« PreviousContinue »
and took them up; and I cannot but do this justice to the German officers in the fort, they had five small flat boats, and they gave leave to the soldiers to go off in them, and get what booty they could, but charged them not to kill anybody, but take them all prisoners.
Nor was their humanity ill rewarded; for the soldiers, wisely avoiding those places where their fellows were employed in butchering the miserable people, rowed to other places, where crowds of people stood crying out for help, and expecting to be every minute either drowned or murdered ; of these at sundry times they fetched over near six hundred, but took care to take in none but such as offered them good pay.
Never was money or jewels of greater service than now, for those that had anything of that sort to offer were socnest helped.
There was a burgher of the town, who seeing a boat coming near him, but out of his call, by the help of a speaking trumpet, told the soldiers in it he would give them twenty thousand dollars to fetch him off; they rowed close to the shore, and got him with his wife and six children into the boat, but such throngs of people got about the boat that had like to have sunk her, so that the soldiers were fain to drive a great many out again by main force, and while they were doing this, some of the enemies coming down the street desperately drove them all into the water.
The boat, however, brought the burgher and his wife and children safe ; and though they had not all that wealth about them, yet in jewels and money he gave them so much as made all the fellows very rich.
I cannot pretend to describe the cruelty of this day, the town by five in the afternoon was all on a flame; the wealth consumed was inestimable, and a loss to the very conquerer. I think there was little or nothing left but the great church, and about one hundred houses.
This was a sad welcome into the army for me, and gave me a horror and aversion to the emperor's people, as well as to his cause. I quitted the camp the third day after this execution, while the fire was hardly out in the city; and from thence getting safe conduct to pass into the Palatinate, I turned out of the road at a small village on the Elbe, called Emerfield, and by ways and towns I can give but small account of,
CRUELTIES OF THE IMPERIAL SOLDIERS.
having a boor for our guide, whom we could hardly understand, I arrived at Leipsic on the 17th of May.
We found the elector intense upon the strengthening of his army, but the people, in the greatest terror imaginable,
every day expecting Tilly with the German army, who, by his · cruelty at Magdeburgh, was become so dreadful to the protestants, that they expected no mercy wherever he came.
The emperor's power was made so formidable to all the protestants, particularly since the diet at Ratisbon left them in a worse case than it found them, that they had not only formed the conclusions of Leipsic, which all men looked on as the effect of desperation rather than any probable means of their deliverance, but had privately implored the protection and assistance of foreign powers, and particularly the king of Sweden, from whom they had promises of a speedy and powerful assistance. And truly if the Swede had not with a very strong hand rescued them, all their conclusions at Leipsic had served to hasten their ruin. I remember very well, when I was in the imperial army, they discoursed with such contempt of the forces of the protestants, that not only the imperialists, but the protestants themselves gave them up as lost; the emperor had no less than two hundred thousand men in several armies on foot, who most of them were on the back of the protestants in every corner. If Tilly did but write a threatening letter to any city or prince of the union, they presently submitted, renounced the conclusions of Leipsic, and received imperial garrisons, as the cities of Ulm and Memingen, the duchy of Wirtemburgh, and several others, and almost all Suaben.
Only the duke of Saxony and the landgrave of Hesse upheld the drooping courage of the protestants, and refused all terms of peace; slighted all the threatenings of the imperial generals, and the duke of Brandenburgh was brought in afterwards almost by force.
The Duke of Saxony mustered his forces under the walls of Leipsic, and I, having returned to Leipsic two days before, saw them pass the review. The duke, gallantly mounted, rode through the ranks, attended by his fieldmarshal Arnheim, and seemed mighty well pleased with them, and indeed the troops made a very fine appearance; but I that had seen Tilley's army, and his old weather-beaten soldiers, whose discipline and exercises were so exact, and their
courage so often tried, could not look on the Saxon army without some concern for them, when I considered who they had to deal with. Tilly's men were rugged surly fellows, their faces had an air of hardy courage, mangled with wounds, and scars, their armour showed the bruises of musket bullets, and the rust of the winter storms. I observed of them their clothes were always dirty, but their arms were clean and bright; they were used to camp in the open fields, and sleep in the frosts and rain ; their horses were strong and hardy like themselves, and well taught their exercises. The soldiers knew their business so exactly that general orders were enough; every private man was fit to command, and their wheelings, marchings, counter-marchings, and exercise were done with such order and readiness, that the distinct words of command were hardly of any use among them; they were flushed with victory, and hardly knew what it was to fly.
There had passed messages between Tilley and the duke, and he gave always such ambigious answers as he thought might serve to gain time; but Tilley was not to be put off with words, and drawing his army towards Saxony, sends four propositions to him to sign, and demands an immediate reply. The propositions were positive.
1. To cause his troops to enter into the emperor's service, and to march in person with them against the King of Sweden.
2. To give the imperial army quarters in his country, and supply them with necessary provisions.
3. To relinquish the union of Leipsic, and disown the ten conclusions.
4. To make restitution of the goods and lands of the church.
The duke being pressed by Tilly's trumpeter for an immediate answer, sat all night, and part of the next day, in council with his privy councillors, debating what reply to give him, which at last was concluded, in short, that he would live and die in defence of the Protestant religion, and the conclusions of Leipsic, and bade Tilly defiance.
The die being thus cast, he immediately decamped with his whole army for Torgau, fearing that Tilly should get there before him, and so prevent his conjunction with the Swede. The duke had not yet concluded any positive treaty
with the King of Swedeland, and the Duke of Brandenburgh having made some difficulty of joining, they both stood on some niceties till they had like to have ruined themselves all at once.
Brandenburgh had given up the town of Spandau to the king by a former treaty to secure a retreat for his army, and the king was advanced as far as Frankfort upon the Oder, when on a sudden some small difficulties arising, Brandenburgh seems cold in the matter, and with a sort of indifference demands to have his town of Spandau restored to him again. Gustavus Adolphus, who began presently to imagine the duke had made his peace with the emperor, and so would either be his enemy, or pretend a neutrality, generously delivered him his town of Spandau ; but immediately turns about, and with his whole army besieges him in his capital city of Berlin. This brought the duke to know his error, and by the interpositions of the ladies, the Queen of Sweden being the duke's sister, the matter was accommodated, and the duke joined his forces with the king.
But the Duke of Saxony had like to have been undone by this delay; for the imperialists, under Count de Furstemburgh, were entered his country, and had possessed themselves of Halle, and Tilly was on his march to join him, as he afterwards did, and, ravaging the whole country, laid siege to Leipsic itself; the duke, driven to this extremity, rather flies to the Swede than treats with him, and on the second of September the duke's army joined with the King of Sweden.
I had not come to Leipsic but to see the Duke of Saxony's army, and that being marched as I have said for Torgau, I had no business there ; but if I had, the approach of Tilly and the imperial army was enough to hasten me away, for I had no occasion to be besieged there; so on the 27th of August I left the town, as several of the principal inhabitants had done before, and more would have done had not the governor published a proclamation against it; and besides they knew not whither to fly, for all places were alike exposed. The poor people were under dreadful apprehensions of a siege, and of the merciless usage of the imperial soldiers, the example of Magdeburgh being fresh before them, the duke and his army gone from them, and the town, though well furnished, but indifferently fortified.
In this condition I left them, buying up stores of provisions, working hard to scour their moats, set up palisadoes, repair their fortifications, and preparing all things for a siege ; and following the Saxon army to Torgau, I continued in the camp till a few days before they joined the King of Sweden.
I had much ado to persuade my companion from entering into the service of the Duke of Saxony, one of whose colonels, with whom we had contracted a particular acquaintance, offering him a commission to be cornet in one of the old regiments of horse ; but the difference I had observed between this new army and Tilly's old troops had made such an impression on me, that I confess I had yet no manner of inclination for the service; and therefore persuaded him to wait a while till we had seen a little farther into affairs, and particularly till we had seen the Swedish army, which we had heard so much of.
The difficulties which the elector Duke of Saxony made of joining with the king were made up by a treaty concluded with the king, on the 2nd of September, at Coswick, a small town on the Elbe, whither the king's army was arrived the night before ; for General Tilly being now entered into the duke's country, had plundered and ruined all the lower part of it, and was now actually besieging the capital city of Leipsic. These necessities made almost any conditions easy to him ; the greatest difficulty was that the King of Sweden demanded the absolute command of the army, which the duke submitted to with less good will than he had reason to do, the king's experience and conduct considered.
I QUIT THE SAXON CAMP, AND JOIN THE SWEDISH ARMY
DISCIPLINE OF THE SWEDES—MY COMRADE ENTERS THE SWEDISH SERVICE-SIR JOHN HEPBURN INTRODUCES ME TO THE KING-HIS CONVERSATION—I ENTER INTO THE SERVICE-BATTLE WITH TILLY'S ARMY, WHO IS COMPLETELY DEFEATED—THE CAMP GIVEN UP TO PLUNDER.
I HAD not patience to attend the conclusions of their par. ticular treaties, but as soon as ever the passage was clear I