Military instructions for the cavallrie, or, Rules and directions for the service of horse collected out of divers forrein authours, ancient and modern, and rectified and supplied according to the present practice of the Low-Countrey warres.
Cruso, John, d. 1681.

CHAP. I. Of officers in generall.

AS in politique government, so in this militarie profession, every man by a naturall impres∣sion is ready to conceive himself to be fit to command and govern others, though he never knew how to obey; whereas in every mechanicall trade or manufacture, an apprenticehood is first passed in the learning of it, before it be professed and exercised. In this profession of arms (c an art obtained with greatest difficulty, and practised with most danger) men would be Captains be∣fore they be souldiers. And hereof the chief cause is ignorance, the fruitfull mother of all errours. For surely, if their end and aim were honour, and they knew how frail and mutable the estate of a souldier is; and that in a moment a man may lose all the reputation obtained by many years industrie; (d the errours in warre admitting no amendment, as in other professions; but carry∣ing their present punishment with them) and had they seen many shamefully chased from the ar∣my, and proclaimed infamous; and others passe through the hands of the hangman; they would (doubtlesse) strive with much industry and diligence to enable themselves, before they came to undertake the exercise of so dangerous an employment. And they are not a little mistaken, which think theire birth a sufficient pretence to places of honour, without any qualification or merit; there being other things more reall and essentiallf required in an officer; namely, Knowledge, experience, valour, dexteritie, &c.

To be under command for a time, depresseth those vehement passions which nature exciteth, especially in young men, which would be very dangerous in a chief or commander. Moreover, it accustometh a man to danger, andg maketh him couragious; so as being suddainly assailed, he can recollect himself without astonishment; a most necessary thing in a commander. Adde to this, that by using himself to travell and labour, watching, hunger, thirst, rain, and frost; and byh an orderly ascent (by degrees) from a Corporall to a Quartermaster, from thence to a Cornet, and so to a Lieutenant, he prepareth himself for a Captains charge. He learneth the trick of en∣tertaining his souldiers, and to keep them in good affection and reverence towards him. He knows their severall dispositions and sufficiencies, and accordingly entrusteth them with employments. Honour must be his chief end; to attain which, he must be very vigilant not to losei any occasi∣on of any brave exploit: by which means he will be alwayes observing his enemy, studying how to prevent him or endammage him; alwayes bearing in mind this maxime, That in warre no great or remarkable matter can be effected without danger and diligence. To this end, let him be sure to take heed that hek trust not too much to his own judgement and valour, without ac∣quainting his officers with his counsels. And let him so know the severall inclinations and sufficien∣cies of his souldiers, as to take particular notice of such as deserve well, and to reward them accord∣ingly; and to rid himself of base and debauched fellows and cowards.

He must alwayes aspire (in way ofl virtuous emulation) to higher degrees of honour.m Cove∣tousnesse Page  2 he must hate; for nothing will better continue his souldiers good affections towards him then liberalitie. Gaming he must detest.n In stead of costly apparell, let him delight in good arms and horses; wherein oftentimes both his life and honour consisteth. He must be continent and so∣ber, not given to luxurie noro drunkennesse, but alwayes be as a good example to his souldiers: for otherwise he cannot have that requisite libertie to chastise them for those vices Which his own con∣science will accuse himself to be guiltie of.

Above all, let him set before his eyes (as the originall and foundation of all perfection) the fear of God; carrying himself (so farre as may be) internally and externally inculpable. For the horrour of a guiltie conscience, and the imminent danger and apprehension of death meeting together, take away all courage and valour. And thus having reformed himself, he shall the more easily reform his souldiers, and make them fit for every honourable enterprise.