The Colonel recovered of his sickness took shipping from Scotland to Holland, and from thence over land to Holstein, accompanied with Captain Mac-Kenyee, and Captain Pomfrey, arrived in the latter end of March Anno 1627 in Holstein, where he was welcomed by his regiment. At his coming, orders were given, his regiment should be brought in arms at Itzehoe, where his Majesty would take their oaths of fidelity. The regiment being come together at the rendezvous, was drawn up in three divisions, attending his Majesty's coming, in good order of battle, all officers being placed according to their stations orderly, colours flying, drums beating, horses neighing, his Majesty comes royally forward, salutes the regiment, and is saluted again with all due respect, and reverence, used at such times; his Majesty having viewed front, flanks and rear, the regiment fronting always towards his Majesty, who having made a stand ordained the regiment to march by him in divisions, which orderly done, and with great respect, and reverence, as became; his Majesty being mightily well pleased, did praise the regiment, that ever thereafter was most praiseworthy. The Colonel, and the principal officers having kissed his Majesty's hand, retired to their former stations, till the oath was publicly given, both by officers, and soldiers being drawn in a ring by conversion, as use is, at such times. The oath finished, the articles of wars read, and published, by a bank of the drummer major, and his associates, the regiment remitted marches off orderly by companies, to their quarters, to remain till orders were given, for their up-breaking. The next day the Colonel, and Lieutenant colonel, were commanded to march over the Elbe with seven companies, and to beset the town of Stade with two companies, and then to march with the other five towards the Weser stream, to join with the English forces commanded by General Morgan, being four regiments of foot.
The sergeant Major Dumbarre, with the remnant four companies, was commanded towards Lauenburg, fearing the enemy was to cross the Elbe: our orders duly followed, we are thus severed, marching to our severall rendezvous, entering to take pains, for our former too much pleasure and riot, used in our winter quarters:
On this expedition towards the Weser stream, unfortunately Captain Boswell coming after the regiment was killed by a number of villanous boors, ever enemies to soldiers: the cavalier's death was much regrated of all that knew him, and no reparation had for his death. But the boors being fled, the dorp was burnt off.
Being thus joined to General Morgan his forces, where we remained ten weeks, having had great duty in watching, many alarms, but little service, so that our soldiers longing for service said, the Imperialists were no enemies; yet when the service was once offered, the smart came with it in great.
Our lieutenant colonel and his company did march from us towards Lauenburg, and joined with the other four companies, and the sergeant Major Dumbarre was sent to command the Colonel's division on the Weser, the Colonel being gone to solicit moneys for the regiment, seeing the English regiment did get weekly means, whereas we were entertained on proviant bread, beer and bacon.
The second Observation.
Nothing procures more faithful service, than the master's liberality. This magnanimous King his liberality we could not complain of, having paid us in money, and with assignation of moneys, on our own King; and good quarters we had, which were not reckoned unto us; our true fidelity his Majesty did oft-times commend, and our service both. Therefore in my opinion, that blood is not to be accounted lost, which is shed for a noble master. Diligent, and discreet servants, are the best friends a noble king, or prince can be blest withal: And as our deserving in this service was good, our respect was more than answerable; having been many times feasted, and royally entertained, at his Majesty's table; being of servants, made companions to the King our master. Let no man then think it bondage, to serve a noble master, and a bountiful king, as this was; yet he that lacks this ambition, to be made companion to earthly kings, following this worldly warfare, I would admonish him, to be thankful to the King of Kings, for his peace, and quietness at home, and in his prosperity, to make his acquaintance with God, that if adversity come, he may be the bolder with his Maker, by prayer, which is the key to open heaven, and the means to remove our adversity: for to reach unto God, we must humble ourselves by prayer, uniting us unto him, through the greatness of our love; for if we love God, we will be painful to seek him, and to find him, we must enter in the narrow way; and if we will be partakers of his meat, we must first taste of his continency; if we will follow him to the breaking of his bread, like valiant soldiers, we must not faint, till we drink of his cup; and to gain him, we must learn to lose ourselves, for his sake. Let not then this saying be hard unto us, Forsake yourselves, take up your cross, and follow me: if we faint at this, and not prove as resolute soldiers, the next would be harder (the reward of poltroons) depart from me you cursed unto everlasting fire, I know you not. While then we have peace, and quietness, I wish we may be familiar with this King of Kings, the Lord of Hosts, and say in particular, Thou art my King, O God; enter into his tabernacle, and salute Jesus Christ thy Saviour, and Redeemer, the head of all principalities, and powers, and let thy desire be, to be with him, in the land of the living. Then let the Heavens rejoice, let Satan flee, and Hell tremble, and let thy conscience cry, Christ is my Saviour; the world thou must despise, Heaven thou must desire, and in truth say, Christ is my Saviour; without this assurance, all our knowledge, all our glory, all our honours, are imperfect, and of no effect: lest therefore, thou shouldst check me, being but a vain soldier, saying, it is a good world, when the fox begins to preach, leaving thee to God, I will return to my observation, on my regiment's march, the continuance of it, for nine years successive, in breadth, in length, in circle, in turning, in returning, in advancing to, and from our enemies, in weal, and woe, from the Baltic Sea, to the Weser stream, from the Weser stream, to Ruppin in the Mark, from Ruppin to Wismar on the Baltic Coast, from Wismar by water unto Holstein toward Oldenburg, from thence by Sea, to Flensburg in Holstein, from thence to Denmark, where in two years time, we did circuit the island, with several marches, by land, and expeditions by water, being alike able for both, not like to the High Dutch, whose head nor stomach cannot endure the water. Being thanked of, by his Majesty of Denmark, having made peace with the Emperor in May 1629, from Denmark our expedition by water (having taken service anew, under the Lion of the North the invincible King of Sweden) did continue towards Prussia, from thence to the Baltic Coast again, and from thence to the River of Danube, that runs from the foot of the Alps in Schwabenland to the Adriatic Sea, and, had our master of worthy memory lived, we had crossed the Alps into Italy, and saluted the Pope within Rome. But the loss of this Lion to lead us, was the loss of many, and of this old regiment, the remains whereof are yet on the Rhine, where with twenty thousand Scots like them, I would wish to be, to do service to the Jewel of Europe, the Daughter of our King the Queen of Bohemia, and to her princely issue.
My first advancement to preferment (through the love of my colonel,) was on this first march, being without contradiction, though not without envy, placed to command, as major over the regiment, in the major his absence.
So Jacob's blessing, bred Esau's hate, nature having made some as antipathite to virtue, they were made sick by my health. But for me, if another excel me in virtue, I will make him my example to imitate, not my block to stumble on: If in wealth, I'll with him bless God, for his plenty, seeing God hath enough for me, and him both.
The killing of Captain Boswell on this march, should be an advertisement to all cavaliers, coming after a regiment, or army, upon march, to look well unto themselves, not offering any occasion of offence, being weakest, for the rascal sort of communalty, are ever soon stirred to mischief, especially an army having passed by, which, for the most part, never goes through dorp, or village, but some notorious villain commits some insolency or other, for which oft times, the innocent doth pay.
Having joined after our march to General Morgan's forces upon the Weser, being quartered in open dorps, the enemy not far from us, it was my fortune to have the first night's watch, as captain of the watch to oversee all guards, the avenue to the dorp on all quarters, being well beset, with convenient guards, and sentries, under silence of night General Morgan, accompanied with four gentlemen with fire-locks to try us, being young soldiers, gave fire on our outer sentry, our sentry having discharged, retired to the next sentry. I called the guard to their arms, finding the alarm continuing, caused the sergeant of the guard, with twelve musketeers, advance to skirmish with them, to know what for alarm it was, and to see what hinderhalt they had: the General Morgan finding us discharging the duty of understanding soldiers, gave presently notice unto the sergeant, what he was, and desired to speak with the captain of the watch, whereupon the sergeant conveyed his Excellency unto me, to the place of my guard, being the rendezvous for the regiment in case of alarm to draw up unto, and finding the most part of the regiment, on sudden with their colours in good order, praising them for their good watch-keeping, his Excellency asked for the colonel, and went to see him.
It is the property of our nation, an enemy being near in time of an alarm to be in readiness before any other nation, though at other times, on watches, or repairing to their colours, on marches or in garrison, they are more careless than others. But once coming to earnest, or in great extremity of danger; to give them their due, they are not inferior to any nation, so far, as I did ever see, or learn of others, older commanders than myself. Yet many false alarms, as we had on the Weser make soldiers, and the most diligent, at last careless, till they feel the smart of some sudden surprise, to rouse them, the better to go readily to their duties.
The want of pay at the Weser made our soldiers a little discontent, seeing the English get due weekly pay; Nevertheless, I did never hear of our nation's mutiny, nor of their refusal to fight, when they saw their enemies, though I have seen other nations call for gilt, being going before their enemy to fight, a thing very disallowable in either officer, or soldier, to prefer a little money to a world of credit.
It is a great part of a colonel's duty, timely to foresee for all things necessary, that may give content to those under his command, lest being justly discontented, he might be grieved, whilst it were not in his power to help himself, or others.
The liberality of a colonel and his care in foreseeing, for his regiment, returns to him oft-times with triple profit, being with moderation familiar with his officers, making them, as humble friends, not as servant, under command, and he ought by all means eschew to come in question, or public hearing with his officers: the only means to make himself famous, and his regiment of long continuance.