Monro His Expedition - The seventh Duty discharged of our Retreat from Oldenburg unto Assens in Denmark by Sea.

The seventh Duty discharged of our Retreat from Oldenburg unto Assens in Denmark by Sea.

Having thus passed the day at Oldenburg, the night (the friend of cowards) coming on, what we durst not have done by day, being favoured by the moonshine, when all were wearied with hot service and toil in the day, begun to take rest, and refreshment by their fires, in the leaguer all guards relieved, and sentries set out, being all of us, after a great storm in a quiet calm, we begin to take our retreat to the water: our general being full of fear and suspicion goes before, and our colonel also; we follow, having the avant-garde according to our orders for going a ship-board, which orders were willingly obeyed, perceiving the danger was to follow, and in consideration that long before the Lieutenant Colonel Sir Patrick Mac-Gey and Captain Forbesse being hurt had retired for their safeties towards the Isle of Fehmarn, and from thence to Denmark to be cured. I supplying the place of the major, our regiment orderly retiring from the enemy, Captain Mac-Kenyee and my brother Obstell, who before were companions in the day of danger, in the night did march together leading off the regiment to be secured, and I bringing up the rear, accompanied with some other officers; we had no doubt of our safe retreat: the whole army being behind us made us halt the oftener, taking pains to bring up our hurt and sick men; we marched but softly, Py a Pyano: at last by ten o'clock of the night we arrived on the shore, and drew up in battle attending the Colonel's command for shipping, who had gone himself unto the road amongst the ships, to provide shipping, but could get no obedience, the fear was so great amongst the mariners; having heard the roaring and thundering of cannon and muskets in the day, fear so possessed them all, that they lacked hands to work and hearts to obey: and the Colonel coming ashore without bringing of ships to receive us, we made use of the time, our comrades the horsemen having come before us, who ever begin confusion, were without orders, forcing ships to take in their horses, and had already possessed the whole bulwark and shipping with their horse, I asking my Colonel's leave, drew our whole colours in front, and our pikes charged after them; our musketeers drawn up in our rear by divisions, fortifying our rear in case the enemy should assault us in our rear, and then I advanced with our colours alongst the pier, our pikes charged we cleared the pier of the horsemen, suffering them to save themselves from drowning, where they found the channel most shallow, and advancing thus to the end of the pier, we seized upon one ship with some horses in it, where we set our colours, and making that ship launch off a little from the shore for fear of being aground, having manned the shipboat with an officer, and some musketeers, we sent to force other ships out of the road to launch in and serve us, until such time as the most part of our regiment were shipped except some villains, who were gone a plundering in the town; but not knowing the danger they were in, they stayed all night from us and were taken by the enemy the next morning. Thus having shipped our men we were forced to quit our horses and baggage: the officers that were most diligent, as Captain Monro and my brother Obstell, were busied the whole night ferrying soldiers from the shore, especially the sick and wounded, who were not able to help themselves: In the morning I shipped three boatfuls of wounded and sick men, till at the last I was beaten from the shore by the enemies' horsemen. And my Colonel's ship being under sail laid up to the wind, attending my coming with the last fraught, and then we followed the route of the fleet, seeing the enemies' army drawn up in battle, horse, foot and cannon, and our army of foot and horse opposite unto them; where I did see six and thirty cornets of horse, being full troops, without loosing of one pistol give themselves prisoners in the enemies' mercy, whereof the most part took service: As also I did see above five regiments of foot, being forty colours, follow  their examples, rendering themselves and their colours without loosing of one musket. Judge then, judicious reader, though we were sorry for the loss of our army, if we were glad of our own safeties: I think we were, and praised be God with no discredit to us, or our nation; for none can be blamed that doth what he is commanded: thus following our course the third morning we arrived before Flensburg, where our rendezvous was appointed, and having sent ashore for some victuals, whereof we stood in great need, no man was blamed to provide for himself at such time, when the whole country was to be left to our enemies' mercy.

His Majesty being there, after hearing the certainty of his great loss, resolved to secure Denmark; having lost Holstein & Jutland we got orders with expedition all of us to ship, and to hold forth our course unto Assens in Denmark, where his Majesty promised to meet us to dispose further of us, for his Majesty's service, and we making sail follow our course and orders. At our parting the Rhinegrave with his regiment did come thither the enemy at his heels, and he at spurs following the King, till he had gotten the pass made good betwixt Holstein, and Jutland, and his Majesty once safely arrived in Denmark, the Rhinegrave quitting Jutland unto the enemy follows the King unto Denmark: We landed at Assens of our regiment eight hundred soldiers besides one hundred and fifty wounded and sick men, and being put in good quarters, we rest us, leaving the enemy to rest in the fat land of Holstein and Jutland, having a good broad and deep fosse betwixt us, we were by God's mercy secured.

The seventh Observation.

Here we see that the loss of a day, is the loss of a great part of his Majesty's Kingdom: for the loss of his army was the loss of Holstein and Jutland, so that here below we have no assured estate, from the king to the clown, whereof we have frequent examples in histories, which should make none of all estates to glory too much, either in their peace, or prosperity, as the Holsteiners did: for though now thou be in peace and security, as they were before this day, thou oughtst to look unto thyself, and to prevent the worst better than they did.

Therefore to discharge a part of my duty to my countrymen and friends, I mind here somewhat to touch the misery of man through the inconstancy of human affairs. Isidore writes, that it was the custom at Constantinople in the days of the Emperor's coronation, while as he sat in his throne, a mason came to him, presenting stones, that he might choose which he would to make his tomb of, thereby putting him in mind of the inconstancy of human fragility. We read also of a simple citizen in Italy, that became one of the most powerful men in Italy, and coming to the dignity of a prince, being thirty years, without interruption, in great prosperity, tranquillity and peace, yea ever in the most dangerous time of war, and his children raised to high honours and dignities; this man thinking himself to be above the wind, a whirl-wind of wars, unlooked for, came on him and his from Florence, that he with his wife and children were taken prisoners, and sent to Milan, his goods confiscated, he was shut up in close prison, and died miserably: the Venetians appropriating unto themselves all his money he had in bank.

We read also of one Francis Sforza, that through his heaping up of wealth came to be made Duke of Milan, and after that intitled himself to be the son of Fortune, and the oracle of the princes of Italy, being many years in prosperity, was afterwards chased from his goods, as the Holsteiners were then, but having recovered his lands and goods again, he grew so insolent and proud of his prosperity, that at last he was taken prisoner, and was kept till death in prison; mocked of the whole world, for his pride and greediness. The same author Guicchardine in his seventh book in the 157, doth record of the Bentivoglios chased out of Bologna, where they long were in peace, the subjects of Milan being forbidden to receive them, the chiefest of them died of grief, having never before tasted the cup of adversity: And so became of sundry in Denmark, that for fear did send away their goods by shipping unto the crags of Norway, to be kept there, whereof some were lost by sea, and the owners afterward died of grief, not having the courage to undergo patiently their cross. The Lord of his mercy preserve my country and friends from the like visitation. Let no man therefore flatter himself with prosperity, riches, or honour, as Agapetus adviseth us in his Politic Aphorisms. All are born alike, come of dust, our glory then should be of virtue, and not in riches, prosperity, or honours; for we should esteem of nothing so much, as of God's judgements, praying his Majesty continually to divert them from us, esteeming more of our souls, than of deceivable riches, whereof the possession is uncertain, as was seen at this time, both in Holstein and Jutland, their riches went faster away than they came, and though they could have enjoyed them, yet at last they were forced to leave them to others. Since therefore we can carry nothing with us, but our good name, let us be ever careful of that, discharging, so far as we may, with a good conscience our duty to God and man, and this heritage we cannot be robbed of, though the world should turn to nothing.

Here we see this magnanimous king his estate falling for his love to his niece, the distressed Queen of Bohemia, and her children, seeing her banished from her kingdom by the sword of her enemies, he hazards the loss of his crown and person, to get her restored, bringing the sword of his enemies within his own country, fortune having crossed him abroad: yet for all this, this magnanimous king was not dejected, but with a courageous resolution makes use of the time, retiring to one corner of his Kingdom, to prevent the loss of the whole, being naturally fortified with a broad graff, as the Isle of Britain, being strong of shipping, having his Majesty of Britain to friend, and the estates of the United Provinces, he was careless of the Emperor's forces by Sea or Land, not being able to harm his Majesty more than they did.

By this example we may see, what advantage our sovereign, the King's Majesty of Great Britain, hath over all foreign kings in Europe, through the situation of his dominions, being mighty in power of men, shipping, and money, is able to make war abroad, where he pleaseth, and to make a safe retreat, when he pleaseth, being master at sea, as he can easily be, terrifying his enemies with one army abroad, and a strong army at sea, he can offend whom he will, and retire when he list, forcing all europe to be in fear of him, and his Majesty in fear of none, but of the King of Kings. The Lord therefore preserve his Majesty, his children and subjects, from the power of foreign enemies; and I wish a great part of my friends and countrymen were so far addicted, to seek the restitution of her Majesty of Bohemia, and her royal issue, as I am; the wars then should never end, till they were restored, and I avenged of my friends' blood, and mine own, shed in the quarrel.

Here also I did observe his Majesty's circumspection, in preventing the imperialists, in coming by water unto his kingdom, having beset all Finland with strong garrisons of horse and foot, which kept strong guards, and good watch by night and by day, at such places on the coast, as was most in danger of the enemies' over-setting, till in the end, the enemy was forced to retire his army, leaving but a few men in garrison in the towns, which lay on the coast, which garrisons his Majesty with shipping did often visit, to their great hurt, with strong parties, retiring again, having done his exploit, at his pleasure in safety. This magnanimous king, to my knowledge, deserved to have been worthily thought of, and well spoken of, for his noble enterprizing of the war, being leader and general in so good a cause. And though the success was not answerable, I dare be bold to affirm, it was none of his Majesty's fault, for his Majesty not only bestowed much in advancing of it, but also did hazard himself and his crown in maintaining of it. Nevertheless, there are always some cynics, that do bark at his Majesty's proceedings, without reason; where we may see, that no man, no nor kings themselves can escape the lash of censure, and none can eschew to be traduced by the ignominious aspersions of the malevolent tongue. Therefore it is good to do well, and then we need not care what is said; except the sayer put his name to his assertion, and then he may be made to foot his boule, in maintaining of it, or unworthily to refuse it. Here also I did observe, that no armour nor pass could remove the general's fear; for having once imagined the enemies' over-coming, he was never fully settled, till he was safe a ship-board. And therefore I did see at this time that verified, that when man distrusteth God, it is then just with God to leave man to himself: for after our retreat, being on the road, the general, being thronged in his own ship, could not command a ship to transport his servants, till I forced a ship for his Excellency's service; which should teach all men in authority, while they have command, to command with discretion, lest the wheel should turn, and then they should be beholden to those, whom before they commanded.

Here also I did see mutinous soldiers well rewarded, and it may be sooner than they thought, for the day before those that called for money when they were commanded to go on service, the next day I being a shipboard did see them turn slaves unto their enemies being taken prisoners, robbed both of clothes and money, and kept long in bondage, being forced to serve against their conscience, such was their folly in calling for money when it was no time to tell it. Having at this time left our horses and baggage to our enemies, I observed somewhat on the love of men to those beasts, and the love of beasts to their masters, as worth the noting, to confirm the kindness that should be entertained amongst Christians, and men of one profession; my brother Obstell, of worthy memory, had a horse of our own country-breed, that was so familiarly acquainted with his soldiers, and with the noise and touch of drum, that the whole day on our march, when his master went afoot, he unled followed the drum a little aside from the company, halting when they halted, and moving when  they moved fast or slow. Another horse I left, that being in Wismar leaguer, having rode out one day to a wood, half a mile from the leaguer, to cause to cut timber, leaving my horse standing alone, and my cloak on my saddle, a rutter coming by, unknown to me and my fellows, steals my horse away, who finding himself in stranger's hands, skips loose, and runs to our leaguer, being chased and hunted at by more than a hundred horsemen, out-runs them all unto the trenches, and running through the leaguer, stands before my tent, my comrades wondering what became of me, thinking I had been killed by the horsemen, come and make search for me, and finding me, tell me of my horse.

These beasts I have remembered for their love, for which I will set down some particulars concerning the address, fidelity, and bounty of some horses whereof I have formerly read. Pliny protests their praises cannot be expressed. We read of the Numidians, that were so much redoubted of the Romans, that in their wars, they would at spurs, run their horses in midst of their enemies, without a bridle to govern them. In the battle of Cannae, Hannibal returning the next day on the place of battle, to look more narrowly to the place, a Roman knight half dead, hearing the noise of people, lifted up his head, of purpose to have spoken, but his voice failing, died: with the last gasp, by Hannibal there rode a Numidian on that dead knight's horse, who knowing his master, begun to move his ears, to bray, and to leap, and rebound with such fury, till he casts the Numidian to ground, runs through the dead bodies, and stands before his dead master, and leaning down his neck and shoulders, showeth the desire he had that his master should leap on him, to the great astonishment of Hannibal, and his followers. We read also in the wars of Germany, in the year 1176 the Dukes of Saxony forced by arms to submit themselves to the Emperor Henry the fourth, giving the Emperor for pledges of their fidelity, two young princes, sons to a marquess, which were carefully kept in a castle, that was very strong, the captain whereof moved by compassion, and won by some presents, suffered them sometimes to go abroad to take the air, and to ride their horses thereabout: The captain going a hunting, takes these young youths with him, the prey found and hunted, she is followed by all, not thinking of any other thing: The youths spurring hard out of sight, follow their course till they come to the river of the Main, where they request a fisherman to transport them in his little canoe or boat to Mainz, offering him their little scarlet cloaks for pay: The fisherman helps them from their horses, and takes them in his boat, and rows down the river, their horses swimming after them to Mainz, where they and their horses were graciously welcomed.

Pliny writes, that horses wept at their masters' deaths, and it is recorded, that the horse of Caesar wept: foretelling his master's death, and I persuade myself, the gentle reader could add somewhat to this purpose, if he listed, but thus far to animate Christians to love, respect, and cherish their comrades, and not to kill and backbite them, as too many are too ready to detract from others, to add to themselves: a wrong way; for honour is compared well to a chaste maid, that will never love them who would ravish her, but being courted she may be moved.

Here I must not forget that duty I owe to the remembrance of that worthy young gentleman, Arthur Forbesse, son to a worthy, cavalier, of famous  memory, Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Forbesse, being a worthy valourous son, descended of a valiant father. This young gentleman being deadly wounded on service, and with hazard brought unto our ship, within two days died. Likewise a gentleman born in the Isles of Scotland, called Alexander Mac-Worche, being wounded in the head, and shot in the arm, the enemies' horsemen shooting at him with pistols, he leaps from the shore, with his clothes on, notwithstanding those wounds, and swims to my cousin Captain Monro his boat, and being brought in died the next day, and was much lamented for of his comrades, as a gentleman of great hope.

I did also observe here, the inconvenience that happens to many brave officers and soldiers given to plundering, gathering together a little booty for spending, which brings them commonly into their enemies' hands, their punishment being far more grievous, than their purchase was delightful, and yet I think, the guilt is worse than the punishment. To which purpose I will only here infer one story. A Pythagorian bought a pair of shoes upon trust, the shoe-maker dies, the philosopher is glad, and thinks them gain, but a while after his conscience touches him, and becomes a perpetual chider, he repairs to the house of the dead, casts in his money with these words; There take thy due, thou livest to me, though dead to all besides. Certainly, in my opinion, ill gotten gains are far worse than loss with preserved honesty. These grieve but once, the others are continually grating upon our quiet, and he diminishes his own contentment, that would add unto it by unlawfulness; for looking only to the beginning, he thinks not of the end. But in my opinion, if plundering, or making of booty, at any time be excusable for a soldier, it is only in respect of the circumstances. Our friends being forced to quit their country and their goods to their enemies, before it should enrich the enemy, it were not amiss to take it, or destroy it either with fire or water, before it were profitable to our enemies; and in this point only I do allow of this booty making, providing it do not hinder men from the discharge of their duties, in time and place: otherwise, our best goods, being impediments to the discharge of our honest duty in our calling, are to be thrown away. And for mine own part, a few books left by my friends, which mine enemy might have burnt, was all the booty that ever I made: neither do I repent me of my neglect in this point; having seen many make booty, who had never the happiness to enjoy it long. His Majesty's care, in fore-seeing the safety of Denmark, merits praise: for by the preservation of Denmark, his Majesty, like a skilful gamester, recovered again all that he lost. Therefore we ought never to grieve for anything past, but for sin, and for that always. And he spake well, that said, He that hath himself hath lost nothing.

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