CHAP. XIIII. Of Souldiers in generall. Of the corruption of the Cavallrie.
SOuldiers take their name from the Dutchword Soldye, which signifieth pay or stipend; profit being one of the ends why men undertake the military profession, and honour not the onelya (though the chiefest) of their aims. And therefore they which were of opinion, that the way to reform the Militia of Flanders, was to redouble the labours of the souldiers and shorten their pay, were much mistaken. And it will rather be found, that the scanting of the souldiers profits, and increasing their toil, procured the corruption of their Cavallrie. The honest profit of a souldier may be twofold. 1. Ordinary, which is set pay. 2. Extraordinary, which are rewards for speciall meriting services; and these are joyned with honour.
Among the Romanes,b the Legionary souldiers had allowance of pay, corn, and apparrell, by a decree of the Senate 349. yeares after the building of the city; having till that time served with∣out pay, but not without many profits, and having all necessaries provided them of the publick. A horse-mans pay was then a drachma or denarius a day (of our money about 7. pence halfpeny.) In Cesars time it was doubled, (ascSuetonius testifieth) and Augustus augmented it to three de∣narii a day. They had theird apparell allowed them of the publick, and corn; namely, wheat for themselves and attendants, and barley and oats for their horses,e being two medimni of wheat, and seven of barley and oats a moneth (the medimnus being about a bushel and an half of our measure.) They had also their shares of booties, which were very large and ample. Besides, for extraordinary rewards, they had oftentimesf assignments of land, of inheritance, & houses also; suf∣ficient to maintain them without using any trades. Moreover they had rewards in money. At the triumph ofgPompey out of Asia, every private souldier had 1500. drachmas, (of our money 46. pounds 3. shillings 9. pence) and the officers in proportion. And shortly after, at the triumph ofhCesar, every souldier had 5000. drachmas, (which is 156. pounds 5. shillings) &c. Furthermore,i they had many kinds of honourable rewards for signall acts, and those bestowed in great pomp at publick assemblies of all the Commanders, by the Imperatour (or Generall) himself, and a record kept of those services. These rewards were of many kinds; as severall sorts of arms, horses, rich trappings, jewels, golden bracelets, &c. Besides, their severall sorts of crowns, as theirkCorona civica, obsidionalis, muralis, castrensis, vallaris, navalis, &c. which crowns were put upon their heads in great state and solemnitie by the Generall. These they wore upon all publick occasions; as at playes, in triumphs, in judgement, &c.l for their military profession made them the more ca∣pable (afterwards) of offices in the administration of the Common-wealth.
If but such profits and encouragements were given to souldiers in these dayes, it were easie to keep them in good order and discipline. But what ism seven Phillips dallers (35. shillings English) a moneth for a horse-man, to maintain himself, his boy, and two horses, and that but ill paid? whence shall he have means to provide himself apparell? and if his horse fail, how shall he be able to buy another? And whereas a horse-man at the time when this pay was first ordered, could put himself inn sufficient equipage for 20. or 25. Phillips dallers (which is five pounds, or six pounds five shillings) now the price of all things is so raised, as he shall hardly accomplish it with 60, which is 15 pounds starling. As for extraordinary rewards they are very rare, offices usually be∣ing bestowed for favour, if not for money. So that good spirits and honest men (seeing their way ofo advancement cut off, and considering that without pillaging and robbing they cannot live) give over the service. They which remain, infringing all discipline (many of them)p fall to extortion and stealing: and if an officer shall punish them for it, he giveth occasion of mutinies.