CHAP. VI. Of the Captain.
SInce that thea Captains places have been disposed of by the Prince (as the Captains in Flan∣ders are appointed at the Court of Spain) there are grown these two inconveniences upon it. First, young and unexperienced gentlemen are made Captains. Secondly, many good souldiers are lost, which seeing their hopes of advancement by degrees and merit cut off, abandon the service. Whereas the charge of a Captain of horse is of so great importance and qualitie in the army, as it should not be given to any, but to men of singular valour and experience: for often it falleth out, that of themselves, without orders or counsel of any other (as occasion requireth) they must exe∣cute services of great weight and consequence.b He must be vigilant, sober, continent, modest in his apparell, curious to have good horses and arms, thereby to give example to his souldiers, and to see them punctuall in their service, and exactly observant of discipline; for their excursions and extortions cannot be remedied, unlesse the Captain keep them in order: wherein if he be negligent, he looseth his reputation with his superiours. If he be covetous or given to gaming, he is ready to be drawn to lay hands (oftentimes) on the pay due to the souldiers; whereby he also overthrow∣eth his reputation and credit. A covetous desire of riches should not enter into a generous heart. He must diligently and punctually observe the orders which shall be given or sent him from his su∣periours, and be in the place at the appointed houre with his companie, and others under his charge. On all occasions he must be first on horseback, and keep his company full and compleat. He must alwayes strive by desert to advance himself to higher places, alwayes studying how to en∣dammage his enemy; to this end he ought often toc consult with his best experienced souldiers. He must endeavour to know every one of his souldiers by theird names, that so he may distinctly name them upon occasion of employment; it being an encouragement to them to be known by name of their Captain. Whatsoever should befall, he muste take heed of discovering any fear, on whose courage and countenance the souldiers depend, and must alwayes shew a good resolution in the orders which he shall give, without confounding himself; knowing that there is no place for counsel in him, who hath his discourse of reason seazed by fear. He mustf cherish his well deser∣ving souldiers, and cashiere the contrary; and it must be his care to have one or more of his souldi∣ers wellg skilled in the wayes of the countrey, to serve him as guides: (because the boots are nei∣ther alwayes at hand, nor alwayes to be trusted) and to such he is to give some allowance extraor∣dinary. Out of his company he is to choose his Lieutenants, Cornets, &c. weighing onely every ones merit, without any passion; whereby he shall give content and encouragement to his souldi∣ers, and shall be sure not to be crossed by the Generall in the confirmation of the said officers.
The charge of the troops used to be given to the Captains of lances, as having a prerogative above other Captains of horse, or to the eldest Captain: yet the Chief ought to have regard to their sufficiency for command, and to give the charge to them that are ablest to perform it.
In absence of the Captains of lances (when they were in use) the Captains of cuirassiers comman∣ded; and in their absence, the Captains of harquebusiers. The Lieutenants observed the same rules.