The Authors Epistle vnto diuers Noble men and Gentle-men.
AMong all the Prayers, wherein through the whole course of my life, I haue asked any great thing at Gods hands, I haue alwayes most earnestly beseeched, that (although at this present I am verie poore and of base Fortune) he would notwithstanding giue me grace to be thankefull and mindfull of the good turnes which I haue receiued. For among all the disgraces which a man may incurre in this world, there is none in mine opinion which causeth him to become more odious, or a more enimie to mortall men (yea, vnto God himselfe) than ingratitude. VVherefore being in Treuiso, by your honours courteously intreated, and of all honourably vsed, although I practised litle or nought at all to teach you how to handle weapons, for the which purpose I was hyred with an honourable stipend, yet to shewe my selfe in some sort thankefull, I haue determined to bestowe this my worke vpon your honours, imploying my whole indeuour to shewe the way how to handle all sortes of weapons with aduantage and safetie. The which my worke, because it shall finde your noble hearts full of valure, will bring foorth such fruite, being but once attentiuely read ouer, as that in your said honors will be seene in actes and deedes, which in other men scarsely is comprehended by imagination. And I, who haue beene and am most feruently affected to serue your Ls. forasmuch as it is not graunted vnto me, (in respect of your diuers affaires) to applie the same, and take some paines inteaching as I alwaies desired, haue yet by this other waie, left all that imprinted in your noble mindes, which in this honourable exercise may bring a valiant man vnto perfection.
Therefore I humbly beseech your honours, that with the same liberall mindes, with the which you accepted of mee, your Ls: will also receiue these my indeuours, & vouchsafe so to protect them, as I haue alwaies, and wil defend your honours most pure and vndesiled. VVherein, if I perceiue this my first childbirth (as I haue only published it to thentent to help & teach others) to be to the generall satisfaction of all I will so straine my endeuours in an other worke which shortly shall shew the way both how to handle all those weapons on horse-backe which here are taught on foote, as also all other weapons whatsoeuer.
Your honours most affectionate seruant.
- Giacomo di Grassi of Modena.