unnumbered]can be so plotted out, which shall not be by them both fore∣séene and preuented, if it do either concerne the good or ill of our country.
Captaine Skil, me thinkes you haue béene too com∣pendious and briefe in the subiect that you haue now vnder∣taken, a breath of winde is not enough to comprehend their praises, that would aske a longer discourse than al that hath bin hitherto debated betwéene vs: but will not your words be taken in ill part? for there be many honourable persona∣ges in England, that without doubt are faithful and firme both to their princes and countrey, that perhaps wil hang the lip, and thinke themselues to be greatly wronged, that any one should be so particularly preferred before them, e∣specially for those causes.
I hope the praise of one is no dispraise to another, neyther am I ignorant, but am vndoubtedly perswaded, that there be many, as well of the nobilitie, as other of the inferiour sort and calling, that are of equall desire, though not of equall abilitie: I commend him that can follow the wise aduise of others, but I preferre him that can foresée pe∣rils that are to come, and is able to discerne of things néede∣full and requisite. My conclusion is, I honour all that are worthy of honour, but I say againe (and without offence to any I hope I may boldly auouch it) these that I haue na∣med are the ornaments of England, the Ministers of God next vnder her Maiestie, by whom England is made happy, the one famous for his counsell, the second renowned for his magnanimitie, the third reuerenced for his iustice, and al of them honored for the care they haue of their countries good, thrée notable pillers of our commonwealth, to whom I may adde a fourth, the noble Lord of Hunsdon, who for his fide∣litie to his prince, matched with equall loue to his country, together with the magnificence and noblenesse of his mind, may march in equall ranke with those that are most highly honoured, and for their vertue most worthily renowned.
You sée now (captaine Pill) that England is not so negli∣gently prouided too, that it should runne into such vnexper∣ted Page [unnumbered]danger as your squint eyed Diuiners would pretend to foresee, but let them dreame and make what doubtes they list, they are to be suspected of some defects that doe seeme to be so feareful of the moone-shine in the water.
But captaine Skil, you deale somewhat too roundly in this matter, I woulde wishe that you coulde more adui∣sedly consider of my speeches, the matter obiected is against your Low country Captains, who vnder the pretence of the excellency of the weapons of fire, would bring in carowsing and drunkennesse, and thereby would vtterly suppresse and abolish, our longbowes, & archery of England. From hence issueth this danger to our countrey, that being bereaued of this weapon which our predecessors haue euer found so a∣uaileable, and of so great aduantage against their enemies, we should thereby so weaken and disable our selues, against any that would inuade vs, that we should rather be left to the spoile, than be able to make defence: and although that those noble patrons of our country which you haue named, are sufficiently able to discerne of perils (as I doe acknow∣ledge their vertue to be farre excéeding the commendation you haue deliuered, so there is no doubt but that they in their wisedomes can well enough consider how this neglect of ours may threaten greater daunger and turne to a worse consequence than you do conceiue of, when it is auouched by them of knowne experience, and the reasons fortified by many presidents of great antiquitie drawne from Alexan∣dria in Egypt, from Constantinople in Greece, and from many other countries and kingdomes: besides, it is prooued by many examples, what notable conquests, haue béene ob∣tained by the vse of bowes, and how many nations, king∣domes, and common wealths haue béene subuerted, surpri∣zed, and brought into seruitude, where they haue neglected that notable weapon, and set it aside.
If our Low country Captaines do pretend such ex∣cellencie in the weapons of fire, they do it by good authoritie, hauing had sufficient triall of the effects, but how these wea∣pons should bring that carowsing and drunkennesse you do Page [unnumbered]speake of, I protest it passeth my conceit howe it may hang together.
For drunkennesse I do pronounce it to be a most detesta∣ble vice, beastly and hateful in the opinion of any man, that is worthy the reputation of a man, and I haue knowne som of our Low countrey Captaines, that haue béene shamelesse when they were drunke, but they haue blushed again when they were sober, but he that delighteth in that vice, is a fit∣ter companion for swine, then worthy to associate men.
And is it our Low country captaines that haue brought in the exercise of carowsing and drunkennesse, I wonder at them that could trauel so farre countries, to fetch so many presidents, for the antiquitie of bowes, and could not haue brought one president with them, for the antiquitie of drun∣kennesse, if it were but how Alexander killed his Clytus?
And for carowsing it was new christned in England from a carowse to a hearty draught, I thinke before the most of our Low country Captaines were borne.
Now for this neglect of the long bow which is thought to be a matter of such danger, and such a weakening to our country, we may commende them a litle for their care that do so feare it, but neuer a whit for their experience that would perswade it, and least of all for their wit that would beléeue it. For the presidentes that haue bin so transported from those far countries in the behalfe of the long bow, they are all as patte for the purpose (that should be prooued by them) as he that alleaged that Tenterden steeple was the cause of Goodwin sandes.
If you will denie presidents because they are farre fetcht, that do make good in the behalfe of the bowe, we wil bring you some néerer home, and I hope you will not denie our own histories & chronicles, that do concerne our owne actions, some of them within the compasse of mens memo∣ries yet liuing, how many testimonies are there recorded in the behalf of our archery, what seruices they haue performd what conquests they haue atchieued, & what victories they haue obtained, I shal not néed to relate them in particular; Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page [unnumbered]they are so apparant to euery reader, that I hope you will not doe your selfe that wrong to gainsay them.
And with what discretion can you or any one for you alleadge them? you bring vs out presidents, what serui∣ces haue béene perfourmed by our archery in times past, but where was then that celleritie and readines in the weapōs of fire that is now practised? you tell me of conquests per∣fourmed, and victories obtained, but it was in diebus illis, when neither musket nor caliuer were knowen nor heard of.
I confesse the bow hath béene a weapon of great effect in seruice, but the case is altered, euery thing hath his time, and I could wish with all my heart, that our archery of England were but by the one halfe so effectuall, as ignorant men will dreame of.
That the bow is more effectuall then you do estéem it, is to be prooued by such forcible reasons, as your low co•…∣try captaines are not able to resist, let vs but séeke the testi∣monies of the holy scriptures, and wée shall finde what ac∣count the prophet Dauid made of that weapon after the o∣uerthrow & death of king Saul, besids in one of his Psalmes he calleth them, A mightie power, and in another place, The vessels of death.
Another of the prophets sent from the almightie to terrefie the people for their sinnes, speakng in the person of GOD saith, That he had bent his bow, and made ready his qui∣uer. Many other places might be inferred to confirme the fury and force of that weapon, if men were not ouermuch giuen to infidelitie and misbelèefe.
If the Prophet Dauid had slaine Goliath with an arrow out of a bow, as he kilde him with a stone out of a sling, I perceiue there would haue bin some great hold ta∣ken of the matter, for the credit of bowes, but if he had kild him with a bow, must it therefore be granted that bowes did excell all other weapons? Sampson kilde a great number of the Philistines with the iawe-bone of an Asse, yet if I should fight I would not trust to that weapon, if I might Page [unnumbered]haue mine owne choice.
And because it is said by the prophet, that he had bent his bow, doth that therefore conclude the bow to be most excel∣lent of all other weapons? This logicke is much like vnto his, that affirmed men to be more godly then women, his reason was, because there is a towne in Surty that is cal∣led Godlimē, but there is neuer a town in England yt is cal∣led Godlywomen, ergo men are more godly then women. And because God hath said, I haue bent my bow, and ne∣uer makes mention that he had chargde his musket, Ergo the bow is better then the musket. And I remember ano∣ther place where it is written, He had whetted his sworde, but it is not said that he had made sharpe his browne bill, & therefore the sword is a better weapon then a browne bill: But captaine Pill, let vs leaue this logicke, for it is twen∣tie to one if euer it be knowne, the schole boyes wil laugh at vs.
Let them laugh (captaine Skill) at your errour that do attribute such commendations to your musket and cali∣uer, that thereby you would condemne and suppresse all o∣ther weapons of farre greater excellencie and vse, but if you will néeds giue such principalitie to your weapons of fire, it is neither your musket nor caliuer that are so singular, but as it is resolued by captains of great skill and knowledge, the harquebuz is to be preferred before them both, and that for many considerations by them alleaged.
And what might be the considerations that your great captaines haue so preferred the harquebuz?
For that the Harquebuz is more maniable in a skirmish, and a great deale more light to make a hastie re∣trait, where your Musketiers in such actions through the weight of their péeces, are driuen to throw them quite away and to trust altogether to their héeles.
Then I perceiue the errour of our Low-country captaines is, because they would arme their people in such sort as they might be able to put the enemie to a retrait, but your great captaines cleane contrary would haue them Page [unnumbered]so appointed as they might be light and nimble to runne a∣way themselues: and he that should bring his men but fur∣nished with paltry harquebuz to incounter the musket and caliuer were fitter indeede to runne away from an ennemie that would offer to assaile him, than be able to tarry by him in the field.
And al the reason you can make, is, because of the farre shooting, and it is not denyed, but that your musket wel charged with good powder, would carry a ful bullet 24. or 30. scores: but yet that any of them should giue their vo∣lies aboue tenne, twenty, or thirty peeces at the vttermost, is accounted but a méere mockerie.
And if the farre shooting be of no aduantage, whie then there is no oddes betwéene a bodkin and a pike, but in truth one of the most especiall causes that muskets are so much regarded, is because they may be brought 24. and 30. scores off to beate vpon squadrons either of horsmen or foot∣men, to breake and dismember them: and in like maner to beate passages or groundes of aduantage taken by the ene∣my, or for many other seruices, either assailing or defending as wel in the field, towne, trench, or where, or howsoeuer, the musket is still found to be a weapon of wonderfull ad∣uantage, and onely by the farre shooting: but for those that do no better valew of the musket, but to giue their volies at tenne, twenty, or thirtie paces: it should séeme they knew of no other seruice in the field, but when enemies do meet, they will strait drawe their squadrons to an encounter, which sheweth their little vnderstanding, for when such méetings do happen, captains that be of experience are accustomed to place the stand of pikes (wherein consisteth their strength) vpon some ground of aduantage, and as néere as they can will bring some hedge, some ditch, some shrubbes or bush∣es, or some other like helpes, betwéene them and the enemy, because they would not lie open to the musket shot, that the other will then thrust out, (if they can be suffered) to play vpon these squadrons or armed men 24. and 30. scores off. Loole shot being thus shaken off, oportunities and aduanta∣ges Page [unnumbered]are watched on both sides, as well by horsemen as foot∣men to take their times and occasions, their squadrons stan∣ding stil a good distance the one from the other, with wings, fillets, and troupes of shot, to giue those volies at hand (that you speake of) if they should be charged, and many times it falleth out, that squadrons be broken and put to a retrait, by aduantages taken and procured by these skirmishes, but e∣specially being galled and beaten by the furie of shot a farre off, when the squadron of the contrary part hath not so much as appéered in sight: those weapons therefore are most to bée valewed that wil do his execution farthest off, and if it were possible to deuise a weapon that would annoy and spoyle an enemie in distance as farre as thrée muskets, such a weapon were thrée times more auaileable for seruices at longth, and tenne times more profitable for such exploites, then once to giue volies so néere at hand, to be deliuered within that di∣stance of tenne, twentie, or thirtie paces as you speake of.
And yet for those seruices when occasion shall require, what weapon more terrible than the musket, that within twentie, thirtie, fortie, or a hundred paces, will deliuer foure or fiue caliuer shot at one discharge, to the wonderful spoile of such as wil approch them: and for this occasion the fillets and wings of battelles and squadrons, are compounded of those weapons to giue their volies if they shuld be charged: and this is the cause that the Spaniard finding this wea∣pon to be of so great importance for all manner of seruices, hath conuerted the greatest part of his shot into musketires: and this is the cause that such of our Nation as haue serued against them, may the better speake of that weapon by expe∣rience what themselues haue found.
For others that haue but gathered their presidents from tabling houses or otherordinaries, may better speake accor∣ding to their knowledge then according to the matter. And who be those that wil euermore contend against that wea∣pon, but such as haue not séene their effect and seruice in the field, but inforceth against them their hundred yéere olde ex∣ampls, before shot was euer perfited, or in maner knowne.Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉Page [unnumbered]〈1 page duplicate〉
Thus I do sée we English men are very sharp wit∣ted to make reasons against our selues, and Lord how rea∣dy we be to change a certaintie for an vncertainty. But wil you so disable our bowes, that you wil allow them no place in the field? I hope against horsemen you wil do them some fauour, for to spoile and gall horses, what weapon of more effect, or who wil deny them that right?
But how shal wee bring them to that place of ser∣uice where they may do this annoyance to horsemen? it is not to be deuied but that Archers would performe great ser∣uice against horsemenne: if they might be brought to the place where they might serue, but as they must be fortifi∣ed, either with hedge, ditch, or other artificiall meanes that horsemen may not charge them, so the place from whence they may do their execution, must be open and plaine, where whilest they drawe their bowes, their bodies must remaine in open view. Now what enemie of iudgement would suf∣fer them to kéepe such a ground, but that with thrée or foure hundred musketiers they would displace two thousand Ar∣chers, and without any manner of danger to themselues, by reason of their farre shooting, so that he might be counted a very weake witted enimy that would suffer vs to bring our bowes where they might performe any exploit either a∣gainst horsemen or footemen, but contrariwise for the mus∣ket and the caliuer euery hedge, euery ditch, and euery thic∣ket, which almost euery ground affordeth, is such an aduan∣tage for them, that they wil not be displaced, but with great daunger and losse of the assailants, where they haue once planted and setled themselues.
Againe, they can serue out of euery bush, and from behind euery trée vndiscerned or séen by those that shal serue against them, whereas the Archer must stand in open shew, and make himselfe an open marke to his enemie, or otherwise he cannot serue at all.
Why then belike all the aduantage that your shot hath, is to hide themselues. But let me aske you a question: if a thousand of your shot, and a thousand of well chosen Ar∣chers Page [unnumbered]were togither in the plaine fielde; which part would you there take if you might haue your owne choyse?
But in what field doe you meane (Captaine Pill) let me first know that?
And what a question is that to be asked, if it be in a field where there is no aduantage of couert for your shot to hide themselues in, I take no other exceptions to anie field.
Mary sir but I doe, and your question may be full of subtiltie, for I remember there was one that should haue béene begged for an Ideot, and such a question was asked of him, how many legges a shéepe had, he asked againe whe∣ther they meant a sheepe as he went to the butchers, or as he came from the butchers? why, what difference make you in that (sayd the demaunder?) great difference sir (answered the other) for a shéep going to the butchers hath foure legs, but comming from the butchers, hath but two legges and two shoulders. And your question may haue the like fallace, for you aske me if a thousand shot and a thousand Archers were in the fielde, whose part I would take, nowe if you meane in Finsburie field, as they are there with the Duke of Shordich, and Prince Arthur, I would then take part with the Archers, for then I were sure I should neuer catch harme with a bullet, and I should haue good chéere, during the time of our seruice: but if it were in the field where they should serue for their liues the one against the other, if I should then say I would take part with the Archers, I am afraid•, Captaine Pill, that you would begge mée for an Ideot.
And I doo knowe them againe that do thinke their experience as good as yours, or as any that shall say to the contrarie, that dare vndertake with one thousand of choyse Archers, to incounter with two thousand of the best shotte you can bring into the field.
I would some of those vndertakers would vnder∣take to build vp Poules steeple, for me thinks they should aduenture to vndertake any thing.
they dare aduenture to vndertake this, and so to dis∣comfite your shotte, that they shall not dare to shewe theyr faces in the field, or else they will loose their liues, or wil wa∣ger for the performance al that euer they haue in the world.
Nay if they go to wagering, I on the contrary part will play them faire play, for I wil lay them Cockpit-ods that they shall not do it.
Sir I dare vndertake you shall be taken vppe, but what is that you call Cockpit-oddes?
Cockpit-oddes is lightly two to one, and he that wil vndertake to make good your challenge, I will lay both my pantofles to his wit.
It should séeme Captaine Skill) you are driuen to a bare boord, that are faine to shift out your matters with such vnsauorie iests.
I hope they smell as swéete as the challenges you do make, of one thousand Archers against two thousand of our best shotte.
I tell you againe, there be thousands of that opini∣on, and do thinke that an Archer hand to hand, is by great oddes too hard for any shotte you are able to turne against him.
I tell you againe they are in a wrong opinion, and I account him a verie insufficient shot that dare not vnder∣take any Archer that euer I heard on; vnlesse it be one.
It is happie you will confesse one Archer of such sufficiencie, but I pray you who may that one Archer be that you stand so much in doubt of?
Marie sir it is Cupid, he that neuer shootes but he doth some mischiefe (they say) and therefore there is no dea∣ling with him, and I would neuer wish my friends to med∣dle with him.
I perceiue these iests will neuer be left off, but they are your best helpes, and therefore to be borne withall.
I must commend you (Captaine Pill) for your mo∣destie, but you are deceiued, I vse no suth helpes for want of matter, but I haue learned that friuolous questions are Page [unnumbered]fittest to be answered with a iest, or not to be answered at all, and those comparisons that you haue made of your Ar∣chers with our Musket and caliuer, are so farre from al rea∣son and iudgement, that they are to be laughed at by anie man that hath either reason or iudgement, or any maner of sparke of experience in him.
If this be inough that because captaine Skill hath thus affirmed, therefore it is true, there shal néede no fur∣ther answere, but if you wil truely discerne of these doubts, let vs examine what may be the defects as wel of your wea∣pons of fire, as of our archers, or what casualties may fall out that may hinder their seruices: by this you shall per∣ceiue which weapon is of greatest effect, and likeliest to do seruice.
Then first for your Caliuer and Musket: there be manie accidents that may happen through the default of such soul∣diours as shall vse them, for besides they may neglect to kéepe their péeces in seruiceable sort, so in the very instant of their seruice they may faile in their sight, as commonly with too much haste they are accustomed to do, whereby they ne∣uer shoote greatly to indanger: againe their bullets being too low, may flie vncertain, in continuance their péeces may waxe hot, there may be fault in their pouder, there may bee fault in their match, there may bee fault in their charging, there may be many other faults and casualties, that are in∣cident to shotte, and all of them an impeachment to the ser∣uice: but for Archers, what is there more then the breaking of the bow, or the breaking of the string, that may be anie impediment to them? and this is a verie seldome casualtie, and may be preuented with a matter of nothing, for a little waxe, rosine, and tallow tempered ouer a fire, and chafed in with a wollen cloth, preserueth the bow: & for the string, if it be made of good hempe, water, glew, and strongly whip∣ped with silke or fine thréed, it will not faile in a long conti∣nuance: the Archer therefore being least subiect to mischan∣ces, is of greatest importance, and readinesse for seruice.
But captaine Pill, this argues you to be a very Page [unnumbered]partial phisitian, yt wold not likewise find out some medicins for shot whē you haue found so many infirmities depending vppon them, but haue left them to all their diseases, as though they were incurable: but if I would deale as nar∣rowly with your archers, as you haue done with our shot, I could pick out more casualties then the breaking of a bow or a bow string, for it might be they might lose their shoo∣ting gloues, and thē they could not shoot for hurting of their fingers. Againe, they might haue sore elbowes, and then they could not draw their bowes: but especially they are to take héed whē they shoot, that they shoot not the fethered end of their arrows forwards, for then they wil neuer flée right.
What gawds be these you do stil adict your self vnto? ywis it would be more for y• credit of your cause, to answer with more discretion, these frumps are to little purpose, but rather to the discredit of that you would fainest maintaine.
Captaine Pil, I do deale more discréetly with you then I perceiue you can conceiue of: for you know it is faire play in euery tennis court to tosse you backe againe your owne balles, that your selfe haue first serued to the house: and because you speake of gaudes, what gaudes be these that you haue inferred against shot? that they may neglect their sightes, that their bullets may be too low, that there may be fault in their pouder, that there may be fault in their match, that there may be fault in their charging: what obiections be these but gaudes and trifles? for who would allowe him for a shot, that taketh no sight of his marke but shooteth at randon, or that careth not whether his pouder be wet or dry, or that will not kéepe his péece in seruiceable sort from rusting or furring, or that knowes not how to giue his péece her due charge, but will put in the bullet before the pouder, or that thinketh his peece neuer to be charged till hee hath filled the barrell to the very toppe? I haue knowne such, but what of this? are these things to be reckoned in the dis∣paragement of perfect shot? no they are but cauils, and the question is not of the imbicilitie of the man, but of the good∣nes and aduantage of the weapon being vsed in his kinde, Page [unnumbered]and according to skill: But for these accidents before spoken of, if any of them happen, the fault is not to be imputed to y• weapō, but to the souldier that hath committed some negli∣gence. Confesse now a truth, & say that the musket & caliuer are of greater force & seruice in the field or elsewhere, then a∣ny other shot that hath bin hitherto knowen, if the souldi∣er that beareth them be expert, as he shuld be, and neglecteth no part of his dutie, and then I will answere you thus.
The very meane to bring a shot to perfection and experi∣ence, is practise, and then that man is much to blame, that (ignorantly and without knowledge) wil séeke to disswade that which doth so greatly concerne his countries good, and would aduise vs to neglect a weapon of such excellencie ac∣counted (& trie to be of) in all the partes of Christendome, that would so weaken vs, & aduantage any enemie yt would assaile vs, as God defend that by any perswasion we should be induced to submit vnto, but rather with all carefulnes to inure them, knowing that the very perfection of those we∣pons, doth especially consist in the practise of the bearer, and he which hath not celeritie and redines to vse them, is liker to end anger a friend, then hurt an enemie.
And for this celeritie and readines the archer is e∣specially to be preferred, that are alwaies ready to giue their volies, and to shoot foure or fiue arrowes, before your shot shall be able to discharge one bullet.
This position is one of the greatest reasons that they haue in the behalfe of archers, yt they will shoote faster & oftener then shot can do, but this is euer more aleaged by ig∣norant men, for although it be true that euery archer ordi∣narily will shoot faster then euery shot can do hand to hand, yet for seruice to be performed in the fielde, if there be 1000 shot, and 1000 archers, euery captain of any sufficient ex∣perience, will so maintaine his skirmish, that he will still haue as many bullets flying, as the archers can shoote ar∣rowes, if they will shoote to any purpose to annoy those that shal serue against them, & there is no such necessitie of hastie charging, as vnskilfull men will dreame of, but that shotte Page [unnumbered]may take conuenient time, and the more they be in number the more may be their leisure. Now for their redines to giue those volies that is spoken of, I hope shot, hauing their pée∣ces charged, proined, their matches fired, and al things redy (as they are euermore accustomed, if there be such occasion, they can discharge with quicker expedition, then an archer can nocke his arrowes and draw it to his head.
But the Archer that alwayes marcheth with his bow readie bent, may be thought likewise to be most readie for all manner of seruices, and for all manner of weathers, whether faire or foule: againe, the arrowes in their discent are most noysome 〈◊〉 terrible to the enemie, lighting vpon their faces, their breasts, their bellies, their codpéeces, theyr thighes, their legges, and there is no place that is free from their danger, but that they gawle and spoyle both horse and man. Besides, flying togither in the aire as thicke as haile, they do not onely terrifie their eies with the sight, but they do likewise amaze the verie eares and hearts of men, with the noyse and whistling they do make in the aire.
Lord haue mercie vpon vs, what a fearefull discrip∣tion is this, and I will not denie (indéede) but that they may hit vs in the faces, in the breasts, and in the bellies, but for the codpéece, the tailers haue taken order they shall neuer hurt vs there any more, for they vse to make our hose nowe without codpéeces, and I perceiue it is done for a good intent and for the whistling that they do make in the aire, if that be a matter of such terrour, who would not be afraide to come amongst a flocke of Géese when they haue young gos∣lings, but he that hath béene in place where a volie of Mus∣ket and Caliuer shot, hath passed by him, and hath heard a∣ny thing of their whistling, will neuer after thinke that the fluzzing of an arrow, is so fearefull a matter.
But Captaine Pill to end this trifling, and to shewe you my opinion in a few words, the readiest way to find out the effects of these weapons, is first to cōsider of the place where they may be brought to serue, y• time when they may do ser∣uice, & what may be ye effects in the executiō of their seruices.
Page [unnumbered]First for the place, archers, are not seruiceable at all, nei∣ther in trenches nor in any fortifications whatsoeuer, be∣cause they cannot in those places be brought to serue, but they must make their bodyes an open marke to the musket and caliuer, which are vsualy placed in such sort, that a man cannot put vp his head aboue the rampier, but with great danger and peril. So that their place where they may serue, is only in the plain & open field, where they must be guarded with trench, hedge, ditch, or otherwise that horsemē may not charge them, and yet there they cannot do their execution, but they must stande in open view to the Musket and Cali∣uer, who taking the benefit of hedge, ditch, trees, bushes, shrubbes, or other couerts which almost euerie ground af∣fordeth them, or otherwise by the aduantage of farre shoo∣ting, will without any danger at al to themselues, easily dis∣place the other, and putte them from the ground: where the Musket and Caliuer hauing once taken place of aduantage-will not be displaced neither with horse nor foote, but with great hazard to those that shall assaile them.
For the time when these weapons may do their seruice, first for the bow, it cannot be but within the distance of nine or tenne score, for vntill that time the archer is not able to shoot home, for although there be many that in their gaming bowes and their arrowes, fitted to their length, and neately feathered, will shoote sixtéene or eightéene score, yet when they shall be brought to their liuerie bowes, which are ra∣ther made to indure weather, then for frée shooting, their ar∣rowes likewise big timbered, their fethers ruffled, where∣by they will gather winde, and ordinarily made of such length, that very few will draw them to the heads by two thrée inches, these things considered, if tenne amongst a hundred do shoote aboue tenne score, all the rest will shoote short of nine. What aduantage then hath the Musketeres, that may take their times to beate vpon troupes either of horsemen, or footemen, thirtie score off, but within 24 with great forceand furie. Here is now a special matter to be no∣ted, the arrow comming in the aire in the discent, when it Page [unnumbered]〈…〉 furthest to flie, but it falleth to the ground, where contrari∣wise the shot discharged frō the Musket, euen from the place of the first deliuerie, runneth stil currant within the cōpasse of a mans height, and al the way in possibility is indaunger, so that this may be concluded, neither can it be denied, as the arrow hath no possibilitie to indanger, in aboue one or two ranks, so the musket shotte hath as great likelihood to hurt, in more then two or thrée and twentie.
Now touching the effects of these weapons for their exe∣cution, the greatest perfection of the bow, is to gall a horse or naked men that are vnarmed, & the arrow easily defen∣ded with matters of light cariage, as our barbarous Irish∣men, that inuented targets made of small wickers, like basket liddes, which weighing not aboue two pownd weight, would couer them from the toppe to the toe, and sometimes with their mantles hanging loose about their armes, which was the cause that our captains of that coun∣trey, long sithence haue conuerted all their bows to caliuers, and from that time haue so continued.
The musket shot is of a greater effect, both against horse and man, and who is he that can carry such an armour as will holde them out? Of the furder effects of these weapons I thinke I shall not néede to speake, but this may suffice to those that are not disposed to cauill, and for those that are peruerse, I haue neither hope nor intention to alter or dis∣swade thē, & wil therfore make the more sparing conclusion.
Captaine Skill, you could neuer haue concluded in a better time, for wée are come to a good towne, and I holde it best that wée ride no furder to night. And for these mat∣ters thus discoursed between vs, although you haue in a sort satisfied me, yet I haue something else to say which I will deferre till our next conuenience, but now I holde it best to take vp our lodgeing for this night.
It is a very good motion, captaine Pil, and leade you the way to what Inne you are best acquainted at, and I will follow you.