“A MAN MAY A LONG TIME BEAR ARMS, AND YET BE IGNORANT IN MANY THINGS…”: SCARCE 1690 FIRST EDITION OF THE PERFECTION OF MILITARY DISCIPLINE
(MILITARY) ANONYMOUS. The Perfection of Military Discipline after the Newest Method, as Practiced in England and Ireland, &c. London: Nicholas Boddington, 1690. Small octavo, later full limp sharkskin with yapp edges. $2200.
First edition of this 17th-century military manual, with much information on using muskets, mortars and other “Fire-works for War.”
“Courage, indeed, is a great qualification in the profession of arms, but without Experience it frequently does hurt, and rarely raises a man to any considerable station but joined with Experience…” (Preface). This work covers drills and formations for training and implementing effective units of infantry, grenadiers, dragoons and cavalry, as well as instructions for individual soldiers for properly handling the pike and the musket and other weapons of hand-to-hand combat. Officers are given instructions for the best means of “opening difficult passes, taking castles, passing bridges, opposing towns or fortresses, besieging strongholds” as well as how to maintain discipline in garrisons and construct fortifications. Part II is devoted to gunnery, “showing the practice of the ordnance, mortars, etc., with the manner of making and using Fire-works for war, at sea and land.” Includes woodcut frontispiece (trimmed and mounted) and engraved plate opposite Part II, tipped in on stub. Wing P1532. Early owner inscription, dated 1791; early owner signature on first leaf of text.
Title page mounted, with woodcut frontispiece laid down on verso. Light embrowning to text, without affecting legibility. A very good copy. Scarce.