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Far be it from me to despise the troops supplied, with most praiseworthy patriotic zeal, by so many distinguished Electors, Princes, and other territorial rulers. Nor do I wish to dispute that, given time, something good could be made of them all. There are many valiant men both among the generals, staff officers, and regular officers, and it is undeniable that, if the good soldier-subjects were selected from all the regiments and formed into a single whole, a body would emerge that could rightly be called great and powerful.
But these good subjects are too dispersed, and where, for example, a regiment has an outstanding colonel, things might be worse among the remaining officers’ staff. Another regiment will be distinguished by a good major, another by a few good captains, so that, if they were all assembled in one corps they would perform miracles. But in the places they now occupy they can accomplish nothing because the number of inexperienced too greatly exceeds that of the able people. Nonetheless, with time much could be made of them, for it is undeniable that the rank and file consist of admirable men. I cannot in the least complain of their good will, but instead have often marveled at how they carry out everything ordered of them when they have so often gone without food [bread]. Indeed, the day of battle was the seventh on which they received no rations.
And what is still more, More Gracious Lord, I must confess that there was not the slightest sign among them of the religious fanaticism whose expression has been constantly feared --- even though the French, by their inhumane behavior in the non-Catholic lands, especially toward clergy and churches, gave soldiers [especially Protestants] more than ample occasion for embitterment.
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