To Those That Love the Exercise of Arms Wissheth Jacob de Gheyn Heath and prosperitie.
It is out of all doubt, that neither the quietneße of a common wealthe without armes, nor the armes without convenient or due exercise, can stand or be maintained. Which hath not onely bene well considered by the old sages or wise, that have undertaken to give any examples of lawe, but is approoved by the effectuall experience of the most famous Townes and People, that have preserved their Estate chieflye by those meanes. And examining the further course of the whole World, we shall find, that the soveraigne powre hath alwayes bene by those which here in did most surpasse theyr neighbours. The Grecians, in the time thye have bene in theyr most shyning glorie have much embraced this point, and therein by theyr witt not little proffited. Yet the Romains have farre surpaßed here in as well those as all others, and ever exercised theyr youth at all kinde of armes by those whom they called Campi-doctores or Mastres of the field. Which maner is playnelye showed unto us, in the writinges that are thereof come to our handes, the same reason standeth fast for ever, and with all nations. But in regard that not onely the use but even the armes them selves are much changed chiefly sithence the findinge out of Gun pouder, it can not be denied but that wee can reape small or no benefite by the old rehearsals, without wee have neewe instructions. His Princely Exce. therefore the Earle Maurice of Naßau &c. to whose care (by the Lords Estates generall of the united Provinces) is left the charge of defending so worthie countries and the conducting of a warre which is taken for a schoole or patterne to the whole World, Like as he throughout the whole militarie order (before his times much decayed) hath restored and partelye brought to the examples of the old, partely by his owne inventions amended and adorned, so hath he taken great regard to the exercise of Armes, as one of the principall partes of the militarie ordre, where out are risen such comodites as unto every man is knowne not onely in these Countries but also in the uttermost partes of the worlde.
This hath bene the chiefe cause that hath mooved me to give out the order which his Princely Exce. in the using of the Calivres, Muskets and Pikes doth observe as the perfectest and best patterne, as well to pleasure those whose duety it is to followe the order of his directions, as to accomodate any other who shall seeke to draw benefytt to hym self by so necessary exercise and practise of armes. Having to that purpose drawne all the postures that come in the holding or using of the armes by order and the same described with his reasons and wordes of com̄and: A worke (without question) very fitt for novices and yonge souldiers to whom it belongeth to exercise them selves with great diligence herein, verye necessarye also to all Captaynes and Comandors the better to looke to the exercising of souldiers, and lastly verie proffitable to all Princes and People, be it in tyme of warre the better to defend them selves, and offend theyr ennemyes or be it in time of peace with the more facilitye (by this kinde of exercising) to draw a better aßurance to them selves, and become the more dreadfull and redoubted to others. Seeuing then our meaning goeth no further then to instruct the untrained souldiers and to reinforce the minde of the expert by the sight and reading of it: No man shall finde it strange that wee in drawing of the Pikes, onely set that which for the use of the same is most necessarye, omitting diverse māners of toßing of the pike by forme of recreation, which in militarie exercise bringeth little benefite or profite.
Concerning the different or sutable apparell and armes of the figures, there is to be considered, that the shott with head peeces, and the Muskettiers with hattes are drawne and differently appareled, not that we holde it for neceßarie, but that such varietye might give the fuller ornament to the figures, and to showe to posteritie the manner of souldiers apparel used in these dayes, Like as on the other side the Pikemen are all armed after one sorte or kinde, for no other reason then to represent the right māner and fashon of the arminge of his Excc. owne Garde, as it is at this tyme. ln the small shot and Musquettiers, you shall also consider that the first figure showeth how a man shall holde a Musket or Caliver already charged upon his shoulder, and the other pictures followinge tell what is further to be done bothe for discharging, and lykewyse for charging againe of the peece. And because that every man standing still shall knowe how to behave him self in tyme of need, there is pro-