His Majesty having intelligence, that General Tilly had intention to have fallen on Ochsenfurt, to patronise the pass over the Main, where his Majesty had sent but one hundred and fifty musketeers, whom he judged to be too weak for defending of the town, and considering with himself, the enemy might likewise pursue Würzburg, having made but a faint at Ochsenfurt; and perhaps his intention might be to pursue both alike, his Majesty under night coming alone on horseback from the castle, towards my quarter, being then in the remotest part of the whole town, I being at supper, his Majesty's foot-man told me, the King was below, and desired I should come unto him; being come to his Majesty, he commanded me in all haste to bring our brigade in arms, and to draw them up on that part against his return; and to command Sir John Hepburne in his name to meet him there, which immediately being obeyed accordingly, his Majesty being returned commanded Hepburne to lead off the musketeers of the whole brigade, being then eight hundred, and to follow his Majesty whether so ever he went, who commanded me to bring up the rear, leaving our colours and pike-men behind us there, till further orders: we marched on in the night half a mile without the town, before we knew whether we were going, or what the exploit could be that we were going on, having left both our horses and servants behind us: at last, his Majesty acquainting Colonel Hepburne with his design, he marched towards Ochsenfurt, being convoyed with four score horses alongst the side of the Main, and we followed with our foot, marching in seven hours those four miles, and before two of the clock in the morning, we arrived there, without halt or drawing of breath by the way. At our coming we were let in alongst the bridge, unto the market place, where our soldiers, after this wearisome march, were commanded to stay by their arms all night in readiness, and houses were appointed for the officers to remain in all night.
The next morning by daylight his Majesty did send for Colonel Hepburne and me, and tells he was going to visit the walls without, and he commanded to send two hundred musketeers of our regiment towards the port before him, which being done, his Majesty accompanied with some cavaliers walked out: and the night before, at his Majesty's coming to town he had directed fifty horse to watch half a mile without the town, betwixt him and the enemy. At his Majesty's out-going, we hear the enemies' dragoniers, with some horsemen making service against the watch, who were forced to retire: whereupon his Majesty commanded me to send forth fifty musketeers with a Lieutenant to skirmish with the enemy, till the horsemen might retire; the musketeers being advanced, they skirmished with the enemy in view of his Majesty, holding up the enemy till the horsemen were by: but the enemy being too far strong, made our musketeers lose ground in retiring; and his Majesty suspecting the enemy was backed with stronger forces, his Majesty commanded me, to command a hundred musketeers more, with a sufficient officer to march incontinent, for relief of their comerades; and commanded me to go withal, and to place them in the most advantagious ground, which I did, and incontinently the relief begun the service afresh, forcing the enemy to retire back over the top of the hill; which his Majesty perceiving was wondrous glad, saying, the Scots skirmish well, who had made the enemy quit their ground, which they possessed and kept: the other side of the hill being all plain, his Majesty commanded out a troop of horse, for to recognize the enemies' design, and calling Colonel Hepburn unto him he said, he would leave us there, and fearing the enemy might have a design upon Würzburg, he would returne thither, being of greatest moment, and so he gave orders to Hebburne to defend the town so long as he could, and then, in case of necessity, to retire over the bridge, and to break it off behind him. His Majesty being gone,Colonel Hepburne begun to put all things in good order, preparing for the enemies' coming, casting down houses and walks, which might serve without the town for the enemies' advantage, as also, cutting down trees and hedges, which might serve to shelter the enemy; as also making scaffolds about the walls, for musketeers to make service from, ordaining the several posies to be repaired and defended, in case of the enemies' pursuit; ordering also the watches, and by watches to observe their precise hours, making also provision betimes for store of ammunition, and giving diligent and capable men charge over it, and appointing guards for it, with several other directions befitting an able commander to give out at such times; being looking for a mighty enemy to pursue a skurvy irregular hole; where no cavalier could gain credit without overmuch hazard; yet such a master would be so served.
All things thus provided, the couriers went night and day betwixt his Majesty and the governor, for mutual intelligence, till the third night before day, the enemies' trumpets and drums made such a noise,as though heaven and earth were going together, continuing as if the enemy were marching to the walls for a general storm: our horse guards being beaten in under the walls, were refused of entry, and the out-guards of foot also; and then every man within walls did repair to their posts,expecting a general storm, and the petarding of the ports. The colonel having visited the whole guards, and made the round of the whole towne, seeing all things were in good order, and the day drawing near, we found the enemy was retiring from us, having begun his march at midnight towards Nuremberg, and the upper Pfalz. The day clearing, our horsemen having come from the other side of the Main, being led and commanded by Duke Bernard of Weimar, whereof four hundred were commanded towards the enemies' quarters, to take order with those were left behind, who did get but slight quarters.
The enemies army being marched, his Majesty was advertised, who sent orders incontinent to Sir John Hepburne to break up in the night, with five hundred musketeers, and to march by the enemy, in the night towards Windsheim, which (by appearance) was too hazardous. The enemy being too far before, and in his way also, which made his Majesty to countermand his former orders against his custom; and then the colonel being commanded to beset the garrison, he was recalled with the party to return to Würzburg. After Tilly's departure, his Majesty caused publish an edict over all Franconia, that both clergy and lays, none excepted, should come and swear their fidelity to his Majesty, whereupon the full liberty of their profession in religion should be granted unto them untroubled. As also they should have his Majesty's safeguards for the conservation of their worldly estates, and in this edict were contained a great part of his Majesty's former victories obtained against his enemies, with the causes and motives, which moved him to undertake war against the Emperor, together with the success followed his Majesty in this war, in having freed Pomeranian Mecklenburg, the three Marks of Brandenburg, the Stift Bremen, the Stift Magdeburg, Saxony and Thuringia, already of the enemy; as also Franconia after the in-taking of Würzburg in forcing Tilly with his army, that did come for their reliefs, for scarcity to retire unto the upper Pfalz, from whence shortly he hoped to make him retire to Bavaria, towards the Danube stream, as he had made him to retire before from Leipzig to the Weser stream; and at last, he hoped he should bring out of the Emperor and their Catholic League, against all their wills, a good general peace, unto all the Evangelists and those of the Reformed Religion in Germany, and he hoped to pay them home againe jure talionis, in using their landes in Bavaria as they had done his friends' lands in Mecklenburg and Pomerania.
About this time, Magdeburg was blocked up by General Banier aud the Brigunes forces, commanded and led by the Marquess of Hamilton, at which time also his Majesty's ambassador of Great Britain, Sir Henry Vaine, arrived at Würzburg; where his honour, with his noble train, had the good attendance and respect due given onto him by the whole officers, who were there of both nations, Scots and English, whom my Lord Ambassador courteously and kindly did entertain, with such respect as became his honour to give unto cavaliers and those who followed his honour, did also keep familiarity alike with both nations.
At this time also was Lieutenant Colonel Huball sent with a convoy of horse, and a thousand dragoniers towards Hanau, who took it in by surprise, with very little loss, when some hurt officers that were come from Leipzig were taken prisoners, being under cure there. The town being taken, Huball being but before Lieutenant Colonel to the Blue Regiment, having brought a part of the country under contribution, he gave out patents, for levying of horse and foot, in his own name, having had a sure muster-place, and the help of Frankfurt besides: immediately he did get commission of His Majesty, for levying three thousand horse and foot, to be in two regiments under his command; he was thus suddenly made up by one fortunate exploit, without any great service, or hurt to himself, or those he did command. At this same time, or thereabouts was Prague in Bohemia given over, by accord unto Arnheim, General to the Saxons' Army.
The twenty one Observation.
Here his Majesty was put to the trial of his judgement and dexterity in command: after the inraking of Würzburg, his army for the most part being sent from him, under command of Gustavus Horne towards Bamberg, as also having weakened his army, by besetting the garrisons on the Main, not keeping above eight thousand foot and horse by himself at Würzburg, while as General Tilly, Altringer, Feucker, and the Duke of Lorraine had joined their forces together, making up fifty thousand men, of intention to force a pass over the Main, to come at his Majesty; his Majesty being sure, Tilly would not harm the country being Papists, he resolved by cunctation, and delays to weary him with a defensive war, keeping the main strength of his army, within Würzburg, being well provided of all furniture for horse and man; he begun to strengthen the town with the spade and the shovel, in making of redoubts and skonces without it, in manner of a Winter leaguer: he also caused scaffold the walls round about within the town; and fearing his coming on Ochsenfurt, he did the like, discharging all duties himself, from one place to another, as became a wise General, that did foresee the designs of his enemy, by a timely prevention, according to the accidents, circumstances, and situation of places, seeing his enemies strong, and himself weak, he took the first advantage.
This charge of a general to an army is a place of such weight and importance, that few ought to long to intrude themselves in this kind of general command, being subject to infinite chances, and altogether divers, almost every hour set before him. Truly though this King had a rare judgement, wit and dexterity, with great experience in his command: Nevertheless, to speak truth, all the time I did follow his Majesty on occasions, being near three years, I did never see his Majesty so much troubled in mind and resolution, as at this time in Ochsenfurt, not knowing well himself what to resolve, the enemy being behind him and before him; able to pursue Würzburg, and Ochsenfurt alike; and to my mind if he had, he might have carried both at that time; for our army was not only scattered and dispersed, but also we were weak, and, which was worse, we were all of us discontented; being too much toiled with marching, working and watching, without any pay or gains for honest men.
At this time, his Majesty stood in need of assistance and good counsel, having enemies on all hands, and a strong enemy; the country also unsure, being unfriends and Papists, and he being wise, resolved without giving battle, his best was, to press to overcome them with the season, with hunger and cold, with marches and delays, keeping himself within walls, he knew well twelve soldiers with a good officer to direct them, were better, being willing to attend, than a hundred naked and hungry soldiers without, whereby his enemies' army were undone, without hurt or detriment of his own, being well commanded, and well foreseen and provided of all necessaries, having given them besides, as reward of their former services, a little money, knowing well how hungry men could be contented with little, in time of need: for he resolved, if the enemy pursued him hard within Würzburg, he could not suffer himself to be beleaguered with a strong army, in a strait place; and to go to the fields with a discontented weak army (which it behoved him to do) was not good. The consideration of this forced him to give some moneys in hand, to content them, and hand-writ, and assignations for more moneys to be paid unto them out of Nuremberg, within six months afterwards.
As also his Majesty knew well the enemies' army near hand, hearing there was money given out by his Majesty, that it was the only way to weaken and dissolve the enemies' army, in making their soldiers run away, and to take service under his Majesty, which in effect accordingly fell out: for it being near Winter, and their army marched away, their straggling soldiers did strengthen our garrisons, having taken service under us; having but heard of the bruit of money, that was given out amongst us. Where we see, how necessary it was, at this time, in such a dangerous extremity, for this little army to have been commanded by a wise General, that steered his course aright in midst of the greatest tempest, like to a skilful mariner, where an arrogant fellow, without skill, that had commanded, had made shipwreck of all.
As his Majesty was wise and moderate in his command; so those who obeyed were faithful and entire to their superior. Here inferiors whom Fortune favoureth, though weakest, were subject in all things to him, who was Fortune's minion, and Mars his equal, Gustavus the Invincible; that by his wisdom, and foresight, forced old Tilly to retire to Nuremberg, having gained nothing but loss, which retreat was the presage of his future ruin, at the Lech, where it enters into the Danube.
Here also we are instructed, as well by his Majesty's politic government, as by his military; He being alike expert in both, discharging the duty of a king, and a general, tam arte, quam marte: for the enemy was no sooner gone, but incontinent his Majesty caused serve his public edicts, for bringing in the countrymen, to give their oaths of fidelity; moving them thereto partly by compulsion, and partly by promises of duty and of liberty to their consciences, two strong arguments to move those to obedience, who had seen their friends forced to turn backes upon them, from whom, under God, they did expect relief to come.
Moreover we see here, that those who are honoured by God, are also worthy of honour from their equals: other kings, princes, and confederates sending their ambassadors unto them, to congratulate their good fortunes and success; as also to treat with them in matters belonging to their mutual states and standing: at this time also, there were commissioners sent from Ulm, Strasburg, Nuremberg, and Frankfurt, treating with his Majesty for themselves apart, as free from the body of the Empire: And such feathers his Majesty was glad to get out of the Emperor's wings, knowing the more he wanted of such feathers, the worse he could fly: and some of them were light, changing as the wind. To conclude then, whom fortune favours, the world laughs on, as may be seen here, by the example of Lieutenant Colonel Howbalt, after the in-taking of Hanau by mere fortune being surprised; which was the occasion, this cavalier was so suddenly made up, in getting command over horse and foot, from liettenant colonel; who, four years before, was sergeant under the Blue Regiment. Yet notwithstanding the good he had received under his Majesty and his Crown, he afterwards quit them and their service; in their greatest extremity, which was unthankfully done of him, being more unkindly, then friendly.
The twenty second Duty discharged of our March from Würzburg to Frankfurt on the Main.
His Majesty having beset Würzburg castle with a strong Swedens garrison, under command of Colonel Axellille, preparation being made for the march, the Colonel of the artillery, Leonard Richardson a Swede, was directed down the Main, with the great cannon, and three hundred commanded musketeers of Scots, of Sir James Ramsey his regiment commanded by Alexander Hanan, being a discreet cavalier, of good command and conduct, and valorous also: they had abundance of cannon, fireworks, ammunition, and all other furniture belonging to artillery, with them by water, having got orders to take in all strengths on the Main, which lay in their way, where they and he who commanded them, made good booty, having taken in several castles, and Miltenburg also, and from thence continued their course down the water towards Ashaffenburg, a city and a castle on the Main belonging to the Bishop of Mainz, where they had orders to remain till his Majesty's coming with the army.
This march continued for five days, where we had nightly good quarters by the way, being in fear of no enemy we kept the whole march, the Main on our right hand, & our horsemen upon the left, having had the field-marshal with his army lying at Bamberg, betwixt us and the enemy, so that this march, though in winter, was not so troublesome unto us, as their travelling is to them, who journey in foreign countries, for to see strange faces, where they must needs lay out moneys for their entertainment, some of us on this march were well entertained, and did get money besides to spend at Frankfurt.
Likewise when it behoved travellers to hire guides, and sometimes to hire convoys for their safeties, we had Gustavus a king under God, our leader, and a powerful army to convoy us, and at night, the sweet, and sociable society of our countrymen and strangers, the one to season the other, which made our march pleasant, alongst the pleasant and fruitful River of the Main, that runs through fair Franconia into the Rhine at Mainz.
Having come with the army, the length of Hanau, leaving Aschaffenburg behind us, we marched to Steinhem, which presently we took in by accord, where the most part of the soldiers did take service, which being done, his Majesty did send unto the Lords of Frankfurt, desiring them for the well of the professors of the evangel, to take in a garrison, with a protestation, if they refused to do it willingly, it behoved him otherwise to deal with them, which was not his desire.
They having taken the proposition, for two days, in advisement, his Majesty the sixteenth of November, did let quarter the army before their ports in Offenbach, Ober and Nieder Rode; the next day they consented, his Majesty's army should march through, leaving six hundred men in garrison in Sachsenhausen, the Lords giving their oath to secure the garrison of Sachsenhausen of all dangers, and on the seventeenth of November his Majesty with the whole army in comely order marched alongst the bridge, from Sachsenhausen through the town of Frankfurt towards Höchst, where there lay two miles off the town a garrison of the enemies. In this march through Frankfurt, such order was kept without any disorder, as if it were the solemn procession of a King and his nobles in parliament, every one admiring of his Majesty's good order and discipline kept over his army.
The nineteenth of November, Höchst was taken in by his Majesty with accord, where the soldiers for the most part took service. The next day the army lying still in dorps, his Majesty returned to Frankfurt, and met with the Landgrave of Hessen, the Landgrave of Darmstadt and with the Earls of the Wetterau, where it was agreed amongst them, for the defence of the land, to join in one confederacy, where the castle of Rüsselsheim was given unto his Majesty by the Landgrave of Darmstat, whereon two hundred Scots of Colonel Lodowick Lesly his regiment were set, under command of Captain Macdowgall.
The ne•xt day being the two and twentieth of November, his Majesty returned to Höchst again, and having put forth the Papists, placing his own preachers, on Sunday his Majesty thanked God, that he had gotten in Frankfurt without blood or stroke of sword. His Majesty caused to set over a ship-bridge at Höchst, and sent ships before Mainz, to block it by water, till his Majesty with the army crossed the Main, and marched by Darmstat in the Bergstrasse, of intention to have gone for Heidelberg, but retiring down near the Rhine, having quartered the army, his Majesty with a party did visit the skonce of Oppenheim, and thereafter resolved to take it in.
The twenty second Observation.
This march being profitable as it was pleasant to the eye, we see that soldiers have not always so hard a life, as the common opinion is; for sometimes as they have abundance, so they have variety of pleasure in marching softly, without fear or danger, through fertile soils and pleasant countries, their marches being more like to a Kingly progress, than to wars, being in a fat land, as this was, abounding in all things, except peace: they had plenty of corn, wine, fruit, gold, silver, jewels, and of all sort of riches could be thought of, on this river of the Main, where the towns and pleasant flects lie by the water, not distant, in many places, half an English mile from one another; being one of the pleasantest parts, and wholesomest for air that I did see in all Germany, having a great traffic by water from thence unto the west sea, by the Rhine running northward unto Holland. This town of Frankfurt is so pleasant for air, situation, buildings, traffic, commerce withal nations, by water and by land, that it is and may be thought the garden of Germany, and consequently of Europe; seeing no continent in Europe is comparable unto Germany, for fertility, riches, corn, wine, traffic by land, pleasant cities, fair buildings, rare orchards, woods, and planting, civility, as well in the country as in the cities; their dorps and flects walled about; the boors inhabitants having their wines in cellars set in great, rife or plentiful as water, to entertain their friends, in a bountiful manner, especially alongst this pleasant iver of the Main.
Here at Frankfurt is the mart, called the Frankfurter Messe, whether the merchants resort from all parts of Europe for the mutual interchange of money and wares: Hither also are brought twice in the year from all parts of Europe, the travels and books written by the learned of all sciences, and of all controversies of religion, to be transported again from thence, for the use of other Kingdoms.
The inhabitants of Frankfurt, we see here are content to take in his Majesty's garrison in Sachsenhausen, without compulsion or losing of blood: and this kind of conquest is the best conquest, when we conquer more by love than by force; where they, by their timely yielding, preserved their town, their buildings, their orchards, their houses of pleasure undestroyed, when others through their pride stood out, till they were punished by the ruin of their towns, the losing of their moveables, as their gold, their silver, their rich cupboords, their jewels, their ornaments, their orchards, their gardens, in regard of their pride in time of their plenty.
But this city of Frankfurt was made wise, by the ruin of other cities, whose intemperate troubles made them moderate. Thus concord is the mother of all happiness in the common-weal; for she debars enemies, augments wealth, makes the cities sure without a guard, and oft-times we see that those who contemn peace, seeking glory, they lose both peace and glory.
Therefore the Lords of Frankfurt did well, in preferring good conditions of peace before an uncertain war, especially against such a heroic king as Gustavus was, then the patriot & protector of their faith and religion, and consequently of their freedom, and their country's freedom, and for their rewards, to my knowledge, they were enriched three years together (by the hand of the army) with the substance of the four upper circles of Germany; which in th'end they rewarded with unthankfulness, and doubtless will be punished for it sometime.
Here also we have the power of example; for the town of Frankfurt having taken his Majesty of Sweden for their Protector, following their examples, the two Landgraves Hessen and Darmstadt, with the Earls of the Wetterau desire also to be in the confederacy, and were most gladly accepted of. Ulm, Nuremberg and Strasburg ended also their confederacy with his Majesty after the example of Frankfurt, promising supply of men, money and victuals for the army, ammunition and horses for the artillery, with abundance of arms for horse and foot, with powder, ball, match, wagons, spades, shovels, pikes, mattocks, axes and all other things fitting for the advancement of the wars. Here was a great conquest without stroke of sword, showing unto us the number of friends we get, when fortune smiles on us: but how soon this -heroic person is but once gone, and that fortune beginneth to frown, then these variable friends quit their confederacy again, following the strongest, for which one day the sword of their enemies will come amongst them, with hunger and pestilence. At this time the Queen's Majesty of Sweden was come to Stettin, and from thence on her journey towards Frankfurt. Here also the King's Majesty of Bohemia was come to visit his Majesty of Sweden, and was royally received by his Majesty, as likewise by the Lords of Frankfurt, and was wonderfully well liked of by the whole communalty of the cities and countries, wherever his Majesty did come.
Here also the Marquess of Hamilton did come unto his Majesty again, being followed like a Prince, and well respected by both the Kings. The ambassadors of Britain and of France were there also, and the Rex-chancellor of Sweden being come with the Queen's Majesty and Sir Patrick Ruthvene come from Prussia, were all made welcome to this Court then at Frankfurt, which was not inferior to the Emperor's own Court, in respect of great confluence of people, that came from all parts to congratulate the Lion of the North his victories, and to admire his fortunes, being so increased in two years time, that all things succeeded happily unto his Majesty according to his own hearts desire.