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And to this End were Badges of several Orders devised, as Pledges of Remembrance to quicken and establish their Friendship.
by Religion and Piety; and too defective without ad∣joyning Ecclesiastical Persons thereunto.
IN several of the Honour being the more illustri∣ous of the two; and where we behold any Person outwardly adorned with it, we are to judge him inwardly endued with Vertue, inasmuch as Honour is his due, and justly bestowed upon him.'s Reign, that none should be admitted, unless Free-born, or a Gentle∣man for three Generations; and, indeed, for a long Time none were elected Knights but the best Sort of Gentlemen, and Persons of Extraction, as was the il∣lustrious and Freedmen being too frequently re∣ceived into this Degree (too near a Parallel among the Knights of this Age) occasion'd their Power to grow less and less, 'till it shrunk to nothing; so that the Pla∣ces and Offices of Judges which they before had execu∣ted, became conferrable upon the This Degree is truly accounted the first of all Military Dignity, and the Foundation of all Honours in our Nation, and is deri∣ved from, if not the same with that immediately pre∣ceding.
For as the Ceremony of a gentle Touch on the Shoulder with the flat Side of the Sword hath been since used, instead of girting with the Sword and Belt, (especially in Times of War, or in Haste) as an Initia∣tion into the Military Order; so on the contrary, it is not unusual now-adays, for the Prince, at least to whom the Right of bearing a square Banner doth belong.
There is nothing that has relation to this it is a Work so very copious, that he does himself acknowledge he has inserted some things of little importance; which he desires may be considered to be done, to gratify some few, who have a more immediate concern therein.
But as in Peace and great Leisure these tedious Ceremo∣nies were used, yet it was otherwise in Times of War, or on a Day of Battle, where Hurry and Throng of Affairs would not permit; and therefore, as well be∣fore the joining of Battle, as after Victory obtained, it was usual for the Prince or General in the Field, on Sight of the Army, to give those whom he thought fit to advance to that Honour (they humbly kneeling be∣fore him) a Stroke with a naked Sword flatwise upon their Shoulders, or else to touch their Heads or Shoul∣ders lightly, without any other Ceremony, except pronouncing and these were sent to such as dwelt in remote Countries, and sometimes, but rarely, extended so as to make the Degree heredi∣tary.