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“ O' my life, you are rather hard upon them,”. exclaimed his patron.
6 I have known as gallant spirits as ever breathed, which were such as you have disparagingly spoken of. Were not the ten thousand, of whose exploits Zenophon hath given so marvellous a history, of this kind? And surely none could behave themselves more like good men and true. In fact, it is a great conveniency when one's country is at peace, and there be no employment for its valourous spirits, which country, for lack of such, may become so ignorant of warlike accomplishments as to be made an easy prey of by some other state, for them to take part in wars abroad, and by such means improving of themselves in stratagy and good soldiership, as to make of them all the more valuable when they shall return home. This remindeth me of something which seemeth a little to the purpose. I remember me when I went as one of the hundred gentlemen volunteers under my kinsman, Henry Champernon, sent by the queen to assist the Huguenots in France, of the chiefest amongst them was one Colonel Harquebus, who was some years my senior, and as proper a soldier
shall find anywhere. He had, before this, served in the Venetian, and in the Scottish wars, to the obtaining of a notable reputation. Indeed, I do believe he cared but little for whom he fought, so that the cause seemed to him a good one. He had travelled much, and had gathered abundance
of information concerning of the characteristics of the many different people he had journeyed among, and few were so familiar with their different ways of behaving in the field, so that for a young soldier like myself there could scarce have been found a more agreeable companion.
“ Our intimacy became the more confidential in consequence of our families having been very friendly for many years, their lands adjoining each other in Devonshire; and seeing me in some delight with his society, he did give me as much of it as he could. Thus it was I ascertained that his mother, who I knew to be of as proud a nature as was ever met with, being importunate that he should marry a lady of high birth and great fortune in those parts, for whom he could have no liking, he chose the rather to go to the wars, where he remained, making most excellent use of his sword wherever there was any fighting to be met with, or improving himself by foreign travel as I have said, to avoid a marriage he so much misliked. A most gallant heart had Harquebus. Ever foremost in danger, he would seek the thickest of the enemy, and make such havoc in their ranks as caused him to be held most conspicuous in their dislike of us.
The Queen of Navarre had oft noticed him for his gallantry, and, with Admiral Coligni and the Prince of Condé he was ever an especial favourite.
" I remember well, at the battle of Jarnac, which was of such great disadvantage to our cause—for we suffered a signal overthrow, and the Prince of Condé being taken prisoner of the Catholics, was treacherously murdered by them in cold bloodHarquebus had before the battle sent a challenge to the enemy to fight any of a like condition with himself, and a certain Colonel de Bombardiere did answer it. He was as tall and proper a man as I have seen in my time, and reckoned the completest swordsman in France. Now, both of the combatants were well esteemed of their
weapons, therefore it was agreed they should fight with swords only; and each was above six feet in height, brave, and soldier-like. After there had been some passes between them, de Bombardiere's rapier flew out of his hand, at the which he expected instant death; but his opponent quickly picked up the fallen weapon, and presenting him the handle of it, merely begged of himn to be more careful in his hold. Then at it they went again, but the Frenchman was disarmed sooner than at first; and upon the getting back of his sword, with some comment upon his unskilfulness, he was so nettled that he rushed upon his adversary with more heat than cautiousness, and thereupon was run through the body. My friend also distinguished himself greatly in the battle; but his valour could not save the day.
“ Afterwards, at Moncontour, when we suffered a like disastrous defeat at the hands of the Duke of Anjou, he did behave himself most valorously during the fight, killing of so many of the enemy with his own hand as would almost seem incredible to tell of, and in the retreat so conducting of himself as to bring upon him the commendation of Count Ludowick of Nassau, to whose ability and generalship we who survived the day were indebted for our safety. Of the six years I sojourned in France, endeavouring to perfect myself in the military art, I was kept in constant admiration of his great bravery, for he was of so valiant a spirit he could not rest a doing of nothing. He was blunt in his language, and plain in his apparel, and despised all who were not a the profession of arms; and he was ready to underta'* any man's quarrel, so that there did appear to im in no injustice nor dishonour in it. He was free and hearty in his manners upon general occasions; yet have I come upon him when he hath been in so melancholy a mood he seemed not fit society for any. Mayhap this was on account of his mother pressing of him to return to England to accomplish the marriage which she was so intent about; but I liking not to appear inquisitive did make no enquiry, therefore know I not exactly whether this was it or no.
16 I met with him again in the force under Sir John Norris, sent by the queen to assist the States
of Holland against the power of Spain. This was a body five thousand strong in foot, and one thousand in horse, and they did great service in the Netherlands. Of these none distinguished themselves more nobly than did Colonel Harquebus; and upon one occasion, in the right famous battle of Rimenant, in the which we gave a complete overthrow to the Spanish army under the command of Don John of Austria and the Prince of Parma, he seemed to excel all his former efforts. Before the battle we were joined by a Scottish force under Sir Robert Stuart, who gave us excellent assistance; but it did so happen that coming into the field after a weary march on a sultry day, we straightway took off our armour and our doublets to be the more at our ease, and, doubtless to the wonderful astonishment of the Spaniards, fought them in our shirts and drawers. Now it be out of all questioning that the success of that day was owing to the ardour with which the
enemy attacked by the English and Scottish volunteers, for nothing could exceed their determined courage and great discipline. At one time, led away by the heat of the conflict, I had got completely surrounded by divers of the Spaniards, by whom, though I was doing of my best, I must soon have been cut down, had not Colonel Harquebus, seeing of my danger, dashed in among them with so absolute a furiousness, that I was rescued in a presently,