Page images

had no kindness for him if I should refuse it. I was resolved in my mind not to take it from him, and yet I could find no means to resist his importunity; at last I told him, I would accept of part of his present, and that I esteemed his respect in that as much as the whole, and that I would not have him importune me farther; so I took the ring and watch, with the horse and furniture as before, and made him turn all the rest into money at Leipsic; and not suffering him to wear his livery, made him put himself into a tolerable equipage, and taking a young Leipsicer into my service, he attended me as a gentleman from that time forward.

The king's army never entered Leipsic, but proceeded to Moersburg, and from thence to Halle, and so marched on into Franconia, while the Duke of Saxony employed his forces in recovering Leipsic, and driving the imperialists out of his country. I continued at Leipsic twelve days, being not willing to leave my comrade until he was recovered ; but Sir John Hepburn so often importuned me to come into the army, and sent me word that the king had very often inquired for me, that at last I consented to go without him. So having made our appointment where to meet, and how to correspond by letters, I went to wait on Sir John Hepburn, who then lay with the king's army at the city of Erfurt in Saxony. As I was riding between Leipsic and Halle, I observed my horse went very awkwardly and uneasy, and sweat very much, though the weather was cold, and we had rid but very softly. I fancied, therefore, that the saddle might hurt the horse, and ca'ls my new captain up : George, says I, I believe Sis saddle hurts the horse. So we alighted, and looking under the saddle found the back of the horse extremely galled; so I bid him take off the saddle, which he did, and giving the horse to my young Leipsicer to lead, we sat down to see if we could mend it, for there was no town near us. Says George, pointing with his finger, If you please to cut open the pannel there, I'll get something to stuff into it, which will bear it from the horse's back; so while he looked for something to thrust in, I cut a hole in the pannel of the saddle, and following it with my finger I felt something hard, which seemed to move up and down: again, as I thrust it with my finger, Here's something that should not be here, says I, not yet imagining what afterwards fell out, and calling, Run back, bade him put up his finger ; Whatever it is, says FIND MONEY IN MY HORSE'S SADDLE.

he, it is this hurts the horse, for it bears just on his back when the saddle is set on. So we strove to take hold on it, but could not reach it; at last we took the upper part of the saddle quite from the pannel, and there lay a small silk purse wrapt in a piece of leather, and full of gold ducats. Thou art born to be rich, George, says I to him, here's more money. We opened the purse, and found in it four hundred and thirty-eight small pieces of gold. There I had a new skirmish with him whose the money should be. I told him it was his; he told me no, I had accepted of the horse and furniture, and all that was about him was mine, and solemnly vowed he would not have a penny of it. I saw no remedy but put up the money for the present, mended our saddle, and went on. We lay that night at Halle, and having had such a booty in the saddle, I made him search the saddles of the other two horses ; in one of which we found three French crowns, but nothing in the other.




We arrived at Erfurt the 28th of September, but the army was removed, and entered into Franconia, and at the siege of Koningshoven we came up with them. The first thing I did, was to pay my civilities to Sir John Hepburn, who received me very kindly, but told me withal, that I had not done well to be so long from him; and the king had particularly inquired for me, had commanded him to bring me to him at my return. I told him the reason of my stay at Leipsic, and how I had left that place, and my comrade, before he was cured of his wounds, to wait on him, according to his letters. He told me the king had spoken some things very obliging about me, and he believed would offer me some command in the army, if I thought well to accept of it. I told him I had promised my father not to take service in an army without his leave; and yet if his majesty should offer it, I neither knew how to resist it, nor had I an inclination to anything more than the service, and such a leader; though I had much rather have served as a volunteer at my own charge (which, as he knew, was the custom of our English gentlemen), than in any command. He replied, Do as you think fit; but some gentlemen would give twenty thousand crowns to stand so fair for advancement as you do.

The town of Koningshoven capitulated that day, and Sir John was ordered to treat with the citizens, so I had no farther discourse with him then; and the town being taken, the army immediately advanced down the river Main, for the king had his eye upon Frankfort and Mentz, two great cities, both which he soon became master of, chiefly by the prodigious expedition of his march; for within a month after the battle, he was in the lower parts of the empire, and had passed from the Elbe to the Rhine, an incredible conquest; had taken all the strong cities, the bishoprics of Bamberg, of Wurtzburg, and almost all the circle of Franconia, with part of Schawberland; a conquest large enough to be seven years a making by the common course of arms.

Business going on thus, the king had not leisure to think of small matters, and I being not thoroughly resolved in my mind, did not press Sir John to introduce me. I had wrote to my father, with an account of my reception in the army, the civilities of Sir John Hepburn, the particulars of the battle, and had indeed pressed him to give me leave to serve the King of Sweden; to which particular I waited for an answer, but the following occasion determined me before an answer could possibly reach me.

The king was before the strong castle of Marienburg, which commands the city of Wurtzburg; he had taken the city, but the garrison and richer part of the burghers were retired into the castle, and trusting to the strength of the place, which was thought impregnable, they bade the Swedes do their worst; it was well provided with all things, and a strong garrison in it; so that the army indeed expected it would be a long piece of work. The castle stood on a high rock, and on the steep of the rock was a bastion, which defended the only passage up the hill into the castle ; the Scots were chose out to make this attack, and the king was an eye. witness of their gallantry. In this action Sir John was not

[merged small][ocr errors]

commanded out, but Sir James Ramsey led them on; but I observed that most of the Scotch officers in the other regiments prepared to serve as volunteers for the honour of their countrymen, and Sir John Hepburn led them on. I was resolved to see this piece of service, and therefore joined myself to the volunteers; we were armed with partisans, and each man two pistols at our belt. It was a piece of service that seemed perfectly desperate; the advantage of the hill, the precipice we were to mount, the height of the bastion, the resolute courage and number of the garrison, who from a complete covert made a terrible fire upon us, all joined to make the action hopeless. But the fury of the Scots musketeers was not to be abated by any difficulties; they mounted the hill, scaled the works like madmen, running upon the enemy's pikes; and after two hours' desperate fight, in the midst of fire and smoke, took it by storm, and put all the garrison to the sword. The volunteers did their part, and had their share of the loss too, for thirteen or fourreen were killed out of thirty-seven, besides the wounded, among whom I received a hurt more troublsome than dangerous, by a thrust of a halberd into my arm, which proved a very painful wound, and I was a great while before it was thoroughly recovered.

The king received us as we drew off at the foot of the hill, calling the soldiers his brave Scots, and commending the officers by name. The next morning the castle was also taken by storm, and the greatest booty that ever was found in any one conquest in the whole war; the soldiers got here so much money that they knew not what to do with it, and the plunder they got here and at the battle of Leipsic, made them so unruly, that had not the king been the best master of discipline in the world, they had never been kept in any reasonable bounds.

The king had taken notice of our small party of volunteers, and though I thought he had not seen me, yet he sent the next morning for Sir John Hepburn, and asked him if I were not come to the army. Yes, says Sir John, he has been here two or three days; and as he was forming an excuse for not having brought me to wait on his majesty, says the king, interrupting him, I wonder you would let him thrust himself into such a hot piece of service as storming the Port Graft; pray let him know I saw him, and have a very good account of his behaviour. Sir John returned with this account to me,

and pressed me to pay my duty to his majesty the next morning; and accordingly, though I had but an ill night with the pain of my wound, I was with him at the levee in the castle.

I cannot but give some short account of the glory of the morning; the castle had been cleared of the dead bodies of the enemies, and what was not pillaged by the soldiers, was placed under a guard. There was first a magazine of very good arms for about eighteen or twenty thousand foot, and four thousand horse, a very good train of artillery, of about eighteen pieces of battery, thirty-two brass field pieces, and four mortars. The bishop's treasure, and other public monies not plundered by the soldiers, was telling out by the officers, and amounted to four hundred thousand florins in money; and the burghers of the town, in solemn procession, bareheaded, brought the king three ton of gold, as a composition to exempt the city from plunder. Here was also a stable of gallant horses, which the king had the curiosity to go and see.

When the ceremony of the burghers was over, the king came down into the castle court, walked on the parade, where the great train of artillery was placed on their carriages, and round the walls, and gave order for repairing the bastion that was stormed by the Scots; and as, at the entrance of the parade, Sir John Hepburn and I made our reverence to the king, Ho, Cavalier, said the king to me, I am glad to see you, and so passed forward; I made my bow very low, but his majesty said no more at that time.

When the view was over, the king went up into the lodgings, and Sir John and I walked in an antichamber for about a quarter of an hour, when one of the gentlemen of the bedchamber came out to Sir John, and told him the king asked for him; he stayed but a little with the king, and came out to me, and told me the king had ordered him to bring me to him.

His majesty, with a countenance full of honour and goodness, interrupted my compliment, and asked me how I did; at which, answering only with a bow, says the king, I am sorry to see you are hurt, I would have laid my commands on you not to have shown yourself in so sharp a piece of service, if I had known you had been in the camp. Your majesty does me too much honour, said I, in your care of a life that has yet done nothing to deserve your favour. His

« PreviousContinue »