CHAP. XVI. What qualities they are which befitt Martiall Men.
THe qualities which befit Martiall men are many, but I will at this time treate but of Eight, and they be these, viz. Silence. Obedience. Secrecie. Sobriety. Ʋalour. Loyalty. Free∣dome from Bribes. Moderation in expence.
I begin with the first: Silence.
SIlence* was of such veneration amongst the Aegyptians, that they made thereof a God, which with them was called Harpocrates: and according to the Greekes Sigaleon: him they portratured in the Page [unnumbered] likenesse of a young childe,* who close to his lips held one of his fingers: sometimes they pictured him without any face at all, all couered ouer with the skin of a Wolfe, on which were depainted as many eyes and eares as could be inserted thereon, signifying thereby that it was needfull to see and heare much, and to speake little, in that he that speaketh not, offendeth not. All this is to de∣note vnto vs the excellencie of Silence, which is commendable in all men, but especially in Souldiers, who must rule their tongues and be silent, or else they will soone perish and come to nought. Plutarch saith that there is no danger in silence.*Homer highly commendeth it in the Grecians, in his descriptions of their fights with the Troians. His words be these:
And in another place speaking of the Grecians;
Thus much of Silence. The next qualitie for a Souldier is Obe∣dience.
Obedience* is the Queene of vertues, and crownes her followers with the wreathes of honour. It effecteth much with few, and gaines the victory ouer multitudes. Therefore let Souldiers obey their Commanders, for without Obedience nothing can be done.
Paulus Aemylius being to obserue the custome of the Romans,* and to make an Oration of thanks vnto the people for chusing him Consull, in his Oration told them, That if they had any trust or confidence in him, or thought him a man sufficient to discharge his place, that then they should not speake nor meddle in any mat∣ter that concerned his dutie and the office of a Generall, sauing only that they would be diligent without any words to doe whatsoeuer he commanded, that should be necessary for the warres and ser∣uice they tooke in hand.* All which (saith Plutarch) the Romans obeyed, and by yeelding vnto reason and vertue, came to com∣mand Page [unnumbered] all other, and to make themselues the mightiest people of the world. And indeed they were the most obedient to their Com∣manders of any; insomuch as a certaine Numidian asking young Scipio how he would conquer Carthage, Scipio vpon a hill poin∣ting with his finger to his Souldiers below, answered him thus: With these I will conquer Carthage; for if I should bid them from hence cast themselues downe headlong, know they will doe it. How seuerely the Consuls did punish disobedience in the campe,* may appeare by the rigorous punishment which Manlius Torquatus did execute vpon his sonne Titus Manlius, commanding his head to be stricken off in his owne presence, for hauing passed his com∣mand in sallying forth to fight with Genutius M•tius Captaine of the Tuseulans, who gaue him the defie and challenge. Nothing auailing the poore Gentleman in hauing ouercome and slaine his enemie, nor the whole Armies supplications and intreaties. The like rigour vsed Posthumus Tiburtus against his sonne Aulus Post∣humus, at his returne from his conquered enemie. All this to shew the excellencie of obedience,* which the Prophet prefers above s•c•ifice. Thus much of Obedience. The next qualitie for a Souldier is Secrecie.
Secrecie* is a quali•ie appropriated to none but wise men; for a foole hauing heard a secret, trauelleth as a woman with childe vn∣till he haue d•sclosed i; but a wise man keepeth it close in his breast, and when any goes about to commit a secret vnto him, he will seeke all meanes to auoid it. King Lysimachus as he aduised and talked vpon a time with Philippedes (the Comicall Poet) a friend and familiar of his, he said vnto him, What wouldest thou haue me to impart vnto thee of all that mine is? Euen what it shall please you Sir (answered the Poet) so it be none of your secrets.
Anacharsis, being inuited one day and feasted by Solon, was re∣puted wise,* for that being asleepe, he was found and seene holding his right hand to his mouth, and his left vpon his priuities and na∣turall parts. Hence Plutarch inferres this, That he had good rea∣son so to think, because the Tongue required and needed the stron∣ger bridle to restraine it, being a hard matter to reckon so many persons vndone and ouerthrowne by their vntemperate and loofe life, as there haue beene Cities and mightie States ruinated and sub∣uerted vtterly, by the reuealing and opening of some secrets. Therefore let all men striue to attaine this vertue of secrecie;* especi∣ally Page [unnumbered] Souldiers, for by their ouer-much babling, they may be an oc∣casion of the ouerthrow of themselues and others.
A strange accident did happen to the City of Athens, (which Sylla did beleager) through the lauishnesse of certaine vnbrideled tongues.* Certaine old fellowes being met in a Barbers shop with∣in the City of Athens (being blabs of their tongues) chatted it out in their talke together, that a certaine quarter of the Citie, named Heptacaleon, was not sufficiently guarded, & therefore the Towne in danger to be surprised, by that part; which talke of theirs was o∣uer-heard by certaine Espies, who aduertised Sylla so much, where∣upon immediately he brought all his Forces to that side, and about midnight gaue an assault, made entrie, and went within a very lit∣tle of forcing the City, and being Master of it all; for he filled the whole street, called Ceranicum, with slaughter and dead carkasses, in so much that the channels ran downe with bloud. A fearefull ex∣ample.
Plutarch saith, That words haue wings, and when they flie out they cannot be recalled backe againe.
Symonides saith, A man may repent many times for words spoken, but neuer for a word kept in. The Kings of Persia did punish with death the lauishnesse of the tongue. This made the Persians famous for secrecie.
Quintus Curtius reports thus of them, Alexander the Great, saith he, wrought all the wayes he could, to obtaine knowledge where Darius was become, and into what Countrey he was gone, and yet could not get the intelligence; by reason of a custome among the Persians, which were wont with a maruellous fidelity to keepe close their Princes secrets, in the vttering whereof, neither death nor hope of reward could cause them to bring forth a word, there be∣ing (in those parts) not any goodnesse looked for at any mans hands, that hath not the gift of secretnesse, whereof Nature hath giuen a facillity in man. Thus much of Secrecie. The next vertue re∣quired in a Souldier, is Sobriety or Temperance.
Sobriety is a great vertue, and greatly to be accounted of all men,* for it extinguisheth Vice in the cradle, and st•fle•h it in the •eed. It is the mother of health, & an assured medicine against all maladies, and that which lengtheneth a mans life. Socrates by Sobrietie had alwaies a strong body, and liued euer in health; whereas Alexander, by his drunkennesse, dyed in the flower of his age, though he were Page [unnumbered] better borne, and of a sounder constitution than Socrates.
All the greatest Personages of the world haue beene Sober.
So was Cyrus the elder, so was Caesar, so was Iulian the Emperor.
Therefore let all Souldiers be sober, and embrace Sobriety, for it will make them as Kings and Princes to gouerne their passions, and to bridle their insatiate appetite. To Sobrietie let them adde Temperance.
Temperance* is a rule that sweetly accommodateth al things vn∣to Nature, Necessity, Simplicity, Facility, Health, Constancie. Temperance will weane their soules from the sweet milke of the pleasures of this world, and make them capable of a more solide and soueraigne nourishment. These two will highly aduance them in the fauour of their Generall, and raise them in time to great pre∣ferment, whereas drunkards and vntemperate persons are contem∣ned of all men, and no matter of importancie to be committed vn∣to them.* The Turkes are famous for their Sobriety. A certaine Gentleman, at his returne from Constantinople, did declare vnto the Earle of Salma, that he had seene foure miracles in the Turkish Do∣minions; which was, first an infinite Armie almost without num∣ber, consisting of more than foure hundred thousand men: Second∣ly, that amongst so many men bee saw not one woman: Thirdly, that there was no mention made of wine: Lastly, at night when they had cried with a high voice, Alla, which is God, there conti∣nued so great a silence thorow the whole Campe, that euen in the Pauilions they did not speake but in a low voice. A thing worthy to be admired and imitated, though from Turkes. The next Quali∣tie required in a Souldier is Valour.
Valour* is the greatest, the most generous and heroycallest vertue for a Souldier of all other, it consisteth in the stoutnesse of his heart, in the resolution and stayednesse of his minde, grounded vpon the dutie, the honesty, and iustice of the enterprise, which resolu∣tion neuer slacketh whatsoeuer hapneth, vntill he haue valiantly en∣ded the enterprise, or his life. Here is Valour, let Souldiers striue to be thus valiant: some doe seeke this vertue in the body, and in the power and strength of the limmes. But they are mistaken, for it is not a qualitie of the body, but of the minde, a setled strength, not of the armes and legs,* but of the courage. This Valour is Philoso∣phicall, not altogether humane, being an impregnable bulwarke, a compleat armour to incounter all accidents, arming a man against Page [unnumbered] his owne aduerse fortune,* and making him to brooke the constancy and vertue of his enemy, containing Magnanimity, Patience, and other chiefe heroicall vertues: All other helps are strange and bor∣rowed: strength of armes & legs is the quality of a Porter; to make an enemy to stoope, to dasle his eyes at the light of the Sunne, is an accident of Fortune.
He whose courage faileth not for feare of death, quelleth not in his constancy and resolution, and though he fall is not vanquished of his Aduersary (who perhaps may in effect, be but a base fellow,) but of Fortune: and therefore he is to accuse his owne vnhappi∣nesse, and not his negligence;*The most valiant are oftentimes the most vnfortunate. Seeing it is so; Let no man be disheartned, especially a Souldier, seeing he must be brought vnto some honou∣rable enterprise, and therefore not to aduenture, is cowardnesse, to aduenture on, valour, be the euent what it will. Many are accoun∣ted valiant, who haue no sparke of true Valour in them; such are all our Thrasonicall Braggadoshes, Ragamuffin Rorers, who will quar∣rell with any man they meet with for the Wall, and send their challenges abroad as oftentations of their Valour. But such are not to be dealt withall, being but rash men, bastardly Valorous,* as they call it. True Valour, though it be Humane, is a wise Coward∣linesse; a Feare accompanied with foresight to auoid one euill by another: and such men as are thus valorous, will not venture their life vpon any sleight occasion. These are wise and are to be commended; the other vnwise, and are to bee discommended. Cato the elder, hearing many to commend a hare-braind fellow for his Valour, wittily taunted the applausers thus: My friends (quoth he) I wonder why you should esteeme Valour so much, and Life so little. Plutarch against heady Rashnesse speaketh to this effect, and saith; That when King Pyrrhus sent his Herald vnto King Antigonus; to challenge him to fight, Antigonus made him this answer, That he made Warres as much with Time as with Wea∣pons; and if Pyrrhus were weary of his Life, there was enough open to put himselfe to death. Thus you see how heady Rashnesse is to be contemned and auoided. But this doth no whit impeach Valour, for Valour executed in fit time and place, hath produced wonderfull effects. Quintus Curtius saith of Alexander, that hee got the Victory at Arbella, more by his owne Vertue than by any Fortune; and that with Valour and hardnesse more then through Page [unnumbered] any aduantage of ground.*Plutarch saith of Cains Martius; That by his meere Valour and manhood, he tooke the City of Co∣rioles; and after was the cause of the Consul Cominius victory a∣gainst them, which came to the rescue of it. For the Volfes (fea∣ring the taking of the City) came from all parts of the Countrey to saue it, and had diuided themselues into two parts, to hold the Romanes play in two seuerall places.) Therefore Martius hauing taken their City, left the spoile thereof to his obstinate Souldiers which stayed behind, and with a few that willingly offered them∣selues to goe, he went to aide the Consul Cominius against the rest. When he came he asked him how the Order of the Enemies Bat∣tell was, and on which side they had placed the best fighting men. The Consul made him answer, that he thought the Bands which were in the Vaward of their Battell, were those of the Antiates, whom they esteemed the warlikest men, and which for courage would giue no place to any of the Hoast of their Enemies. Then prayed Martius to bee set directly against them; the Consul granted him, greatly praising his courage. Then Martius, when both the Armies came almost to ioyne, aduanced himselfe a good space before his Company, and went so fiercely to giue charge on the Vaward that came right against him, that they could stand no longer in his hands, he made such a lane through them, and ope∣ned a passage into the Battell of the Enemies. The Romanes pre∣uailing against their foes, besought Martius that he would returne to the Campe, because they saw he was able to doe no more, hee was already so wearied with the great paine he had taken, and so faint with the great wounds he had vpon him. But Martius an∣swered them, that it was not for Conquerors to yeeld, nor to bee faint-hearted; and thereupon began afresh to chase them that fled, vntill such time as the Army of the Enemies was vtterly ouer∣throwne, and numbers of them slaine and taken prisoners. The next morning betimes, Martius went to the Consul Cominius, who highly commended him for his Valour, and proffered him many gi•ts, but M•rtius refused all. Therefore the Consul did or∣der and decree, that he should henceforth be called Coriolanus, in lieu of the noble seruice he had done, & for his Lion-like courage.
T•u• much of Valour.
The next Vertue required in a Souldier is Loyalty.* Loyalty is a transcendent Vertue, and passeth my power to expresse. It con∣sisteth Page [unnumbered] in the faithfulnes of Subiects to their Prince, of Souldiers to their General, of one friend to another. For without faith no friend∣ship. Faith is the band of all humane society, the foundatiō of all Iu∣stice, & aboue all things ought to be religiously obserued. The Ro∣manes were wont to exact it from their Souldiers by an oath, the fo•me whereof (in Vegetius time) did run thus:*We sweare by God the Father, by Christ his Sonne, and by the Holy Ghost, to do all thing: valiantly which the Emperour or Prince doth command vs; we will neuer forsake the warre, neither refuse death for the Romane Com∣mon-wealth. This shewes what manner of man a Souldier should be, loyall and faithfull, such a one by nature, not by Arte or obli∣gation; therefore let all Souldiers striue to attaine this excellent vertue of Loyalty, which will so arme them against all the temp∣tations of the Enemy, as he shall neuer be able to make them Trai∣tors.* What Souldier would become a Traitor to betray his Ge∣nerall or Captaine into the hands of his Enemy, if he did consider the penalty of the same; it may bee from him that sets him on worke? I will instance it in the Argyraspides.* The Argyraspides were old Souldiers of Macedon, who did deliuer their good Cap∣taine Eumones aliue into the hands of Antigonus, his deadly enemy. But Antigonus, who set them a worke, commanded euery mothers sonne of them to be slaine in recompence of their Treason, (saith Plutarch in the life of Eumenes.) Treason is a horrid fact, and the iustice of God will not let it passe vnpunished, be the committer neuer so great: I will instance it in Pausanias.
This Pausanias was Generall of the Lacedemonians, when the Persians ouer-ran Greece, and wasted all the Country before them, he receiued of Xerxes, King of Persia, fiue hundred Talents of gold, promising him to betray Sparta: but his Treason being discoue∣red, Agesilaus his father pursued him into the Temple of Miner∣ua, called Chalciaecos, where he fled for Sanctuary, where he caused the doores of the Temple to be mured vp with bricke, and famished him to death: his mother tooke his corps, and cast it forth to the dogs, not suffering it to bee buried, saith Plutarch in the life of Pausanias.
These examples being set before their eyes, will not only make them to detest Treason, but to become more faithfull vnto their Commanders.
Of all Souldiers none euer were more faithfull to their Com∣manders Page [unnumbered] than the Romans, ye shall not read in any History of any faithfuller Souldiers than they haue beene.
When their Consull Crassus was endangered by the Parthian Arrowes, which flew thicke about his eares, they did compasse him about, and brought him into the middest of them, then co∣vering him round with their Targets, they told him, That neuer Arrow of the Parthians should touch his body, before they were all slaine, one after another, fighting it out to the last man in his de∣fence.
*Plutarch reports a more admirable act of theirs than this. The Emperour Otho (saith he) was forsaken of all his Captaines, who had yeelded themselues to Vitellus, the new Emperour, his Souldi∣ers notwithstanding forsooke him nor, neither went they to sub∣mit themselues to their enemies the Conquerours, neither tooke they any regard of themselues to see their Emperor in that despaire, but all ioyntly together went vnto his lodging and called for their Emperour; when hee came out, they fell downe at his feet; pro∣strated thus on the ground, they did kisse his hands, with the teares running downe their cheekes, and besought him, not to forsake and leaue them to their enemies, but to command their persons, whilest they had one drop of blood left in their bodies to doe him seruice:
*Then one of the poore Souldiers, drawing out his sword, said vnto him, Know, O Caesar, that all my Companions are determi∣ned to dye in this sort for thee; and so slew himselfe.
These were faithfull and loyall Souldiers, worthy to bee remem∣bred to all posterities: They were constant to their friends, faithfull to one another; not refusing death for the Romane Common∣wealth.
Let all Souldiers imitate them in faithfulnesse.
Faithfull Souldiers are a Captaines bulwarke.
Caesar was safer in the Campe then in the Senate.
Thus much of loyalty.
The next quality required from a Souldier, is freedome from bribes.
It is a dishonourable thing for a Souldier to receiue a Bribe; and it is the more dishonourable, because the law of Armes doth for∣bid it: wherefore doth the law of Armes strictly forbid it with a penalty to the same, but because those men, whose nature is most Page [unnumbered] prone to take bribes, are the most fittest to be made Traytors? On them the enemy will lay golden bookes, to draw them to his pur∣pose, vpon any occasion. Thus Xerxes dealt with Arthmius,* borne at Zelb•a, who by gold was to corrupt the Graecians, to make him way into Greece. But Arthmius was thereupon noted of infamy, not alone, but his children, with their posterity after.
Thus he dealt with Pausanius, Generall of the Lacedemonians,* to whom he gaue fiue hundred Talents of gold, to betray Sparta in∣to his hands: but Pausanius, being too much gorged with gold, was mured vp in a Temple, and famished to death, as I haue already declared.
Good reason therefore it is, that the law of Armes should so strictly forbid the taking of b•ibes, seeing the whole Army may be endangered thereby. And the law of Armes doth likewise in∣clude all acceptance of gifts, as vnlawfull for any to receiue of a professed enemy, that is, or hath beene, or may be guessed at to bee hereafter, whether they be giuen him in lieu of his desert, or to re∣compence him for his Ambassage; he must not, I say, accept them of him, forfeare of bringing himselfe into danger. Haue not ma∣ny bin brought into suspition by it? Haue not some lost their liues for it? Read Histories, peruse this example.
The Athenians sent their Ambassadors (who were Souldiers) to Artaxerxes, King of Persia, to fulfill the desire of the King,* and to grant him peace: The King was so pleased therewith, that he en∣tertained them royally, and sent them backe againe with many gifts; but when they were returned home, they were deseruedly checked by their State and Communalty, who had them all in sus∣pition; and some had much adoe to cleare themselues. Among them was one Timagoras, who had receiued of the King of Persia, fourescore milch Kine, for the peale, and other presents, with a great deale of gold and siluer, him the Athenians condemned to dye, and neither wealth nor friends could saue his life. This should make a Souldier to beware how he takes gifts or presents from an enemy, lest he lose his life, or incurre the ill will of his Prince, or be of no repute among men.
What made Pelopidas to be so well reputed of among the The∣bans?* but because he refused the gifts and presents which the King of Persia offered him? What made Plutarch so highly to commend Manius Curius? but because he refused the gifts which the Sam∣nites Page [unnumbered] sent vnto him by their Ambassadors? This Manius Curius was a Romane and had triumphed thrice, being the greatest man of Rome in his time, hauing subdued the mightiest nations and peo∣ple of Italy; and driuen King Pyrrhus also out of the same; yet himselfe dwelt in a little farme, hauing a small patch of ground be∣longing thereunto, being therewith contented, and manuring the same with his owne hands: thither notwithstanding, after his three triumphs,* the Samnits sent their Ambassadors to visit him, who found him by the fire side, seething of Parsnips, and presented him a maruellous deale of gold from their State and Communalty; but Curius returned them againe with their gold, and told them, That such as were contented with that Supper, had no need of gold or siluer; and that for his part, he thought it greater honour to com∣mand them that had gold, then to haue it himselfe.
They who will immitate this man, shall inherite his commenda∣tions: I conclude with this admonition to all Souldiers.
*Let them not receiue any thing from the enemy, either gift or letter, or any such thing; no, though it be from their owne fathers, without the license of their Generall or Captaines; if they doe, they will bee wonderfully suspected, and in danger, not onely of their credits, but also of their liues.
The next quality required in a Souldier, is Moderation in Ex∣pence.
Moderation in expence* is not onely profitable, but commen∣dable. Therefore let Souldiers be moderate in expence, rather spa∣ring than wasting.
The ancient Romans were commendable for this, the halfe of that which was giuen them in the warres, they set apart by their Standards, there to be kept, lest through excesse and ryot, or the getting of vaine things, it might bee wasted by themselues or o∣thers; but being by their Standards they knew it safe. This made them neuer to forsake their Standards, but rather sticke to them: so when they came home from the warres, they brought that with them that was able to maintaine them. The next Chapter shew∣eth what the wisdome and policy is which ought to bee in euery Commander.