Monro His Expedition - The seventeenth Duty discharged of our March from the place of Battle towards Leipzig

The seventeenth Duty discharged of our March from the place of Battle towards Leipzig

Having merrily passed the night on the place of battle, with variety of pleasant discourses of our several observations of the day; having hunted a fox, that was both old and crafty; though he had escaped with his life, he had a torn skin, and a bruised body; and being long chased, in end he got a hole to hide him in: for sure he did think, there was no long safety for him, if oft he did but meet with such cunning hunters; that had laid all passes for him, to keep him in: for though, at this time, he had stripped away his tail, yet his train (for the most part) were either taken or killed.

Other discourses we had of plenty, and of want, being some of us extremely hungry, others pined with extraordinary thirst, having no water near unto us, nor vessels to bring it from afar, our servants being left far behind us, who were plundered by those cowards that had fled from us, who also furnished a great part of our night's discourse, having wondered at their carriage, that had such external shows, with so few inward gifts of the mind.

The night thus passed, the day peeping, every one, that missed a loving friend, or a comrade, went near to the ground, on which they sundered, making diligent search to find them, either dead or alive; sundries of both were found, the dead were put under ground, being honourably buried like soldiers, that had given their lives for the weal of the public, the wounded were convoyed unto dorps, where chirurgians were appointed to attend their cure.

By nine of the clock, the army was drawn up in battle, where the difference was great, betwixt our show then, and the sight of the day before; his Majesty having overviewed the army, he took the most part of the horsemen with him, and commanded to march towards Leipzig with the rest of the army, to be rested there till further orders; and his Majesty with the horsemen advanced after the enemy; prosecuting the victory, in taking order with those they had left behind, for making their retreat sure, whereof there were left at Leipzig three thousand men, whom his Majesty in his by-going gave orders to pursue, and advanced to a castle called Moosburg, where there were a great many of the enemy, who rendered themselves, and took service.

Our March continuing to Leipzig, at our coming there, we found a well provided leaguer for our hungry stomachs, of all sort of good victuals, where about the leaguer, there were feeding, kine, sheep, calves, geese, hens: they left also corn in abundance, and flour in readiness; which was the more acceptable, being found at hand, without travelling for it; and to avoid strife and disorder, before we entered the leaguer, it was divided proportionally amongst the regiments, as we would part quarters, where no man was suffered to take anything out of another's quarter, but it behoved him to be content with his lot, whether good or bad; so that being quartered, they were happy to their meat, having come, as they say, to a peeled egg; where we lay two nights refreshing ourselves, till our baggage was come after us from Bad Dueben: during which time, the Saxons were coming together, their fear being passed at Leipzig, where Field Marshal Harnam was appointed, with the Duke's forces, to take in both the town and castle, which immediately were given over on accord.

 

The seventeenth Observation.

Here we found the proverb verified, that they never had an evil day, who got a merry night after: and the long expectation of this our happiness made our joy the more welcome; for we helped with great labour, toil, and travail to have brought this day's work to a good end: we rejoiced that the labour and danger being vanished, the good of it remained with us: and though our commons were but short, our mirth was never the less; for we ought not to care how laborious or painful our actions are, if the fruit be honest and good; for though the pains be first tedious, yet betime they will yield content. What matter is it then of our toil, and travail; or what care should we take of trouble or danger, so our joys may be enlarged? Job was not so miserable in his affliction, as he was happy in his patience. Which should teach all men of our profession to bear their disturbances and troubles patiently; that in end they may come to their wished for credit and honour. For he is not worthy the sweet, that cannot suffer the souer; neither is he worthy to be made participant of such mirth, as we enjoyed this night, that ran away in time of danger.

Here also we see, that it is the duty of the longest livers, to see to the honour and credit of their dead friends, in taking care of their burials, as the last duty: as also, to show their compassion to their hurt comrades alive, who perhaps received their wounds in rescuing of others, whose skins were kept sound, though theirs torn.

Here also we see, that death is fatal unto all, both to feeble and courageous, but a glorious death is only proper unto the valiant; who oftest doth eschew death, when the fearful perisheth in an instant; and therefore it is that the valiant man doth choose rather to die honourably, than to live in ignominy, as the feeble doth; but these died here valiantly; the brightness of their actions, done in their life time, remains firm in the minds of men unto all ages; And to their posterities in writing, never suffering their memories to rot with the time; whose burials, though mean, on this place of battle, yet they are commemorations of their virtuous lives to posterity; whose killing was no punishment (say the world what they list) but rather the beginning of their glory: And therefore, how ever a man dies, he dies well that dies in Christ, ending his days with honour.

At this day's service I was rich in friends, that helped to the obtaining of this victory with credit; but soon after we found the fruits of mortality, death having seized more on our kindred, than on any other family of our nation, that were employed in this war; and the unthankfulness of those we served hath been such, that those who suffered most, were least rewarded; as we may justly say, having lost our master and King, who did see our actions, and had rewarded them, had he lived. And though I will not vaunt, neither of my friends, nor of our travails, none can blame me to say, as the puppy said, we dogs killed the hare, since we were with the rest at Leipzig, the center of Germany, which was, and is, and shall be sedes belli, till the cause be won, and those we fought for be restored; and then I would be content to lay up my sword, and live a retired life, serving God and the public at home, as we did abroad.

Prev Next