Swetnam Preface to Peers

This is part of an ongoing project to summarize and provide SCA focused commentary on The Schoole of the Noble and Worthy Science of Defence by Joseph Swetnam, published in 1617.

For links to the other sections of the Swetnam Project please go here.

I am using this facsimile: http://tysonwright.com/sword/SwetnamSchooleOfDefence.pdf for the project.



Unto all Professors of the Noble and worthie Art of Defence I send greeting

Is how Joseph Swetnam begins his second preface.  This one is only eight pages long, rather than 14.

He begins with a call to his peers.  He extolls them for being men of good self government and the pinnacle of the community.  He calls on them to remember that their lives are not their own but their country’s.  He extolls them to be the best they can be because you never know when you may die.cover page

He explains that his peers must set a good example.  He gives an anecdote of a gentleman who was exceedingly good at putting out eyes with his rapier, and that although he was a very good fencer it encouraged others to attempt it, which was bad because it first encouraged men to take foolish risks while fencing, and second that one should not enter the duel with a murderous mind.  The point of the duel should be to end the duel, not to kill your opponent, as you may be hung for that.