The eighteenth of April 1631, the enemy being marched out of Landsberg towards Glogow, his Majesty having beset Landsberg with a garrison, we marched back to Frankfurt on the Oder, where we did rest us with the army till the twenty-ninth of April, during which time, there were ambassadors going mutually betwixt his Majesty and the Duke of Brandenburg: at last having condescended on some points, his Majesty broke up with the army, and marched towards Berlin, and were quartered by the way at a pass called Pankow, being one of the Duke of Brandenburg's hunting houses, and from thence we marched to Berlin, where his Majesty was royally entertained by the Duke, and that his Majesty might think he was welcome, after the feast the castle of Spandau was delivered in his Majesty's custody, where incontinent Colonel Axellille, with four hundred Swedes were left in garrison, being a strength one of the fastest in Germany, fortified well with fosses and counterscarps of free stone, and an earthen wall above, having one hundred and fifty pieces of cannon on it, and arms for twenty thousand foot and horse, with ammunition answerable; Provided also sufficiently with store of victuals for an army of ten thousand men for a long space: and though the garrison were Swedes, they were sworn to obey the Duke; and his Majesty was obliged by his royal word passed to the Duke, to restore it again whenever the Duke desired to have it, if the Duke of Saxony should not join with his Majesty against the Emperor.
The third day after the agreement, the whole army broke up, and marched to another pass, three miles from Spandau, called Potsdam, where we lay not intrenched the space of ten days, till his Majesty's ambassadors were returned from the Duke of Saxony, with an answer, that the Duke would not assist his Majesty for the relief of Magdeburg, neither yet would the Duke grant to his Majesty free passage through his country, which was the loss of many poor souls within Magdeburg, being cut off by the cruelty of General Tilly's army, having surprised the town that was never taken before, sparing neither man, woman nor child, but putting all alike cruelly to death, and in the end, the town was burnt down, which was occasioned by the breach of the Duke's promise, in not assisting his Majesty of Sweden, being on his march to relieve it.
His Majesty not assured of the Duke of Brandenburg behind him, our army turning faces about, we marched back to Spandau, and lay down in the fields in order of battle, where we remained certain days, till such time as it behoved his Majesty, for keeping of his royal word, to restore back to the Duke the castle of Spandau, and his Majesty's garrison being brought out, it was manned again by the Duke's forces.
The castle restored, his Majesty was so incensed against the Duke, though his own brother-in-law, that he swore to take in Berlin, which was the Duke's residence; as also he was resolved to take the Duke prisoner, except he would join in confederacy with him, without the Duke of Saxony; whereupon our army did break up, and marched towards Berlin in hostile manner, and lying down before it, the Duke not able to resist, entered in a treaty with his Majesty, and to move his Majesty the more, the Duchess and her mother with a train of great ladies, came to the fields to entertain his Majesty, with offering in the Duke's name all due respect to his Majesty, and promising all things should be done by the Duke, what his Majesty would desire. To which his Majesty answered merrily, that if the Duke would not end with him friendly before night, he would send the Duchess and all the ladies prisoners to Sweden, and the Duke should follow.
Incontinent the treaty begun; the Duke getting short time to resolve, was forced to end with his Majesty, and to join in confederacy with him, offensive and defensive, against the Emperor, and that without the Saxons' consent: and in the treaty it was concluded, the Duke should give a great supply of men, moneys and artillery to his Majesty, for the advancing of the wars, besides the ordinary inquartering of his Majesty's army; and the payments of the monthly contribution, out of the Duke's lands was also agreed upon, and commissioners were appointed, for the ingathering of the first term's contribution: during which collection, his Majesty's army was laid in quarters to refresh them, till his Majesty should retire from Stettin, being gone thither to give presence to the Russian ambassador, and his Majesty being returned from Stettin the twenty ninth of June he quartered in my quarters in Bernau, where we had orders given us to be in readiness to march to old Brandenburg on the first of July.
The tenth Observation.
HIS Majesty could never be assured of the Prince's friendship, till first he had forced their enemies to give ground, being made to leave behind them Pomeranian Mecklenburg, and the three marks of Brandenburg, without any Imperial garrison, except one was left in Greifswald, but so soon as the Duke of Brandenburg did see the enemy retiring, and his Majesty prevailing, he then begun to enter in treaty, and to give his Majesty assurance of his loyal friendship, by subscribing of certain articles condescended upon betwixt them, at Berlin in June 1631.
On this march, though short, we had many variable resolutions and changes, which were caused by the changable accidents happening in the course of this war, which made his Majesty's resolutions to vary, as the time changed, sometimes through fear of his strong enemy, sometimes by suspecting the Princes, who were also affrighted and feared, being astonished in their minds, they were not able to discern what was most profitable for them, so that their doubting and fear suffered them not to hazard any notable thing, in assisting his Majesty against their common enemy; but still lingered to join with his Majesty, expecting the enemy would prevail, and then they would join with the master of the fields, as ordinarily is done over all Dutchland in all degrees, from the highest to the lowest, they wagge as the bush doth resolving ever to quit their best friends in adversity.
Here we see the inconstancy of the Duke's friendship, that will not be friends as well in adversity, as in prosperity: for when fortune favours us; all the world would seem to laugh on us; but when we are but once kicked in the heel with any malignant chance of misfortune, then our supposed friends fly from us, at a far distance, while they see us like to be tossed by the tempest of adversity. But as soon as they see the tempest over-passed, and fortune beginning to smile on us again, then begin they (as the Princes did) to return, and to desire to be made partakers of our good fortunes, though they had no mind to taste of the bitter cup of his Majesty's adversity; but once seeing the sweet commodity of the peace, which they, their country and subjects did reap by his Majesty's valour (with the hazard of his person, and the lives of many cavaliers who followed him) then their enemies being far removed from them, they desire his Majesty for their Admiral, to attend when he makes sail, having seen he did valiantly ride out the storm, promising again when his sails were full, to bide by him; and to follow him till death should sunder them. But if they had been generously minded, they had embraced the danger, and taken part with his Majesty when honour was to be got, in the midst of greatest danger; since common danger doth conjoin the coldest friends, to go together against their common enemies. Likewise here we may see and observe a royal King most loyal in keeping his princely parole and promise to the Duke his brother, in rendering back Spandau, though to his disadvantage, keeping his covenant, albeit he should lose thereby, teaching, by his own example, all cavaliers to keep their word, though given to their enemies. For his Majesty knew well, that nothing was to be thought more unworthy in a prince or common-weal, then to break word or promise; for of all virtues in a prince truth is the chiefest, which once being lost returns not again.
His Majesty taking to heart, that the Duke had so peremptorily sought the restitution of this strength, his Majesty being free of his word, and his garrison marched forth, he incontinent marched to Berlin, and got both the Duke and the city into his power, in interchange of the castle of Spandau, which then his Majesty knew how to get again, as he did shortly after. Where we may see, there is no oratory of such force to gain both men and women, as a strong well conducted army, as this was.
Here also we may see, what evil oft-times doth happen by cunctation, or delays, as doth witness the overthrow and ruin of Magdeburg, the citizens whereof, in their prosperity, would not suffer a soldier to enter into their houses, but made them build huts and tents along the wall; which wall, for their pride, was alike brought low with the ground, where before their death for their pride they were punished with fire and sword, so that they having disdained soldiers, they were by the enemies' soldiers justly rewarded, being denied of mercy in their greatest extremity, and the houses, they so much esteemed of, cannot this day be seen, what for houses they were, and his Majesty his wisdom is commendable, who seeing Magdeburg lost, the enemy strong, the Dukes wavering, contrary to his mind and custom, his Majesty retired with his army back to Spandau, and from thence to Berlin, making himself sure of the one, though not of the other, leaping the dike where he found it weakest, and missing to catch a goose, he thought it sure to catch the goslings, though he was his good brother, he did look to his own standing, fearing General Tilly and the Saxon might join together, not being far different in conditions, to make his retreat sure, his Majesty did beset Spandau again with a Swedens garrison.
At this time a great number of Hamburg merchants, amongst which were some English, going by the army with great packs, were seized upon, and their goods taken from them, whereof his Majesty being made foreseen, orders were given, that the whole packs, under pain of death, should be brought to his Majesty, as they were, our army being very hungry, and almost brought to discontent, for lack of moneys, his Majesty in a fair way, was content to restore the Hamburgers' goods, providing the merchants amongst them would advance upon bond and surety, to his Majesty two hundred thousand dollars, to give some contentment to his hungry army, which the merchants condescended unto & advanced the money, wherof the English advanced no part: Nevertheless they had favor showed unto then, in the restitution of their goods, by the request of the cavaliers (who interceded for them to his Majesty) their countrymen both Scots & English.
This kind of favour shown to merchants by soldiers occurrs not often: for sometimes the soldiers (the worst sort of them) measured the packs belonging to the merchants with the long ell, and if this sort of dealing should but only happen to the churlish merchant, it were the less to be regarded; but honest soldiers should be ever honest in their dealings towards the rank merchants, that have worth and discretion to respect cavaliers being in need, and common soldiers also, as I have known by experience some worthy English merchants to have done worthily, in relieving the necessities of the common soldiers of their countrymen, and therefore in my esteem, of all nations, for their charity, they do best merit the name of gentlemen merchants.
We see also here, that notwithstanding of the terms his Majesty did stand unto with the Duke of Saxony, and with Tilly, who might have come to have made a visit in Brandenburg his lands, where our army were laid in quarters: Nevertheless, his Majesty was not afraid to leave his army, and to return to Stettin to give presence to the Russian ambassador, and to dispatch him; being alike ready to govern the affairs of the state, as he was to fight against his enemies, he stayed not long, but having recollected his forces, that were come from Sweden, Prussia and Scotland; giving them orders to march to old Brandenburg, his Majesty getting intelligence Tilly was gone from Hessen, he then begun to make the best use of the time.