The King's Majesty of Sweden knowing that the Duke of Friedland had quit the town and castle of Weissenfels, and had the fourth of November marched with his army towards Lützen, two miles from Leipzig, his Majesty on the fifth of November, with the whole army, two hours before day broke up from Naumburg, setting after the enemy, coming the same day after noon-tide in sight of them; He presented himself with his army in order of battle, so that incontinently the skirmish went on apace by the troops, which were commanded out from both armies, whereupon the Swedens made still good use with their small cannon, till the night did put them asunder. In which skirmish the Swedens had gotten one of the Crabbats' standards, whereon was drawn the Fortune, and the eagle, which on our side was holden for a good beginning.
The Swedens army this whole night standing in battle, his Majesty was of intention to have fallen on the Imperial army two hours before day: but by reason of a thick mist which had fallen, it behoved his Majesty to attend the rising and clearing up of the day. But the enemy perceiving the Swedens coming so near unto him, it could not go off without fighting: he did in the mean time see well to his own advantage, giving out orders they should incontinent make the graff or ditch, they had before their front, deeper than it was first made, and to lodge musketeers within it, which they might have before them, equal to any breast-work or parapet for their better safeties.
His Majesty then having ended the morning prayers, and that the mist was vanishing away, by the rising of the sun, giving out, by all appearance, the tokens of a cleare day. His Majesty then with comfortable exhortation exhorted every man, foot, and horse, to fight bravely, especially directing his speech unto the Swedens and Finns: You true and valiant brethren, see that you do valiantly carry yourselves this day, fighting bravely for God's word, and your King; which if you do, so will you have mercy of God, and honour before the world; and I will truly reward you; but if you do not, I swear unto you, that your bones shall never come in Sweden again.
The Dutch also his Majesty exhorted after this manner: You true and worthy Dutch brethren, officers and common soldiers, I exhort you all, carry yourselves manly, and fight truly with me; run not away, and I shall hazard my body and blood with you for your best, if you stand with me, so I hope in God to obtain victory, the profit whereof will redound to you and your successors: and if otherwise you do, so are you and your liberties lost. His Majesty having ended this speech saith, now let us to it, and let us cry unto God with one voice, Jesu, Jesu, Jesu help me this day to fight, for the glory of thy Name: He advanced then in full battle fasting, having neither tasted meat nor drink, right forwards towards the town of Lützen, where on both sides the Duke of Friedland his horsemen did present themselves, until such time as their general had brought their infantry in battle, beside the wind-mill, and then to a side, by the ditch that was before their front, they retired back a little, and set themselves in battle, on the right hand of the town of Lützen, and then putting the town on fire, to the end the Swedens on that quarter could do them no harm.
Notwithstanding whereof, with full resolution the Swedens' army, in full battle marched by the side of the town on the ditch, where their musketeers were lodged, and presented themselves in good order, against the mighty and strong Imperial army, whereupon, the Imperialists great cannon, that were planted by the wind-mill, began to give fire in the midst of the Swedens' army, and were incontinent repaid and answered with the like noise; so that the cannon played two long hours on both sides, the fight going bravely on, betwixt nine and ten of the clock, that his Majesty himself advanced towards the enemy, with the vanguard of his army, even to their graff, where their musketeers were set much to his Majesty's disadvantage, so that sundries of his Majesty's forces fell therein; Nevertheless, they chased the enemy a little out of the ditch, and took seven of the Imperialists' cannon, that were planted alongst the graff. After this, the other Swedens' brigade, or yellow regiment of the guard is come after, and not esteeming of the graff in their way, or of the three squadrons, or battles of the enemies' foot, being four times stronger than they, which they manfully did beat, making them to give ground, till they were ruined, and then on the second time, scattering them also even until the third advancing, and being grown weak, and weary with so many brave charges, being resisted by the enemies' third battle, which were seconded well with two squadrons of horsemen, at last, with the blue regiments coming up to relieve them, driven back, and almost so scattered, that they were ruined, and the seven cannon which formerly they had won, were taken from them again. In the mean time, the Swedens' small cannon, that were planted before the brigades, being righted on the enemies' cannon at the wind-mill, whereon also Duke Barnard's cannon, which were before his brigade, played on the enemies' cannon towards the wind-mill, doing great hurt to the enemy, so that they were forced to retire their cannon a little behind the miller's house; in this mean time, his Majesty with some squadrons of horse charged the enemy, that was thrice stronger than they, charging with their right wing, his left wing falling on them with such fury, that their rearguard, or reserve were astonished, being so furious, that they went through their enemies, putting them to the flight. But especially his Majesty himself having charged too far with four cornets in the midst of the enemies' troops being deadly wounded gave up the ghost, fighting for God and for the defence of the true religion, he departed valiantly and happily for him, in Christ our Saviour.
Nevertheless two great bodies of Crabbats of the enemies' left wing stood firm, and falling on the right wing of the Swedens' horsemen, with such a cry and fury, advanced so far, that they were masters of the Swedens' ammunition wagons, bringing also some of the Swedens' horsemen in disorder: whereupon incontinent did fall on three squadrons of the Swedens' horsemen, under whom Lieutenant Colonel Rolingen was one, that did second the rest bravely, who was shot in the arm. Nevertheless the Crabbats were beaten back again with loss, during which time, Duke Barnard of Weimar was not idle, with the left wing of the Swedens' horsemen, but with the commanded musketeers being of Leslie's regiment, and with the small cannon, charged the enemies' right wing, making them retire on their cannon by the wind-mill and gallows, and after long fighting, they were made at last to give ground, quitting to the Swedens fourteen pieces of great ordnance.
As the Duke of Weimar did charge the enemy, their ammunition wagons took fire, which did damage the enemy much, but thereafter, Pappenheim coming from Halle with a fresh supply unlooked for, the service was begun again more sharp and violent, than before, which continued for a while very vehement, he having recollected the scattered troops, the order whereof can scarce be well set down, by reason it was so near night, before Pappenheim's coming; yet the service continued hot and cruel so long as he lived, till it was past eight o'clock at night, that in end Pappenheim being killed, the Imperialists losing courage, through the assistance of God, and the manly, and valiant courage of Duke Barnard of Weimar, the victory was come on the Swedens' side, the enemy having quit the field, and burnt off his leaguer with his whole baggage, and three pieces of cannon, which he could not get carried away with him; he took his retreat again on Leipzig.
There were killed of the Imperialists the Abbot of Fulda, the Grave Von Pappenheim, Colonel Lane, Colonel Vestrum, Lieutenant Colonel Lorde, Liuetenant Colonel Taphim, Lieutenant Colonel Camerhooffe, Colonel Seves with many other inferior officers and soldiers.
On the Swedens' side were lost with his Majesty General Major Isler, Colonel Gerstorfe, General Major Grave Neeles a Sweden, Colonel Vildesten, and divers more were hurt, and of our nation was hurt with the cannon, and musket twice Captain Henry Lindesey brother to Bainshow who for a time did lie almost dead in the field, divers officers of Colonel Lodowick Lesly his regiment were also hurt, having behaved themselves well, being, for the most part, old, expert officers, and old beaten blades of soldiers.
In this battle as was thought, were killed nine thousand men, besides, those were hurt, whereof many thereafter died of their wounds, such as on the Emperor's side Grave Berhertbold, Von Wallenstein, Colonel Comargo, Colonel Browner, the old Colonel Viltzleben, and others. On the Swedens side also died of his wounds after the battle, General Major Grave Neeles.
After his Majesty's death, there was great and extraordinary grief and sorrow over the whole army; yet they never suffered the same to be seen outwardly, but prosecuted still the enemy more vehemently, and more cruelly than before. For the Duke of Weimar, and the rest of the cavaliers of the army understanding the great misfortune of his Majesty death, resolved all alike, it was better to die on the place with his Majesty, than to retire one foot of ground: which resolution was the cause, that in the end they did crown the lamentable death of the King's Majesty with a stately and heroical victory, so that his Majesty in the highest degree of glory, may be imagined before any King, or Emperor to have died, and his life doth eternize alike both his praise and glory, being victorious before death, in his death, and after death.
The Duke of FriedlandWallenstein, after the losing of this battle, retired with his scattered army towards Leipzig, and having had no time to continue there, he was forced to take his retreat further unto the hills of Bohemia, and thereafter Leipzig was freed from the enemies' forces, by the Duke of Lüneburg, and the Saxons, that were coming with succours unto his Majesty before the battle, whose march was too slow, their succours being come but after the strokes were given.
The castle of Leipzig called Plassenburg having holden out long, was taken again, together with which all other parts in Saxony, that the Imperialists had taken, were freed again, by the Swedens the second time, as Chemnitz, Freiberg, &c. For which service the Swedens were evil recompensed by the ungrateful Saxon, whose unthankfulness to the Crown of Sweden will never be forgotten.
In all this time the Swedens Field Marshal Gustavus Horne did prosper very fortunately in Alsace, not only in taking in the strong and fast episcopal strength Bennenfeld, in spight of the Imperialists, who had pressed to relieve it, after a long siege of two months' time; the Field-marshal did take it in by accord. As also the towns Schlettstadt, Colmar, Hagenau, Mülhausen, and al most whole upper Alsace in a short time he brought under his contribution and power.
The fortieth Observation
His Majesty at this time, though a great deal weaker in strength than the enemy, notwithstanding he was loath to delay time, finding Wallenstein once removing from him, Pappenheim being also absent with the Army of the League, his Majesty resolved as best to embrace the occasion, not giving time to his enemy, either to take more advantage, or yet to recollect the forces which were scattered from him, thinking it was best to deal with one before another, and he knew it was a kind of madness to stay till his enemies' forces were augmented, feeing occasioan taken in wars doth often profit more than courage itselfe. Therefore we see, there was a necessity laid on his Majesty to fight this battle in time, seeing the enemy coming together was twice stronger than he, and then his Majesty had no place of retreat within ten miles, which would not only ruin his army, but also discourage his friends and confederates, for whose relief he did come. Wallenstein retired from his Majesty of purpose to put of time, till Pappenheim had come to him, or till they might draw his Majesty's army between them, which his Majesty foreseeing adventured the combat, in seeking first unto Wallenstein before Papenheim's coming. It is needless to reason more of his Majesty's resolution, since all counsels and advisements are allowed of, as they happen to succeed; which is most unjust.
Here also we see, what a great charge is laid on him that leads an army, and of all charges the greatest is, to fight a battle well with a weak army against a strong. Wherein is requisite a wise and a courageous commander;' for when a battle is to be fought, it is dangerous for a king, the head and the heart of an army, with the danger of his whole army, to hazard himself and his kingdom to the decision or arbitrement of variable fortune; or to enterprise difficult matters, setting all his estate in hazard, seeing the safety of the whole depends on him alone: for there is nothing more fearful to a commander, and with all diligence to be eschewed, than that he do not at one time, and one moment, commit his whole estate and kingdom unto the decision of chance, without great advantage offered. Neither ought a king to fight with all his forces at once, except he could perceive a sure overthrow to be seen clearly unto himself, or to his enemies, and if then he resolve to fight, for eschewing of factions, let one supreme commander command, which is ever best; since many wits in command do but breed confusion. Therefore it is most requisite, that one command and the rest obey, as was done here at Lützen, and the best way of command is, to keep men in awe of duty, not so much with cruelty (as many base generals do) as with a moderate severeness: for always commanders ought to do, as wise mariners, not to steer their course still one way, but sometimes to give way to the tempest, which being past, let him follow his course again: even so wise commanders should moderate their commands according to the time. For as in a calm sea any fellow may steer, but in a great tempest, a skilfull and a wife mariner is requisite: even so in command, when a battle is to be fought, a wise and a stout commander is requisite; for no man can command well, w ho did not learn to obey. Therefore it is the most difficult thing in the world to command well, either ourselves or others: and he that would command well, must not show himself cruel in words or strokes,but if possible, he ought to bring men to his mind with entreaty and friendly exhortations, showing himself grave, majestic and benevolent, gaining of others his inferiors' reverence, fear and munificence, with due obedience; and this is the only best way to command, and to keepe men in obedience: which qualities were all plentiful in the Lion of the North, the invincible Gustavus, who after this manner encouraged his own countrymen and subjects, to fight, as also in a brotherly manner of love encouraged the Dutch, being his sworn servants. Who would not obey, such a commander to fight well, being assured under his fortunate conduct after travail and pain, to obtain glory and honour here, and an immortal crown after death, for fighting well the battles of the Lord.
As his Majesty went about his enemies with wisdom and courage: so Wallenstein went about his with craft and policy, casting a ditch before our forces to fall in, w hich was made the burial place of his own soldiers, being fallen in the ditch they had prepared for others.
I confess there is nothing more commodious in war than to deceive an enemy, and oft-times through deceit men obtain victory; yet the wisdom of Gustavus seasoned with infinite courage could notbe trapped with a fowler's grin, but brake through it with the assistance of God, till he was victorious over his crafty enemies.
This magnanimous king for his valour might have been well called the Magnific King, and holden for such, who while as he once saw appearance of the loss of the day, seeing some forces beaten back, and some flying, he valorously did charge in the midst of his enemies with hand and voice, though thrice shot, sustained the fight, doing alike, the duty of a soldier and of a king, till with the loss of his own life he did restore the victory to his eternal credit, he died standing serving the public, Pro Deo et Religione tuenda; and receiving three bullets, one in the body, one in the arm, and the third in the head, he most willingly gave up the ghost, being all his lifetime a king that feared God and walked uprightly in his calling; and as he lived Christianly, so he died most happily, in the defence of the truth: and to witness all this was true, I could take heaven and earth, sun and moon, minerals &c. to witnesse that his colours ever flourished and spread in the name of the Lord, and that his confidence was not set on the arm of man, though he was a warrior from his youth up, he was the Captain over Israel, whose fingers the Lord taught to fight, and to lead his people.
He had the heart of a lion, that by God's help had done such things, that those that had seen and heard it as I did, must needs have said, that it was the Lord that did it and not he, being it was the Lord's work. But our adversaries and their damned crew of Jesuits and Moriks, will say, that it was their power and might, and the goodness of their cause, that made his royal Majesty to fall. But we may say with Solomon in the twenty-eight of the Proverbs and twenty-one verse, It was for the sins of the land, and our sins, that he was taken from amongst us, and from those poor cavaliers, that did follow him, for his Majesty's love, and the love of the cause. He was shot with three bullets, dead with the last, for our sins and the sins of the land. And what he did before his death, for the liberty of Dutchland, and freedom of the gospel none but knows it: he left his own kingdom, to bring strangers to freedom in theirs, he set light by his own life for Dutchland, that they might keep theirs, he waked and cared day and night for them, as a father for his children, that at last he might bring peace for them to sleep sound; he brought the keys and opened their Church doors that were closed up by the antichristian idolaters, that the Devil's doctrine was banished again out of the Pfalz, and Christ's gospel preached, and the sacraments duly administred, which I saw, and was partaker of, singing thanks unto God for their deliverance.
He it was and none other under God, who helped them to their liberties, he it was and none other relieved Israel. Notwithstanding whereof, the unthankfulness of the people was so great, that with my ears, divers times I did hear some of them say, he might as well have stayed in his own country, till they had sent for him, so great was their unthankfulness! Likewise they said, if he had had much at home, he had not come unto them overseas such a far journey. Was not this to recompense good with evil? Was not this right the chief butler's part, that did not remember Joseph, but forgot him? Was not this Joash his part to Jehoida his father? O then this was the poisonable bullet of ingratitude of the people, for which our King and master was taken away! Oh would to God the people had never been so unthankful, that our king, captain and master had yet lived!
Moreover as these people were unthankful, so they were Godless many of them in the time of their troubles, as I did behold oft-times with mine eyes a careless security amongst them, thinking their victories were so frequent, and their own power so great, they needed not the assistance of the Swedens nor of strangers, and their pride was so great, that disesteeming of strangers in their pride, they led a life very insolent and debauched, being given to the works of the flesh, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry &c. In a word, it was even amongst them, as it was in the days before the flood, as if the Lord had forgotten them, or could not see their villany, so it behoved God to have punished them by his Majesty's death. For in their hearts they said there was no God; so that their mischief came on them unawares; and this the peoples' carriage caused his Majesty's untimely death, being shot the second time. O would to God they had done otherwise, and served God more truly, that we might have had the presence and conduct of our magnanimous King longer, till the pride of Austria had been more humbled, and the whore of Babylon brought unto repentance of her idolatries! O would to God I could enough lament his death! As also lament my own sins, and the wickedness of the people, that was the cause of this untimely death, through their sins! And his Majesty's self also being a sinner, as he himself oft-times confessed, wishing that God would not lay to his charge the great respect and reverence the best sort of the people did give unto him, being but a sinful man, as they were; for which he feared the Lord was angry with him; showing by his confession he did glory in nothing but in the Lord, ascribing ever all his victories unto God, and nothing presuming of himself. For I dare be bold to say he was a man according to God's mind, if there was one on earth. Such was our master, captain and king. As was Abraham the father of many, so was our master, captain and king. Was Noah in his time unreproveable? So was our master, captain and king. Was Job in his sufferings patient? So was our master, captain and king. Was Jonathan true and upright in keeping his word? So was our master, captain and king. Was Jehosaphat in his wars penitent, and busy craving the help of the Lord? So was our master, captain and king. Was Simeon good and full of the spirit? So was our master, captain and king. Was young Tobias mindful all his days of the Lord, in his heart, and his will not set to sin? So was our master, captain and king, like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper, clear as crystal ever and ever. And truly if Apelles with his skill in painting, and Cicero with his tongue in speaking, were both alive, and pressed to add anything to the perfection of our master, captain and king; truly the one's best colours, and the other's best words were not able to add one shadow to the brightness of his royal mind and spirit; So that while the world stands, our king, captain and master cannot be enough praised. Alas then! it was our sins, and the sins of the army, and the land, was the cause of our punishment in losing of him, with that unhappy last bullet of the three shot through his head, who was the head of us all under God our Father in Christ, that did undo us, it was we, I say, that sinned against the Lord and his anointed. It was our misdeeds did thus grow over our heads that made us lose our head and leader. Woe, woe then to us that left the Lord, till we made the Lord take him from us, that was our guard and comforter under God in all our troubles! What then ought we to do that one day we may reign with him in glory? While it is to day we must cast off the works of darkness, and embrace the light in newness of life, repenting of the evil, and turning away from our wickedness by repentance, not like unto Cain, not like unto Saul, not like unto Achitophel, not like to Judas Iscariot, who all doubted; but like those of Nineveh in dust and ashes, to fast and pray believing in the Lord; and with David to say, We have sinned against thee, and against the Heavens, be merciful unto us O Lord: like unto Peter, let us, O Lord, weep bitterly; let us then repent, and believe the Gospel, believe, yea and turn to the Lord with all our hearts, with fasting and praying, and mourning with Saul, that said, Thou art more righteous then I, in showing me good for evil: much more ought we to lift up our voices, and with tears of repentance mourn for the loss of our master, captain and king, through our sins and unthankfulness. Therefore to day while we have time, let us acknowledge our sins before the Lord, and repent, lest a worse come unto us, and that then we be cast into prison, till that we pay the last farthing; for if the Lord spared not his own Son who was blameless and without sin, while he took on him our sins, what shall then become of us? No otherwise, but except we turn from our sins, we must also die the death. Let us not then close our ears, as at Meribah and at Massa in the wilderness; but with the forlorn child cry, Father we have sinned against thee, and against heaven, and are not more worthy to be called thy sons. Lord therefore be merciful unto us, and enter not into judgment with us. Then let us all wear mourning, and lament the death of the valiant King Gustavus Adolphus, while we breathe. Yet what help? Res est irrevocabilis, et quod factum est infectum fieri nequit, what is done cannot be recalled, and should we mourn like unto those who have no hope? Far be it from us, seeing it cannot help us in this life, or in the life to come. Let us then say with Micah, let it be with us as it pleaseth God, and let us say with David, It is good for us O Lord, that thou hast chastened us with thy rod; thou canst also help us, and bring us to an happy end of all our miseries, the Lord will not suffer us nor our seed to lack bread, and the Lord our God did ever give unto the people of Israel at all times rulers, judges and kings, and jael, though a woman despised, was strong enough to drive a nail in the right cause. Shall not then the Lord on our repentance, stir up one, yet to take his cause in hand, who are also Israel's, and the Lord's people and inheritance, being also christened in the Lord's name? And as a mother doth not forget her child, so will not the Lord forget us, but in place of our master, captain and king, will yet give unto us a valiant leader, come, I hope, of the valiant Bruce, & of the first king of the Stewarts, of the issue of Elizabeth the Queen of Bohemia, and jewel of her sex, the most splendid in brightness of mind, for a woman, that the Earth doth afford. From her I wish the leader to come into the field, to fight with good luck & victory, with strength & power, with wisdom and understanding &c. against her enemies and our enemies, always well furnished and prepared, the Lord will give him an horn of ron and feet of brass to beat his enemies in pieces, the Lord will lift up his hand upon his adversaries, and cut off all his enemies; and to conclude, he will make him tread the Devil under his feet. The Lord of his infinite mercy grant unto us such a leader in place of our valiant master, captain and king of never dying memory, the Lion of the North, the invincible King of Sweden! so shall we not need in any manner of way to doubt of a wished happy end, both to the war and to ourselves, being victorious over all our enemies temporal and spiritual. Amen.