The conjunction agreed upon betwixt his Majesty and the Duke of Saxony, all things sealed and subscribed, his Majesty gave orders to break up with the army, and to cross the Elbe, over the bridge at Wittenberg, for to join with the Duke's army; the orders were obeyed with great contentment, and entering into Saxony, we quartered the first night not far from Bad Dueben, the place appointed for our rendezvous; the next morning we marched thither, and were drawn up in battle on the Fields, where in the afternoon the Duke's army arrived, being drawn up in battle within cannon shot of us, the whole officers of our army, were commanded to be in readiness on horse-back, to convey his Majesty for to welcome the Duke and his army, which for pleasing the eye, was the most complete little army, for personages of men, comely statures, well armed, and well arrayed, that ever mine eyes did look on, whose officers did all look, as if they were going in their best apparel and arms to be painted; where nothing was defective the eye could behold.
This show seen by his Majesty and his officers; his Majesty returning; the Duke with his followers did convey his Majesty to the sight of our army, which being called to their arms, having lain over-night on a parcel of plowed ground, they were so dusty, they looked out like kitchen-servants, with their uncleanly rags, within which were hidden courageous hearts, being old experimented blades, which for the most part, had overcome by custom the toil of wars; yet these Saxon gentry, in their bravery, did judge of us and ours, according to our outsides; thinking but little of us; nevertheless, we thought not the worse of ourselves. The ceremony passed, we were all remitted to take rest for that night in our former quarters: the next morning, by break of day, we were called up to march, where both our armies were ordained to march on several streets; one rendezvous being appointed for us at night, within a mile and a half of the enemies' army; where being come to our rendezvous by four o'clock in the afternoon, and drawn up in battle; our guards drawn out to watch, were directed to their posts, and then we resting by our arms, as we were in battle, we slept lying where we stood, that in case of an alarm, we were not to be found in disorder, being ready to fight where we stood.
Immediately after the army was settled in quarters, news was come to his Majesty in post, that the castle of Leipzig was given over by accord to the enemy: As also that General Tilly with a mighty and strong army, was come a mile from Leipzig, and was preparing for a fight: which news did no ways alter his Majesty's countenance, being resolved before for the like, to have sought him to fight. So that being both willing, and so near, it was easy bringing them together; our baggage was appointed to go back to Bad Dueben, our horse and foot watches were strengthened, and we were in readiness, and refreshing first our bodies with victuals, we slept till the next morning.
The fifteenth Observation.
Nothing earthly is more pleasant to be seen, than to see brethren in Christ conjoined against God's enemies, for advancing of the glory of God, in promoting of his Gospel, and for setting at liberty those poor souls (our brethren in Christ) that were kept long under the yoke and tyranny of the house of Austria, and the Catholic League their mortal enemies. Who would not then, for their liberties that were banished, (that they might one day retire to their possessions) who would not, I say, be willing, yea more, who would not rejoice (having such a leader as Gustavus was) to hazard their lives for the weal of the public; yea more, for the promoting of Christ's Gospel? Surely for mine own part, I was most willing and wished long to have seen a day, wherein I might hazard my life in this quarrel, in being one of the number of fighters, before I did come at it; for many reasons, but especially for the liberty of the daughter of our dread sovereign, the distressed Queen of Bohemia, and her princely issue; next, for the liberty of our distressed brethren in Christ; and thirdly, for my better instruction, in the profession of arms, which is my calling; for having before seen many occurrences that did belong to our calling, I longed to have seen a battle fought in the fields in such a quarrel, being led by such a magnanimous King, of heroic spirit, that had much more on hazard that day than I had, who had only to hazard but my life and credit; while as he a King was to hazard his life, his crown, his reputation, and all for strangers.
Having thus the night before meditated, I found a motion rejoicing my heart, in making me resolute, to fight in this cause; being tied in duty, not only for my person, but also tied to give counsel and direction, as the Lord did enable me, by giving instruction, good heartening, and good example to others, who were bound to follow me, as I was bound to follow my master the King; seeing the Lord by his providence, had brought me thither, with a number of my friends to follow, and obey him, as they were bound by oath to obey me. And then I thought with myself, after I had awaked from sleep, going on to march, that my life was much like a tale, and that we should not care how long this life of ours should last, but that we should be careful, how well our life should be acted: for it is no matter, where we end, if we end well; and we should not ask, when, or where, but we ought to be ever mindfull, how we are prepared going to fight. Nature did beget us miserable, we live over-burdened with cares, and like a flower, we vanish soon away, and die. Our hunting then here, and our care should be only for a perpetual good name to leave behind us, that so being absent we are present, and being dead, we live.