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Title: The Rise of the Dutch Republic — Complete (1555-84)

Author: John Lothrop Motley

Release date: November 7, 2004 [eBook #4836]
Most recently updated: December 28, 2020

Language: English


Produced by David Widger



A History

JOHN LOTHROP MOTLEY, D.C.L., LL.D. Corresponding Member of the Institute of France, Etc. 1855

[Etext Editor's Note: JOHN LOTHROP MOTLEY, born in Dorchester, Mass. 1814, died 1877. Other works: Morton's Hopes and Merry Mount, novels. Motley was the United States Minister to Austria, 1861-67, and the United States Minister to England, 1869-70. Mark Twain mentions his respect for John Motley. Oliver Wendell Holmes said in 'An Oration delivered before the City Authorities of Boston' on the 4th of July, 1863: "'It cannot be denied,'—says another observer, placed on one of our national watch-towers in a foreign capital,—'it cannot be denied that the tendency of European public opinion, as delivered from high places, is more and more unfriendly to our cause; but the people,' he adds, 'everywhere sympathize with us, for they know that our cause is that of free institutions,—that our struggle is that of the people against an oligarchy.' These are the words of the Minister to Austria, whose generous sympathies with popular liberty no homage paid to his genius by the class whose admiring welcome is most seductive to scholars has ever spoiled; our fellow-citizen, the historian of a great Republic which infused a portion of its life into our own,—John Lothrop Motley." (See the biography of Motley, by Holmes) Ed.]


The rise of the Dutch Republic must ever be regarded as one of the leading events of modern times. Without the birth of this great commonwealth, the various historical phenomena of: the sixteenth and following centuries must have either not existed; or have presented themselves under essential modifications.—Itself an organized protest against ecclesiastical tyranny and universal empire, the Republic guarded with sagacity, at many critical periods in the world's history; that balance of power which, among civilized states; ought always to be identical with the scales of divine justice. The splendid empire of Charles the Fifth was erected upon the grave of liberty. It is a consolation to those who have hope in humanity to watch, under the reign of his successor, the gradual but triumphant resurrection of the spirit over which the sepulchre had so long been sealed. From the handbreadth of territory called the province of Holland rises a power which wages eighty years' warfare with the most potent empire upon earth, and which, during the progress of the struggle, becoming itself a mighty state, and binding about its own slender form a zone of the richest possessions of earth, from pole to tropic, finally dictates its decrees to the empire of Charles.

So much is each individual state but a member of one great international commonwealth, and so close is the relationship between the whole human family, that it is impossible for a nation, even while struggling for itself, not to acquire something for all mankind. The maintenance of the right by the little provinces of Holland and Zealand in the sixteenth, by Holland and England united in the seventeenth, and by the United States of America in the eighteenth centuries, forms but a single chapter in the great volume of human fate; for the so-called revolutions of Holland, England, and America, are all links of one chain.

To the Dutch Republic, even more than to Florence at an earlier day, is the world indebted for practical instruction in that great science of political equilibrium which must always become more and more important as the various states of the civilized world are pressed more closely together, and as the struggle for pre-eminence becomes more feverish and fatal. Courage and skill in political and military combinations enabled William the Silent to overcome the most powerful and unscrupulous monarch of his age. The same hereditary audacity and fertility of genius placed the destiny of Europe in the hands of William's great-grandson, and enabled him to mould into an impregnable barrier the various elements of opposition to the overshadowing monarchy of Louis XIV. As the schemes of the Inquisition and the unparalleled tyranny of Philip, in one century, led to the establishment of the Republic of the United Provinces, so, in the next, the revocation of the Nantes Edict and the invasion of Holland are avenged by the elevation of the Dutch stadholder upon the throne of the stipendiary Stuarts.

To all who speak the English language; the history of the great agony through which the Republic of Holland was ushered into life must have peculiar interest, for it is a portion of the records of the Anglo-Saxon race—essentially the same, whether in Friesland, England, or Massachusetts.

A great naval and commercial commonwealth, occupying a small portion of Europe but conquering a wide empire by the private enterprise of trading companies, girdling the world with its innumerable dependencies in Asia, America, Africa, Australia—exercising sovereignty in Brazil, Guiana, the West Indies, New York, at the Cape of Good Hope, in Hindostan, Ceylon, Java, Sumatra, New Holland—having first laid together, as it were, many of the Cyclopean blocks, out of which the British realm, at a late: period, has been constructed—must always be looked upon with interest by Englishmen, as in a great measure the precursor in their own scheme of empire.

For America the spectacle is one of still deeper import. The Dutch Republic originated in the opposition of the rational elements of human nature to sacerdotal dogmatism and persecution—in the courageous resistance of historical and chartered liberty to foreign despotism. Neither that liberty nor ours was born of the cloud-embraces of a false Divinity with, a Humanity of impossible beauty, nor was the infant career of either arrested in blood and tears by the madness of its worshippers. "To maintain," not to overthrow, was the device of the Washington of the sixteenth century, as it was the aim of our own hero and his great contemporaries.

The great Western Republic, therefore—in whose Anglo-Saxon veins flows much of that ancient and kindred blood received from the nation once ruling a noble portion of its territory, and tracking its own political existence to the same parent spring of temperate human liberty—must look with affectionate interest upon the trials of the elder commonwealth. These volumes recite the achievement of Dutch independence, for its recognition was delayed till the acknowledgment was superfluous and ridiculous. The existence of the Republic is properly to be dated from the Union of Utrecht in 1581, while the final separation of territory into independent and obedient provinces, into the Commonwealth of the United States and the Belgian provinces of Spain, was in reality effected by William the Silent, with whose death three years subsequently, the heroic period of the history may be said to terminate. At this point these volumes close. Another series, with less attention to minute details, and carrying the story through a longer range of years, will paint the progress of the Republic in its palmy days, and narrate the establishment of, its external system of dependencies and its interior combinations for self-government and European counterpoise. The lessons of history and the fate of free states can never be sufficiently pondered by those upon whom so large and heavy a responsibility for the maintenance of rational human freedom rests.

I have only to add that this work is the result of conscientious research, and of an earnest desire to arrive at the truth. I have faithfully studied all the important contemporary chroniclers and later historians—Dutch, Flemish, French, Italian, Spanish, or German. Catholic and Protestant, Monarchist and Republican, have been consulted with the same sincerity. The works of Bor (whose enormous but indispensable folios form a complete magazine of contemporary state-papers, letters, and pamphlets, blended together in mass, and connected by a chain of artless but earnest narrative), of Meteren, De Thou, Burgundius, Heuterus; Tassis, Viglius, Hoofd, Haraeus, Van der Haer, Grotius-of Van der Vynckt, Wagenaer, Van Wyn, De Jonghe, Kluit, Van Kampen, Dewez, Kappelle, Bakhuyzen, Groen van Prinsterer—of Ranke and Raumer, have been as familiar to me as those of Mendoza, Carnero, Cabrera, Herrera, Ulloa, Bentivoglio, Peres, Strada. The manuscript relations of those Argus-eyed Venetian envoys who surprised so many courts and cabinets in their most unguarded moments, and daguerreotyped their character and policy for the instruction of the crafty Republic, and whose reports remain such an inestimable source for the secret history of the sixteenth century, have been carefully examined—especially the narratives of the caustic and accomplished Badovaro, of Suriano, and Michele. It is unnecessary to add that all the publications of M. Gachard—particularly the invaluable correspondence of Philip II. and of William the Silent, as well as the "Archives et Correspondence" of the Orange Nassau family, edited by the learned and distinguished Groen van Prinsterer, have been my constant guides through the tortuous labyrinth of Spanish and Netherland politics. The large and most interesting series of pamphlets known as "The Duncan Collection," in the Royal Library at the Hague, has also afforded a great variety of details by which I have endeavoured to give color and interest to the narrative. Besides these, and many other printed works, I have also had the advantage of perusing many manuscript histories, among which may be particularly mentioned the works of Pontua Payen, of Renom de France, and of Pasquier de la Barre; while the vast collection of unpublished documents in the Royal Archives of the Hague, of Brussels, and of Dresden, has furnished me with much new matter of great importance. I venture to hope that many years of labour, a portion of them in the archives of those countries whose history forms the object of my study, will not have been entirely in vain; and that the lovers of human progress, the believers in the capacity of nations for self-government and self-improvement, and the admirers of disinterested human genius and virtue, may find encouragement for their views in the detailed history of an heroic people in its most eventful period, and in the life and death of the great man whose name and fame are identical with those of his country.

No apology is offered for this somewhat personal statement. When an unknown writer asks the attention of the public upon an important theme, he is not only authorized, but required, to show, that by industry and earnestness he has entitled himself to a hearing. The author too keenly feels that he has no further claims than these, and he therefore most diffidently asks for his work the indulgence of his readers.

I would take this opportunity of expressing my gratitude to Dr. Klemm, Hofrath and Chief Librarian at Dresden, and to Mr. Von Weber, Ministerial-rath and Head of the Royal Archives of Saxony, for the courtesy and kindness extended to me so uniformly during the course of my researches in that city. I would also speak a word of sincere thanks to Mr. Campbell, Assistant Librarian at the Hague, for his numerous acts of friendship during the absence of, his chief, M. Holtrop. To that most distinguished critic and historian, M. Bakhuyzen van den Brinck, Chief Archivist of the Netherlands, I am under deep obligations for advice, instruction, and constant kindness, during my residence at the Hague; and I would also signify my sense of the courtesy of Mr. Charter-Master de Schwane, and of the accuracy with which copies of MSS. in the archives were prepared for me by his care. Finally, I would allude in the strongest language of gratitude and respect to M. Gachard, Archivist-General of Belgium, for his unwearied courtesy and manifold acts of kindness to me during my studies in the Royal Archives of Brussels.



Part 1.


The north-western corner of the vast plain which extends from the German ocean to the Ural mountains, is occupied by the countries called the Netherlands. This small triangle, enclosed between France, Germany, and the sea, is divided by the modern kingdoms of Belgium and Holland into two nearly equal portions. Our earliest information concerning this territory is derived from the Romans. The wars waged by that nation with the northern barbarians have rescued the damp island of Batavia, with its neighboring morasses, from the obscurity in which they might have remained for ages, before any thing concerning land or people would have been made known by the native inhabitants. Julius Caesar has saved from, oblivion the heroic savages who fought against his legions in defence of their dismal homes with ferocious but unfortunate patriotism; and the great poet of England, learning from the conqueror's Commentaries the name of the boldest tribe, has kept the Nervii, after almost twenty centuries, still fresh and familiar in our ears.

Tacitus, too, has described with singular minuteness the struggle between the people of these regions and the power of Rome, overwhelming, although tottering to its fall; and has moreover, devoted several chapters of his work upon Germany to a description of the most remarkable Teutonic tribes of the Netherlands.

Geographically and ethnographically, the Low Countries belong both to Gaul and to Germany. It is even doubtful to which of the two the Batavian island, which is the core of the whole country, was reckoned by the Romans. It is, however, most probable that all the land, with the exception of Friesland, was considered a part of Gaul.

Three great rivers—the Rhine, the Meuse, and the Scheld—had deposited their slime for ages among the dunes and sand banks heaved up by the ocean around their mouths. A delta was thus formed, habitable at last for man. It was by nature a wide morass, in which oozy islands and savage forests were interspersed among lagoons and shallows; a district lying partly below the level of the ocean at its higher tides, subject to constant overflow from the rivers, and to frequent and terrible inundations by the sea.

The Rhine, leaving at last the regions where its storied lapse, through so many ages, has been consecrated alike by nature and art-by poetry and eventful truth—flows reluctantly through the basalt portal of the Seven Mountains into the open fields which extend to the German sea. After entering this vast meadow, the stream divides itself into two branches, becoming thus the two-horned Rhine of Virgil, and holds in these two arms the island of Batavia.

The Meuse, taking its rise in the Vosges, pours itself through the Ardennes wood, pierces the rocky ridges upon the southeastern frontier of the Low Countries, receives the Sambre in the midst of that picturesque anthracite basin where now stands the city of Namur, and then moves toward the north, through nearly the whole length of the country, till it mingles its waters with the Rhine.

The Scheld, almost exclusively a Belgian river, after leaving its fountains in Picardy, flows through the present provinces of Flanders and Hainault. In Caesar's time it was suffocated before reaching the sea in quicksands and thickets, which long afforded protection to the savage inhabitants against the Roman arms; and which the slow process of nature and the untiring industry of man have since converted into the archipelago of Zealand and South Holland. These islands were unknown to the Romans.

Such were the rivers, which, with their numerous tributaries, coursed through the spongy land. Their frequent overflow, when forced back upon their currents by the stormy sea, rendered the country almost uninhabitable. Here, within a half-submerged territory, a race of wretched ichthyophagi dwelt upon terpen, or mounds, which they had raised, like beavers, above the almost fluid soil. Here, at a later day, the same race chained the tyrant Ocean and his mighty streams into subserviency, forcing them to fertilize, to render commodious, to cover with a beneficent network of veins and arteries, and to bind by watery highways with the furthest ends of the world, a country disinherited by nature of its rights. A region, outcast of ocean and earth, wrested at last from both domains their richest treasures. A race, engaged for generations in stubborn conflict with the angry elements, was unconsciously educating itself for its great struggle with the still more savage despotism of man.

The whole territory of the Netherlands was girt with forests. An extensive belt of woodland skirted the sea-coast; reaching beyond the mouths of the Rhine. Along the outer edge of this carrier, the dunes cast up by the sea were prevented by the close tangle of thickets from drifting further inward; and thus formed a breastwork which time and art were to strengthen. The groves of Haarlem and the Hague are relics of this ancient forest. The Badahuenna wood, horrid with Druidic sacrifices, extended along the eastern line of the vanished lake of Flevo. The vast Hercynian forest, nine days' journey in breadth, closed in the country on the German side, stretching from the banks of the Rhine to the remote regions of the Dacians, in such vague immensity (says the conqueror of the whole country) that no German, after traveling sixty days, had ever reached, or even heard of; its commencement. On the south, the famous groves of Ardennes, haunted by faun and satyr, embowered the country, and separated it from Celtic Gaul.

Thus inundated by mighty rivers, quaking beneath the level of the ocean, belted about by hirsute forests, this low land, nether land, hollow land, or Holland, seemed hardly deserving the arms of the all-accomplished Roman. Yet foreign tyranny, from the earliest ages, has coveted this meagre territory as lustfully as it has sought to wrest from their native possessors those lands with the fatal gift of beauty for their dower; while the genius of liberty has inspired as noble a resistance to oppression here as it ever aroused in Grecian or Italian breasts.


It can never be satisfactorily ascertained who were the aboriginal inhabitants. The record does not reach beyond Caesar's epoch, and he found the territory on the left of the Rhine mainly tenanted by tribes of the Celtic family. That large division of the Indo-European group which had already overspread many portions of Asia Minor, Greece, Germany, the British Islands, France, and Spain, had been long settled in Belgic Gaul, and constituted the bulk of its population. Checked in its westward movement by the Atlantic, its current began to flow backwards towards its fountains, so that the Gallic portion of the Netherland population was derived from the original race in its earlier wanderings and from the later and refluent tide coming out of Celtic Gaul. The modern appellation of the Walloons points to the affinity of their ancestors with the Gallic, Welsh, and Gaelic family. The Belgae were in many respects a superior race to most of their blood-allies. They were, according to Caesar's testimony, the bravest of all the Celts. This may be in part attributed to the presence of several German tribes, who, at this period had already forced their way across the Rhine, mingled their qualities with the Belgic material, and lent an additional mettle to the Celtic blood. The heart of the country was thus inhabited by a Gallic race, but the frontiers had been taken possession of by Teutonic tribes.

When the Cimbri and their associates, about a century before our era, made their memorable onslaught upon Rome, the early inhabitants of the Rhine island of Batavia, who were probably Celts, joined in the expedition. A recent and tremendous inundation had swept away their miserable homes, and even the trees of the forests, and had thus rendered them still more dissatisfied with their gloomy abodes. The island was deserted of its population. At about the same period a civil dissension among the Chatti—a powerful German race within the Hercynian forest—resulted in the expatriation of a portion of the people. The exiles sought a new home in the empty Rhine island, called it "Bet-auw," or "good-meadow," and were themselves called, thenceforward, Batavi, or Batavians.

These Batavians, according to Tacitus, were the bravest of all the Germans. The Chatti, of whom they formed a portion, were a pre-eminently warlike race. "Others go to battle," says the historian, "these go to war." Their bodies were more hardy, their minds more vigorous, than those of other tribes. Their young men cut neither hair nor beard till they had slain an enemy. On the field of battle, in the midst of carnage and plunder, they, for the first time, bared their faces. The cowardly and sluggish, only, remained unshorn. They wore an iron ring, too, or shackle upon their necks until they had performed the same achievement, a symbol which they then threw away, as the emblem of sloth. The Batavians were ever spoken of by the Romans with entire respect. They conquered the Belgians, they forced the free Frisians to pay tribute, but they called the Batavians their friends. The tax-gatherer never invaded their island. Honorable alliance united them with the Romans. It was, however, the alliance of the giant and the dwarf. The Roman gained glory and empire, the Batavian gained nothing but the hardest blows. The Batavian cavalry became famous throughout the Republic and the Empire. They were the favorite troops of Caesar, and with reason, for it was their valor which turned the tide of battle at Pharsalia. From the death of Julius down to the times of Vespasian, the Batavian legion was the imperial body guard, the Batavian island the basis of operations in the Roman wars with Gaul, Germany, and Britain.

Beyond the Batavians, upon the north, dwelt the great Frisian family, occupying the regions between the Rhine and Ems, The Zuyder Zee and the Dollart, both caused by the terrific inundations of the thirteenth century and not existing at this period, did not then interpose boundaries between kindred tribes. All formed a homogeneous nation of pure German origin.

Thus, the population of the country was partly Celtic, partly German. Of these two elements, dissimilar in their tendencies and always difficult to blend, the Netherland people has ever been compounded. A certain fatality of history has perpetually helped to separate still more widely these constituents, instead of detecting and stimulating the elective affinities which existed. Religion, too, upon all great historical occasions, has acted as the most powerful of dissolvents. Otherwise, had so many valuable and contrasted characteristics been early fused into a whole, it would be difficult to show a race more richly endowed by Nature for dominion and progress than the Belgo-Germanic people.

Physically the two races resembled each other. Both were of vast stature. The gigantic Gaul derided the Roman soldiers as a band of pigmies. The German excited astonishment by his huge body and muscular limbs. Both were fair, with fierce blue eyes, but the Celt had yellow hair floating over his shoulders, and the German long locks of fiery red, which he even dyed with woad to heighten the favorite color, and wore twisted into a war-knot upon the top of his head. Here the German's love of finery ceased. A simple tunic fastened at his throat with a thorn, while his other garments defined and gave full play to his limbs, completed his costume. The Gaul, on the contrary, was so fond of dress that the Romans divided his race respectively into long-haired, breeched, and gowned Gaul; (Gallia comata, braccata, togata). He was fond of brilliant and parti-colored clothes, a taste which survives in the Highlander's costume. He covered his neck and arms with golden chains. The simple and ferocious German wore no decoration save his iron ring, from which his first homicide relieved him. The Gaul was irascible, furious in his wrath, but less formidable in a sustained conflict with a powerful foe. "All the Gauls are of very high stature," says a soldier who fought under Julian. (Amm. Marcel. xv. 12. 1). "They are white, golden-haired, terrible in the fierceness of their eyes, greedy of quarrels, bragging and insolent. A band of strangers could not resist one of them in a brawl, assisted by his strong blue-eyed wife, especially when she begins, gnashing her teeth, her neck swollen, brandishing her vast and snowy arms, and kicking with her heels at the same time, to deliver her fisticuffs, like bolts from the twisted strings of a catapult. The voices of many are threatening and formidable. They are quick to anger, but quickly appeased. All are clean in their persons; nor among them is ever seen any man or woman, as elsewhere, squalid in ragged garments. At all ages they are apt for military service. The old man goes forth to the fight with equal strength of breast, with limbs as hardened by cold and assiduous labor, and as contemptuous of all dangers, as the young. Not one of them, as in Italy is often the case, was ever known to cut off his thumbs to avoid the service of Mars."

The polity of each race differed widely from that of the other. The government of both may be said to have been republican, but the Gallic tribes were aristocracies, in which the influence of clanship was a predominant feature; while the German system, although nominally regal, was in reality democratic. In Gaul were two orders, the nobility and the priesthood, while the people, says Caesar, were all slaves. The knights or nobles were all trained to arms. Each went forth to battle, followed by his dependents, while a chief of all the clans was appointed to take command during the war. The prince or chief governor was elected annually, but only by the nobles. The people had no rights at all, and were glad to assign themselves as slaves to any noble who was strong enough to protect them. In peace the Druids exercised the main functions of government. They decided all controversies, civil and criminal. To rebel against their decrees was punished by exclusion from the sacrifices—a most terrible excommunication, through which the criminal was cut off from all intercourse with his fellow-creatures.

With the Germans, the sovereignty resided in the great assembly of the people. There were slaves, indeed, but in small number, consisting either of prisoners of war or of those unfortunates who had gambled away their liberty in games of chance. Their chieftains, although called by the Romans princes and kings, were, in reality, generals, chosen by universal suffrage. Elected in the great assembly to preside in war, they were raised on the shoulders of martial freemen, amid wild battle cries and the clash of spear and shield. The army consisted entirely of volunteers, and the soldier was for life infamous who deserted the field while his chief remained alive. The same great assembly elected the village magistrates and decided upon all important matters both of peace and war. At the full of the moon it was usually convoked. The nobles and the popular delegates arrived at irregular intervals, for it was an inconvenience arising from their liberty, that two or three days were often lost in waiting for the delinquents. All state affairs were in the hands of this fierce democracy. The elected chieftains had rather authority to persuade than power to command.

The Gauls were an agricultural people. They were not without many arts of life. They had extensive flocks and herds; and they even exported salted provisions as far as Rome. The truculent German, Ger-mane, Heer-mann, War-man, considered carnage the only useful occupation, and despised agriculture as enervating and ignoble. It was base, in his opinion, to gain by sweat what was more easily acquired by blood. The land was divided annually by the magistrates, certain farms being assigned to certain families, who were forced to leave them at the expiration of the year. They cultivated as a common property the lands allotted by the magistrates, but it was easier to summon them to the battle-field than to the plough. Thus they were more fitted for the roaming and conquering life which Providence was to assign to them for ages, than if they had become more prone to root themselves in the soil. The Gauls built towns and villages. The German built his solitary hut where inclination prompted. Close neighborhood was not to his taste.

In their system of religion the two races were most widely contrasted. The Gauls were a priest-ridden race. Their Druids were a dominant caste, presiding even over civil affairs, while in religious matters their authority was despotic. What were the principles of their wild Theology will never be thoroughly ascertained, but we know too much of its sanguinary rites. The imagination shudders to penetrate those shaggy forests, ringing with the death-shrieks of ten thousand human victims, and with the hideous hymns chanted by smoke-and-blood-stained priests to the savage gods whom they served.

The German, in his simplicity, had raised himself to a purer belief than that of the sensuous Roman or the superstitious Gaul. He believed in a single, supreme, almighty God, All-Vater or All-father. This Divinity was too sublime to be incarnated or imaged, too infinite to be enclosed in temples built with hands. Such is the Roman's testimony to the lofty conception of the German. Certain forests were consecrated to the unseen God whom the eye of reverent faith could alone behold. Thither, at stated times, the people repaired to worship. They entered the sacred grove with feet bound together, in token of submission. Those who fell were forbidden to rise, but dragged themselves backwards on the ground. Their rules were few and simple. They had no caste of priests, nor were they, when first known to the Romans, accustomed to offer sacrifice. It must be confessed that in a later age, a single victim, a criminal or a prisoner, was occasionally immolated. The purity of their religion was soon stained by their Celtic neighborhood. In the course of the Roman dominion it became contaminated, and at last profoundly depraved. The fantastic intermixture of Roman mythology with the gloomy but modified superstition of Romanized Celts was not favorable to the simple character of German theology. The entire extirpation, thus brought about, of any conceivable system of religion, prepared the way for a true revelation. Within that little river territory, amid those obscure morasses of the Rhine and Scheld, three great forms of religion—the sanguinary superstition of the Druid, the sensuous polytheism of the Roman, the elevated but dimly groping creed of the German, stood for centuries, face to face, until, having mutually debased and destroyed each other, they all faded away in the pure light of Christianity.

Thus contrasted were Gaul and German in religious and political systems. The difference was no less remarkable in their social characteristics. The Gaul was singularly unchaste. The marriage state was almost unknown. Many tribes lived in most revolting and incestuous concubinage; brethren, parents, and children, having wives in common. The German was loyal as the Celt was dissolute. Alone among barbarians, he contented himself with a single wife, save that a few dignitaries, from motives of policy, were permitted a larger number. On the marriage day the German offered presents to his bride—not the bracelets and golden necklaces with which the Gaul adorned his fair-haired concubine, but oxen and a bridled horse, a sword, a shield, and a spear-symbols that thenceforward she was to share his labors and to become a portion of himself.

They differed, too, in the honors paid to the dead. The funerals of the Gauls were pompous. Both burned the corpse, but the Celt cast into the flames the favorite animals, and even the most cherished slaves and dependents of the master. Vast monuments of stone or piles of earth were raised above the ashes of the dead. Scattered relics of the Celtic age are yet visible throughout Europe, in these huge but unsightly memorials.

The German was not ambitious at the grave. He threw neither garments nor odors upon the funeral pyre, but the arms and the war-horse of the departed were burned and buried with him.

The turf was his only sepulchre, the memory of his valor his only monument. Even tears were forbidden to the men. "It was esteemed honorable," says the historian, "for women to lament, for men to remember."

The parallel need be pursued no further. Thus much it was necessary to recall to the historical student concerning the prominent characteristics by which the two great races of the land were distinguished: characteristics which Time has rather hardened than effaced. In the contrast and the separation lies the key to much of their history. Had Providence permitted a fusion of the two races, it is, possible, from their position, and from the geographical and historical link which they would have afforded to the dominant tribes of Europe, that a world-empire might have been the result, different in many respects from any which has ever arisen. Speculations upon what might have been are idle. It is well, however; to ponder the many misfortunes resulting from a mutual repulsion, which, under other circumstances and in other spheres, has been exchanged for mutual attraction and support.

It is now necessary to sketch rapidly the political transformations undergone by the country, from the early period down to the middle of the sixteenth century; the epoch when the long agony commenced, out of which the Batavian republic was born.


The earliest chapter in the history of the Netherlands was written by their conqueror. Celtic Gaul is already in the power of Rome; the Belgic tribes, alarmed at the approaching danger, arm against the universal, tyrant. Inflammable, quick to strike, but too fickle to prevail against so powerful a foe, they hastily form a league of almost every clan. At the first blow of Caesar's sword, the frail confederacy falls asunder like a rope of sand. The tribes scatter in all directions.

Nearly all are soon defeated, and sue for mercy. The Nervii, true to the German blood in their veins, swear to die rather than surrender. They, at least, are worthy of their cause. Caesar advances against them at the head of eight legions. Drawn up on the banks of the Sambre, they await the Roman's approach. In three days' march Caesar comes up with them, pitches his camp upon a steep hill sloping down to the river, and sends some cavalry across. Hardly have the Roman horsemen crossed the stream, than the Nervii rush from the wooded hill-top, overthrow horse and rider, plunge in one great mass into the current, and, directly afterwards, are seen charging up the hill into the midst of the enemy's force. "At the same moment," says the conqueror, "they seemed in the wood, in the river, and within our lines." There is a panic among the Romans, but it is brief. Eight veteran Roman legions, with the world's victor at their head, are too much for the brave but undisciplined Nervii. Snatching a shield from a soldier, and otherwise unarmed, Caesar throws himself into the hottest of the fight. The battle rages foot to foot and hand to hand but the hero's skill, with the cool valor of his troops, proves invincible as ever. The Nervii, true to their vow, die, but not a man surrenders. They fought upon that day till the ground was heaped with their dead, while, as the foremost fell thick and fast, their comrades, says the Roman, sprang upon their piled-up bodies, and hurled their javelins at the enemy as from a hill. They fought like men to whom life without liberty was a curse. They were not defeated, but exterminated. Of many thousand fighting men went home but five hundred. Upon reaching the place of refuge where they had bestowed their women and children, Caesar found, after the battle, that there were but three of their senators left alive. So perished the Nervii. Caesar commanded his legions to treat with respect the little remnant of the tribe which had just fallen to swell the empty echo of his glory, and then, with hardly a breathing pause, he proceeded to annihilate the Aduatici, the Menapii, and the Morini.

Gaul being thus pacified, as, with sublime irony, he expresses himself concerning a country some of whose tribes had been annihilated, some sold as slaves, and others hunted to their lairs like beasts of prey, the conqueror departed for Italy. Legations for peace from many German races to Rome were the consequence of these great achievements. Among others the Batavians formed an alliance with the masters of the world. Their position was always an honorable one. They were justly proud of paying no tribute, but it was, perhaps, because they had nothing to pay. They had few cattle, they could give no hides and horns like the Frisians, and they were therefore allowed to furnish only their blood. From this time forth their cavalry, which was the best of Germany, became renowned in the Roman army upon every battle-field of Europe.

It is melancholy, at a later moment, to find the brave Batavians distinguished in the memorable expedition of Germanicus to crush the liberties of their German kindred. They are forever associated with the sublime but misty image of the great Hermann, the hero, educated in Rome, and aware of the colossal power of the empire, who yet, by his genius, valor, and political adroitness, preserved for Germany her nationality, her purer religion, and perhaps even that noble language which her late-flowering literature has rendered so illustrious—but they are associated as enemies, not as friends.

Galba, succeeding to the purple upon the suicide of Nero, dismissed the Batavian life-guards to whom he owed his elevation. He is murdered, Otho and Vitellius contend for the succession, while all eyes are turned upon the eight Batavian regiments. In their hands the scales of empire seem to rest. They declare for Vitellius, and the civil war begins. Otho is defeated; Vitellius acknowledged by Senate and people. Fearing, like his predecessors, the imperious turbulence of the Batavian legions, he, too, sends them into Germany. It was the signal for a long and extensive revolt, which had well nigh overturned the Roman power in Gaul and Lower Germany.


Claudius Civilis was a Batavian of noble race, who had served twenty-five years in the Roman armies. His Teutonic name has perished, for, like most savages who become denizens of a civilized state, he had assumed an appellation in the tongue of his superiors. He was a soldier of fortune, and had fought wherever the Roman eagles flew. After a quarter of a century's service he was sent in chains to Rome, and his brother executed, both falsely charged with conspiracy. Such were the triumphs adjudged to Batavian auxiliaries. He escaped with life, and was disposed to consecrate what remained of it to a nobler cause. Civilis was no barbarian. Like the German hero Arminius, he had received a Roman education, and had learned the degraded condition of Rome. He knew the infamous vices of her rulers; he retained an unconquerable love for liberty and for his own race. Desire to avenge his own wrongs was mingled with loftier motives in his breast. He knew that the sceptre was in the gift of the Batavian soldiery. Galba had been murdered, Otho had destroyed himself, and Vitellius, whose weekly gluttony cost the empire more gold than would have fed the whole Batavian population and converted their whole island-morass into fertile pastures, was contending for the purple with Vespasian, once an obscure adventurer like Civilis himself, and even his friend and companion in arms. It seemed a time to strike a blow for freedom.

By his courage, eloquence, and talent for political combinations, Civilis effected a general confederation of all the Netherland tribes, both Celtic and German. For a brief moment there was a united people, a Batavian commonwealth. He found another source of strength in German superstition. On the banks of the Lippe, near its confluence with the Rhine, dwelt the Virgin Velleda, a Bructerian weird woman, who exercised vast influence over the warriors of her nation. Dwelling alone in a lofty tower, shrouded in a wild forest, she was revered as an oracle. Her answers to the demands of her worshippers concerning future events were delivered only to a chosen few. To Civilis, who had formed a close friendship with her, she promised success, and the downfall of the Roman world. Inspired by her prophecies, many tribes of Germany sent large subsidies to the Batavian chief.

The details of the revolt have been carefully preserved by Tacitus, and form one of his grandest and most elaborate pictures. The spectacle of a brave nation, inspired by the soul of one great man and rising against an overwhelming despotism, will always speak to the heart, from generation to generation. The battles, the sieges, the defeats, the indomitable spirit of Civilis, still flaming most brightly when the clouds were darkest around him, have been described by the great historian in his most powerful manner. The high-born Roman has thought the noble barbarian's portrait a subject worthy his genius.

The struggle was an unsuccessful one. After many victories and many overthrows, Civilis was left alone. The Gallic tribes fell off, and sued for peace. Vespasian, victorious over Vitellius, proved too powerful for his old comrade. Even the Batavians became weary of the hopeless contest, while fortune, after much capricious hovering, settled at last upon the Roman side. The imperial commander Cerialis seized the moment when the cause of the Batavian hero was most desperate to send emissaries among his tribe, and even to tamper with the mysterious woman whose prophecies had so inflamed his imagination. These intrigues had their effect. The fidelity of the people was sapped; the prophetess fell away from her worshipper, and foretold ruin to his cause. The Batavians murmured that their destruction was inevitable, that one nation could not arrest the slavery which was destined for the whole world. How large a part of the human race were the Batavians? What were they in a contest with the whole Roman empire? Moreover, they were not oppressed with tribute. They were only expected to furnish men and valor to their proud allies. It was the next thing to liberty. If they were to have rulers, it was better to serve a Roman emperor than a German witch.

Thus murmured the people. Had Civilis been successful, he would have been deified; but his misfortunes, at last, made him odious in spite of his heroism. But the Batavian was not a man to be crushed, nor had he lived so long in the Roman service to be outmatched in politics by the barbarous Germans. He was not to be sacrificed as a peace-offering to revengeful Rome. Watching from beyond the Rhine the progress of defection and the decay of national enthusiasm, he determined to be beforehand with those who were now his enemies. He accepted the offer of negotiation from Cerialis. The Roman general was eager to grant a full pardon, and to re-enlist so brave a soldier in the service of the empire.

A colloquy was agreed upon. The bridge across the Nabalia was broken asunder in the middle, and Cerialis and Civilis met upon the severed sides. The placid stream by which Roman enterprise had connected the waters of the Rhine with the lake of Flevo, flowed between the imperial commander and the rebel chieftain.


Here the story abruptly terminates. The remainder of the Roman's narrative is lost, and upon that broken bridge the form of the Batavian hero disappears forever. His name fades from history: not a syllable is known of his subsequent career; every thing is buried in the profound oblivion which now steals over the scene where he was the most imposing actor.

The soul of Civilis had proved insufficient to animate a whole people; yet it was rather owing to position than to any personal inferiority, that his name did not become as illustrious as that of Hermann. The German patriot was neither braver nor wiser than the Batavian, but he had the infinite forests of his fatherland to protect him. Every legion which plunged into those unfathomable depths was forced to retreat disastrously, or to perish miserably. Civilis was hemmed in by the ocean; his country, long the basis of Roman military operations, was accessible by river and canal, The patriotic spirit which he had for a moment raised, had abandoned him; his allies had deserted him; he stood alone and at bay, encompassed by the hunters, with death or surrender as his only alternative. Under such circumstances, Hermann could not have shown more courage or conduct, nor have terminated the impossible struggle with greater dignity or adroitness.

The contest of Civilis with Rome contains a remarkable foreshadowing of the future conflict with Spain, through which the Batavian republic, fifteen centuries later, was to be founded. The characters, the events, the amphibious battles, desperate sieges, slippery alliances, the traits of generosity, audacity and cruelty, the generous confidence, the broken faith seem so closely to repeat themselves, that History appears to present the self-same drama played over and over again, with but a change of actors and of costume. There is more than a fanciful resemblance between Civilis and William the Silent, two heroes of ancient German stock, who had learned the arts of war and peace in the service of a foreign and haughty world-empire. Determination, concentration of purpose, constancy in calamity, elasticity almost preternatural, self-denial, consummate craft in political combinations, personal fortitude, and passionate patriotism, were the heroic elements in both. The ambition of each was subordinate to the cause which he served. Both refused the crown, although each, perhaps, contemplated, in the sequel, a Batavian realm of which he would have been the inevitable chief. Both offered the throne to a Gallic prince, for Classicus was but the prototype of Anjou, as Brinno of Brederode, and neither was destined, in this world, to see his sacrifices crowned with success.

The characteristics of the two great races of the land portrayed themselves in the Roman and the Spanish struggle with much the same colors. The Southrons, inflammable, petulant, audacious, were the first to assault and to defy the imperial power in both revolts, while the inhabitants of the northern provinces, slower to be aroused, but of more enduring wrath, were less ardent at the commencement, but; alone, steadfast at the close of the contest. In both wars the southern Celts fell away from the league, their courageous but corrupt chieftains having been purchased with imperial gold to bring about the abject submission of their followers; while the German Netherlands, although eventually subjugated by Rome, after a desperate struggle, were successful in the great conflict with Spain, and trampled out of existence every vestige of her authority. The Batavian republic took its rank among the leading powers of the earth; the Belgic provinces remained Roman, Spanish, Austrian property.


Obscure but important movements in the regions of eternal twilight, revolutions, of which history has been silent, in the mysterious depths of Asia, outpourings of human rivets along the sides of the Altai mountains, convulsions up-heaving r mote realms and unknown dynasties, shock after shock throb bing throughout the barbarian world and dying upon the edge of civilization, vast throes which shake the earth as precursory pangs to the birth of a new empire—as dying symptoms of the proud but effete realm which called itself the world; scattered hordes of sanguinary, grotesque savages pushed from their own homes, and hovering with vague purposes upon the Roman frontier, constantly repelled and perpetually reappearing in ever-increasing swarms, guided thither by a fierce instinct, or by mysterious laws—such are the well known phenomena which preceded the fall of western Rome. Stately, externally powerful, although undermined and putrescent at the core, the death-stricken empire still dashed back the assaults of its barbarous enemies.

During the long struggle intervening between the age of Vespasian and that of Odoacer, during all the preliminary ethnographical revolutions which preceded the great people's wandering, the Netherlands remained subject provinces. Their country was upon the high road which led the Goths to Rome. Those low and barren tracts were the outlying marches of the empire. Upon that desolate beach broke the first surf from the rising ocean of German freedom which was soon to overwhelm Rome. Yet, although the ancient landmarks were soon well nigh obliterated, the Netherlands still remained faithful to the Empire, Batavian blood was still poured out for its defence.

By the middle of the fourth century, the Franks and Allemanians, alle-mannez, all-men, a mass of united Germans are defeated by the Emperor Julian at Strasburg, the Batavian cavalry, as upon many other great occasions, saving the day for despotism. This achievement, one of the last in which the name appears upon historic record, was therefore as triumphant for the valor as it was humiliating to the true fame of the nation. Their individuality soon afterwards disappears, the race having been partly exhausted in the Roman service, partly merged in the Frank and Frisian tribes who occupy the domains of their forefathers.

For a century longer, Rome still retains its outward form, but the swarming nations are now in full career. The Netherlands are successively or simultaneously trampled by Franks, Vandals, Alani, Suevi, Saxons, Frisians, and even Sclavonians, as the great march of Germany to universal empire, which her prophets and bards had foretold, went majestically forward. The fountains of the frozen North were opened, the waters prevailed, but the ark of Christianity floated upon the flood. As the deluge assuaged, the earth had returned to chaos, the last pagan empire had been washed out of existence, but the dimly, groping, faltering, ignorant infancy of Christian Europe had begun.

After the wanderings had subsided, the Netherlands are found with much the same ethnological character as before. The Frank dominion has succeeded the Roman, the German stock preponderates over the Celtic, but the national ingredients, although in somewhat altered proportions, remain essentially the same. The old Belgae, having become Romanized in tongue and customs, accept the new Empire of the Franks. That people, however, pushed from their hold of the Rhine by thickly thronging hordes of Gepidi, Quadi, Sarmati, Heruli, Saxons, Burgundians, move towards the South and West. As the Empire falls before Odoacer, they occupy Celtic Gaul with the Belgian portion of the Netherlands; while the Frisians, into which ancient German tribe the old Batavian element has melted, not to be extinguished, but to live a renovated existence, the "free Frisians;" whose name is synonymous with liberty, nearest blood relations of the Anglo-Saxon race, now occupy the northern portion, including the whole future European territory of the Dutch republic.

The history of the Franks becomes, therefore, the history of the Netherlands. The Frisians struggle, for several centuries, against their dominion, until eventually subjugated by Charlemagne. They even encroach upon the Franks in Belgic Gaul, who are determined not to yield their possessions. Moreover, the pious Merovingian faineans desire to plant Christianity among the still pagan Frisians. Dagobert, son of the second Clotaire, advances against them as far as the Weser, takes possession of Utrecht, founds there the first Christian church in Friesland, and establishes a nominal dominion over the whole country.

Yet the feeble Merovingians would have been powerless against rugged Friesland, had not their dynasty already merged in that puissant family of Brabant, which long wielded their power before it assumed their crown. It was Pepin of Heristal, grandson of the Netherlander, Pepin of Landen, who conquered the Frisian Radbod (A.D. 692), and forced him to exchange his royal for the ducal title.

It was Pepin's bastard, Charles the Hammer, whose tremendous blows completed his father's work. The new mayor of the palace soon drove the Frisian chief into submission, and even into Christianity. A bishop's indiscretion, however, neutralized the apostolic blows of the mayor. The pagan Radbod had already immersed one of his royal legs in the baptismal font, when a thought struck him. "Where are my dead forefathers at present?" he said, turning suddenly upon Bishop Wolfran. "In Hell, with all other unbelievers," was the imprudent answer. "Mighty well," replied Radbod, removing his leg, "then will I rather feast with my ancestors in the halls of Woden, than dwell with your little starveling hand of Christians in Heaven." Entreaties and threats were unavailing. The Frisian declined positively a rite which was to cause an eternal separation from his buried kindred, and he died as he had lived, a heathen. His son, Poppa, succeeding to the nominal sovereignty, did not actively oppose the introduction of Christianity among his people, but himself refused to be converted. Rebelling against the Frank dominion, he was totally routed by Charles Martell in a great battle (A.D.750) and perished with a vast number of Frisians. The Christian dispensation, thus enforced, was now accepted by these northern pagans. The commencement of their conversion had been mainly the work of their brethren from Britain. The monk Wilfred was followed in a few years by the Anglo-Saxon Willibrod. It was he who destroyed the images of Woden in Walcheren, abolished his worship, and founded churches in North Holland. Charles Martell rewarded him with extensive domains about Utrecht, together with many slaves and other chattels. Soon afterwards he was consecrated Bishop of all the Frisians. Thus rose the famous episcopate of Utrecht. Another Anglo-Saxon, Winfred, or Bonifacius, had been equally active among his Frisian cousins. His crozier had gone hand in hand with the battle-axe. Bonifacius followed close upon the track of his orthodox coadjutor Charles. By the middle of the eighth century, some hundred thousand Frisians had been slaughtered, and as many more converted. The hammer which smote the Saracens at Tours was at last successful in beating the Netherlanders into Christianity. The labors of Bonifacius through Upper and Lower Germany were immense; but he, too, received great material rewards. He was created Archbishop of Mayence, and, upon the death of Willibrod, Bishop of Utrecht. Faithful to his mission, however, he met, heroically, a martyr's death at the hands of the refractory pagans at Dokkum. Thus was Christianity established in the Netherlands.

Under Charlemagne, the Frisians often rebelled, making common cause with the Saxons. In 785, A.D., they were, however, completely subjugated, and never rose again until the epoch of their entire separation from the Frank empire. Charlemagne left them their name of free Frisians, and the property in their own land. The feudal system never took root in their soil. "The Frisians," says their statute book; "shall be free, as long as the wind blows out of the clouds and the world stands." They agreed, however, to obey the chiefs whom the Frank monarch should appoint to govern them, according to their own laws. Those laws were collected, and are still extant. The vernacular version of their Asega book contains their ancient customs, together with the Frank additions. The general statutes of Charlemagne were, of course, in vigor also; but that great legislator knew too well the importance attached by all mankind to local customs, to allow his imperial capitulara to interfere, unnecessarily, with the Frisian laws.


Thus again the Netherlands, for the first time since the fall of Rome, were united under one crown imperial. They had already been once united, in their slavery to Rome. Eight centuries pass away, and they are again united, in subjection to Charlemagne. Their union was but in forming a single link in the chain of a new realm. The reign of Charlemagne had at last accomplished the promise of the sorceress Velleda and other soothsayers. A German race had re-established the empire of the world. The Netherlands, like-the other provinces of the great monarch's dominion, were governed by crown-appointed functionaries, military and judicial. In the northeastern, or Frisian portion, however; the grants of land were never in the form of revocable benefices or feuds. With this important exception, the whole country shared the fate, and enjoyed the general organization of the Empire.

But Charlemagne came an age too soon. The chaos which had brooded over Europe since the dissolution of the Roman world, was still too absolute. It was not to be fashioned into permanent forms, even by his bold and constructive genius. A soil, exhausted by the long culture of Pagan empires, was to lie fallow for a still longer period. The discordant elements out of which the Emperor had compounded his realm, did not coalesce during his life-time. They were only held together by the vigorous grasp of the hand which had combined them. When the great statesman died, his Empire necessarily fell to pieces. Society had need of farther disintegration before it could begin to reconstruct itself locally. A new civilization was not to be improvised by a single mind. When did one man ever civilize a people? In the eighth and ninth centuries there was not even a people to be civilized. The construction of Charles was, of necessity, temporary. His Empire was supported by artificial columns, resting upon the earth, which fell prostrate almost as soon as the hand of their architect was cold. His institutions had not struck down into the soil. There were no extensive and vigorous roots to nourish, from below, a flourishing Empire through time and tempest.

Moreover, the Carlovingian race had been exhausted by producing a race of heroes like the Pepins and the Charleses. The family became, soon, as contemptible as the ox-drawn, long-haired "do-nothings" whom it had expelled; but it is not our task to describe the fortunes of the Emperor's ignoble descendants. The realm was divided, sub-divided, at times partially reunited, like a family farm, among monarchs incompetent alike to hold, to delegate, or—to resign the inheritance of the great warrior and lawgiver. The meek, bald, fat, stammering, simple Charles, or Louis, who successively sat upon his throne—princes, whose only historic individuality consists in these insipid appellations—had not the sense to comprehend, far less to develop, the plans of their ancestor.

Charles the Simple was the last Carlovingian who governed Lotharingia, in which were comprised most of the Netherlands and Friesland. The German monarch, Henry the Fowler, at that period called King of the East Franks, as Charles of the West Franks, acquired Lotharingia by the treaty of Bonn, Charles reserving the sovereignty over the kingdom during his lifetime. In 925, A.D., however, the Simpleton having been imprisoned and deposed by his own subjects, the Fowler was recognized King, of Lotharingia. Thus the Netherlands passed out of France into Germany, remaining, still, provinces of a loose, disjointed Empire.

This is the epoch in which the various dukedoms, earldoms, and other petty sovereignties of the Netherlands became hereditary. It was in the year 922 that Charles the Simple presented to Count Dirk the territory of Holland, by letters patent. This narrow hook of land, destined, in future ages, to be the cradle of a considerable empire, stretching through both hemispheres, was, thenceforth, the inheritance of Dirk's descendants. Historically, therefore, he is Dirk I., Count of Holland.

Of this small sovereign and his successors, the most powerful foe for centuries was ever the Bishop of Utrecht, the origin of whose greatness has been already indicated. Of the other Netherland provinces, now or before become hereditary, the first in rank was Lotharingia, once the kingdom of Lothaire, now the dukedom of Lorraine. In 965 it was divided into Upper and Lower Lorraine, of which the lower duchy alone belonged to the Netherlands. Two centuries later, the Counts of Louvain, then occupying most of Brabant, obtained a permanent hold of Lower Lorraine, and began to call themselves Dukes of Brabant. The same principle of local independence and isolation which created these dukes, established the hereditary power of the counts and barons who formerly exercised jurisdiction under them and others. Thus arose sovereign Counts of Namur, Hainault, Limburg, Zutphen, Dukes of Luxemburg and Gueldres, Barons of Mechlin, Marquesses of Antwerp, and others; all petty autocrats. The most important of all, after the house of Lorraine, were the Earls of Flanders; for the bold foresters of Charles the Great had soon wrested the sovereignty of their little territory from his feeble descendants as easily as Baldwin, with the iron arm, had deprived the bald Charles of his daughter. Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Overyssel, Groningen, Drenthe and Friesland (all seven being portions of Friesland in a general sense), were crowded together upon a little desolate corner of Europe; an obscure fragment of Charlemagne's broken empire. They were afterwards to constitute the United States of the Netherlands, one of the most powerful republics of history. Meantime, for century after century, the Counts of Holland and the Bishops of Utrecht were to exercise divided sway over the territory.

Thus the whole country was broken into many shreds and patches of sovereignty. The separate history of such half-organized morsels is tedious and petty. Trifling dynasties, where a family or two were every thing, the people nothing, leave little worth recording. Even the most devout of genealogists might shudder to chronicle the long succession of so many illustrious obscure.

A glance, however, at the general features of the governmental system now established in the Netherlands, at this important epoch in the world's history, will show the transformations which the country, in common with other portions of the western world, had undergone.

In the tenth century the old Batavian and later Roman forms have faded away. An entirely new polity has succeeded. No great popular assembly asserts its sovereignty, as in the ancient German epoch; no generals and temporary kings are chosen by the nation. The elective power had been lost under the Romans, who, after conquest, had conferred the administrative authority over their subject provinces upon officials appointed by the metropolis. The Franks pursued the same course. In Charlemagne's time, the revolution is complete. Popular assemblies and popular election entirely vanish. Military, civil, and judicial officers-dukes, earls, margraves, and others—are all king's creatures, 'knegton des konings, pueri regis', and so remain, till they abjure the creative power, and set up their own. The principle of Charlemagne, that his officers should govern according to local custom, helps them to achieve their own independence, while it preserves all that is left of national liberty and law.

The counts, assisted by inferior judges, hold diets from time to time—thrice, perhaps, annually. They also summon assemblies in case of war. Thither are called the great vassals, who, in turn, call their lesser vassals; each armed with "a shield, a spear, a bow, twelve arrows, and a cuirass." Such assemblies, convoked in the name of a distant sovereign, whose face his subjects had never seen, whose language they could hardly understand, were very different from those tumultuous mass-meetings, where boisterous freemen, armed with the weapons they loved the best, and arriving sooner or later, according to their pleasure, had been accustomed to elect their generals and magistrates and to raise them upon their shields. The people are now governed, their rulers appointed by an invisible hand. Edicts, issued by a power, as it were, supernatural, demand implicit obedience. The people, acquiescing in their own annihilation, abdicate not only their political but their personal rights. On the other hand, the great source of power diffuses less and less of light and warmth. Losing its attractive and controlling influence, it becomes gradually eclipsed, while its satellites fly from their prescribed bounds and chaos and darkness return. The sceptre, stretched over realms so wide, requires stronger hands than those of degenerate Carlovingians. It breaks asunder. Functionaries become sovereigns, with hereditary, not delegated, right to own the people, to tax their roads and rivers, to take tithings of their blood and sweat, to harass them in all the relations of life. There is no longer a metropolis to protect them from official oppression. Power, the more sub-divided, becomes the more tyrannical. The sword is the only symbol of law, the cross is a weapon of offence, the bishop is a consecrated pirate, every petty baron a burglar, while the people, alternately the prey of duke, prelate, and seignor, shorn and butchered like sheep, esteem it happiness to sell themselves into slavery, or to huddle beneath the castle walls of some little potentate, for the sake of his wolfish protection. Here they build hovels, which they surround from time to time with palisades and muddy entrenchments; and here, in these squalid abodes of ignorance and misery, the genius of Liberty, conducted by the spirit of Commerce, descends at last to awaken mankind from its sloth and cowardly stupor. A longer night was to intervene; however, before the dawn of day.

The crown-appointed functionaries had been, of course, financial officers. They collected the revenue of the sovereign, one third of which slipped through their fingers into their own coffers. Becoming sovereigns themselves, they retain these funds for their private emolument. Four principal sources yielded this revenue: royal domains, tolls and imposts, direct levies and a pleasantry called voluntary contributions or benevolences. In addition to these supplies were also the proceeds of fines. Taxation upon sin was, in those rude ages, a considerable branch of the revenue. The old Frisian laws consisted almost entirely of a discriminating tariff upon crimes. Nearly all the misdeeds which man is prone to commit, were punished by a money-bote only. Murder, larceny, arson, rape—all offences against the person were commuted for a definite price. There were a few exceptions, such as parricide, which was followed by loss of inheritance; sacrilege and the murder of a master by a slave, which were punished with death. It is a natural inference that, as the royal treasury was enriched by these imposts, the sovereign would hardly attempt to check the annual harvest of iniquity by which his revenue was increased. Still, although the moral sense is shocked by a system which makes the ruler's interest identical with the wickedness of his people, and holds out a comparative immunity in evil-doing for the rich, it was better that crime should be punished by money rather than not be punished at all. A severe tax, which the noble reluctantly paid and which the penniless culprit commuted by personal slavery, was sufficiently unjust as well as absurd, yet it served to mitigate the horrors with which tumult, rapine, and murder enveloped those early days. Gradually, as the light of reason broke upon the dark ages, the most noxious features of the system were removed, while the general sentiment of reverence for law remained.


     A country disinherited by nature of its rights
     A pleasantry called voluntary contributions or benevolences
     Annual harvest of iniquity by which his revenue was increased
     Batavian legion was the imperial body guard
     Beating the Netherlanders into Christianity
     Bishop is a consecrated pirate
     Brethren, parents, and children, having wives in common
     For women to lament, for men to remember
     Gaul derided the Roman soldiers as a band of pigmies
     Great science of political equilibrium
     Holland, England, and America, are all links of one chain
     Long succession of so many illustrious obscure
     Others go to battle, says the historian, these go to war
     Revocable benefices or feuds
     Taxation upon sin
     The Gaul was singularly unchaste





Five centuries of isolation succeed. In the Netherlands, as throughout Europe, a thousand obscure and slender rills are slowly preparing the great stream of universal culture. Five dismal centuries of feudalism: during which period there is little talk of human right, little obedience to divine reason. Rights there are none, only forces; and, in brief, three great forces, gradually arising, developing themselves, acting upon each other, and upon the general movement of society.

The sword—the first, for a time the only force: the force of iron. The "land's master," having acquired the property in the territory and in the people who feed thereon, distributes to his subalterns, often but a shade beneath him in power, portions of his estate, getting the use of their faithful swords in return. Vavasours subdivide again to vassals, exchanging land and cattle, human or otherwise, against fealty, and so the iron chain of a military hierarchy, forged of mutually interdependent links, is stretched over each little province. Impregnable castles, here more numerous than in any other part of Christendom, dot the level surface of the country. Mail-clad knights, with their followers, encamp permanently upon the soil. The fortunate fable of divine right is invented to sanction the system; superstition and ignorance give currency to the delusion. Thus the grace of God, having conferred the property in a vast portion of Europe upon a certain idiot in France, makes him competent to sell large fragments of his estate, and to give a divine, and, therefore, most satisfactory title along with them. A great convenience to a man, who had neither power, wit, nor will to keep the property in his own hands. So the Dirks of Holland get a deed from Charles the Simple, and, although the grace of God does not prevent the royal grantor himself from dying a miserable, discrowned captive, the conveyance to Dirk is none the less hallowed by almighty fiat. So the Roberts and Guys, the Johns and Baldwins, become sovereigns in Hainault, Brabant, Flanders and other little districts, affecting supernatural sanction for the authority which their good swords have won and are ever ready to maintain. Thus organized, the force of iron asserts and exerts itself. Duke, count, seignor and vassal, knight and squire, master and man swarm and struggle amain. A wild, chaotic, sanguinary scene. Here, bishop and baron contend, centuries long, murdering human creatures by ten thousands for an acre or two of swampy pasture; there, doughty families, hugging old musty quarrels to their heart, buffet each other from generation to generation; thus they go on, raging and wrestling among themselves, with all the world, shrieking insane war-cries which no human soul ever understood—red caps and black, white hoods and grey, Hooks and Kabbeljaws, dealing destruction, building castles and burning them, tilting at tourneys, stealing bullocks, roasting Jews, robbing the highways, crusading—now upon Syrian sands against Paynim dogs, now in Frisian quagmires against Albigenses, Stedingers, and other heretics—plunging about in blood and fire, repenting, at idle times, and paying their passage through, purgatory with large slices of ill-gotten gains placed in the ever-extended dead-hand of the Church; acting, on the whole, according to their kind, and so getting themselves civilized or exterminated, it matters little which. Thus they play their part, those energetic men-at-arms; and thus one great force, the force of iron, spins and expands itself, century after century, helping on, as it whirls, the great progress of society towards its goal, wherever that may be.

Another force—the force clerical—the power of clerks, arises; the might of educated mind measuring itself against brute violence; a force embodied, as often before, as priestcraft—the strength of priests: craft meaning, simply, strength, in our old mother-tongue. This great force, too, develops itself variously, being sometimes beneficent, sometimes malignant. Priesthood works out its task, age after age: now smoothing penitent death-beds, consecrating graves! feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, incarnating the Christian precepts, in an age of rapine and homicide, doing a thousand deeds of love and charity among the obscure and forsaken—deeds of which there shall never be human chronicle, but a leaf or two, perhaps, in the recording angel's book; hiving precious honey from the few flowers of gentle, art which bloom upon a howling wilderness; holding up the light of science over a stormy sea; treasuring in convents and crypts the few fossils of antique learning which become visible, as the extinct Megatherium of an elder world reappears after the gothic deluge; and now, careering in helm and hauberk with the other ruffians, bandying blows in the thickest of the fight, blasting with bell, book, and candle its trembling enemies, while sovereigns, at the head of armies, grovel in the dust and offer abject submission for the kiss of peace; exercising the same conjury over ignorant baron and cowardly hind, making the fiction of apostolic authority to bind and loose, as prolific in acres as the other divine right to have and hold; thus the force of cultivated intellect, wielded by a chosen few and sanctioned by supernatural authority, becomes as potent as the sword.

A third force, developing itself more slowly, becomes even more potent than the rest: the power of gold. Even iron yields to the more ductile metal. The importance of municipalities, enriched by trade, begins to be felt. Commerce, the mother of Netherland freedom, and, eventually, its destroyer—even as in all human history the vivifying becomes afterwards the dissolving principle—commerce changes insensibly and miraculously the aspect of society. Clusters of hovels become towered cities; the green and gilded Hanse of commercial republicanism coils itself around the decaying trunk of feudal despotism. Cities leagued with cities throughout and beyond Christendom-empire within empire-bind themselves closer and closer in the electric chain of human sympathy and grow stronger and stronger by mutual support. Fishermen and river raftsmen become ocean adventurers and merchant princes. Commerce plucks up half-drowned Holland by the locks and pours gold into her lap. Gold wrests power from iron. Needy Flemish weavers become mighty manufacturers. Armies of workmen, fifty thousand strong, tramp through the swarming streets. Silk-makers, clothiers, brewers become the gossips of kings, lend their royal gossips vast sums and burn the royal notes of hand in fires of cinnamon wood. Wealth brings strength, strength confidence. Learning to handle cross-bow and dagger, the burghers fear less the baronial sword, finding that their own will cut as well, seeing that great armies—flowers of chivalry—can ride away before them fast enough at battles of spurs and other encounters. Sudden riches beget insolence, tumults, civic broils. Internecine quarrels, horrible tumults stain the streets with blood, but education lifts the citizens more and more out of the original slough. They learn to tremble as little at priestcraft as at swordcraft, having acquired something of each. Gold in the end, unsanctioned by right divine, weighs up the other forces, supernatural as they are. And so, struggling along their appointed path, making cloth, making money, making treaties with great kingdoms, making war by land and sea, ringing great bells, waving great banners, they, too—these insolent, boisterous burghers—accomplish their work. Thus, the mighty power of the purse develops itself and municipal liberty becomes a substantial fact. A fact, not a principle; for the old theorem of sovereignty remains undisputed as ever. Neither the nation, in mass, nor the citizens, in class, lay claim to human rights. All upper attributes—legislative, judicial, administrative—remain in the land-master's breast alone. It is an absurdity, therefore, to argue with Grotius concerning the unknown antiquity of the Batavian republic. The republic never existed at all till the sixteenth century, and was only born after long years of agony. The democratic instincts of the ancient German savages were to survive in the breasts of their cultivated descendants, but an organized, civilized, republican polity had never existed. The cities, as they grew in strength, never claimed the right to make the laws or to share in the government. As a matter of fact, they did make the laws, and shared, beside, in most important functions of sovereignty, in the treaty-making power, especially. Sometimes by bargains; sometimes by blood, by gold, threats, promises, or good hard blows they extorted their charters. Their codes, statutes, joyful entrances, and other constitutions were dictated by the burghers and sworn to by the monarch. They were concessions from above; privileges private laws; fragments indeed of a larger liberty, but vastly, better than the slavery for which they had been substituted; solid facts instead of empty abstractions, which, in those practical and violent days, would have yielded little nutriment; but they still rather sought to reconcile themselves, by a rough, clumsy fiction, with the hierarchy which they had invaded, than to overturn the system. Thus the cities, not regarding themselves as representatives or aggregations of the people, became fabulous personages, bodies without souls, corporations which had acquired vitality and strength enough to assert their existence. As persons, therefore—gigantic individualities—they wheeled into the feudal ranks and assumed feudal powers and responsibilities. The city of Dort; of Middelburg, of Ghent, of Louvain, was a living being, doing fealty, claiming service, bowing to its lord, struggling with its equals, trampling upon its slaves.

Thus, in these obscure provinces, as throughout Europe, in a thousand remote and isolated corners, civilization builds itself up, synthetically and slowly; yet at last, a whole is likely to get itself constructed. Thus, impelled by great and conflicting forces, now obliquely, now backward, now upward, yet, upon the whole, onward, the new Society moves along its predestined orbit, gathering consistency and strength as it goes. Society, civilization, perhaps, but hardly humanity. The people has hardly begun to extricate itself from the clods in which it lies buried. There are only nobles, priests, and, latterly, cities. In the northern Netherlands, the degraded condition of the mass continued longest. Even in Friesland, liberty, the dearest blessing of the ancient Frisians, had been forfeited in a variety of ways. Slavery was both voluntary and compulsory. Paupers sold themselves that they might escape starvation. The timid sold themselves that they might escape violence. These voluntary sales, which were frequent, wore usually made to cloisters and ecclesiastical establishments, for the condition of Church-slaves was preferable to that of other serfs. Persons worsted in judicial duels, shipwrecked sailors, vagrants, strangers, criminals unable to pay the money-bote imposed upon them, were all deprived of freedom; but the prolific source of slavery was war. Prisoners were almost universally reduced to servitude. A free woman who intermarried with a slave condemned herself and offspring to perpetual bondage. Among the Ripuarian Franks, a free woman thus disgracing herself, was girt with a sword and a distaff. Choosing the one, she was to strike her husband dead; choosing the other, she adopted the symbol of slavery, and became a chattel for life.

The ferocious inroads of the Normans scared many weak and timid persons into servitude. They fled, by throngs, to church and monastery, and were happy, by enslaving themselves, to escape the more terrible bondage of the sea-kings. During the brief dominion of the Norman Godfrey, every free Frisian was forced to wear a halter around his neck. The lot of a Church-slave was freedom in comparison. To kill him was punishable by a heavy fine. He could give testimony in court, could inherit, could make a will, could even plead before the law, if law could be found. The number of slaves throughout the Netherlands was very large; the number belonging to the bishopric of Utrecht, enormous.

The condition of those belonging to laymen was much more painful. The Lyf-eigene, or absolute slaves, were the most wretched. They were mere brutes. They had none of the natural attributes of humanity, their life and death were in the master's hands, they had no claim to a fraction of their own labor or its fruits, they had no marriage, except under condition of the infamous 'jus primoe noctis'. The villagers, or villeins, were the second class and less forlorn. They could commute the labor due to their owner by a fixed sum of money, after annual payment of which, the villein worked for himself. His master, therefore, was not his absolute proprietor. The chattel had a beneficial interest in a portion of his own flesh and blood.

The crusades made great improvement in the condition of the serfs. He who became a soldier of the cross was free upon his return, and many were adventurous enough to purchase liberty at so honorable a price. Many others were sold or mortgaged by the crusading knights, desirous of converting their property into gold, before embarking upon their enterprise. The purchasers or mortgagees were in general churches and convents, so that the slaves, thus alienated, obtained at least a preferable servitude. The place of the absent serfs was supplied by free labor, so that agricultural and mechanical occupations, now devolving upon a more elevated class, became less degrading, and, in process of time, opened an ever-widening sphere for the industry and progress of freemen. Thus a people began to exist. It was, however; a miserable people, with personal, but no civil rights whatever. Their condition, although better than servitude, was almost desperate. They were taxed beyond their ability, while priest and noble were exempt. They had no voice in the apportionment of the money thus contributed. There was no redress against the lawless violence to which they were perpetually exposed. In the manorial courts, the criminal sat in judgment upon his victim. The functions of highwayman and magistrate were combined in one individual.

By degrees, the class of freemen, artisans, traders, and the like, becoming the more numerous, built stronger and better houses outside the castle gates of the "land's master" or the burghs of the more powerful nobles. The superiors, anxious to increase their own importance, favored the progress of the little boroughs. The population, thus collected, began to divide themselves into guilds. These were soon afterwards erected by the community into bodies corporate; the establishment of the community, of course, preceding, the incorporation of the guilds. Those communities were created by charters or Keuren, granted by the sovereign. Unless the earliest concessions of this nature have perished, the town charters of Holland or Zeland are nearly a century later than those of Flanders, France, and England.

The oldest Keur, or act of municipal incorporation, in the provinces afterwards constituting the republic, was that granted by Count William the First of Holland and Countess Joanna of Flanders, as joint proprietors of Walcheren, to the town of Middelburg. It will be seen that its main purport is to promise, as a special privilege to this community, law, in place of the arbitrary violence by which mankind, in general, were governed by their betters.

"The inhabitants," ran the Charter, "are taken into protection by both counts. Upon fighting, maiming, wounding, striking, scolding; upon peace-breaking, upon resistance to peace-makers and to the judgment of Schepens; upon contemning the Ban, upon selling spoiled wine, and upon other misdeeds fines are imposed for behoof of the Count, the city, and sometimes of the Schepens…….To all Middelburgers one kind of law is guaranteed. Every man must go to law before the Schepens. If any one being summoned and present in Walcheren does not appear, or refuses submission to sentence, he shall be banished with confiscation of property. Schout or Schepen denying justice to a complainant, shall, until reparation, hold no tribunal again…….A burgher having a dispute with an outsider (buiten mann) must summon him before the Schepens. An appeal lies from the Schepens to the Count. No one can testify but a householder. All alienation of real estate must take place before the Schepens. If an outsider has a complaint against a burgher, the Schepens and Schout must arrange it. If either party refuses submission to them, they must ring the town bell and summon an assembly of all the burghers to compel him. Any one ringing the town bell, except by general consent, and any one not appearing when it tolls, are liable to a fine. No Middelburger can be arrested or held in durance within Flanders or Holland, except for crime."

This document was signed, sealed, and sworn to by the two sovereigns in the year 1217. It was the model upon which many other communities, cradles of great cities, in Holland and Zeland, were afterwards created.

These charters are certainly not very extensive, even for the privileged municipalities which obtained them, when viewed from an abstract stand-point. They constituted, however, a very great advance from the stand-point at which humanity actually found itself. They created, not for all inhabitants, but for great numbers of them, the right, not to govern them selves but to be governed by law: They furnished a local administration of justice. They provided against arbitrary imprisonment. They set up tribunals, where men of burgher class were to sit in judgment. They held up a shield against arbitrary violence from above and sedition from within. They encouraged peace-makers, punished peace-breakers. They guarded the fundamental principle, 'ut sua tanerent', to the verge of absurdity; forbidding a freeman, without a freehold, from testifying—a capacity not denied even to a country slave. Certainly all this was better than fist-law and courts manorial. For the commencement of the thirteenth century, it was progress.

The Schout and Schepens, or chief magistrate and aldermen, were originally appointed by the sovereign. In process of time, the election of these municipal authorities was conceded to the communities. This inestimable privilege, however, after having been exercised during a certain period by the whole body of citizens, was eventually monopolized by the municipal government itself, acting in common with the deans of the various guilds.

Thus organized and inspired with the breath of civic life, the communities of Flanders and Holland began to move rapidly forward. More and more they assumed the appearance of prosperous little republics. For this prosperity they were indebted to commerce, particularly with England and the Baltic nations, and to manufactures, especially of wool.

The trade between England and the Netherlands had existed for ages, and was still extending itself, to the great advantage of both countries. A dispute, however, between the merchants of Holland and England, towards the year 1215, caused a privateering warfare, and a ten years' suspension of intercourse. A reconciliation afterwards led to the establishment of the English wool staple, at Dort. A subsequent quarrel deprived Holland of this great advantage. King Edward refused to assist Count Florence in a war with the Flemings, and transferred the staple from Dort to Bruges and Mechlin.

The trade of the Netherlands with the Mediterranean and the East was mainly through this favored city of Bruges, which, already in the thirteenth century, had risen to the first rank in the commercial world. It was the resting-place for the Lombards and other Italians, the great entrepot for their merchandise. It now became, in addition, the great marketplace for English wool, and the woollen fabrics of all the Netherlands, as well as for the drugs and spices of the East. It had, however, by no means reached its apogee, but was to culminate with Venice, and to sink with her decline. When the overland Indian trade fell off with the discovery of the Cape passage, both cities withered. Grass grew in the fair and pleasant streets of Bruges, and sea-weed clustered about the marble halls of Venice. At this epoch, however, both were in a state of rapid and insolent prosperity.

The cities, thus advancing in wealth and importance, were no longer satisfied with being governed according to law, and began to participate, not only in their own, but in the general government. Under Guy of Flanders, the towns appeared regularly, as well as the nobles, in the assembly of the provincial estates. (1386-1389, A.D.) In the course of the following century, the six chief cities, or capitals, of Holland (Dort, Harlem, Delft, Leyden, Goads, and Amsterdam) acquired the right of sending their deputies regularly to the estates of the provinces. These towns, therefore, with the nobles, constituted the parliamentary power of the nation. They also acquired letters patent from the count, allowing them to choose their burgomasters and a limited number of councillors or senators (Vroedschappen).

Thus the liberties of Holland and Flanders waxed, daily, stronger. A great physical convulsion in the course of the thirteenth century came to add its influence to the slower process of political revolution. Hitherto there had been but one Friesland, including Holland, and nearly all the territory of the future republic. A slender stream alone separated the two great districts. The low lands along the Vlie, often threatened, at last sank in the waves. The German Ocean rolled in upon the inland Lake of Flevo. The stormy Zuyder Zee began its existence by engulfing thousands of Frisian villages, with all their population, and by spreading a chasm between kindred peoples. The political, as well as the geographical, continuity of the land was obliterated by this tremendous deluge. The Hollanders were cut off from their relatives in the east by as dangerous a sea as that which divided them from their Anglo-Saxon brethren in Britain. The deputies to the general assemblies at Aurich could no longer undertake a journey grown so perilous. West Friesland became absorbed in Holland. East Friesland remained a federation of rude but self-governed maritime provinces, until the brief and bloody dominion of the Saxon dukes led to the establishment of Charles the Fifth's authority. Whatever the nominal sovereignty over them, this most republican tribe of Netherlanders, or of Europeans, had never accepted feudalism. There was an annual congress of the whole confederacy. Each of the seven little states, on the other hand, regulated its own internal affairs. Each state was subdivided into districts, each district governed by a Griet-mann (greatman, selectman) and assistants. Above all these district officers was a Podesta, a magistrate identical, in name and functions, with the chief officer of the Italian republics. There was sometimes but one Podesta; sometimes one for each province. He was chosen by the people, took oath of fidelity to the separate estates, or, if Podesta-general, to the federal diet, and was generally elected for a limited term, although sometimes for life. He was assisted by a board of eighteen or twenty councillors. The deputies to the general congress were chosen by popular suffrage in Easter-week. The clergy were not recognized as a political estate.

Thus, in those lands which a niggard nature had apparently condemned to perpetual poverty and obscurity, the principle of reasonable human freedom, without which there is no national prosperity or glory worth contending for, was taking deepest and strongest root. Already in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries Friesland was a republic, except in name; Holland, Flanders, Brabant, had acquired a large share of self-government. The powerful commonwealth, at a later period to be evolved out of the great combat between centralized tyranny and the spirit of civil and religious liberty, was already foreshadowed. The elements, of which that important republic was to be compounded, were germinating for centuries. Love of freedom, readiness to strike and bleed at any moment in her cause, manly resistance to despotism, however overshadowing, were the leading characteristics of the race in all regions or periods, whether among Frisian swamps, Dutch dykes, the gentle hills and dales of England, or the pathless forests of America. Doubtless, the history of human liberty in Holland and Flanders, as every where else upon earth where there has been such a history, unrolls many scenes of turbulence and bloodshed; although these features have been exaggerated by prejudiced historians. Still, if there were luxury and insolence, sedition and uproar, at any rate there was life. Those violent little commonwealths had blood in their veins. They were compact of proud, self-helping, muscular vigor. The most sanguinary tumults which they ever enacted in the face of day, were better than the order and silence born of the midnight darkness of despotism. That very unruliness was educating the people for their future work. Those merchants, manufacturers, country squires, and hard-fighting barons, all pent up in a narrow corner of the earth, quarrelling with each other and with all the world for centuries, were keeping alive a national pugnacity of character, for which there was to be a heavy demand in the sixteenth century, and without which the fatherland had perhaps succumbed in the most unequal conflict ever waged by man against oppression.

To sketch the special history of even the leading Netherland provinces, during the five centuries which we have thus rapidly sought to characterize, is foreign to our purpose. By holding the clue of Holland's history, the general maze of dynastic transformations throughout the country may, however, be swiftly threaded. From the time of the first Dirk to the close of the thirteenth century there were nearly four hundred years of unbroken male descent, a long line of Dirks and Florences. This iron-handed, hot-headed, adventurous race, placed as sovereign upon its little sandy hook, making ferocious exertions to swell into larger consequence, conquering a mile or two of morass or barren furze, after harder blows and bloodier encounters than might have established an empire under more favorable circumstances, at last dies out. The courtship falls to the house of Avennes, Counts of Hainault. Holland, together with Zeland, which it had annexed, is thus joined to the province of Hainault. At the end of another half century the Hainault line expires. William the Fourth died childless in 1355. His death is the signal for the outbreak of an almost interminable series of civil commotions. Those two great, parties, known by the uncouth names of Hook and Kabbeljaw, come into existence, dividing noble against noble, city against city, father against son, for some hundred and fifty years, without foundation upon any abstract or intelligible principle. It may be observed, however, that, in the sequel, and as a general rule, the Kabbeljaw, or cod-fish party, represented the city or municipal faction, while the Hooks (fish-hooks), that were to catch and control them, were the nobles; iron and audacity against brute number and weight.

Duke William of Bavaria, sister's son—of William the Fourth, gets himself established in 1354. He is succeeded by his brother Albert; Albert by his son William. William, who had married Margaret of Burgundy, daughter of Philip the Bold, dies in 1417. The goodly heritage of these three Netherland provinces descends to his daughter Jacqueline, a damsel of seventeen. Little need to trace the career of the fair and ill-starred Jacqueline. Few chapters of historical romance have drawn more frequent tears. The favorite heroine of ballad and drama, to Netherlanders she is endued with the palpable form and perpetual existence of the Iphigenias, Mary Stuarts, Joans of Arc, or other consecrated individualities. Exhausted and broken-hearted, after thirteen years of conflict with her own kinsmen, consoled for the cowardice and brutality of three husbands by the gentle and knightly spirit of the fourth, dispossessed of her father's broad domains, degraded from the rank of sovereign to be lady forester of her own provinces by her cousin, the bad Duke of Burgundy, Philip surnamed "the Good," she dies at last, and the good cousin takes undisputed dominion of the land. (1437.)

The five centuries of isolation are at end. The many obscure streams of Netherland history are merged in one broad current. Burgundy has absorbed all the provinces which, once more, are forced to recognize a single master. A century and a few years more succeed, during which this house and its heirs are undisputed sovereigns of the soil.

Philip the Good had already acquired the principal Netherlands, before dispossessing Jacqueline. He had inherited, beside the two Burgundies, the counties of Flanders and Artois. He had purchased the county of Namur, and had usurped the duchy of Brabant, to which the duchy of Limburg, the marquisate of Antwerp, and the barony of Mechlin, had already been annexed. By his assumption of Jacqueline's dominions, he was now lord of Holland, Zeland, and Hainault, and titular master of Friesland. He acquired Luxemburg a few years later.

Lord of so many opulent cities and fruitful provinces, he felt himself equal to the kings of Europe. Upon his marriage with Isabella of Portugal, he founded, at Bruges, the celebrated order of the Golden Fleece. What could be more practical or more devout than the conception? Did not the Lamb of God, suspended at each knightly breast, symbolize at once the woollen fabrics to which so much of Flemish wealth and Burgundian power was owing, and the gentle humility of Christ, which was ever to characterize the order? Twenty-five was the limited number, including Philip himself, as grand master. The chevaliers were emperors, kings, princes, and the most illustrious nobles of Christendom; while a leading provision, at the outset, forbade the brethren, crowned heads excepted, to accept or retain the companionship of any other order.

The accession of so potent and ambitious a prince as the good Philip boded evil to the cause of freedom in the Netherlands. The spirit of liberty seemed to have been typified in the fair form of the benignant and unhappy Jacqueline, and to be buried in her grave. The usurper, who had crushed her out of existence, now strode forward to trample upon all the laws and privileges of the provinces which had formed her heritage.

At his advent, the municipal power had already reached an advanced stage of development. The burgher class controlled the government, not only of the cities, but often of the provinces, through its influence in the estates. Industry and wealth had produced their natural results. The supreme authority of the sovereign and the power of the nobles were balanced by the municipal principle which had even begun to preponderate over both. All three exercised a constant and salutary check upon each other. Commerce had converted slaves into freemen, freemen into burghers, and the burghers were acquiring daily, a larger practical hold upon the government. The town councils were becoming almost omnipotent. Although with an oligarchical tendency, which at a later period was to be more fully developed, they were now composed of large numbers of individuals, who had raised themselves, by industry and intelligence, out of the popular masses. There was an unquestionably republican tone to the institutions. Power, actually, if not nominally, was in the hands of many who had achieved the greatness to which they had not been born.

The assemblies of the estates were rather diplomatic than representative. They consisted, generally, of the nobles and of the deputations from the cities. In Holland, the clergy had neither influence nor seats in the parliamentary body. Measures were proposed by the stadholder, who represented the sovereign. A request, for example, of pecuniary, accommodation, was made by that functionary or by the count himself in person. The nobles then voted upon the demand, generally as one body, but sometimes by heads. The measure was then laid before the burghers. If they had been specially commissioned to act upon the matter; they voted, each city as a city, not each deputy, individually. If they had received no instructions, they took back the proposition to lay before the councils of their respective cities, in order to return a decision at an adjourned session, or at a subsequent diet. It will be seen, therefore, that the principle of national, popular representation was but imperfectly developed. The municipal deputies acted only under instructions. Each city was a little independent state, suspicious not only of the sovereign and nobles, but of its sister cities. This mutual jealousy hastened the general humiliation now impending. The centre of the system waging daily more powerful, it more easily unsphered these feebler and mutually repulsive bodies.

Philip's first step, upon assuming the government, was to issue a declaration, through the council of Holland, that the privileges and constitutions, which he had sworn to as Ruward, or guardian, during the period in which Jacqueline had still retained a nominal sovereignty, were to be considered null and void, unless afterwards confirmed by him as count. At a single blow he thus severed the whole knot of pledges, oaths and other political complications, by which he had entangled himself during his cautious advance to power. He was now untrammelled again. As the conscience of the smooth usurper was, thenceforth, the measure of provincial liberty, his subjects soon found it meted to them more sparingly than they wished. From this point, then, through the Burgundian period, and until the rise of the republic, the liberty of the Netherlands, notwithstanding several brilliant but brief laminations, occurring at irregular intervals, seemed to remain in almost perpetual eclipse.

The material prosperity of the country had, however, vastly increased. The fisheries of Holland had become of enormous importance. The invention of the humble Beukelzoon of Biervliet, had expanded into a mine of wealth. The fisheries, too, were most useful as a nursery of seamen, and were already indicating Holland's future naval supremacy. The fishermen were the militia of the ocean, their prowess attested in the war with the Hanseatic cities, which the provinces of Holland and Zeland, in Philip's name, but by their own unassisted exertions, carried on triumphantly at this epoch. Then came into existence that race of cool and daring mariners, who, in after times, were to make the Dutch name illustrious throughout the world, the men, whose fierce descendants, the "beggars of the sea," were to make the Spanish empire tremble, the men, whose later successors swept the seas with brooms at the mast-head, and whose ocean-battles with their equally fearless English brethren often lasted four uninterrupted days and nights.

The main strength of Holland was derived from the ocean, from whose destructive grasp she had wrested herself, but in whose friendly embrace she remained. She was already placing securely the foundations of commercial wealth and civil liberty upon those shifting quicksands which the Roman doubted whether to call land or water. Her submerged deformity, as she floated, mermaid-like, upon the waves was to be forgotten in her material splendor. Enriched with the spoils of every clime, crowned with the divine jewels of science and art, she was, one day, to sing a siren song of freedom, luxury, and power.

As with Holland, so with Flanders, Brabant, and the other leading provinces. Industry and wealth, agriculture, commerce, and manufactures, were constantly augmenting. The natural sources of power were full to overflowing, while the hand of despotism was deliberately sealing the fountain.

For the house of Burgundy was rapidly culminating and as rapidly curtailing the political privileges of the Netherlands. The contest was, at first, favorable to the cause of arbitrary power; but little seeds were silently germinating, which, in the progress of their gigantic development, were, one day, to undermine the foundations of Tyranny and to overshadow the world. The early progress of the religious reformation in the Netherlands will be outlined in a separate chapter. Another great principle was likewise at work at this period. At the very epoch when the greatness of Burgundy was most swiftly ripening, another weapon was secretly forging, more potent in the great struggle for freedom than any which the wit or hand of man has ever devised or wielded. When Philip the Good, in the full blaze of his power, and flushed with the triumphs of territorial aggrandizement, was instituting at Bruges the order of the Golden Fleece, "to the glory of God, of the blessed Virgin, and of the holy Andrew, patron saint of the Burgundian family," and enrolling the names of the kings and princes who were to be honored with its symbols, at that very moment, an obscure citizen of Harlem, one Lorenz Coster, or Lawrence the Sexton, succeeded in printing a little grammar, by means of movable types. The invention of printing was accomplished, but it was not ushered in with such a blaze of glory as heralded the contemporaneous erection of the Golden Fleece. The humble setter of types did not deem emperors and princes alone worthy his companionship. His invention sent no thrill of admiration throughout Christendom; and yet, what was the good Philip of Burgundy, with his Knights of the Golden Fleece, and all their effulgent trumpery, in the eye of humanity and civilization, compared with the poor sexton and his wooden types?

[The question of the time and place to which the invention of printing should be referred, has been often discussed. It is not probable that it will ever be settled to the entire satisfaction of Holland and Germany. The Dutch claim that movable types were first used at Harlem, fixing the time variously between the years 1423 and 1440. The first and very faulty editions of Lorenz are religiously preserved at Harlem.]

Philip died in February, 1467. The details of his life and career do not belong to our purpose. The practical tendency of his government was to repress the spirit of liberty, while especial privileges, extensive in nature, but limited in time, were frequently granted to corporations. Philip, in one day, conferred thirty charters upon as many different bodies of citizens. These were, however, grants of monopoly not concessions of rights. He also fixed the number of city councils or Vroedschappen in many Netherland cities, giving them permission to present a double list of candidates for burgomasters and judges, from which he himself made the appointments. He was certainly neither a good nor great prince, but he possessed much administrative ability. His military talents were considerable, and he was successful in his wars. He was an adroit dissembler, a practical politician. He had the sense to comprehend that the power of a prince, however absolute, must depend upon the prosperity of his subjects. He taxed severely the wealth, but he protected the commerce and the manufactures of Holland and Flanders. He encouraged art, science, and literature. The brothers, John and Hubert Van Eyck, were attracted by his generosity to Bruges, where they painted many pictures. John was even a member of the duke's council. The art of oil-painting was carried to great perfection by Hubert's scholar, John of Bruges. An incredible number of painters, of greater or less merit, flourished at this epoch in the Netherlands, heralds of that great school, which, at a subsequent period, was to astonish the world with brilliant colors; profound science, startling effects, and vigorous reproductions of Nature. Authors, too, like Olivier de la Marche and Philippe de Comines, who, in the words of the latter, "wrote, not for the amusement of brutes, and people of low degree, but for princes and other persons of quality," these and other writers, with aims as lofty, flourished at the court of Burgundy, and were rewarded by the Duke with princely generosity. Philip remodelled and befriended the university of Louvain. He founded at Brussels the Burgundian library, which became celebrated throughout Europe. He levied largely, spent profusely, but was yet so thrifty a housekeeper, as to leave four hundred thousand crowns of gold, a vast amount in those days, besides three million marks' worth of plate and furniture, to be wasted like water in the insane career of his son.

The exploits of that son require but few words of illustration. Hardly a chapter of European history or romance is more familiar to the world than the one which records the meteoric course of Charles the Bold. The propriety of his title was never doubtful. No prince was ever bolder, but it is certain that no quality could be less desirable, at that particular moment in the history of his house. It was not the quality to confirm a usurping family in its ill-gotten possessions. Renewed aggressions upon the rights of others justified retaliation and invited attack. Justice, prudence, firmness, wisdom of internal administration were desirable in the son of Philip and the rival of Louis. These attributes the gladiator lacked entirely. His career might have been a brilliant one in the old days of chivalry. His image might have appeared as imposing as the romantic forms of Baldwin Bras de Fer or Godfrey of Bouillon, had he not been misplaced in history. Nevertheless, he imagined himself governed by a profound policy. He had one dominant idea, to make Burgundy a kingdom. From the moment when, with almost the first standing army known to history, and with coffers well filled by his cautious father's economy, he threw himself into the lists against the crafty Louis, down to the day when he was found dead, naked, deserted, and with his face frozen into a pool of blood and water, he faithfully pursued this thought. His ducal cap was to be exchanged for a kingly crown, while all the provinces which lay beneath the Mediterranean and the North Sea, and between France and Germany, were to be united under his sceptre. The Netherlands, with their wealth, had been already appropriated, and their freedom crushed. Another land of liberty remained; physically, the reverse of Holland, but stamped with the same courageous nationality, the same ardent love of human rights. Switzerland was to be conquered. Her eternal battlements of ice and granite were to constitute the great bulwark of his realm. The world knows well the result of the struggle between the lord of so many duchies and earldoms, and the Alpine mountaineers. With all his boldness, Charles was but an indifferent soldier. His only merit was physical courage. He imagined himself a consummate commander, and, in conversation with his jester, was fond of comparing himself to Hannibal. "We are getting well Hannibalized to-day, my lord," said the bitter fool, as they rode off together from the disastrous defeat of Gransen. Well "Hannibalized" he was, too, at Gransen, at Murten, and at Nancy. He followed in the track of his prototype only to the base of the mountains.

As a conqueror, he was signally unsuccessful; as a politician, he could out-wit none but himself; it was only as a tyrant within his own ground, that he could sustain the character which he chose to enact. He lost the crown, which he might have secured, because he thought the emperor's son unworthy the heiress of Burgundy; and yet, after his father's death, her marriage with that very Maximilian alone secured the possession of her paternal inheritance. Unsuccessful in schemes of conquest, and in political intrigue, as an oppressor of the Netherlands, he nearly carried out his plans. Those provinces he regarded merely as a bank to draw upon. His immediate intercourse with the country was confined to the extortion of vast requests. These were granted with ever-increasing reluctance, by the estates. The new taxes and excises, which the sanguinary extravagance of the duke rendered necessary, could seldom be collected in the various cities without tumults, sedition, and bloodshed. Few princes were ever a greater curse to the people whom they were allowed to hold as property. He nearly succeeded in establishing a centralized despotism upon the ruins of the provincial institutions. His sudden death alone deferred the catastrophe. His removal of the supreme court of Holland from the Hague to Mechlin, and his maintenance of a standing army, were the two great measures by which he prostrated the Netherlands. The tribunal had been remodelled by his father; the expanded authority which Philip had given to a bench of judges dependent upon himself, was an infraction of the rights of Holland. The court, however, still held its sessions in the country; and the sacred privilege—de non evocando—the right of every Hollander to be tried in his own land, was, at least, retained. Charles threw off the mask; he proclaimed that this council—composed of his creatures, holding office at his pleasure—should have supreme jurisdiction over all the charters of the provinces; that it was to follow his person, and derive all authority from his will. The usual seat of the court he transferred to Mechlin. It will be seen, in the sequel, that the attempt, under Philip the Second, to enforce its supreme authority was a collateral cause of the great revolution of the Netherlands.

Charles, like his father, administered the country by stadholders. From the condition of flourishing self-ruled little republics, which they had, for a moment, almost attained, they became departments of an ill-assorted, ill-conditioned, ill-governed realm, which was neither commonwealth nor empire, neither kingdom nor duchy; and which had no homogeneousness of population, no affection between ruler and people, small sympathies of lineage or of language.

His triumphs were but few, his fall ignominious. His father's treasure was squandered, the curse of a standing army fixed upon his people, the trade and manufactures of the country paralyzed by his extortions, and he accomplished nothing. He lost his life in the forty-fourth year of his age (1477), leaving all the provinces, duchies, and lordships, which formed the miscellaneous realm of Burgundy, to his only child, the Lady Mary. Thus already the countries which Philip had wrested from the feeble hand of Jacqueline, had fallen to another female. Philip's own granddaughter, as young, fair, and unprotected as Jacqueline, was now sole mistress of those broad domains.


A crisis, both for Burgundy and the Netherlands, succeeds. Within the provinces there is an elastic rebound, as soon as the pressure is removed from them by the tyrant's death. A sudden spasm of liberty gives the whole people gigantic strength. In an instant they recover all, and more than all, the rights which they had lost. The cities of Holland, Flanders, and other provinces call a convention at Ghent. Laying aside their musty feuds, men of all parties-Hooks and Kabbeljaws, patricians and people, move forward in phalanx to recover their national constitutions. On the other hand, Louis the Eleventh seizes Burgundy, claiming the territory for his crown, the heiress for his son. The situation is critical for the Lady Mary. As usual in such cases, appeals are made to the faithful commons. A prodigality of oaths and pledges is showered upon the people, that their loyalty may be refreshed and grow green. The congress meets at Ghent. The Lady Mary professes much, but she will keep her vow. The deputies are called upon to rally the country around the duchess, and to resist the fraud and force of Louis. The congress is willing to maintain the cause of its young mistress. The members declare, at the same time, very roundly, "that the provinces have been much impoverished and oppressed by the enormous taxation imposed upon them by the ruinous wars waged by Duke Charles from the beginning to the end of his life." They rather require "to be relieved than additionally encumbered." They add that, "for many years past, there has been a constant violation of the provincial and municipal charters, and that they should be happy to see them restored."

The result of the deliberations is the formal grant by Duchess Mary of the "Groot Privilegie," or Great Privilege, the Magna Charta of Holland. Although this instrument was afterwards violated, and indeed abolished, it became the foundation of the republic. It was a recapitulation and recognition of ancient rights, not an acquisition of new privileges. It was a restoration, not a revolution. Its principal points deserve attention from those interested in the political progress of mankind.

"The duchess shall not marry without consent of the estates of her provinces. All offices in her gift shall be conferred on natives only. No man shall fill two offices. No office shall be farmed. The 'Great Council and Supreme Court of Holland' is re-established. Causes shall be brought before it on appeal from the ordinary courts. It shall have no original jurisdiction of matters within the cognizance of the provincial and municipal tribunals. The estates and cities are guaranteed in their right not to be summoned to justice beyond the limits of their territory. The cities, in common with all the provinces of the Netherlands, may hold diets as often ten and at such places as they choose. No new taxes shall be imposed but by consent of the provincial estates. Neither the duchess nor her descendants shall begin either an offensive or defensive war without consent of the estates. In case a war be illegally undertaken, the estates are not bound to contribute to its maintenance. In all public and legal documents, the Netherland language shall be employed. The commands of the duchess shall be invalid, if conflicting with the privileges of a city.

"The seat of the Supreme Council is transferred from Mechlin to the Hague. No money shall be coined, nor its value raised or lowered, but by consent of the estates. Cities are not to be compelled to contribute to requests which they have not voted. The sovereign shall come in person before the estates, to make his request for supplies."

Here was good work. The land was rescued at a blow from the helpless condition to which it had been reduced. This summary annihilation of all the despotic arrangements of Charles was enough to raise him from his tomb. The law, the sword, the purse, were all taken from the hand of the sovereign and placed within the control of parliament. Such sweeping reforms, if maintained, would restore health to the body politic. They gave, moreover, an earnest of what was one day to arrive. Certainly, for the fifteenth century, the "Great Privilege" was a reasonably liberal constitution. Where else upon earth, at that day, was there half so much liberty as was thus guaranteed? The congress of the Netherlands, according to their Magna Charta, had power to levy all taxes, to regulate commerce and manufactures, to declare war, to coin money, to raise armies and navies. The executive was required to ask for money in person, could appoint only natives to office, recognized the right of disobedience in his subjects, if his commands should conflict with law, and acknowledged himself bound by decisions of courts of justice. The cities appointed their own magistrates, held diets at their own pleasure, made their local by-laws and saw to their execution. Original cognizance of legal matters belonged to the municipal courts, appellate jurisdiction to the supreme tribunal, in which the judges were appointed by the sovereign. The liberty of the citizen against arbitrary imprisonment was amply provided for. The 'jus de non evocando', the habeas corpus of Holland, was re-established.

Truly, here was a fundamental law which largely, roundly, and reasonably recognized the existence of a people with hearts, heads, and hands of their own. It was a vast step in advance of natural servitude, the dogma of the dark ages. It was a noble and temperate vindication of natural liberty, the doctrine of more enlightened days. To no people in the world more than to the stout burghers of Flanders and Holland belongs the honor of having battled audaciously and perennially in behalf of human rights.

Similar privileges to the great charter of Holland are granted to many other provinces; especially to Flanders, ever ready to stand forward in fierce vindication of freedom. For a season all is peace and joy; but the duchess is young, weak, and a woman. There is no lack of intriguing politicians, reactionary councillors. There is a cunning old king in the distance, lying in wait; seeking what he can devour. A mission goes from the estates to France. The well-known tragedy of Imbrecourt and Hugonet occurs. Envoys from the states, they dare to accept secret instructions from the duchess to enter into private negotiations with the French monarch, against their colleagues—against the great charter—against their country. Sly Louis betrays them, thinking that policy the more expedient. They are seized in Ghent, rapidly tried, and as rapidly beheaded by the enraged burghers. All the entreaties of the Lady Mary, who, dressed in mourning garments, with dishevelled hair, unloosed girdle, and streaming eyes; appears at the town-house and afterwards in the market place, humbly to intercede for her servants, are fruitless There is no help for the juggling diplomatists. The punishment was sharp. Was it more severe and sudden than that which betrayed monarchs usually inflict? Would the Flemings, at that critical moment, have deserved their freedom had they not taken swift and signal vengeance for this first infraction of their newly recognized rights? Had it not been weakness to spare the traitors who had thus stained the childhood of the national joy at liberty regained?


Another step, and a wide one, into the great stream of European history. The Lady Mary espouses the Archduke Maximilian. The Netherlands are about to become Habsburg property. The Ghenters reject the pretensions of the dauphin, and select for husband of their duchess the very man whom her father had so stupidly rejected. It had been a wiser choice for Charles the Bold than for the Netherlanders. The marriage takes place on the 18th of August, 1477. Mary of Burgundy passes from the guardianship of Ghent burghers into that of the emperor's son. The crafty husband allies himself with the city party, feeling where the strength lies. He knows that the voracious Kabbeljaws have at last swallowed the Hooks, and run away with them. Promising himself future rights of reconsideration, he is liberal in promises to the municipal party. In the mean time he is governor and guardian of his wife and her provinces. His children are to inherit the Netherlands and all that therein is. What can be more consistent than laws of descent, regulated by right divine? At the beginning of the century, good Philip dispossesses Jacqueline, because females can not inherit. At its close, his granddaughter succeeds to the property, and transmits it to her children. Pope and emperor maintain both positions with equal logic. The policy and promptness of Maximilian are as effective as the force and fraud of Philip. The Lady Mary falls from her horse and dies. Her son, Philip, four years of age, is recognized as successor. Thus the house of Burgundy is followed by that of Austria, the fifth and last family which governed Holland, previously to the erection of the republic. Maximilian is recognized by the provinces as governor and guardian, during the minority of his children. Flanders alone refuses. The burghers, ever prompt in action, take personal possession of the child Philip, and carry on the government in his name. A commission of citizens and nobles thus maintain their authority against Maximilian for several years. In 1488, the archduke, now King of the Romans, with a small force of cavalry, attempts to take the city of Bruges, but the result is a mortifying one to the Roman king. The citizens of Bruges take him. Maximilian, with several councillors, is kept a prisoner in a house on the market-place. The magistrates are all changed, the affairs of government conducted in the name of the young Philip alone. Meantime, the estates of the other Netherlands assemble at Ghent; anxious, unfortunately, not for the national liberty, but for that of the Roman king. Already Holland, torn again by civil feuds, and blinded by the artifices of Maximilian, has deserted, for a season, the great cause to which Flanders has remained so true. At last, a treaty is made between the archduke and the Flemings. Maximilian is to be regent of the other provinces; Philip, under guardianship of a council, is to govern Flanders. Moreover, a congress of all the provinces is to be summoned annually, to provide for the general welfare. Maximilian signs and swears to the treaty on the 16th May, 1488. He swears, also, to dismiss all foreign troops within four days. Giving hostages for his fidelity, he is set at liberty. What are oaths and hostages when prerogative, and the people are contending? Emperor Frederic sends to his son an army under the Duke of Saxony. The oaths are broken, the hostages left to their fate. The struggle lasts a year, but, at the end of it, the Flemings are subdued. What could a single province effect, when its sister states, even liberty-loving Holland, had basely abandoned the common cause? A new treaty is made, (Oct.1489). Maximilian obtains uncontrolled guardianship of his son, absolute dominion over Flanders and the other provinces. The insolent burghers are severely punished for remembering that they had been freemen. The magistrates of Ghent, Bruges, and Ypres, in black garments, ungirdled, bare-headed, and kneeling, are compelled to implore the despot's forgiveness, and to pay three hundred thousand crowns of gold as its price. After this, for a brief season, order reigns in Flanders.

The course of Maximilian had been stealthy, but decided. Allying himself with the city party, he had crushed the nobles. The power thus obtained, he then turned against the burghers. Step by step he had trampled out the liberties which his wife and himself had sworn to protect. He had spurned the authority of the "Great Privilege," and all other charters. Burgomasters and other citizens had been beheaded in great numbers for appealing to their statutes against the edicts of the regent, for voting in favor of a general congress according to the unquestionable law. He had proclaimed that all landed estates should, in lack of heirs male, escheat to his own exchequer. He had debased the coin of the country, and thereby authorized unlimited swindling on the part of all his agents, from stadholders down to the meanest official. If such oppression and knavery did not justify the resistance of the Flemings to the guardianship of Maximilian, it would be difficult to find any reasonable course in political affairs save abject submission to authority.

In 1493, Maximilian succeeds to the imperial throne, at the death of his father. In the following year his son, Philip the Fair, now seventeen years of age, receives the homage of the different states of the Netherlands. He swears to maintain only the privileges granted by Philip and Charles of Burgundy, or their ancestors, proclaiming null and void all those which might have been acquired since the death of Charles. Holland, Zeland, and the other provinces accept him upon these conditions, thus ignominiously, and without a struggle, relinquishing the Great Privilege, and all similar charters.

Friesland is, for a brief season, politically separated from the rest of the country. Harassed and exhausted by centuries of warfare, foreign, and domestic, the free Frisians, at the suggestion or command of Emperor Maximilian, elect the Duke of Saxony as their Podesta. The sovereign prince, naturally proving a chief magistrate far from democratic, gets himself acknowledged, or submitted to, soon afterwards, as legitimate sovereign of Friesland. Seventeen years afterward Saxony sells the sovereignty to the Austrian house for 350,000 crowns. This little country, whose statutes proclaimed her to be "free as the wind, as long as it blew," whose institutions Charlemagne had honored and left unmolested, who had freed herself with ready poniard from Norman tyranny, who never bowed her neck to feudal chieftain, nor to the papal yoke, now driven to madness and suicide by the dissensions of her wild children, forfeits at last her independent existence. All the provinces are thus united in a common servitude, and regret, too late, their supineness at a moment when their liberties might yet have been vindicated. Their ancient and cherished charters, which their bold ancestors had earned with the sweat of their brows and the blood of their hearts, are at the mercy of an autocrat, and liable to be superseded by his edicts.

In 1496, the momentous marriage of Philip the Fair with Joanna, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Castile and Aragon, is solemnized. Of this union, in the first year of the century, is born the second Charlemagne, who is to unite Spain and the Netherlands, together with so many vast and distant realms, under a single sceptre. Six years afterwards (Sept. 25, 1506), Philip dies at Burgos. A handsome profligate, devoted to his pleasures, and leaving the cares of state to his ministers, Philip, "croit-conseil," is the bridge over which the house of Habsburg passes to almost universal monarchy, but, in himself, is nothing.


Two prudent marriages, made by Austrian archdukes within twenty years, have altered the face of the earth. The stream, which we have been tracing from its source, empties itself at last into the ocean of a world-empire. Count Dirk the First, lord of a half-submerged corner of Europe, is succeeded by Count Charles the Second of Holland, better known as Charles the Fifth, King of Spain, Sicily, and Jerusalem, Duke of Milan, Emperor of Germany, Dominator in Asia and Africa, autocrat of half the world. The leading events of his brilliant reign are familiar to every child. The Netherlands now share the fate of so large a group of nations, a fate, to these provinces, most miserable. The weddings of Austria Felix were not so prolific of happiness to her subjects as to herself. It can never seem just or reasonable that the destiny of many millions of human beings should depend upon the marriage-settlements of one man with one woman, and a permanent, prosperous empire can never be reared upon so frail a foundation. The leading thought of the first Charlemagne was a noble and a useful one, nor did his imperial scheme seem chimerical, even although time, wiser than monarchs or lawgivers, was to prove it impracticable. To weld into one great whole the various tribes of Franks, Frisians, Saxons, Lombards, Burgundians, and others, still in their turbulent youth, and still composing one great Teutonic family; to enforce the mutual adhesion of naturally coherent masses, all of one lineage, one language, one history, and which were only beginning to exhibit their tendencies to insulation, to acquiesce in a variety of local laws and customs, while an iron will was to concentrate a vast, but homogeneous, people into a single nation; to raise up from the grave of corrupt and buried Rome a fresh, vigorous, German, Christian empire; this was a reasonable and manly thought. Far different the conception of the second Charlemagne. To force into discordant union, tribes which, for seven centuries, had developed themselves into hostile nations, separated by geography and history, customs and laws, to combine many millions under one sceptre, not because of natural identity, but for the sake of composing one splendid family property, to establish unity by annihilating local institutions, to supersede popular and liberal charters by the edicts of a central despotism, to do battle with the whole spirit of an age, to regard the souls as well as the bodies of vast multitudes as the personal property of one individual, to strive for the perpetuation in a single house of many crowns, which accident had blended, and to imagine the consecration of the whole system by placing the pope's triple diadem forever upon the imperial head of the Habsburgs;—all this was not the effort of a great, constructive genius, but the selfish scheme of an autocrat.

The union of no two countries could be less likely to prove advantageous or agreeable than that of the Netherlands and Spain. They were widely separated geographically, while in history, manners, and politics, they were utterly opposed to each other. Spain, which had but just assumed the form of a single state by the combination of all its kingdoms, with its haughty nobles descended from petty kings, and arrogating almost sovereign power within their domains, with its fierce enthusiasm for the Catholic religion, which, in the course of long warfare with the Saracens, had become the absorbing characteristic of a whole nation, with its sparse population scattered over a wide and stern country, with a military spirit which led nearly all classes to prefer poverty to the wealth attendant upon degrading pursuits of trade;—Spain, with her gloomy, martial, and exaggerated character, was the absolute contrast of the Netherlands.

These provinces had been rarely combined into a whole, but there was natural affinity in their character, history, and position. There was life, movement, bustling activity every where. An energetic population swarmed in all the flourishing cities which dotted the surface of a contracted and highly cultivated country. Their ships were the carriers for the world;—their merchants, if invaded in their rights, engaged in vigorous warfare with their own funds and their own frigates; their fabrics were prized over the whole earth; their burghers possessed the wealth of princes, lived with royal luxury, and exercised vast political influence; their love of liberty was their predominant passion. Their religious ardor had not been fully awakened; but the events of the next generation were to prove that in no respect more than in the religious sentiment, were the two races opposed to each other. It was as certain that the Netherlanders would be fierce reformers as that the Spaniards would be uncompromising persecutors. Unhallowed was the union between nations thus utterly contrasted.

Philip the Fair and Ferdinand had detested and quarrelled with each other from the beginning. The Spaniards and Flemings participated in the mutual antipathy, and hated each other cordially at first sight. The unscrupulous avarice of the Netherland nobles in Spain, their grasping and venal ambition, enraged and disgusted the haughty Spaniards. This international malignity furnishes one of the keys to a proper understanding of the great revolt in the next reign.

The provinces, now all united again under an emperor, were treated, opulent and powerful as they were, as obscure dependencies. The regency over them was entrusted by Charles to his near relatives, who governed in the interest of his house, not of the country. His course towards them upon the religious question will be hereafter indicated. The political character of his administration was typified, and, as it were, dramatized, on the occasion of the memorable insurrection at Ghent. For this reason, a few interior details concerning that remarkable event, seem requisite.


Ghent was, in all respects, one of the most important cities in Europe. Erasmus, who, as a Hollander and a courtier, was not likely to be partial to the turbulent Flemings, asserted that there was no town in all Christendom to be compared to it for size, power, political constitution, or the culture of its inhabitants. It was, said one of its inhabitants at the epoch of the insurrection, rather a country than a city. The activity and wealth of its burghers were proverbial. The bells were rung daily, and the drawbridges over the many arms of the river intersecting the streets were raised, in order that all business might be suspended, while the armies of workmen were going to or returning from their labors. As early as the fourteenth century, the age of the Arteveldes, Froissart estimated the number of fighting men whom Ghent could bring into the field at eighty thousand. The city, by its jurisdiction over many large but subordinate towns, disposed of more than its own immediate population, which has been reckoned as high as two hundred thousand.

Placed in the midst of well cultivated plains, Ghent was surrounded by strong walls, the external circuit of which measured nine miles. Its streets and squares were spacious and elegant, its churches and other public buildings numerous and splendid. The sumptuous church of Saint John or Saint Bavon, where Charles the Fifth had been baptized, the ancient castle whither Baldwin Bras de Fer had brought the daughter of Charles the Bald, the city hall with its graceful Moorish front, the well-known belfry, where for three centuries had perched the dragon sent by the Emperor Baldwin of Flanders from Constantinople, and where swung the famous Roland, whose iron tongue had called the citizens, generation after generation, to arms, whether to win battles over foreign kings at the head of their chivalry, or to plunge their swords in each others' breasts, were all conspicuous in the city and celebrated in the land. Especially the great bell was the object of the burghers' affection, and, generally, of the sovereign's hatred; while to all it seemed, as it were, a living historical personage, endowed with the human powers and passions which it had so long directed and inflamed.

The constitution of the city was very free. It was a little republic in all but name. Its population was divided into fifty-two guilds of manufacturers and into thirty-two tribes of weavers; each fraternity electing annually or biennally its own deans and subordinate officers. The senate, which exercised functions legislative, judicial, and administrative, subject of course to the grand council of Mechlin and to the sovereign authority, consisted of twenty-six members. These were appointed partly from the upper class, or the men who lived upon their means, partly from the manufacturers in general, and partly from the weavers. They were chosen by a college of eight electors, who were appointed by the sovereign on nomination by the citizens. The whole city, in its collective capacity, constituted one of the four estates (Membra) of the province of Flanders. It is obvious that so much liberty of form and of fact, added to the stormy character by which its citizens were distinguished, would be most offensive in the eyes of Charles, and that the delinquencies of the little commonwealth would be represented in the most glaring colors by all those quiet souls, who preferred the tranquillity of despotism to the turbulence of freedom. The city claimed, moreover, the general provisions of the "Great Privilege" of the Lady Mary, the Magna Charta, which, according to the monarchical party, had been legally abrogated by Maximilian. The liberties of the town had also been nominally curtailed by the "calf-skin" (Kalf Vel). By this celebrated document, Charles the Fifth, then fifteen years of age, had been made to threaten with condign punishment all persons who should maintain that he had sworn at his inauguration to observe any privileges or charters claimed by the Ghenters before the peace of Cadsand.

The immediate cause of the discontent, the attempt to force from Flanders a subsidy of four hundred thousand caroli, as the third part of the twelve hundred thousand granted by the states of the Netherlands, and the resistance of Ghent in opposition to the other three members of the province, will, of course, be judged differently, according as the sympathies are stronger with popular rights or with prerogative. The citizens claimed that the subsidy could only be granted by the unanimous consent of the four estates of the province. Among other proofs of this their unquestionable right, they appealed to a muniment, which had never existed, save in the imagination of the credulous populace. At a certain remote epoch, one of the Counts of Flanders, it was contended, had gambled away his countship to the Earl of Holland, but had been extricated from his dilemma by the generosity of Ghent. The burghers of the town had paid the debts and redeemed the sovereignty of their lord, and had thereby gained, in return, a charter, called the Bargain of Flanders (Koop van Flandern). Among the privileges granted by this document, was an express stipulation that no subsidy should ever be granted by the province without the consent of Ghent. This charter would have been conclusive in the present emergency, had it not labored under the disadvantage of never having existed. It was supposed by many that the magistrates, some of whom were favorable to government, had hidden the document. Lieven Pyl, an ex-senator, was supposed to be privy to its concealment. He was also, with more justice, charged with an act of great baseness and effrontery. Reputed by the citizens to carry to the Queen Regent their positive refusal to grant the subsidy, he had, on the contrary, given an answer, in their name, in the affirmative. For these delinquencies, the imaginary and the real, he was inhumanly tortured and afterwards beheaded. "I know, my children," said he upon the scaffold, "that you will be grieved when you have seen my blood flow, and that you will regret me when it is too late." It does not appear, however, that there was any especial reason to regret him, however sanguinary the punishment which had requited his broken faith.

The mischief being thus afoot, the tongue of Roland, and the easily-excited spirits of the citizens, soon did the rest. Ghent broke forth into open insurrection. They had been willing to enlist and pay troops under their own banners, but they had felt outraged at the enormous contribution demanded of them for a foreign war, undertaken in the family interests of their distant master. They could not find the "Bargain of Flanders," but they got possession of the odious "calf skin," which was solemnly cut in two by the dean of the weavers. It was then torn in shreds by the angry citizens, many of whom paraded the streets with pieces of the hated document stuck in their caps, like plumes. From these demonstrations they proceeded to intrigues with Francis the First. He rejected them, and gave notice of their overtures to Charles, who now resolved to quell the insurrection, at once. Francis wrote, begging that the Emperor would honor him by coming through France; "wishing to assure you," said he, "my lord and good brother, by this letter, written and signed by my hand, upon my honor, and on the faith of a prince, and of the best brother you have, that in passing through my kingdom every possible honor and hospitality will be offered you, even as they could be to myself." Certainly, the French king, after such profuse and voluntary pledges, to confirm which he, moreover, offered his two sons and other great individuals as hostages, could not, without utterly disgracing himself, have taken any unhandsome advantage of the Emperor's presence in his dominions. The reflections often made concerning the high-minded chivalry of Francis, and the subtle knowledge of human nature displayed by Charles upon the occasion, seem, therefore, entirely superfluous. The Emperor came to Paris. "Here," says a citizen of Ghent, at the time, who has left a minute account of the transaction upon record, but whose sympathies were ludicrously with the despot and against his own townspeople, "here the Emperor was received as if the God of Paradise had descended." On the 9th of February, 1540, he left Brussels; on the 14th he came to Ghent. His entrance into the city lasted more than six hours. Four thousand lancers, one thousand archers, five thousand halberdmen and musqueteers composed his bodyguard, all armed to the teeth and ready for combat. The Emperor rode in their midst, surrounded by "cardinals, archbishops, bishops, and other great ecclesiastical lords," so that the terrors of the Church were combined with the panoply of war to affright the souls of the turbulent burghers. A brilliant train of "dukes, princes, earls, barons, grand masters, and seignors, together with most of the Knights of the Fleece," were, according to the testimony of the same eyewitness, in attendance upon his Majesty. This unworthy son of Ghent was in ecstasies with the magnificence displayed upon the occasion. There was such a number of "grand lords, members of sovereign houses, bishops, and other ecclesiastical dignitaries going about the streets, that," as the poor soul protested with delight, "there was nobody else to be met with." Especially the fine clothes of these distinguished guests excited his warmest admiration. It was wonderful to behold, he said, "the nobility and great richness of the princes and seignors, displayed as well in their beautiful furs, martins and sables, as in the great chains of fine gold which they wore twisted round their necks, and the pearls and precious stones in their bonnets and otherwise, which they displayed in great abundance. It was a very triumphant thing to see them so richly dressed and accoutred."

An idea may be formed of the size and wealth of the city at this period, from the fact that it received and accommodated sixty thousand strangers, with their fifteen thousand horses, upon the occasion of the Emperor's visit. Charles allowed a month of awful suspense to intervene between his arrival and his vengeance. Despair and hope alternated during the interval. On the 17th of March, the spell was broken by the execution of nineteen persons, who were beheaded as ringleaders. On the 29th of April, he pronounced sentence upon the city. The hall where it was rendered was open to all comers, and graced by the presence of the Emperor, the Queen Regent, and the great functionaries of Court, Church, and State. The decree, now matured, was read at length. It annulled all the charters, privileges, and laws of Ghent. It confiscated all its public property, rents, revenues, houses, artillery, munitions of war, and in general every thing which the corporation, or the traders, each and all, possessed in common. In particular, the great bell—Roland was condemned and sentenced to immediate removal. It was decreed that the four hundred thousand florins, which had caused the revolt, should forthwith be paid, together with an additional fine by Ghent of one hundred and fifty thousand, besides six thousand a year, forever after. In place of their ancient and beloved constitution, thus annihilated at a blow, was promulgated a new form of municipal government of the simplest kind, according to which all officers were in future to be appointed by himself and the guilds, to be reduced to half their number; shorn of all political power, and deprived entirely of self-government. It was, moreover, decreed, that the senators, their pensionaries, clerks and secretaries, thirty notable burghers, to be named by the Emperor, with the great dean and second dean of the weavers, all dressed in black robes, without their chains, and bareheaded, should appear upon an appointed day, in company with fifty persons from the guilds, and fifty others, to be arbitrarily named, in their shirts, with halters upon their necks. This large number of deputies, as representatives of the city, were then to fall upon their knees before the Emperor, say in a loud and intelligible voice, by the mouth of one of their clerks, that they were extremely sorry for the disloyalty, disobedience, infraction of laws, commotions, rebellion, and high treason, of which they had been guilty, promise that they would never do the like again, and humbly implore him, for the sake of the Passion of Jesus Christ, to grant them mercy and forgiveness.

The third day of May was appointed for the execution of the sentence. Charles, who was fond of imposing exhibitions and prided himself upon arranging them with skill, was determined that this occasion should be long remembered by all burghers throughout his dominions who might be disposed to insist strongly upon their municipal rights. The streets were alive with troops: cavalry and infantry in great numbers keeping strict guard at every point throughout the whole extent of the city; for it was known that the hatred produced by the sentence was most deadly, and that nothing but an array of invincible force could keep those hostile sentiments in check. The senators in their black mourning robes, the other deputies in linen shirts, bareheaded, with halters on their necks, proceeded, at the appointed hour, from the senate house to the imperial residence. High on his throne, with the Queen Regent at his side, surrounded by princes, prelates and nobles, guarded by his archers and halberdiers, his crown on his head and his sceptre in his hand, the Emperor, exalted, sat. The senators and burghers, in their robes cf humiliation, knelt in the dust at his feet. The prescribed words of contrition and of supplication for mercy were then read by the pensionary, all the deputies remaining upon their knees, and many of them crying bitterly with rage and shame. "What principally distressed them," said the honest citizen, whose admiration for the brilliant accoutrement of the princes and prelates has been recorded, "was to have the halter on their necks, which they found hard to bear, and, if they had not been compelled, they would rather have died than submit to it."

As soon as the words had been all spoken by the pensionary, the Emperor, whose cue was now to appear struggling with mingled emotions of reasonable wrath and of natural benignity, performed his part with much dramatic effect. "He held himself coyly for a little time," says the eye-witness, "without saying a word; deporting himself as though he were considering whether or not he would grant the pardon for which the culprits had prayed." Then the Queen Regent enacted her share in the show. Turning to his Majesty "with all reverence, honor and humility, she begged that he would concede forgiveness, in honor of his nativity, which had occurred in that city."

Upon this the Emperor "made a fine show of benignity," and replied "very sweetly" that in consequence of his "fraternal love for her, by reason of his being a gentle and virtuous prince, who preferred mercy to the rigor of justice, and in view of their repentance, he would accord his pardon to the citizens."

The Netherlands, after this issue to the struggle of Ghent, were reduced, practically, to a very degraded condition. The form of local self-government remained, but its spirit, when invoked, only arose to be derided. The supreme court of Mechlin, as in the days of Charles the Bold, was again placed in despotic authority above the ancient charters. Was it probable that the lethargy of provinces, which had reached so high a point of freedom only to be deprived of it at last, could endure forever? Was it to be hoped that the stern spirit of religious enthusiasm, allying itself with the—keen instinct of civil liberty, would endue the provinces with strength to throw off the Spanish yoke?


It is impossible to comprehend the character of the great Netherland revolt in the sixteenth century without taking a rapid retrospective survey of the religious phenomena exhibited in the provinces. The introduction of Christianity has been already indicated. From the earliest times, neither prince, people, nor even prelates were very dutiful to the pope. As the papal authority made progress, strong resistance was often made to its decrees. The bishops of Utrecht were dependent for their wealth and territory upon the good will of the Emperor. They were the determined opponents of Hildebrand, warm adherents of the Hohenstaufers-Ghibelline rather than Guelph. Heresy was a plant of early growth in the Netherlands. As early as the beginning of the 12th century, the notorious Tanchelyn preached at Antwerp, attacking the authority of the pope and of all other ecclesiastics; scoffing at the ceremonies and sacraments of the Church. Unless his character and career have been grossly misrepresented, he was the most infamous of the many impostors who have so often disgraced the cause of religious reformation. By more than four centuries, he anticipated the licentiousness and greediness manifested by a series of false prophets, and was the first to turn both the stupidity of a populace and the viciousness of a priesthood to his own advancement; an ambition which afterwards reached its most signal expression in the celebrated John of Leyden.

The impudence of Tanchelyn and the superstition of his followers seem alike incredible. All Antwerp was his harem. He levied, likewise, vast sums upon his converts, and whenever he appeared in public, his apparel and pomp were befitting an emperor. Three thousand armed satellites escorted his steps and put to death all who resisted his commands. So groveling became the superstition of his followers that they drank of the water in which, he had washed, and treasured it as a divine elixir. Advancing still further in his experiments upon human credulity, he announced his approaching marriage with the Virgin Mary, bade all his disciples to the wedding, and exhibited himself before an immense crowd in company with an image of his holy bride. He then ordered the people to provide for the expenses of the nuptials and the dowry of his wife, placing a coffer upon each side of the image, to receive the contributions of either sex. Which is the most wonderful manifestation in the history of this personage—the audacity of the impostor, or the bestiality of his victims? His career was so successful in the Netherlands that he had the effrontery to proceed to Rome, promulgating what he called his doctrines as he went. He seems to have been assassinated by a priest in an obscure brawl, about the year 1115.

By the middle of the 12th century, other and purer heresiarchs had arisen. Many Netherlanders became converts to the doctrines of Waldo. From that period until the appearance of Luther, a succession of sects—Waldenses, Albigenses, Perfectists, Lollards, Poplicans, Arnaldists, Bohemian Brothers—waged perpetual but unequal warfare with the power and depravity of the Church, fertilizing with their blood the future field of the Reformation. Nowhere was the persecution of heretics more relentless than in the Netherlands. Suspected persons were subjected to various torturing but ridiculous ordeals. After such trial, death by fire was the usual but, perhaps, not the most severe form of execution. In Flanders, monastic ingenuity had invented another most painful punishment for Waldenses and similar malefactors. A criminal whose guilt had been established by the hot iron, hot ploughshare, boiling kettle, or other logical proof, was stripped and bound to the stake:—he was then flayed, from the neck to the navel, while swarms of bees were let loose to fasten upon his bleeding flesh and torture him to a death of exquisite agony.

Nevertheless heresy increased in the face of oppression The Scriptures, translated by Waldo into French, were rendered into Netherland rhyme, and the converts to the Vaudois doctrine increased in numbers and boldness. At the same time the power and luxury of the clergy was waxing daily. The bishops of Utrecht, no longer the defenders of the people against arbitrary power, conducted themselves like little popes. Yielding in dignity neither to king nor kaiser, they exacted homage from the most powerful princes of the Netherlands. The clerical order became the most privileged of all. The accused priest refused to acknowledge the temporal tribunals. The protection of ecclesiastical edifices was extended over all criminals and fugitives from justice—a beneficent result in those sanguinary ages, even if its roots were sacerdotal pride. To establish an accusation against a bishop, seventy-two witnesses were necessary; against a deacon, twenty-seven; against an inferior dignitary, seven; while two were sufficient to convict a layman. The power to read and write helped the clergy to much wealth. Privileges and charters from petty princes, gifts and devises from private persons, were documents which few, save ecclesiastics, could draw or dispute. Not content, moreover, with their territories and their tithings, the churchmen perpetually devised new burthens upon the peasantry. Ploughs, sickles, horses, oxen, all implements of husbandry, were taxed for the benefit of those who toiled not, but who gathered into barns. In the course of the twelfth century, many religious houses, richly endowed with lands and other property, were founded in the Netherlands. Was hand or voice raised against clerical encroachment—the priests held ever in readiness a deadly weapon of defence: a blasting anathema was thundered against their antagonist, and smote him into submission. The disciples of Him who ordered his followers to bless their persecutors, and to love their enemies, invented such Christian formulas as these:—"In the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost, the blessed Virgin Mary, John the Baptist, Peter and Paul, and all other Saints in Heaven, do we curse and cut off from our Communion him who has thus rebelled against us. May the curse strike him in his house, barn, bed, field, path, city, castle. May he be cursed in battle, accursed in praying, in speaking, in silence, in eating, in drinking, in sleeping. May he be accursed in his taste, hearing, smell, and all his senses. May the curse blast his eyes, head, and his body, from his crown to the soles of his feet. I conjure you, Devil, and all your imps, that you take no rest till you have brought him to eternal shame; till he is destroyed by drowning or hanging, till he is torn to pieces by wild beasts, or consumed by fire. Let his children become orphans, his wife a widow. I command you, Devil, and all your imps, that even as I now blow out these torches, you do immediately extinguish the light from his eyes. So be it—so be it. Amen. Amen." So speaking, the curser was wont to blow out two waxen torches which he held in his hands, and, with this practical illustration, the anathema was complete.

Such insane ravings, even in the mouth of some impotent beldame, were enough to excite a shudder, but in that dreary epoch, these curses from the lips of clergymen were deemed sufficient to draw down celestial lightning upon the head, not of the blasphemer, but of his victim. Men, who trembled neither at sword nor fire, cowered like slaves before such horrid imprecations, uttered by tongues gifted, as it seemed, with superhuman power. Their fellow-men shrank from the wretches thus blasted, and refused communication with them as unclean and abhorred.

By the end of the thirteenth century, however, the clerical power was already beginning to decline. It was not the corruption of the Church, but its enormous wealth which engendered the hatred, with which it was by many regarded. Temporal princes and haughty barons began to dispute the right of ecclesiastics to enjoy vast estates, while refusing the burthen of taxation, and unable to draw a sword for the common defence. At this period, the Counts of Flanders, of Holland, and other Netherland sovereigns, issued decrees, forbidding clerical institutions from acquiring property, by devise, gift, purchase, or any other mode. The downfall of the rapacious and licentious knights-templar in the provinces and throughout Europe, was another severe blow administered at the same time. The attacks upon Church abuses redoubled in boldness, as its authority declined. Towards the end of the fourteenth century, the doctrines of Wicklif had made great progress in the land. Early in the fifteenth, the executions of Huss and Jerome of Prague, produce the Bohemian rebellion. The Pope proclaims a crusade against the Hussites. Knights and prelates, esquires and citizens, enlist in the sacred cause, throughout Holland and its sister provinces; but many Netherlanders, who had felt the might of Ziska's arm, come back, feeling more sympathy with the heresy which they had attacked, than with the Church for which they had battled.

Meantime, the restrictions imposed by Netherland sovereigns upon clerical rights to hold or acquire property, become more stern and more general. On the other hand, with the invention of printing, the cause of Reformation takes a colossal stride in advance. A Bible, which, before, had cost five hundred crowns, now costs but five. The people acquire the power of reading God's Word, or of hearing it read, for themselves. The light of truth dispels the clouds of superstition, as by a new revelation. The Pope and his monks are found to bear, very often, but faint resemblance to Jesus and his apostles. Moreover, the instinct of self-interest sharpens the eye of the public. Many greedy priests, of lower rank, had turned shop-keepers in the Netherlands, and were growing rich by selling their wares, exempt from taxation, at a lower rate than lay hucksters could afford. The benefit of clergy, thus taking the bread from the mouths of many, excites jealousy; the more so, as, besides their miscellaneous business, the reverend traders have a most lucrative branch of commerce from which other merchants are excluded. The sale of absolutions was the source of large fortunes to the priests. The enormous impudence of this traffic almost exceeds belief. Throughout the Netherlands, the price current of the wares thus offered for sale, was published in every town and village. God's pardon for crimes already committed, or about to be committed, was advertised according to a graduated tariff. Thus, poisoning, for example, was absolved for eleven ducats, six livres tournois. Absolution for incest was afforded at thirty-six livres, three ducats. Perjury came to seven livres and three carlines. Pardon for murder, if not by poison, was cheaper. Even a parricide could buy forgiveness at God's tribunal at one ducat; four livres, eight carlines. Henry de Montfort, in the year 1448, purchased absolution for that crime at that price. Was it strange that a century or so of this kind of work should produce a Luther? Was it unnatural that plain people, who loved the ancient Church, should rather desire to see her purged of such blasphemous abuses, than to hear of St. Peter's dome rising a little nearer to the clouds on these proceeds of commuted crime?

At the same time, while ecclesiastical abuses are thus augmenting, ecclesiastical power is diminishing in the Netherlands. The Church is no longer able to protect itself against the secular aim. The halcyon days of ban, book and candle, are gone. In 1459, Duke Philip of Burgundy prohibits the churches from affording protection to fugitives. Charles the Bold, in whose eyes nothing is sacred save war and the means of making it, lays a heavy impost upon all clerical property. Upon being resisted, he enforces collection with the armed hand. The sword and the pen, strength and intellect, no longer the exclusive servants or instruments of priestcraft, are both in open revolt. Charles the Bold storms one fortress, Doctor Grandfort, of Groningen, batters another. This learned Frisian, called "the light of the world," friend and compatriot of the great Rudolph Agricola, preaches throughout the provinces, uttering bold denunciations of ecclesiastical error. He even disputes the infallibility of the Pope, denies the utility of prayers for the dead, and inveighs against the whole doctrine of purgatory and absolution.

With the beginning of the 16th century, the great Reformation was actually alive. The name of Erasmus of Rotterdam was already celebrated; the man, who, according to Grotius, "so well showed the road to a reasonable reformation." But if Erasmus showed the road, he certainly did not travel far upon it himself. Perpetual type of the quietist, the moderate man, he censured the errors of the Church with discrimination and gentleness, as if Borgianism had not been too long rampant at Rome, as if men's minds throughout Christendom were not too deeply stirred to be satisfied with mild rebukes against sin, especially when the mild rebuker was in receipt of livings and salaries from the sinner. Instead of rebukes, the age wanted reforms. The Sage of Rotterdam was a keen observer, a shrewd satirist, but a moderate moralist. He loved ease, good company, the soft repose of princely palaces, better than a life of martyrdom and a death at the stake. He was not of the stuff of which martyrs are made, as he handsomely confessed on more than one occasion. "Let others affect martyrdom," he said, "for myself I am unworthy of the honor;" and, at another time, "I am not of a mind," he observed "to venture my life for the truth's sake; all men have not strength to endure the martyr's death. For myself, if it came to the point, I should do no better than Simon Peter." Moderate in all things, he would have liked, he said, to live without eating and drinking, although he never found it convenient to do so, and he rejoiced when advancing age diminished his tendency to other carnal pleasures in which he had moderately indulged. Although awake to the abuses of the Church, he thought Luther going too fast and too far. He began by applauding ended by censuring the monk of Wittemberg. The Reformation might have been delayed for centuries had Erasmus and other moderate men been the only reformers. He will long be honored for his elegant, Latinity. In the republic of letters, his efforts to infuse a pure taste, a sound criticism, a love for the beautiful and the classic, in place of the owlish pedantry which had so long flapped and hooted through mediveval cloisters, will always be held in grateful reverence. In the history of the religious Reformation, his name seems hardly to deserve the commendations of Grotius.

As the schism yawns, more and more ominously, throughout Christendom, the Emperor naturally trembles. Anxious to save the state, but being no antique Roman, he wishes to close the gulf, but with more convenience to himself: He conceives the highly original plan of combining Church and Empire under one crown. This is Maximilian's scheme for Church reformation. An hereditary papacy, a perpetual pope-emperor, the Charlemagne and Hildebrand systems united and simplified—thus the world may yet be saved. "Nothing more honorable, nobler, better, could happen to us," writes Maximilian to Paul Lichtenstein (16th Sept. 1511), "than to re-annex the said popedom—which properly belongs to us—to our Empire. Cardinal Adrian approves our reasons and encourages us to proceed, being of opinion that we should not have much trouble with the cardinals. It is much to be feared that the Pope may die of his present sickness. He has lost his appetite, and fills himself with so much drink that his health is destroyed. As such matters can not be arranged without money, we have promised the cardinals, whom we expect to bring over, 300,000 ducats, [Recall that the fine for redemption and pardon for the sin of murder was at that time one ducat. D.W.] which we shall raise from the Fuggers, and make payable in Rome upon the appointed day."

These business-like arrangements he communicates, two days afterwards, in a secret letter to his daughter Margaret, and already exults at his future eminence, both in this world and the next. "We are sending Monsieur de Gurce," he says; "to make an agreement with the Pope, that we may be taken as coadjutor, in order that, upon his death, we may be sure of the papacy, and, afterwards, of becoming a saint. After my decease, therefore, you will be constrained to adore me, of which I shall be very proud. I am beginning to work upon the cardinals, in which affair two or three hundred thousand ducats will be of great service." The letter was signed, "From the hand of your good father, Maximilian, future Pope."

These intrigues are not destined, however, to be successful. Pope Julius lives two years longer; Leo the Tenth succeeds; and, as Medici are not much prone to Church reformation some other scheme, and perhaps some other reformer, may be wanted. Meantime, the traffic in bulls of absolution becomes more horrible than ever. Money must be raised to supply the magnificent extravagance of Rome. Accordingly, Christians, throughout Europe, are offered by papal authority, guarantees of forgiveness for every imaginable sin, "even for the rape of God's mother, if that were possible," together with a promise of life eternal in Paradise, all upon payment of the price affixed to each crime. The Netherlands, like other countries, are districted and farmed for the collection of this papal revenue. Much of the money thus raised, remains in the hands of the vile collectors. Sincere Catholics, who love and honor the ancient religion, shrink with horror at the spectacle offered on every side. Criminals buying Paradise for money, monks spending the money thus paid in gaming houses, taverns, and brothels; this seems, to those who have studied their Testaments, a different scheme of salvation from the one promulgated by Christ. There has evidently been a departure from the system of earlier apostles. Innocent conservative souls are much perplexed; but, at last, all these infamies arouse a giant to do battle with the giant wrong. Martin Luther enters the lists, all alone, armed only with a quiver filled with ninety-five propositions, and a bow which can send them all over Christendom with incredible swiftness. Within a few weeks the ninety-five propositions have flown through Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and are found in Jerusalem.

At the beginning, Erasmus encourages the bold friar. So long as the axe is not laid at the foot of the tree, which bears the poisonous but golden fruit, the moderate man applauds the blows. "Luther's cause is considered odious," writes Erasmus to the Elector of Saxony, "because he has, at the same time, attacked the bellies of the monks and the bulls of the Pope." He complains that the zealous man had been attacked with roiling, but not with arguments. He foresees that the work will have a bloody and turbulent result, but imputes the principal blame to the clergy. "The priests talk," said he, "of absolution in such terms, that laymen can not stomach it. Luther has been for nothing more censured than for making little of Thomas Aquinas; for wishing to diminish the absolution traffic; for having a low opinion of mendicant orders, and for respecting scholastic opinions less than the gospels. All this is considered intolerable heresy."

Erasmus, however, was offending both parties. A swarm of monks were already buzzing about him for the bold language of his Commentaries and Dialogues. He was called Erasmus for his errors—Arasmus because he would plough up sacred things—Erasinus because he had written himself an ass—Behemoth, Antichrist, and many other names of similar import. Luther was said to have bought the deadly seed in his barn. The egg had been laid by Erasmus, hatched by Luther. On the other hand, he was reviled for not taking side manfully with the reformer. The moderate man received much denunciation from zealots on either side. He soon clears himself, however, from all suspicions of Lutheranism. He is appalled at the fierce conflict which rages far and wide. He becomes querulous as the mighty besom sweeps away sacred dust and consecrated cobwebs. "Men should not attempt every thing at once," he writes, "but rather step by step. That which men can not improve they must look at through the fingers. If the godlessness of mankind requires such fierce physicians as Luther, if man can not be healed with soothing ointments and cooling drinks, let us hope that God will comfort, as repentant, those whom he has punished as rebellious. If the dove of Christ—not the owl of Minerva—would only fly to us, some measure might be put to the madness of mankind."

Meantime the man, whose talk is not of doves and owls, the fierce physician, who deals not with ointments and cooling draughts, strides past the crowd of gentle quacks to smite the foul disease. Devils, thicker than tiles on house-tops, scare him not from his work. Bans and bulls, excommunications and decrees, are rained upon his head. The paternal Emperor sends down dire edicts, thicker than hail upon the earth. The Holy Father blasts and raves from Rome. Louvain doctors denounce, Louvain hangmen burn, the bitter, blasphemous books. The immoderate man stands firm in the storm, demanding argument instead of illogical thunder; shows the hangmen and the people too, outside the Elster gate at Wittenberg, that papal bulls will blaze as merrily as heretic scrolls. What need of allusion to events which changed the world—which every child has learned—to the war of Titans, uprooting of hoary trees and rock-ribbed hills, to the Worms diet, Peasant wars, the Patmos of Eisenach, and huge wrestlings with the Devil?

Imperial edicts are soon employed to suppress the Reformation in the Netherlands by force. The provinces, unfortunately; are the private property of Charles, his paternal inheritance; and most paternally, according to his view of the matter, does he deal with them. Germany can not be treated thus summarily, not being his heritage. "As it appears," says the edict of 1521, "that the aforesaid Martin is not a man, but a devil under the form of a man, and clothed in the dress of a priest, the better to bring the human race to hell and damnation, therefore all his disciples and converts are to be punished with death and forfeiture of all their goods." This was succinct and intelligible. The bloody edict, issued at Worms, without even a pretence of sanction by the estates, was carried into immediate effect. The papal inquisition was introduced into the provinces to assist its operations. The bloody work, for which the reign of Charles is mainly distinguished in the Netherlands, now began. In 1523, July 1st, two Augustine monks were burned at Brussels, the first victims to Lutheranism in the provinces. Erasmus observed, with a sigh, that "two had been burned at Brussels, and that the city now began strenuously to favor Lutheranism."

Pope Adrian the Sixth, the Netherland boat-maker's son and the Emperor's ancient tutor, was sufficiently alive to the sins of churchmen. The humble scholar of Utrecht was, at least, no Borgia. At the diet of Nuremberg, summoned to put down Luther, the honest Pope declared roundly, through the Bishop of Fabriane, that "these disorders had sprung from the Sins of men, more especially from the sins of priests and prelates. Even in the holy chair," said he, "many horrible crimes have been committed. Many abuses have grown up in the ecclesiastical state. The contagious disease, spreading from the head to the members—from the Pope to lesser prelates—has spread far and wide, so that scarcely any one is to be found who does right, and who is free from infection. Nevertheless, the evils have become so ancient and manifold, that it will be necessary to go step by step."

In those passionate days, the ardent reformers were as much outraged by this pregnant confession as the ecclesiastics. It would indeed be a slow process, they thought, to move step by step in the Reformation, if between each step, a whole century was to intervene. In vain did the gentle pontiff call upon Erasmus to assuage the stormy sea with his smooth rhetoric. The Sage of Rotterdam was old and sickly; his day was over. Adrian's head; too; languishes beneath the triple crown but twenty months. He dies 13th Sept., 1523, having arrived at the conviction, according to his epitaph, that the greatest misfortune of his life was to have reigned.

Another edict, published in the Netherlands, forbids all private assemblies for devotion; all reading of the scriptures; all discussions within one's own doors concerning faith, the sacraments, the papal authority, or other religious matter, under penalty of death. The edicts were no dead letter. The fires were kept constantly supplied with human fuel by monks, who knew the art of burning reformers better than that of arguing with them. The scaffold was the most conclusive of syllogisms, and used upon all occasions. Still the people remained unconvinced. Thousands of burned heretics had not made a single convert.

A fresh edict renewed and sharpened the punishment for reading the scriptures in private or public. At the same time, the violent personal altercation between Luther and Erasmus, upon predestination, together with the bitter dispute between Luther and Zwingli concerning the real presence, did more to impede the progress of the Reformation than ban or edict, sword or fire. The spirit of humanity hung her head, finding that the bold reformer had only a new dogma in place of the old ones, seeing that dissenters, in their turn, were sometimes as ready as papists, with age, fagot, and excommunication. In 1526, Felix Mants, the anabaptist, is drowned at Zurich, in obedience to Zwingli's pithy formula—'Qui iterum mergit mergatur'. Thus the anabaptists, upon their first appearance, were exposed to the fires of the Church and the water of the Zwinglians.

There is no doubt that the anabaptist delusion was so ridiculous and so loathsome, as to palliate or at least render intelligible the wrath with which they were regarded by all parties. The turbulence of the sect was alarming to constituted authorities, its bestiality disgraceful to the cause of religious reformation. The leaders were among the most depraved of human creatures, as much distinguished for licentiousness, blasphemy and cruelty as their followers for grovelling superstition. The evil spirit, driven out of Luther, seemed, in orthodox eyes, to have taken possession of a herd of swine. The Germans, Muncer and Hoffmann, had been succeeded, as chief prophets, by a Dutch baker, named Matthiszoon, of Harlem; who announced himself as Enoch. Chief of this man's disciples was the notorious John Boccold, of Leyden. Under the government of this prophet, the anabaptists mastered the city of Munster. Here they confiscated property, plundered churches, violated females, murdered men who refused to join the gang, and, in briefs practised all the enormities which humanity alone can conceive or perpetrate. The prophet proclaimed himself King of Sion, and sent out apostles to preach his doctrines in Germany and the Netherlands. Polygamy being a leading article of the system, he exemplified the principle by marrying fourteen wives. Of these, the beautiful widow of Matthiszoon was chief, was called the Queen of Sion, and wore a golden crown. The prophet made many fruitless efforts to seize Amsterdam and Leyden. The armed invasion of the anabaptists was repelled, but their contagious madness spread. The plague broke forth in Amsterdam. On a cold winter's night, (February, 1535), seven men and five women, inspired by the Holy Ghost, threw off their clothes and rushed naked and raving through the streets, shrieking "Wo, wo, wo! the wrath of God, the wrath of God!" When arrested, they obstinately refused to put on clothing. "We are," they observed, "the naked truth." In a day or two, these furious lunatics, who certainly deserved a madhouse rather than the scaffold, were all executed. The numbers of the sect increased with the martyrdom to which they were exposed, and the disorder spread to every part of the Netherlands. Many were put to death in lingering torments, but no perceptible effect was produced by the chastisement. Meantime the great chief of the sect, the prophet John, was defeated by the forces of the Bishop of Munster, who recovered his city and caused the "King of Zion" to be pinched to death with red-hot tongs.

Unfortunately the severity of government was not wreaked alone upon the prophet and his mischievous crew. Thousands and ten-thousands of virtuous, well-disposed men and women, who had as little sympathy with anabaptistical as with Roman depravity; were butchered in cold blood, under the sanguinary rule of Charles, in the Netherlands. In 1533, Queen Dowager Mary of Hungary, sister of the Emperor, Regent of the provinces, the "Christian widow" admired by Erasmus, wrote to her brother that "in her opinion all heretics, whether repentant or not, should be prosecuted with such severity as that error might be, at once, extinguished, care being only taken that the provinces were not entirely depopulated." With this humane limitation, the "Christian Widow" cheerfully set herself to superintend as foul and wholesale a system of murder as was ever organized. In 1535, an imperial edict was issued at Brussels, condemning all heretics to death; repentant males to be executed with the sword, repentant females to be buried alive, the obstinate, of both sexes, to be burned. This and similar edicts were the law of the land for twenty years, and rigidly enforced. Imperial and papal persecution continued its daily deadly work with such diligence as to make it doubtful whether the limits set by the Regent Mary might not be overstepped. In the midst of the carnage, the Emperor sent for his son Philip, that he might receive the fealty of the Netherlands as their future lord and master. Contemporaneously, a new edict was published at Brussels (29th April, 1549), confirming and reenacting all previous decrees in their most severe provisions. Thus stood religious matters in the Netherlands at the epoch of the imperial abdication.


The civil institutions of the country had assumed their last provincial form, in the Burgundo-Austrian epoch. As already stated, their tendency, at a later period a vicious one, was to substitute fictitious personages for men. A chain of corporations was wound about the liberty of the Netherlands; yet that liberty had been originally sustained by the system in which it, one day, might be strangled. The spirit of local self-government, always the life-blood of liberty, was often excessive in its manifestations. The centrifugal force had been too much developed, and, combining with the mutual jealousy of corporations, had often made the nation weak against a common foe. Instead of popular rights there were state rights, for the large cities, with extensive districts and villages under their government, were rather petty states than municipalities. Although the supreme legislative and executive functions belonged to the sovereign, yet each city made its by-laws, and possessed, beside, a body of statutes and regulations, made from time to time by its own authority and confirmed by the prince. Thus a large portion, at least, of the nation shared practically in the legislative functions, which, technically, it did not claim; nor had the requirements of society made constant legislation so necessary, as that to exclude the people from the work was to enslave the country. There was popular power enough to effect much good, but it was widely scattered, and, at the same time, confined in artificial forms. The guilds were vassals of the towns, the towns, vassals of the feudal lord. The guild voted in the "broad council" of the city as one person; the city voted in the estates as one person. The people of the United Netherlands was the personage yet to be invented, It was a privilege, not a right, to exercise a handiwork, or to participate in the action of government. Yet the mass of privileges was so large, the shareholders so numerous, that practically the towns were republics. The government was in the hands of a large number of the people. Industry and intelligence led to wealth and power. This was great progress from the general servitude of the 11th and 12th centuries, an immense barrier against arbitrary rule. Loftier ideas of human rights, larger conceptions of commerce, have taught mankind, in later days, the difference between liberties and liberty, between guilds and free competition. At the same time it was the principle of mercantile association, in the middle ages, which protected the infant steps of human freedom and human industry against violence and wrong. Moreover, at this period, the tree of municipal life was still green and vigorous. The healthful flow of sap from the humblest roots to the most verdurous branches indicated the internal soundness of the core, and provided for the constant development of exterior strength. The road to political influence was open to all, not by right of birth, but through honorable exertion of heads and hands.

The chief city of the Netherlands, the commercial capital of the world, was Antwerp. In the North and East of Europe, the Hanseatic league had withered with the revolution in commerce. At the South, the splendid marble channels, through which the overland India trade had been conducted from the Mediterranean by a few stately cities, were now dry, the great aqueducts ruinous and deserted. Verona, Venice, Nuremberg, Augsburg, Bruges, were sinking, but Antwerp, with its deep and convenient river, stretched its arm to the ocean and caught the golden prize, as it fell from its sister cities' grasp. The city was so ancient that its genealogists, with ridiculous gravity, ascended to a period two centuries before the Trojan war, and discovered a giant, rejoicing in the classic name of Antigonus, established on the Scheld. This patriarch exacted one half the merchandise of all navigators who passed his castle, and was accustomed to amputate and cast into the river the right hands of those who infringed this simple tariff. Thus Hand-werpen, hand-throwing, became Antwerp, and hence, two hands, in the escutcheon of the city, were ever held up in heraldic attestation of the truth. The giant was, in his turn, thrown into the Scheld by a hero, named Brabo, from whose exploits Brabant derived its name; "de quo Brabonica tellus." But for these antiquarian researches, a simpler derivation of the name would seem an t' werf, "on the wharf." It had now become the principal entrepot and exchange of Europe. The Huggers, Velsens, Ostetts, of Germany, the Gualterotti and Bonvisi of Italy, and many other great mercantile houses were there established. No city, except Paris, surpassed it in population, none approached it in commercial splendor. Its government was very free. The sovereign, as Marquis of Antwerp, was solemnly sworn to govern according to the ancient charters and laws. The stadholder, as his representative, shared his authority with the four estates of the city. The Senate of eighteen members was appointed by the stadholder out of a quadruple number nominated by the Senate itself and by the fourth body, called the Borgery. Half the board was thus renewed annually. It exercised executive and appellate judicial functions, appointed two burgomasters, and two pensionaries or legal councillors, and also selected the lesser magistrates and officials of the city. The board of ancients or ex-senators, held their seats ex officio. The twenty-six ward-masters, appointed, two from each ward, by the Senate on nomination by the wards, formed the third estate. Their especial business was to enrol the militia and to attend to its mustering and training. The deans of the guilds, fifty-four in number, two from each guild, selected by the Senate, from a triple list of candidates presented by the guilds, composed the fourth estate. This influential body was always assembled in the broad-council of the city. Their duty was likewise to conduct the examination of candidates claiming admittance to any guild and offering specimens of art or handiwork, to superintend the general affairs of the guilds and to regulate disputes.

There were also two important functionaries, representing the king in criminal and civil matters. The Vicarius capitalis, Scultetus, Schout, Sheriff, or Margrave, took precedence of all magistrates. His business was to superintend criminal arrests, trials, and executions. The Vicarius civilis was called the Amman, and his office corresponded with that of the Podesta in the Frisian and Italian republics. His duties were nearly similar, in civil, to those of his colleague, in criminal matters.

These four branches, with their functionaries and dependents, composed the commonwealth of Antwerp. Assembled together in council, they constituted the great and general court. No tax could be imposed by the sovereign, except with consent of the four branches, all voting separately.

The personal and domiciliary rights of the citizen were scrupulously guarded. The Schout could only make arrests with the Burgomaster's warrant, and was obliged to bring the accused, within three days, before the judges, whose courts were open to the public.

The condition of the population was prosperous. There were but few poor, and those did not seek but were sought by the almoners: The schools were excellent and cheap. It was difficult to find a child of sufficient age who could not read, write, and speak, at least, two languages. The sons of the wealthier citizens completed their education at Louvain, Douay, Paris, or Padua.

The city itself was one of the most beautiful in Europe. Placed upon a plain along the banks of the Scheld, shaped like a bent bow with the river for its string, it enclosed within it walls some of the most splendid edifices in Christendom. The world-renowned church of Notre Dame, the stately Exchange where five thousand merchants daily congregated, prototype of all similar establishments throughout the world, the capacious mole and port where twenty-five hundred vessels were often seen at once, and where five hundred made their daily entrance or departure, were all establishments which it would have been difficult to rival in any other part of the world.

From what has already been said of the municipal institutions of the country, it may be inferred that the powers of the Estates-general were limited. The members of that congress were not representatives chosen by the people, but merely a few ambassadors from individual provinces. This individuality was not always composed of the same ingredients. Thus, Holland consisted of two members, or branches—the nobles and the six chief cities; Flanders of four branches—the cities, namely, of Ghent, Bruges, Ypres, and the "freedom of Bruges;" Brabant of Louvain, Brussels, Bois le Due, and Antwerp, four great cities, without representation of nobility or clergy; Zeland, of one clerical person, the abbot of Middelburg, one noble, the Marquis of Veer and Vliessingen, and six chief cities; Utrecht, of three branches—the nobility, the clergy, and five cities. These, and other provinces, constituted in similar manner, were supposed to be actually present at the diet when assembled. The chief business of the states-general was financial; the sovereign, or his stadholder, only obtaining supplies by making a request in person, while any single city, as branch of a province, had a right to refuse the grant.

Education had felt the onward movement of the country and the times. The whole system was, however, pervaded by the monastic spirit, which had originally preserved all learning from annihilation, but which now kept it wrapped in the ancient cerecloths, and stiffening in the stony sarcophagus of a bygone age. The university of Louvain was the chief literary institution in the provinces. It had been established in 1423 by Duke John IV. of Brabant. Its government consisted of a President and Senate, forming a close corporation, which had received from the founder all his own authority, and the right to supply their own vacancies. The five faculties of law, canon law, medicine, theology, and the arts, were cultivated at the institution. There was, besides, a high school for under graduates, divided into four classes. The place reeked with pedantry, and the character of the university naturally diffused itself through other scholastic establishments. Nevertheless, it had done and was doing much to preserve the love for profound learning, while the rapidly advancing spirit of commerce was attended by an ever increasing train of humanizing arts.

The standard of culture in those flourishing cities was elevated, compared with that observed in many parts of Europe. The children of the wealthier classes enjoyed great facilities for education in all the great capitals. The classics, music, and the modern languages, particularly the French, were universally cultivated. Nor was intellectual cultivation confined to the higher orders. On the contrary, it was diffused to a remarkable degree among the hard-working artisans and handicraftsmen of the great cities.

For the principle of association had not confined itself exclusively to politics and trade. Besides the numerous guilds by which citizenship was acquired in the various cities, were many other societies for mutual improvement, support, or recreation. The great secret, architectural or masonic brotherhood of Germany, that league to which the artistic and patient completion of the magnificent works of Gothic architecture in the middle ages is mainly to be attributed, had its branches in nether Germany, and explains the presence of so many splendid and elaborately finished churches in the provinces. There were also military sodalities of musketeers, cross-bowmen, archers, swordsmen in every town. Once a year these clubs kept holiday, choosing a king, who was selected for his prowess and skill in the use of various weapons. These festivals, always held with great solemnity and rejoicing, were accompanied bye many exhibitions of archery and swordsmanship. The people were not likely, therefore, voluntarily to abandon that privilege and duty of freemen, the right to bear arms, and the power to handle them.

Another and most important collection of brotherhoods were the so-called guilds of Rhetoric, which existed, in greater or less number, in all the principal cities. These were associations of mechanics, for the purpose of amusing their leisure with poetical effusions, dramatic and musical exhibitions, theatrical processions, and other harmless and not inelegant recreations. Such chambers of rhetoric came originally in the fifteenth century from France. The fact that in their very title they confounded rhetoric with poetry and the drama indicates the meagre attainments of these early "Rederykers." In the outset of their career they gave theatrical exhibitions. "King Herod and his Deeds" was enacted in the cathedral at Utrecht in 1418. The associations spread with great celerity throughout the Netherlands, and, as they were all connected with each other, and in habits of periodical intercourse, these humble links of literature were of great value in drawing the people of the provinces into closer union. They became, likewise, important political engines. As early as the time of Philip the Good, their songs and lampoons became so offensive to the arbitrary notions of the Burgundian government, as to cause the societies to be prohibited. It was, however, out of the sovereign's power permanently to suppress institutions, which already partook of the character of the modern periodical press combined with functions resembling the show and licence of the Athenian drama. Viewed from the stand-point of literary criticism their productions were not very commendable in taste, conception, or execution. To torture the Muses to madness, to wire-draw poetry through inextricable coils of difficult rhymes and impossible measures; to hammer one golden grain of wit into a sheet of infinite platitude, with frightful ingenuity to construct ponderous anagrams and preternatural acrostics, to dazzle the vulgar eye with tawdry costumes, and to tickle the vulgar ear with virulent personalities, were tendencies which perhaps smacked of the hammer, the yard-stick and the pincers, and gave sufficient proof, had proof been necessary, that literature is not one of the mechanical arts, and that poetry can not be manufactured to a profit by joint stock companies. Yet, if the style of these lucubrations was often depraved, the artisans rarely received a better example from the literary institutions above them. It was not for guilds of mechanics to give the tone to literature, nor were their efforts in more execrable taste than the emanations from the pedants of Louvain. The "Rhetoricians" are not responsible for all the bad taste of their generation. The gravest historians of the Netherlands often relieved their elephantine labors by the most asinine gambols, and it was not to be expected that these bustling weavers and cutlers should excel their literary superiors in taste or elegance.

Philip the Fair enrolled himself as a member in one of these societies. It may easily be inferred, therefore, that they had already become bodies of recognized importance. The rhetorical chambers existed in the most obscure villages. The number of yards of Flemish poetry annually manufactured and consumed throughout the provinces almost exceed belief. The societies had regular constitutions. Their presiding officers were called kings, princes, captains, archdeacons, or rejoiced in similar high-sounding names. Each chamber had its treasurer, its buffoon, and its standard-bearer for public processions. Each had its peculiar title or blazon, as the Lily, the Marigold, or the Violet, with an appropriate motto. By the year 1493, the associations had become so important, that Philip the Fair summoned them all to a general assembly at Mechlin. Here they were organized, and formally incorporated under the general supervision of an upper or mother-society of Rhetoric, consisting of fifteen members, and called by the title of "Jesus with the balsam flower."

The sovereigns were always anxious to conciliate these influential guilds by becoming members of them in person. Like the players, the Rhetoricians were the brief abstract and chronicle of the time, and neither prince nor private person desired their ill report. It had, indeed, been Philip's intention to convert them into engines for the arbitrary purposes of his house, but fortunately the publicly organized societies were not the only chambers. On the contrary, the unchartered guilds were the moat numerous and influential. They exercised a vast influence upon the progress of the religious reformation, and the subsequent revolt of the Netherlands. They ridiculed, with their farces and their satires, the vices of the clergy. They dramatized tyranny for public execration. It was also not surprising, that among the leaders of the wild anabaptists who disgraced the great revolution in church and state by their hideous antics, should be found many who, like David of Delft, John of Leyden, and others, had been members of rhetorical chambers. The genius for mummery and theatrical exhibitions, transplanted from its sphere, and exerting itself for purposes of fraud and licentiousness, was as baleful in its effects as it was healthy in its original manifestations. Such exhibitions were but the excrescences of a system which had borne good fruit. These literary guilds befitted and denoted a people which was alive, a people which had neither sunk to sleep in the lap of material prosperity, nor abased itself in the sty of ignorance and political servitude. The spirit of liberty pervaded these rude but not illiterate assemblies, and her fair proportions were distinctly visible, even through the somewhat grotesque garb which she thus assumed.

The great leading recreations which these chambers afforded to themselves and the public, were the periodic jubilees which they celebrated in various capital cities. All the guilds of rhetoric throughout the Netherlands were then invited to partake and to compete in magnificent processions, brilliant costumes, living pictures, charades, and other animated, glittering groups, and in trials of dramatic and poetic skill, all arranged under the superintendence of the particular association which, in the preceding year, had borne away the prize. Such jubilees were called "Land jewels."

From the amusements of a people may be gathered much that is necessary for a proper estimation of its character. No unfavorable opinion can be formed as to the culture of a nation, whose weavers, smiths, gardeners, and traders, found the favorite amusement of their holidays in composing and enacting tragedies or farces, reciting their own verses, or in personifying moral and esthetic sentiments by ingeniously-arranged groups, or gorgeous habiliments. The cramoisy velvets and yellow satin doublets of the court, the gold-brocaded mantles of priests and princes are often but vulgar drapery of little historic worth. Such costumes thrown around the swart figures of hard-working artisans, for literary and artistic purposes, have a real significance, and are worthy of a closer examination. Were not these amusements of the Netherlanders as elevated and humanizing as the contemporary bull-fights and autos-da-fe of Spain? What place in history does the gloomy bigot merit who, for the love of Christ, converted all these gay cities into shambles, and changed the glittering processions of their Land jewels into fettered marches to the scaffold?

Thus fifteen ages have passed away, and in the place of a horde of savages, living among swamps and thickets, swarm three millions of people, the most industrious, the most prosperous, perhaps the most intelligent under the sun. Their cattle, grazing on the bottom of the sea, are the finest in Europe, their agricultural products of more exchangeable value than if nature had made their land to overflow with wine and oil. Their navigators are the boldest, their mercantile marine the most powerful, their merchants the most enterprising in the world. Holland and Flanders, peopled by one race, vie with each other in the pursuits of civilization. The Flemish skill in the mechanical and in the fine arts is unrivalled. Belgian musicians delight and instruct other nations, Belgian pencils have, for a century, caused the canvas to glow with colors and combinations never seen before. Flemish fabrics are exported to all parts of Europe, to the East and West Indies, to Africa. The splendid tapestries, silks, linens, as well as the more homely and useful manufactures of the Netherlands, are prized throughout the world. Most ingenious, as they had already been described by the keen-eyed Caesar, in imitating the arts of other nations, the skillful artificers of the country at Louvain, Ghent, and other places, reproduce the shawls and silks of India with admirable accuracy.

Their national industry was untiring; their prosperity unexampled; their love of liberty indomitable; their pugnacity proverbial. Peaceful in their pursuits, phlegmatic by temperament, the Netherlands were yet the most belligerent and excitable population of Europe. Two centuries of civil war had but thinned the ranks of each generation without quenching the hot spirit of the nation.

The women were distinguished by beauty of form and vigor of constitution. Accustomed from childhood to converse freely with all classes and sexes in the daily walks of life, and to travel on foot or horseback from one town to another, without escort and without fear, they had acquired manners more frank and independent than those of women in other lands, while their morals were pure and their decorum undoubted. The prominent part to be sustained by the women of Holland in many dramas of the revolution would thus fitly devolve upon a class, enabled by nature and education to conduct themselves with courage.

Within the little circle which encloses the seventeen provinces are 208 walled cities, many of them among the most stately in Christendom, 150 chartered towns, 6,300 villages, with their watch-towers and steeples, besides numerous other more insignificant hamlets; the whole guarded by a belt of sixty fortresses of surpassing strength.


Thus in this rapid sketch of the course and development of the Netherland nation during sixteen centuries, we have seen it ever marked by one prevailing characteristic, one master passion—the love of liberty, the instinct of self-government. Largely compounded of the bravest Teutonic elements, Batavian and Frisian, the race ever battles to the death with tyranny, organizes extensive revolts in the age of Vespasian, maintains a partial independence even against the sagacious dominion of Charlemagne, refuses in Friesland to accept the papal yoke or feudal chain, and, throughout the dark ages, struggles resolutely towards the light, wresting from a series of petty sovereigns a gradual and practical recognition of the claims of humanity. With the advent of the Burgundian family, the power of the commons has reached so high a point, that it is able to measure itself, undaunted, with the spirit of arbitrary rule, of which that engrossing and tyrannical house is the embodiment. For more than a century the struggle for freedom, for civic life, goes on; Philip the Good, Charles the Bold, Mary's husband Maximilian, Charles V., in turn, assailing or undermining the bulwarks raised, age after age, against the despotic principle. The combat is ever renewed. Liberty, often crushed, rises again and again from her native earth with redoubled energy. At last, in the 16th century, a new and more powerful spirit, the genius of religious freedom, comes to participate in the great conflict. Arbitrary power, incarnated in the second Charlemagne, assails the new combination with unscrupulous, unforgiving fierceness. Venerable civic magistrates; haltered, grovel in sackcloth and ashes; innocent, religious reformers burn in holocausts. By the middle of the century, the battle rages more fiercely than ever. In the little Netherland territory, Humanity, bleeding but not killed, still stands at bay and defies the hunters. The two great powers have been gathering strength for centuries. They are soon to be matched in a longer and more determined combat than the world had ever seen. The emperor is about to leave the stage. The provinces, so passionate for nationality, for municipal freedom, for religious reformation, are to become the property of an utter stranger; a prince foreign to their blood, their tongue, their religion, their whole habits of life and thought.

Such was the political, religious, and social condition of a nation who were now to witness a new and momentous spectacle.


     Absolution for incest was afforded at thirty-six livres
     Achieved the greatness to which they had not been born
     Advancing age diminished his tendency to other carnal pleasures
     All his disciples and converts are to be punished with death
     All reading of the scriptures (forbidden)
     Altercation between Luther and Erasmus, upon predestination
     An hereditary papacy, a perpetual pope-emperor
     Announced his approaching marriage with the Virgin Mary
     As ready as papists, with age, fagot, and excommunication
     Attacking the authority of the pope
     Bold reformer had only a new dogma in place of the old ones
     Charles the Fifth autocrat of half the world
     Condemning all heretics to death
     Craft meaning, simply, strength
     Criminal whose guilt had been established by the hot iron
     Criminals buying Paradise for money
     Crusades made great improvement in the condition of the serfs
     Democratic instincts of the ancient German savages
     Denies the utility of prayers for the dead
     Difference between liberties and liberty
     Dispute between Luther and Zwingli concerning the real presence
     Divine right
     Drank of the water in which, he had washed
     Enormous wealth (of the Church) which engendered the hatred
     Erasmus encourages the bold friar
     Erasmus of Rotterdam
     Even for the rape of God's mother, if that were possible
     Executions of Huss and Jerome of Prague
     Fable of divine right is invented to sanction the system
     Felix Mants, the anabaptist, is drowned at Zurich
     Few, even prelates were very dutiful to the pope
     Fiction of apostolic authority to bind and loose
     Fishermen and river raftsmen become ocean adventurers
     For myself I am unworthy of the honor (of martyrdom)
     Forbids all private assemblies for devotion
     Force clerical—the power of clerks
     Great Privilege, the Magna Charta of Holland
     Guarantees of forgiveness for every imaginable sin
     Halcyon days of ban, book and candle
     Heresy was a plant of early growth in the Netherlands
     In Holland, the clergy had neither influence nor seats
     Invented such Christian formulas as these (a curse)
     July 1st, two Augustine monks were burned at Brussels
     King of Zion to be pinched to death with red-hot tongs
     Labored under the disadvantage of never having existed
     Learn to tremble as little at priestcraft as at swordcraft
     Many greedy priests, of lower rank, had turned shop-keepers
     No one can testify but a householder
     Not of the stuff of which martyrs are made (Erasmus)
     Nowhere was the persecution of heretics more relentless
     Obstinate, of both sexes, to be burned
     One golden grain of wit into a sheet of infinite platitude
     Pardon for crimes already committed, or about to be committed
     Pardon for murder, if not by poison, was cheaper
     Paying their passage through, purgatory
     Poisoning, for example, was absolved for eleven ducats
     Pope and emperor maintain both positions with equal logic
     Power to read and write helped the clergy to much wealth
     Readiness to strike and bleed at any moment in her cause
     Repentant females to be buried alive
     Repentant males to be executed with the sword
     Sale of absolutions was the source of large fortunes to the priests
     Same conjury over ignorant baron and cowardly hind
     Scoffing at the ceremonies and sacraments of the Church
     Sharpened the punishment for reading the scriptures in private
     Slavery was both voluntary and compulsory
     Soldier of the cross was free upon his return
     St. Peter's dome rising a little nearer to the clouds
     The bad Duke of Burgundy, Philip surnamed "the Good,"
     The egg had been laid by Erasmus, hatched by Luther
     The vivifying becomes afterwards the dissolving principle
     Thousands of burned heretics had not made a single convert
     Thus Hand-werpen, hand-throwing, became Antwerp
     To prefer poverty to the wealth attendant upon trade
     Tranquillity of despotism to the turbulence of freedom
     Villagers, or villeins


1555 [CHAPTER I.]

   Abdication of Charles resolved upon—Brussels in the sixteenth
   century—Hall of the palace described—Portraits of prominent
   individuals present at the ceremony—Formalities of the abdication—
   Universal emotion—Remarks upon the character and career of Charles
   —His retirement at Juste.

On the twenty-fifth day of October, 1555, the estates of the Netherlands were assembled in the great hall of the palace at Brussels. They had been summoned to be the witnesses and the guarantees of the abdication which Charles V. had long before resolved upon, and which he was that day to execute. The emperor, like many potentates before and since, was fond of great political spectacles. He knew their influence upon the masses of mankind. Although plain, even to shabbiness, in his own costume, and usually attired in black, no one ever understood better than he how to arrange such exhibitions in a striking and artistic style. We have seen the theatrical and imposing manner in which he quelled the insurrection at Ghent, and nearly crushed the life forever out of that vigorous and turbulent little commonwealth. The closing scene of his long and energetic reign he had now arranged with profound study, and with an accurate knowledge of the manner in which the requisite effects were to be produced. The termination of his own career, the opening of his beloved Philip's, were to be dramatized in a manner worthy the august character of the actors, and the importance of the great stage where they played their parts. The eyes of the whole world were directed upon that day towards Brussels; for an imperial abdication was an event which had not, in the sixteenth century, been staled by custom.

The gay capital of Brabant—of that province which rejoiced in the liberal constitution known by the cheerful title of the "joyful entrance," was worthy to be the scene of the imposing show. Brussels had been a city for more than five centuries, and, at that day, numbered about one hundred thousand inhabitants. Its walls, six miles in circumference, were already two hundred years old. Unlike most Netherland cities, lying usually upon extensive plains, it was built along the sides of an abrupt promontory. A wide expanse of living verdure, cultivated gardens, shady groves, fertile cornfields, flowed round it like a sea. The foot of the town was washed by the little river Senne, while the irregular but picturesque streets rose up the steep sides of the hill like the semicircles and stairways of an amphitheatre. Nearly in the heart of the place rose the audacious and exquisitely embroidered tower of the townhouse, three hundred and sixty-six feet in height, a miracle of needlework in stone, rivalling in its intricate carving the cobweb tracery of that lace which has for centuries been synonymous with the city, and rearing itself above a facade of profusely decorated and brocaded architecture. The crest of the elevation was crowned by the towers of the old ducal palace of Brabant, with its extensive and thickly-wooded park on the left, and by the stately mansions of Orange, Egmont, Aremberg, Culemburg, and other Flemish grandees, on the right.. The great forest of Soignies, dotted with monasteries and convents, swarming with every variety of game, whither the citizens made their summer pilgrimages, and where the nobles chased the wild boar and the stag, extended to within a quarter of a mile of the city walls. The population, as thrifty, as intelligent, as prosperous as that of any city in Europe, was divided into fifty-two guilds of artisans, among which the most important were the armorers, whose suits of mail would turn a musket-ball; the gardeners, upon whose gentler creations incredible sums were annually lavished; and the tapestry-workers, whose gorgeous fabrics were the wonder of the world. Seven principal churches, of which the most striking was that of St. Gudule, with its twin towers, its charming facade, and its magnificently painted windows, adorned the upper part of the city. The number seven was a magic number in Brussels, and was supposed at that epoch, during which astronomy was in its infancy and astrology in its prime, to denote the seven planets which governed all things terrestrial by their aspects and influences. Seven noble families, springing from seven ancient castles, supplied the stock from which the seven senators were selected who composed the upper council of the city. There were seven great squares, seven city gates, and upon the occasion of the present ceremony, it was observed by the lovers of wonderful coincidences, that seven crowned heads would be congregated under a single roof in the liberty-loving city.

The palace where the states-general were upon this occasion convened, had been the residence of the Dukes of Brabant since the days of John the Second, who had built it about the year 1300. It was a spacious and convenient building, but not distinguished for the beauty of its architecture. In front was a large open square, enclosed by an iron railing; in the rear an extensive and beautiful park, filled with forest trees, and containing gardens and labyrinths, fish-ponds and game preserves, fountains and promenades, race-courses and archery grounds. The main entrance to this edifice opened upon a spacious hall, connected with a beautiful and symmetrical chapel. The hall was celebrated for its size, harmonious proportions, and the richness of its decorations. It was the place where the chapters of the famous order of the Golden Fleece were held. Its walls were hung with a magnificent tapestry of Arran, representing the life and achievements of Gideon, the Midianite, and giving particular prominence to the miracle of the "fleece of wool," vouchsafed to that renowned champion, the great patron of the Knights of the Fleece. On the present occasion there were various additional embellishments of flowers and votive garlands. At the western end a spacious platform or stage, with six or seven steps, had been constructed, below which was a range of benches for the deputies of the seventeen provinces. Upon the stage itself there were rows of seats, covered with tapestry, upon the right hand and upon the left. These were respectively to accommodate the knights of the order and the guests of high distinction. In the rear of these were other benches, for the members of the three great councils. In the centre of the stage was a splendid canopy, decorated with the arms of Burgundy, beneath which were placed three gilded arm-chairs.

All the seats upon the platform were vacant, but the benches below, assigned to the deputies of the provinces, were already filled. Numerous representatives from all the states but two—Gelderland and Overyssel—had already taken their places. Grave magistrates, in chain and gown, and executive officers in the splendid civic uniforms for which the Netherlands were celebrated, already filled every seat within the apace allotted. The remainder of the hall was crowded with the more favored portion of the multitude which had been fortunate enough to procure admission to the exhibition. The archers and hallebardiers of the body-guard kept watch at all the doors. The theatre was filled—the audience was eager with expectation—the actors were yet to arrive. As the clock struck three, the hero of the scene appeared. Caesar, as he was always designated in the classic language of the day, entered, leaning on the shoulder of William of Orange. They came from the chapel, and were immediately followed by Philip the Second and Queen Mary of Hungary. The Archduke Maximilian the Duke of Savoy, and other great personages came afterwards, accompanied by a glittering throng of warriors, councillors, governors, and Knights of the Fleece.

Many individuals of existing or future historic celebrity in the Netherlands, whose names are so familiar to the student of the epoch, seemed to have been grouped, as if by premeditated design, upon this imposing platform, where the curtain was to fall forever upon the mightiest emperor since Charlemagne, and where the opening scene of the long and tremendous tragedy of Philip's reign was to be simultaneously enacted. There was the Bishop of Arras, soon to be known throughout Christendom by the more celebrated title of Cardinal Granvelle, the serene and smiling priest whose subtle influence over the destinies of so many individuals then present, and over the fortunes of the whole land, was to be so extensive and so deadly. There was that flower of Flemish chivalry, the lineal descendant of ancient Frisian kings, already distinguished for his bravery in many fields, but not having yet won those two remarkable victories which were soon to make the name of Egmont like the sound of a trumpet throughout the whole country. Tall, magnificent in costume, with dark flowing hair, soft brown eye, smooth cheek, a slight moustache, and features of almost feminine delicacy; such was the gallant and ill-fated Lamoral Egmont. The Count of Horn; too, with bold, sullen face, and fan-shaped beard-a brave, honest, discontented, quarrelsome, unpopular man; those other twins in doom—the Marquis Berghen and the Lord of Montigny; the Baron Berlaymont, brave, intensely loyal, insatiably greedy for office and wages, but who, at least, never served but one party; the Duke of Arschot, who was to serve all, essay to rule all, and to betray all—a splendid seignor, magnificent in cramoisy velvet, but a poor creature, who traced his pedigree from Adam, according to the family monumental inscriptions at Louvain, but who was better known as grand-nephew of the emperor's famous tutor, Chiebres; the bold, debauched Brederode, with handsome, reckless face and turbulent demeanor; the infamous Noircarmes, whose name was to be covered with eternal execration, for aping towards his own compatriots and kindred as much of Alva's atrocities and avarice, as he was permitted to exercise; the distinguished soldiers Meghen and Aremberg—these, with many others whose deeds of arms were to become celebrated throughout Europe, were all conspicuous in the brilliant crowd. There, too, was that learned Frisian, President Viglius, crafty, plausible, adroit, eloquent—a small, brisk man, with long yellow hair, glittering green eyes, round, tumid, rosy cheeks, and flowing beard. Foremost among the Spanish grandees, and close to Philip, stood the famous favorite, Ruy Gomez, or as he was familiarly called "Re y Gomez" (King and Gomez), a man of meridional aspect, with coal-black hair and beard, gleaming eyes, a face pallid with intense application, and slender but handsome figure; while in immediate attendance upon the emperor, was the immortal Prince of Orange.

Such were a few only of the most prominent in that gay throng, whose fortunes, in part, it will be our humble duty to narrate; how many of them passing through all this glitter to a dark and mysterious doom!—some to perish on public scaffolds, some by midnight assassination; others, more fortunate, to fall on the battle-field —nearly all, sooner or later, to be laid in bloody graves!

All the company present had risen to their feet as the emperor entered. By his command, all immediately afterwards resumed their places. The benches at either end of the platform were accordingly filled with the royal and princely personages invited, with the Fleece Knights, wearing the insignia of their order, with the members of the three great councils, and with the governors. The Emperor, the King, and the Queen of Hungary, were left conspicuous in the centre of the scene. As the whole object of the ceremony was to present an impressive exhibition, it is worth our while to examine minutely the appearance of the two principal characters.

Charles the Fifth was then fifty-five years and eight months old; but he was already decrepit with premature old age. He was of about the middle height, and had been athletic and well-proportioned. Broad in the shoulders, deep in the chest, thin in the flank, very muscular in the arms and legs, he had been able to match himself with all competitors in the tourney and the ring, and to vanquish the bull with his own hand in the favorite national amusement of Spain. He had been able in the field to do the duty of captain and soldier, to endure fatigue and exposure, and every privation except fasting. These personal advantages were now departed. Crippled in hands, knees and legs, he supported himself with difficulty upon a crutch, with the aid of, an attendant's shoulder. In face he had always been extremely ugly, and time had certainly not improved his physiognomy. His hair, once of a light color, was now white with age, close-clipped and bristling; his beard was grey, coarse, and shaggy. His forehead was spacious and commanding; the eye was dark blue, with an expression both majestic and benignant. His nose was aquiline but crooked. The lower part of his face was famous for its deformity. The under lip, a Burgundian inheritance, as faithfully transmitted as the duchy and county, was heavy and hanging; the lower jaw protruding so far beyond the upper, that it was impossible for him to bring together the few fragments of teeth which still remained, or to speak a whole sentence in an intelligible voice. Eating and talking, occupations to which he was always much addicted, were becoming daily more arduous, in consequence of this original defect, which now seemed hardly human, but rather an original deformity.

So much for the father. The son, Philip the Second, was a small, meagre man, much below the middle height, with thin legs, a narrow chest, and the shrinking, timid air of an habitual invalid. He seemed so little, upon his first visit to his aunts, the Queens Eleanor and Mary, accustomed to look upon proper men in Flanders and Germany, that he was fain to win their favor by making certain attempts in the tournament, in which his success was sufficiently problematical. "His body," says his professed panegyrist, "was but a human cage, in which, however brief and narrow, dwelt a soul to whose flight the immeasurable expanse of heaven was too contracted." [Cabrera] The same wholesale admirer adds, that "his aspect was so reverend, that rustics who met him alone in a wood, without knowing him, bowed down with instinctive veneration." In face, he was the living image of his father, having the same broad forehead, and blue eye, with the same aquiline, but better proportioned, nose. In the lower part of the countenance, the remarkable Burgundian deformity was likewise reproduced. He had the same heavy, hanging lip, with a vast mouth, and monstrously protruding lower jaw. His complexion was fair, his hair light and thin, his beard yellow, short, and pointed. He had the aspect of a Fleming, but the loftiness of a Spaniard. His demeanor in public was still, silent, almost sepulchral. He looked habitually on the ground when he conversed, was chary of speech, embarrassed, and even suffering in manner. This was ascribed partly to a natural haughtiness which he had occasionally endeavored to overcome, and partly to habitual pains in the stomach, occasioned by his inordinate fondness for pastry. [Bodavaro]

Such was the personal appearance of the man who was about to receive into his single hand the destinies of half the world; whose single will was, for the future, to shape the fortunes of every individual then present, of many millions more in Europe, America, and at the ends of the earth, and of countless millions yet unborn.

The three royal personages being seated upon chairs placed triangularly under the canopy, such of the audience as had seats provided for them, now took their places, and the proceedings commenced. Philibert de Bruxelles, a member of the privy council of the Netherlands, arose at the emperor's command, and made a long oration. He spoke of the emperor's warm affection for the provinces, as the land of his birth; of his deep regret that his broken health and failing powers, both of body and mind, compelled him to resign his sovereignty, and to seek relief for his shattered frame in a more genial climate. Caesar's gout was then depicted in energetic language, which must have cost him a twinge as he sat there and listened to the councillor's eloquence. "'Tis a most truculent executioner," said Philibert: "it invades the whole body, from the crown of the head to the soles of the feet, leaving nothing untouched. It contracts the nerves with intolerable anguish, it enters the bones, it freezes the marrow, it converts the lubricating fluids of the joints into chalk, it pauses not until, having exhausted and debilitated the whole body, it has rendered all its necessary instruments useless, and conquered the mind by immense torture." [Godelaevus]

[The historian was present at the ceremony, and gives a very full report of the speeches, all of which he heard. His imagination may have assisted his memory in the task. The other reporters of the councillor's harangue have reduced this pathological flight of rhetoric to a very small compass.]

Engaged in mortal struggle with such an enemy, Caesar felt himself obliged, as the councillor proceeded to inform his audience, to change the scene of the contest from the humid air of Flanders to the warmer atmosphere of Spain. He rejoiced, however, that his son was both vigorous and experienced, and that his recent marriage with the Queen of England had furnished the provinces with a most valuable alliance. He then again referred to the emperor's boundless love for his subjects, and concluded with a tremendous, but superfluous, exhortation to Philip on the necessity of maintaining the Catholic religion in its purity. After this long harangue, which has been fully reported by several historians who were present at the ceremony, the councillor proceeded to read the deed of cession, by which Philip, already sovereign of Sicily, Naples, Milan, and titular King of England, France, and Jerusalem, now received all the duchies, marquisates, earldoms, baronies, cities, towns, and castles of the Burgundian property, including, of course, the seventeen Netherlands.

As De Bruxelles finished, there was a buzz of admiration throughout the assembly, mingled with murmurs of regret, that in the present great danger upon the frontiers from the belligerent King of France and his warlike and restless nation, the provinces should be left without their ancient and puissant defender. The emperor then rose to his feet. Leaning on his crutch, he beckoned from his seat the personage upon whose arm he had leaned as he entered the hall. A tall, handsome youth of twenty-two came forward—a man whose name from that time forward, and as long as history shall endure, has been, and will be, more familiar than any other in the mouths of Netherlanders. At that day he had rather a southern than a German or Flemish appearance. He had a Spanish cast of features, dark, well chiselled, and symmetrical. His head was small and well placed upon his shoulders. His hair was dark brown, as were also his moustache and peaked beard. His forehead was lofty, spacious, and already prematurely engraved with the anxious lines of thought. His eyes were full, brown, well opened, and expressive of profound reflection. He was dressed in the magnificent apparel for which the Netherlanders were celebrated above all other nations, and which the ceremony rendered necessary. His presence being considered indispensable at this great ceremony, he had been summoned but recently from the camp on the frontier, where, notwithstanding his youth, the emperor had appointed him to command his army in chief against such antagonists as Admiral Coligny and the Due de Nevers.

Thus supported upon his crutch and upon the shoulder of William of Orange, the Emperor proceeded to address the states, by the aid of a closely-written brief which he held in his hand. He reviewed rapidly the progress of events from his seventeenth year up to that day. He spoke of his nine expeditions into Germany, six to Spain, seven to Italy, four to France, ten to the Netherlands, two to England, as many to Africa, and of his eleven voyages by sea. He sketched his various wars, victories, and treaties of peace, assuring his hearers that the welfare of his subjects and the security of the Roman Catholic religion had ever been the leading objects of his life. As long as God had granted him health, he continued, only enemies could have regretted that Charles was living and reigning, but now that his strength was but vanity, and life fast ebbing away, his love for dominion, his affection for his subjects, and his regard for their interests, required his departure. Instead of a decrepit man with one foot in the grave, he presented them with a sovereign in the prime of life and the vigor of health. Turning toward Philip, he observed, that for a dying father to bequeath so magnificent an empire to his son was a deed worthy of gratitude, but that when the father thus descended to the grave before his time, and by an anticipated and living burial sought to provide for the welfare of his realms and the grandeur of his son, the benefit thus conferred was surely far greater. He added, that the debt would be paid to him and with usury, should Philip conduct himself in his administration of the province with a wise and affectionate regard to their true interests. Posterity would applaud his abdication, should his son Prove worthy of his bounty; and that could only be by living in the fear of God, and by maintaining law, justice, and the Catholic religion in all their purity, as the true foundation of the realm. In conclusion, he entreated the estates, and through them the nation, to render obedience to their new prince, to maintain concord and to preserve inviolate the Catholic faith; begging them, at the same time, to pardon him all errors or offences which he might have committed towards them during his reign, and assuring them that he should unceasingly remember their obedience and affection in his every prayer to that Being to whom the remainder of his life was to be dedicated.

Such brave words as these, so many vigorous asseverations of attempted performance of duty, such fervent hopes expressed of a benign administration in behalf of the son, could not but affect the sensibilities of the audience, already excited and softened by the impressive character of the whole display. Sobs were heard throughout every portion of the hall, and tears poured profusely from every eye. The Fleece Knights on the platform and the burghers in the background were all melted with the same emotion. As for the Emperor himself, he sank almost fainting upon his chair as he concluded his address. An ashy paleness overspread his countenance, and he wept like a child. Even the icy Philip was almost softened, as he rose to perform his part in the ceremony. Dropping upon his knees before his father's feet, he reverently kissed his hand. Charles placed his hands solemnly upon his son's head, made the sign of the cross, and blessed him in the name of the Holy Trinity. Then raising him in his arms he tenderly embraced him saying, as he did so, to the great potentates around him, that he felt a sincere compassion for the son on whose shoulders so heavy a weight had just devolved, and which only a life-long labor would enable him to support. Philip now uttered a few words expressive of his duty to his father and his affection for his people. Turning to the orders, he signified his regret that he was unable to address them either in the French or Flemish language, and was therefore obliged to ask their attention to the Bishop of Arras, who would act as his interpreter. Antony Perrenot accordingly arose, and in smooth, fluent, and well-turned commonplaces, expressed at great length the gratitude of Philip towards his father, with his firm determination to walk in the path of duty, and to obey his father's counsels and example in the future administration of the provinces. This long address of the prelate was responded to at equal length by Jacob Maas, member of the Council of Brabant, a man of great learning, eloquence and prolixity, who had been selected to reply on behalf of the states-general, and who now, in the name of these; bodies, accepted the abdication in an elegant and complimentary harangue. Queen Mary of Hungary, the "Christian widow" of Erasmus, and Regent of the Netherlands during the past twenty-five years, then rose to resign her office, making a brief address expressive of her affection for the people, her regrets at leaving them, and her hopes that all errors which she might have committed during her long administration would be forgiven her. Again the redundant Maas responded, asserting in terms of fresh compliment and elegance the uniform satisfaction of the provinces with her conduct during her whole career.

The orations and replies having now been brought to a close, the ceremony was terminated. The Emperor, leaning on the shoulders of the Prince of Orange and of the Count de Buren, slowly left the hall, followed by Philip, the Queen of Hungary, and the whole court; all in the same order in which they had entered, and by the same passage into the chapel.

It is obvious that the drama had been completely successful. It had been a scene where heroic self-sacrifice, touching confidence, ingenuous love of duty, patriotism, and paternal affection upon one side; filial reverence, with a solemn regard for public duty and the highest interests of the people on the other, were supposed to be the predominant sentiments. The happiness of the Netherlands was apparently the only object contemplated in the great transaction. All had played well their parts in the past, all hoped the best in the times which were to follow. The abdicating Emperor was looked upon as a hero and a prophet. The stage was drowned in tears. There is not the least doubt as to the genuine and universal emotion which was excited throughout the assembly. "Caesar's oration," says Secretary Godelaevus, who was present at the ceremony, "deeply moved the nobility and gentry, many of whom burst into tears; even the illustrious Knights of the Fleece were melted." The historian, Pontus Heuterus, who, then twenty years of age, was likewise among the audience, attests that "most of the assembly were dissolved in tears; uttering the while such sonorous sobs that they compelled his Caesarean Majesty and the Queen to cry with them. My own face," he adds, "was certainly quite wet." The English envoy, Sir John Mason, describing in a despatch to his government the scene which he had just witnessed, paints the same picture. "The Emperor," he said, "begged the forgiveness of his subjects if he had ever unwittingly omitted the performance of any of his duties towards them. And here," continues the envoy, "he broke into a weeping, whereunto, besides the dolefulness of the matter, I think, he was moche provoked by seeing the whole company to do the lyke before; there beyng in myne opinion not one man in the whole assemblie, stranger or another, that dewring the time of a good piece of his oration poured not out as abundantly teares, some more, some lesse. And yet he prayed them to beare with his imperfections, proceeding of his sickly age, and of the mentioning of so tender a matter as the departing from such a sort of dere and loving subjects."

And yet what was the Emperor Charles to the inhabitants of the Netherlands that they should weep for him? His conduct towards them during his whole career had been one of unmitigated oppression. What to them were all these forty voyages by sea and land, these journeyings back and forth from Friesland to Tunis, from Madrid to Vienna. What was it to them that the imperial shuttle was thus industriously flying to and fro? The fabric wrought was but the daily growing grandeur and splendor of his imperial house; the looms were kept moving at the expense of their hardly-earned treasure, and the woof was often dyed red in the blood of his bravest subjects. The interests of the Netherlands had never been even a secondary consideration with their master. He had fulfilled no duty towards them, he had committed the gravest crimes against them. He had regarded them merely as a treasury upon which to draw; while the sums which he extorted were spent upon ceaseless and senseless wars, which were of no more interest to them than if they had been waged in another planet. Of five millions of gold annually, which he derived from all his realms, two millions came from these industrious and opulent provinces, while but a half million came from Spain and another half from the Indies. The mines of wealth which had been opened by the hand of industry in that slender territory of ancient morass and thicket, contributed four times as much income to the imperial exchequer as all the boasted wealth of Mexico and Peru. Yet the artisans, the farmers and the merchants, by whom these riches were produced, were consulted about as much in the expenditure of the imposts upon their industry as were the savages of America as to the distribution of the mineral treasures of their soil. The rivalry of the houses of Habsburg and Valois, this was the absorbing theme, during the greater part of the reign which had just been so dramatically terminated. To gain the empire over Francis, to leave to Don Philip a richer heritage than the Dauphin could expect, were the great motives of the unparalleled energy displayed by Charles during the longer and the more successful portion of his career. To crush the Reformation throughout his dominions, was his occupation afterward, till he abandoned the field in despair. It was certainly not desirable for the Netherlanders that they should be thus controlled by a man who forced them to contribute so largely to the success of schemes, some of which were at best indifferent, and others entirely odious to them. They paid 1,200,000 crowns a year regularly; they paid in five years an extraordinary subsidy of eight millions of ducats, and the States were roundly rebuked by the courtly representatives of their despot, if they presumed to inquire into the objects of the appropriations, or to express an interest in their judicious administration. Yet it maybe supposed to have been a matter of indifference to them whether Francis or Charles had won the day at Pavia, and it certainly was not a cause of triumph to the daily increasing thousands of religious reformers in Holland and Flanders that their brethren had been crushed by the Emperor at Muhlberg. But it was not alone that he drained their treasure, and hampered their industry. He was in constant conflict with their ancient and dearly-bought political liberties. Like his ancestor Charles the Bold, he was desirous of constructing a kingdom out of the provinces. He was disposed to place all their separate and individual charters on a procrustean bed, and shape them all into uniformity simply by reducing the whole to a nullity. The difficulties in the way, the stout opposition offered by burghers, whose fathers had gained these charters with their blood, and his want of leisure during the vast labors which devolved upon him as the autocrat of so large a portion of the world, caused him to defer indefinitely the execution of his plan. He found time only to crush some of the foremost of the liberal institutions of the provinces, in detail. He found the city of Tournay a happy, thriving, self-governed little republic in all its local affairs; he destroyed its liberties, without a tolerable pretext, and reduced it to the condition of a Spanish or Italian provincial town.

His memorable chastisement of Ghent for having dared to assert its ancient rights of self-taxation, is sufficiently known to the world, and has been already narrated at length. Many other instances might be adduced, if it were not a superfluous task, to prove that Charles was not only a political despot, but most arbitrary and cruel in the exercise of his despotism.

But if his sins against the Netherlands had been only those of financial and political oppression, it would be at least conceivable, although certainly not commendable, that the inhabitants should have regretted his departure. But there are far darker crimes for which he stands arraigned at the bar of history, and it is indeed strange that the man who had committed them should have been permitted to speak his farewell amid blended plaudits and tears. His hand planted the inquisition in the Netherlands. Before his day it is idle to say that the diabolical institution ever had a place there. The isolated cases in which inquisitors had exercised functions proved the absence and not the presence of the system, and will be discussed in a later chapter. Charles introduced and organized a papal inquisition, side by side with those terrible "placards" of his invention, which constituted a masked inquisition even more cruel than that of Spain. The execution of the system was never permitted to languish. The number of Netherlanders who were burned, strangled, beheaded, or buried alive, in obedience to his edicts, and for the offences of reading the Scriptures, of looking askance at a graven image, or of ridiculing the actual presence of the body and blood of Christ in a wafer, have been placed as high as one hundred thousand by distinguished authorities, and have never been put at a lower mark than fifty thousand. The Venetian envoy Navigero placed the number of victims in the provinces of Holland and Friesland alone at thirty thousand, and this in 1546, ten years before the abdication, and five before the promulgation of the hideous edict of 1550!

The edicts and the inquisition were the gift of Charles to the Netherlands, in return for their wasted treasure and their constant obedience. For this, his name deserves to be handed down to eternal infamy, not only throughout the Netherlands, but in every land where a single heart beats for political or religious freedom. To eradicate these institutions after they had been watered and watched by the care of his successor, was the work of an eighty years' war, in the course of which millions of lives were sacrificed. Yet the abdicating Emperor had summoned his faithful estates around him, and stood up before them in his imperial robes for the last time, to tell them of the affectionate regard which he had always borne them, and to mingle his tears with theirs.

Could a single phantom have risen from one of the many thousand graves where human beings had been thrust alive by his decree, perhaps there might have been an answer to the question propounded by the Emperor amid all that piteous weeping. Perhaps it might have told the man who asked his hearers to be forgiven if he had ever unwittingly offended them, that there was a world where it was deemed an offence to torture, strangle, burn, and drown one's innocent fellow-creatures. The usual but trifling excuse for such enormities can not be pleaded for the Emperor. Charles was no fanatic. The man whose armies sacked Rome, who laid his sacrilegious hands on Christ's vicegerent, and kept the infallible head of the Church a prisoner to serve his own political ends, was then no bigot. He believed in nothing; save that when the course of his imperial will was impeded, and the interests of his imperial house in jeopardy, pontiffs were to succumb as well as anabaptists. It was the political heresy which lurked in the restiveness of the religious reformers under dogma, tradition, and supernatural sanction to temporal power, which he was disposed to combat to the death. He was too shrewd a politician not to recognize the connection between aspirations for religious and for political freedom. His hand was ever ready to crush both heresies in one. Had he been a true son of the Church, a faithful champion of her infallibility, he would not have submitted to the peace of Passau, so long as he could bring a soldier to the field. Yet he acquiesced in the Reformation for Germany, while the fires for burning the reformers were ever blazing in the Netherlands, where it was death even to allude to the existence of the peace of Passau. Nor did he acquiesce only from compulsion, for long before his memorable defeat by Maurice, he had permitted the German troops, with whose services he could not dispense, regularly to attend Protestant worship performed by their own Protestant chaplains. Lutheran preachers marched from city to city of the Netherlands under the imperial banner, while the subjects of those patrimonial provinces were daily suffering on the scaffold for their nonconformity. The influence of this garrison-preaching upon the progress of the Reformation in the Netherlands is well known. Charles hated Lutherans, but he required soldiers, and he thus helped by his own policy to disseminate what had he been the fanatic which he perhaps became in retirement, he would have sacrificed his life to crush. It is quite true that the growing Calvinism of the provinces was more dangerous both religiously and politically, than the Protestantism of the German princes, which had not yet been formally pronounced heresy, but it is thus the more evident that it was political rather than religious heterodoxy which the despot wished to suppress.

No man, however, could have been more observant of religious rites. He heard mass daily. He listened to a sermon every Sunday and holiday. He confessed and received the sacrament four times a year. He was sometimes to be seen in his tent at midnight, on his knees before a crucifix with eyes and hands uplifted. He ate no meat in Lent, and used extraordinary diligence to discover and to punish any man, whether courtier or plebeian, who failed to fast during the whole forty days. He was too good a politician not to know the value of broad phylacteries and long prayers. He was too nice an observer of human nature not to know how easily mint and cummin could still outweigh the "weightier matters of law, judgment, mercy and faith;" as if the founder of the religion which he professed, and to maintain which he had established the inquisition and the edicts, had never cried woe upon the Pharisees. Yet there is no doubt that the Emperor was at times almost popular in the Netherlands, and that he was never as odious as his successor. There were some deep reasons for this, and some superficial ones; among others, a singularly fortunate manner. He spoke German, Spanish, Italian, French, and Flemish, and could assume the characteristics of each country as easily as he could use its language. He could be stately with Spaniards, familiar with Flemings witty with Italians. He could strike down a bull in the ring like a matador at Madrid, or win the prize in the tourney like a knight of old; he could ride at the ring with the Flemish nobles, hit the popinjay with his crossbow among Antwerp artisans, or drink beer and exchange rude jests with the boors of Brabant. For virtues such as these, his grave crimes against God and man, against religion and chartered and solemnly-sworn rights have been palliated, as if oppression became more tolerable because the oppressor was an accomplished linguist and a good marksman.

But the great reason for his popularity no doubt lay in his military genius. Charles was inferior to no general of his age. "When he was born into the world," said Alva, "he was born a soldier," and the Emperor confirmed the statement and reciprocated the compliment, when he declared that "the three first captains of the age were himself first, and then the Duke of Alva and Constable Montmorency." It is quite true that all his officers were not of the same opinion, and many were too apt to complain that his constant presence in the field did more harm than good, and "that his Majesty would do much better to stay at home." There is, however, no doubt that he was both a good soldier and a good general. He was constitutionally fearless, and he possessed great energy and endurance. He was ever the first to arm when a battle was to be fought, and the last to take off his harness. He commanded in person and in chief, even when surrounded by veterans and crippled by the gout. He was calm in great reverses. It was said that he was never known to change color except upon two occasions: after the fatal destruction of his fleet at Algiers, and in the memorable flight from Innspruck. He was of a phlegmatic, stoical temperament, until shattered by age and disease; a man without a sentiment and without a tear. It was said by Spaniards that he was never seen to weep, even at the death of his nearest relatives and friends, except on the solitary occasion of the departure of Don Ferrante Gonzaga from court. Such a temperament was invaluable in the stormy career to which he had devoted his life. He was essentially a man of action, a military chieftain. "Pray only for my health and my life," he was accustomed to say to the young officers who came to him from every part of his dominions to serve under his banners, "for so, long as I have these I will never leave you idle; at least in France. I love peace no better than the rest of you. I was born and bred to arms, and must of necessity keep on my harness till I can bear it no longer." The restless energy and the magnificent tranquillity of his character made him a hero among princes, an idol with his officers, a popular favorite every where. The promptness with which, at much personal hazard, he descended like a thunderbolt in the midst of the Ghent insurrection; the juvenile ardor with which the almost bedridden man arose from his sick-bed to smite the Protestants at Muhlberg; the grim stoicism with which he saw sixty thousand of his own soldiers perish in the wintry siege of Metz; all ensured him a large measure of that applause which ever follows military distinction, especially when the man who achieves it happens to wear a crown. He combined the personal prowess of a knight of old with the more modern accomplishments of a scientific tactician. He could charge the enemy in person like the most brilliant cavalry officer, and he thoroughly understood the arrangements of a campaign, the marshalling and victualling of troops, and the whole art of setting and maintaining an army in the field.

Yet, though brave and warlike as the most chivalrous of his ancestors, Gothic, Burgundian, or Suabian, he was entirely without chivalry. Fanaticism for the faith, protection for the oppressed, fidelity to friend and foe, knightly loyalty to a cause deemed sacred, the sacrifice of personal interests to great ideas, generosity of hand and heart; all those qualities which unite with courage and constancy to make up the ideal chevalier, Charles not only lacked but despised. He trampled on the weak antagonist, whether burgher or petty potentate. He was false as water. He inveigled his foes who trusted to imperial promises, by arts unworthy an emperor or a gentleman. He led about the unfortunate John Frederic of Saxony, in his own language, "like a bear in a chain," ready to be slipped upon Maurice should "the boy" prove ungrateful. He connived at the famous forgery of the prelate of Arras, to which the Landgrave Philip owed his long imprisonment; a villany worse than many for which humbler rogues have suffered by thousands upon the gallows. The contemporary world knew well the history of his frauds, on scale both colossal and minute, and called him familiarly "Charles qui triche."

The absolute master of realms on which the sun perpetually shone, he was not only greedy for additional dominion, but he was avaricious in small matters, and hated to part with a hundred dollars. To the soldier who brought him the sword and gauntlets of Francis the First, he gave a hundred crowns, when ten thousand would have been less than the customary present; so that the man left his presence full of desperation. The three soldiers who swam the Elbe, with their swords in their mouths; to bring him the boats with which he passed to the victory of Muhlberg, received from his imperial bounty a doublet, a pair of stockings, and four crowns apiece. His courtiers and ministers complained bitterly of his habitual niggardliness, and were fain to eke out their slender salaries by accepting bribes from every hand rich enough to bestow them. In truth Charles was more than any thing else a politician, notwithstanding his signal abilities as a soldier. If to have founded institutions which could last, be the test of statesmanship, he was even a statesman; for many of his institutions have resisted the pressure of three centuries. But those of Charlemagne fell as soon as his hand was cold, while the works of many ordinary legislators have attained to a perpetuity denied to the statutes of Solon or Lycurgus. Durability is not the test of merit in human institutions. Tried by the only touchstone applicable to governments, their capacity to insure the highest welfare of the governed, we shall not find his polity deserving of much admiration. It is not merely that he was a despot by birth and inclination, nor that he naturally substituted as far as was practicable, the despotic for the republican element, wherever his hand can be traced. There may be possible good in despotisms as there is often much tyranny in democracy. Tried however according to the standard by which all governments may be measured, those laws of truth and divine justice which all Christian nations recognize, and which are perpetual, whether recognized or not, we shall find little to venerate in the life work of the Emperor. The interests of his family, the security of his dynasty, these were his end and aim. The happiness or the progress of his people never furnished even the indirect motives of his conduct, and the result was a baffled policy and a crippled and bankrupt empire at last.

He knew men, especially he knew their weaknesses, and he knew how to turn them to account. He knew how much they would bear, and that little grievances would sometimes inflame more than vast and deliberate injustice. Therefore he employed natives mainly in the subordinate offices of his various states, and he repeatedly warned his successor that the haughtiness of Spaniards and the incompatibility of their character with the Flemish, would be productive of great difficulties and dangers. It was his opinion that men might be tyrannized more intelligently by their own kindred, and in this perhaps he was right. He was indefatigable in the discharge of business, and if it were possible that half a world could be administered as if it were the private property of an individual, the task would have been perhaps as well accomplished by Charles as by any man. He had not the absurdity of supposing it possible for him to attend to the details of every individual affair in every one of his realms; and he therefore intrusted the stewardship of all specialities to his various ministers and agents. It was his business to know men and to deal with affairs on a large scale, and in this he certainly was superior to his successor. His correspondence was mainly in the hands of Granvelle the elder, who analyzed letters received, and frequently wrote all but the signatures of the answers. The same minister usually possessed the imperial ear, and farmed it out for his own benefit. In all this there was of course room for vast deception, but the Emperor was quite aware of what was going on, and took a philosophic view of the matter as an inevitable part of his system. Granvelle grew enormously rich under his eye by trading on the imperial favor and sparing his majesty much trouble. Charles saw it all, ridiculed his peculations, but called him his "bed of down." His knowledge of human nature was however derived from a contemplation mainly of its weaknesses, and was therefore one-sided. He was often deceived, and made many a fatal blunder, shrewd politician though he was. He involved himself often in enterprises which could not be honorable or profitable, and which inflicted damage on his greatest interests. He often offended men who might have been useful friends, and converted allies into enemies. "His Majesty," said a keen observer who knew him well, "has not in his career shown the prudence which was necessary to him. He has often offended those whose love he might have conciliated, converted friends into enemies, and let those perish who were his most faithful partisans." Thus it must be acknowledged that even his boasted knowledge of human nature and his power of dealing with men was rather superficial and empirical than the real gift of genius.

His personal habits during the greater part of his life were those of an indefatigable soldier. He could remain in the saddle day and night, and endure every hardship but hunger. He was addicted to vulgar and miscellaneous incontinence. He was an enormous eater. He breakfasted at five, on a fowl seethed in milk and dressed with sugar and spices. After this he went to sleep again. He dined at twelve, partaking always of twenty dishes. He supped twice; at first, soon after vespers, and the second time at midnight or one o'clock, which meal was, perhaps, the most solid of the four. After meat he ate a great quantity of pastry and sweetmeats, and he irrigated every repast by vast draughts of beer and wine. His stomach, originally a wonderful one, succumbed after forty years of such labors. His taste, but not his appetite began to fail, and he complained to his majordomo, that all his food was insipid. The reply is, perhaps, among the most celebrated of facetia. The cook could do nothing more unless he served his Majesty a pasty of watches. The allusion to the Emperor's passion for horology was received with great applause. Charles "laughed longer than he was ever known to laugh before, and all the courtiers (of course) laughed as long as his Majesty." [Badovaro] The success of so sorry a jest would lead one to suppose that the fooling was less admirable at the imperial court than some of the recorded quips of Tribaulet would lead us to suppose.

The transfer of the other crowns and dignitaries to Philip, was accomplished a month afterwards, in a quiet manner. Spain, Sicily, the Balearic Islands, America, and other portions of the globe, were made over without more display than an ordinary 'donatio inter vivos'. The Empire occasioned some difficulty. It had been already signified to Ferdinand, that his brother was to resign the imperial crown in his favor, and the symbols of sovereignty were accordingly transmitted to him by the hands of William of Orange. A deputation, moreover, of which that nobleman, Vice-Chancellor Seld, and Dr. Wolfgang Haller were the chiefs, was despatched to signify to the electors of the Empire the step which had been thus resolved upon. A delay of more than two years, however, intervened, occasioned partly by the deaths of three electors, partly by the war which so soon broke out in Europe, before the matter was formally acted upon. In February, 1553, however, the electors, having been assembled in Frankfort, received the abdication of Charles, and proceeded to the election of Ferdinand. That Emperor was crowned in March, and immediately despatched a legation to the Pope to apprize him of the fact. Nothing was less expected than any opposition on the part of the pontiff. The querulous dotard, however, who then sat in St. Peter's chair, hated Charles and all his race. He accordingly denied the validity of the whole transaction, without sanction previously obtained from the Pope, to whom all crowns belonged. Ferdinand, after listening, through his envoys, to much ridiculous dogmatism on the part of the Pope, at last withdrew from the discussion, with a formal protest, and was first recognized by Caraffa's successor, Pius IV.

Charles had not deferred his retirement till the end of these disputes. He occupied a private house in Brussels, near the gate of Louvain, until August of the year 1556. On the 27th of that month, he addressed a letter from Ghent to John of Osnabruck, president of the Chamber of Spiers, stating his abdication in favor of Ferdinand, and requesting that in the interim the same obedience might be rendered to Ferdinand, as could have been yielded to himself. Ten days later; he addressed a letter to the estates of the Empire, stating the same fact; and on the 17th September, 1556, he set sail from Zeland for Spain. These delays and difficulties occasioned some misconceptions. Many persons who did not admire an abdication, which others, on the contrary, esteemed as an act of unexampled magnanimity, stoutly denied that it was the intention of Charles to renounce the Empire. The Venetian envoy informed his government that Ferdinand was only to be lieutenant for Charles, under strict limitations, and that the Emperor was to resume the government so soon as his health would allow. The Bishop of Arras and Don Juan de Manrique had both assured him, he said, that Charles would not, on any account, definitely abdicate. Manrique even asserted that it was a mere farce to believe in any such intention. The Emperor ought to remain to protect his son, by the resources of the Empire, against France, the Turks, and the heretics. His very shadow was terrible to the Lutherans, and his form might be expected to rise again in stern reality from its temporary grave. Time has shown the falsity of all these imaginings, but views thus maintained by those in the best condition to know the truth, prove how difficult it was for men to believe in a transaction which was then so extraordinary, and how little consonant it was in their eyes with true propriety. It was necessary to ascend to the times of Diocletian, to find an example of a similar abdication of empire, on so deliberate and extensive a scale, and the great English historian of the Roman Empire has compared the two acts with each other. But there seems a vast difference between the cases. Both emperors were distinguished soldiers; both were merciless persecutors of defenceless Christians; both exchanged unbounded empire for absolute seclusion. But Diocletian was born in the lowest abyss of human degradation—the slave and the son of a slave. For such a man, after having reached the highest pinnacle of human greatness, voluntarily to descend from power, seems an act of far greater magnanimity than the retreat of Charles. Born in the purple, having exercised unlimited authority from his boyhood, and having worn from his cradle so many crowns and coronets, the German Emperor might well be supposed to have learned to estimate them at their proper value. Contemporary minds were busy, however, to discover the hidden motives which could have influenced him, and the world, even yet, has hardly ceased to wonder. Yet it would have been more wonderful, considering the Emperor's character, had he remained. The end had not crowned the work; it not unreasonably discrowned the workman. The earlier, and indeed the greater part of his career had been one unbroken procession of triumphs. The cherished dream of his grandfather, and of his own youth, to add the Pope's triple crown to the rest of the hereditary possessions of his family, he had indeed been obliged to resign. He had too much practical Flemish sense to indulge long in chimeras, but he had achieved the Empire over formidable rivals, and he had successively not only conquered, but captured almost every potentate who had arrayed himself in arms against him. Clement and Francis, the Dukes and Landgraves of, Clever, Hesse, Saxony, and Brunswick, he had bound to his chariot wheels; forcing many to eat the bread of humiliation and captivity, during long and weary years. But the concluding portion of his reign had reversed all its previous glories. His whole career had been a failure. He had been defeated, after all, in most of his projects. He had humbled Francis, but Henry had most signally avenged his father. He had trampled upon Philip of Hesse and Frederic of Saxony, but it had been reserved for one of that German race, which he characterized as "dreamy, drunken, and incapable of intrigue," to outwit the man who had outwitted all the world, and to drive before him, in ignominious flight, the conqueror of the nations. The German lad who had learned both war and dissimulation in the court and camp of him who was so profound a master of both arts, was destined to eclipse his teacher on the most august theatre of Christendom. Absorbed at Innspruck with the deliberations of the Trent Council, Charles had not heeded the distant mutterings of the tempest which was gathering around him. While he was preparing to crush, forever, the Protestant Church, with the arms which a bench of bishops were forging, lo! the rapid and desperate Maurice, with long red beard streaming like a meteor in the wind, dashing through the mountain passes, at the head of his lancers—arguments more convincing than all the dogmas of Granvelle! Disguised as an old woman, the Emperor had attempted on the 6th April, to escape in a peasant's wagon, from Innspruck into Flanders. Saved for the time by the mediation of Ferdinand, he had, a few weeks later, after his troops had been defeated by Maurice, at Fussen, again fled at midnight of the 22nd May, almost unattended, sick in body and soul, in the midst of thunder, lightning, and rain, along the difficult Alpine passes from Innspruck into Carinthia. His pupil had permitted his escape, only because in his own language, "for such a bird he had no convenient cage." The imprisoned princes now owed their liberation, not to the Emperor's clemency, but to his panic. The peace of Passau, in the following August, crushed the whole fabric of the Emperor's toil, and laid-the foundation of the Protestant Church. He had smitten the Protestants at Muhlberg for the last time. On the other hand, the man who had dealt with Rome, as if the Pope, not he, had been the vassal, was compelled to witness, before he departed, the insolence of a pontiff who took a special pride in insulting and humbling his house, and trampling upon the pride of Charles, Philip and Ferdinand. In France too, the disastrous siege of Metz had taught him that in the imperial zodiac the fatal sign of Cancer had been reached. The figure of a crab, with the words "plus citra," instead of his proud motto of "plus ultra," scrawled on the walls where he had resided during that dismal epoch, avenged more deeply, perhaps, than the jester thought, the previous misfortunes of France. The Grand Turk, too, Solyman the Magnificent, possessed most of Hungary, and held at that moment a fleet ready to sail against Naples, in co-operation with the Pope and France. Thus the Infidel, the Protestant, and the Holy Church were all combined together to crush him. Towards all the great powers of the earth, he stood not in the attitude of a conqueror, but of a disappointed, baffled, defeated potentate. Moreover, he had been foiled long before in his earnest attempts to secure the imperial throne for Philip. Ferdinand and Maximilian had both stoutly resisted his arguments and his blandishments. The father had represented the slender patrimony of their branch of the family, compared with the enormous heritage of Philip; who, being after all, but a man, and endowed with finite powers, might sink under so great a pressure of empire as his father wished to provide for him. Maximilian, also, assured his uncle that he had as good an appetite for the crown as Philip, and could digest the dignity quite as easily. The son, too, for whom the Emperor was thus solicitous, had already, before the abdication, repaid his affection with ingratitude. He had turned out all his father's old officials in Milan, and had refused to visit him at Brussels, till assured as to the amount of ceremonial respect which the new-made king was to receive at the hands of his father.

Had the Emperor continued to live and reign, he would have found himself likewise engaged in mortal combat with that great religious movement in the Netherlands, which he would not have been able many years longer to suppress, and which he left as a legacy of blood and fire to his successor. Born in the same year with his century, Charles was a decrepit, exhausted man at fifty-five, while that glorious age, in which humanity was to burst forever the cerements in which it had so long been buried, was but awakening to a consciousness of its strength.

Disappointed in his schemes, broken in his fortunes, with income anticipated, estates mortgaged, all his affairs in confusion; failing in mental powers, and with a constitution hopelessly shattered; it was time for him to retire. He showed his keenness in recognizing the fact that neither his power nor his glory would be increased, should he lag superfluous on the stage where mortification instead of applause was likely to be his portion. His frame was indeed but a wreck. Forty years of unexampled gluttony had done their work. He was a victim to gout, asthma, dyspepsia, gravel. He was crippled in the neck, arms, knees, and hands. He was troubled with chronic cutaneous eruptions. His appetite remained, while his stomach, unable longer to perform the task still imposed upon it, occasioned him constant suffering. Physiologists, who know how important a part this organ plays in the affairs of life, will perhaps see in this physical condition of the Emperor A sufficient explanation, if explanation were required, of his descent from the throne. Moreover, it is well known that the resolution to abdicate before his death had been long a settled scheme with him. It had been formally agreed between himself and the Empress that they should separate at the approach of old age, and pass the remainder of their lives in a convent and a monastery. He had, when comparatively a young man, been struck by the reply made to him by an aged officer, whose reasons he had asked for, earnestly soliciting permission to retire from the imperial service. It was, said the veteran, that he might put a little space of religious contemplation between the active portion of his life and the grave.

A similar determination, deferred from time to time, Charles had now carried into execution. While he still lingered in Brussels, after his abdication, a comet appeared, to warn him to the fulfilment of his purpose. From first to last, comets and other heavenly bodies were much connected with his evolutions and arrangements. There was no mistaking the motives with which this luminary had presented itself. The Emperor knew very well, says a contemporary German chronicler, that it portended pestilence and war, together with the approaching death of mighty princes. "My fates call out," he cried, and forthwith applied himself to hasten the preparations for his departure.

The romantic picture of his philosophical retirement at Juste, painted originally by Sandoval and Siguenza, reproduced by the fascinating pencil of Strada, and imitated in frequent succession by authors of every age and country, is unfortunately but a sketch of fancy. The investigations of modern writers have entirely thrown down the scaffolding on which the airy fabric, so delightful to poets and moralists, reposed. The departing Emperor stands no longer in a transparency robed in shining garments. His transfiguration is at an end. Every action, almost every moment of his retirement, accurately chronicled by those who shared his solitude, have been placed before our eyes, in the most felicitous manner, by able and brilliant writers. The Emperor, shorn of the philosophical robe in which he had been conventionally arrayed for three centuries, shivers now in the cold air of reality.

So far from his having immersed himself in profound and pious contemplation, below the current of the world's events, his thoughts, on the contrary, never were for a moment diverted from the political surface of the times. He read nothing but despatches; he wrote or dictated interminable ones in reply, as dull and prolix as any which ever came from his pen. He manifested a succession of emotions at the course of contemporary affairs, as intense and as varied, as if the world still rested in his palm. He was, in truth, essentially a man of action. He had neither the taste nor talents which make a man great in retirement. Not a lofty thought, not a generous sentiment, not a profound or acute suggestion in his retreat has been recorded from his lips. The epigrams which had been invented for him by fabulists have been all taken away, and nothing has been substituted, save a few dull jests exchanged with stupid friars. So far from having entertained and even expressed that sentiment of religious toleration for which he was said to have been condemned as a heretic by the inquisition, and for which Philip was ridiculously reported to have ordered his father's body to be burned, and his ashes scattered to the winds, he became in retreat the bigot effectually, which during his reign he had only been conventionally. Bitter regrets that he should have kept his word to Luther, as if he had not broken faith enough to reflect upon in his retirement; stern self-reproach for omitting to put to death, while he had him in his power, the man who had caused all the mischief of the age; fierce instructions thundered from his retreat to the inquisitors to hasten the execution of all heretics, including particularly his ancient friends, preachers and almoners, Cazalla and Constantine de Fuente; furious exhortations to Philip—as if Philip needed a prompter in such a work—that he should set himself to "cutting out the root of heresy with rigor and rude chastisement;"—such explosions of savage bigotry as these, alternating with exhibitions of revolting gluttony, with surfeits of sardine omelettes, Estramadura sausages, eel pies, pickled partridges, fat capons, quince syrups, iced beer, and flagons of Rhenish, relieved by copious draughts of senna and rhubarb, to which his horror-stricken doctor doomed him as he ate—compose a spectacle less attractive to the imagination than the ancient portrait of the cloistered Charles. Unfortunately it is the one which was painted from life.


     Burned, strangled, beheaded, or buried alive (100,000)
     Despot by birth and inclination (Charles V.)
     Endure every hardship but hunger
     Gallant and ill-fated Lamoral Egmont
     He knew men, especially he knew their weaknesses
     His imagination may have assisted his memory in the task
     Little grievances would sometimes inflame more than vast
     Often much tyranny in democracy
     Planted the inquisition in the Netherlands


1555-1558 [CHAPTER II.]

Sketch of Philip the Second—Characteristics of Mary Tudor—Portrait of Philip—His council—Rivalry of Rup Gomez and Alva—Character of Rup Gomez—Queen Mary of Hungary—Sketch of Philibert of Savoy— Truce of Vaucelles—Secret treaty between the Pope and Henry II.— Rejoicings in the Netherlands on account of the Peace—Purposes of Philip—Re-enactment of the edict of 1560—The King's dissimulation —"Request" to the provinces—Infraction of the truce in Italy— Character of Pope Paul IV.—Intrigues of Cardinal Caraffa—War against Spain resolved upon by France—Campaign in Italy—Amicable siege of Rome—Pence with the pontiff—Hostilities on the Flemish border—Coligny foiled at Douay—Sacks Lens—Philip in England— Queen Mary engages in the war—Philip's army assembled at Givet— Portrait of Count Egmont—The French army under Coligny and Montmorency—Siege of St. Quentin—Attempts of the constable to relieve the city—Battle of St. Quentin—Hesitation and timidity of Philip—City of St. Quentin taken and sacked—Continued indecision of Philip—His army disbanded—Campaign of the Duke of Guise— Capture of Calais—Interview between Cardinal de Lorraine and the Bishop of Arran—Secret combinations for a league between France and Spain against heresy—Languid movements of Guise—Foray of De Thermes on the Flemish frontier—Battle of Gravelines—Popularity of Egmont—Enmity of Alva.

Philip the Second had received the investiture of Milan and the crown of Naples, previously to his marriage with Mary Tudor. The imperial crown he had been obliged, much against his will, to forego. The archduchy of Austria, with the hereditary German dependencies of his father's family, had been transferred by the Emperor to his brother Ferdinand, on the occasion of the marriage of that prince with Anna, only sister of King Louis of Hungary. Ten years afterwards, Ferdinand (King of Hungary and Bohemia since the death of Louis, slain in 1526 at the battle of Mohacz) was elected King of the Romans, and steadily refused all the entreaties afterwards made to him in behalf of Philip, to resign his crown and his succession to the Empire, in favor of his nephew. With these diminutions, Philip had now received all the dominions of his father. He was King of all the Spanish kingdoms and of both the Sicilies. He was titular King of England, France, and Jerusalem. He was "Absolute Dominator" in Asia, Africa, and America; he was Duke of Milan and of both Burgundies, and Hereditary Sovereign of the seventeen Netherlands.

Thus the provinces had received a new master. A man of foreign birth and breeding, not speaking a word of their language, nor of any language which the mass of the inhabitants understood, was now placed in supreme authority over them, because he represented, through the females, the "good" Philip of Burgundy, who a century before had possessed himself by inheritance, purchase, force, or fraud, of the sovereignty in most of those provinces. It is necessary to say an introductory word or two concerning the previous history of the man to whose hands the destiny of so many millions was now entrusted.

He was born in May, 1527, and was now therefore twenty-eight years of age. At the age of sixteen he had been united to his cousin, Maria of Portugal, daughter of John III. and of the Emperor's sister, Donna Catalina. In the following year (1544) he became father of the celebrated and ill-starred Don Carlos, and a widower. The princess owed her death, it was said, to her own imprudence and to the negligence or bigotry of her attendants. The Duchess of Alva, and other ladies who had charge of her during her confinement, deserted her chamber in order to obtain absolution by witnessing an auto-da-fe of heretics. During their absence, the princess partook voraciously of a melon, and forfeited her life in consequence.

In 1548, Don Philip had made his first appearance in the Netherlands. He came thither to receive homage in the various provinces as their future sovereign, and to exchange oaths of mutual fidelity with them all. Andrew Doria, with a fleet of fifty ships, had brought him to Genoa, whence he had passed to Milan, where he was received with great rejoicing. At Trent he was met by Duke Maurice of Saxony, who warmly begged his intercession with the Emperor in behalf of the imprisoned Landgrave of Hesse. This boon Philip was graciously pleased to promise,—and to keep the pledge as sacredly as most of the vows plighted by him during this memorable year. The Duke of Aerschot met him in Germany with a regiment of cavalry and escorted him to Brussels. A summer was spent in great festivities, the cities of the Nether lands vieing with each other in magnificent celebrations of the ceremonies, by which Philip successively swore allegiance to the various constitutions and charters of the provinces, and received their oaths of future fealty in return. His oath to support all the constitutions and privileges was without reservation, while his father and grandfather had only sworn to maintain the charters granted or confirmed by Philip and Charles of Burgundy. Suspicion was disarmed by these indiscriminate concessions, which had been resolved upon by the unscrupulous Charles to conciliate the good will of the people. In view of the pretensions which might be preferred by the Brederode family in Holland, and by other descendants of ancient sovereign races in other provinces, the Emperor, wishing to ensure the succession to his sisters in case of the deaths of himself, Philip, and Don Carlos without issue, was unsparing in those promises which he knew to be binding only upon the weak. Although the house of Burgundy had usurped many of the provinces on the express pretext that females could not inherit, the rule had been already violated, and he determined to spare no pains to conciliate the estates, in order that they might be content with a new violation, should the contingency occur. Philip's oaths were therefore without reserve, and the light-hearted Flemings, Brabantines, and Walloons received him with open arms. In Valenciennes the festivities which attended his entrance were on a most gorgeous scale, but the "joyous entrance" arranged for him at Antwerp was of unparalleled magnificence. A cavalcade of the magistrates and notable burghers, "all attired in cramoisy velvet," attended by lackies in splendid liveries and followed by four thousand citizen soldiers in full uniform, went forth from the gates to receive him. Twenty-eight triumphal arches, which alone, according to the thrifty chronicler, had cost 26,800 Carolus guldens, were erected in the different streets and squares, and every possible demonstration of affectionate welcome was lavished upon the Prince and the Emperor. The rich and prosperous city, unconscious of the doom which awaited it in the future, seemed to have covered itself with garlands to honor the approach of its master. Yet icy was the deportment with which Philip received these demonstrations of affection, and haughty the glance with which he looked down upon these exhibitions of civic hilarity, as from the height of a grim and inaccessible tower. The impression made upon the Netherlanders was any thing but favorable, and when he had fully experienced the futility of the projects on the Empire which it was so difficult both for his father and himself to resign, he returned to the more congenial soil of Spain. In 1554 he had again issued from the peninsula to marry the Queen of England, a privilege which his father had graciously resigned to him. He was united to Mary Tudor at Winchester, on the 25th July of that year, and if congeniality of tastes could have made a marriage happy, that union should have been thrice blessed. To maintain the supremacy of the Church seemed to both the main object of existence, to execute unbelievers the most sacred duty imposed by the Deity upon anointed princes, to convert their kingdoms into a hell the surest means of winning Heaven for themselves. It was not strange that the conjunction of two such wonders of superstition in one sphere should have seemed portentous in the eyes of the English nation. Philip's mock efforts in favor of certain condemned reformers, and his pretended intercessions in favor of the Princess Elizabeth, failed entirely of their object. The parliament refused to confer upon him more than a nominal authority in England. His children, should they be born, might be sovereigns; he was but husband of the Queen; of a woman who could not atone by her abject but peevish fondness for himself, and by her congenial blood-thirstiness towards her subjects, for her eleven years seniority, her deficiency in attractions, and her incapacity to make him the father of a line of English monarchs. It almost excites compassion even for Mary Tudor, when her passionate efforts to inspire him with affection are contrasted with his impassiveness. Tyrant, bigot, murderess though she was, she was still woman, and she lavished upon her husband all that was not ferocious in her nature. Forbidding prayers to be said for the soul of her father, hating her sister and her people, burning bishops, bathing herself in the blood of heretics, to Philip she was all submissiveness and feminine devotion. It was a most singular contrast, Mary, the Queen of England and Mary the wife of Philip. Small, lean and sickly, painfully near-sighted, yet with an eye of fierceness and fire; her face wrinkled by the hands of care and evil passions still more than by Time, with a big man's voice, whose harshness made those in the next room tremble; yet feminine in her tastes, skilful with her needle, fond of embroidery work, striking the lute with a touch remarkable for its science and feeling, speaking many languages, including Latin, with fluency and grace; most feminine, too, in her constitutional sufferings, hysterical of habit, shedding floods of tears daily at Philip's coldness, undisguised infidelity, and frequent absences from England—she almost awakens compassion and causes a momentary oblivion of her identity.

Her subjects, already half maddened by religious persecution, were exasperated still further by the pecuniary burthens which she imposed upon them to supply the King's exigencies, and she unhesitatingly confronted their frenzy, in the hope of winning a smile from him. When at last her chronic maladies had assumed the memorable form which caused Philip and Mary to unite in a letter to Cardinal Pole, announcing not the expected but the actual birth of a prince, but judiciously leaving the date in blank, the momentary satisfaction and delusion of the Queen was unbounded. The false intelligence was transmitted every where. Great were the joy and the festivities in the Netherlands, where people were so easily made to rejoice and keep holiday for any thing. "The Regent, being in Antwerp," wrote Sir Thomas Gresham to the lords of council, "did cause the great bell to rings to give all men to understand that the news was trewe. The Queene's highness here merchants caused all our Inglishe ships to shoote off with such joy and triumph, as by men's arts and pollicey coulde be devised—and the Regent sent our Inglishe maroners one hundred crownes to drynke." If bell-ringing and cannon-firing could have given England a Spanish sovereign, the devoutly-wished consummation would have been reached. When the futility of the royal hopes could no longer be concealed, Philip left the country, never to return till his war with France made him require troops, subsidies, and a declaration of hostilities from England.

The personal appearance of the new sovereign has already been described. His manner was far from conciliatory, and in this respect he was the absolute reverse of his father. Upon his first journey out of Spain, in 1548, into his various dominions, he had made a most painful impression every where. "He was disagreeable," says Envoy Suriano, "to the Italians, detestable to the Flemings, odious to the Germans."

The remonstrances of the Emperor, and of Queen Mary of Hungary, at the impropriety of his manners, had produced, however, some effect, so that on his wedding journey to England, he manifested much "gentleness and humanity, mingled with royal gravity." Upon this occasion, says another Venetian, accredited to him, "he had divested himself of that Spanish haughtiness, which, when he first came from Spain, had rendered him so odious." The famous ambassador, Badovaro confirms the impression. "Upon his first journey," he says, "he was esteemed proud, and too greedy for the imperial succession; but now 'tis the common opinion that his humanity and modesty are all which could be desired." These humane qualities, however, it must be observed, were exhibited only in the presence of ambassadors and grandees, the only representatives of "humanity" with whom he came publicly and avowedly in contact.

He was thought deficient in manly energy. He was an infirm valetudinarian, and was considered as sluggish in character, as deficient in martial enterprise, as timid of temperament as he was fragile and sickly of frame. It is true, that on account of the disappointment which he occasioned by his contrast to his warlike father, he mingled in some tournaments in Brussels, where he was matched against Count Mansfeld, one of the most distinguished chieftains of the age, and where, says his professed panegyrist, "he broke his lances very mach to the satisfaction of his father and aunts."

That learned and eloquent author, Estelle Calvete, even filled the greater part of a volume, in which he described the journey of the Prince, with a minute description of these feasts and jousts, but we may reasonably conclude that to the loyal imagination of his eulogist Philip is indebted for most of these knightly trophies. It was the universal opinion of unprejudiced cotemporaries, that he was without a spark of enterprise. He was even censured for a culpable want of ambition, and for being inferior to his father in this respect, as if the love of encroaching on his neighbor's dominions, and a disposition to foreign. commotions and war would have constituted additional virtues, had he happened to possess them. Those who were most disposed to think favorably of him, remembered that there was a time when even Charles the Fifth was thought weak and indolent, and were willing to ascribe Philip's pacific disposition to his habitual cholic and side-ache, and to his father's inordinate care for him in youth. They even looked forward to the time when he should blaze forth to the world as a conqueror and a hero. These, however, were views entertained by but few; the general and the correct opinion, as it proved, being, that Philip hated war, would never certainly acquire any personal distinction in the field, and when engaged in hostilities would be apt to gather his laurels at the hands of his generals, rather than with his own sword. He was believed to be the reverse of the Emperor. Charles sought great enterprises, Philip would avoid them. The Emperor never recoiled before threats; the son was reserved, cautious, suspicious of all men, and capable of sacrificing a realm from hesitation and timidity. The father had a genius for action, the son a predilection for repose. Charles took "all men's opinions, but reserved his judgment," and acted on it, when matured, with irresistible energy; Philip was led by others, was vacillating in forming decisions, and irresolute in executing them when formed.

Philip, then, was not considered, in that warlike age, as likely to shine as a warrior. His mental capacity, in general, was likewise not very highly esteemed. His talents were, in truth, very much below mediocrity. His mind was incredibly small. A petty passion for contemptible details characterized him from his youth, and, as long as he lived, he could neither learn to generalize, nor understand that one man, however diligent, could not be minutely acquainted with all the public and private affairs of fifty millions of other men. He was a glutton of work. He was born to write despatches, and to scrawl comments upon those which he received.

[The character of these apostilles, always confused, wordy and awkward, was sometimes very ludicrous; nor did it improve after his thirty or forty years' daily practice in making them. Thus, when he received a letter from France in 1589, narrating the assassination of Henry III., and stating that "the manner in which he had been killed was that a Jacobin monk had given him a pistol-shot in the head" (la facon qua l'on dit qu'il a ette tue, sa ette par un Jacobin qui luy a donna d'un cou de pistolle dans la tayte), he scrawled the following luminous comment upon the margin. Underlining the word "pistolle," he observed, "this is perhaps some kind of knife; and as for 'tayte,' it can be nothing else but head, which is not tayte, but tete, or teyte, as you very well know" (quiza de alguna manera de cuchillo, etc., etc.)—Gachard. Rapport a M. le Minist. de l'Interieur, prefixed to corresp. Philippe II. Vol. I. xlix. note 1. It is obvious that a person who made such wonderful commentaries as this, and was hard at work eight or nine hours a day for forty years, would leave a prodigious quantity of unpublished matter at his death.]

He often remained at the council-board four or five hours at a time, and he lived in his cabinet. He gave audiences to ambassadors and deputies very willingly, listening attentively to all that was said to him, and answering in monosyllables. He spoke no tongue but Spanish; and was sufficiently sparing of that, but he was indefatigable with his pen. He hated to converse, but he could write a letter eighteen pages long, when his correspondent was in the next room, and when the subject was, perhaps, one which a man of talent could have settled with six words of his tongue. The world, in his opinion, was to move upon protocols and apostilles. Events had no right to be born throughout his dominions, without a preparatory course of his obstetrical pedantry. He could never learn that the earth would not rest on its axis, while he wrote a programme of the way it was to turn. He was slow in deciding, slower in communicating his decisions. He was prolix with his pen, not from affluence, but from paucity of ideas. He took refuge in a cloud of words, sometimes to conceal his meaning, oftener to conceal the absence of any meaning, thus mystifying not only others but himself. To one great purpose, formed early, he adhered inflexibly. This, however, was rather an instinct than an opinion; born with him, not created by him. The idea seemed to express itself through him, and to master him, rather than to form one of a stock of sentiments which a free agent might be expected to possess. Although at certain times, even this master-feeling could yield to the pressure of a predominant self-interest-thus showing that even in Philip bigotry was not absolute—yet he appeared on the whole the embodiment of Spanish chivalry and Spanish religious enthusiasm, in its late and corrupted form. He was entirely a Spaniard. The Burgundian and Austrian elements of his blood seemed to have evaporated, and his veins were filled alone with the ancient ardor, which in heroic centuries had animated the Gothic champions of Spain. The fierce enthusiasm for the Cross, which in the long internal warfare against the Crescent, had been the romantic and distinguishing feature of the national character, had degenerated into bigotry. That which had been a nation's glory now made the monarch's shame. The Christian heretic was to be regarded with a more intense hatred than even Moor or Jew had excited in the most Christian ages, and Philip was to be the latest and most perfect incarnation of all this traditional enthusiasm, this perpetual hate. Thus he was likely to be single-hearted in his life. It was believed that his ambition would be less to extend his dominions than to vindicate his title of the most Catholic king. There could be little doubt entertained that he would be, at least, dutiful to his father in this respect, and that the edicts would be enforced to the letter.

He was by birth, education, and character, a Spaniard, and that so exclusively, that the circumstance would alone have made him unfit to govern a country so totally different in habits and national sentiments from his native land. He was more a foreigner in Brussels, even, than in England. The gay, babbling, energetic, noisy life of Flanders and Brabant was detestable to him. The loquacity of the Netherlanders was a continual reproach upon his taciturnity. His education had imbued him, too, with the antiquated international hatred of Spaniard and Fleming, which had been strengthening in the metropolis, while the more rapid current of life had rather tended to obliterate the sentiment in the provinces.

The flippancy and profligacy of Philip the Handsome, the extortion and insolence of his Flemish courtiers, had not been forgotten in Spain, nor had Philip the Second forgiven his grandfather for having been a foreigner. And now his mad old grandmother, Joanna, who had for years been chasing cats in the lonely tower where she had been so long imprisoned, had just died; and her funeral, celebrated with great pomp by both her sons, by Charles at Brussels and Ferdinand at Augsburg, seemed to revive a history which had begun to fade, and to recall the image of Castilian sovereignty which had been so long obscured in the blaze of imperial grandeur.

His education had been but meagre. In an age when all kings and noblemen possessed many languages, he spoke not a word of any tongue but Spanish,—although he had a slender knowledge of French and Italian, which he afterwards learned to read with comparative facility. He had studied a little history and geography, and he had a taste for sculpture, painting, and architecture. Certainly if he had not possessed a feeling for art, he would have been a monster. To have been born in the earlier part of the sixteenth century, to have been a king, to have had Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands as a birthright, and not to have been inspired with a spark of that fire which glowed so intensely in those favored lands and in that golden age, had indeed been difficult.

The King's personal habits were regular. His delicate health made it necessary for him to attend to his diet, although he was apt to exceed in sweetmeats and pastry. He slept much, and took little exercise habitually, but he had recently been urged by the physicians to try the effect of the chase as a corrective to his sedentary habits. He was most strict in religious observances, as regular at mass, sermons, and vespers as a monk; much more, it was thought by many good Catholics, than was becoming to his rank and age. Besides several friars who preached regularly for his instruction, he had daily discussions with others on abstruse theological points. He consulted his confessor most minutely as to all the actions of life, inquiring anxiously whether this proceeding or that were likely to burthen his conscience. He was grossly licentious. It was his chief amusement to issue forth at night disguised, that he might indulge in vulgar and miscellaneous incontinence in the common haunts of vice. This was his solace at Brussels in the midst of the gravest affairs of state. He was not illiberal, but, on the contrary, it was thought that he would have been even generous, had he not been straitened for money at the outset of his career. During a cold winter, he distributed alms to the poor of Brussels with an open hand. He was fond of jests in private, and would laugh immoderately, when with a few intimate associates, at buffooneries, which he checked in public by the icy gravity of his deportment. He dressed usually in the Spanish fashion, with close doublet, trunk hose, and short cloak, although at times he indulged in the more airy fashions of France and Burgundy, wearing buttons on his coats and feathers in his hat. He was not thought at that time to be cruel by nature, but was usually spoken of, in the conventional language appropriated to monarchs, as a prince "clement, benign, and debonnaire." Time was to show the justice of his claims to such honorable epithets.

The court was organized during his residence at Brussels on the Burgundian, not the Spanish model, but of the one hundred and fifty persons who composed it, nine tenths of the whole were Spaniards; the other fifteen or sixteen being of various nations, Flemings, Burgundians, Italians, English, and Germans. Thus it is obvious how soon he disregarded his father's precept and practice in this respect, and began to lay the foundation of that renewed hatred to Spaniards which was soon to become so intense, exuberant, and fatal throughout every class of Netherlanders. He esteemed no nation but the Spanish, with Spaniards he consorted, with Spaniards he counselled, through Spaniards he governed.

His council consisted of five or six Spanish grandees, the famous Ruy Gomez, then Count of Melito, afterwards Prince of Eboli; the Duke of Alva, the Count de Feria, the Duke of Franca Villa, Don Antonio Toledo, and Don Juan Manrique de Lara. The "two columns," said Suriano, "which sustain this great machine, are Ruy Gomez and Alva, and from their councils depends the government of half the world." The two were ever bitterly opposed to each other. Incessant were their bickerings, intense their mutual hate, desperate and difficult the situation of any man, whether foreigner or native, who had to transact business with the government. If he had secured the favor of Gomez, he had already earned the enmity of Alva. Was he protected by the Duke, he was sure to be cast into outer darkness by the favorite.—Alva represented the war party, Ruy Gomez the pacific polity more congenial to the heart of Philip. The Bishop of Arras, who in the opinion of the envoys was worth them all for his capacity and his experience, was then entirely in the background, rarely entering the council except when summoned to give advice in affairs of extraordinary delicacy or gravity. He was, however, to reappear most signally in course of the events already preparing. The Duke of Alva, also to play so tremendous a part in the yet unborn history of the Netherlands, was not beloved by Philip. He was eclipsed at this period by the superior influence of the favorite, and his sword, moreover, became necessary in the Italian campaign which was impending. It is remarkable that it was a common opinion even at that day that the duke was naturally hesitating and timid. One would have thought that his previous victories might have earned for him the reputation for courage and skill which he most unquestionably deserved. The future was to develop those other characteristics which were to make his name the terror and wonder of the world.

The favorite, Ruy Gomez da Silva, Count de Melito, was the man upon whose shoulders the great burthen of the state reposed. He was of a family which was originally Portuguese. He had been brought up with the King, although some eight years his senior, and their friendship dated from earliest youth. It was said that Ruy Gomez, when a boy, had been condemned to death for having struck Philip, who had come between him and another page with whom he was quarrelling. The Prince threw himself passionately at his father's feet, and implored forgiveness in behalf of the culprit with such energy that the Emperor was graciously pleased to spare the life of the future prime minister. The incident was said to have laid the foundation of the remarkable affection which was supposed to exist between the two, to an extent never witnessed before between king and subject. Ruy Gomez was famous for his tact and complacency, and omitted no opportunity of cementing the friendship thus auspiciously commenced. He was said to have particularly charmed his master, upon one occasion, by hypocritically throwing up his cards at a game of hazard played for a large stake, and permitting him to win the game with a far inferior hand. The King learning afterwards the true state of the case, was charmed by the grace and self-denial manifested by the young nobleman. The complacency which the favorite subsequently exhibited in regard to the connexion which existed so long and so publicly between his wife, the celebrated Princess Eboli, and Philip, placed his power upon an impregnable basis, and secured it till his death.

At the present moment he occupied the three posts of valet, state councillor, and finance minister. He dressed and undressed his master, read or talked him to sleep, called him in the morning, admitted those who were to have private audiences, and superintended all the arrangements of the household. The rest of the day was devoted to the enormous correspondence and affairs of administration which devolved upon him as first minister of state and treasury. He was very ignorant. He had no experience or acquirement in the arts either of war or peace, and his early education had been limited. Like his master, he spoke no tongue but Spanish, and he had no literature. He had prepossessing manners, a fluent tongue, a winning and benevolent disposition. His natural capacity for affairs was considerable, and his tact was so perfect that he could converse face to face with statesmen; doctors, and generals upon campaigns, theology, or jurisprudence, without betraying any remarkable deficiency. He was very industrious, endeavoring to make up by hard study for his lack of general knowledge, and to sustain with credit the burthen of his daily functions. At the same time, by the King's desire, he appeared constantly at the frequent banquets, masquerades, tourneys and festivities, for which Brussels at that epoch was remarkable. It was no wonder that his cheek was pale, and that he seemed dying of overwork. He discharged his duties cheerfully, however, for in the service of Philip he knew no rest. "After God," said Badovaro, "he knows no object save the felicity of his master." He was already, as a matter of course, very rich, having been endowed by Philip with property to the amount of twenty-six thousand dollars yearly, [at values of 1855] and the tide of his fortunes was still at the flood.

Such were the two men, the master and the favorite, to whose hands the destinies of the Netherlands were now entrusted.

The Queen of Hungary had resigned the office of Regent of the Netherlands, as has been seen, on the occasion of the Emperor's abdication. She was a woman of masculine character, a great huntress before the Lord, a celebrated horsewoman, a worthy descendant of the Lady Mary of Burgundy. Notwithstanding all the fine phrases exchanged between herself and the eloquent Maas, at the great ceremony of the 25th of October, she was, in reality, much detested in the provinces, and she repaid their aversion with abhorrence. "I could not live among these people," she wrote to the Emperor, but a few weeks before the abdication, "even as a private person, for it would be impossible for me to do my duty towards God and my prince. As to governing them, I take God to witness that the task is so abhorrent to me, that I would rather earn my daily bread by labor than attempt it." She added, that a woman of fifty years of age, who had served during twenty-five of them, had a right to repose, and that she was moreover "too old to recommence and learn her A, B, C." The Emperor, who had always respected her for the fidelity with which she had carried out his designs, knew that it was hopeless to oppose her retreat. As for Philip, he hated his aunt, and she hated him—although, both at the epoch of the abdication and subsequently, he was desirous that she should administer the government.

The new Regent was to be the Duke of Savoy. This wandering and adventurous potentate had attached himself to Philip's fortunes, and had been received by the King with as much favor as he had ever enjoyed at the hands of the Emperor. Emanuel Philibert of Savoy, then about twenty-six or seven years of age, was the son of the late unfortunate duke, by Donna Beatrice of Portugal, sister of the Empress. He was the nephew of Charles, and first cousin to Philip. The partiality of the Emperor for his mother was well known, but the fidelity with which the family had followed the imperial cause had been productive of nothing but disaster to the duke. He had been ruined in fortune, stripped of all his dignities and possessions. His son's only inheritance was his sword. The young Prince of Piedmont, as he was commonly called in his youth; sought the camp of the Emperor, and was received with distinguished favor. He rose rapidly in the military service. Acting always upon his favorite motto, "Spoliatis arma supersunt," he had determined, if possible, to carve his way to glory, to wealth, and even to his hereditary estates, by his sword alone. War was not only his passion, but his trade. Every one of his campaigns was a speculation, and he had long derived a satisfactory income by purchasing distinguished prisoners of war at a low price from the soldiers who had captured them, and were ignorant of their rank, and by ransoming them afterwards at an immense advance. This sort of traffic in men was frequent in that age, and was considered perfectly honorable. Marshal Strozzi, Count Mansfeld, and other professional soldiers, derived their main income from the system. They were naturally inclined, therefore, to look impatiently upon a state of peace as an unnatural condition of affairs which cut off all the profits of their particular branch of industry, and condemned them both to idleness and poverty. The Duke of Savoy had become one of the most experienced and successful commanders of the age, and an especial favorite with the Emperor. He had served with Alva in the campaigns against the Protestants of Germany, and in other important fields. War being his element, he considered peace as undesirable, although he could recognize its existence. A truce he held, however, to be a senseless parodox, unworthy of the slightest regard. An armistice, such as was concluded on the February following the abdication, was, in his opinion, only to be turned to account by dealing insidious and unsuspected blows at the enemy, some portion of whose population might repose confidence in the plighted faith of monarchs and plenipotentiaries. He had a show of reason for his political and military morality, for he only chose to execute the evil which had been practised upon himself. His father had been beggared, his mother had died of spite and despair, he had himself been reduced from the rank of a sovereign to that of a mercenary soldier, by spoliations made in time of truce. He was reputed a man of very decided abilities, and was distinguished for headlong bravery. His rashness and personal daring were thought the only drawbacks to his high character as a commander. He had many accomplishments. He spoke Latin, French, Spanish, and Italian with equal fluency, was celebrated for his attachment to the fine arts, and wrote much and with great elegance. Such had been Philibert of Savoy, the pauper nephew of the powerful Emperor, the adventurous and vagrant cousin of the lofty Philip, a prince without a people, a duke without a dukedom; with no hope but in warfare, with no revenue but rapine; the image, in person, of a bold and manly soldier, small, but graceful and athletic, martial in bearing, "wearing his sword under his arm like a corporal," because an internal malady made a belt inconvenient, and ready to turn to swift account every chance which a new series of campaigns might open to him. With his new salary as governor, his pensions, and the remains of his possessions in Nice and Piedmont, he had now the splendid annual income of one hundred thousand crowns, and was sure to spend it all.

It had been the desire of Charles to smooth the commencement of Philip's path. He had for this purpose made a vigorous effort to undo, as it were, the whole work of his reign, to suspend the operation of his whole political system. The Emperor and conqueror, who had been warring all his lifetime, had attempted, as the last act of his reign, to improvise a peace. But it was not so easy to arrange a pacification of Europe as dramatically as he desired, in order that he might gather his robes about him, and allow the curtain to fall upon his eventful history in a grand hush of decorum and quiet. During the autumn and winter of 1555, hostilities had been virtually suspended, and languid negotiations ensued. For several months armies confronted each other without engaging, and diplomatists fenced among themselves without any palpable result. At last the peace commissioners, who had been assembled at Vaucelles since the beginning of the year 1556, signed a treaty of truce rather than of peace, upon the 5th of February. It was to be an armistice of five years, both by land and sea, for France, Spain, Flanders, and Italy, throughout all the dominions of the French and Spanish monarchs. The Pope was expressly included in the truce, which was signed on the part of France by Admiral Coligny and Sebastian l'Aubespine; on that of Spain, by Count de Lalain, Philibert de Bruxelles, Simon Renard, and Jean Baptiste Sciceio, a jurisconsult of Cremona. During the precious month of December, however, the Pope had concluded with the French monarch a treaty, by which this solemn armistice was rendered an egregious farce. While Henry's plenipotentiaries had been plighting their faith to those of Philip, it had been arranged that France should sustain, by subsidies and armies, the scheme upon which Paul was bent, to drive the Spaniards entirely out of the Italian peninsula. The king was to aid the pontiff, and, in return, was to carve thrones for his own younger children out of the confiscated realms of Philip. When was France ever slow to sweep upon Italy with such a hope? How could the ever-glowing rivalry of Valois and Habsburg fail to burst into a general conflagration, while the venerable vicegerent of Christ stood thus beside them with his fan in his hand?

For a brief breathing space, however, the news of the pacification occasioned much joy in the provinces. They rejoiced even in a temporary cessation of that long series of campaigns from which they could certainly derive no advantage, and in which their part was to furnish money, soldiers, and battlefields, without prospect of benefit from any victory, however brilliant, or any treaty, however elaborate. Manufacturing, agricultural and commercial provinces, filled to the full with industrial life, could not but be injured by being converted into perpetual camps. All was joy in the Netherlands, while at Antwerp, the great commercial metropolis of the provinces and of Europe, the rapture was unbounded. Oxen were roasted whole in the public squares; the streets, soon to be empurpled with the best blood of her citizens, ran red with wine; a hundred triumphal arches adorned the pathway of Philip as he came thither; and a profusion of flowers, although it was February, were strewn before his feet. Such was his greeting in the light-hearted city, but the countenance was more than usually sullen with which the sovereign received these demonstrations of pleasure. It was thought by many that Philip had been really disappointed in the conclusion of the armistice, that he was inspired with a spark of that martial ambition for which his panegyrists gave him credit, and that knowing full well the improbability of a long suspension of hostilities, he was even eager for the chance of conquest which their resumption would afford him. The secret treaty of the Pope was of course not so secret but that the hollow intention of the contracting parties to the truce of Vaucelles were thoroughly suspected; intentions which certainly went far to justify the maxims and the practice of the new governor-general of the Netherlands upon the subject of armistices.

Philip, understanding his position, was revolving renewed military projects while his subjects were ringing merry bells and lighting bonfires in the Netherlands. These schemes, which were to be carried out in the immediate future, caused, however, a temporary delay in the great purpose to which he was to devote his life.

The Emperor had always desired to regard the Netherlands as a whole, and he hated the antiquated charters and obstinate privileges which interfered with his ideas of symmetry. Two great machines, the court of Mechlin and the inquisition, would effectually simplify and assimilate all these irregular and heterogeneous rights. The civil tribunal was to annihilate all diversities in their laws by a general cassation of their constitutions, and the ecclesiastical court was to burn out all differences in their religious faith. Between two such millstones it was thought that the Netherlands might be crushed into uniformity. Philip succeeded to these traditions. The father had never sufficient leisure to carry out all his schemes, but it seemed probable that the son would be a worthy successor, at least in all which concerned the religious part of his system. One of the earliest measures of his reign was to re-enact the dread edict of 1550. This he did by the express advice of the Bishop of Arras who represented to him the expediency of making use of the popularity of his father's name, to sustain the horrible system resolved upon. As Charles was the author of the edict, it could be always argued that nothing new was introduced; that burning, hanging, and drowning for religious differences constituted a part of the national institutions; that they had received the sanction of the wise Emperor, and had been sustained by the sagacity of past generations. Nothing could have been more subtle, as the event proved, than this advice. Innumerable were the appeals made in subsequent years, upon this subject, to the patriotism and the conservative sentiments of the Netherlanders. Repeatedly they were summoned to maintain the inquisition, on the ground that it had been submitted to by their ancestors, and that no change had been made by Philip, who desired only to maintain church and crown in the authority which they had enjoyed in the days of his father of very laudable memory.

Nevertheless, the King's military plans seemed to interfere for the moment with this cherished object. He seemed to swerve, at starting, from pursuing the goal which he was only to abandon with life. The edict of 1550 was re-enacted and confirmed, and all office-holders were commanded faithfully to enforce it upon pain of immediate dismissal. Nevertheless, it was not vigorously carried into effect any where. It was openly resisted in Holland, its proclamation was flatly refused in Antwerp, and repudiated throughout Brabant. It was strange that such disobedience should be tolerated, but the King wanted money. He was willing to refrain for a season from exasperating the provinces by fresh religious persecution at the moment when he was endeavoring to extort every penny which it was possible to wring from their purses.

The joy, therefore, with which the pacification had been hailed by the people was far from an agreeable spectacle to the King. The provinces would expect that the forces which had been maintained at their expense during the war would be disbanded, whereas he had no intention of disbanding them. As the truce was sure to be temporary, he had no disposition to diminish his available resources for a war which might be renewed at any moment. To maintain the existing military establishment in the Netherlands, a large sum of money was required, for the pay was very much in arrear. The king had made a statement to the provincial estates upon this subject, but the matter was kept secret during the negotiations with France. The way had thus been paved for the "Request" or "Bede," which he now made to the estates assembled at Brussels, in the spring of 1556. It was to consist of a tax of one per cent. (the hundredth penny) upon all real estate, and of two per cent. upon all merchandise; to be collected in three payments. The request, in so far as the imposition of the proposed tax was concerned, was refused by Flanders, Brabant, Holland, and all the other important provinces, but as usual, a moderate, even a generous, commutation in money was offered by the estates. This was finally accepted by Philip, after he had become convinced that at this moment, when he was contemplating a war with France, it would be extremely impolitic to insist upon the tax. The publication of the truce in Italy had been long delayed, and the first infractions which it suffered were committed in that country. The arts of politicians; the schemes of individual ambition, united with the short-lived military ardor of Philip to place the monarch in an eminently false position, that of hostility to the Pope. As was unavoidable, the secret treaty of December acted as an immediate dissolvent to the truce of February.

Great was the indignation of Paul Caraffa, when that truce was first communicated to him by the Cardinal de Tournon, on the part of the French Government. Notwithstanding the protestations of France that the secret league was still binding, the pontiff complained that he was likely to be abandoned to his own resources, and to be left single-handed to contend with the vast power of Spain.

Pope Paul IV., of the house of Caraffa, was, in position, the well-known counterpart of the Emperor Charles. At the very moment when the conqueror and autocrat was exchanging crown for cowl, and the proudest throne of the universe for a cell, this aged monk, as weary of scientific and religious seclusion as Charles of pomp and power, had abdicated his scholastic pre-eminence, and exchanged his rosary for the keys and sword. A pontifical Faustus, he had become disgusted with the results of a life of study and abnegation, and immediately upon his election appeared to be glowing with mundane passions, and inspired by the fiercest ambition of a warrior. He had rushed from the cloister as eagerly as Charles had sought it. He panted for the tempests of the great external world as earnestly as the conqueror who had so long ridden upon the whirlwind of human affairs sighed for a haven of repose. None of his predecessors had been more despotic, more belligerent, more disposed to elevate and strengthen the temporal power of Rome. In the inquisition he saw the grand machine by which this purpose could be accomplished, and yet found himself for a period the antagonist of Philip. The single circumstance would have been sufficient, had other proofs been wanting, to make manifest that the part which he had chosen to play was above his genius. Had his capacity been at all commensurate with his ambition, he might have deeply influenced the fate of the world; but fortunately no wizard's charm came to the aid of Paul Caraffa, and the triple-crowned monk sat upon the pontifical throne, a fierce, peevish, querulous, and quarrelsome dotard; the prey and the tool of his vigorous enemies and his intriguing relations. His hatred of Spain and Spaniards was unbounded. He raved at them as "heretics, schismatics, accursed of God, the spawn of Jews and Moors, the very dregs of the earth." To play upon such insane passions was not difficult, and a skilful artist stood ever ready to strike the chords thus vibrating with age and fury. The master spirit and principal mischief-maker of the papal court was the well-known Cardinal Caraffa, once a wild and dissolute soldier, nephew to the Pope. He inflamed the anger of the pontiff by his representations, that the rival house of Colonna, sustained by the Duke of Alva, now viceroy of Naples, and by the whole Spanish power, thus relieved from the fear of French hostilities, would be free to wreak its vengeance upon their family. It was determined that the court of France should be held by the secret league. Moreover, the Pope had been expressly included in the treaty of Vaucelles, although the troops of Spain had already assumed a hostile attitude in the south of Italy. The Cardinal was for immediately proceeding to Paris, there to excite the sympathy of the French monarch for the situation of himself and his uncle. An immediate rupture between France and Spain, a re-kindling of the war flames from one end of Europe to the other, were necessary to save the credit and the interests of the Caraffas. Cardinal de Tournon, not desirous of so sudden a termination to the pacific relations between his, country and Spain, succeeded in detaining him a little longer in Rome.—He remained, but not in idleness. The restless intriguer had already formed close relations with the most important personage in France, Diana of Poitiers.—This venerable courtesan, to the enjoyment of whose charms Henry had succeeded, with the other regal possessions, on the death of his father, was won by the flatteries of the wily Caraffa, and by the assiduities of the Guise family. The best and most sagacious statesmen, the Constable, and the Admiral, were in favor of peace, for they knew the condition of the kingdom. The Duke of Guise and the Cardinal Lorraine were for a rupture, for they hoped to increase their family influence by war. Coligny had signed the treaty of Vaucelles, and wished to maintain it, but the influence of the Catholic party was in the ascendant. The result was to embroil the Catholic King against the Pope and against themselves. The queen was as favorably inclined as the mistress to listen to Caraffa, for Catherine de Medici was desirous that her cousin, Marshal Strozzi, should have honorable and profitable employment in some fresh Italian campaigns.

In the mean time an accident favored the designs of the papal court. An open quarrel with Spain resulted from an insignificant circumstance. The Spanish ambassador at Rome was in the habit of leaving the city very often, at an early hour in the morning, upon shooting excursions, and had long enjoyed the privilege of ordering the gates to be opened for him at his pleasure. By accident or design, he was refused permission upon one occasion to pass through the gate as usual. Unwilling to lose his day's sport, and enraged at what he considered an indignity, his excellency, by the aid of his attendants, attacked and beat the guard, mastered them, made his way out of the city, and pursued his morning's amusement. The Pope was furious, Caraffa artfully inflamed his anger. The envoy was refused an audience, which he desired, for the sake of offering explanations, and the train being thus laid, it was thought that the right moment had arrived for applying the firebrand. The Cardinal went to Paris post haste. In his audience of the King, he represented that his Holiness had placed implicit reliance upon his secret treaty with his majesty, that the recently concluded truce with Spain left the pontiff at the mercy of the Spaniard, that the Duke of Alva had already drawn the sword, that the Pope had long since done himself the pleasure and the honor of appointing the French monarch protector of the papal chair in general, and of the Caraffa family in particular, and that the moment had arrived for claiming the benefit of that protection. He assured him, moreover, as by full papal authority, that in respecting the recent truce with Spain, his majesty would violate both human and divine law. Reason and justice required him to defend the pontiff, now that the Spaniards were about to profit by the interval of truce to take measures for his detriment. Moreover, as the Pope was included in the truce of Vaucelles, he could not be abandoned without a violation of that treaty itself.—The arts and arguments of the Cardinal proved successful; the war was resolved upon in favor of the Pope. The Cardinal, by virtue of powers received and brought with him from his holiness, absolved the King from all obligation to keep his faith with Spain. He also gave him a dispensation from the duty of prefacing hostilities by a declaration of war. Strozzi was sent at once into Italy, with some hastily collected troops, while the Duke of Guise waited to organize a regular army.

The mischief being thus fairly afoot, and war let loose again upon Europe, the Cardinal made a public entry into Paris, as legate of the Pope. The populace crowded about his mule, as he rode at the head of a stately procession through the streets. All were anxious to receive a benediction from the holy man who had come so far to represent the successor of St. Peter, and to enlist the efforts of all true believers in his cause. He appeared to answer the entreaties of the superstitious rabble with fervent blessings, while the friends who were nearest him were aware that nothing but gibes and sarcasms were falling from his lips. "Let us fool these poor creatures to their heart's content, since they will be fools," he muttered; smiling the while upon them benignantly, as became his holy office. Such were the materials of this new combination; such was the fuel with which this new blaze was lighted and maintained. Thus were the great powers of the earth—Spain, France, England, and the Papacy embroiled, and the nations embattled against each other for several years. The preceding pages show how much national interests, or principles; were concerned in the struggle thus commenced, in which thousands were to shed their life-blood, and millions to be reduced from peace and comfort to suffer all the misery which famine and rapine can inflict. It would no doubt have increased the hilarity of Caraffa, as he made his triumphant entry into Paris, could the idea have been suggested to his mind that the sentiments, or the welfare of the people throughout the great states now involved in his meshes, could have any possible bearing upon the question of peace or wax. The world was governed by other influences. The wiles of a cardinal—the arts of a concubine—the snipe-shooting of an ambassador—the speculations of a soldier of fortune—the ill temper of a monk—the mutual venom of Italian houses—above all, the perpetual rivalry of the two great historical families who owned the greater part of Europe between them as their private property—such were the wheels on which rolled the destiny of Christendom. Compared to these, what were great moral and political ideas, the plans of statesmen, the hopes of nations? Time was soon to show. Meanwhile, government continued to be administered exclusively for the benefit of the governors. Meanwhile, a petty war for paltry motives was to precede the great spectacle which was to prove to Europe that principles and peoples still existed, and that a phlegmatic nation of merchants and manufacturers could defy the powers of the universe, and risk all their blood and treasure, generation after generation, in a sacred cause.

It does not belong to our purpose to narrate the details of the campaign in Italy; neither is this war of politics and chicane of any great interest at the present day. To the military minds of their age, the scientific duel which now took place upon a large scale, between two such celebrated captains as the Dukes of Guise and Alva, was no doubt esteemed the most important of spectacles; but the progress of mankind in the art of slaughter has stripped so antiquated an exhibition of most of its interest, even in a technical point of view. Not much satisfaction could be derived from watching an old-fashioned game of war, in which the parties sat down before each other so tranquilly, and picked up piece after piece, castle after castle, city after city, with such scientific deliberation as to make it evident that, in the opinion of the commanders, war was the only serious business to be done in the world; that it was not to be done in a hurry, nor contrary to rule, and that when a general had a good job upon his hands he ought to know his profession much too thoroughly, to hasten through it before he saw his way clear to another. From the point of time, at the close of the year 1556, when that well-trained but not very successful soldier, Strozzi, crossed the Alps, down to the autumn of the following year, when the Duke of Alva made his peace with the Pope, there was hardly a pitched battle, and scarcely an event of striking interest. Alva, as usual, brought his dilatory policy to bear upon his adversary with great effect. He had no intention, he observed to a friend, to stake the whole kingdom of Naples against a brocaded coat of the Duke of Guise. Moreover, he had been sent to the war, as Ruy Gomez informed the Venetian ambassador, "with a bridle in his mouth." Philip, sorely troubled in his mind at finding himself in so strange a position as this hostile attitude to the Church, had earnestly interrogated all the doctors and theologians with whom he habitually took counsel, whether this war with the Pope would not work a forfeiture of his title of the Most Catholic King. The Bishop of Arras and the favorite both disapproved of the war, and encouraged, with all their influence, the pacific inclinations of the monarch. The doctors were, to be sure, of opinion that Philip, having acted in Italy only in self-defence, and for the protection of his states, ought not to be anxious as to his continued right to the title on which he valued himself so highly. Nevertheless, such ponderings and misgivings could not but have the effect of hampering the actions of Alva. That general chafed inwardly at what he considered his own contemptible position. At the same time, he enraged the Duke of Guise still more deeply by the forced calmness of his proceedings. Fortresses were reduced, towns taken, one after another, with the most provoking deliberation, while his distracted adversary in vain strove to defy, or to delude him, into trying the chances of a stricken field. The battle of Saint Quentin, the narrative of which belongs to our subject, and will soon occupy our attention, at last decided the Italian operations. Egmont's brilliant triumph in Picardy rendered a victory in Italy superfluous, and placed in Alva's hand the power of commanding the issue of his own campaign. The Duke of Guise was recalled to defend the French frontier, which the bravery of the Flemish hero had imperilled, and the Pope was left to make the best peace which he could. All was now prosperous and smiling, and the campaign closed with a highly original and entertaining exhibition. The pontiff's puerile ambition, sustained by the intrigues of his nephew, had involved the French monarch in a war which was contrary to his interests and inclination. Paul now found his ally too sorely beset to afford him that protection upon which he had relied, when he commenced, in his dotage, his career as a warrior. He was, therefore, only desirous of deserting his friend, and of relieving himself from his uncomfortable predicament, by making a treaty with his catholic majesty upon the best terms which he could obtain. The King of France, who had gone to war only for the sake of his holiness, was to be left to fight his own battles, while the Pope was to make his peace with all the world. The result was a desirable one for Philip. Alva was accordingly instructed to afford the holy father a decorous and appropriate opportunity for carrying out his wishes. The victorious general was apprized that his master desired no fruit from his commanding attitude in Italy and the victory of Saint Quentin, save a full pardon from the Pope for maintaining even a defensive war against him. An amicable siege of Rome was accordingly commenced, in the course of which an assault or "camiciata" on the holy city, was arranged for the night of the 26th August, 1557. The pontiff agreed to be taken by surprise—while Alva, through what was to appear only a superabundance of his habitual discretion, was to draw off his troops at the very moment when the victorious assault was to be made. The imminent danger to the holy city and to his own sacred person thus furnishing the pontiff with an excuse for abandoning his own cause, as well as that of his ally the Duke of Alva was allowed, in the name of his master and himself; to make submission to the Church and his peace with Rome. The Spanish general, with secret indignation and disgust, was compelled to humor the vanity of a peevish but imperious old man. Negotiations were commenced, and so skilfully had the Duke played his game during the spring and summer, that when he was admitted to kiss the Pope's toe, he was able to bring a hundred Italian towns in his hand, as a peace-offering to his holiness. These he now restored, with apparent humility and inward curses, upon the condition that the fortifications should be razed, and the French alliance absolutely renounced. Thus did the fanaticism of Philip reverse the relative position of himself and his antagonist. Thus was the vanquished pontiff allowed almost to dictate terms to the victorious general. The king who could thus humble himself to a dotard, while he made himself the scourge of his subjects, deserved that the bull of excommunication which had been prepared should have been fulminated. He, at least, was capable of feeling the scathing effects of such anathemas.

The Duke of Guise, having been dismissed with the pontiff's assurance that he had done little for the interests of his sovereign, less for the protection of the Church, and least of all for his own reputation, set forth with all speed for Civita Vecchia, to do what he could upon the Flemish frontier to atone for his inglorious campaign in Italy. The treaty between the Pope and the Duke of Alva was signed on the 14th September (1557), and the Spanish general retired for the winter to Milan. Cardinal Caraffa was removed from the French court to that of Madrid, there to spin new schemes for the embroilment of nations and the advancement of his own family. Very little glory was gained by any of the combatants in this campaign. Spain, France, nor Paul IV., not one of them came out of the Italian contest in better condition than that in which they entered upon it. In fact all were losers. France had made an inglorious retreat, the Pope a ludicrous capitulation, and the only victorious party, the King of Spain, had, during the summer, conceded to Cosmo de Medici the sovereignty of Sienna. Had Venice shown more cordiality towards Philip, and more disposition to sustain his policy, it is probable that the Republic would have secured the prize which thus fell to the share of Cosmo. That astute and unprincipled potentate, who could throw his net so well in troubled water, had successfully duped all parties, Spain, France, and Rome. The man who had not only not participated in the contest, but who had kept all parties and all warfare away from his borders, was the only individual in Italy who gained territorial advantage from the war.

To avoid interrupting the continuity of the narrative, the Spanish campaign has been briefly sketched until the autumn of 1557, at which period the treaty between the Pope and Philip was concluded. It is now necessary to go back to the close of the preceding year.

Simultaneously with the descent of the French troops upon Italy, hostilities had broken out upon the Flemish border. The pains of the Emperor in covering the smouldering embers of national animosities so precipitately, and with a view rather to scenic effect than to a deliberate and well-considered result, were thus set at nought, and within a year from the day of his abdication, hostilities were reopened from the Tiber to the German Ocean. The blame of first violating the truce of Vaucelles was laid by each party upon the other with equal justice, for there can be but little doubt that the reproach justly belonged to both. Both had been equally faithless in their professions of amity. Both were equally responsible for the scenes of war, plunder, and misery, which again were desolating the fairest regions of Christendom.

At the time when the French court had resolved to concede to the wishes of the Caraffa family, Admiral Coligny, who had been appointed governor of Picardy, had received orders to make a foray upon the frontier of Flanders. Before the formal annunciation of hostilities, it was thought desirable to reap all the advantage possible from the perfidy which had been resolved upon.

It happened that a certain banker of Lucca, an ancient gambler and debauchee, whom evil courses had reduced from affluence to penury, had taken up his abode upon a hill overlooking the city of Douay. Here he had built himself a hermit's cell. Clad in sackcloth, with a rosary at his waist, he was accustomed to beg his bread from door to door. His garb was all, however, which he possessed of sanctity, and he had passed his time in contemplating the weak points in the defences of the city with much more minuteness than those in his own heart. Upon the breaking out of hostilities in Italy, the instincts of his old profession had suggested to him that a good speculation might be made in Flanders, by turning to account as a spy the observations which he had made in his character of a hermit. He sought an interview with Coligny, and laid his propositions before him. The noble Admiral hesitated, for his sentiments were more elevated than those of many of his contemporaries. He had, moreover, himself negotiated and signed the truce with Spain, and he shrank from violating it with his own hand, before a declaration of war. Still he was aware that a French army was on its way to attack the Spaniards in Italy; he was under instructions to take the earliest advantage which his position upon the frontier might offer him; he knew that both theory and practice authorized a general, in that age, to break his fast, even in time of truce, if a tempting morsel should present itself; and, above all, he thoroughly understood the character of his nearest antagonist, the new governor of the Netherlands, Philibert of Savoy, whom he knew to be the most unscrupulous chieftain in Europe. These considerations decided him to take advantage of the hermit-banker's communication.

A day was accordingly fixed, at which, under the guidance of this newly-acquired ally, a surprise should be attempted by the French forces, and the unsuspecting city of Douay given over to the pillage of a brutal soldiery. The time appointed was the night of Epiphany, upon occasion of which festival, it was thought that the inhabitants, overcome with sleep and wassail, might be easily overpowered. (6th January, 1557.) The plot was a good plot, but the Admiral of France was destined to be foiled by an old woman. This person, apparently the only creature awake in the town, perceived the danger, ran shrieking through the streets, alarmed the citizens while it was yet time, and thus prevented the attack. Coligny, disappointed in his plan, recompensed his soldiers by a sudden onslaught upon Lens in Arthois, which he sacked and then levelled with the ground. Such was the wretched condition of frontier cities, standing, even in time of peace, with the ground undermined beneath them, and existing every moment, as it were, upon the brink of explosion.

Hostilities having been thus fairly commenced, the French government was in some embarrassment. The Duke of Guise, with the most available forces of the kingdom, having crossed the Alps, it became necessary forthwith to collect another army. The place of rendezvous appointed was Pierrepoint, where an army of eighteen thousand infantry and five thousand horse were assembled early in the spring. In the mean time, Philip finding the war fairly afoot, had crossed to England for the purpose (exactly in contravention of all his marriage stipulations) of cajoling his wife and browbeating her ministers into a participation in his war with France. This was easily accomplished. The English nation found themselves accordingly engaged in a contest with which they had no concern, which, as the event proved, was very much against their interests, and in which the moving cause for their entanglement was the devotion of a weak, bad, ferocious woman, for a husband who hated her. A herald sent from England arrived in France, disguised, and was presented to King Henry at Rheims. Here, dropping on one knee, he recited a list of complaints against his majesty, on behalf of the English Queen, all of them fabricated or exaggerated for the occasion, and none of them furnishing even a decorous pretext for the war which was now formally declared in consequence. The French monarch expressed his regret and surprise that the firm and amicable relations secured by treaty between the two countries should thus, without sufficient cause, be violated. In accepting the wager of warfare thus forced upon him, he bade the herald, Norris, inform his mistress that her messenger was treated with courtesy only because he represented a lady, and that, had he come from a king, the language with which he would have been greeted would have befitted the perfidy manifested on the occasion. God would punish this shameless violation of faith, and this wanton interruption to the friendship of two great nations. With this the herald was dismissed from the royal presence, but treated with great distinction, conducted to the hotel of the English ambassador, and presented, on the part of the French sovereign with a chain of gold.

Philip had despatched Ruy Gomez to Spain for the purpose of providing ways and means, while he was himself occupied with the same task in England. He stayed there three months. During this time, he "did more," says a Spanish contemporary, "than any one could have believed possible with that proud and indomitable nation. He caused them to declare war against France with fire and sword, by sea and land." Hostilities having been thus chivalrously and formally established, the Queen sent an army of eight thousand men, cavalry, infantry, and pioneers, who, "all clad in blue uniform," commanded by Lords Pembroke and Clinton, with the three sons of the Earl of Northumberland, and officered by many other scions of England's aristocracy, disembarked at Calais, and shortly afterwards joined the camp before Saint Quentin.

Philip meantime had left England, and with more bustle and activity than was usual with him, had given directions for organizing at once a considerable army. It was composed mainly of troops belonging to the Netherlands, with the addition of some German auxiliaries. Thirty-five thousand foot and twelve thousand horse had, by the middle of July, advanced through the province of Namur, and were assembled at Givet under the Duke of Savoy, who, as Governor-General of the Netherlands, held the chief command. All the most eminent grandees of the provinces, Orange, Aerschot, Berlaymont, Meghen, Brederode, were present with the troops, but the life and soul of the army, upon this memorable occasion, was the Count of Egmont.

Lamoral, Count of Egmont, Prince of Gavere, was now in the thirty-sixth year of his age, in the very noon of that brilliant life which was destined to be so soon and so fatally overshadowed. Not one of the dark clouds, which were in the future to accumulate around him, had yet rolled above his horizon. Young, noble, wealthy, handsome, valiant, he saw no threatening phantom in the future, and caught eagerly at the golden opportunity, which the present placed within his grasp, of winning fresh laurels on a wider and more fruitful field than any in which he had hitherto been a reaper. The campaign about to take place was likely to be an imposing, if not an important one, and could not fail to be attractive to a noble of so ardent and showy a character as Egmont. If there were no lofty principles or extensive interests to be contended for, as there certainly were not, there was yet much that was stately and exciting to the imagination in the warfare which had been so deliberately and pompously arranged. The contending armies, although of moderate size, were composed of picked troops, and were commanded by the flower of Europe's chivalry. Kings, princes, and the most illustrious paladins of Christendom, were arming for the great tournament, to which they had been summoned by herald and trumpet; and the Batavian hero, without a crown or even a country, but with as lofty a lineage as many anointed sovereigns could boast, was ambitious to distinguish himself in the proud array.

Upon the north-western edge of the narrow peninsula of North Holland, washed by the stormy waters of the German Ocean, were the ancient castle, town, and lordship, whence Egmont derived his family name, and the title by which he was most familiarly known. He was supposed to trace his descent, through a line of chivalrous champions and crusaders, up to the pagan kings of the most ancient of existing Teutonic races. The eighth century names of the Frisian Radbold and Adgild among his ancestors were thought to denote the antiquity of a house whose lustre had been increased in later times by the splendor of its alliances. His father, united to Francoise de Luxemburg, Princess of Gavere, had acquired by this marriage, and transmitted to his posterity, many of the proudest titles and richest estates of Flanders. Of the three children who survived him, the only daughter was afterwards united to the Count of Vaudemont, and became mother of Louise de Vaudemont, queen of the French monarch, Henry the Third.

Of his two sons, Charles, the elder, had died young and unmarried, leaving all the estates and titles of the family to his brother. Lamoral, born in 1522, was in early youth a page of the Emperor. When old enough to bear arms he demanded and obtained permission to follow the career of his adventurous sovereign. He served his apprenticeship as a soldier in the stormy expedition to Barbary, where, in his nineteenth year, he commanded a troop of light horse, and distinguished himself under the Emperor's eye for his courage and devotion, doing the duty not only of a gallant commander but of a hardy soldier. Returning, unscathed by the war, flood, or tempest of that memorable enterprise, he reached his country by the way of Corsica, Genoa, and Lorraine, and was three years afterwards united (in the year 1545) to Sabina of Bavaria, sister of Frederick, Elector Palatine. The nuptials had taken place at Spiers, and few royal weddings could have been more brilliant. The Emperor, his brother Ferdinand King of the Romans, with the Archduke Maximilian, all the imperial electors, and a concourse of the principal nobles of the empire, were present on the occasion been at the Emperor's side during the unlucky siege of Metz; in 1554 he had been sent at the head of a splendid embassy to England, to solicit for Philip the hand of Mary Tudor, and had witnessed the marriage in Winchester Cathedral, the same year. Although one branch of his house had, in past times, arrived at the sovereignty of Gueldres, and another had acquired the great estates and titles of Buren, which had recently passed, by intermarriage with the heiress, into the possession of the Prince of Orange, yet the Prince of Gavere, Count of Egmont, was the chief of a race which yielded to none of the great Batavian or Flemish families in antiquity, wealth, or power. Personally, he was distinguished for his bravery, and although he was not yet the idol of the camp, which he was destined to become, nor had yet commanded in chief on any important occasion, he was accounted one of the five principal generals in the Spanish service. Eager for general admiration, he was at the same time haughty and presumptuous, attempting to combine the characters of an arrogant magnate and a popular chieftain. Terrible and sudden in his wrath, he was yet of inordinate vanity, and was easily led by those who understood his weakness. With a limited education, and a slender capacity for all affairs except those relating to the camp, he was destined to be as vacillating and incompetent as a statesman, as he was prompt and fortunately audacious in the field. A splendid soldier, his evil stars had destined him to tread, as a politician, a dark and dangerous path, in which not even genius, caution, and integrity could ensure success, but in which rashness alternating with hesitation, and credulity with violence, could not fail to bring ruin. Such was Count Egmont, as he took his place at the-head of the king's cavalry in the summer of 1557.

The early operations of the Duke of Savoy were at first intended to deceive the enemy. The army, after advancing as far into Picardy as the town of Vervins, which they burned and pillaged, made a demonstration with their whole force upon the city of Guise. This, however, was but a feint, by which attention was directed and forces drawn off from Saint Quentin, which was to be the real point of attack In the mean time, the Constable of France, Montmorency, arrived upon the 28th July (1557), to take command of the French troops. He was accompanied by the Marechal de Saint Andre and by Admiral Coligny. The most illustrious names of France, whether for station or valor, were in the officers' list of this select army. Nevers and Montpensier, Enghien and Conde, Vendome and Rochefoucauld, were already there, and now the Constable and the Admiral came to add the strength of their experience and lofty reputation to sustain the courage of the troops. The French were at Pierrepoint, a post between Champagne and Picardy, and in its neighborhood. The Spanish army was at Vervins, and threatening Guise. It had been the opinion in France that the enemy's intention was to invade Champagne, and the Duc de Nevers, governor of that province, had made a disposition of his forces suitable for such a contingency. It was the conviction of Montmorency, however, that Picardy was to be the quarter really attacked, and that Saint Quentin, which was the most important point at which the enemy's progress, by that route, towards Paris could be arrested, was in imminent danger. The Constable's opinion was soon confirmed by advices received by Coligny. The enemy's army, he was informed, after remaining three days before Guise, had withdrawn from that point, and had invested Saint Quentin with their whole force.

This wealthy and prosperous city stood upon an elevation rising from the river Somme. It was surrounded by very extensive suburbs, ornamented with orchards and gardens, and including within their limits large tracts of a highly cultivated soil. Three sides of the place were covered by a lake, thirty yards in width, very deep at some points, in others, rather resembling a morass, and extending on the Flemish side a half mile beyond the city. The inhabitants were thriving and industrious; many of the manufacturers and merchants were very rich, for it was a place of much traffic and commercial importance.

Teligny, son-in-law of the Admiral, was in the city with a detachment of the Dauphin's regiment; Captain Brueuil was commandant of the town. Both informed Coligny of the imminent peril in which they stood. They represented the urgent necessity of immediate reinforcements both of men and supplies. The city, as the Admiral well knew, was in no condition to stand a siege by such an army, and dire were the consequences which would follow the downfall of so important a place. It was still practicable, they wrote, to introduce succor, but every day diminished the possibility of affording effectual relief. Coligny was not the man to let the grass grow under his feet, after such an appeal in behalf of the principal place in his government. The safety of France was dependent upon that of St. Quentin. The bulwark overthrown, Paris was within the next stride of an adventurous enemy. The Admiral instantly set out, upon the 2d of August, with strong reinforcements. It was too late. The English auxiliaries, under Lords Pembroke, Clinton, and Grey, had, in the mean time, effected their junction with the Duke of Savoy, and appeared in the camp before St. Quentin. The route, by which it had been hoped that the much needed succor could be introduced, was thus occupied and rendered impracticable. The Admiral, however, in consequence of the urgent nature of the letters received from Brueuil and Teligny, had outstripped, in his anxiety, the movements of his troops. He reached the city, almost alone and unattended. Notwithstanding the remonstrances of his officers, he had listened to no voice save the desperate entreaties of the besieged garrison, and had flown before his army. He now shut himself up in the city, determined to effect its deliverance by means of his skill and experience, or, at least, to share its fate. As the gates closed upon Coligny, the road was blocked up for his advancing troops.

A few days were passed in making ineffectual sorties, ordered by Coligny for the sake of reconnoitring the country, and of discovering the most practicable means of introducing supplies. The Constable, meantime, who had advanced with his army to La Fore, was not idle. He kept up daily communications with the beleagured Admiral, and was determined, if possible, to relieve the city. There was, however, a constant succession of disappointments. Moreover, the brave but indiscreet Teligny, who commanded during a temporary illness of the Admiral, saw fit, against express orders, to make an imprudent sortie. He paid the penalty of his rashness with his life. He was rescued by the Admiral in person, who, at imminent hazard, brought back the unfortunate officer covered with wounds, into the city, there to die at his father's feet, imploring forgiveness for his disobedience. Meantime the garrison was daily growing weaker. Coligny sent out of the city all useless consumers, quartered all the women in the cathedral and other churches, where they were locked in, lest their terror and their tears should weaken the courage of the garrison; and did all in his power to strengthen the defences of the city, and sustain the resolution of the inhabitants. Affairs were growing desperate. It seemed plain that the important city must soon fall, and with it most probably Paris. One of the suburbs was already in the hands of the enemy. At last Coligny discovered a route by which he believed it to be still possible to introduce reinforcements. He communicated the results of his observations to the Constable. Upon one side of the city the lake, or morass, was traversed by a few difficult and narrow pathways, mostly under water, and by a running stream which could only be passed in boats. The Constable, in consequence of this information received from Coligny, set out from La Fere upon the 8th of August, with four thousand infantry and two thousand horse. Halting his troops at the village of Essigny, he advanced in person to the edge of the morass, in order to reconnoitre the ground and prepare his plans. The result was a determination to attempt the introduction of men and supplies into the town by the mode suggested. Leaving his troops drawn up in battle array, he returned to La Fere for the remainder of his army, and to complete his preparations. Coligny in the mean time was to provide boats for crossing the stream. Upon the 10th August, which was the festival of St. Laurence, the Constable advanced with four pieces of heavy artillery, four culverines, and four lighter pieces, and arrived at nine o'clock in the morning near the Faubourg d'Isle, which was already in possession of the Spanish troops. The whole army of the Constable consisted of twelve thousand German, with fifteen companies of French infantry; making in all some sixteen thousand foot, with five thousand cavalry in addition. The Duke of Savoy's army lay upon the same side of the town, widely extended, and stretching beyond the river and the morass. Montmorency's project was to be executed in full view of the enemy. Fourteen companies of Spaniards were stationed in the faubourg. Two companies had been pushed forward as far as a water-mill, which lay in the pathway of the advancing Constable. These soldiers stood their ground for a moment, but soon retreated, while a cannonade was suddenly opened by the French upon the quarters of the Duke of Savoy. The Duke's tent was torn to pieces, and he had barely time to hurry on his cuirass, and to take refuge with Count Egmont. The Constable, hastening to turn this temporary advantage to account at once, commenced the transportation of his troops across the morass. The enterprise was, however, not destined to be fortunate. The number of boats which had been provided was very inadequate; moreover they were very small, and each as it left the shore was consequently so crowded with soldiers that it was in danger of being swamped. Several were overturned, and the men perished. It was found also that the opposite bank was steep and dangerous. Many who had crossed the river were unable to effect a landing, while those who escaped drowning in the water lost their way in the devious and impracticable paths, or perished miserably in the treacherous quagmires. Very few effected their entrance into the town, but among them was Andelot, brother of Coligny, with five hundred followers. Meantime, a council of officers was held in Egmont's tent. Opinions were undecided as to the course to be pursued under the circumstances. Should an engagement be risked, or should the Constable, who had but indifferently accomplished his project and had introduced but an insignificant number of troops into the city, be allowed to withdraw with the rest of his army? The fiery vehemence of Egmont carried all before it. Here was an opportunity to measure arms at advantage with the great captain of the age. To relinquish the prize, which the fortune of war had now placed within reach of their valor, was a thought not to be entertained. Here was the great Constable Montmorency, attended by princes of the royal blood, the proudest of the nobility, the very crown and flower of the chivalry of France, and followed by an army of her bravest troops. On a desperate venture he had placed himself within their grasp. Should he go thence alive and unmolested? The moral effect of destroying such an army would be greater than if it were twice its actual strength. It would be dealing a blow at the very heart of France, from which she could not recover. Was the opportunity to be resigned without a struggle of laying at the feet of Philip, in this his first campaign since his accession to his father's realms, a prize worthy of the proudest hour of the Emperor's reign? The eloquence of the impetuous Batavian was irresistible, and it was determined to cut off the Constable's retreat.

Three miles from the Faubourg d'Isle, to which that general had now advanced, was a narrow pass or defile, between steep and closely hanging hills. While advancing through this ravine in the morning, the Constable had observed that the enemy might have it in their power to intercept his return at that point. He had therefore left the Rhinegrave, with his company of mounted carabineers, to guard the passage. Being ready to commence his retreat, he now sent forward the Due de Nevers, with four companies of cavalry to strengthen that important position, which he feared might be inadequately guarded. The act of caution came too late. This was the fatal point which the quick glance of Egmont had at once detected. As Nevers reached the spot, two thousand of the enemy's cavalry rode through and occupied the narrow passage. Inflamed by mortification and despair, Nevers would have at once charged those troops, although outnumbering his own by nearly, four to one. His officers restrained him with difficulty, recalling to his memory the peremptory orders which he had received from the Constable to guard the passage, but on no account to hazard an engagement, until sustained by the body of the army. It was a case in which rashness would have been the best discretion. The headlong charge which the Duke had been about to make, might possibly have cleared the path and have extricated the army, provided the Constable had followed up the movement by a rapid advance upon his part. As it was, the passage was soon blocked up by freshly advancing bodies of Spanish and Flemish cavalry, while Nevers slowly and reluctantly fell back upon the Prince of Conde, who was stationed with the light horse at the mill where the first skirmish had taken place. They were soon joined by the Constable, with the main body of the army. The whole French force now commenced its retrograde movement. It was, however, but too evident that they were enveloped. As they approached the fatal pass through which lay their only road to La Fire, and which was now in complete possession of the enemy, the signal of assault was given by Count Egmont. That general himself, at the head of two thousand light horse, led the charge upon the left flank. The other side was assaulted by the Dukes Eric and Henry of Brunswick, each with a thousand heavy dragoons, sustained by Count Horn, at the head of a regiment of mounted gendarmerie. Mansfeld, Lalain, Hoogstraaten; and Vilain, at the same time made a furious attack upon the front. The French cavalry wavered with the shock so vigorously given. The camp followers, sutlers, and pedlers, panic-struck, at once fled helter-skelter, and in their precipitate retreat, carried confusion and dismay throughout all the ranks of the army. The rout was sudden and total. The onset and the victory were simultaneous, Nevers riding through a hollow with some companies of cavalry, in the hope of making a detour and presenting a new front to the enemy, was overwhelmed at once by the retreating French and their furious pursuers. The day was lost, retreat hardly possible, yet, by a daring and desperate effort, the Duke, accompanied by a handful of followers, cut his way through the enemy and effected his escape. The cavalry had been broken at the first onset and nearly destroyed. A portion of the infantry still held firm, and attempted to continue their retreat. Some pieces of artillery, however, now opened upon them, and before they reached Essigny, the whole army was completely annihilated. The defeat was absolute. Half the French troops actually engaged in the enterprise, lost their lives upon the field. The remainder of the army was captured or utterly disorganized. When Nevers reviewed, at Laon, the wreck of the Constable's whole force, he found some thirteen hundred French and three hundred German cavalry, with four companies of French infantry remaining out of fifteen, and four thousand German foot remaining of twelve thousand. Of twenty-one or two thousand remarkably fine and well-appointed troops, all but six thousand had been killed or made prisoners within an hour. The Constable himself, with a wound in the groin, was a captive. The Duke of Enghien, after behaving with brilliant valor, and many times rallying the troops, was shot through the body, and brought into the enemy's camp only to expire. The Due de Montpensier, the Marshal de Saint Andre, the Due de Loggieville, Prince Ludovic of Mantua, the Baron Corton, la Roche du Mayne, the Rhinegrave, the Counts de Rochefoucauld, d'Aubigni, de Rochefort, all were taken. The Due de Nevers, the Prince of Conde, with a few others, escaped; although so absolute was the conviction that such an escape was impossible, that it was not believed by the victorious army. When Nevers sent a trumpet, after the battle, to the Duke of Savoy, for the purpose of negotiating concerning the prisoners, the trumpeter was pronounced an impostor, and the Duke's letter a forgery; nor was it till after the whole field had been diligently searched for his dead body without success, that Nevers could persuade the conquerors that he was still in existence.

Of Philip's army but fifty lost their lives. Lewis of Brederode was smothered in his armor; and the two counts Spiegelberg and Count Waldeck were also killed; besides these, no officer of distinction fell. All the French standards and all their artillery but two pieces were taken, and placed before the King, who the next day came into the camp before Saint Quentin. The prisoners of distinction were likewise presented to him in long procession. Rarely had a monarch of Spain enjoyed a more signal triumph than this which Philip now owed to the gallantry and promptness of Count Egmont.

While the King stood reviewing the spoils of victory, a light horseman of Don Henrico Manrique's regiment approached, and presented him with a sword. "I am the man, may it please your Majesty," said the trooper, "who took the Constable; here is his sword; may your Majesty be pleased to give me something to eat in my house." "I promise it," replied Philip; upon which the soldier kissed his Majesty's hand and retired. It was the custom universally recognized in that day, that the king was the king's captive, and the general the general's, but that the man, whether soldier or officer, who took the commander-in-chief, was entitled to ten thousand ducats. Upon this occasion the Constable was the prisoner of Philip, supposed to command his own army in person. A certain Spanish Captain Valenzuela, however, disputed the soldier's claim to the Constable's sword. The trooper advanced at once to the Constable, who stood there with the rest of the illustrious prisoners. "Your excellency is a Christian," said he; "please to declare upon your conscience and the faith of a cavalier, whether 't was I that took you prisoner. It need not surprise your excellency that I am but a soldier, since with soldiers his Majesty must wage his wars." "Certainly," replied the Constable, "you took me and took my horse, and I gave you my sword. My word, however, I pledged to Captain Valenzuela." It appearing, however, that the custom of Spain did not recognize a pledge given to any one but the actual captor, it was arranged that the soldier should give two thousand of his ten thousand ducats to the captain. Thus the dispute ended.

Such was the brilliant victory of Saint Quentin, worthy to be placed in the same list with the world-renowned combats of Creqy and Agincourt. Like those battles, also, it derives its main interest from the personal character of the leader, while it seems to have been hallowed by the tender emotions which sprang from his subsequent fate. The victory was but a happy move in a winning game. The players were kings, and the people were stakes—not parties. It was a chivalrous display in a war which was waged without honorable purpose, and in which no single lofty sentiment was involved. The Flemish frontier was, however, saved for the time from the misery which was now to be inflicted upon the French border. This was sufficient to cause the victory to be hailed as rapturously by the people as by the troops. From that day forth the name of the brave Hollander was like the sound of a trumpet to the army. "Egmont and Saint Quentin" rang through every mouth to the furthest extremity of Philip's realms. A deadly blow was struck to the very heart of France. The fruits of all the victories of Francis and Henry withered. The battle, with others which were to follow it, won by the same hand, were soon to compel the signature of the most disastrous treaty which had ever disgraced the history of France.

The fame and power of the Constable faded—his misfortunes and captivity fell like a blight upon the ancient glory of the house of Montmorency—his enemies destroyed his influence and his popularity—while the degradation of the kingdom was simultaneous with the downfall of his illustrious name. On the other hand, the exultation of Philip was as keen as his cold and stony nature would permit. The magnificent palace-convent of the Escurial, dedicated to the saint on whose festival the battle had been fought, and built in the shape of the gridiron, on which that martyr had suffered, was soon afterwards erected in pious commemoration of the event. Such was the celebration of the victory. The reward reserved for the victor was to be recorded on a later page of history.

The coldness and caution, not to say the pusillanimity of Philip, prevented him from seizing the golden fruits of his triumph. Ferdinand Gonzaga wished the blow to be followed up by an immediate march upon Paris.—Such was also the feeling of all the distinguished soldiers of the age. It was unquestionably the opinion, and would have been the deed, of Charles, had he been on the field of Saint Quentin, crippled as he was, in the place of his son. He could not conceal his rage and mortification when he found that Paris had not fallen, and is said to have refused to read the despatches which recorded that the event had not been consummated. There was certainly little of the conqueror in Philip's nature; nothing which would have led him to violate the safest principles of strategy. He was not the man to follow up enthusiastically the blow which had been struck; Saint Quentin, still untaken, although defended by but eight hundred soldiers, could not be left behind him; Nevers was still in his front, and although it was notorious that he commanded only the wreck of an army, yet a new one might be collected, perhaps, in time to embarrass the triumphant march to Paris. Out of his superabundant discretion, accordingly, Philip refused to advance till Saint Quentin should be reduced.

Although nearly driven to despair by the total overthrow of the French in the recent action, Coligny still held bravely out, being well aware that every day by which the siege could be protracted was of advantage to his country. Again he made fresh attempts to introduce men into the city. A fisherman showed him a submerged path, covered several feet deep with water, through which he succeeded in bringing one hundred and fifty unarmed and half-drowned soldiers into the place. His garrison consisted barely of eight hundred men, but the siege was still sustained, mainly by his courage and sagacity, and by the spirit of his brother Andelot. The company of cavalry, belonging to the Dauphin's regiment, had behaved badly, and even with cowardice, since the death of their commander Teligny. The citizens were naturally weary and impatient of the siege. Mining and countermining continued till the 21st August. A steady cannonade was then maintained until the 27th. Upon that day, eleven breaches having been made in the walls, a simultaneous assault was ordered at four of them. The citizens were stationed upon the walls, the soldiers in the breaches. There was a short but sanguinary contest, the garrison resisting with uncommon bravery. Suddenly an entrance was effected through a tower which had been thought sufficiently strong, and which had been left unguarded. Coligny, rushing to the spot, engaged the enemy almost single-handed. He was soon overpowered, being attended only by four men and a page, was made a prisoner by a soldier named Francisco Diaz, and conducted through one of the subterranean mines into the presence of the Duke of Savoy, from whom the captor received ten thousand ducats in exchange for the Admiral's sword. The fighting still continued with great determination in the streets, the brave Andelot resisting to the last. He was, however, at last overpowered, and taken prisoner. Philip, who had, as usual, arrived in the trenches by noon, armed in complete harness, with a page carrying his helmet, was met by the intelligence that the city of Saint Quentin was his own.

To a horrible carnage succeeded a sack and a conflagration still more horrible. In every house entered during the first day, every human being was butchered. The sack lasted all that day and the whole of the following, till the night of the 28th. There was not a soldier who did not obtain an ample share of plunder, and some individuals succeeded in getting possession of two, three, and even twelve thousand ducats each. The women were not generally outraged, but they were stripped almost entirely naked, lest they should conceal treasure which belonged to their conquerors, and they were slashed in the face with knives, partly in sport, partly as a punishment for not giving up property which was not in their possession. The soldiers even cut off the arms of many among these wretched women, and then turned them loose, maimed and naked, into the blazing streets; for the town, on the 28th, was fired in a hundred places, and was now one general conflagration. The streets were already strewn with the corpses of the butchered garrison and citizens; while the survivors were now burned in their houses. Human heads, limbs, and trunks, were mingled among the bricks and rafters of the houses, which were falling on every side. The fire lasted day and night, without an attempt being made to extinguish it; while the soldiers dashed like devils through flame and smoke in search of booty. Bearing lighted torches, they descended into every subterrranean vault and receptacle, of which there were many in the town, and in every one of which they hoped to discover hidden treasure. The work of killing, plundering, and burning lasted nearly three days and nights. The streets, meanwhile, were encumbered with heaps of corpses, not a single one of which had been buried since the capture of the town. The remains of nearly all the able bodied male population, dismembered, gnawed by dogs or blackened by fire, polluted the midsummer air meantime, the women had been again driven into the cathedral, where they had housed during the siege, and where they now crouched together in trembling expectation of their fate.' On the 29th August, at two o'clock in the afternoon, Philip issued an order that every woman, without an exception, should be driven out of the city into the French territory. Saint Quentin, which seventy years before had been a Flemish town, was to be re-annexed, and not a single man, woman, or child who could speak the French language was to remain another hour in the place. The tongues of the men had been effectually silenced. The women, to the number of three thousand five hundred, were now compelled to leave the cathedral and the city. Some were in a starving condition; others had been desperately wounded; all, as they passed through the ruinous streets of what had been their home, were compelled to tread upon the unburied remains of their fathers, husbands, or brethren. To none of these miserable creatures remained a living protector—hardly even a dead body which could be recognized; and thus the ghastly procession of more than three thousand women, many with gaping wounds in the face, many with their arms cut off and festering, of all ranks and ages, some numbering more than ninety years, bareheaded, with grey hair streaming upon their shoulders; others with nursing infants in their arms, all escorted by a company of heavy-armed troopers, left forever their native city. All made the dismal journey upon foot, save that carts were allowed to transport the children between the ages of two and six years. The desolation and depopulation were now complete. "I wandered through the place, gazing at all this," says a Spanish soldier who was present, and kept a diary of all which occurred, "and it seemed to me that it was another destruction of Jerusalem. What most struck me was to find not a single denizen of the town left, who was or who dared to call himself French. How vain and transitory, thought I, are the things of this world! Six days ago what riches were in the city, and now remains not one stone upon another."

The expulsion of the women had been accomplished by the express command of Philip, who moreover had made no effort to stay the work of carnage, pillage, and conflagration. The pious King had not forgotten, however, his duty to the saints. As soon as the fire had broken out, he had sent to the cathedral, whence he had caused the body of Saint Quentin to be removed and placed in the royal tent. Here an altar, was arranged, upon one side of which was placed the coffin of that holy personage, and upon the other the head of the "glorious Saint Gregory" (whoever that glorious individual may have been in life), together with many other relics brought from the church. Within the sacred enclosure many masses were said daily, while all this devil's work was going on without. The saint who had been buried for centuries was comfortably housed and guarded by the monarch, while dogs were gnawing the carcases of the freshly-slain men of Saint Quentin, and troopers were driving into perpetual exile its desolate and mutilated women.

The most distinguished captives upon this occasion were, of course, Coligny and his brother. Andelot was, however, fortunate enough to make his escape that night under the edge of the tent in which he was confined. The Admiral was taken to Antwerp. Here he lay for many weeks sick with a fever. Upon his recovery, having no better pastime, he fell to reading the Scriptures. The result was his conversion to Calvinism; and the world shudders yet at the fate in which that conversion involved him.

Saint Quentin being thus reduced, Philip was not more disposed to push his fortune. The time was now wasted in the siege of several comparatively unimportant places, so that the fruits of Egmont's valor were not yet allowed to ripen. Early in September Le Catelet was taken. On the 12th of the same month the citadel of Ham yielded, after receiving two thousand shots from Philip's artillery, while Nojon, Chanly, and some other places of less importance, were burned to the ground. After all this smoke and fire upon the frontier, productive of but slender consequences, Philip disbanded his army, and retired to Brussels. He reached that city on the 12th October. The English returned to their own country. The campaign of 1557 was closed without a material result, and the victory of Saint Quentin remained for a season barren.

In the mean time the French were not idle. The army of the Constable had been destroyed but the Duke de Guise, who had come post-haste from Italy after hearing the news of Saint Quentin, was very willing to organize another. He was burning with impatience both to retrieve his own reputation, which had suffered some little damage by his recent Italian campaign, and to profit by the captivity of his fallen rival the Constable. During the time occupied by the languid and dilatory proceedings of Philip in the autumn, the Duke had accordingly recruited in France and Germany a considerable army. In January (1558) he was ready to take the field. It had been determined in the French cabinet, however, not to attempt to win back the places which they had lost in Picardy, but to carry the war into the territory of the ally. It was fated that England should bear all the losses, and Philip appropriate all the gain and glory, which resulted from their united exertions. It was the war of the Queen's husband, with which the Queen's people had no concern, but in which the last trophies of the Black Prince were to be forfeited. On the first January, 1558, the Duc de Guise appeared before Calais. The Marshal Strozzi had previously made an expedition, in disguise, to examine the place. The result of his examination was that the garrison was weak, and that it relied too much upon the citadel. After a tremendous cannonade, which lasted a week, and was heard in Antwerp, the city was taken by assault. Thus the key to the great Norman portal of France, the time-honored key which England had worn at her girdle since the eventful day of Crecy, was at last taken from her. Calais had been originally won after a siege which had lasted a twelvemonth, had been held two hundred and ten years, and was now lost in seven days. Seven days more, and ten thousand discharges from thirty-five great guns sufficed for the reduction of Guines. Thus the last vestige of English dominion, the last substantial pretext of the English sovereign to wear the title and the lilies of France, was lost forever. King Henry visited Calais, which after two centuries of estrangement had now become a French town again, appointed Paul de Thermes governor of the place, and then returned to Paris to celebrate soon afterwards the marriage of the Dauphin with the niece of the Guises, Mary, Queen of Scots.

These events, together with the brief winter campaign of the Duke, which had raised for an instant the drooping head of France, were destined before long to give a new face to affairs, while it secured the ascendancy of the Catholic party in the kingdom. Disastrous eclipse had come over the house of Montmorency and Coligny, while the star of Guise, brilliant with the conquest of Calais, now culminated to the zenith.

It was at this period that the memorable interview between the two ecclesiastics, the Bishop of Arras and the Cardinal de Lorraine, took place at Peronne. From this central point commenced the weaving of that wide-spread scheme, in which the fate of millions was to be involved. The Duchess Christina de Lorraine, cousin of Philip, had accompanied him to Saint Quentin. Permission had been obtained by the Duc de Guise and his brother, the Cardinal, to visit her at Peronne. The Duchess was accompanied by the Bishop of Arras, and the consequence was a full and secret negotiation between the two priests. It may be supposed that Philip's short-lived military ardor had already exhausted itself. He had mistaken his vocation, and already recognized the false position in which he was placed. He was contending against the monarch in whom he might find the surest ally against the arch enemy of both kingdoms, and of the world. The French monarch held heresy in horror, while, for himself, Philip had already decided upon his life's mission.

The crafty Bishop was more than a match for the vain and ambitious Cardinal. That prelate was assured that Philip considered the captivity of Coligny and Montmorency a special dispensation of Providence, while the tutelar genius of France, notwithstanding the reverses sustained by that kingdom, was still preserved. The Cardinal and his brother, it was suggested, now held in their hands the destiny of the kingdom, and of Europe. The interests of both nations, of religion, and of humanity, made it imperative upon them to put an end to this unnatural war, in order that the two monarchs might unite hand and heart for the extirpation of heresy. That hydra-headed monster had already extended its coils through France, while its pestilential breath was now wafted into Flanders from the German as well as the French border. Philip placed full reliance upon the wisdom and discretion of the Cardinal. It was necessary that these negotiations should for the present remain a profound secret; but in the mean time a peace ought to be concluded with as little delay as possible; a result which, it was affirmed, was as heartily desired by Philip as it could be by Henry. The Bishop was soon aware of the impression which his artful suggestions had produced. The Cardinal, inspired by the flattery thus freely administered, as well as by the promptings of his own ambition, lent a willing ear to the Bishop's plans. Thus was laid the foundation of a vast scheme, which time was to complete. A crusade with the whole strength of the French and Spanish crowns, was resolved upon against their own subjects. The Bishop's task was accomplished. The Cardinal returned to France, determined to effect a peace with Spain. He was convinced that the glory of his house was to be infinitely enhanced, and its power impregnably established, by a cordial co-operation with Philip in his dark schemes against religion and humanity. The negotiations were kept, however, profoundly secret. A new campaign and fresh humiliations were to precede the acceptance by France of the peace which was thus proffered.

Hostile operations were renewed soon after the interview at Peronne. The Duke of Guise, who had procured five thousand cavalry and fourteen thousand infantry in Germany, now, at the desire of the King, undertook an enterprise against Thionville, a city of importance and great strength in Luxemburg, upon the river Moselle. It was defended by Peter de Quarebbe, a gentleman of Louvain, with a garrison of eighteen hundred men. On the 5th June, thirty-five pieces of artillery commenced the work; the mining and countermining-continuing seventeen days; on the 22nd the assault was made, and the garrison capitulated immediately afterwards. It was a siege conducted in a regular and business-like way, but the details possess no interest. It was, however, signalized by the death of one of the eminent adventurers of the age, Marshal Strozzi. This brave, but always unlucky soldier was slain by a musket ball while assisting the Duke of Guise—whose arm was, at that instant, resting upon his shoulder—to point a gun at the fortress.

After the fall of Thionville, the Due de Guise, for a short time, contemplated the siege of the city of Luxemburg, but contented himself with the reduction of the unimportant places of Vireton and Arlon. Here he loitered seventeen days, making no exertions to follow up the success which had attended him at the opening of the campaign. The good fortune of the French was now neutralized by the same languor which had marked the movements of Philip after the victory of Saint Quentin. The time, which might have been usefully employed in following up his success, was now wasted by the Duke in trivial business, or in absolute torpor. This may have been the result of a treacherous understanding with Spain, and the first fruits of the interview at Peronne. Whatever the cause, however, the immediate consequences were disaster to the French nation, and humiliation to the crown.

It had been the plan of the French cabinet that Marshal de Thermes, who, upon the capture of Calais, had been appointed governor of the city, should take advantage of his position as soon as possible. Having assembled an army of some eight thousand foot and fifteen hundred horse, partly Gascons and partly Germans, he was accordingly directed to ravage the neighboring country, particularly the county of Saint Pol. In the mean time, the Due de Guise, having reduced the cities on the southern frontier, was to move in a northerly direction, make a junction with the Marshal, and thus extend a barrier along the whole frontier of the Netherlands.

De Therlries set forth from Calais, in the beginning of June, with his newly-organized army. Passing by Gravelines and Bourbourg, he arrived before Dunkerk on the 2d of July. The city, which was without a garrison, opened negotiations, during the pendency of which it was taken by assault and pillaged. The town of Saint Winochsberg shared the same fate. De Thermes, who was a martyr to the gout, was obliged at this point temporarily to resign the command to d'Estonteville, a ferocious soldier, who led the predatory army as far as Niewport, burning, killing, ravishing, plundering, as they went. Meantime Philip, who was at Brussels, had directed the Duke of Savoy to oppose the Due de Guise with an army which had been hastily collected and organized at Maubeuge, in the province of Namur. He now desired, if possible, to attack and cut off the forces of De Thermes before he should extend the hand to Guise, or make good his retreat to Calais.

Flushed with victory over defenceless peasants, laden with the spoils of sacked and burning towns, the army of De Thermes was already on its homeward march. It was the moment for a sudden and daring blow. Whose arm should deal it? What general in Philip's army possessed the requisite promptness, and felicitous audacity; who, but the most brilliant of cavalry officers, the bold and rapid hero of St. Quentin? Egmont, in obedience to the King's command, threw himself at once into the field. He hastily collected all the available forces in the neighborhood. These, with drafts from the Duke of Savoy's army, and with detachments under Marshal Bigonicourt from the garrisons of Saint Omer, Bethune, Aire, and Bourbourg, soon amounted to ten thousand foot and two thousand horse. His numbers were still further swollen by large bands of peasantry, both men and women, maddened by their recent injuries, and thirsting for vengeance. With these troops the energetic chieftain took up his position directly in the path of the French army. Determined to destroy De Thermes with all his force, or to sacrifice himself, he posted his army at Gravelines, a small town lying near the sea-shore, and about midway between Calais and Dunkerk. The French general was putting the finishing touch to his expedition by completing the conflagration at Dunkerk, and was moving homeward, when he became aware of the lion in his path. Although suffering from severe sickness, he mounted his horse and personally conducted his army to Gravelines. Here he found his progress completely arrested. On that night, which was the 12th July, he held a council of officers. It was determined to refuse the combat offered, and, if possible, to escape at low tide along the sands toward Calais. The next morning he crossed the river Aa, below Gravelines. Egmont, who was not the man, on that occasion at least, to build a golden bridge for a flying enemy, crossed the same stream just above the town, and drew up his whole force in battle array. De Thermes could no longer avoid the conflict thus resolutely forced upon him. Courage was now his only. counsellor. Being not materially outnumbered by his adversaries, he had, at least, an even chance of cutting his way through all obstacles, and of saving his army and his treasure. The sea was on his right hand, the Aa behind him, the enemy in front. He piled his baggage and wagons so as to form a barricade upon his left, and placed his artillery, consisting of four culverines and three falconeta, in front. Behind these he drew up his cavalry, supported at each side by the Gascons, and placed his French and German infantry in the rear.

Egmont, on the other hand, divided his cavalry into five squadrons. Three of light horse were placed in advance for the first assault—the centre commanded by himself, the two wings by Count Pontenals and Henrico Henriquez. The black hussars of Lazarus Schwendi and the Flemish gendarmes came next. Behind these was the infantry, divided into three nations, Spanish, German, and Flemish, and respectively commanded by Carvajal, Monchausen, and Bignicourt. Egmont, having characteristically selected the post of danger in the very front of battle for himself, could no longer restrain his impatience. "The foe is ours already," he shouted; "follow me, all who love their fatherland:" With that he set spurs to his horse, and having his own regiment well in hand, dashed upon the enemy. The Gascons received the charge with coolness, and under cover of a murderous fire from the artillery in front, which mowed down the foremost ranks of their assailants-sustained the whole weight of the first onset without flinching. Egmont's horse was shot under him at the commencement of the action. Mounting another, he again cheered his cavalry to the attack. The Gascons still maintained an unwavering front, and fought with characteristic ferocity. The courage of despair inflamed the French, the hope of a brilliant and conclusive victory excited the Spaniards and Flemings. It was a wild, hand to hand conflict—general and soldier, cavalier and pikeman, lancer and musketeer, mingled together in one dark, confused, and struggling mass, foot to foot, breast to breast, horse to horse-a fierce, tumultuous battle on the sands, worthy the fitful pencil of the national painter, Wouvermans. For a long time it was doubtful on which side victory was to incline, but at last ten English vessels unexpectedly appeared in the offing, and ranging up soon afterwards as close to the share as was possible, opened their fire upon the still unbroken lines of the French. The ships were too distant, the danger of injuring friend as well as foe too imminent, to allow of their exerting any important influence upon the result. The spirit of the enemy was broken, however, by this attack upon their seaward side, which they had thought impregnable. At the same time, too, a detachment of German cavalry which had been directed by Egmont to make their way under the downs to the southward, now succeeded in turning their left flank. Egmont, profiting by their confusion, charged them again with redoubled vigor. The fate of the day was decided. The French cavalry wavered, broke their ranks, and in their flight carried dismay throughout the whole army. The rout was total; horse and foot; French, Gascon, and German fled from the field together. Fifteen hundred fell in the action, as many more were driven into the sea, while great numbers were torn to pieces by the exasperated peasants, who now eagerly washed out their recent injuries in the blood of the dispersed, wandering, and wounded soldiers. The army of De Thermes was totally destroyed, and with it, the last hope of France for an honorable and equal negotiation. She was now at Philip's feet, so that this brilliant cavalry action, although it has been surpassed in importance by many others, in respect to the numbers of the combatants and the principles involved in the contest, was still, in regard to the extent both of its immediate and its permanent results, one of the most decisive and striking which have ever been fought. The French army engaged was annihilated. Marshal de Thermes, with a wound in the head, Senarpont, Annibault, Villefon, Morvilliers, Chanlis, and many others of high rank were prisoners. The French monarch had not much heart to set about the organization of another army; a task which he was now compelled to undertake. He was soon obliged to make the best terms which he could, and to consent to a treaty which was one of the most ruinous in the archives of France.

The Marshal de Thermes was severely censured for having remained so long at Dunkerk and in its neighborhood. He was condemned still more loudly for not having at least effected his escape beyond Gravelines, during the night which preceded the contest. With regard to the last charge, however, it may well be doubted whether any nocturnal attempt would have been likely to escape the vigilance of Egmont. With regard to his delay at Dunkerk, it was asserted that he had been instructed to await in that place the junction with the Due de Guise, which had been previously arranged. But for the criminal and, then, inexplicable languor which characterized that commander's movements, after the capture of Thionville, the honor of France might still have been saved.

Whatever might have been the faults of De Thermes or of Guise, there could be little doubt as to the merit of Egmont. Thus within eleven months of the battle of Saint Quentin, had the Dutch hero gained another victory so decisive as to settle the fate of the war, and to elevate his sovereign to a position from which he might dictate the terms of a triumphant peace. The opening scenes of Philip's reign were rendered as brilliant as the proudest days of the Emperor's career, while the provinces were enraptured with the prospect of early peace. To whom, then, was the sacred debt of national and royal gratitude due but to Lamoral of Egmont? His countrymen gladly recognized the claim. He became the idol of the army; the familiar hero of ballad and story; the mirror of chivalry, and the god of popular worship. Throughout the Netherlands he was hailed as the right hand of the fatherland, the saviour of Flanders from devastation and outrage, the protector of the nation, the pillar of the throne.

The victor gained many friends by his victory, and one enemy. The bitterness of that foe was likely, in the future, to outweigh all the plaudits of his friends. The Duke of Alva had strongly advised against giving battle to De Thermes. He depreciated the triumph after it had been gained, by reflections upon the consequences which would have flowed, had a defeat been suffered instead. He even held this language to Egmont himself after his return to Brussels. The conqueror, flushed with his glory, was not inclined to digest the criticism, nor what he considered the venomous detraction of the Duke. More vain and arrogant than ever, he treated his powerful Spanish rival with insolence, and answered his observations with angry sarcasms, even in the presence of the King. Alva was not likely to forget the altercation, nor to forgive the triumph.

There passed, naturally, much bitter censure and retort on both sides at court, between the friends and adherents of Egmont and those who sustained the party of his adversary. The battle of Gravelines was fought over daily, amid increasing violence and recrimination, between Spaniard and Fleming, and the old international hatred flamed more fiercely than ever. Alva continued to censure the foolhardiness which had risked so valuable an army on a single blow. Egmont's friends replied that it was easy for foreigners, who had nothing at risk in the country, to look on while the fields of the Netherlands were laid waste, and the homes and hearths of an industrious population made desolate, by a brutal and rapacious soldiery. They who dwelt in the Provinces would be ever grateful to their preserver for the result. They had no eyes for the picture which the Spanish party painted of an imaginary triumph of De Thermos and its effects. However the envious might cavil, now that the blow had been struck, the popular heart remained warm as ever, and refused to throw down the idol which had so recently been set up.

1558-1559 [CHAPTER III.]

Secret negotiations for peace—Two fresh armies assembled, but inactive—Negotiations at Cercamp—Death of Mary Tudor—Treaty of Cateau Cambresis—Death of Henry II.—Policy of Catharine de Medici —Revelations by Henry II. to the Prince of Orange—Funeral of Charles V. in Brussels—Universal joy in the Netherlands at the restoration of peace—Organization of the government by Philip, and preparations for his departure—Appointment of Margaret of Parma as Regent of the Netherlands—Three councils—The consulta—The stadholders of the different provinces—Dissatisfaction caused by the foreign troops—Assembly of the Estates at Ghent to receive the parting instructions and farewell of the King—Speech of the Bishop of Arras—Request for three millions—Fierce denunciation of heresy on the part of Philip—Strenuous enforcement of the edicts commanded—Reply by the States of Arthois—Unexpected conditions— Rage of the King—Similar conduct on the part of the other provinces—Remonstrance in the name of States—General against the foreign soldiery—Formal reply on the part of the crown—Departure of the King from the Netherlands—Autos—da—fe in Spain.

The battle of Gravelines had decided the question. The intrigues of the two Cardinals at Peronne having been sustained by Egmont's victory, all parties were ready for a peace. King Henry was weary of the losing game which he had so long been playing, Philip was anxious to relieve himself from his false position, and to concentrate his whole mind and the strength of his kingdom upon his great enemy the Netherland heresy, while the Duke of Savoy felt that the time had at last arrived when an adroit diplomacy might stand him in stead, and place him in the enjoyment of those rights which the sword had taken from him, and which his own sword had done so much towards winning back. The sovereigns were inclined to peace, and as there had never been a national principle or instinct or interest involved in the dispute, it was very certain that peace would be popular every where, upon whatever terms it might be concluded.

Montmorency and the Prince of Orange were respectively empowered to open secret negotiations. The Constable entered upon the task with alacrity, because he felt that every day of his captivity was alike prejudicial to his own welfare and the interests of his country.—The Guises, who had quarrelled with the Duchess de Valentinois (Diane de Poitiers), were not yet powerful enough to resist the influence of the mistress; while, rather to baffle them than from any loftier reasons, that interest was exerted in behalf of immediate peace. The Cardinal de Lorraine had by no means forgotten the eloquent arguments used by the Bishop of Arras; but his brother, the Due de Guise, may be supposed to have desired some little opportunity of redeeming the credit of the kingdom, and to have delayed the negotiations until his valor could secure a less inglorious termination to the war.

A fresh army had, in fact, been collected under his command, and was already organized at Pierrepoint. At the same time, Philip had assembled a large force, consisting of thirty thousand foot and fifteen thousand cavalry, with which he had himself taken the field, encamping towards the middle of August upon the banks of the river Anthies, near the border of Picardy. King Henry, on the other hand, had already arrived in the camp at Pierrepoint, and had reviewed as imposing an army as had ever been at the disposal of a French monarch. When drawn up in battle array it covered a league and a half of ground, while three hours were required to make its circuit on horseback. All this martial display was only for effect. The two kings, at the head of their great armies, stood looking at each other while the negotiations for, peace were proceeding. An unimportant skirmish or two at the out-posts, unattended with loss of life, were the only military results of these great preparations. Early in the autumn, all the troops were disbanded, while the commissioners of both crowns met in open congress at the abbey of Cercamp, near Cambray, by the middle of October. The envoys on the part of Philip were the Prince of Orange, the Duke of Alva, the Bishop of Arras, Ruy Gomez de Silva, the president Viglius; on that of the French monarch, the Constable, the Marshal de Saint Andre, the Cardinal de Lorraine, the Bishop of Orleans, and Claude l'Aubespine.

There were also envoys sent by the Queen of England, but as the dispute concerning Calais was found to hamper the negotiations at Cercamp, the English question was left to be settled by another congress, and was kept entirely separate from the arrangements concluded between France and Spain.

The death of Queen Mary, on the 17th November, caused a temporary suspension of the proceedings. After the widower, however, had made a fruitless effort to obtain the hand of her successor, and had been unequivocally repulsed, the commissioners again met in February, 1559, at Cateau Cambresis. The English difficulty was now arranged by separate commissioners, and on the third of April a treaty between France and Spain was concluded.

By this important convention, both kings bound themselves to maintain the Catholic worship inviolate by all means in their power, and agreed that an oecumenical council should at once assemble, to compose the religious differences, and to extinguish the increasing heresy in both kingdoms. Furthermore, it was arranged that the conquests made by each country during the preceding eight years should be restored. Thus all the gains of Francis and Henry were annulled by a single word, and the Duke of Savoy converted, by a dash of the pen, from a landless soldier of fortune into a sovereign again. He was to receive back all his estates, and was moreover to marry Henry's sister Margaret, with a dowry of three hundred thousand crowns. Philip, on the other hand, now a second time a widower, was to espouse Henry's daughter Isabella, already betrothed to the Infant Don Carlos, and to receive with her a dowry of four hundred thousand crowns. The restitutions were to be commenced by Henry, and to be completed within three months. Philip was to restore his conquests in the course of a month afterwards.

Most of the powers of Europe were included by both parties in this treaty: the Pope, the Emperor, all the Electors, the republics of Venice, Genoa and Switzerland, the kingdoms of England, Scotland, Poland, Denmark, Sweden; the duchies of Ferrara, Savoy and Parma, besides other inferior principalities. Nearly all Christendom, in short, was embraced in this most amicable compact, as if Philip were determined that, henceforth and forever, Calvinists and Mahometans, Turks and Flemings, should be his only enemies.

The King of France was to select four hostages from among Philip's subjects, to accompany him to Paris as pledges for the execution of all the terms of the treaty. The royal choice fell upon the Prince of Orange, the Duke of Alva, the Duke of Aerschot, and the Count of Egmont.

Such was the treaty of Cateau Cambresis. Thus was a termination put to a war between France and Spain, which had been so wantonly undertaken.

Marshal Monluc wrote that a treaty so disgraceful and disastrous had never before been ratified by a French monarch. It would have been difficult to point to any one more unfortunate upon her previous annals; if any treaty can be called unfortunate, by which justice is done and wrongs repaired, even under coercion. The accumulated plunder of years, which was now disgorged by France, was equal in value to one third of that kingdom. One hundred and ninety-eight fortified towns were surrendered, making, with other places of greater or less importance, a total estimated by some writers as high as four hundred. The principal gainer was the Duke of Savoy, who, after so many years of knight-errantry, had regained his duchy, and found himself the brother-in-law of his ancient enemy.

The well-known tragedy by which the solemnities of this pacification were abruptly concluded in Paris, bore with it an impressive moral. The monarch who, in violation of his plighted word and against the interests of his nation and the world, had entered precipitately into a causeless war, now lost his life in fictitious combat at the celebration of peace. On the tenth of July, Henry the Second died of the wound inflicted by Montgomery in the tournament held eleven days before. Of this weak and worthless prince, all that even his flatterers could favorably urge was his great fondness for war, as if a sanguinary propensity, even when unaccompanied by a spark of military talent, were of itself a virtue. Yet, with his death the kingdom fell even into more pernicious hands, and the fate of Christendom grew darker than ever. The dynasty of Diane de Poitiers was succeeded by that of Catharine de Medici; the courtesan gave place to the dowager; and France during the long and miserable period in which she lay bleeding in the grasp of the Italian she-wolf and her litter of cowardly and sanguinary princes—might even lament the days of Henry and his Diana. Charles the Ninth, Henry the Third, Francis of Alencon, last of the Valois race—how large a portion of the fearful debt which has not yet been discharged by half a century of revolution and massacre was of their accumulation.

The Duchess of Valentinois had quarrelled latterly with the house of Guise, and was disposed to favor Montmorency. The King, who was but a tool in her hands, might possibly have been induced, had he lived, to regard Coligny and his friends with less aversion. This is, however, extremely problematical, for it was Henry the Second who had concluded that memorable arrangement with his royal brother of Spain, to arrange for the Huguenot chiefs throughout both realms, a "Sicilian Vespers," upon the first favorable occasion. His death and the subsequent policy of the Queen-Regent deferred the execution of the great scheme till fourteen years later. Henry had lived long enough, however, after the conclusion of the secret agreement to reveal it to one whose life was to be employed in thwarting this foul conspiracy of monarchs against their subjects. William of Orange, then a hostage for the execution of the treaty of Cateau Cambresis, was the man with whom the King had the unfortunate conception to confer on the subject of the plot. The Prince, who had already gained the esteem of Charles the Fifth by his habitual discretion, knew how to profit by the intelligence and to bide his time; but his hostility to the policy of the French and Spanish courts was perhaps dated from that hour.

Pending the peace negotiations, Philip had been called upon to mourn for his wife and father. He did not affect grief for the death of Mary Tudor, but he honored the Emperor's departure with stately obsequies at Brussels. The ceremonies lasted two days (the 29th and 30th December, 1558). In the grand and elaborate procession which swept through the streets upon the first day, the most conspicuous object was a ship floating apparently upon the waves, and drawn by a band of Tritons who disported at the bows. The masts, shrouds, and sails of the vessel were black, it was covered with heraldic achievements, banners and emblematic mementos of the Emperor's various expeditions, while the flags of Turks and Moors trailed from her sides in the waves below. Three allegorical personages composed the crew. Hope, "all clothyd in brown, with anker in hand," stood at the prow; Faith, with sacramental chalice and red cross, clad in white garment, with her face nailed "with white tiffany," sat on a "stool of estate" before the mizen-mast; while Charity "in red, holding in her hand a burning heart," was at the helm to navigate the vessel. Hope, Faith, and Love were thought the most appropriate symbols for the man who had invented the edicts, introduced the inquisition, and whose last words, inscribed by a hand already trembling with death, had adjured his son, by his love, allegiance, and hope of salvation, to deal to all heretics the extreme rigor of the law, "without respect of persons and without regard to any plea in their favor."

The rest of the procession, in which marched the Duke of Alva, the Prince of Orange, and other great personages, carrying the sword, the globe, the sceptre, and the "crown imperial," contained no emblems or imagery worthy of being recorded. The next day the King, dressed in mourning and attended by a solemn train of high officers and nobles, went again to the church. A contemporary letter mentions a somewhat singular incident as forming the concluding part of the ceremony. "And the service being done," wrote Sir Richard Clough to Sir Thomas Gresham, "there went a nobleman into the herse (so far as I codde understande, it was the Prince of Orange), who, standing before the herse, struck with his hand upon the chest and sayd, 'He is ded.' Then standing styli awhile, he sayd, 'He shall remayn ded.' And 'then resting awhile, he struck again and sayd, 'He is ded, and there is another rysen up in his place greater than ever he was.' Whereupon the Kynge's hoode was taken off and the Kynge went home without his hoode."

If the mourning for the dead Emperor was but a mummery and a masquerade, there was, however, heartiness and sincerity in the rejoicing which now burst forth like a sudden illumination throughout the Netherlands, upon the advent of peace. All was joy in the provinces, but at Antwerp, the metropolis of the land, the enthusiasm was unbounded. Nine days were devoted to festivities. Bells rang their merriest peals, artillery thundered, beacons blazed, the splendid cathedral spire flamed nightly with three hundred burning cresaets, the city was strewn with flowers and decorated with triumphal arches, the Guilds of Rhetoric amazed the world with their gorgeous processions, glittering dresses and bombastic versification, the burghers all, from highest to humblest, were feasted and made merry, wine flowed in the streets and oxen were roasted whole, prizes on poles were climbed for, pigs were hunted blindfold, men and women raced in sacks, and in short, for nine days long there was one universal and spontaneous demonstration of hilarity in Antwerp and throughout the provinces.

But with this merry humor of his subjects, the sovereign had but little sympathy. There was nothing in his character or purposes which owed affinity with any mood of this jocund and energetic people. Philip had not made peace with all the world that the Netherlanders might climb on poles or ring bells, or strew flowers in his path for a little holiday time, and then return to their industrious avocations again. He had made peace with all the world that he might be free to combat heresy; and this arch enemy had taken up its strong hold in the provinces. The treaty of Cateau Cambresis left him at liberty to devote himself to that great enterprise. He had never loved the Netherlands, a residence in these constitutional provinces was extremely irksome to him, and he was therefore anxious to return to Spain. From the depths of his cabinet he felt that he should be able to direct the enterprise he was resolved upon, and that his presence in the Netherlands would be superfluous and disagreeable.

The early part of the year 1559 was spent by Philip in organizing the government of the provinces and in making the necessary preparations for his departure. The Duke of Savoy, being restored to his duchy, had, of course, no more leisure to act as Regent of the Netherlands, and it was necessary, therefore, to fix upon his successor in this important post, at once. There were several candidates. The Duchess Christina of Lorraine had received many half promises of the appointment, which she was most anxious to secure; the Emperor was even said to desire the nomination of the Archduke Maximilian, a step which would have certainly argued more magnanimity upon Philip's part than the world could give him credit for; and besides these regal personages, the high nobles of the land, especially Orange and Egmont, had hopes of obtaining the dignity. The Prince of Orange, however, was too sagacious to deceive himself long, and became satisfied very soon that no Netherlander was likely to be selected for Regent. He therefore threw his influence in favor of the Duchess Christina, whose daughter, at the suggestion of the Bishop of Arras, he was desirous of obtaining in marriage. The King favored for a time, or pretended to favor, both the appointment of Madame de Lorraine and the marriage project of the Prince. Afterwards, however, and in a manner which was accounted both sudden and mysterious, it appeared that the Duchess and Orange had both been deceived, and that the King and Bishop had decided in favor of another candidate, whose claims had not been considered, before, very prominent. This was the Duchess Margaret of Parma, natural daughter of Charles the Fifth. A brief sketch of this important personage, so far as regards her previous career, is reserved for the following chapter. For the present it is sufficient to state the fact of the nomination. In order to afford a full view of Philip's political arrangements before his final departure from the Netherlands, we defer until the same chapter, an account of the persons who composed the boards of council organized to assist the new Regent in the government. These bodies themselves were three in number: a state and privy council and one of finance. They were not new institutions, having been originally established by the Emperor, and were now arranged by his successor upon the same nominal basis upon which they had before existed. The finance council, which had superintendence of all matters relating to the royal domains and to the annual budgets of the government, was presided over by Baron Berlaymont. The privy council, of which Viglius was president, was composed of ten or twelve learned doctors, and was especially entrusted with the control of matters relating to law, pardons, and the general administration of justice. The state council, which was far the most important of the three boards, was to superintend all high affairs of government, war, treaties, foreign intercourse, internal and interprovincial affairs. The members of this council were the Bishop of Arras, Viglius, Berlaymont, the Prince of Orange, Count Egmont, to which number were afterwards added the Seigneur de Glayon, the Duke of Aerschot, and Count Horn. The last-named nobleman, who was admiral of the provinces, had, for the present, been appointed to accompany the King to Spain, there to be specially entrusted with the administration of affairs relating to the Netherlands. He was destined, however, to return at the expiration of two years.

With the object, as it was thought, of curbing the power of the great nobles, it had been arranged that the three councils should be entirely distinct from each other, that the members of the state council should have no participation in the affairs of the two other bodies; but, on the other hand, that the finance and privy councillors, as well as the Knights of the Fleece, should have access to the deliberations of the state council. In the course of events, however, it soon became evident that the real power of the government was exclusively in the hands of the consulta, a committee of three members of the state council, by whose deliberations the Regent was secretly instructed to be guided on all important occasions. The three, Viglius, Berlaymont, and Arras, who composed the secret conclave or cabinet, were in reality but one. The Bishop of Arras was in all three, and the three together constituted only the Bishop of Arras.

There was no especial governor or stadholder appointed for the province of Brabant, where the Regent was to reside and to exercise executive functions in person. The stadholders for the other provinces were, for Flanders and Artois, the Count of Egmont; for Holland, Zeeland, and Utrecht, the Prince of Orange; for Gueldres and Zutfen, the Count of Meghen; for Friesland, Groningen and Overyssel, Count Aremberg; for Hainault, Valenciennes and Cambray, the Marquis of Berghen; for Tournay and Tournaisis, Baron Montigny; for Namur, Baron Berlaymont; for Luxemburg, Count Mansfeld; for Ryssel, Douay and Orchies, the Baron Coureires. All these stadholders were commanders-in-chief of the military forces in their respective provinces. With the single exception of Count Egmont, in whose province of Flanders the stadholders were excluded from the administration of justice,—all were likewise supreme judges in the civil and criminal tribunal. The military force of the Netherlands in time of peace was small, for the provinces were jealous of the presence of soldiery. The only standing army which then legally existed in the Netherlands were the Bandes d'Ordonnance, a body of mounted gendarmerie—amounting in all to three thousand men—which ranked among the most accomplished and best disciplined cavalry of Europe. They were divided into fourteen squadrons, each under the command of a stadholder, or of a distinguished noble. Besides these troops, however, there still remained in the provinces a foreign force amounting in the aggregate to four thousand men. These soldiers were the remainder of those large bodies which year after year had been quartered upon the Netherlands during the constant warfare to which they had been exposed. Living upon the substance of the country, paid out of its treasury, and as offensive by their licentious and ribald habits of life as were the enemies against whom they were enrolled, these troops had become an intolerable burthen to the people. They were now disposed in different garrisons, nominally to protect the frontier. As a firm peace, however, had now been concluded between Spain and France, and as there was no pretext for compelling the provinces to accept this protection, the presence of a foreign soldiery strengthened a suspicion that they were to be used in the onslaught which was preparing against the religious freedom and the political privileges of the country. They were to be the nucleus of a larger army, it was believed, by which the land was to be reduced to a state of servile subjection to Spain. A low, constant, but generally unheeded murmur of dissatisfaction and distrust upon this subject was already perceptible throughout the Netherlands; a warning presage of the coming storm.

All the provinces were now convoked for the 7th of August (1559), at Ghent, there to receive the parting communication and farewell of the King. Previously to this day, however, Philip appeared in person upon several solemn occasions, to impress upon the country the necessity of attending to the great subject with which his mind was exclusively occupied. He came before the great council of Mechlin, in order to address that body with his own lips upon the necessity of supporting the edicts to the letter, and of trampling out every vestige of heresy, wherever it should appear, by the immediate immolation of all heretics, whoever they might be. He likewise caused the estates of Flanders to be privately assembled, that he might harangue them upon the same great topic. In the latter part of July he proceeded to Ghent, where a great concourse of nobles, citizens, and strangers had already assembled. Here, in the last week of the month, the twenty-third chapter of the Golden Fleece was held with much pomp, and with festivities which lasted three days. The fourteen vacancies which existed were filled with the names of various distinguished personages. With this last celebration the public history of Philip the Good's ostentatious and ambitious order of knighthood was closed. The subsequent nominations were made 'ex indultu apostolico', and without the assembling of a chapter.

The estates having duly assembled upon the day prescribed, Philip, attended by Margaret of Parma, the Duke of Savoy, and a stately retinue of ambassadors and grandees, made his appearance before them. After the customary ceremonies had been performed, the Bishop of Arras arose and delivered, in the name of his sovereign, an elaborate address of instructions and farewells. In this important harangue, the states were informed that the King had convened them in order that they might be informed of his intention of leaving the Netherlands immediately. He would gladly have remained longer in his beloved provinces, had not circumstances compelled his departure. His father had come hither for the good of the country in the year 1543, and had never returned to Spain, except to die.

Upon the King's accession to the sovereignty he had arranged a truce of five years, which had been broken through by the faithlessness of France. He had, therefore, been obliged, notwithstanding his anxiety to return to a country where his presence was so much needed, to remain in the provinces till he had conducted the new war to a triumphant close. In doing this he had been solely governed by his intense love for the Netherlands, and by his regard for their interests. All the money which he had raised from their coffers had been spent for their protection. Upon this account his Majesty expressed his confidence that the estates would pay an earnest attention to the "Request" which had been laid before them, the more so, as its amount, three millions of gold florins, would all be expended for the good of the provinces. After his return to Spain he hoped to be able to make a remittance. The Duke of Savoy, he continued, being obliged, in consequence of the fortunate change in his affairs, to resign the government of the Netherlands, and his own son, Don Carlos, not yet being sufficiently advanced in years to succeed to that important post, his Majesty had selected his sister, the Duchess Margaret of Parma, daughter of the Emperor, as the most proper person for Regent. As she had been born in the Netherlands, and had always entertained a profound affection for the provinces, he felt a firm confidence that she would prove faithful both to their interests and his own. As at this moment many countries, and particularly the lands in the immediate neighborhood, were greatly infested by various "new, reprobate, and damnable sects;" as these sects, proceeding from the foul fiend, father of discord, had not failed to keep those kingdoms in perpetual dissension and misery, to the manifest displeasure of God Almighty; as his Majesty was desirous to avert such terrible evils from his own realms, according to his duty to the Lord God, who would demand reckoning from him hereafter for the well-being of the provinces; as all experience proved that change of religion ever brought desolation and confusion to the commonweal; as low persons, beggars and vagabonds, under color of religion, were accustomed to traverse the land for the purpose of plunder and disturbance; as his Majesty was most desirous of following in the footsteps of his lord and father; as it would be well remembered what the Emperor had said to him upon the memorable occasion of his abdication; therefore his Majesty had commanded the Regent Margaret of Parma, for the sake of religion and the glory of God, accurately and exactly to cause to be enforced the edicts and decrees made by his imperial Majesty, and renewed by his present Majesty, for the extirpation of all sects and heresies. All governors, councillors, and others having authority, were also instructed to do their utmost to accomplish this great end.

The great object of the discourse was thus announced in the most impressive manner, and with all that conventional rhetoric of which the Bishop of Arras was considered a consummate master. Not a word was said on the subject which was nearest the hearts of the Netherlanders—the withdrawal of the Spanish troops.

[Bentivoglio. Guerra di Fiandra, i. 9 (Opere, Parigi, 1648), gives a different report, which ends with a distinct promise on the part of the King to dismiss the troops as soon as possible: "—in segno di the spetialmente havrebbe quanto prima, a fatti uscire i presidij stranieri dalle fortezze a levata ogn' insolita contributione al paese." It is almost superfluous to state that the Cardinal is no authority for speeches, except, indeed, for those which were never made. Long orations by generals upon the battle-field, by royal personages in their cabinets, by conspirators in secret conclave, are reported by him with muck minuteness, and none can gainsay the accuracy with which these harangues, which never had any existence, except in the author's imagination, are placed before the reader. Bentivoglio's stately and graceful style, elegant descriptions, and general acquaintance with his subject will always make his works attractive, but the classic and conventional system of inventing long speeches for historical characters has fortunately gone out of fashion. It is very interesting to know what an important personage really did say or write upon remarkable occasions; but it is less instructive to be told what the historian thinks might have been a good speech or epistle for him to utter or indito.]

Not a hint was held out that a reduction of the taxation, under which the provinces had so long been groaning, was likely to take place; but, on the contrary, the King had demanded a new levy of considerable amount. A few well-turned paragraphs were added on the subject of the administration of justice—"without which the republic was a dead body without a soul"—in the Bishop's most approved style, and the discourse concluded with a fervent exhortation to the provinces to trample heresy and heretics out of existence, and with the hope that the Lord God, in such case, would bestow upon the Netherlands health and happiness.

After the address had been concluded, the deputies, according to ancient form, requested permission to adjourn, that the representatives of each province might deliberate among themselves on the point of granting or withholding the Request for the three millions. On the following day they again assembled in the presence of the King, for the purpose of returning their separate answers to the propositions.

The address first read was that of the Estates of Artois. The chairman of the deputies from that province read a series of resolutions, drawn up, says a contemporary, "with that elegance which characterized all the public acts of the Artesians; bearing witness to the vivacity of their wits." The deputies spoke of the extreme affection which their province had always borne to his Majesty and to the Emperor. They had proved it by the constancy with which they had endured the calamities of war so long, and they now cheerfully consented to the Request, so far as their contingent went. They were willing to place at his Majesty's disposal, not only the remains of their property, but even the last drop of their blood. As the eloquent chairman reached this point in his discourse, Philip, who was standing with his arm resting upon Egmont's shoulder, listening eagerly to the Artesian address, looked upon the deputies of the province with a smiling face, expressing by the unwonted benignity of his countenance the satisfaction which he received from these loyal expressions of affection, and this dutiful compliance with his Request.

The deputy, however, proceeded to an unexpected conclusion, by earnestly entreating his Majesty, as a compensation for the readiness thus evinced in the royal service, forthwith to order the departure of all foreign troops then in the Netherlands. Their presence, it was added, was now rendered completely superfluous by the ratification of the treaty of peace so fortunately arranged with all the world.

At this sudden change in the deputy's language, the King, no longer smiling, threw himself violently upon his chair of state, where he remained, brooding with a gloomy countenance upon the language which had been addressed to him. It was evident, said an eye-witness, that he was deeply offended. He changed color frequently, so that all present "could remark, from the working of his face, how much his mind was agitated."

The rest of the provinces were even more explicit than the deputies of Artois. All had voted their contingents to the Request, but all had made the withdrawal of the troops an express antecedent condition to the payment of their respective quotas.

The King did not affect to conceal his rage at these conditions, exclaiming bitterly to Count Egmont and other seignors near the throne that it was very easy to estimate, by these proceedings, the value of the protestations made by the provinces of their loyalty and affection.

Besides, however, the answers thus addressed by the separate states to the royal address, a formal remonstrance had also been drawn up in the name of the States General, and signed by the Prince of Orange, Count Egmont, and many of the leading patricians of the Netherlands. This document, which was formally presented to the King before the adjournment of the assembly, represented the infamous "pillaging, insults, and disorders" daily exercised by the foreign soldiery; stating that the burthen had become intolerable, and that the inhabitants of Marienburg, and of many other large towns and villages had absolutely abandoned their homes rather than remain any longer exposed to such insolence and oppression.

The king, already enraged, was furious at the presentation of this petition. He arose from his seat, and rushed impetuously from the assembly, demanding of the members as he went, whether he too, as a Spaniard, was expected immediately to leave the land, and to resign all authority over it. The Duke of Savoy made use of this last occasion in which he appeared in public as Regent, violently to rebuke the estates for the indignity thus offered to their sovereign.

It could not be forgotten, however, by nobles and burghers, who had not yet been crushed by the long course of oppression which was in store for them, that there had been a day when Philip's ancestors had been more humble in their deportment in the face of the provincial authorities. His great-grandfather, Maximilian, kept in durance by the citizens of Bruges; his great-grandmother, Mary of Burgundy, with streaming eyes and dishevelled hair, supplicating in the market-place for the lives of her treacherous ambassadors, were wont to hold a less imperious language to the delegates of the states.

This burst of ill temper on the part of the monarch was, however, succeeded by a different humor. It was still thought advisable to dissemble, and to return rather an expostulatory than a peremptory answer to the remonstrance of the States General. Accordingly a paper of a singular tone was, after the delay of a few days, sent into the assembly. In this message it was stated that the King was not desirous of placing strangers in the government—a fact which was proved by the appointment of the Duchess Margaret; that the Spanish infantry was necessary to protect the land from invasion; that the remnant of foreign troops only amounted to three or four thousand men, who claimed considerable arrears of pay, but that the amount due would be forwarded to them immediately after his Majesty's return to Spain. It was suggested that the troops would serve as an escort for Don Carlos when he should arrive in the Netherlands, although the King would have been glad to carry them to Spain in his fleet, had he known the wishes of the estates in time. He would, however, pay for their support himself, although they were to act solely for the good of the provinces. He observed, moreover, that he had selected two seignors of the provinces, the Prince of Orange and Count Egmont, to take command of these foreign troops, and he promised faithfully that, in the course of three or four months at furthest, they should all be withdrawn.

On the same day in which the estates had assembled at Ghent, Philip had addressed an elaborate letter to the grand council of Mechlin, the supreme court of the provinces, and to the various provincial councils and tribunals of the whole country. The object of the communication was to give his final orders on the subject of the edicts, and for the execution of all heretics in the most universal and summary manner. He gave stringent and unequivocal instructions that these decrees for burning, strangling, and burying alive, should be fulfilled to the letter. He ordered all judicial officers and magistrates "to be curious to enquire on all sides as to the execution of the placards," stating his intention that "the utmost rigor should be employed without any respect of persons," and that not only the transgressors should be proceeded against, but also the judges who should prove remiss in their prosecution of heretics. He alluded to a false opinion which had gained currency that the edicts were only intended against anabaptists. Correcting this error, he stated that they were to be "enforced against all sectaries, without any distinction or mercy, who might be spotted merely with the errors introduced by Luther."

The King, notwithstanding the violent scenes in the assembly, took leave of the estates at another meeting with apparent cordiality. His dissatisfaction was sufficiently manifest, but it expressed itself principally against individuals. His displeasure at the course pursued by the leading nobles, particularly by the Prince of Orange, was already no secret.

Philip, soon after the adjournment of the assembly, had completed the preparations for his departure. At Middelburg he was met by the agreeable intelligence that the Pope had consented to issue a bull for the creation of the new bishoprics which he desired for the Netherlands.—This important subject will be resumed in another chapter; for the present we accompany the King to Flushing, whence the fleet was to set sail for Spain. He was escorted thither by the Duchess Regent, the Duke of Savoy, and by many of the most eminent personages of the provinces. Among others William of Orange was in attendance to witness the final departure of the King, and to pay him his farewell respects. As Philip was proceeding on board the ship which was to bear him forever from the Netherlands, his eyes lighted upon the Prince. His displeasure could no longer be restrained. With angry face he turned upon him, and bitterly reproached him for having thwarted all his plans by means of his secret intrigues. William replied with humility that every thing which had taken place had been done through the regular and natural movements of the states. Upon this the King, boiling with rage, seized the Prince by the wrist, and shaking it violently, exclaimed in Spanish, "No los estados, ma vos, vos, vos!—Not the estates, but you, you, you!" repeating thrice the word vos, which is as disrespectful and uncourteous in Spanish as "toi" in French.

After this severe and public insult, the Prince of Orange did not go on board his Majesty's vessel, but contented himself with wishing Philip, from the shore, a fortunate journey. It may be doubted, moreover, whether he would not have made a sudden and compulsory voyage to Spain had he ventured his person in the ship, and whether, under the circumstances, he would have been likely to effect as speedy a return. His caution served him then as it was destined to do on many future occasions, and Philip left the Netherlands with this parting explosion of hatred against the man who, as he perhaps instinctively felt, was destined to circumvent his measures and resist his tyranny to the last.

The fleet, which consisted of ninety vessels, so well provisioned that, among other matters, fifteen thousand capons were put on board, according to the Antwerp chronicler, set sail upon the 26th August (1559), from Flushing. The voyage proved tempestuous, so that much of the rich tapestry and other merchandise which had been accumulated by Charles and Philip was lost. Some of the vessels foundered; to save others it was necessary to lighten the cargo, and "to enrobe the roaring waters with the silks," for which the Netherlands were so famous; so that it was said that Philip and his father had impoverished the earth only to enrich the ocean. The fleet had been laden with much valuable property, because the King had determined to fix for the future the wandering capital of his dominions in Spain. Philip landed in safety, however, at Laredo, on the 8th September. His escape from imminent peril confirmed him in the great purpose to which he had consecrated his existence. He believed himself to have been reserved from shipwreck only because a mighty mission had been confided to him, and lest his enthusiasm against heresy should languish, his eyes were soon feasted, upon his arrival in his native country, with the spectacle of an auto-da fe.

Early in January of this year the King being persuaded that it was necessary every where to use additional means to check the alarming spread of Lutheran opinions, had written to the Pope for authority to increase, if that were possible, the stringency of the Spanish inquisition. The pontiff, nothing loath, had accordingly issued a bull directed to the inquisitor general, Valdez, by which he was instructed to consign to the flames all prisoners whatever, even those who were not accused of having "relapsed." Great preparations had been made to strike terror into the hearts of heretics by a series of horrible exhibitions, in the course of which the numerous victims, many of them persons of high rank, distinguished learning, and exemplary lives, who had long been languishing in the dungeons of the holy office, were to be consigned to the flames. The first auto-da fe had been consummated at Valladolid on the 21st May (1559), in the absence of the King, of course, but in the presence of the royal family and the principal notabilities, civil, ecclesiastical, and military. The Princess Regent, seated on her throne, close to the scaffold, had held on high the holy sword. The Archbishop of Seville, followed by the ministers of the inquisition and by the victims, had arrived in solemn procession at the "cadahalso," where, after the usual sermon in praise of the holy office and in denunciation of heresy, he had administered the oath to the Intante, who had duly sworn upon the crucifix to maintain forever the sacred inquisition and the apostolic decrees. The Archbishop had then cried aloud, "So may God prosper your Highnesses and your estates;" after which the men and women who formed the object of the show had been cast into the flames.—[Cabrera]. It being afterwards ascertained that the King himself would soon be enabled to return to Spain, the next festival was reserved as a fitting celebration for his arrival. Upon the 8th October, accordingly, another auto-da fe took place at Valladolid. The King, with his sister and his son, the high officers of state, the foreign ministers, and all the nobility of the kingdom, were present, together with an immense concourse of soldiery, clergy, and populace. The sermon was preached by the Bishop of Cuenga. When it was finished, Inquisitor General Valdez cried with a loud voice, "Oh God, make speed to help us!" The King then drew his sword. Valdez, advancing to the platform upon which Philip was seated, proceeded to read the protestation: "Your Majesty swears by the cross of the sword, whereon your royal hand reposes, that you will give all necessary favor to the holy office of the inquisition against heretics, apostates, and those who favor them, and will denounce and inform against all those who, to your royal knowledge, shall act or speak against the faith." The King answered aloud, "I swear it," and signed the paper. The oath was read to the whole assembly by an officer of the inquisition. Thirteen distinguished victims were then burned before the monarch's eyes, besides one body which a friendly death had snatched from the hands of the holy office, and the effigy of another person who had been condemned, although not yet tried or even apprehended. Among the sufferers was Carlos de Sessa, a young noble of distinguished character and abilities, who said to the King as he passed by the throne to the stake, "How can you thus look on and permit me to be burned?" Philip then made the memorable reply, carefully recorded by his historiographer and panegyrist; "I would carry the wood to burn my own son withal, were he as wicked as you."

In Seville, immediately afterwards, another auto-da fe was held, in which fifty living heretics were burned, besides the bones of Doctor Constantine Ponce de la Fuente, once the friend, chaplain, and almoner of Philip's father. This learned and distinguished ecclesiastic had been released from a dreadful dungeon by a fortunate fever. The holy office, however, not content with punishing his corpse, wreaked also an impotent and ludicrous malice upon his effigy. A stuffed figure, attired in his robes and with its arms extended in the attitude which was habitual with him in prayer, was placed upon the scaffold among the living victims, and then cast into the flames, that bigotry might enjoy a fantastic triumph over the grave.

Such were the religious ceremonies with which Philip celebrated his escape from shipwreck, and his marriage with Isabella of France, immediately afterwards solemnized. These human victims, chained and burning at the stake, were the blazing torches which lighted the monarch to his nuptial couch.


     Consign to the flames all prisoners whatever (Papal letter)
     Courage of despair inflamed the French
     Decrees for burning, strangling, and burying alive
     I would carry the wood to burn my own son withal
     Inventing long speeches for historical characters
     Let us fool these poor creatures to their heart's content
     Petty passion for contemptible details
     Promises which he knew to be binding only upon the weak
     Rashness alternating with hesitation
     These human victims, chained and burning at the stake


1559-1560 [CHAPTER I.]

Biographical sketch and portrait of Margaret of Parma—The state council—Berlaymont—Viglius—Sketch of William the Silent—Portrait of Antony Perrenot, afterwards Cardinal Granvelle—General view of the political, social and religious condition of the Netherlands— Habits of the aristocracy—Emulation in extravagance—Pecuniary embarrassments—Sympathy for the Reformation, steadily increasing among the people, the true cause of the impending revolt—Measures of the government.—Edict of 1550 described—Papal Bulls granted to Philip for increasing the number of Bishops in the Netherlands— Necessity for retaining the Spanish troops to enforce the policy of persecution.

Margaret of Parma, newly appointed Regent of the Netherlands, was the natural daughter of Charles the Fifth, and his eldest born child. Her mother, of a respectable family called Van der Genst, in Oudenarde, had been adopted and brought up by the distinguished house of Hoogstraaten. Peculiar circumstances, not necessary to relate at length, had palliated the fault to which Margaret owed her imperial origin, and gave the child almost a legitimate claim upon its father's protection. The claim was honorably acknowledged. Margaret was in her infancy placed by the Emperor in the charge of his paternal aunt, Margaret of Savoy, then Regent of the provinces. Upon the death of that princess, the child was entrusted to the care of the Emperor's sister, Mary, Queen Dowager of Hungary, who had succeeded to the government, and who occupied it until the abdication. The huntress-queen communicated her tastes to her youthful niece, and Margaret soon outrivalled her instructress. The ardor with which she pursued the stag, and the courageous horsemanship which she always displayed, proved her, too, no degenerate descendant of Mary of Burgundy. Her education for the distinguished position in which she had somewhat surreptitiously been placed was at least not neglected in this particular. When, soon after the memorable sack of Rome, the Pope and the Emperor had been reconciled, and it had been decided that the Medici family should be elevated upon the ruins of Florentine liberty, Margaret's hand was conferred in marriage upon the pontiff's nephew Alexander. The wretched profligate who was thus selected to mate with the Emperor's eldest born child and to appropriate the fair demesnes of the Tuscan republic was nominally the offspring of Lorenzo de Medici by a Moorish slave, although generally reputed a bastard of the Pope himself. The nuptials were celebrated with great pomp at Naples, where the Emperor rode at the tournament in the guise of a Moorish warrior. At Florence splendid festivities had also been held, which were troubled with omens believed to be highly unfavorable. It hardly needed, however, preternatural appearances in heaven or on earth to proclaim the marriage ill-starred which united a child of twelve years with a worn-out debauchee of twenty-seven. Fortunately for Margaret, the funereal portents proved true. Her husband, within the first year of their wedded life, fell a victim to his own profligacy, and was assassinated by his kinsman, Lorenzino de Medici. Cosmo, his successor in the tyranny of Florence, was desirous of succeeding to the hand of Margaret, but the politic Emperor, thinking that he had already done enough to conciliate that house, was inclined to bind to his interests the family which now occupied the papal throne. Margaret was accordingly a few years afterwards united to Ottavio Farnese, nephew of Paul the Third. It was still her fate to be unequally matched. Having while still a child been wedded to a man of more than twice her years, she was now, at the age of twenty, united to an immature youth of thirteen. She conceived so strong an aversion to her new husband, that it became impossible for them to live together in peace. Ottavio accordingly went to the wars, and in 1541 accompanied the Emperor in his memorable expedition to Barbary.

Rumors of disaster by battle and tempest reaching Europe before the results of the expedition were accurately known, reports that the Emperor had been lost in a storm, and that the young Ottavio had perished with him, awakened remorse in the bosom of Margaret. It seemed to her that he had been driven forth by domestic inclemency to fall a victim to the elements. When, however, the truth became known, and it was ascertained that her husband, although still living, was lying dangerously ill in the charge of the Emperor, the repugnance which had been founded upon his extreme youth changed to passionate fondness. His absence, and his faithful military attendance upon her father, caused a revulsion in her feelings, and awakened her admiration. When Ottavio, now created Duke of Parma and Piacenza, returned to Rome, he was received by his wife with open arms. Their union was soon blessed with twins, and but for a certain imperiousness of disposition which Margaret had inherited from her father, and which she was too apt to exercise even upon her husband, the marriage would have been sufficiently fortunate.

Various considerations pointed her out to Philip as a suitable person for the office of Regent, although there seemed some mystery about the appointment which demanded explanation. It was thought that her birth would make her acceptable to the people; but perhaps, the secret reason with Philip was, that she alone of all other candidates would be amenable to the control of the churchman in whose hand he intended placing the real administration of the provinces. Moreover, her husband was very desirous that the citadel of Piacenza, still garrisoned by Spanish troops, should be surrendered to him. Philip was disposed to conciliate the Duke, but unwilling to give up the fortress. He felt that Ottavio would be flattered by the nomination of his wife to so important an office, and be not too much dissatisfied at finding himself relieved for a time from her imperious fondness. Her residence in the Netherlands would guarantee domestic tranquillity to her husband, and peace in Italy to the King. Margaret would be a hostage for the fidelity of the Duke, who had, moreover, given his eldest son to Philip to be educated in his service.

She was about thirty-seven years of age when she arrived in the Netherlands, with the reputation of possessing high talents, and a proud and energetic character. She was an enthusiastic Catholic, and had sat at the feet of Loyola, who had been her confessor and spiritual guide. She felt a greater horror for heretics than for any other species of malefactors, and looked up to her father's bloody edicts as if they had been special revelations from on high. She was most strenuous in her observance of Roman rites, and was accustomed to wash the feet of twelve virgins every holy week, and to endow them in marriage afterwards.—Her acquirements, save that of the art of horsemanship, were not remarkable.

Carefully educated in the Machiavellian and Medicean school of politics, she was versed in that "dissimulation," to which liberal Anglo-Saxons give a shorter name, but which formed the main substance of statesmanship at the court of Charles and Philip. In other respects her accomplishments were but meagre, and she had little acquaintance with any language but Italian. Her personal appearance, which was masculine, but not without a certain grand and imperial fascination, harmonized with the opinion generally entertained of her character. The famous moustache upon her upper lips was supposed to indicate authority and virility of purpose, an impression which was confirmed by the circumstance that she was liable to severe attacks of gout, a disorder usually considered more appropriate to the sterner sex.

Such were the previous career and public reputation of the Duchess Margaret. It remains to be unfolded whether her character and endowments, as exemplified in her new position, were to justify the choice of Philip.

The members of the state council, as already observed, were Berlaymont,
Viglius, Arras, Orange, and Egmont.

The first was, likewise, chief of the finance department. Most of the Catholic writers described him as a noble of loyal and highly honorable character. Those of the Protestant party, on the contrary, uniformly denounced him as greedy, avaricious, and extremely sanguinary. That he was a brave and devoted soldier, a bitter papist, and an inflexible adherent to the royal cause, has never been disputed. The Baron himself, with his four courageous and accomplished sons, were ever in the front ranks to defend the crown against the nation. It must be confessed, however, that fanatical loyalty loses most of the romance with which genius and poetry have so often hallowed the sentiment, when the "legitimate" prince for whom the sword is drawn is not only an alien in tongue and blood, but filled with undisguised hatred for the land he claims to rule.

Viglius van Aytta van Zuichem was a learned Frisian, born, according to some writers, of "boors' degree, but having no inclination for boorish work". According to other authorities, which the President himself favored, he was of noble origin; but, whatever his race, it is certain that whether gentle or simple, it derived its first and only historical illustration from his remarkable talents and acquirements. These in early youth were so great as to acquire the commendation of Erasmus. He had studied in Louvain, Paris, and Padua, had refused the tutorship Philip when that prince was still a child, and had afterwards filled a professorship at Ingolstadt. After rejecting several offers of promotion from the Emperor, he had at last accepted in 1542 a seat in the council of Mechlin, of which body he had become president in 1545. He had been one of the peace commissioners to France in 1558, and was now president of the privy council, a member of the state council, and of the inner and secret committee of that board, called the Consults. Much odium was attached to his name for his share in the composition of the famous edict of 1550. The rough draught was usually attributed to his pen, but he complained bitterly, in letters written at this time, of injustice done him in this respect, and maintained that he had endeavored, without success, to induce the Emperor to mitigate the severity of the edict. One does not feel very strongly inclined to accept his excuses, however, when his general opinions on the subject of religion are remembered. He was most bigoted in precept and practice. Religious liberty he regarded as the most detestable and baleful of doctrines; heresy he denounced as the most unpardonable of crimes.

From no man's mouth flowed more bitter or more elegant commonplaces than from that of the learned president against those blackest of malefactors, the men who claimed within their own walls the right to worship God according to their own consciences. For a common person, not learned in law or divinity, to enter into his closet, to shut the door, and to pray to Him who seeth in secret, was, in his opinion, to open wide the gate of destruction for all the land, and to bring in the Father of Evil at once to fly away with the whole population, body and soul. "If every man," said he to Hopper, "is to believe what he likes in his own house, we shall have hearth gods and tutelar divinities, again, the country will swarm with a thousand errors and sects, and very few there will be, I fear, who will allow themselves to be enclosed in the sheepfold of Christ. I have ever considered this opinion," continued the president, "the most pernicious of all. They who hold it have a contempt for all religion, and are neither more nor less than atheists. This vague, fireside liberty should be by every possible means extirpated; therefore did Christ institute shepherds to drive his wandering sheep back into the fold of the true Church; thus only can we guard the lambs against the ravening wolves, and prevent their being carried away from the flock of Christ to the flock of Belial. Liberty of religion, or of conscience, as they call it, ought never to be tolerated."

This was the cant with which Viglius was ever ready to feed not only his faithful Hopper, but all the world beside. The president was naturally anxious that the fold of Christ should be entrusted to none but regular shepherds, for he looked forward to taking one of the most lucrative crooks into his own hand, when he should retire from his secular career.

It is now necessary to say a few introductory words concerning the man who, from this time forth, begins to rise upon the history of his country with daily increasing grandeur and influence. William of Nassau, Prince of Orange, although still young in years, is already the central personage about whom the events and the characters of the epoch most naturally group themselves; destined as he is to become more and more with each succeeding year the vivifying source of light, strength, and national life to a whole people.

The Nassau family first emerges into distinct existence in the middle of the eleventh century. It divides itself almost as soon as known into two great branches. The elder remained in Germany, ascended the imperial throne in the thirteenth century in the person of Adolph of Nassau and gave to the country many electors, bishops, and generals. The younger and more illustrious branch retained the modest property and petty sovereignty of Nassau Dillenbourg, but at the same time transplanted itself to the Netherlands, where it attained at an early period to great power and large possessions. The ancestors of William, as Dukes of Gueldres, had begun to exercise sovereignty in the provinces four centuries before the advent of the house of Burgundy. That overshadowing family afterwards numbered the Netherland Nassaus among its most stanch and powerful adherents. Engelbert the Second was distinguished in the turbulent councils and in the battle-fields of Charles the Bold, and was afterwards the unwavering supporter of Maximilian, in court and camp. Dying childless, he was succeeded by his brother John, whose two sons, Henry and William, of Nassau, divided the great inheritance after their father's death, William succeeded to the German estates, became a convert to Protestantism, and introduced the Reformation into his dominions. Henry, the eldest son, received the family possessions and titles in Luxembourg, Brabant, Flanders and Holland, and distinguished himself as much as his uncle Engelbert, in the service of the Burgundo-Austrian house. The confidential friend of Charles the Fifth, whose governor he had been in that Emperor's boyhood, he was ever his most efficient and reliable adherent. It was he whose influence placed the imperial crown upon the head of Charles. In 1515 he espoused Claudia de Chalons, sister of Prince Philibert of Orange, "in order," as he wrote to his father, "to be obedient to his imperial Majesty, to please the King of France, and more particularly for the sake of his own honor and profit."

His son Rene de Nassau-Chalons succeeded Philibert. The little principality of Orange, so pleasantly situated between Provence and Dauphiny, but in such dangerous proximity to the seat of the "Babylonian captivity" of the popes at Avignon, thus passed to the family of Nassau. The title was of high antiquity. Already in the reign of Charlemagne, Guillaume au Court-Nez, or "William with the Short Nose," had defended the little—town of Orange against the assaults of the Saracens. The interest and authority acquired in the demesnes thus preserved by his valor became extensive, and in process of time hereditary in his race. The principality became an absolute and free sovereignty, and had already descended, in defiance of the Salic law, through the three distinct families of Orange, Baux, and Chalons.

In 1544, Prince Rene died at the Emperor's feet in the trenches of Saint Dizier. Having no legitimate children, he left all his titles and estates to his cousin-german, William of Nassau, son of his father's brother William, who thus at the age of eleven years became William the Ninth of Orange. For this child, whom the future was to summon to such high destinies and such heroic sacrifices, the past and present seemed to have gathered riches and power together from many sources. He was the descendant of the Othos, the Engelberts, and the Henries, of the Netherlands, the representative of the Philiberts and the Renes of France; the chief of a house, humbler in resources and position in Germany, but still of high rank, and which had already done good service to humanity by being among the first to embrace the great principles of the Reformation.

His father, younger brother of the Emperor's friend Henry, was called William the Rich. He was, however, only rich in children. Of these he had five sons and seven daughters by his wife Juliana of Stolberg. She was a person of most exemplary character and unaffected piety. She instilled into the minds of all her children the elements of that devotional sentiment which was her own striking characteristic, and it was destined that the seed sown early should increase to an abundant harvest. Nothing can be more tender or more touching than the letters which still exist from her hand, written to her illustrious sons in hours of anxiety or anguish, and to the last, recommending to them with as much earnest simplicity as if they were still little children at her knee, to rely always in the midst of the trials and dangers which were to beset their paths through life, upon the great hand of God. Among the mothers of great men, Juliana of Stolberg deserves a foremost place, and it is no slight eulogy that she was worthy to have been the mother of William of Orange and of Lewis, Adolphus, Henry, and John of Nassau.

At the age of eleven years, William having thus unexpectedly succeeded to such great possessions, was sent from his father's roof to be educated in Brussels. No destiny seemed to lie before the young prince but an education at the Emperor's court, to be followed by military adventures, embassies, viceroyalties, and a life of luxury and magnificence. At a very early age he came, accordingly, as a page into the Emperor's family. Charles recognized, with his customary quickness, the remarkable character of the boy. At fifteen, William was the intimate, almost confidential friend of the Emperor, who prided himself, above all other gifts, on his power of reading and of using men. The youth was so constant an attendant upon his imperial chief that even when interviews with the highest personages, and upon the gravest affairs, were taking place, Charles would never suffer him to be considered superfluous or intrusive. There seemed to be no secrets which the Emperor held too high for the comprehension or discretion of his page. His perceptive and reflective faculties, naturally of remarkable keenness and depth, thus acquired a precocious and extraordinary development. He was brought up behind the curtain of that great stage where the world's dramas were daily enacted. The machinery and the masks which produced the grand delusions of history had no deceptions for him. Carefully to observe men's actions, and silently to ponder upon their motives, was the favorite occupation of the Prince during his apprenticeship at court. As he advanced to man's estate, he was selected by the Emperor for the highest duties. Charles, whose only merit, so far as the provinces were concerned, was in having been born in Ghent, and that by an ignoble accident, was glad to employ this representative of so many great Netherland houses, in the defence of the land. Before the Prince was twenty-one he was appointed general-in-chief of the army on the French frontier, in the absence of the Duke of Savoy. The post was coveted by many most distinguished soldiers: the Counts of Buren, Bossu, Lalaing, Aremberg, Meghem, and particularly by Count Egmont; yet Charles showed his extraordinary confidence in the Prince of Orange, by selecting him for the station, although he had hardly reached maturity, and was moreover absent in France. The young Prince acquitted himself of his high command in a manner which justified his appointment.

It was the Prince's shoulder upon which the Emperor leaned at the abdication; the Prince's hand which bore the imperial insignia of the discrowned monarch to Ferdinand, at Augsburg. With these duties his relations with Charles were ended, and those with Philip begun. He was with the army during the hostilities which were soon after resumed in Picardy; he was the secret negotiator of the preliminary arrangement with France, soon afterwards confirmed by the triumphant treaty of April, 1559. He had conducted these initiatory conferences with the Constable Montmorency and Marshal de Saint Andre with great sagacity, although hardly a man in years, and by so doing he had laid Philip under deep obligations. The King was so inexpressibly anxious for peace that he would have been capable of conducting a treaty upon almost any terms. He assured the Prince that "the greatest service he could render him in this world was to make peace, and that he desired to have it at any price what ever, so eager was he to return to Spain." To the envoy Suriano, Philip had held the same language. "Oh, Ambassador," said he, "I wish peace on any terms, and if the King of France had not sued for it, I would have begged for it myself."

With such impatience on the part of the sovereign, it certainly manifested diplomatic abilities of a high character in the Prince, that the treaty negotiated by him amounted to a capitulation by France. He was one of the hostages selected by Henry for the due execution of the treaty, and while in France made that remarkable discovery which was to color his life. While hunting with the King in the forest of Vincennes, the Prince and Henry found themselves alone together, and separated from the rest of the company. The French monarch's mind was full of the great scheme which had just secretly been formed by Philip and himself, to extirpate Protestantism by a general extirpation of Protestants. Philip had been most anxious to conclude the public treaty with France, that he might be the sooner able to negotiate that secret convention by which he and his Most Christian Majesty were solemnly to bind themselves to massacre all the converts to the new religion in France and the Netherlands. This conspiracy of the two Kings against their subjects was the matter nearest the hearts of both. The Duke of Alva, a fellow hostage with William of Orange, was the plenipotentiary to conduct this more important arrangement. The French monarch, somewhat imprudently imagining that the Prince was also a party to the plot, opened the whole subject to him without reserve. He complained of the constantly increasing numbers of sectaries in his kingdom, and protested that his conscience would never be easy, nor his state secure until his realm should be delivered of "that accursed vermin." A civil revolution, under pretext of a religious reformation, was his constant apprehension, particularly since so many notable personages in the realm, and even princes of the blood, were already tainted with heresy. Nevertheless, with the favor of heaven, and the assistance of his son and brother Philip, he hoped soon to be master of the rebels. The King then proceeded, with cynical minuteness, to lay before his discreet companion the particulars of the royal plot, and the manner in which all heretics, whether high or humble, were to be discovered and massacred at the most convenient season. For the furtherance of the scheme in the Netherlands, it was understood that the Spanish regiments would be exceedingly efficient. The Prince, although horror-struck and indignant at the royal revelations, held his peace, and kept his countenance. The King was not aware that, in opening this delicate negotiation to Alva's colleague and Philip's plenipotentiary, he had given a warning of inestimable value to the man who had been born to resist the machinations of Philip and of Alva. William of Orange earned the surname of "the Silent," from the manner in which he received these communications of Henry without revealing to the monarch, by word or look, the enormous blunder which he had committed. His purpose was fixed from that hour. A few days afterwards he obtained permission to visit the Netherlands, where he took measures to excite, with all his influence, the strongest and most general opposition to the continued presence of the Spanish troops, of which forces, touch against his will, he had been, in conjunction with Egmont, appointed chief. He already felt, in his own language, that "an inquisition for the Netherlands had been, resolved upon more cruel than that of Spain; since it would need but to look askance at an image to be cast into the flames." Although having as yet no spark of religious sympathy for the reformers, he could not, he said, "but feel compassion for so many virtuous men and women thus devoted to massacre," and he determined to save them if he could!' At the departure of Philip he had received instructions, both patent and secret, for his guidance as stadholder of Holland, Friesland, and Utrecht. He was ordered "most expressly to correct and extirpate the sects reprobated by our Holy Mother Church; to execute the edicts of his Imperial Majesty, renewed by the King, with absolute rigor. He was to see that the judges carried out the edicts, without infraction, alteration, or moderation, since they were there to enforce, not to make or to discuss the law." In his secret instructions he was informed that the execution of the edicts was to be with all rigor, and without any respect of persons. He was also reminded that, whereas some persons had imagined the severity of the law "to be only intended against Anabaptists, on the contrary, the edicts were to be enforced on Lutherans and all other sectaries without distinction." Moreover, in one of his last interviews with Philip, the King had given him the names of several "excellent persons suspected of the new religion," and had commanded him to have them put to death. This, however, he not only omitted to do, but on the contrary gave them warning, so that they might effect their escape, "thinking it more necessary to obey God than man."

William of Orange, at the departure of the King for Spain, was in his twenty-seventh year. He was a widower; his first wife, Anne of Egmont, having died in 1558, after seven years of wedlock. This lady, to whom he had been united when they were both eighteen years of age, was the daughter of the celebrated general, Count de Buren, and the greatest heiress in the Netherlands. William had thus been faithful to the family traditions, and had increased his possessions by a wealthy alliance. He had two children, Philip and Mary. The marriage had been more amicable than princely marriages arranged for convenience often prove. The letters of the Prince to his wife indicate tenderness and contentment. At the same time he was accused, at a later period, of "having murdered her with a dagger." The ridiculous tale was not even credited by those who reported it, but it is worth mentioning, as a proof that no calumny was too senseless to be invented concerning the man whose character was from that hour forth to be the mark of slander, and whose whole life was to be its signal, although often unavailing, refutation.

Yet we are not to regard William of Orange, thus on the threshold of his great career, by the light diffused from a somewhat later period. In no historical character more remarkably than in his is the law of constant development and progress illustrated. At twenty-six he is not the "pater patriae," the great man struggling upward and onward against a host of enemies and obstacles almost beyond human strength, and along the dark and dangerous path leading through conflict, privation, and ceaseless labor to no repose but death. On the contrary, his foot was hardly on the first step of that difficult ascent which was to rise before him all his lifetime. He was still among the primrose paths. He was rich, powerful, of sovereign rank. He had only the germs within him of what was thereafter to expand into moral and intellectual greatness. He had small sympathy for the religious reformation, of which he was to be one of the most distinguished champions. He was a Catholic, nominally, and in outward observance. With doctrines he troubled himself but little. He had given orders to enforce conformity to the ancient Church, not with bloodshed, yet with comparative strictness, in his principality of Orange. Beyond the compliance with rites and forms, thought indispensable in those days to a personage of such high degree, he did not occupy himself with theology. He was a Catholic, as Egmont and Horn, Berlaymont and Mansfeld, Montigny and even Brederode, were Catholic. It was only tanners, dyers and apostate priests who were Protestants at that day in the Netherlands. His determination to protect a multitude of his harmless inferiors from horrible deaths did not proceed from sympathy with their religious sentiments, but merely from a generous and manly detestation of murder. He carefully averted his mind from sacred matters. If indeed the seed implanted by his pious parents were really the germ of his future conversion to Protestantism, it must be confessed that it lay dormant a long time. But his mind was in other pursuits. He was disposed for an easy, joyous, luxurious, princely life. Banquets, masquerades, tournaments, the chase, interspersed with the routine of official duties, civil and military, seemed likely to fill out his life. His hospitality, like his fortune, was almost regal. While the King and the foreign envoys were still in the Netherlands, his house, the splendid Nassau palace of Brussels, was ever open. He entertained for the monarch, who was, or who imagined himself to be, too poor to discharge his own duties in this respect, but he entertained at his own expense. This splendid household was still continued. Twenty-four noblemen and eighteen pages of gentle birth officiated regularly in his family. His establishment was on so extensive a scale that upon one day twenty-eight master cooks were dismissed, for the purpose of diminishing the family expenses, and there was hardly a princely house in Germany which did not send cooks to learn their business in so magnificent a kitchen. The reputation of his table remained undiminished for years. We find at a later period, that Philip, in the course of one of the nominal reconciliations which took place several times between the monarch and William of Orange, wrote that, his head cook being dead, he begged the Prince to "make him a present of his chief cook, Master Herman, who was understood to be very skilful."

In this hospitable mansion, the feasting continued night and day. From early morning till noon, the breakfast-tables were spread with wines and luxurious viands in constant succession, to all comers and at every moment.—The dinner and supper were daily banquets for a multitude of guests. The highest nobles were not those alone who were entertained. Men of lower degree were welcomed with a charming hospitality which made them feel themselves at their ease. Contemporaries of all parties unite in eulogizing the winning address and gentle manners of the Prince. "Never," says a most bitter Catholic historian, "did an arrogant or indiscreet word fall from his lips. He, upon no occasion, manifested anger to his servants, however much they might be in fault, but contented himself with admonishing them graciously, without menace or insult. He had a gentle and agreeable tongue, with which he could turn all the gentlemen at court any way he liked. He was beloved and honored by the whole community." His manner was graceful, familiar, caressing, and yet dignified. He had the good breeding which comes from the heart, refined into an inexpressible charm from his constant intercourse, almost from his cradle, with mankind of all ranks.

It may be supposed that this train of living was attended with expense. Moreover, he had various other establishments in town and country; besides his almost royal residence in Brussels. He was ardently fond of the chase, particularly of the knightly sport of falconry. In the country he "consoled himself by taking every day a heron in the clouds." His falconers alone cost him annually fifteen hundred florins, after he had reduced their expenses to the lowest possible point. He was much in debt, even at this early period and with his princely fortune. "We come of a race," he wrote carelessly to his brother Louis, "who are somewhat bad managers in our young days, but when we grow older, we do better, like our late father: 'sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper et in secula seculorum'. My greatest difficulty," he adds, "as usual, is on account of the falconers."

His debts already amounted, according to Granvelle's statement, to 800,000 or 900,000 florins. He had embarrassed himself, not only through his splendid extravagance, by which all the world about him were made to partake of his wealth, but by accepting the high offices to which he had been appointed. When general-in-chief on the frontier, his salary was three hundred florins monthly; "not enough," as he said, "to pay the servants in his tent," his necessary expenses being twenty-five hundred florins, as appears by a letter to his wife. His embassy to carry the crown to Ferdinand, and his subsequent residence as a hostage for the treaty in Paris, were also very onerous, and he received no salary; according to the economical system in this respect pursued by Charles and Philip. In these two embassies or missions alone, together with the entertainments offered by him to the court and to foreigners, after the peace at Brussels, the Prince spent, according to his own estimate, 1,500,000 florins. He was, however, although deeply, not desperately involved, and had already taken active measures to regulate and reduce his establishment. His revenues were vast, both in his own right and in that of his deceased wife. He had large claims upon the royal treasury for service and expenditure. He had besides ample sums to receive from the ransoms of the prisoners of St. Quentin and Gravelines, having served in both campaigns. The amount to be received by individuals from this source may be estimated from the fact that Count Horn, by no means one of the most favored in the victorious armies, had received from Leonor d'Orleans, Due de Loggieville, a ransom of eighty thousand crowns. The sum due, if payment were enforced, from the prisoners assigned to Egmont, Orange, and others, must have been very large. Granvelle estimated the whole amount at two millions; adding, characteristically, "that this kind of speculation was a practice" which our good old fathers, lovers of virtue, would not have found laudable. In this the churchman was right, but he might have added that the "lovers of virtue" would have found it as little "laudable" for ecclesiastics to dispose of the sacred offices in their gift, for carpets, tapestry, and annual payments of certain percentages upon the cure of souls. If the profits respectively gained by military and clerical speculators in that day should be compared, the disadvantage would hardly be found to lie with those of the long robe.

Such, then, at the beginning of 1560, was William of Orange; a generous, stately, magnificent, powerful grandee. As a military commander, he had acquitted himself very creditably of highly important functions at an early age. Nevertheless it was the opinion of many persons, that he was of a timid temperament. He was even accused of having manifested an unseemly panic at Philippeville, and of having only been restrained by the expostulations of his officers, from abandoning both that fortress and Charlemont to Admiral Coligny, who had made his appearance in the neighborhood, merely at the head of a reconnoitring party. If the story were true, it would be chiefly important as indicating that the Prince of Orange was one of the many historical characters, originally of an excitable and even timorous physical organization, whom moral courage and a strong will have afterwards converted into dauntless heroes. Certain it is that he was destined to confront open danger in every form, that his path was to lead through perpetual ambush, yet that his cheerful confidence and tranquil courage were to become not only unquestionable but proverbial. It may be safely asserted, however, that the story was an invention to be classed with those fictions which made him the murderer of his first wife, a common conspirator against Philip's crown and person, and a crafty malefactor in general, without a single virtue. It must be remembered that even the terrible Alva, who lived in harness almost from the cradle to the grave, was, so late as at this period, censured for timidity, and had been accused in youth of flat cowardice. He despised the insinuation, which for him had no meaning. There is no doubt too that caution was a predominant characteristic of the Prince. It was one of the chief sources of his greatness. At that period, perhaps at any period, he would have been incapable of such brilliant and dashing exploits as had made the name of Egmont so famous. It had even become a proverb, "the counsel of Orange, the execution of Egmont," yet we shall have occasion to see how far this physical promptness which had been so felicitous upon the battle-field was likely to avail the hero of St. Quentin in the great political combat which was approaching.

As to the talents of the Prince, there was no difference of opinion. His enemies never contested the subtlety and breadth of his intellect, his adroitness and capacity in conducting state affairs, his knowledge of human nature, and the profoundness of his views. In many respects it must be confessed that his surname of The Silent, like many similar appellations, was a misnomer. William of Orange was neither "silent" nor "taciturn," yet these are the epithets which will be forever associated with the name of a man who, in private, was the most affable, cheerful, and delightful of companions, and who on a thousand great public occasions was to prove himself, both by pen and by speech, the most eloquent man of his age. His mental accomplishments were considerable: He had studied history with attention, and he spoke and wrote with facility Latin, French, German, Flemish, and Spanish.

The man, however, in whose hands the administration of the Netherlands was in reality placed, was Anthony Perrenot, then Bishop of Arras, soon to be known by the more celebrated title of Cardinal Granvelle. He was the chief of the Consults, or secret council of three, by whose deliberations the Duchess Regent was to be governed. His father, Nicholas Perrenot, of an obscure family in Burgundy, had been long the favorite minister and man of business to the Emperor Charles. Anthony, the eldest of thirteen children, was born in 1517. He was early distinguished for his talents. He studied at Dole, Padua, Paris, and Louvain. At, the age of twenty he spoke seven languages with perfect facility, while his acquaintance with civil and ecclesiastical laws was considered prodigious. At the age of twenty-three he became a canon of Liege Cathedral. The necessary eight quarters of gentility produced upon that occasion have accordingly been displayed by his panegyrists in triumphant refutation of that theory which gave him a blacksmith for his grandfather. At the same period, although he had not reached the requisite age, the rich bishopric of Arras had already been prepared for him by his father's care. Three years afterwards, in 1543, he distinguished himself by a most learned and brilliant harangue before the Council of Trent, by which display he so much charmed the Emperor, that he created him councillor of state. A few years afterwards he rendered the unscrupulous Charles still more valuable proofs of devotion and dexterity by the part he played in the memorable imprisonment of the Landgrave of Hesse and the Saxon Dukes. He was thereafter constantly employed in embassies and other offices of trust and profit.

There was no doubt as to his profound and varied learning, nor as to his natural quickness and dexterity. He was ready witted, smooth and fluent of tongue, fertile in expedients, courageous, resolute. He thoroughly understood the art of managing men, particularly his superiors. He knew how to govern under the appearance of obeying. He possessed exquisite tact in appreciating the characters of those far above him in rank and beneath him in intellect. He could accommodate himself with great readiness to the idiosyncrasies of sovereigns. He was a chameleon to the hand which fed him. In his intercourse with the King, he colored himself, as it were, with the King's character. He was not himself, but Philip; not the sullen, hesitating, confused Philip, however, but Philip endowed with eloquence, readiness, facility. The King ever found himself anticipated with the most delicate obsequiousness, beheld his struggling ideas change into winged words without ceasing to be his own. No flattery could be more adroit. The bishop accommodated himself to the King's epistolary habits. The silver-tongued and ready debater substituted protocols for conversation, in deference to a monarch who could not speak. He corresponded with Philip, with Margaret of Parma, with every one. He wrote folios to the Duchess when they were in the same palace. He would write letters forty pages long to the King, and send off another courier on the same day with two or three additional despatches of identical date. Such prolixity enchanted the King, whose greediness for business epistles was insatiable. The painstaking monarch toiled, pen in hand, after his wonderful minister in vain. Philip was only fit to be the bishop's clerk; yet he imagined himself to be the directing and governing power. He scrawled apostilles in the margins to prove that he had read with attention, and persuaded himself that he suggested when he scarcely even comprehended. The bishop gave advice and issued instructions when he seemed to be only receiving them. He was the substance while he affected to be the shadow. These tactics were comparatively easy and likely to be triumphant, so long as he had only to deal with inferior intellects like those of Philip and Margaret. When he should be matched against political genius and lofty character combined, it was possible that his resources might not prove so all-sufficient.

His political principles were sharply defined in reality, but smoothed over by a conventional and decorous benevolence of language, which deceived vulgar minds. He was a strict absolutist. His deference to arbitrary power was profound and slavish. God and "the master," as he always called Philip, he professed to serve with equal humility. "It seems to me," said he, in a letter of this epoch, "that I shall never be able to fulfil the obligation of slave which I owe to your majesty, to whom I am bound by so firm a chain;—at any rate, I shall never fail to struggle for that end with sincerity."

As a matter of course, he was a firm opponent of the national rights of the Netherlands, however artfully he disguised the sharp sword of violent absolutism under a garland of flourishing phraseology. He had strenuously warned Philip against assembling the States-general before his departure for the sake of asking them for supplies. He earnestly deprecated allowing the constitutional authorities any control over the expenditures of the government, and averred that this practice under the Regent Mary had been the cause of endless trouble. It may easily be supposed that other rights were as little to his taste as the claim to vote the subsidies, a privilege which was in reality indisputable. Men who stood forth in defence of the provincial constitutions were, in his opinion, mere demagogues and hypocrites; their only motive being to curry favor with the populace. Yet these charters were, after all, sufficiently limited. The natural rights of man were topics which had never been broached. Man had only natural wrongs. None ventured to doubt that sovereignty was heaven-born, anointed of God. The rights of the Netherlands were special, not general; plural, not singular; liberties, not liberty; "privileges," not maxims. They were practical, not theoretical; historical, not philosophical. Still, such as they were, they were facts, acquisitions. They had been purchased by the blood and toil of brave ancestors; they amounted—however open to criticism upon broad humanitarian grounds, of which few at that day had ever dreamed—to a solid, substantial dyke against the arbitrary power which was ever chafing and fretting to destroy its barriers. No men were more subtle or more diligent in corroding the foundation of these bulwarks than the disciples of Granvelle. Yet one would have thought it possible to tolerate an amount of practical freedom so different from the wild, social speculations which in later days, have made both tyrants and reasonable lovers of our race tremble with apprehension. The Netherlanders claimed, mainly, the right to vote the money which was demanded in such enormous profusion from their painfully-acquired wealth; they were also unwilling to be burned alive if they objected to transubstantiation. Granvelle was most distinctly of an opposite opinion upon both topics. He strenuously deprecated the interference of the states with the subsidies, and it was by his advice that the remorseless edict of 1550, the Emperor's ordinance of blood and fire, was re-enacted, as the very first measure of Philip's reign. Such were his sentiments as to national and popular rights by representation. For the people itself—"that vile and mischievous animal called the people"—as he expressed it, he entertained a cheerful contempt.

His aptitude for managing men was very great; his capacity for affairs incontestable; but it must be always understood as the capacity for the affairs of absolutism. He was a clever, scheming politician, an adroit manager; it remained to be seen whether he had a claim to the character of a statesman. His industry was enormous. He could write fifty letters a day with his own hand. He could dictate to half a dozen amanuenses at once, on as many different subjects, in as many different languages, and send them all away exhausted.

He was already rich. His income from his see and other livings was estimated, in 1557, at ten thousand dollars—[1885 approximation. The decimal point more places to the right would in 2000 not be out of line. D.W.]—; his property in ready money, "furniture, tapestry, and the like," at two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. When it is considered that, as compared with our times, these sums represent a revenue of a hundred thousand, and a capital of two millions and a half in addition, it may be safely asserted that the prelate had at least made a good beginning. Besides his regular income, moreover, he had handsome receipts from that simony which was reduced to a system, and which gave him a liberal profit, generally in the shape of an annuity, upon every benefice which he conferred. He was, however, by no means satisfied. His appetite was as boundless as the sea; he was still a shameless mendicant of pecuniary favors and lucrative offices. Already, in 1552, the Emperor had roundly rebuked his greediness. "As to what you say of getting no 'merced' nor 'ayuda de costa,'" said he, "'tis merced and ayuda de costa quite sufficient, when one has fat benefices, pensions, and salaries, with which a man might manage to support himself." The bishop, however, was not easily abashed, and he was at the epoch which now occupies us, earnestly and successfully soliciting from Philip the lucrative abbey of Saint Armand. Not that he would have accepted this preferment, "could the abbey have been annexed to any of the new bishoprics;" on the contrary, he assured the king that "to carry out so holy a work as the erection of those new sees, he would willingly have contributed even out of his own miserable pittance."

It not being considered expedient to confiscate the abbey to any particular bishop, Philip accordingly presented it to the prelate of Arras, together with a handsome sum of money in the shape of an "ayuda de costa" beside. The thrifty bishop, who foresaw the advent of troublous times in the Netherlands, however, took care in the letters by which he sent his thanks, to instruct the King to secure the money upon crown property in Arragon, Naples, and Sicily, as matters in the provinces were beginning to look very precarious.

Such, at the commencement of the Duchess Margaret's administration, were the characters and the previous histories of the persons into whose hands the Netherlands were entrusted. None of them have been prejudged. We have contented ourselves with stating the facts with regard to all, up to the period at which we have arrived. Their characters have been sketched, not according to subsequent developments, but as they appeared at the opening of this important epoch.

The aspect of the country and its inhabitants offered many sharp contrasts, and revealed many sources of future trouble.

The aristocracy of the Netherlands was excessively extravagant, dissipated, and already considerably embarrassed in circumstances. It had been the policy of the Emperor and of Philip to confer high offices, civil, military, and diplomatic, upon the leading nobles, by which enormous expenses were entailed upon them, without any corresponding salaries. The case of Orange has been already alluded to, and there were many other nobles less able to afford the expense, who had been indulged with these ruinous honors. During the war, there had been, however, many chances of bettering broken fortunes. Victory brought immense prizes to the leading officers. The ransoms of so many illustrious prisoners as had graced the triumphs of Saint Quentin and Gravelines had been extremely profitable. These sources of wealth had now been cut off; yet, on the departure of the King from the Netherlands, the luxury increased instead of diminishing, "Instead of one court," said a contemporary, "you would have said that there were fifty." Nothing could be more sumptuous than the modes of life in Brussels. The household of Orange has been already painted. That of Egmont was almost as magnificent. A rivalry in hospitality and in display began among the highest nobles, and extended to those less able to maintain themselves in the contest. During the war there had been the valiant emulation of the battlefield; gentlemen had vied with each other how best to illustrate an ancient name with deeds of desperate valor, to repair the fortunes of a ruined house with the spoils of war. They now sought to surpass each other in splendid extravagance. It was an eager competition who should build the stateliest palaces, have the greatest number of noble pages and gentlemen in waiting, the most gorgeous liveries, the most hospitable tables, the most scientific cooks. There was, also, much depravity as well as extravagance. The morals of high society were loose. Gaming was practised to a frightful extent. Drunkenness was a prevailing characteristic of the higher classes. Even the Prince of Orange himself, at this period, although never addicted to habitual excess, was extremely convivial in his tastes, tolerating scenes and companions, not likely at a later day to find much favor in his sight. "We kept Saint Martin's joyously," he wrote, at about this period, to his brother, "and in the most jovial company. Brederode was one day in such a state that I thought he would certainly die, but he has now got over it." Count Brederode, soon afterwards to become so conspicuous in the early scenes of the revolt, was, in truth, most notorious for his performances in these banqueting scenes. He appeared to have vowed as uncompromising hostility to cold water as to the inquisition, and always denounced both with the same fierce and ludicrous vehemence. Their constant connection with Germany at that period did not improve the sobriety of the Netherlands' nobles. The aristocracy of that country, as is well known, were most "potent at potting." "When the German finds himself sober," said the bitter Badovaro, "he believes himself to be ill." Gladly, since the peace, they had welcomed the opportunities afforded for many a deep carouse with their Netherlands cousins. The approaching marriage of the Prince of Orange with the Saxon princess—an episode which will soon engage our attention—gave rise to tremendous orgies. Count Schwartzburg, the Prince's brother-in-law, and one of the negotiators of the marriage, found many occasions to strengthen the bonds of harmony between the countries by indulgence of these common tastes. "I have had many princes and counts at my table," he wrote to Orange, "where a good deal more was drunk than eaten. The Rhinegrave's brother fell down dead after drinking too much malvoisie; but we have had him balsamed and sent home to his family."

These disorders among the higher ranks were in reality so extensive as to justify the biting remark of the Venetian: "The gentlemen intoxicate themselves every day," said he, "and the ladies also; but much less than the men." His remarks as to the morality, in other respects, of both sexes were equally sweeping, and not more complimentary.

If these were the characteristics of the most distinguished society, it may be supposed that they were reproduced with more or less intensity throughout all the more remote but concentric circles of life, as far as the seductive splendor of the court could radiate. The lesser nobles emulated the grandees, and vied with each other in splendid establishments, banquets, masquerades, and equipages. The natural consequences of such extravagance followed. Their estates were mortgaged, deeply and more deeply; then, after a few years, sold to the merchants, or rich advocates and other gentlemen of the robe, to whom they had been pledged. The more closely ruin stared the victims in the face, the more heedlessly did they plunge into excesses. "Such were the circumstances," moralizes a Catholic writer, "to which, at an earlier period, the affairs of Catiline, Cethegus, Lentulus, and others of that faction had been reduced, when they undertook to overthrow the Roman republic." Many of the nobles being thus embarrassed, and some even desperate, in their condition, it was thought that they were desirous of creating disturbances in the commonwealth, that the payment of just debts might be avoided, that their mortgaged lands might be wrested by main force from the low-born individuals who had become possessed of them, that, in particular, the rich abbey lands held by idle priests might be appropriated to the use of impoverished gentlemen who could turn them to so much better account. It is quite probable that interested motives such as these were not entirely inactive among a comparatively small class of gentlemen. The religious reformation in every land of Europe derived a portion of its strength from the opportunity it afforded to potentates and great nobles for helping themselves to Church property. No doubt many Netherlanders thought that their fortunes might be improved at the expense of the monks, and for the benefit of religion. Even without apostasy from the mother Church, they looked with longing eyes on the wealth of her favored and indolent children. They thought that the King would do well to carve a round number of handsome military commanderies out of the abbey lands, whose possessors should be bound to military service after the ancient manner of fiefs, so that a splendid cavalry, headed by the gentlemen of the country, should be ever ready to mount and ride at the royal pleasure, in place of a horde of lazy epicureans, telling beads and indulging themselves in luxurious vice.

Such views were entertained; such language often held. These circumstances and sentiments had their influence among the causes which produced the great revolt now impending. Care should be taken, however, not to exaggerate that influence. It is a prodigious mistake to refer this great historical event to sources so insufficient as the ambition of a few great nobles, and the embarrassments of a larger number of needy gentlemen. The Netherlands revolt was not an aristocratic, but a popular, although certainly not a democratic movement. It was a great episode—the longest, the darkest, the bloodiest, the most important episode in the history of the religious reformation in Europe. The nobles so conspicuous upon the surface at the outbreak, only drifted before a storm which they neither caused nor controlled. Even the most powerful and the most sagacious were tossed to and fro by the surge of great events, which, as they rolled more and more tumultuously around them, seemed to become both irresistible and unfathomable.

For the state of the people was very different from the condition of the aristocracy. The period of martyrdom had lasted long and was to last loner; but there were symptoms that it might one day be succeeded by a more active stage of popular disease. The tumults of the Netherlands were long in ripening; when the final outbreak came it would have been more philosophical to enquire, not why it had occurred, but how it could have been so long postponed. During the reign of Charles, the sixteenth century had been advancing steadily in strength as the once omnipotent Emperor lapsed into decrepitude. That extraordinary century had not dawned upon the earth only to increase the strength of absolutism and superstition. The new world had not been discovered, the ancient world reconquered, the printing-press perfected, only that the inquisition might reign undisturbed over the fairest portions of the earth, and chartered hypocrisy fatten upon its richest lands. It was impossible that the most energetic and quick-witted people of Europe should not feel sympathy with the great effort made by Christendom to shake off the incubus which had so long paralyzed her hands and brain. In the Netherlands, where the attachment to Rome had never been intense, where in the old times, the Bishops of Utrecht had been rather Ghibelline than Guelph, where all the earlier sects of dissenters—Waldenses, Lollards, Hussites—had found numerous converts and thousands of martyrs, it was inevitable that there should be a response from the popular heart to the deeper agitation which now reached to the very core of Christendom. In those provinces, so industrious and energetic, the disgust was likely to be most easily awakened for a system under which so many friars battened in luxury upon the toils of others, contributing nothing to the taxation, nor to the military defence of the country, exercising no productive avocation, except their trade in indulgences, and squandering in taverns and brothels the annual sums derived from their traffic in licences to commit murder, incest, and every other crime known to humanity.

The people were numerous, industrious, accustomed for centuries to a state of comparative civil freedom, and to a lively foreign trade, by which their minds were saved from the stagnation of bigotry. It was natural that they should begin to generalize, and to pass from the concrete images presented them in the Flemish monasteries to the abstract character of Rome itself. The Flemish, above all their other qualities, were a commercial nation. Commerce was the mother of their freedom, so far as they had acquired it, in civil matters. It was struggling to give birth to a larger liberty, to freedom of conscience. The provinces were situated in the very heart of Europe. The blood of a world-wide traffic was daily coursing through the thousand arteries of that water-in-woven territory. There was a mutual exchange between the Netherlands and all the world; and ideas were as liberally interchanged as goods. Truth was imported as freely as less precious merchandise. The psalms of Marot were as current as the drugs of Molucca or the diamonds of Borneo. The prohibitory measures of a despotic government could not annihilate this intellectual trade, nor could bigotry devise an effective quarantine to exclude the religious pest which lurked in every bale of merchandise, and was wafted on every breeze from East and West.

The edicts of the Emperor had been endured, but not accepted. The horrible persecution under which so many thousands had sunk had produced its inevitable result. Fertilized by all this innocent blood, the soil of the Netherlands became as a watered garden, in which liberty, civil and religious, was to flourish perennially. The scaffold had its daily victims, but did not make a single convert. The statistics of these crimes will perhaps never be accurately adjusted, nor will it be ascertained whether the famous estimate of Grotius was an exaggerated or an inadequate calculation. Those who love horrible details may find ample material. The chronicles contain the lists of these obscure martyrs; but their names, hardly pronounced in their life-time, sound barbarously in our ears, and will never ring through the trumpet of fame. Yet they were men who dared and suffered as much as men can dare and suffer in this world, and for the noblest cause which can inspire humanity. Fanatics they certainly were not, if fanaticism consists in show, without corresponding substance. For them all was terrible reality. The Emperor and his edicts were realities, the axe, the stake were realities, and the heroism with which men took each other by the hand and walked into the flames, or with which women sang a song of triumph while the grave-digger was shovelling the earth upon their living faces, was a reality also.

Thus, the people of the Netherlands were already pervaded, throughout the whole extent of the country, with the expanding spirit of religious reformation. It was inevitable that sooner or later an explosion was to arrive. They were placed between two great countries, where the new principles had already taken root. The Lutheranism of Germany and the Calvinism of France had each its share in producing the Netherland revolt, but a mistake is perhaps often made in estimating the relative proportion of these several influences. The Reformation first entered the provinces, not through the Augsburg, but the Huguenot gate. The fiery field-preachers from the south of France first inflamed the excitable hearts of the kindred population of the south-western Netherlands. The Walloons were the first to rebel against and the first to reconcile themselves with papal Rome, exactly as their Celtic ancestors, fifteen centuries earlier, had been foremost in the revolt against imperial Rome, and precipitate in their submission to her overshadowing power. The Batavians, slower to be moved but more steadfast, retained the impulse which they received from the same source which was already agitating their "Welsh" compatriots. There were already French preachers at Valenciennes and Tournay, to be followed, as we shall have occasion to see, by many others. Without undervaluing the influence of the German Churches, and particularly of the garrison-preaching of the German military chaplains in the Netherlands, it may be safely asserted that the early Reformers of the provinces were mainly Huguenots in their belief: The Dutch Church became, accordingly, not Lutheran, but Calvinistic, and the founder of the commonwealth hardly ceased to be a nominal Catholic before he became an adherent to the same creed.

In the mean time, it is more natural to regard the great movement, psychologically speaking, as a whole, whether it revealed itself in France, Germany, the Netherlands, England, or Scotland. The policy of governments, national character, individual interests, and other collateral circumstances, modified the result; but the great cause was the same; the source of all the movements was elemental, natural, and single. The Reformation in Germany had been adjourned for half a century by the Augsburg religious peace, just concluded. It was held in suspense in France through the Macchiavellian policy which Catharine de Medici had just adopted, and was for several years to prosecute, of balancing one party against the other, so as to neutralize all power but her own. The great contest was accordingly transferred to the Netherlands, to be fought out for the rest of the century, while the whole of Christendom were to look anxiously for the result. From the East and from the West the clouds rolled away, leaving a comparatively bright and peaceful atmosphere, only that they might concentrate themselves with portentous blackness over the devoted soil of the Netherlands. In Germany, the princes, not the people, had conquered Rome, and to the princes, not the people, were secured the benefits of the victory—the spoils of churches, and the right to worship according to conscience. The people had the right to conform to their ruler's creed, or to depart from his land. Still, as a matter of fact, many of the princes being Reformers, a large mass of the population had acquired the privilege for their own generation and that of their children to practise that religion which they actually approved. This was a fact, and a more comfortable one than the necessity of choosing between what they considered wicked idolatry and the stake—the only election left to their Netherland brethren. In France, the accidental splinter from Montgomery's lance had deferred the Huguenot massacre for a dozen years. During the period in which the Queen Regent was resolved to play her fast and loose policy, all the persuasions of Philip and the arts of Alva were powerless to induce her to carry out the scheme which Henry had revealed to Orange in the forest of Vincennes. When the crime came at last, it was as blundering as it was bloody; at once premeditated and accidental; the isolated execution of an interregal conspiracy, existing for half a generation, yet exploding without concert; a wholesale massacre, but a piecemeal plot.

The aristocracy and the masses being thus, from a variety of causes, in this agitated and dangerous condition, what were the measures of the government?

The edict of 1550 had been re-enacted immediately after Philip's accession to sovereignty. It is necessary that the reader should be made acquainted with some of the leading provisions of this famous document, thus laid down above all the constitutions as the organic law of the land. A few plain facts, entirely without rhetorical varnish, will prove more impressive in this case than superfluous declamation. The American will judge whether the wrongs inflicted by Laud and Charles upon his Puritan ancestors were the severest which a people has had to undergo, and whether the Dutch Republic does not track its source to the same high, religious origin as that of our own commonwealth.

"No one," said the edict, "shall print, write, copy, keep, conceal, sell, buy or give in churches, streets, or other places, any book or writing made by Martin Luther, John Ecolampadius, Ulrich Zwinglius, Martin Bucer, John Calvin, or other heretics reprobated by the Holy Church; nor break, or otherwise injure the images of the holy virgin or canonized saints…. nor in his house hold conventicles, or illegal gatherings, or be present at any such in which the adherents of the above-mentioned heretics teach, baptize, and form conspiracies against the Holy Church and the general welfare….. Moreover, we forbid," continues the edict, in name of the sovereign, "all lay persons to converse or dispute concerning the Holy Scriptures, openly or secretly, especially on any doubtful or difficult matters, or to read, teach, or expound the Scriptures, unless they have duly studied theology and been approved by some renowned university….. or to preach secretly, or openly, or to entertain any of the opinions of the above-mentioned heretics….. on pain, should anyone be found to have contravened any of the points above-mentioned, as perturbators of our state and of the general quiet, to be punished in the following manner." And how were they to be punished? What was the penalty inflicted upon the man or woman who owned a hymn-book, or who hazarded the opinion in private, that Luther was not quite wrong in doubting the power of a monk to sell for money the license to commit murder or incest; or upon the parent, not being a Roman Catholic doctor of divinity, who should read Christ's Sermon on the Mount to his children in his own parlor or shop? How were crimes like these to be visited upon the transgressor? Was it by reprimand, fine, imprisonment, banishment, or by branding on the forehead, by the cropping of the ears or the slitting of nostrils, as was practised upon the Puritan fathers of New England for their nonconformity? It was by a sharper chastisement than any of these methods. The Puritan fathers of the Dutch Republic had to struggle against a darker doom. The edict went on to provide—

"That such perturbators of the general quiet are to be executed, to wit: the men with the sword and the women to be buried alive, if they do not persist in their errors; if they do persist in them, then they are to be executed with fire; all their property in both cases being confiscated to the crown."

Thus, the clemency of the sovereign permitted the repentant heretic to be beheaded or buried, alive, instead of being burned.

The edict further provided against all misprision of heresy by making those who failed to betray the suspected liable to the same punishment as if suspected or convicted themselves: "we forbid," said the decree, "all persons to lodge, entertain, furnish with food, fire, or clothing, or otherwise to favor any one holden or notoriously suspected of being a heretic; . . . and any one failing to denounce any such we ordain shall be liable to the above-mentioned punishments."

The edict went on to provide, "that if any person, being not convicted of heresy or error, but greatly suspected thereof, and therefore condemned by the spiritual judge to abjure such heresy, or by the secular magistrate to make public fine and reparation, shall again become suspected or tainted with heresy—although it should not appear that he has contravened or violated any one of our abovementioned commands—nevertheless, we do will and ordain that such person shall be considered as relapsed, and, as such, be punished with loss of life and property, without any hope of moderation or mitigation of the above-mentioned penalties."

Furthermore, it was decreed, that "the spiritual judges, desiring to proceed against any one for the crime of heresy, shall request any of our sovereign courts or provincial councils to appoint any one of their college, or such other adjunct as the council shall select, to preside over the proceedings to be instituted against the suspected. All who know of any person tainted with heresy are required to denounce and give them up to all judges, officers of the bishops, or others having authority on the premises, on pain of being punished according to the pleasure of the judge. Likewise, all shall be obliged, who know of any place where such heretics keep themselves, to declare them to the authorities, on pain of being held as accomplices, and punished as such heretics themselves would be if apprehended."

In order to secure the greatest number of arrests by a direct appeal to the most ignoble, but not the least powerful principle of human nature, it was ordained "that the informer, in case of conviction, should be entitled to one half the property of the accused, if not more than one hundred pounds Flemish; if more, then ten per cent. of all such excess."

Treachery to one's friends was encouraged by the provision, "that if any man being present at any secret conventicle, shall afterwards come forward and betray his fellow-members of the congregation, he shall receive full pardon."

In order that neither the good people of the Netherlands, nor the judges and inquisitors should delude themselves with the notion that these fanatic decrees were only intended to inspire terror, not for practical execution, the sovereign continued to ordain—"to the end that the judges and officers may have no reason, under pretext that the penalties are too great and heavy and only devised to terrify delinquents, to punish them less severely than they deserve—that the culprits be really punished by the penalties above declared; forbidding all judges to alter or moderate the penalties in any manner forbidding any one, of whatsoever condition, to ask of us, or of any one having authority, to grant pardon, or to present any petition in favor of such heretics, exiles, or fugitives, on penalty of being declared forever incapable of civil and military office, and of being, arbitrarily punished besides."

Such were the leading provisions of this famous edict, originally promulgated in 1550 as a recapitulation and condensation of all the previous ordinances of the Emperor upon religious subjects. By its style and title it was a perpetual edict, and, according to one of its clauses, was to be published forever, once in every six months, in every city and village of the Netherlands. It had been promulgated at Augsburg, where the Emperor was holding a diet, upon the 25th of September. Its severity had so appalled the Dowager Queen of Hungary, that she had made a journey to Augsburg expressly to procure a mitigation of some of its provisions. The principal alteration which she was able to obtain of the Emperor was, however, in the phraseology only. As a concession to popular, prejudice, the words "spiritual judges" were substituted for "inquisitors" wherever that expression had occurred in the original draft.

The edict had been re-enacted by the express advice of the Bishop of Arras, immediately on the accession of Philip: The prelate knew the value of the Emperor's name; he may have thought, also, that it would be difficult to increase the sharpness of the ordinances. "I advised the King," says Granvelle, in a letter written a few years later, "to make no change in the placards, but to proclaim the text drawn up by the Emperor, republishing the whole as the King's edict, with express insertion of the phrase, 'Carolus,' etc. I recommended this lest men should calumniate his Majesty as wishing to introduce novelties in the matter of religion."

This edict, containing the provisions which have been laid before the reader, was now to be enforced with the utmost rigor; every official personage, from the stadholders down, having received the most stringent instructions to that effect, under Philip's own hand. This was the first gift of Philip and of Granvelle to the Netherlands; of the monarch who said of himself that he had always, "from the beginning of his government, followed the path of clemency, according to his natural disposition, so well known to all the world;" of the prelate who said of himself, "that he had ever combated the opinion that any thing could be accomplished by terror, death, and violence."

During the period of the French and Papal war, it has been seen that the execution of these edicts had been permitted to slacken. It was now resumed with redoubled fury. Moreover, a new measure had increased the disaffection and dismay of the people, already sufficiently filled with apprehension. As an additional security for the supremacy of the ancient religion, it had been thought desirable that the number of bishops should be increased. There were but four sees in the Netherlands, those of Arras, Cambray, Tournay, and Utrecht. That of Utrecht was within the archiepiscopate of Cologne; the other three were within that of Rheims. It seemed proper that the prelates of the Netherlands should owe no extraprovincial allegiance. It was likewise thought that three millions of souls required more than four spiritual superintendents. At any rate, whatever might be the interest of the flocks, it was certain that those broad and fertile pastures would sustain more than the present number of shepherds. The wealth of the religious houses in the provinces was very great. The abbey of Afflighem alone had a revenue of fifty thousand florins, and there were many others scarcely inferior in wealth. But these institutions were comparatively independent both of King and Pope. Electing their own superiors from time to time, in nowise desirous of any change by which their ease might be disturbed and their riches endangered, the honest friars were not likely to engage in any very vigorous crusade against heresy, nor for the sake of introducing or strengthening Spanish institutions, which they knew to be abominated by the people, to take the risk, of driving all their disciples into revolt and apostacy. Comforting themselves with an Erasmian philosophy, which they thought best suited to the times, they were as little likely as the Sage of Rotterdam himself would have been, to make martyrs of themselves for the sake of extirpating Calvinism. The abbots and monks were, in political matters, very much under the influence of the great nobles, in whose company they occupied the benches of the upper house of the States-general.

Doctor Francis Sonnius had been sent on a mission to the Pope, for the purpose of representing the necessity of an increase in the episcopal force of the Netherlands. Just as the King was taking his departure, the commissioner arrived, bringing with him the Bull of Paul the Fourth, dated May 18, 1559. This was afterwards confirmed by that of Pius the Fourth, in January of the following year. The document stated that "Paul the Fourth, slave of slaves, wishing to provide for the welfare of the provinces and the eternal salvation of their inhabitants, had determined to plant in that fruitful field several new bishoprics. The enemy of mankind being abroad," said the Bull, "in so many forms at that particular time, and the Netherlands, then under the sway of that beloved son of his holiness, Philip the Catholic, being compassed about with heretic and schismatic nations, it was believed that the eternal welfare of the land was in great danger. At the period of the original establishment of Cathedral churches, the provinces had been sparsely peopled; they had now become filled to overflowing, so that the original ecclesiastical arrangement did not suffice. The harvest was plentiful, but the laborers were few."

In consideration of these and other reasons, three archbishoprics were accordingly appointed. That of Mechlin was to be principal, under which were constituted six bishoprics, those, namely, of Antwerp, Bois le Due, Rurmond, Ghent, Bruges and Ypres. That of Cambray was second, with the four subordinate dioceses of Tournay, Arras, Saint Omer and Namur. The third archbishopric was that of Utrecht, with the five sees of Haarlem, Middelburg, Leeuwarden, Groningen and Deventer.

The nomination to these important offices was granted to the King, subject to confirmation by the Pope. Moreover, it was ordained by the Bull that "each bishop should appoint nine additional prebendaries, who were to assist him in the matter of the inquisition throughout his bishopric, two of whom were themselves to be inquisitors."

To sustain these two great measures, through which Philip hoped once and forever to extinguish the Netherland heresy, it was considered desirable that the Spanish troops still remaining in the provinces, should be kept there indefinitely.

The force was not large, amounting hardly to four thousand men, but they were unscrupulous, and admirably disciplined. As the entering wedge, by which a military and ecclesiastical despotism was eventually to be forced into the very heart of the land, they were invaluable. The moral effect to be hoped from the regular presence of a Spanish standing army during a time of peace in the Netherlands could hardly be exaggerated. Philip was therefore determined to employ every argument and subterfuge to detain the troops.


     Burned alive if they objected to transubstantiation
     German finds himself sober—he believes himself ill
     Govern under the appearance of obeying
     Informer, in case of conviction, should be entitled to one half
     Man had only natural wrongs (No natural rights)
     No calumny was too senseless to be invented
     Ruinous honors
     Sovereignty was heaven-born, anointed of God
     That vile and mischievous animal called the people
     Understood the art of managing men, particularly his superiors
     Upon one day twenty-eight master cooks were dismissed
     William of Nassau, Prince of Orange


1560-1561 [CHAPTER II.]

Agitation in the Netherlands—The ancient charters resorted to as barriers against the measures of government—"Joyous entrance" of Brabant—Constitution of Holland—Growing unpopularity of Antony Perrenot, Archbishop of Mechlin—Opposition to the new bishoprics, by Orange, Egmont, and other influential nobles—Fury of the people at the continued presence of the foreign soldiery—Orange resigns the command of the legion—The troops recalled—Philip's personal attention to the details of persecution—Perrenot becomes Cardinal de Granvelle—All the power of government in his hands—His increasing unpopularity—Animosity and violence of Egmont towards the Cardinal—Relations between Orange and Granvelle—Ancient friendship gradually changing to enmity—Renewal of the magistracy at Antwerp—Quarrel between the Prince and Cardinal—Joint letter of Orange and Egmont to the King—Answer of the King—Indignation of Philip against Count Horn—Secret correspondence between the King and Cardinal—Remonstrances against the new bishoprics—Philip's private financial statements—Penury of the exchequer in Spain and in the provinces—Plan for debasing the coin—Marriage of William the Silent with the Princess of Lorraine circumvented—Negotiations for his matrimonial alliance with Princess Anna of Saxony— Correspondence between Granvelle and Philip upon the subject— Opposition of Landgrave Philip and of Philip the Second—Character and conduct of Elector Augustus—Mission of Count Schwartzburg— Communications of Orange to the King and to Duchess Margaret— Characteristic letter of Philip—Artful conduct of Granvelle and of the Regent—Visit of Orange to Dresden—Proposed "note" of Elector Augustus—Refusal of the Prince—Protest of the Landgrave against the marriage—Preparations for the wedding at Leipzig—Notarial instrument drawn up on the marriage day—Wedding ceremonies and festivities—Entrance of Granvelle into Mechlin as Archbishop— Compromise in Brabant between the abbeys and bishops.

The years 1560 and 1561 were mainly occupied with the agitation and dismay produced by the causes set forth in the preceding chapter.

Against the arbitrary policy embodied in the edicts, the new bishoprics and the foreign soldiery, the Netherlanders appealed to their ancient constitutions. These charters were called "handvests" in the vernacular Dutch and Flemish, because the sovereign made them fast with his hand. As already stated, Philip had made them faster than any of the princes of his house had ever done, so far as oath and signature could accomplish that purpose, both as hereditary prince in 1549, and as monarch in 1555. The reasons for the extensive and unconditional manner in which he swore to support the provincial charters, have been already indicated.

Of these constitutions, that of Brabant, known by the title of the 'joyeuse entree, blyde inkomst', or blithe entrance, furnished the most decisive barrier against the present wholesale tyranny. First and foremost, the "joyous entry" provided "that the prince of the land should not elevate the clerical state higher than of old has been customary and by former princes settled; unless by consent of the other two estates, the nobility and the cities."

Again; "the prince can prosecute no one of his subjects nor any foreign resident, civilly or criminally, except in the ordinary and open courts of justice in the province, where the accused may answer and defend himself with the help of advocates."

Further; "the prince shall appoint no foreigners to office in Brabant."

Lastly; "should the prince, by force or otherwise, violate any of these privileges, the inhabitants of Brabant, after regular protest entered, are discharged of their oaths of allegiance, and as free, independent and unbound people, may conduct themselves exactly as seems to them best."

Such were the leading features, so far as they regarded the points now at issue, of that famous constitution which was so highly esteemed in the Netherlands, that mothers came to the province in order to give birth to their children, who might thus enjoy, as a birthright, the privileges of Brabant. Yet the charters of the other provinces ought to have been as effective against the arbitrary course of the government. "No foreigner," said the constitution of Holland, "is eligible as, councillor, financier, magistrate, or member of a court. Justice can be administered only by the ordinary tribunals and magistrates. The ancient laws and customs shall remain inviolable. Should the prince infringe any of these provisions, no one is bound to obey him."

These provisions, from the Brabant and Holland charters, are only cited as illustrative of the general spirit of the provincial constitutions. Nearly all the provinces possessed privileges equally ample, duly signed and sealed. So far as ink and sealing wax could defend a land against sword and fire, the Netherlands were impregnable against the edicts and the renewed episcopal inquisition. Unfortunately, all history shows how feeble are barriers of paper or lambskin, even when hallowed with a monarch's oath, against the torrent of regal and ecclesiastical absolutism. It was on the reception in the provinces of the new and confirmatory Bull concerning the bishoprics, issued in January, 1560, that the measure became known, and the dissatisfaction manifest. The discontent was inevitable and universal. The ecclesiastical establishment which was not to be enlarged or elevated but by consent of the estates, was suddenly expanded into three archiepiscopates and fifteen bishoprics. The administration of justice, which was only allowed in free and local courts, distinct for each province, was to be placed, so far as regarded the most important of human interests, in the hands of bishops and their creatures, many of them foreigners and most of them monks. The lives and property of the whole population were to be at the mercy of these utterly irresponsible conclaves. All classes were outraged. The nobles were offended because ecclesiastics, perhaps foreign ecclesiastics, were to be empowered to sit in the provincial estates and to control their proceedings in place of easy, indolent, ignorant abbots and friars, who had generally accepted the influence of the great seignors. The priests were enraged because the religious houses were thus taken out of their control and confiscated to a bench of bishops, usurping the places of those superiors who had formally been elected by and among themselves. The people were alarmed because the monasteries, although not respected nor popular, were at least charitable and without ambition to exercise ecclesiastical cruelty; while, on the other hand, by the new episcopal arrangements, a force of thirty new inquisitors was added to the apparatus for enforcing orthodoxy already established. The odium of the measure was placed upon the head of that churchman, already appointed Archbishop of Mechlin, and soon to be known as Cardinal Granvelle. From this time forth, this prelate began to be regarded with a daily increasing aversion. He was looked upon as the incarnation of all the odious measures which had been devised; as the source of that policy of absolutism which revealed itself more and more rapidly after the King's departure from the country. It was for this reason that so much stress was laid by popular clamor upon the clause prohibiting foreigners from office. Granvelle was a Burgundian; his father had passed most of his active life in Spain, while both he and his more distinguished son were identified in the general mind with Spanish politics. To this prelate, then, were ascribed the edicts, the new bishoprics, and the continued presence of the foreign troops. The people were right as regarded the first accusation. They were mistaken as to the other charges.

The King had not consulted Anthony Perrenot with regard to the creation of the new bishoprics. The measure, which had been successively contemplated by Philip "the Good," by Charles the Bold, and by the Emperor Charles, had now been carried out by Philip the Second, without the knowledge of the new Archbishop of Mechlin. The King had for once been able to deceive the astuteness of the prelate, and had concealed from him the intended arrangement, until the arrival of Sonnius with the Bulls. Granvelle gave the reasons for this mystery with much simplicity. "His Majesty knew," he said, "that I should oppose it, as it was more honorable and lucrative to be one of four than one of eighteen." In fact, according to his own statement, he lost money by becoming archbishop of Mechlin, and ceasing to be Bishop of Arras. For these reasons he declined, more than once, the proffered dignity, and at last only accepted it from fear of giving offence to the King, and after having secured compensation for his alleged losses. In the same letter (of 29th May, 1560) in which he thanked Philip for conferring upon him the rich abbey of Saint Armand, which he had solicited, in addition to the "merced" in ready money, concerning the safe investment of which he had already sent directions, he observed that he was now willing to accept the archbishopric of Mechlin; notwithstanding the odium attached to the measure, notwithstanding his feeble powers, and notwithstanding that, during the life of the Bishop of Tournay, who was then in rude health, he could only receive three thousand ducats of the revenue, giving up Arras and gaining nothing in Mechlin; notwithstanding all this, and a thousand other things besides, he assured his Majesty that, "since the royal desire was so strong that he should accept, he would consider nothing so difficult that he would not at least attempt it." Having made up his mind to take the see and support the new arrangements, he was resolved that his profits should be as large as possible. We have seen how he had already been enabled to indemnify himself. We shall find him soon afterwards importuning the King for the Abbey of Afflighem, the enormous revenue of which the prelate thought would make another handsome addition to the rewards of his sacrifices. At the same time, he was most anxious that the people, and particularly the great nobles, should not ascribe the new establishment to him, as they persisted in doing. "They say that the episcopates were devised to gratify my ambition," he wrote to Philip two years later; "whereas your Majesty knows how steadily I refused the see of Mechlin, and that I only accepted it in order not to live in idleness, doing nothing for God and your Majesty." He therefore instructed Philip, on several occasions, to make it known to the government of the Regent, to the seignors, and to the country generally, that the measure had been arranged without his knowledge; that the Marquis Berghen had known of it first, and that the prelate had, in truth, been kept in the dark on the subject until the arrival of Sonnius with the Bulls. The King, always docile to his minister, accordingly wrote to the Duchess the statements required, in almost the exact phraseology suggested; taking pains to repeat the declarations on several occasions, both by letter and by word of mouth, to many influential persons.

The people, however, persisted in identifying the Bishop with the scheme. They saw that he was the head of the new institutions; that he was to receive the lion's share of the confiscated abbeys, and that he was foremost in defending and carrying through the measure, in spite of all opposition. That opposition waxed daily more bitter, till the Cardinal, notwithstanding that he characterised the arrangement to the King as "a holy work," and warmly assured Secretary Perez that he would contribute his fortune, his blood, and his life, to its success, was yet obliged to exclaim in the bitterness of his spirit, "Would to God that the erection of these new sees had never been thought of. Amen! Amen!"

Foremost in resistance was the Prince of Orange. Although a Catholic, he had no relish for the horrible persecution which had been determined upon. The new bishoprics he characterized afterwards as parts "of one grand scheme for establishing the cruel inquisition of Spain; the said bishops to serve as inquisitors, burners of bodies; and tyrants of conscience: two prebendaries in each see being actually constituted inquisitors." For this reason he omitted no remonstrance on the subject to the Duchess, to Granvelle, and by direct letters to the King. His efforts were seconded by Egmont, Berghen, and other influential nobles. Even Berlaymont was at first disposed to side with the opposition, but upon the argument used by the Duchess, that the bishoprics and prebends would furnish excellent places for his sons and other members of the aristocracy, he began warmly to support the measure. Most of the labor, however, and all the odium, of the business fell upon the Bishop's shoulders. There was still a large fund of loyalty left in the popular mind, which not even forty years of the Emperor's dominion had consumed, and which Philip was destined to draw upon as prodigally as if the treasure had been inexhaustible. For these reasons it still seemed most decorous to load all the hatred upon the minister's back, and to retain the consolatory formula, that Philip was a prince, "clement, benign, and debonair."

The Bishop, true to his habitual conviction, that words, with the people, are much more important than things, was disposed to have the word "inquisitor" taken out of the text of the new decree. He was anxious at this juncture to make things pleasant, and he saw no reason why men should be unnecessarily startled. If the inquisition could be practised, and the heretics burned, he was in favor of its being done comfortably. The word "inquisitor" was unpopular, almost indecent. It was better to suppress the term and retain the thing. "People are afraid to speak of the new bishoprics," he wrote to Perez, "on account of the clause providing that of nine canons one shall be inquisitor. Hence people fear the Spanish inquisition."—He, therefore, had written to the King to suggest instead, that the canons or graduates should be obliged to assist the Bishop, according as he might command. Those terms would suffice, because, although not expressly stated, it was clear that the Bishop was an ordinary inquisitor; but it was necessary to expunge words that gave offence.

It was difficult, however, with all the Bishop's eloquence and dexterity, to construct an agreeable inquisition. The people did not like it, in any shape, and there were indications, not to be mistaken, that one day there would be a storm which it would be beyond human power to assuage. At present the people directed their indignation only upon a part of the machinery devised for their oppression. The Spanish troops were considered as a portion of the apparatus by which the new bishoprics and the edicts were to be forced into execution. Moreover, men were, weary of the insolence and the pillage which these mercenaries had so long exercised in the land. When the King had been first requested to withdraw them, we have seen that he had burst into a violent passion. He had afterward dissembled. Promising, at last, that they should all be sent from the country within three or four months after his departure, he had determined to use every artifice to detain them in the provinces. He had succeeded, by various subterfuges, in keeping them there fourteen months; but it was at last evident that their presence would no longer be tolerated. Towards the close of 1560 they were quartered in Walcheren and Brill. The Zelanders, however, had become so exasperated by their presence that they resolutely refused to lay a single hand upon the dykes, which, as usual at that season, required great repairs. Rather than see their native soil profaned any longer by these hated foreign mercenaries, they would see it sunk forever in the ocean. They swore to perish-men, women, and children together-in the waves, rather than endure longer the outrages which the soldiery daily inflicted. Such was the temper of the Zelanders that it was not thought wise to trifle with their irritation. The Bishop felt that it was no longer practicable to detain the troops, and that all the pretext devised by Philip and his government had become ineffectual. In a session of the State Council, held on the 25th October, 1560, he represented in the strongest terms to the Regent the necessity for the final departure of the troops. Viglius, who knew the character of his countrymen, strenuously seconded the proposal. Orange briefly but firmly expressed the same opinion, declining any longer to serve as commander of the legion, an office which, in conjunction with Egmont, he had accepted provisionally, with the best of motives, and on the pledge of Philip that the soldiers should be withdrawn. The Duchess urged that the order should at least be deferred until the arrival of Count Egmont, then in Spain, but the proposition was unanimously negatived.

Letters were accordingly written, in the name of the Regent, to the King. It was stated that the measure could no longer be delayed, that the provinces all agreed in this point, that so long as the foreigners remained not a stiver should be paid into the treasury; that if they had once set sail, the necessary amount for their arrears would be furnished to the government; but that if they should return it was probable that they would be resisted by the inhabitants with main force, and that they would only be allowed to enter the cities through a breach in their wall. It was urged, moreover, that three or four thousand Spaniards would not be sufficient to coerce all the provinces, and that there was not money enough in the royal exchequer to pay the wages of a single company of the troops. "It cuts me to the heart," wrote the Bishop to Philip, "to see the Spanish infantry leave us; but go they must. Would to God that we could devise any pretext, as your Majesty desires, under which to keep them here! We have tried all means humanly possible for retaining them, but I see no way to do it without putting the provinces in manifest danger of sudden revolt."

Fortunately for the dignity of the government, or for the repose of the country, a respectable motive was found for employing the legion elsewhere. The important loss which Spain had recently met with in the capture of Zerby made a reinforcement necessary in the army engaged in the Southern service. Thus, the disaster in Barbary at last relieved the Netherlands of the pest which had afflicted them so long. For a brief breathing space the country was cleared of foreign mercenaries.

The growing unpopularity of the royal government, still typified, however, in the increasing hatred entertained for the Bishop, was not materially diminished by the departure of the Spaniards. The edicts and the bishoprics were still there, even if the soldiers were gone. The churchman worked faithfully to accomplish his master's business. Philip, on his side, was industrious to bring about the consummation of his measures. Ever occupied with details, the monarch, from his palace in Spain, sent frequent informations against the humblest individuals in the Netherlands. It is curious to observe the minute reticulations of tyranny which he had begun already to spin about a whole, people, while cold, venomous, and patient he watched his victims from the centre of his web. He forwarded particular details to the Duchess and Cardinal concerning a variety of men and women, sending their names, ages, personal appearance, occupations, and residence, together with directions for their immediate immolation. Even the inquisitors of Seville were set to work to increase, by means of their branches or agencies in the provinces, the royal information on this all-important subject. "There are but few of us left in the world," he moralized in a letter to the Bishop, "who care for religion. 'Tis necessary, therefore, for us to take the greater heed for Christianity. We must lose our all, if need be, in order to do our duty; in fine," added he, with his usual tautology, "it is right that a man should do his duty."

Granvelle—as he must now be called, for his elevation to the cardinalship will be immediately alluded to—wrote to assure the King that every pains would be taken to ferret out and execute the individuals complained of. He bewailed, however, the want of heartiness on the part of the Netherland inquisitors and judges. "I find," said he, "that all judicial officers go into the matter of executing the edicts with reluctance, which I believe is caused by their fear of displeasing the populace. When they do act they do it but languidly, and when these matters are not taken in hand with the necessary liveliness, the fruit desired is not gathered. We do not fail to exhort and to command them to do their work." He added that Viglius and Berlaymont displayed laudable zeal, but that he could not say as much for the Council of Brabant. Those councillors "were forever prating," said he, "of the constitutional rights of their province, and deserved much less commendation."

The popularity of the churchman, not increased by these desperate exertions to force an inhuman policy upon an unfortunate nation, received likewise no addition from his new elevation in rank. During the latter part of the year 1560, Margaret of Parma, who still entertained a profound admiration of the prelate, and had not yet begun to chafe under his smooth but imperious dominion, had been busy in preparing for him a delightful surprise. Without either his knowledge or that of the King, she had corresponded with the Pope, and succeeded in obtaining, as a personal favor to herself, the Cardinal's hat for Anthony Perrenot. In February, 1561, Cardinal Borromeo wrote to announce that the coveted dignity had been bestowed. The Duchess hastened, with joyous alacrity, to communicate the intelligence to the Bishop, but was extremely hurt to find that he steadily refused to assume his new dignity, until he had written to the King to announce the appointment, and to ask his permission to accept the honor. The Duchess, justly wounded at his refusal to accept from her hands the favor which she, and she only, had obtained for him, endeavored in vain to overcome his pertinacity. She represented that although Philip was not aware of the application or the appointment, he was certain to regard it as an agreeable surprise. She urged, moreover, that his temporary refusal would be misconstrued at Rome, where it would certainly excite ridicule, and very possibly give offence in the highest quarter. The Bishop was inexorable. He feared, says his panegyrist, that he might one day be on worse terms than at present with the Duchess, and that then she might reproach him with her former benefits. He feared also that the King might, in consequence of the step, not look with satisfaction upon him at some future period, when he might stand in need of his favors. He wrote, accordingly, a most characteristic letter to Philip, in which he informed him that he had been honored with the Cardinal's hat. He observed that many persons were already congratulating him, but that before he made any demonstration of accepting or refusing, he waited for his Majesty's orders: upon his will he wished ever to depend. He also had the coolness, under the circumstances, to express his conviction that "it was his Majesty who had secretly procured this favor from his Holiness."

The King received the information very graciously, observing in reply, that although he had never made any suggestion of the kind, he had "often thought upon the subject." The royal command was of course at once transmitted, that the dignity should be accepted. By special favor, moreover, the Pope dispensed the new Cardinal from the duty of going to Rome in person, and despatched his chamberlain, Theophilus Friso, to Brussels, with the red hat and tabbard.

The prelate, having thus reached the dignity to which he had long aspired, did not grow more humble in his deportment, or less zealous in the work through which he had already gained so much wealth and preferment. His conduct with regard to the edicts and bishoprics had already brought him into relations which were far from amicable with his colleagues in the council. More and more he began to take the control of affairs into his own hand. The consulta, or secret committee of the state council, constituted the real government of the country. Here the most important affairs were decided upon without the concurrence of the other seignors, Orange, Egmont, and Glayon, who, at the same time, were held responsible for the action of government. The Cardinal was smooth in manner, plausible of speech, generally even-tempered, but he was overbearing and blandly insolent. Accustomed to control royal personages, under the garb of extreme obsequiousness, he began, in his intercourse with those of less exalted rank, to omit a portion of the subserviency while claiming a still more undisguised authority. To nobles like Egmont and Orange, who looked down upon the son of Nicolas Perrenot and Nicola Bonvalot as a person immeasurably beneath themselves in the social hierarchy, this conduct was sufficiently irritating. The Cardinal, placed as far above Philip, and even Margaret, in mental power as he was beneath them in worldly station, found it comparatively easy to deal with them amicably. With such a man as Egmont, it was impossible for the churchman to maintain friendly relations. The Count, who notwithstanding his romantic appearance, his brilliant exploits, and his interesting destiny, was but a commonplace character, soon conceived a mortal aversion to Granvelle. A rude soldier, entertaining no respect for science or letters, ignorant and overbearing, he was not the man to submit to the airs of superiority which pierced daily more and more decidedly through the conventional exterior of the Cardinal. Granvelle, on the other hand, entertained a gentle contempt for Egmont, which manifested itself in all his private letters to the King, and was sufficiently obvious in his deportment. There had also been distinct causes of animosity between them. The governorship of Hesdin having become vacant, Egmont, backed by Orange and other nobles, had demanded it for the Count de Roeulx, a gentleman of the Croy family, who, as well as his father, had rendered many important services to the crown. The appointment was, however, bestowed, through Granvelle's influence, upon the Seigneur d'Helfault, a gentleman of mediocre station and character, who was thought to possess no claims whatever to the office. Egmont, moreover, desired the abbey of Trulle for a poor relation of his own; but the Cardinal, to whom nothing in this way ever came amiss, had already obtained the King's permission to, appropriate the abbey to himself Egmont was now furious against the prelate, and omitted no opportunity of expressing his aversion, both in his presence and behind his back. On one occasion, at least, his wrath exploded in something more than words. Exasperated by Granvelle's polished insolence in reply to his own violent language, he drew his dagger upon him in the presence of the Regent herself, "and," says a contemporary, "would certainly have sent the Cardinal into the next world had he not been forcibly restrained by the Prince of Orange and other persons present, who warmly represented to him that such griefs were to be settled by deliberate advice, not by choler." At the same time, while scenes like these were occurring in the very bosom of the state council, Granvelle, in his confidential letters to secretary Perez, asserted warmly that all reports of a want of harmony between himself and the other seignors and councillors were false, and that the best relations existed among them all. It was not his intention, before it should be necessary, to let the King doubt his ability to govern the counsel according to the secret commission with which he had been invested.

His relations with Orange were longer in changing from friendship to open hostility. In the Prince the Cardinal met his match. He found himself confronted by an intellect as subtle, an experience as fertile in expedients, a temper as even, and a disposition sometimes as haughty as his own. He never affected to undervalue the mind of Orange. "'Tis a man of profound genius, vast ambition—dangerous, acute, politic," he wrote to the King at a very early period. The original relations between himself and the Prince bad been very amicable. It hardly needed the prelate's great penetration to be aware that the friendship of so exalted a personage as the youthful heir to the principality of Orange, and to the vast possessions of the Chalons-Nassau house in Burgundy and the Netherlands, would be advantageous to the ambitious son of the Burgundian Councillor Granvelle. The young man was the favorite of the Emperor from boyhood; his high rank, and his remarkable talents marked him indisputably for one of the foremost men of the coming reign. Therefore it was politic in Perrenot to seize every opportunity of making himself useful to the Prince. He busied himself with securing, so far as it might be necessary to secure, the succession of William to his cousin's principality. It seems somewhat ludicrous for a merit to be made not only for Granvelle but for the Emperor, that the Prince should have been allowed to take an inheritance which the will of Rene de Nassau most unequivocally conferred, and which no living creature disputed. Yet, because some of the crown lawyers had propounded the dogma that "the son Of a heretic ought not to succeed," it was gravely stated as an immense act of clemency upon the part of Charles the Fifth that he had not confiscated the whole of the young Prince's heritage. In return Granvelle's brother Jerome had obtained the governorship of the youth, upon whose majority he had received an honorable military appointment from his attached pupil. The prelate had afterwards recommended the marriage with the Count de Buren's heiress, and had used his influence with the Emperor to overcome certain objections entertained by Charles, that the Prince, by this great accession of wealth, might be growing too powerful. On the other hand, there were always many poor relations and dependents of Granvelle, eager to be benefitted by Orange's patronage, who lived in the Prince's household, or received handsome appointments from his generosity. Thus, there had been great intimacy, founded upon various benefits mutually conferred; for it could hardly be asserted that the debt of friendship was wholly upon one side.

When Orange arrived in Brussels from a journey, he would go to the bishop's before alighting at his own house. When the churchman visited the Prince, he entered his bed-chamber without ceremony before he had risen; for it was William's custom, through life, to receive intimate acquaintances, and even to attend to important negotiations of state, while still in bed.

The show of this intimacy had lasted longer than its substance. Granvelle was the most politic of men, and the Prince had not served his apprenticeship at the court of Charles the Fifth to lay himself bare prematurely to the criticism or the animosity of the Cardinal with the recklessness of Horn and Egmont. An explosion came at last, however, and very soon after an exceedingly amicable correspondence between the two upon the subject of an edict of religious amnesty which Orange was preparing for his principality, and which Granvelle had recommended him not to make too lenient. A few weeks after this, the Antwerp magistracy was to be renewed. The Prince, as hereditary burgrave of that city, was entitled to a large share of the appointing power in these political arrangements, which at the moment were of great importance. The citizens of Antwerp were in a state of excitement on the subject of the new bishops. They openly, and in the event, successfully resisted the installation of the new prelate for whom their city had been constituted a diocese. The Prince was known to be opposed to the measure, and to the whole system of ecclesiastical persecution. When the nominations for the new magistracy came before the Regent, she disposed of the whole matter in the secret consulta, without the knowledge, and in a manner opposed to the views of Orange. He was then furnished with a list of the new magistrates, and was informed that he had been selected as commissioner along with Count Aremberg, to see that the appointments were carried into effect. The indignation of the Prince was extreme. He had already taken offence at some insolent expressions upon this topic, which the Cardinal had permitted himself. He now sent back the commission to the Duchess, adding, it was said, that he was not her lackey, and that she might send some one else with her errands. The words were repeated in the state council. There was a violent altercation—Orange vehemently resenting his appointment merely to carry out decisions in which he claimed an original voice. His ancestors, he said, had often changed the whole of the Antwerp magistracy by their own authority. It was a little too much that this matter, as well as every other state affair, should be controlled by the secret committee of which the Cardinal was the chief. Granvelle, on his side, was also in a rage. He flung from the council-chamber, summoned the Chancellor of Brabant, and demanded, amid bitter execrations against Orange, what common and obscure gentleman there might be, whom he could appoint to execute the commission thus refused by the Prince and by Aremberg. He vowed that in all important matters he would, on future occasions, make use of nobles less inflated by pride, and more tractable than such grand seignors. The chancellor tried in vain to appease the churchman's wrath, representing that the city of Antwerp would be highly offended at the turn things were taking, and offering his services to induce the withdrawal, on the part of the Prince, of the language which had given so much offence. The Cardinal was inexorable and peremptory. "I will have nothing to do with the Prince, Master Chancellor," said he, "and these are matters which concern you not." Thus the conversation ended, and thus began the open state of hostilities between the great nobles and the Cardinal, which had been brooding so long.

On the 23rd July, 1561, a few weeks after the scenes lately described, the Count of Egmont and the Prince of Orange addressed a joint letter to the King. They reminded him in this despatch that, they had originally been reluctant to take office in the state council, on account of their previous experience of the manner in which business had been conducted during the administration of the Duke of Savoy. They had feared that important matters of state might be transacted without their concurrence. The King had, however, assured them, when in Zeland, that all affairs would be uniformly treated in full council. If the contrary should ever prove the case, he had desired them to give him information to that effect, that he might instantly apply the remedy. They accordingly now gave him that information. They were consulted upon small matters: momentous affairs were decided upon in their absence. Still they would not even now have complained had not Cardinal Granvelle declared that all the members of the state council were to be held responsible for its measures, whether they were present at its decisions or not. Not liking such responsibility, they requested the King either to accept their resignation or to give orders that all affairs should be communicated to the whole board and deliberated upon by all the councillors.

In a private letter, written some weeks later (August 15), Egmont begged secretary Erasso to assure the King that their joint letter had not been dictated by passion, but by zeal for his service. It was impossible, he said, to imagine the insolence of the Cardinal, nor to form an idea of the absolute authority which he arrogated.

In truth, Granvelle, with all his keenness, could not see that Orange, Egmont, Berghen, Montigny and the rest, were no longer pages and young captains of cavalry, while he was the politician and the statesman. By six or seven years the senior of Egmont, and by sixteen years of Orange, he did not divest himself of the superciliousness of superior wisdom, not unjust nor so irritating when they had all been boys. In his deportment towards them, and in the whole tone of his private correspondence with Philip, there was revealed, almost in spite of himself, an affectation of authority, against which Egmont rebelled and which the Prince was not the man to acknowledge. Philip answered the letter of the two nobles in his usual procrastinating manner. The Count of Horn, who was about leaving Spain (whither he had accompanied the King) for the Netherlands, would be entrusted with the resolution which he should think proper to take upon the subject suggested. In the mean time, he assured them that he did not doubt their zeal in his service.

As to Count Horn, Granvelle had already prejudiced the King against him. Horn and the Cardinal had never been friends. A brother of the prelate had been an aspirant for the hand of the Admiral's sister, and had been somewhat contemptuously rejected. Horn, a bold, vehement, and not very good-tempered personage, had long kept no terms with Granvelle, and did not pretend a friendship which he had never felt. Granvelle had just written to instruct the King that Horn was opposed bitterly to that measure which was nearest the King's heart—the new bishoprics. He had been using strong language, according to the Cardinal, in opposition to the scheme, while still in Spain. He therefore advised that his Majesty, concealing, of course, the source of the information, and speaking as it were out of the royal mind itself, should expostulate with the Admiral upon the subject. Thus prompted, Philip was in no gracious humor when he received Count Horn, then about to leave Madrid for the Netherlands, and to take with him the King's promised answer to the communication of Orange and Egmont. His Majesty had rarely been known to exhibit so much anger towards any person as he manifested upon that occasion. After a few words from the Admiral, in which he expressed his sympathy with the other Netherland nobles, and his aversion to Granvelle, in general terms, and in reply to Philip's interrogatories, the King fiercely interrupted him: "What! miserable man!" he vociferated, "you all complain of this Cardinal, and always in vague language. Not one of you, in spite of all my questions, can give me a single reason for your dissatisfaction." With this the royal wrath boiled over in such unequivocal terms that the Admiral changed color, and was so confused with indignation and astonishment, that he was scarcely able to find his way out of the room.

This was the commencement of Granvelle's long mortal combat with Egmont, Horn, and Orange. This was the first answer which the seignors were to receive to their remonstrances against the churchman's arrogance. Philip was enraged that any opposition should be made to his coercive measures, particularly to the new bishoprics, the "holy work" which the Cardinal was ready, to "consecrate his fortune and his blood" to advance. Granvelle fed his master's anger by constant communications as to the efforts made by distinguished individuals to delay the execution of the scheme. Assonville had informed him, he wrote, that much complaint had been made on the subject by several gentlemen, at a supper of Count Egmont's. It was said that the King ought to have consulted them all, and the state councillors especially. The present nominees to the new episcopates were good enough, but it would be found, they said, that very improper personages would be afterwards appointed. The estates ought not to permit the execution of the scheme. In short, continued Granvelle, "there is the same kind of talk which brought about the recall of the Spanish troops." A few months later, he wrote to inform Philip that a petition against the new bishoprics was about to be drawn up by "the two lords.". They had two motives; according to the Cardinal, for this step—first, to let the King know that he could do nothing without their permission; secondly, because in the states' assembly they were then the cocks of the walk. They did not choose, therefore, that in the clerical branch of the estates any body should be above the abbots, whom they could frighten into doing whatever they chose. At the end, of the year, Granvelle again wrote to instruct his sovereign how to reply to the letter which was about to be addressed to him by the Prince of Orange and the Marquis Berghen on the subject of the bishoprics. They would tell him, he said, that the incorporation of the Brabant abbeys into the new bishoprics was contrary to the constitution of the "joyful entrance." Philip was, however, to make answer that he had consulted the universities, and those learned in the laws, and had satisfied himself that it was entirely constitutional. He was therefore advised to send his command that the Prince and Marquis should use all their influence to promote the success of the measure. Thus fortified, the King was enabled not only to deal with the petition of the nobles, but also with the deputies from the estates of Brabant, who arrived about this time at Madrid. To these envoys, who asked for the appointment of royal commissioners, with whom they might treat on the subject of the bishoprics, the abbeys, and the "joyful entrance," the King answered proudly, "that in matters which concerned the service of God, he was his own commissioner." He afterwards, accordingly, recited to them, with great accuracy, the lesson which he had privately received from the ubiquitous Cardinal. Philip was determined that no remonstrance from great nobles or from private citizens should interfere with the thorough execution of the grand scheme on which he was resolved, and of which the new bishoprics formed an important part. Opposition irritated him more and more, till his hatred of the opponents became deadly; but it, at the same time, confirmed him in his purpose. "'Tis no time to temporize," he wrote to Granvelle; "we must inflict chastisement with full rigor and severity. These rascals can only be made to do right through fear, and not always even by that means."

At the same time, the royal finances did not admit of any very active measures, at the moment, to enforce obedience to a policy which was already so bitterly opposed. A rough estimate, made in the King's own handwriting, of the resources and obligations of his exchequer, a kind of balance sheet for the years 1560 and 1561, drawn up much in the same manner as that in which a simple individual would make a note of his income and expenditure, gave but a dismal picture of his pecuniary, condition. It served to show how intelligent a financier is despotism, and how little available are the resources of a mighty empire when regarded merely as private property, particularly when the owner chances to have the vanity of attending to all details himself: "Twenty millions of ducats," began the memorandum, "will be required to disengage my revenues. But of this," added the King, with whimsical pathos for an account-book, "we will not speak at present, as the matter is so entirely impossible." He then proceeded to enter the various items of expense which were to be met during the two years; such as so many millions due to the Fuggers (the Rothschilds of the sixteenth century), so many to merchants in Flanders, Seville, and other places, so much for Prince Doria's galleys, so much for three years' pay due to his guards, so much for his household expenditure, so much for the tuition of Don Carlos, and Don Juan d'Austria, so much for salaries of ambassadors and councillors—mixing personal and state expenses, petty items and great loans, in one singular jumble, but arriving at a total demand upon his purse of ten million nine hundred and ninety thousand ducats.

To meet this expenditure he painfully enumerated the funds upon which he could reckon for the two years. His ordinary rents and taxes being all deeply pledged, he could only calculate from that source upon two hundred thousand ducats. The Indian revenue, so called, was nearly spent; still it might yield him four hundred and twenty thousand ducats. The quicksilver mines would produce something, but so little as hardly to require mentioning. As to the other mines, they were equally unworthy of notice, being so very uncertain, and not doing as well as they were wont. The licences accorded by the crown to carry slaves to America were put down at fifty thousand ducats for the two years. The product of the "crozada" and "cuarta," or money paid to him in small sums by individuals, with the permission of his Holiness, for the liberty of abstaining from the Church fasts, was estimated at five hundred thousand ducats. These and a few more meagre items only sufficed to stretch his income to a total of one million three hundred and thirty thousand far the two years, against an expenditure calculated at near eleven millions. "Thus, there are nine millions, less three thousand ducats, deficient," he concluded ruefully (and making a mistake in his figures in his own favor of six hundred and sixty-three thousand besides), "which I may look for in the sky, or try to raise by inventions already exhausted."

Thus, the man who owned all America and half of Europe could only raise a million ducats a year from his estates. The possessor of all Peru and Mexico could reckon on "nothing worth mentioning" from his mines, and derived a precarious income mainly from permissions granted his subjects to carry on the slave-trade and to eat meat on Fridays. This was certainly a gloomy condition of affairs for a monarch on the threshold of a war which was to outlast his own life and that of his children; a war in which the mere army expenses were to be half a million florins monthly, in which about seventy per cent. of the annual disbursements was to be regularly embezzled or appropriated by the hands through which it passed, and in which for every four men on paper, enrolled and paid for, only one, according to the average, was brought into the field.

Granvelle, on the other hand, gave his master but little consolation from the aspect of financial affairs in the provinces. He assured him that "the government was often in such embarrassment as not to know where to look for ten ducats." He complained bitterly that the states would meddle with the administration of money matters, and were slow in the granting of subsidies. The Cardinal felt especially outraged by the interference of these bodies with the disbursement of the sums which they voted. It has been seen that the states had already compelled the government to withdraw the troops, much to the regret of Granvelle. They continued, however, to be intractable on the subject of supplies. "These are very vile things," he wrote to Philip, "this authority which they assume, this audacity with which they say whatever they think proper; and these impudent conditions which they affix to every proposition for subsidies." The Cardinal protested that he had in vain attempted to convince them of their error, but that they remained perverse.

It was probably at this time that the plan for debasing the coin, suggested to Philip some time before by a skilful chemist named Malen, and always much approved of both by himself and Ruy Gomez, recurred to his mind. "Another and an extraordinary source of revenue, although perhaps not a very honorable one," wrote Suriano, "has hitherto been kept secret; and on account of differences of opinion between the King and his confessor, has been discontinued." This source of revenue, it seemed, was found in "a certain powder, of which one ounce mixed with six ounces of quicksilver would make six ounces of silver." The composition was said to stand the test of the hammer, but not of the fire. Partly in consequence of theological scruples and partly on account of opposition from the states, a project formed by the King to pay his army with this kind of silver was reluctantly abandoned. The invention, however, was so very agreeable to the King, and the inventor had received such liberal rewards, that it was supposed, according to the envoy, that in time of scarcity his Majesty would make use of such coin without reluctance.

It is necessary, before concluding this chapter, which relates the events of the years 1560 and 1561, to allude to an important affair which occupied much attention during the whole of this period. This is the celebrated marriage of the Prince of Orange with the Princess Anna of Saxony. By many superficial writers; a moving cause of the great Netherland revolt was found in the connexion of the great chieftain with this distinguished Lutheran house. One must have studied the characters and the times to very little purpose, however, to believe it possible that much influence could be exerted on the mind of William of Orange by such natures as those of Anna of Saxony, or of her uncle the Elector Augustus, surnamed "the Pious."

The Prince had become a widower in 1558, at the age of twenty-five. Granvelle, who was said to have been influential in arranging his first marriage, now proposed to him, after the year of mourning had expired, an alliance with Mademoiselle Renee, daughter of the Duchess de Lorraine, and granddaughter of Christiern the Third of Denmark, and his wife Isabella, sister of the Emperor Charles the Fifth. Such a connexion, not only with the royal house of Spain but with that of France—for, the young Duke of Lorraine, brother of the lady, had espoused the daughter of Henry the considered highly desirable by the Prince. Philip and the Duchess Margaret of Parma both approved, or pretended to approve, the match. At the same time the Dowager Duchess of Lorraine, mother of the intended bride, was a candidate, and a very urgent one, for the Regency of the Netherlands. Being a woman of restless ambition, and intriguing character, she naturally saw in a man of William's station and talents a most desirable ally in her present and future schemes. On the other hand, Philip—who had made open protestation of his desire to connect the Prince thus closely with his own blood, and had warmly recommended the match to the young lady's mother—soon afterwards, while walking one day with the Prince in the park at Brussels, announced to him that the Duchess of Lorraine had declined his proposals. Such a result astonished the Prince, who was on the best of terms with the mother, and had been urging her appointment to the Regency with all his-influence, having entirely withdrawn his own claims to that office. No satisfactory explanation was ever given of this singular conclusion to a courtship, begun with the apparent consent of all parties. It was hinted that the young lady did not fancy the Prince; but, as it was not known that a word had ever been exchanged between them, as the Prince, in appearance and reputation, was one of the most brilliant cavaliers of the age, and as the approval of the bride was not usually a matter of primary consequence in such marriages of state, the mystery seemed to require a further solution. The Prince suspected Granvelle and the King, who were believed to have held mature and secret deliberation together, of insincerity. The Bishop was said to have expressed the opinion, that although the friendship he bore the Prince would induce him to urge the marriage, yet his duty to his master made him think it questionable whether it were right to advance a personage already placed so high by birth, wealth, and popularity, still higher by so near an alliance with his Majesty's family. The King, in consequence, secretly instructed the Duchess of Lorraine to decline the proposal, while at the same time he continued openly to advocate the connexion. The Prince is said to have discovered this double dealing, and to have found in it the only reasonable explanation of the whole transaction. Moreover, the Duchess of Lorraine, finding herself equally duped, and her own ambitious scheme equally foiled by her unscrupulous cousin—who now, to the surprise of every one, appointed Margaret of Parma to be Regent, with the Bishop for her prime minister—had as little reason to be satisfied with the combinations of royal and ecclesiastical intrigue as the Prince of Orange himself. Soon after this unsatisfactory mystification, William turned his attentions to Germany. Anna of Saxony, daughter of the celebrated Elector Maurice, lived at the court of her uncle, the Elector Augustus. A musket-ball, perhaps a traitorous one, in an obscure action with Albert of Brandenbourg, had closed the adventurous career of her father seven years before. The young lady, who was thought to have inherited much of his restless, stormy character, was sixteen years of age. She was far from handsome, was somewhat deformed, and limped. Her marriage-portion was deemed, for the times, an ample one; she had seventy thousand rix dollars in hand, and the reversion of thirty thousand on the death of John Frederic the Second, who had married her mother after the death of Maurice. Her rank was accounted far higher in Germany than that of William of Nassau, and in this respect, rather than for pecuniary considerations, the marriage seemed a desirable one for him. The man who held the great Nassau-Chalons property, together with the heritage of Count Maximilian de Buren, could hardly have been tempted by 100,000 thalers. His own provision for the children who might spring from the proposed marriage was to be a settlement of seventy thousand florins annually. The fortune which permitted of such liberality was not one to be very materially increased by a dowry which might seem enormous to many of the pauper princes of Germany. "The bride's portion," says a contemporary, "after all, scarcely paid for the banquets and magnificent festivals which celebrated the marriage. When the wedding was paid for, there was not a thaler remaining of the whole sum." Nothing, then, could be more puerile than to accuse the Prince of mercenary motives in seeking this alliance; an accusation, however, which did not fail to be brought.

There were difficulties on both sides to be arranged before this marriage could take place. The bride was a Lutheran, the Prince was a Catholic. With regard to the religion of Orange not the slightest doubt existed, nor was any deception attempted. Granvelle himself gave the most entire attestation of the Prince's orthodoxy. "This proposed marriage gives me great pain," he wrote to Philip, "but I have never had reason to suspect his principles." In another letter he observed that he wished the marriage could be broken off; but that he hoped so much from the virtue of the Prince that nothing could suffice to separate him from the true religion. On the other side there was as little doubt as to his creed. Old Landgrave Philip of Hesse, grandfather of the young lady, was bitterly opposed to the match. "'Tis a papist," said he, "who goes to mass, and eats no meat on fast days." He had no great objection to his character, but insurmountable ones to his religion. "Old Count William," said he, "was an evangelical lord to his dying day. This man is a papist!" The marriage, then, was to be a mixed marriage. It is necessary, however, to beware of anachronisms upon the subject. Lutherans were not yet formally denounced as heretics. On the contrary, it was exactly at this epoch that the Pope was inviting the Protestant princes of Germany to the Trent Council, where the schism was to be closed, and all the erring lambs to be received again into the bosom of the fold. So far from manifesting an outward hostility, the papal demeanor was conciliating. The letters of invitation from the Pope to the princes were sent by a legate, each commencing with the exordium, "To my beloved son," and were all sent back to his Holiness, contemptuously, with the coarse jest for answer, "We believe our mothers to have been honest women, and hope that we had better fathers." The great council had not yet given its decisions. Marriages were of continual occurrence, especially among princes and potentates, between the adherents of Rome and of the new religion. Even Philip had been most anxious to marry the Protestant Elizabeth, whom, had she been a peasant, he would unquestionably have burned, if in his power. Throughout Germany, also, especially in high places, there was a disposition to cover up the religious controversy; to abstain from disturbing the ashes where devastation still glowed, and was one day to rekindle itself. It was exceedingly difficult for any man, from the Archduke Maximilian down, to define his creed. A marriage, therefore; between a man and woman of discordant views upon this topic was not startling, although in general not considered desirable.

There were, however, especial reasons why this alliance should be distasteful, both to Philip of Spain upon one side, and to the Landgrave Philip of Hesse on the other. The bride was the daughter of the elector Maurice. In that one name were concentrated nearly all the disasters, disgrace, and disappointment of the Emperor's reign. It was Maurice who had hunted the Emperor through the Tyrolean mountains; it was Maurice who had compelled the peace of Passau; it was Maurice who had overthrown the Catholic Church in Germany, it was Maurice who had frustrated Philip's election as king of the Romans. If William of Orange must seek a wife among the pagans, could no other bride be found for him than the daughter of such a man?

Anna's grandfather, on the other hand, Landgrave Philip, was the celebrated victim to the force and fraud of Charles the Fifth. He saw in the proposed bridegroom, a youth who had been from childhood, the petted page and confidant of the hated Emperor, to whom he owed his long imprisonment. He saw in him too, the intimate friend and ally—for the brooding quarrels of the state council were not yet patent to the world—of the still more deeply detested Granvelle; the crafty priest whose substitution of "einig" for "ewig" had inveigled him into that terrible captivity. These considerations alone would have made him unfriendly to the Prince, even had he not been a Catholic.

The Elector Augustus, however, uncle and guardian to the bride, was not only well-disposed but eager for the marriage, and determined to overcome all obstacles, including the opposition of the Landgrave, without whose consent he was long pledged not to bestow the hand of Anna. For this there were more than one reason. Augustus, who, in the words of one of the most acute historical critics of our day, was "a Byzantine Emperor of the lowest class, re-appearing in electoral hat and mantle," was not firm in his rights to the dignity he held. He had inherited from his brother, but his brother had dispossessed John Frederic. Maurice, when turning against the Emperor, who had placed him in his cousin's seat, had not thought it expedient to restore to the rightful owner the rank which he himself owed to the violence of Charles. Those claims might be revindicated, and Augustus be degraded in his turn, by a possible marriage of the Princess Anna, with some turbulent or intriguing German potentate. Out of the land she was less likely to give trouble. The alliance, if not particularly desirable on the score of rank, was, in other worldly respects, a most brilliant one for his niece. As for the religious point, if he could overcome or circumvent the scruples of the Landgrave, he foresaw little difficulty in conquering his own conscience.

The Prince of Orange, it is evident, was placed in such a position, that it would be difficult for him to satisfy all parties. He intended that the marriage, like all marriages among persons in high places at that day, should be upon the "uti possidetis" principle, which was the foundation of the religious peace of Germany. His wife, after marriage and removal to the Netherlands, would "live Catholically;" she would be considered as belonging to the same Church with her husband, was to give no offence to the government, and bring no suspicion upon himself, by violating any of the religious decencies. Further than this, William, who at that day was an easy, indifferent Catholic, averse to papal persecutions, but almost equally averse to long, puritanical prayers and faces, taking far more pleasure in worldly matters than in ecclesiastical controversies, was not disposed to advance in this thorny path. Having a stern bigot to deal with, in Madrid, and another in Cassel, he soon convinced himself that he was not likely entirely to satisfy either, and thought it wiser simply to satisfy himself.

Early in 1560, Count Gunther de Schwartzburg, betrothed to the Prince's sister Catharine, together with Colonel George Von Holl, were despatched to Germany to open the marriage negotiations. They found the Elector Augustus already ripe and anxious for the connexion. It was easy for the envoys to satisfy all his requirements on the religious question. If, as the Elector afterwards stated to the Landgrave, they really promised that the young lady should be allowed to have an evangelical preacher in her own apartments, together with the befitting sacraments, it is very certain that they travelled a good way out of their instructions, for such concessions were steadily refused by William in person. It is, however, more probable that Augustus, whose slippery feet were disposed to slide smoothly and swiftly over this dangerous ground, had represented the Prince's communications under a favorable gloss of his own. At any rate, nothing in the subsequent proceedings justified the conclusions thus hastily formed.

The Landgrave Philip, from the beginning, manifested his repugnance to the match. As soon as the proposition had been received by Augustus, that potentate despatched Hans von Carlowitz to the grandfather at Cassel. The Prince of Orange, it was represented, was young, handsome, wealthy, a favorite of the Spanish monarch; the Princess Anna, on the other hand, said her uncle was not likely to grow straighter or better proportioned in body, nor was her crooked and perverse character likely to improve with years. It was therefore desirable to find a settlement for her as soon as possible. The Elector, however, would decide upon nothing without the Landgrave's consent.

To this frank, and not very flattering statement, so far as the young lady was concerned, the Landgrave answered stoutly and characteristically. The Prince was a Spanish subject, he said, and would not be able to protect Anna in her belief, who would sooner or later become a fugitive: he was but a Count in Germany, and no fitting match for an Elector's daughter; moreover, the lady herself ought to be consulted, who had not even seen the Prince. If she were crooked in body, as the Elector stated, it was a shame to expose her; to conceal it, however, was questionable, as the Prince might complain afterwards that a straight princess had been promised, and a crooked one fraudulently substituted,—and so on, though a good deal more of such quaint casuistry, in which the Landgrave was accomplished. The amount of his answer, however, to the marriage proposal was an unequivocal negative, from which he never wavered.

In consequence of this opposition, the negotiations were for a time suspended. Augustus implored the Prince not to abandon the project, promising that every effort should be made to gain over the Landgrave, hinting that the old man might "go to his long rest soon," and even suggesting that if the worst came to the worst, he had bound himself to do nothing without the knowledge of the Landgrave, but was not obliged to wait for his consent.

On the other hand, the Prince had communicated to the King of Spain the fact of the proposed marriage. He had also held many long conversations with the Regent and with Granvelle. In all these interviews he had uniformly used one language: his future wife was to "live as a Catholic," and if that point were not conceded, he would break off the negotiations. He did not pretend that she was to abjure her Protestant faith. The Duchess, in describing to Philip the conditions, as sketched to her by the Prince, stated expressly that Augustus of Saxony was to consent that his niece "should live Catholically after the marriage," but that it was quite improbable that "before the nuptials she would be permitted to abjure her errors, and receive necessary absolution, according to the rules of the Church." The Duchess, while stating her full confidence in the orthodoxy of the Prince, expressed at the same time her fears that attempts might be made in the future by his new connexions "to pervert him to their depraved opinions."

A silence of many months ensued on the part of the sovereign, during which he was going through the laborious process of making up his mind, or rather of having it made up for him by people a thousand miles off. In the autumn Granvelle wrote to say that the Prince was very much surprised to have been kept so long waiting for a definite reply to his communications, made at the beginning of the year concerning his intended marriage, and to learn at last that his Majesty had sent no answer, upon the ground that the match had been broken off; the fact being, that the negotiations were proceeding more earnestly than ever.

Nothing could be more helpless and more characteristic than the letter which Philip sent, thus pushed for a decision. "You wrote me," said he, "that you had hopes that this matter of the Prince's marriage would go no further, and seeing that you did not write oftener on the subject, I thought certainly that it had been terminated. This pleased me not a little, because it was the best thing that could be done. Likewise," continued the most tautological of monarchs, "I was much pleased that it should be done. Nevertheless;" he added, "if the marriage is to be proceeded with, I really don't know what to say about it, except to refer it to my sister, inasmuch as a person being upon the spot can see better what can be done with regard to it; whether it be possible to prevent it, or whether it be best, if there be no remedy, to give permission. But if there be a remedy, it would be better to take it, because," concluded the King, pathetically, "I don't see how the Prince could think of marrying with the daughter of the man who did to his majesty, now in glory, that which Duke Maurice did."

Armed with this luminous epistle, which, if it meant any thing, meant a reluctant affirmation to the demand of the Prince for the royal consent, the Regent and Granvelle proceeded to summon William of Orange, and to catechise him in a manner most galling to the pride, and with a latitude not at all justified by any reasonable interpretation of the royal instructions. They even informed him that his Majesty had assembled "certain persons learned in cases of conscience, and versed in theology," according to whose advice a final decision, not yet possible, would be given at some future period. This assembly of learned conscience-keepers and theologians had no existence save in the imaginations of Granvelle and Margaret. The King's letter, blind and blundering as it was, gave the Duchess the right to decide in the affirmative on her own responsibility; yet fictions like these formed a part of the "dissimulation," which was accounted profound statesmanship by the disciples of Machiavelli. The Prince, however irritated, maintained his steadiness; assured the Regent that the negotiation had advanced too far to be abandoned, and repeated his assurance that the future Princess of Orange was to "live as a Catholic."

In December, 1560, William made a visit to Dresden, where he was received by the Elector with great cordiality. This visit was conclusive as to the marriage. The appearance and accomplishments of the distinguished suitor made a profound impression upon the lady. Her heart was carried by storm. Finding, or fancying herself very desperately enamored of the proposed bridegroom, she soon manifested as much eagerness for the marriage as did her uncle, and expressed herself frequently with the violence which belonged to her character. "What God had decreed," she said, "the Devil should not hinder."

The Prince was said to have exhibited much diligence in his attention to the services of the Protestant Church during his visit at Dreaden. As that visit lasted, however, but ten or eleven days, there was no great opportunity for shewing much zeal.

At the same period one William Knuttel was despatched by Orange on the forlorn hope of gaining the old Landgrave's consent, without making any vital concessions. "Will the Prince," asked the Landgrave, "permit my granddaughter to have an evangelical preacher in the house?"—"No," answered Knuttel. "May she at least receive the sacrament of the Lord's Supper in her own chamber, according to the Lutheran form?"—"No," answered Knuttel, "neither in Breda, nor any where else in the Netherlands. If she imperatively requires such sacraments, she must go over the border for them, to the nearest Protestant sovereign."

Upon the 14th April, 1561, the Elector, returning to the charge, caused a little note to be drawn up on the religious point, which he forwarded, in the hope that the Prince would copy and sign it. He added a promise that the memorandum should never be made public to the signer's disadvantage.

At the same time he observed to Count Louis, verbally, "that he had been satisfied with the declarations made by the Prince when in Dresden, upon all points, except that concerning religion. He therefore felt obliged to beg for a little agreement in writing."—"By no means! by no means!" interrupted Louis promptly, at the very first word, "the Prince can give your electoral highness no such assurance. 'T would be risking life, honor, and fortune to do so, as your grace is well aware." The Elector protested that the declaration, if signed, should never come into the Spanish monarch's hands, and insisted upon sending it to the Prince. Louis, in a letter to his brother, characterized the document as "singular, prolix and artful," and strongly advised the Prince to have nothing to do with it.

This note, which the Prince was thus requested to sign, and which his brother Louis thus strenuously advised him not to sign, the Prince never did sign. Its tenor was to the following effect:—The Princess, after marriage, was, neither by menace nor persuasion; to be turned from the true and pure Word of God, or the use of the sacrament according to the doctrines of the Augsburg Confession. The Prince was to allow her to read books written in accordance with the Augsburg Confession. The prince was to permit her, as often, annually, as she required it, to go out of the Netherlands to some place where she could receive the sacrament according to the Augsburg Confession. In case she were in sickness or perils of childbirth, the Prince, if necessary, would call to her an evangelical preacher, who might administer to her the holy sacrament in her chamber. The children who might spring from the marriage were to be instructed as to the doctrines of the Augsburg Confession.

Even if executed, this celebrated memorandum would hardly have been at variance with the declarations made by the Prince to the Spanish government. He had never pretended that his bride was to become a Catholic, but only to live as a Catholic. All that he had promised, or was expected to promise, was that his wife should conform to the law in the Netherlands. The paper, in a general way, recognized that law. In case of absolute necessity, however, it was stipulated that the Princess should have the advantage of private sacraments. This certainly would have been a mortal offence in a Calvinist or Anabaptist, but for Lutherans the practise had never been so strict. Moreover, the Prince already repudiated the doctrines of the edicts, and rebelled against the command to administer them within his government. A general promise, therefore, made by him privately, in the sense of the memorandum drawn up by the Elector, would have been neither hypocritical nor deceitful, but worthy the man who looked over such grovelling heads as Granvelle and Philip on the one side, or Augustus of Saxony on the other, and estimated their religious pretences at exactly what they were worth. A formal document, however, technically according all these demands made by the Elector, would certainly be regarded by the Spanish government as a very culpable instrument. The Prince never signed the note, but, as we shall have occasion to state in its proper place, he gave a verbal declaration, favorable to its tenor, but in very vague and brief terms, before a notary, on the day of the marriage.

If the reader be of opinion that too much time has been expended upon the elucidation of this point, he should remember that the character of a great and good man is too precious a possession of history to be lightly abandoned. It is of no great consequence to ascertain the precise creed of Augustus of Saxony, or of his niece; it is of comparatively little moment to fix the point at which William of Orange ceased to be an honest, but liberal Catholic, and opened his heart to the light of the Reformation; but it is of very grave interest that his name should be cleared of the charge of deliberate fraud and hypocrisy. It has therefore been thought necessary to prove conclusively that the Prince never gave, in Dresden or Cassel, any assurance inconsistent with his assertions to King and Cardinal. The whole tone of his language and demeanor on the religious subject was exhibited in his reply to the Electress, who, immediately after the marriage, entreated that he would not pervert her niece from the paths of the true religion. "She shall not be troubled," said the Prince, "with such melancholy things. Instead of holy writ she shall read 'Amadis de Gaule,' and such books of pastime which discourse de amore; and instead of knitting and sewing she shall learn to dance a galdiarde, and such courtoisies as are the mode of our country and suitable to her rank."

The reply was careless, flippant, almost contemptuous. It is very certain that William of Orange was not yet the "father William" he was destined to become—grave, self-sacrificing, deeply religious, heroic; but it was equally evident from this language that he had small sympathy, either in public or private, with Lutheranism or theological controversy. Landgrave William was not far from right when he added, in his quaint style, after recalling this well-known reply, "Your grace will observe, therefore, that when the abbot has dice in his pocket, the convent will play."

So great was the excitement at the little court of Cassel, that many Protestant princes and nobles declared that "they would sooner give their daughters to a boor or a swineherd than to a Papist." The Landgrave was equally vigorous in his protest, drawn up in due form on the 26th April, 1561. He was not used, he said, "to flatter or to tickle with a foxtail." He was sorry if his language gave offense, nevertheless "the marriage was odious, and that was enough." He had no especial objection to the Prince, "who before the world was a brave and honorable man." He conceded that his estates were large, although he hinted that his debts also were ample; allowed that he lived in magnificent style, had even heard "of one of his banquets, where all the table-cloths, plates, and every thing else, were made of sugar," but thought he might be even a little too extravagant; concluding, after a good deal of skimble-skamble of this nature, with "protesting before God, the world, and all pious Christians, that he was not responsible for the marriage, but only the Elector Augustus and others, who therefore would one day have to render account thereof to the Lord."

Meantime the wedding had been fixed to take place on Sunday, the 24th August, 1561. This was St. Bartholomew's, a nuptial day which was not destined to be a happy one in the sixteenth century. The Landgrave and his family declined to be present at the wedding, but a large and brilliant company were invited. The King of Spain sent a bill of exchange to the Regent, that she might purchase a ring worth three thousand crowns, as a present on his part to the bride. Beside this liberal evidence that his opposition to the marriage was withdrawn, he authorized his sister to appoint envoys from among the most distinguished nobles to represent him on the occasion. The Baron de Montigny, accordingly, with a brilliant company of gentlemen, was deputed by the Duchess, although she declined sending all the governors of the provinces, according to the request of the Prince. The marriage was to take place at Leipsic. A slight picture of the wedding festivities, derived entirely from unpublished sources, may give some insight into the manners and customs of high life in Germany and the Netherlands at this epoch.

The Kings of Spain and Denmark were invited, and were represented by special ambassadors. The Dukes of Brunswick, Lauenburg, Mecklenburg, the Elector and Margraves of Brandenburg, the Archbishop of Cologne, the Duke of Cleves, the Bishops of Naumburg, Meneburg, Meissen, with many other potentates, accepted the invitations, and came generally in person, a few only being represented by envoys. The town councils of Erfurt, Leipsic, Magdeburg, and other cities, were also bidden. The bridegroom was personally accompanied by his brothers John, Adolphus, and Louis; by the Burens, the Leuchtenbergs, and various other distinguished personages.

As the electoral residence at Leipsic was not completely finished, separate dwellings were arranged for each of the sovereign families invited, in private houses, mostly on the market-place. Here they were to be furnished with provisions by the Elector's officials, but they were to cook for themselves. For this purpose all the princes had been requested to bring their own cooks and butlers, together with their plate and kitchen utensils. The sovereigns themselves were to dine daily with the Elector at the town-house, but the attendants and suite were to take their meals in their own lodgings. A brilliant collection of gentlemen and pages, appointed by the Elector to wait at his table, were ordered to assemble at Leipsic on the 22d, the guests having been all invited for the 23d. Many regulations were given to these noble youths, that they might discharge their duties with befitting decorum. Among other orders, they received particular injunctions that they were to abstain from all drinking among themselves, and from all riotous conduct whatever, while the sovereigns and potentates should be at dinner. "It would be a shameful indecency," it was urged, "if the great people sitting at table should be unable to hear themselves talk on account of the screaming of the attendants." This provision did not seem unreasonable. They were also instructed that if invited to drink by any personage at the great tables they were respectfully to decline the challenge, and to explain the cause after the repast.

Particular arrangements were also made for the safety of the city. Besides the regular guard of Leipsic, two hundred and twenty arquebuseers, spearsmen, and halberdmen, were ordered from the neighboring towns. These were to be all dressed in uniform; one arm, side and leg in black, and the other in yellow, according to a painting distributed beforehand to the various authorities. As a mounted patrole, Leipsic had a regular force of two men. These were now increased to ten, and received orders to ride with their lanterns up and down all the streets and lanes, to accost all persons whom they might find abroad without lights in their hands, to ask them their business in courteous language, and at the same time to see generally to the peace and safety of the town.

Fifty arquebuseers were appointed to protect the town-house, and a burgher watch of six hundred was distributed in different quarters, especially to guard against fire.

On Saturday, the day before the wedding, the guests had all arrived at Leipsic, and the Prince of Orange, with his friends, at Meneburg. On Sunday, the 24th August, the Elector at the head of his guests and attendants, in splendid array, rode forth to receive the bridegroom. His cavalcade numbered four thousand. William of Orange had arrived, accompanied by one thousand mounted men. The whole troop now entered the city together, escorting the Prince to the town-house. Here he dismounted, and was received on the staircase by the Princess Anna, attended by her ladies. She immediately afterwards withdrew to her apartments.

It was at this point, between 4 and 5 P.M., that the Elector and Electress, with the bride and bridegroom, accompanied also by the Dame Sophia von Miltitz and the Councillors Hans von Ponika and Ubrich Woltersdorff upon one side, and by Count John of Nassau and Heinrich von Wiltberg upon the other, as witnesses, appeared before Wolf Seidel, notary, in a corner room of the upper story of the town-house. One of the councillors, on the part of the Elector, then addressed the bridegroom. He observed that his highness would remember, no doubt, the contents of a memorandum or billet, sent by the Elector on the 14th April of that year, by the terms of which the Prince was to agree that he would, neither by threat nor persuasion, prevent his future wife from continuing in the Augsburg Confession; that he would allow her to go to places where she might receive the Augsburg sacraments; that in case of extreme need she should receive them in her chamber; and that the children who might spring from the marriage should be instructed as to the Augsburg doctrines. As, however, continued the councillor, his highness the Prince of Orange has, for various reasons, declined giving any such agreement in writing, as therefore it had been arranged that before the marriage ceremony the Prince should, in the presence of the bride and of the other witnesses, make a verbal promise on the subject, and as the parties were now to be immediately united in marriage, therefore the Elector had no doubt that the Prince would make no objection in presence of those witnesses to give his consent to maintain the agreements comprised in the memorandum or note. The note was then read. Thereupon, the Prince answered verbally. "Gracious Elector; I remember the writing which you sent me on the 14th April. All the point: just narrated by the Doctor were contained in it. I now state to your highness that I will keep it all as becomes a prince, and conform to it." Thereupon he gave the Elector his hand.—

What now was the amount and meaning of this promise on the part of the Prince? Almost nothing. He would conform to the demands of the Elector, exactly as he had hitherto said he would conform to them. Taken in connexion with his steady objections to sign and seal any instrument on the subject—with his distinct refusal to the Landgrave (through Knuttel) to allow the Princess an evangelical preacher or to receive the sacraments in the Netherlands—with the vehement, formal, and public protest, on the part of the Landgrave, against the marriage—with the Prince's declarations to the Elector at Dresden, which were satisfactory on all points save the religious point,—what meaning could this verbal promise have, save that the Prince would do exactly as much with regard to the religious question as he had always promised, and no more? This was precisely what did happen. There was no pretence on the part of the Elector, afterwards, that any other arrangement had been contemplated. The Princess lived catholically from the moment of her marriage, exactly as Orange had stated to the Duchess Margaret, and as the Elector knew would be the case. The first and the following children born of the marriage were baptized by Catholic priests, with very elaborate Catholic ceremonies, and this with the full consent of the Elector, who sent deputies and officiated as sponsor on one remarkable occasion.

Who, of all those guileless lambs then, Philip of Spain, the Elector of Saxony, or Cardinal Granvelle, had been deceived by the language or actions of the Prince? Not one. It may be boldly asserted that the Prince, placed in a transition epoch, both of the age and of his own character, surrounded by the most artful and intriguing personages known to history, and involved in a network of most intricate and difficult circumstances, acquitted himself in a manner as honorable as it was prudent. It is difficult to regard the notarial instrument otherwise than as a memorandum, filed rather by Augustus than by wise William, in order to put upon record for his own justification, his repeated though unsuccessful efforts to procure from the Prince a regularly signed, sealed, and holographic act, upon the points stated in the famous note.

After the delay occasioned by these private formalities, the bridal procession, headed by the court musicians, followed by the court marshals, councillors, great officers of state, and the electoral family, entered the grand hall of the town-house. The nuptial ceremony was then performed by "the Superintendent Doctor Pfeffinger." Immediately afterwards, and in the same hall, the bride and bridegroom were placed publicly upon a splendid, gilded bed, with gold-embroidered curtains, the Princess being conducted thither by the Elector and Electress. Confects and spiced drinks were then served to them and to the assembled company. After this ceremony they were conducted to their separate chambers, to dress for dinner. Before they left the hall, however, Margrave Hans of Brandenburg, on part of the Elector of Saxony, solemnly recommended the bride to her husband, exhorting him to cherish her with faith and affection, and "to leave her undisturbed in the recognized truth of the holy gospel and the right use of the sacraments."

Five round tables were laid in the same hall immediately afterwards—each accommodating ten guests. As soon as the first course of twenty-five dishes had been put upon the chief table, the bride and bridegroom, the Elector and Electress, the Spanish and Danish envoys and others, were escorted to it, and the banquet began. During the repast, the Elector's choir and all the other bands discoursed the "merriest and most ingenious music." The noble vassals handed the water, the napkins, and the wine, and every thing was conducted decorously and appropriately. As soon as the dinner was brought to a close, the tables were cleared away, and the ball began in the same apartment. Dances, previously arranged, were performed, after which "confects and drinks" were again distributed, and the bridal pair were then conducted to the nuptial chamber.

The wedding, according to the Lutheran custom of the epoch, had thus taken place not in a church, but in a private dwelling; the hall of the town-house, representing, on this occasion, the Elector's own saloons. On the following morning, however, a procession was formed at seven o'clock to conduct the newly-married couple to the church of St. Nicholas, there to receive an additional exhortation and benediction. Two separate companies of gentlemen, attended by a great number of "fifers, drummers, and trumpeters," escorted the bride and the bridegroom, "twelve counts wearing each a scarf of the Princess Anna's colors, with golden garlands on their heads and lighted torches in their hands," preceding her to the choir, where seats had been provided for the more illustrious portion of the company. The church had been magnificently decked in tapestry, and, as the company entered, a full orchestra performed several fine motettos. After listening to a long address from Dr. Pfeffinger, and receiving a blessing before the altar, the Prince and Princess of Orange returned, with their attendant processions, to the town-house.

After dinner, upon the same and the three following days, a tournament was held. The lists were on the market-place, on the side nearest the town-house; the Electress and the other ladies looking down from balcony and window to "rain influence and adjudge the prize." The chief hero of these jousts, according to the accounts in the Archives, was the Elector of Saxony. He "comported himself with such especial chivalry" that his far-famed namesake and remote successor, Augustus the Strong, could hardly have evinced more knightly prowess. On the first day he encountered George Von Wiedebach, and unhorsed him so handsomely that the discomfited cavalier's shoulder was dislocated. On the following day he tilted with Michael von Denstedt, and was again victorious, hitting his adversary full in the target, and "bearing him off over his horse's tail so neatly, that the knight came down, heels over head, upon the earth."

On Wednesday, there was what was called the palliatourney. The Prince of Orange, at the head of six bands, amounting in all to twenty-nine men; the Margrave George of Brandenburg, with seven bands, comprising thirty-four men, and the Elector Augustus, with one band of four men, besides himself, all entered the lists. Lots were drawn for the "gate of honor," and gained by the Margrave, who accordingly defended it with his band. Twenty courses were then run between these champions and the Prince of Orange, with his men. The Brandenburgs broke seven lances, the Prince's party only six, so that Orange was obliged to leave the lists discomfited. The ever-victorious Augustus then took the field, and ran twenty courses against the defenders, breaking fourteen spears to the Brandenburg's ten. The Margrave, thus defeated, surrendered the "gate of honor" to the Elector, who maintained, it the rest of the day against all comers. It is fair to suppose, although the fact is not recorded, that the Elector's original band had received some reinforcement. Otherwise, it would be difficult to account for these constant victories, except by ascribing more than mortal strength, as well as valor, to Augustus and his four champions. His party broke one hundred and fifty-six lances, of which number the Elector himself broke thirty-eight and a half. He received the first prize, but declined other guerdons adjudged to him. The reward for the hardest hitting was conferred on Wolf Von Schonberg, "who thrust Kurt Von Arnim clean out of the saddle, so that he fell against the barriers."

On Thursday was the riding at the ring. The knights who partook of this sport wore various strange garbs over their armor. Some were disguised as hussars, some as miners, come as lansquenettes; others as Tartans, pilgrims, fools, bird-catchers, hunters, monks; peasants, or Netherland cuirassiers. Each party was attended by a party of musicians, attired in similar costume. Moreover, Count Gunter Von Schwartzburg made, his appearance in the lists, accompanied "by five remarkable giants of wonderful proportions and appearance, very ludicrous to behold, who performed all kind of odd antics on horseback."

The next day there was a foot tourney, followed in the evening by "mummeries," or masquerades. These masques were repeated on the following evening, and afforded great entertainment. The costumes were magnificent, "with golden and pearl embroidery," the dances were very merry and artistic, and the musicians, who formed a part of the company, exhibited remarkable talent. These "mummeries" had been brought by William of Orange from the Netherlands, at the express request of the Elector, on the ground that such matters were much better understood in the provinces than in Germany.

Such is a slight sketch of the revels by which this ill-fated Bartholomew marriage was celebrated. While William of Orange was thus employed in Germany, Granvelle seized the opportunity to make his entry into the city of Mechlin, as archbishop; believing that such a step would be better accomplished in the absence of the Prince from the country. The Cardinal found no one in the city to welcome him. None of the great nobles were there. "The people looked upon the procession with silent hatred. No man cried, God bless him." He wrote to the King that he should push forward the whole matter of the bishoprics as fast as possible, adding the ridiculous assertion that the opposition came entirely from the nobility, and that "if the seigniors did not talk so much, not a man of the people would open his mouth on the subject."

The remonstrance offered by the three estates of Brabant against the scheme had not influenced Philip. He had replied in a peremptory tone. He had assured them that he had no intention of receding, and that the province of Brabant ought to feel itself indebted to him for having given them prelates instead of abbots to take care of their eternal interests, and for having erected their religious houses into episcopates. The abbeys made what resistance they could, but were soon fain to come to a compromise with the bishops, who, according to the arrangement thus made, were to receive a certain portion of the abbey revenues, while the remainder was to belong to the institutions, together with a continuance of their right to elect their own chiefs, subordinate, however, to the approbation of the respective prelates of the diocese. Thus was the episcopal matter settled in Brabant. In many of the other bishoprics the new dignitaries were treated with disrespect, as they made their entrance into their cities, while they experienced endless opposition and annoyance on attempting to take possession of the revenue assigned to them.


     History shows how feeble are barriers of paper
     Licences accorded by the crown to carry slaves to America
     We believe our mothers to have been honest women
     When the abbot has dice in his pocket, the convent will play
     Wiser simply to satisfy himself


1561-1562 [CHAPTER III.]

The inquisition the great cause of the revolt—The three varieties of the institution—The Spanish inquisition described—The Episcopal inquisition in the Netherlands—The Papal inquisition established in the provinces by Charles V.—His instructions to the inquisitors— They are renewed by Philip—Inquisitor Titelmann—Instances of his manner of proceeding—Spanish and Netherland inquisitions compared— Conduct of Granvelle—Faveau and Mallart condemned at Valenciennes— "Journee des maubrulea"—Severe measures at Valenciennes—Attack of the Rhetoric Clubs Upon Granvelle—Granvelle's insinuations against Egmont and Simon Renard—Timidity of Viglius—Universal hatred toward the Cardinal—Buffoonery of Brederode and Lumey—Courage of Granvelle—Philip taxes the Netherlands for the suppression of the Huguenots in France—Meeting of the Knights of the Fleece—Assembly at the house of Orange—Demand upon the estates for supplies— Montigny appointed envoy to Spain—Open and determined opposition to Granvelle—Secret representations by the Cardinal to Philip, concerning Egmont and other Seigniors—Line of conduct traced out for the King—Montigny's representations in Spain—Unsatisfactory result of his mission.

The great cause of the revolt which, within a few years, was to break forth throughout the Netherlands; was the inquisition. It is almost puerile to look further or deeper, when such a source of convulsion lies at the very outset of any investigation. During the war there had been, for reasons already indicated, an occasional pause in the religious persecution. Philip had now returned to Spain, having arranged, with great precision, a comprehensive scheme for exterminating that religious belief which was already accepted by a very large portion of his Netherland Subjects. From afar there rose upon the provinces the prophetic vision of a coming evil still more terrible than any which had yet oppressed them. As across the bright plains of Sicily, when the sun is rising, the vast pyramidal shadow of Mount Etna is definitely and visibly projected—the phantom of that ever-present enemy, which holds fire and devastation in its bosom—so, in the morning hour of Philip's reign, the shadow of the inquisition was cast from afar across those warm and smiling provinces—a spectre menacing fiercer flames and wider desolation than those which mere physical agencies could ever compass.

There has been a good deal of somewhat superfluous discussion concerning the different kinds of inquisition. The distinction drawn between the papal, the episcopal, and the Spanish inquisitions, did not, in the sixteenth century, convince many unsophisticated minds of the merits of the establishment in any of its shapes. However classified or entitled, it was a machine for inquiring into a man's thoughts, and for burning him if the result was not satisfactory.

The Spanish inquisition, strictly so called, that is to say, the modern or later institution established by Pope Alexander the Sixth and Ferdinand the Catholic, was doubtless invested with a more complete apparatus for inflicting human misery, and for appalling human imagination, than any of the other less artfully arranged inquisitions, whether papal or episcopal. It had been originally devised for Jews or Moors, whom the Christianity of the age did not regard as human beings, but who could not be banished without depopulating certain districts. It was soon, however, extended from pagans to heretics. The Dominican Torquemada was the first Moloch to be placed upon this pedestal of blood and fire, and from that day forward the "holy office" was almost exclusively in the hands of that band of brothers. In the eighteen years of Torquemada's administration; ten thousand two hundred and twenty individuals were burned alive, and ninety-seven thousand three hundred and twenty-one punished with infamy, confiscation of property, or perpetual imprisonment, so that the total number of families destroyed by this one friar alone amounted to one hundred and fourteen thousand four hundred and one. In course of time the jurisdiction of the office was extended. It taught the savages of India and America to shudder at the name of Christianity. The fear of its introduction froze the earlier heretics of Italy, France, and Ger many into orthodoxy. It was a court owning allegiance to no temporal authority, superior to all other tribunals. It was a bench of monks without appeal, having its familiars in every house, diving into the secrets of every fireside, judging, and executing its horrible decrees without responsibility. It condemned not deeds, but thoughts. It affected to descend into individual conscience, and to punish the crimes which it pretended to discover. Its process was reduced to a horrible simplicity. It arrested on suspicion, tortured till confession, and then punished by fire. Two witnesses, and those to separate facts, were sufficient to consign the victim to a loathsome dungeon. Here he was sparingly supplied with food, forbidden to speak, or even to sing to which pastime it could hardly be thought he would feel much inclination—and then left to himself, till famine and misery should break his spirit. When that time was supposed to have arrived he was examined. Did he confess, and forswear his heresy, whether actually innocent or not, he might then assume the sacred shirt, and escape with confiscation of all his property. Did he persist in the avowal of his innocence, two witnesses sent him to the stake, one witness to the rack. He was informed of the testimony against him, but never confronted with the witness. That accuser might be his son, father, or the wife of his bosom, for all were enjoined, under the death penalty, to inform the inquisitors of every suspicious word which might fall from their nearest relatives. The indictment being thus supported, the prisoner was tried by torture. The rack was the court of justice; the criminal's only advocate was his fortitude—for the nominal counsellor, who was permitted no communication with the prisoner, and was furnished neither with documents nor with power to procure evidence, was a puppet, aggravating the lawlessness of the proceedings by the mockery of legal forms: The torture took place at midnight, in a gloomy dungeon, dimly, lighted by torches. The victim—whether man, matron, or tender virgin—was stripped naked, and stretched upon the wooden bench. Water, weights, fires, pulleys, screws—all the apparatus by which the sinews could be strained without cracking, the bones crushed without breaking, and the body racked exquisitely without giving up its ghost, was now put into operation. The executioner, enveloped in a black robe from head to foot, with his eyes glaring at his victim through holes cut in the hood which muffled his face, practised successively all the forms of torture which the devilish ingenuity of the monks had invented. The imagination sickens when striving to keep pace with these dreadful realities. Those who wish to indulge their curiosity concerning the details of the system, may easily satisfy themselves at the present day. The flood of light which has been poured upon the subject more than justifies the horror and the rebellion of the Netherlanders.

The period during which torture might be inflicted from day to day was unlimited in duration. It could only be terminated by confession; so that the scaffold was the sole refuge from the rack. Individuals have borne the torture and the dungeon fifteen years, and have been burned at the stake at last.

Execution followed confession, but the number of condemned prisoners was allowed to accumulate, that a multitude of victims might grace each great gala-day. The auto-da fe was a solemn festival. The monarch, the high functionaries of the land, the reverend clergy, the populace regarded it as an inspiring and delightful recreation. When the appointed morning arrived, the victim was taken from his dungeon. He was then attired in a yellow robe without sleeves, like a herald's coat, embroidered all over with black figures of devils. A large conical paper mitre was placed upon his head, upon which was represented a human being in the midst of flames, surrounded by imps. His tongue was then painfully gagged, so that he could neither open nor shut his mouth. After he was thus accoutred, and just as he was leaving his cell, a breakfast, consisting of every delicacy, was placed before him, and he was urged, with ironical politeness, to satisfy his hunger. He was then led forth into the public square. The procession was formed with great pomp. It was headed by the little school children, who were immediately followed by the band of prisoners, each attired in the horrible yet ludicrous manner described. Then came the magistrates and nobility, the prelates and other dignitaries of the Church: the holy inquisitors, with their officials and familiars, followed, all on horseback, with the blood-red flag of the "sacred office" waving above them, blazoned upon either side with the portraits of Alexander and of Ferdinand, the pair of brothers who had established the institution. After the procession came the rabble. When all had reached the neighborhood of the scaffold, and had been arranged in order, a sermon was preached to the assembled multitude. It was filled with laudations of the inquisition, and with blasphemous revilings against the condemned prisoners. Then the sentences were read to the individual victims. Then the clergy chanted the fifty-first psalm, the whole vast throng uniting in one tremendous miserere. If a priest happened to be among the culprits, he was now stripped of the canonicals which he had hitherto worn; while his hands, lips, and shaven crown were scraped with a bit of glass, by which process the oil of his consecration was supposed to be removed. He was then thrown into the common herd. Those of the prisoners who were reconciled, and those whose execution was not yet appointed, were now separated from the others. The rest were compelled to mount a scaffold, where the executioner stood ready to conduct them to the fire. The inquisitors then delivered them into his hands, with an ironical request that he would deal with them tenderly, and without blood-letting or injury. Those who remained steadfast to the last were then burned at the stake; they who in the last extremity renounced their faith were strangled before being thrown into the flames. Such was the Spanish inquisition—technically—so called: It was, according' to the biographer of Philip the Second, a "heavenly remedy, a guardian angel of Paradise, a lions' den in which Daniel and other just men could sustain no injury, but in which perverse sinners were torn to pieces." It was a tribunal superior to all human law, without appeal, and certainly owing no allegiance to the powers of earth or heaven. No rank, high or humble, was safe from its jurisdiction. The royal family were not sacred, nor, the pauper's hovel. Even death afforded no protection. The holy office invaded the prince in his palace and the beggar in his shroud. The corpses of dead heretics were mutilated and burned. The inquisitors preyed upon carcases and rifled graves. A gorgeous festival of the holy office had, as we have seen, welcomed Philip to his native land. The news of these tremendous autos-da fe, in which so many illustrious victims had been sacrificed before their sovereign's eyes, had reached the Netherlands almost simultaneously with the bulls creating the new bishoprics in the provinces. It was not likely that the measure would be rendered more palatable by this intelligence of the royal amusements.

The Spanish inquisition had never flourished in any soil but that of the peninsula. It is possible that the King and Granvelle were sincere in their protestations of entertaining no intention of introducing it into the Netherlands, although the protestations of such men are entitled to but little weight. The truth was, that the inquisition existed already in the provinces. It was the main object of the government to confirm and extend the institution. The episcopal inquisition, as we have already seen, had been enlarged by the enormous increase in the number of bishops, each of whom was to be head inquisitor in his diocese, with two special inquisitors under him. With this apparatus and with the edicts, as already described, it might seem that enough had already been done for the suppression of heresy. But more had been done. A regular papal inquisition also existed in the Netherlands. This establishment, like the edicts, was the gift of Charles the Fifth. A word of introduction is here again necessary—nor let the reader deem that too much time is devoted to this painful subject. On the contrary, no definite idea can be formed as to the character of the Netherland revolt without a thorough understanding of this great cause—the religious persecution in which the country had lived, breathed, and had its being, for half a century, and in which, had the rebellion not broken out at last, the population must have been either exterminated or entirely embruted. The few years which are immediately to occupy us in the present and succeeding chapter, present the country in a daily increasing ferment from the action of causes which had existed long before, but which received an additional stimulus as the policy of the new reign developed itself.

Previously to the accession of Charles V., it can not be said that an inquisition had ever been established in the provinces. Isolated instances to the contrary, adduced by the canonists who gave their advice to Margaret of Parma, rather proved the absence than the existence of the system. In the reign of Philip the Good, the vicar of the inquisitor-general gave sentence against some heretics, who were burned in Lille (1448). In 1459, Pierre Troussart, a Jacobin monk, condemned many Waldenses, together with some leading citizens of Artois, accused of sorcery and heresy. He did this, however, as inquisitor for the Bishop of Arras, so that it was an act of episcopal, and not papal inquisition. In general, when inquisitors were wanted in the provinces, it was necessary to borrow them from France or Germany. The exigencies of persecution making a domestic staff desirable, Charles the Fifth, in the year 1522, applied to his ancient tutor, whom he had placed on the papal throne.

Charles had, however, already, in the previous year appointed Francis Van der Hulst to be inquisitor-general for the Netherlands. This man, whom Erasmus called a "wonderful enemy to learning," was also provided with a coadjutor, Nicholas of Egmond by name, a Carmelite monk, who was characterized by the same authority as "a madman armed with a sword." The inquisitor-general received full powers to cite, arrest, imprison, torture heretics without observing the ordinary forms of law, and to cause his sentences to be executed without appeal. He was, however, in pronouncing definite judgments, to take the advice of Laurens, president of the grand council of Mechlin, a coarse, cruel and ignorant man, who "hated learning with a more than deadly hatred," and who might certainly be relied upon to sustain the severest judgments which the inquisitor might fulminate. Adrian; accordingly, commissioned Van der Hulst to be universal and general inquisitor for all the Netherlands. At the same time it was expressly stated that his functions were not to supersede those exercised by the bishops as inquisitors in their own sees. Thus the papal inquisition was established in the provinces. Van der Hulst, a person of infamous character, was not the man to render the institution less odious than it was by its nature. Before he had fulfilled his duties two years, however, he was degraded from his office by the Emperor for having forged a document. In 1525, Buedens, Houseau and Coppin were confirmed by Clement the Seventh as inquisitors in the room of Van der Hulst. In 1531, Ruard Tapper and Michael Drutius were appointed by Paul the Third, on the decease of Coppin, the other two remaining in office. The powers of the papal inquisitors had been gradually extended, and they were, by 1545, not only entirely independent of the episcopal inquisition, but had acquired right of jurisdiction over bishops and archbishops, whom they were empowered to arrest and imprison. They had also received and exercised the privilege of appointing delegates, or sub-inquisitors, on their own authority. Much of the work was, indeed, performed by these officials, the most notorious of whom were Barbier, De Monte, Titelmann, Fabry, Campo de Zon, and Stryen. In 1545, and again in 1550, a stringent set of instructions were drawn up by the Emperor for the guidance of these papal inquisitors. A glance at their context shows that the establishment was not intended to be an empty form.

They were empowered to inquire, proceed against, and chastise all heretics, all persons suspected of heresy, and their protectors. Accompanied by a notary, they were to collect written information concerning every person in the provinces, "infected or vehemently suspected." They were authorized to summon all subjects of his Majesty, whatever their rank, quality, or station, and to compel them to give evidence, or to communicate suspicions. They were to punish all who pertinaciously refused such depositions with death. The Emperor commanded his presidents, judges, sheriffs, and all other judicial and executive officers to render all "assistance to the inquisitors and their familiars in their holy and pious inquisition, whenever required so to do," on pain of being punished as encouragers of heresy, that is to say, with death. Whenever the inquisitors should be satisfied as to the heresy of any individual, they were to order his arrest and detention by the judge of the place, or by others arbitrarily to be selected by them. The judges or persons thus chosen, were enjoined to fulfil the order, on pain of being punished as protectors of heresy, that is to say, with death, by sword or fire. If the prisoner were an ecclesiastic, the inquisitor was to deal summarily with the case "without noise or form in the process—selecting an imperial councillor to render the sentence of absolution or condemnation." If the prisoner were a lay person, the inquisitor was to order his punishment, according to the edicts, by the council of the province. In case of lay persons suspected but not convicted of heresy, the inquisitor was to proceed to their chastisement, "with the advice of a counsellor or some other expert." In conclusion, the Emperor ordered the "inquisitors to make it known that they were not doing their own work, but that of Christ, and to persuade all persons of this fact." This clause of their instructions seemed difficult of accomplishment, for no reasonable person could doubt that Christ, had he re-appeared in human form, would have been instantly crucified again, or burned alive in any place within the dominions of Charles or Philip. The blasphemy with which the name of Jesus was used by such men to sanctify all these nameless horrors, is certainly not the least of their crimes.

In addition to these instructions, a special edict had been issued on the 26th April, 1550, according to which all judicial officers, at the requisition of the inquisitors, were to render them all assistance in the execution of their office, by arresting and detaining all persons suspected of heresy, according to the instructions issued to said inquisitors; and this, notwithstanding any privileges or charters to the contrary. In short, the inquisitors were not subject to the civil authority, but the civil authority to them. The imperial edict empowered them "to chastise, degrade, denounce, and deliver over heretics to the secular judges for punishment; to make use of gaols, and to make arrests, without ordinary warrant, but merely with notice given to a single counselor, who was obliged to give sentence according to their desire, without application to the ordinary judge."

These instructions to the inquisitors had been renewed and confirmed by Philip, in the very first month of his reign (28th Nov. 1555). As in the case of the edicts, it had been thought desirable by Granvelle to make use of the supposed magic of the Emperor's name to hallow the whole machinery of persecution. The action of the system during the greater part of the imperial period had been terrible. Suffered for a time to languish during the French war, it had lately been renewed with additional vigor. Among all the inquisitors, the name of Peter Titelmann was now pre-eminent. He executed his infamous functions throughout Flanders, Douay, and Tournay, the most thriving and populous portions of the Netherlands, with a swiftness, precision, and even with a jocularity which hardly seemed human. There was a kind of grim humor about the man. The woman who, according to Lear's fool, was wont to thrust her live eels into the hot paste, "rapping them o' the coxcombs with a stick and crying reproachfully, Wantons, lie down!" had the spirit of a true inquisitor. Even so dealt Titelmann with his heretics writhing on the rack or in the flames. Cotemporary chronicles give a picture of him as of some grotesque yet terrible goblin, careering through the country by night or day, alone, on horseback, smiting the trembling peasants on the head with a great club, spreading dismay far and wide, dragging suspected persons from their firesides or their beds, and thrusting them into dungeons, arresting, torturing, strangling, burning, with hardly the shadow of warrant, information, or process.

The secular sheriff, familiarly called Red-Rod, from the color of his wand of office, meeting this inquisitor Titelmann one day upon the high road, thus wonderingly addressed him—"How can you venture to go about alone, or at most with an attendant or two, arresting people on every side, while I dare not attempt to execute my office, except at the head of a strong force, armed in proof; and then only at the peril of my life?"

"Ah! Red-Rod," answered Peter, jocosely, "you deal with bad people. I have nothing to fear, for I seize only the innocent and virtuous, who make no resistance, and let themselves be taken like lambs."

"Mighty well," said the other; "but if you arrest all the good people and I all the bad, 'tis difficult to say who in the world is to escape chastisement." The reply of the inquisitor has not been recorded, but there is no doubt that he proceeded like a strong man to run his day's course.

He was the most active of all the agents in the religious persecution at the epoch of which we are now treating, but he had been inquisitor for many years. The martyrology of the provinces reeks with his murders. He burned men for idle words or suspected thoughts; he rarely waited, according to his frank confession, for deeds. Hearing once that a certain schoolmaster, named Geleyn de Muler, of Audenarde, "was addicted to reading the Bible," he summoned the culprit before him and accused him of heresy. The schoolmaster claimed, if he were guilty of any crime, to be tried before the judges of his town. "You are my prisoner," said Titelmann, "and are to answer me and none other." The inquisitor proceeded accordingly to catechize him, and soon satisfied himself of the schoolmaster's heresy. He commanded him to make immediate recantation. The schoolmaster refused. "Do you not love your wife and children?" asked the demoniac Titelmann. "God knows," answered the heretic, "that if the whole world were of gold, and my own, I would give it all only to have them with me, even had I to live on bread and water and in bondage." "You have then," answered the inquisitor, "only to renounce the error of your opinions."—"Neither for wife, children, nor all the world, can I renounce my God and religious truth," answered the prisoner. Thereupon Titelmann sentenced him to the stake. He was strangled and then thrown into the flames.

At about the same-time, Thomas Calberg, tapestry weaver, of Tournay, within the jurisdiction of this same inquisitor, was convicted of having copied some hymns from a book printed in Geneva. He was burned alive. Another man, whose name has perished, was hacked to death with seven blows of a rusty sword, in presence of his wife, who was so horror-stricken that she died on the spot before her husband. His crime, to be sure, was anabaptism, the most deadly offence in the calendar. In the same year, one Walter Kapell was burned at the stake for heretical opinions. He was a man of some property, and beloved by the poor people of Dixmuyde, in Flanders, where he resided, for his many charities. A poor idiot, who had been often fed by his bounty, called out to the inquisitor's subalterns, as they bound his patron to the stake, "ye are bloody murderers; that man has done no wrong; but has given me bread to eat." With these words, he cast himself headlong into the flames to perish with his protector, but was with difficulty rescued by the officers. A day or two afterwards, he made his way to the stake, where the half-burnt skeleton of Walter Kapell still remained, took the body upon his shoulders, and carried it through the streets to the house of the chief burgomaster, where several other magistrates happened then to be in session. Forcing his way into their presence, he laid his burthen at their feet, crying, "There, murderers! ye have eaten his flesh, now eat his bones!" It has not been recorded whether Titelmann sent him to keep company with his friend in the next world. The fate of so obscure a victim could hardly find room on the crowded pages of the Netherland martyrdom.

This kind of work, which went on daily, did not increase the love of the people for the inquisition or the edicts. It terrified many, but it inspired more with that noble resistance to oppression, particularly to religious oppression, which is the sublimest instinct of human nature. Men confronted the terrible inquisitors with a courage equal to their cruelty: At Tournay, one of the chief cities of Titelmann's district, and almost before his eyes, one Bertrand le Blas, a velvet manufacturer, committed what was held an almost incredible crime. Having begged his wife and children to pray for a blessing upon what he was about to undertake, he went on Christmas-day to the Cathedral of Tournay and stationed himself near the altar. Having awaited the moment in which the priest held on high the consecrated host, Le Blas then forced his way through the crowd, snatched the wafer from the hands of the astonished ecclesiastic, and broke it into bits, crying aloud, as he did so, "Misguided men, do ye take this thing to be Jesus Christ, your Lord and Saviour?" With these words, he threw the fragments on the ground and trampled them with his feet.

[Histoire des Martyrs, f. 356, exev.; apud Brandt, i. 171,172. It may be well supposed that this would be regarded as a crime of almost inconceivable magnitude. It was death even to refuse to kneel in the streets when the wafer was carried by. Thus, for example, a poor huckster, named Simon, at Bergen-op-Zoom, who neglected to prostrate himself before his booth at the passage of the host, was immediately burned. Instances of the same punishment for that offence might be multiplied. In this particular case, it is recorded that the sheriff who was present at the execution was so much affected by the courage and fervor of the simple-minded victim, that he went home, took to his bed, became delirious, crying constantly, Ah, Simon! Simon! and died miserably, "notwithstanding all that the monks could do to console him."]

The amazement and horror were so universal at such an appalling offence, that not a finger was raised to arrest the criminal. Priests and congregation were alike paralyzed, so that he would have found no difficulty in making his escape. Ho did not stir, however; he had come to the church determined to execute what he considered a sacred duty, and to abide the consequences. After a time, he was apprehended. The inquisitor demanded if he repented of what he had done. He protested, on the contrary, that he gloried in the deed, and that he would die a hundred deaths to rescue from such daily profanation the name of his Redeemer, Christ. He was then put thrice to the torture, that he might be forced to reveal his accomplices. It did not seem in human power for one man to accomplish such a deed of darkness without confederates. Bertrand had none, however, and could denounce none. A frantic sentence was then devised as a feeble punishment for so much wickedness. He was dragged on a hurdle, with his mouth closed with an iron gag, to the market-place. Here his right hand and foot were burned and twisted off between two red-hot irons. His tongue was then torn out by the roots, and because he still endeavored to call upon the name of God, the iron gag was again applied. With his arms and legs fastened together behind his back, he was then hooked by the middle of his body to an iron chain, and made to swing to and fro over a slow fire till he was entirely roasted. His life lasted almost to the end of these ingenious tortures, but his fortitude lasted as long as his life.

In the next year, Titelmann caused one Robert Ogier, of Ryssel, in Flanders, to be arrested, together with his wife and two sons. Their crime consisted in not going to mass, and in practising private worship at home. They confessed the offence, for they protested that they could not endure to see the profanation of their Saviour's name in the idolatrous sacraments. They were asked what rites they practised in their own house. One of the sons, a mere boy, answered, "We fall on our knees, and pray to God that he may enlighten our hearts, and forgive our sins. We pray for our sovereign, that his reign may be prosperous, and his life peaceful. We also pray for the magistrates and others in authority, that God may protect and preserve them all." The boy's simple eloquence drew tears even from the eyes of some of his judges; for the inquisitor had placed the case before the civil tribunal. The father and eldest son were, however, condemned to the flames. "Oh God!" prayed the youth at the stake, "Eternal Father, accept the sacrifice of our lives, in the name of thy beloved Son."—"Thou liest, scoundrel!" fiercely interrupted a monk, who was lighting the fire; "God is not your father; ye are the devil's children." As the flames rose about them, the boy cried out once more, "Look, my father, all heaven is opening, and I see ten hundred thousand angels rejoicing over us. Let us be glad, for we are dying for the truth."—"Thou liest! thou liest!" again screamed the monk; "all hell is opening, and you see ten thousand devils thrusting you into eternal fire." Eight days afterwards, the wife of Ogier and his other son were burned; so that there was an end of that family.

Such are a few isolated specimens of the manner of proceeding in a single district of the Netherlands. The inquisitor Titelmann certainly deserved his terrible reputation. Men called him Saul the persecutor, and it was well known that he had been originally tainted with the heresy which he had, for so many years, been furiously chastising. At the epoch which now engages our attention, he felt stimulated by the avowed policy of the government to fresh exertions, by which all his previous achievements should be cast into the shade. In one day he broke into a house in Ryssel, seized John de Swarte, his wife and four children, together with two newly-married couples, and two other persons, convicted them of reading the Bible, and of praying in their own doors, and had them all immediately burned.

Are these things related merely to excite superfluous horror? Are the sufferings of these obscure Christians beneath the dignity of history? Is it not better to deal with murder and oppression in the abstract, without entering into trivial details? The answer is, that these things are the history of the Netherlands at this epoch; that these hideous details furnish the causes of that immense movement, out of which a great republic was born and an ancient tyranny destroyed; and that Cardinal Granvelle was ridiculous when he asserted that the people would not open their mouths if the seigniors did not make such a noise. Because the great lords "owed their very souls"—because convulsions might help to pay their debts, and furnish forth their masquerades and banquets—because the Prince of Orange was ambitious, and Egmont jealous of the Cardinal—therefore superficial writers found it quite natural that the country should be disturbed, although that "vile and mischievous animal, the people," might have no objection to a continuance of the system which had been at work so long. On the contrary, it was exactly because the movement was a popular and a religious movement that it will always retain its place among the most important events of history. Dignified documents, state papers, solemn treaties, are often of no more value than the lambskin on which they are engrossed. Ten thousand nameless victims, in the cause of religious and civil freedom, may build up great states and alter the aspect of whole continents.

The nobles, no doubt, were conspicuous, and it was well for the cause of the right that, as in the early hours of English liberty, the crown and mitre were opposed by the baron's sword and shield. Had all the seigniors made common cause with Philip and Granvelle, instead of setting their breasts against the inquisition, the cause of truth and liberty would have been still more desperate. Nevertheless they were directed and controlled, under Providence, by humbler, but more powerful agencies than their own. The nobles were but the gilded hands on the outside of the dial—the hour to strike was determined by the obscure but weighty movements within.

Nor is it, perhaps, always better to rely upon abstract phraseology, to produce a necessary impression. Upon some minds, declamation concerning liberty of conscience and religious tyranny makes but a vague impression, while an effect may be produced upon them, for example by a dry, concrete, cynical entry in an account book, such as the following, taken at hazard from the register of municipal expenses at Tournay, during the years with which we are now occupied:

   "To Mr. Jacques Barra, executioner, for having tortured, twice, Jean
   de Lannoy, ten sous.

   "To the same, for having executed, by fire, said Lannoy, sixty sous.
   For having thrown his cinders into the river, eight sous."

This was the treatment to which thousands, and tens of thousands, had been subjected in the provinces. Men, women, and children were burned, and their "cinders" thrown away, for idle words against Rome, spoken years before, for praying alone in their closets, for not kneeling to a wafer when they met it in the streets, for thoughts to which they had never given utterance, but which, on inquiry, they were too honest to deny. Certainly with this work going on year after year in every city in the Netherlands, and now set into renewed and vigorous action by a man who wore a crown only that he might the better torture his fellow-creatures, it was time that the very stones in the streets should be moved to mutiny.

Thus it may be seen of how much value were the protestations of Philip and of Granvelle, on which much stress has latterly been laid, that it was not their intention to introduce the Spanish inquisition. With the edicts and the Netherland inquisition, such as we have described them, the step was hardly necessary.

In fact, the main difference between the two institutions consisted in the greater efficiency of the Spanish in discovering such of its victims as were disposed to deny their faith. Devised originally for more timorous and less conscientious infidels who were often disposed to skulk in obscure places and to renounce without really abandoning their errors, it was provided with a set of venomous familiars who glided through every chamber and coiled themselves at every fireside. The secret details of each household in the realm being therefore known to the holy office and to the monarch, no infidel or heretic could escape discovery. This invisible machinery was less requisite for the Netherlands. There was comparatively little difficulty in ferreting out the "vermin"—to use the expression of a Walloon historian of that age—so that it was only necessary to maintain in good working order the apparatus for destroying the noxious creatures when unearthed. The heretics of the provinces assembled at each other's houses to practise those rites described in such simple language by Baldwin Ogier, and denounced under such horrible penalties by the edicts. The inquisitorial system of Spain was hardly necessary for men who had but little prudence in concealing, and no inclination to disavow their creed. "It is quite a laughable matter," wrote Granvelle, who occasionally took a comic view of the inquisition, "that the King should send us depositions made in Spain by which we are to hunt for heretics here, as if we did not know of thousands already. Would that I had as many doubloons of annual income," he added, "as there are public and professed heretics in the provinces." No doubt the inquisition was in such eyes a most desirable establishment. "To speak without passion," says the Walloon, "the inquisition well administered is a laudable institution, and not less necessary than all the other offices of spirituality and temporality belonging both to the bishops and to the commissioners of the Roman see." The papal and episcopal establishments, in co-operation with the edicts, were enough, if thoroughly exercised and completely extended. The edicts alone were sufficient. "The edicts and the inquisition are one and the same thing," said the Prince of Orange. The circumstance, that the civil authorities were not as entirely superseded by the Netherland, as by the Spanish system, was rather a difference of form than of fact. We have seen that the secular officers of justice were at the command of the inquisitors. Sheriff, gaoler, judge, and hangman, were all required, under the most terrible penalties, to do their bidding. The reader knows what the edicts were. He knows also the instructions to the corps of papal inquisitors, delivered by Charles and Philip: He knows that Philip, both in person and by letter, had done his utmost to sharpen those instructions, during the latter portion of his sojourn in the Netherlands. Fourteen new bishops, each with two special inquisitors under him, had also been appointed to carry out the great work to which the sovereign had consecrated his existence. The manner in which the hunters of heretics performed their office has been exemplified by slightly sketching the career of a single one of the sub-inquisitors, Peter Titelmann. The monarch and his minister scarcely needed, therefore, to transplant the peninsular exotic. Why should they do so? Philip, who did not often say a great deal in a few words, once expressed the whole truth of the matter in a single sentence: "Wherefore introduce the Spanish inquisition?" said he; "the inquisition of the Netherlands is much more pitiless than that of Spain."

Such was the system of religious persecution commenced by Charles, and perfected by Philip. The King could not claim the merit of the invention, which justly belonged to the Emperor. At the same time, his responsibility for the unutterable woe caused by the continuance of the scheme is not a jot diminished. There was a time when the whole system had fallen into comparative desuetude. It was utterly abhorrent to the institutions and the manners of the Netherlanders. Even a great number of the Catholics in the provinces were averse to it. Many of the leading grandees, every one of whom was Catholic were foremost in denouncing its continuance. In short, the inquisition had been partially endured, but never accepted. Moreover, it had never been introduced into Luxemburg or Groningen. In Gelderland it had been prohibited by the treaty through which that province had been annexed to the emperor's dominions, and it had been uniformly and successfully resisted in Brabant. Therefore, although Philip, taking the artful advice of Granvelle, had sheltered himself under the Emperor's name by re-enacting, word for word, his decrees, and re-issuing his instructions, he can not be allowed any such protection at the bar of history. Such a defence for crimes so enormous is worse than futile. In truth, both father and son recognized instinctively the intimate connexion between ideas of religious and of civil freedom. "The authority of God and the supremacy of his Majesty" was the formula used with perpetual iteration to sanction the constant recourse to scaffold and funeral pile. Philip, bigoted in religion, and fanatical in his creed of the absolute power of kings, identified himself willingly with the Deity, that he might more easily punish crimes against his own sacred person. Granvelle carefully sustained him in these convictions, and fed his suspicions as to the motives of those who opposed his measures. The minister constantly represented the great seigniors as influenced by ambition and pride. They had only disapproved of the new bishoprics, he insinuated, because they were angry that his Majesty should dare to do anything without their concurrence, and because their own influence in the states would be diminished. It was their object, he said, to keep the King "in tutelage"—to make him a "shadow and a cipher," while they should themselves exercise all authority in the provinces. It is impossible to exaggerate the effect of such suggestions upon the dull and gloomy mind to which they were addressed. It is easy, however, to see that a minister with such views was likely to be as congenial to his master as he was odious to the people. For already, in the beginning of 1562, Granvelle was extremely unpopular. "The Cardinal is hated of all men," wrote Sir Thomas Gresham. The great struggle between him and the leading nobles had already commenced. The people justly identified him with the whole infamous machinery of persecution, which had either originated or warmly made his own. Viglius and Berlaymont were his creatures. With the other members of the state council, according to their solemn statement, already recorded, he did not deign to consult, while he affected to hold them responsible for the measures of the administration. Even the Regent herself complained that the Cardinal took affairs quite out of her hands, and that he decided upon many important matters without her cognizance. She already began to feel herself the puppet which it had been intended she should become; she already felt a diminution of the respectful attachment for the ecclesiastic which had inspired her when she procured his red hat.

Granvelle was, however, most resolute in carrying out the intentions of his master. We have seen how vigorously he had already set himself to the inauguration of the new bishoprics, despite of opposition and obloquy. He was now encouraging or rebuking the inquisitors in their "pious office" throughout all the provinces. Notwithstanding his exertions, however, heresy continued to spread. In the Walloon provinces the infection was most prevalent, while judges and executioners were appalled by the mutinous demonstrations which each successive sacrifice provoked. The victims were cheered on their way to the scaffold. The hymns of Marot were sung in the very faces of the inquisitors. Two ministers, Faveau and Mallart, were particularly conspicuous at this moment at Valenciennes. The governor of the province, Marquis Berghen, was constantly absent, for he hated with his whole soul the system of persecution. For this negligence Granvelle denounced him secretly and perpetually to Philip, "The Marquis says openly," said the Cardinal, "that 'tis not right to shed blood for matters of faith. With such men to aid us, your Majesty can judge how much progress we can make." It was, however, important, in Granvelle's opinion, that these two ministers at Valenciennes should be at once put to death. They were avowed heretics, and they preached to their disciples, although they certainly were not doctors of divinity. Moreover, they were accused, most absurdly, no doubt, of pretending to work miracles. It was said that, in presence of several witnesses, they had undertaken to cast out devils; and they had been apprehended on an accusation of this nature.

["Histoire des choses les plus memorables qui se sent passees en la ville et Compte de Valenciennes depuis le commencement des troubles des Pays-Bas sons le regne de Phil. II., jusqu' a l'annee 1621."— MS. (Collect. Gerard).—This is a contemporary manuscript belonging to the Gerard collection in the Royal Library at the Hague. Its author was a citizen of Valenciennes, and a personal witness of most of the events which he describes. He appears to have attained to a great age, as he minutely narrates, from personal observation, many scenes which occurred before 1566, and his work is continued till the year 1621. It is a mere sketch, without much literary merit, but containing many local anecdotes of interest. Its anonymous author was a very sincere Catholic.]

Their offence really consisted in reading the Bible to a few of their friends. Granvelle sent Philibert de Bruxelles to Valenciennes to procure their immediate condemnation and execution. He rebuked the judges and inquisitors, he sent express orders to Marquis Berghen to repair at once to the scene of his duties. The prisoners were condemned in the autumn of 1561. The magistrates were, however, afraid to carry the sentence into effect. Granvelle did not cease to censure them for their pusillanimity, and wrote almost daily letters, accusing the magistrates of being themselves the cause of the tumults by which they were appalled. The popular commotion was, however, not lightly to be braved. Six or seven months long the culprits remained in confinement, while daily and nightly the people crowded the streets, hurling threats and defiance at the authorities, or pressed about the prison windows, encouraging their beloved ministers, and promising to rescue them in case the attempt should be made to fulfil the sentence. At last Granvelle sent down a peremptory order to execute the culprits by fire. On the 27th of April, 1562, Faveau and Mallart were accordingly taken from their jail and carried to the market-place, where arrangements had been made for burning them. Simon Faveau, as the executioner was binding him to the stake, uttered the invocation, "O! Eternal Father!" A woman in the crowd, at the same instant, took off her shoe and threw it at the funeral pile. This was a preconcerted signal. A movement was at once visible in the crowd. Men in great numbers dashed upon the barriers which had been erected in the square around the place of execution. Some seized the fagots, which had been already lighted, and scattered them in every direction; some tore up the pavements; others broke in pieces the barriers. The executioners were prevented from carrying out the sentence, but the guard were enabled, with great celerity and determination, to bring off the culprits and to place them in their dungeon again. The authorities were in doubt and dismay. The inquisitors were for putting the ministers to death in prison, and hurling their heads upon the street. Evening approached while the officials were still pondering. The people who had been chanting the Psalms of David through the town, without having decided what should be their course of action, at last determined to rescue the victims. A vast throng, after much hesitation, accordingly directed their steps to the prison. "You should have seen this vile populace," says an eye-witness, "moving, pausing, recoiling, sweeping forward, swaying to and fro like the waves of the sea when it is agitated by contending winds." The attack was vigorous, the defence was weak—for the authorities had expected no such fierce demonstration, notwithstanding the menacing language which had been so often uttered. The prisoners were rescued, and succeeded in making their escape from the city. The day in which the execution had been thus prevented was called, thenceforward, the "day of the ill-burned," (Journee des mau-brulez). One of the ministers, however, Simon Faveau, not discouraged by this near approach to martyrdom, persisted in his heretical labors, and was a few years afterwards again apprehended. "He was then," says the chronicler, cheerfully, "burned well and finally" in the same place whence he had formerly been rescued. [Valenciennes MS.]

This desperate resistance to tyranny was for a moment successful, because, notwithstanding the murmurs and menaces by which the storm had been preceded, the authorities had not believed the people capable of proceeding to such lengths. Had not the heretics—in the words of Inquisitor Titelmann—allowed themselves, year after year, to be taken and slaughtered like lambs? The consternation of the magistrates was soon succeeded by anger. The government at Brussels was in a frenzy of rage when informed of the occurrence. A bloody vengeance was instantly prepared, to vindicate the insult to the inquisition. On the 29th of April, detachments of Bossu's and of Berghen's "band of ordonnance" were sent into Valenciennes, together with a company of the Duke of Aerschot's regiment. The prisons were instantly filled to overflowing with men and women arrested for actual or suspected participation in the tumult. Orders had been sent down from the capital to make a short process and a sharp execution for all the criminals. On the 16th of May, the slaughter commenced. Some were burned at the stake, some were beheaded: the number of victims was frightful. "Nothing was left undone by the magistrates," says an eyewitness, with great approbation, "which could serve for the correction and amendment of the poor people." It was long before the judges and hangmen rested from their labors. When at last the havoc was complete, it might be supposed that a sufficient vengeance had been taken for the "day of the ill-burned," and an adequate amount of "amendment" provided for the "poor people."

Such scenes as these did not tend to increase the loyalty of the nation, nor the popularity of the government. On Granvelle's head was poured a daily increasing torrent of hatred. He was looked upon in the provinces as the impersonation of that religious oppression which became every moment more intolerable. The King and the Regent escaped much of the odium which belonged to them, because the people chose to bestow all their maledictions upon the Cardinal. There was, however, no great injustice in this embodiment. Granvelle was the government. As the people of that day were extremely reverent to royalty, they vented all their rage upon the minister, while maintaining still a conventional respect for the sovereign. The prelate had already become the constant butt of the "Rhetoric Chambers." These popular clubs for the manufacture of homespun poetry and street farces out of the raw material of public sentiment, occupied the place which has been more effectively filled in succeeding ages, and in free countries by the daily press. Before the invention of that most tremendous weapon, which liberty has ever wielded against tyranny, these humble but influential associations shared with the pulpit the only power which existed of moving the passions or directing the opinions of the people. They were eminently liberal in their tendencies. The authors and the actors of their comedies, poems, and pasquils were mostly artisans or tradesmen, belonging to the class out of which proceeded the early victims, and the later soldiers of the Reformation. Their bold farces and truculent satire had already effected much in spreading among the people a detestation of Church abuses. They were particularly severe upon monastic licentiousness. "These corrupt comedians, called rhetoricians," says the Walloon contemporary already cited, "afforded much amusement to the people." Always some poor little nuns or honest monks were made a part of the farce. It seemed as if the people could take no pleasure except in ridiculing God and the Church. The people, however, persisted in the opinion that the ideas of a monk and of God were not inseparable. Certainly the piety of the early reformers was sufficiently fervent, and had been proved by the steadiness with which they confronted torture and death, but they knew no measure in the ridicule which they heaped upon the men by whom they were daily murdered in droves. The rhetoric comedies were not admirable in an aesthetic point of view, but they were wrathful and sincere. Therefore they cost many thousand lives, but they sowed the seed of resistance to religious tyranny, to spring up one day in a hundredfold harvest. It was natural that the authorities should have long sought to suppress these perambulating dramas. "There was at that tyme," wrote honest Richard Clough to Sir Thomas Gresham, "syche playes (of Reteryke) played thet hath cost many a 1000 man's lyves, for in these plays was the Word of God first opened in thys country. Weche playes were and are forbidden moche more strictly than any of the bookes of Martin Luther."

These rhetoricians were now particularly inflamed against Granvelle. They were personally excited against him, because he had procured the suppression of their religious dramas. "These rhetoricians who make farces and street plays," wrote the Cardinal to Philip, "are particularly angry with me, because two years ago I prevented them from ridiculing the holy Scriptures." Nevertheless, these institutions continued to pursue their opposition to the course of the government. Their uncouth gambols, their awkward but stunning blows rendered daily service to the cause of religious freedom. Upon the newly-appointed bishops they poured out an endless succession of rhymes and rebuses, epigrams, caricatures and extravaganzas. Poems were pasted upon the walls of every house, and passed from hand to hand. Farces were enacted in every street; the odious ecclesiastics figuring as the principal buffoons. These representations gave so much offence, that renewed edicts were issued to suppress them. The prohibition was resisted, and even ridiculed in many provinces, particularly in Holland. The tyranny which was able to drown a nation in blood and tears, was powerless to prevent them from laughing most bitterly at their oppressors. The tanner, Cleon, was never belabored more soundly by the wits of Athens, than the prelate by these Flemish "rhetoricians." With infinitely less Attic salt, but with as much heartiness as Aristophanes could have done, the popular rhymers gave the minister ample opportunity to understand the position which he occupied in the Netherlands. One day a petitioner placed a paper in his hand and vanished. It contained some scurrilous verses upon himself, together with a caricature of his person. In this he was represented as a hen seated upon a pile of eggs, out of which he was hatching a brood of bishops. Some of these were clipping the shell, some thrusting forth an arm, some a leg, while others were running about with mitres on their heads, all bearing whimsical resemblance to various prelates who had been newly-appointed. Above the Cardinal's head the Devil was represented hovering, with these words issuing from his mouth: "This is my beloved Son, listen to him, my people."

There was another lampoon of a similar nature, which was so well executed, that it especially excited Granvelle's anger. It was a rhymed satire of a general nature, like the rest, but so delicate and so stinging, that the Cardinal ascribed it to his old friend and present enemy, Simon Renard. This man, a Burgundian by birth, and college associate of Granvelle, had been befriended both by himself and his father. Aided by their patronage and his own abilities, he had arrived at distinguished posts; having been Spanish envoy both in France and England, and one of the negotiators of the truce of Vaucelles. He had latterly been disappointed in his ambition to become a councillor of state, and had vowed vengeance upon the Cardinal, to whom he attributed his ill success. He was certainly guilty of much ingratitude, for he had been under early obligations to the man in whose side he now became a perpetual thorn. It must be confessed, on the other hand, that Granvelle repaid the enmity of his old associate with a malevolence equal to his own, and if Renard did not lose his head as well as his political station, it was not for want of sufficient insinuation on the part of the minister. Especially did Granvelle denounce him to "the master" as the perverter of Egmont, while he usually described that nobleman himself, as weak, vain, "a friend of smoke," easily misguided, but in the main well-intentioned and loyal. At the same time, with all these vague commendations, he never omitted to supply the suspicious King with an account of every fact or every rumor to the Count's discredit. In the case of this particular satire, he informed Philip that he could swear it came from the pen of Renard, although, for the sake of deception, the rhetoric comedians had been employed. He described the production as filled with "false, abominable, and infernal things," and as treating not only himself, but the Pope and the whole ecclesiastical order with as much contumely as could be showed in Germany. He then proceeded to insinuate, in the subtle manner which was peculiarly his own, that Egmont was a party to the publication of the pasquil. Renard visited at that house, he said, and was received there on a much more intimate footing than was becoming. Eight days before the satire was circulated, there had been a conversation in Egmont's house, of a nature exactly similar to the substance of the pamphlet. The man, in whose hands it was first seen, continued Granvelle, was a sword cutler, a godson of the Count. This person said that he had torn it from the gate of the city hall, but God grant, prayed the Cardinal, that it was not he who had first posted it up there. 'Tis said that Egmont and Mansfeld, he added, have sent many times to the cutler to procure copies of the satire, all which augments the suspicion against them.

With the nobles he was on no better terms than with the people. The great seigniors, Orange, Egmont, Horn, and others, openly avowed their hostility to him, and had already given their reasons to the King. Mansfeld and his son at that time were both with the opposition. Aerschot and Aremberg kept aloof from the league which was forming against the prelate, but had small sympathy for his person. Even Berlaymont began to listen to overtures from the leading nobles, who, among other inducements, promised to supply his children with bishoprics. There were none truly faithful and submissive to the Cardinal but such men as the Prevot Morillon, who had received much advancement from him.

This distinguished pluralist was popularly called "double A, B, C," to indicate that he had twice as many benefices as there were letters in the alphabet. He had, however, no objection to more, and was faithful to the dispensing power. The same course was pursued by Secretary Bave, Esquire Bordey, and other expectants and dependents. Viglius, always remarkable for his pusillanimity, was at this period already anxious to retire. The erudite and opulent Frisian preferred a less tempestuous career. He was in favor of the edicts, but he trembled at the uproar which their literal execution was daily exciting, for he knew the temper of his countrymen. On the other hand, he was too sagacious not to know the inevitable consequence of opposition to the will of Philip. He was therefore most eager to escape the dilemma. He was a scholar, and could find more agreeable employment among his books. He had accumulated vast wealth, and was desirous to retain it as long as possible. He had a learned head and was anxious to keep it upon his shoulders. These simple objects could be better attained in a life of privacy. The post of president of the privy council and member of the "Consulta" was a dangerous one. He knew that the King was sincere in his purposes. He foresaw that the people would one day be terribly in earnest. Of ancient Frisian blood himself, he knew that the spirit of the ancient Batavians and Frisians had not wholly deserted their descendants. He knew that they were not easily roused, that they were patient, but that they would strike at last and would endure. He urgently solicited the King to release him, and pleaded his infirmities of body in excuse. Philip, however, would not listen to his retirement, and made use of the most convincing arguments to induce him to remain. Four hundred and fifty annual florins, secured by good reclaimed swamps in Friesland, two thousand more in hand, with a promise of still larger emoluments when the King should come to the Netherlands, were reasons which the learned doctor honestly confessed himself unable to resist. Fortified by these arguments, he remained at his post, continued the avowed friend and adherent of Granvelle, and sustained with magnanimity the invectives of nobles and people. To do him justice, he did what he could to conciliate antagonists and to compromise principles. If it had ever been possible to find the exact path between right and wrong, the President would have found it, and walked in it with respectability and complacency.

In the council, however, the Cardinal continued to carry it with a high hand; turning his back on Orange and Egmont, and retiring with the Duchess and President to consult, after every session. Proud and important personages, like the Prince and Count, could ill brook such insolence; moreover, they suspected the Cardinal of prejudicing the mind of their sovereign against them. A report was very current, and obtained almost universal belief, that Granvelle had expressly advised his Majesty to take off the heads of at least half a dozen of the principal nobles in the land. This was an error; "These two seigniors," wrote the Cardinal to Philip, "have been informed that I have written to your Majesty, that you will never be master of these provinces without taking off at least half a dozen heads, and that because it would be difficult, on account of the probable tumults which such a course would occasion, to do it here, your Majesty means to call them to Spain and do it there. Your Majesty can judge whether such a thing has ever entered my thoughts. I have laughed at it as a ridiculous invention. This gross forgery is one of Renard's." The Cardinal further stated to his Majesty that he had been informed by these same nobles that the Duke of Alva, when a hostage for the treaty of Cateau Cambresis, had negotiated an alliance between the crowns of France and Spain for the extirpation of heresy by the sword. He added, that he intended to deal with the nobles with all gentleness, and that he should do his best to please them. The only thing which he could not yield was the authority of his Majesty; to sustain that, he would sacrifice his life, if necessary. At the same time Granvelle carefully impressed upon the King the necessity of contradicting the report alluded to, a request which he took care should also be made through the Regent in person. He had already, both in his own person and in that of the Duchess, begged for a formal denial, on the King's part, that there was any intention of introducing the Spanish inquisition into the Netherlands, and that the Cardinal had counselled, originally, the bishoprics. Thus instructed, the King accordingly wrote to Margaret of Parma to furnish the required contradictions. In so doing, he made a pithy remark. "The Cardinal had not counselled the cutting off the half a dozen heads," said the monarch, "but perhaps it would not be so bad to do it!" Time was to show whether Philip was likely to profit by the hint conveyed in the Cardinal's disclaimer, and whether the factor "half dozen" were to be used or not as a simple multiplier in the terrible account preparing.

The contradictions, however sincere, were not believed by the persons most interested. Nearly all the nobles continued to regard the Cardinal with suspicion and aversion. Many of the ruder and more reckless class vied with the rhetoricians and popular caricaturists in the practical jests which they played off almost daily against the common foe. Especially Count Brederode, "a madman, if there ever were one," as a contemporary expressed himself, was most untiring in his efforts to make Granvelle ridiculous. He went almost nightly to masquerades, dressed as a cardinal or a monk; and as he was rarely known to be sober on these or any other occasions, the wildness of his demonstrations may easily be imagined. He was seconded on all these occasions by his cousin Robert de la Marck, Seigneur de Lumey, a worthy descendant of the famous "Wild Boar of Ardennes;" a man brave to temerity, but utterly depraved, licentious, and sanguinary. These two men, both to be widely notorious, from their prominence in many of the most striking scenes by which the great revolt was ushered in, had vowed the most determined animosity to the Cardinal, which was manifested in the reckless, buffooning way which belonged to their characters. Besides the ecclesiastical costumes in which they always attired themselves at their frequent festivities, they also wore fog-tails in their hats instead of plumes. They decked their servants also with the same ornaments; openly stating, that by these symbols they meant to signify that the old fox Granvelle, and his cubs, Viglius, Berlaymont, and the rest, should soon be hunted down by them, and the brush placed in their hats as a trophy.

Moreover, there is no doubt that frequent threats of personal violence were made against the Cardinal. Granvelle informed the King that his life was continually menaced by, the nobles, but that he feared them little, "for he believed them too prudent to attempt any thing of the kind." There is no doubt, when his position with regard to the upper and lower classes in the country is considered, that there was enough to alarm a timid man; but Granvelle was constitutionally brave. He was accused of wearing a secret shirt of mail, of living in perpetual trepidation, of having gone on his knees to Egmont and Orange, of having sent Richardot, Bishop of Arras, to intercede for him in the same humiliating manner with Egmont. All these stories were fables. Bold as he was arrogant, he affected at this time to look down with a forgiving contempt on the animosity of the nobles. He passed much of his time alone, writing his eternal dispatches to the King. He had a country-house, called La Fontaine, surrounded by beautiful gardens, a little way outside the gates of Brussels, where he generally resided, and whence, notwithstanding the remonstrances of his friends, he often returned to town, after sunset, alone, or with but a few attendants. He avowed that he feared no attempts at assassination, for, if the seigniors took his life, they would destroy the best friend they ever had. This villa, where most of his plans were matured and his state papers drawn up, was called by the people, in derision of his supposed ancestry, "The Smithy." Here, as they believed, was the anvil upon which the chains of their slavery were forging; here, mostly deserted by those who had been his earlier, associates, he assumed a philosophical demeanor which exasperated, without deceiving his adversaries. Over the great gate of his house he had placed the marble statue of a female. It held an empty wine-cup in one hand, and an urn of flowing water in the other. The single word "Durate" was engraved upon the pedestal. By the motto, which was his habitual device, he was supposed, in this application, to signify that his power would outlast that of the nobles, and that perennial and pure as living water, it would flow tranquilly on, long after the wine of their life had been drunk to the lees. The fiery extravagance of his adversaries, and the calm and limpid moderation of his own character, thus symbolized, were supposed to convey a moral lesson to the world. The hieroglyphics, thus interpreted, were not relished by the nobles—all avoided his society, and declined his invitations. He consoled himself with the company of the lesser gentry,—a class which he now began to patronize, and which he urgently recommended to the favor of the King,—hinting that military and civil offices bestowed upon their inferiors would be a means of lowering the pride of the grandees. He also affected to surround himself with even humbler individuals. "It makes me laugh," he wrote to Philip, "to see the great seigniors absenting themselves from my dinners; nevertheless, I can always get plenty of guests at my table, gentlemen and councillors. I sometimes invite even citizens, in order to gain their good will."

The Regent was well aware of the anger excited in the breasts of the leading nobles by the cool manner in which they had been thrust out of their share in the administration of affairs. She defended herself with acrimony in her letters to the King, although a defence was hardly needed in that quarter for implicit obedience to the royal commands. She confessed her unwillingness to consult with her enemies.

She avowed her determination to conceal the secrets of the government from those who were capable of abusing her confidence. She represented that there were members of the council who would willingly take advantage of the trepidation which she really felt, and which she should exhibit if she expressed herself without reserve before them. For this reason she confined herself, as Philip had always intended, exclusively to the Consulta. It was not difficult to recognize the hand which wrote the letter thus signed by Margaret of Parma.

Both nobles and people were at this moment irritated by another circumstance. The civil war having again broken out in France, Philip, according to the promise made by him to Catharine de Medici, when he took her daughter in marriage, was called upon to assist the Catholic party with auxiliaries. He sent three thousand infantry, accordingly, which he had levied in Italy, as many more collected in Spain, and gave immediate orders that the Duchess of Parma should despatch at least two thousand cavalry, from the Netherlands. Great was the indignation in the council when the commands were produced. Sore was the dismay of Margaret. It was impossible to obey the King. The idea of sending the famous mounted gendarmerie of the provinces to fight against the French Huguenots could not be tolerated for an instant. The "bands of ordonnance" were very few in number, and were to guard the frontier. They were purely for domestic purposes. It formed no part of their duty to go upon crusades in foreign lands; still less to take a share in a religious quarrel, and least of all to assist a monarch against a nation. These views were so cogently presented to the Duchess in council, that she saw the impossibility of complying with her brother's commands. She wrote to Philip to that effect. Meantime, another letter arrived out of Spain, chiding her delay, and impatiently calling upon her to furnish the required cavalry at once. The Duchess was in a dilemma. She feared to provoke another storm in the council, for there was already sufficient wrangling there upon domestic subjects. She knew it was impossible to obtain the consent, even of Berlaymont and Viglius, to such an odious measure as the one proposed. She was, however, in great trepidation at the peremptory tone of the King's despatch. Under the advice of Granvelle, she had recourse to a trick. A private and confidential letter of Philip was read to the council, but with alterations suggested and interpolated by the Cardinal. The King was represented as being furious at the delay, but as willing that a sum of money should be furnished instead of the cavalry, as originally required. This compromise, after considerable opposition, was accepted. The Duchess wrote to Philip, explaining and apologizing for the transaction. The King received the substitution with as good a grace as could have been expected, and sent fifteen hundred troopers from Spain to his Medicean mother-in-law, drawing upon the Duchess of Parma for the money to pay their expenses. Thus was the industry of the Netherlands taxed that the French might be persecuted by their own monarch.

The Regent had been forbidden, by her brother, to convoke the states-general; a body which the Prince of Orange, sustained by Berghen, Montigny, and other nobles, was desirous of having assembled. It may be easily understood that Granvelle would take the best care that the royal prohibition should be enforced. The Duchess, however, who, as already hinted, was beginning to feel somewhat uncomfortable under the Cardinal's dominion, was desirous of consulting some larger council than that with which she held her daily deliberations. A meeting of the Knights of the Fleece was accordingly summoned. They assembled in Brussels, in the month of May, 1562. The learned Viglius addressed them in a long and eloquent speech, in which he discussed the troubled and dangerous condition of the provinces, alluded to some of its causes, and suggested various remedies. It may be easily conceived, however, that the inquisition was not stated among the causes, nor its suppression included among the remedies. A discourse, in which the fundamental topic was thus conscientiously omitted, was not likely, with all its concinnities, to make much impression upon the disaffected knights, or to exert a soothing influence upon the people. The orator was, however, delighted with his own performance. He informs us, moreover, that the Duchess was equally charmed, and that she protested she had never in her whole life heard any thing more "delicate, more suitable, or more eloquent." The Prince of Orange, however, did not sympathize with her admiration. The President's elegant periods produced but little effect upon his mind. The meeting adjourned, after a few additional words from the Duchess, in which she begged the knights to ponder well the causes of the increasing discontent, and to meet her again, prepared to announce what, in their opinion, would be the course best adapted to maintain the honor of the King, the safety of the provinces, and the glory of God.

Soon after the separation of the assembly, the Prince of Orange issued invitations to most of the knights, to meet at his house for the purpose of private deliberation. The President and Cardinal were not included in these invitations. The meeting was, in fact, what we should call a caucus, rather than a general gathering. Nevertheless, there were many of the government party present—men who differed from the Prince, and were inclined to support Granvelle. The meeting was a stormy one. Two subjects were discussed. The first was the proposition of the Duchess, to investigate the general causes of the popular dissatisfaction; the second was an inquiry how it could be rendered practicable to discuss political matters in future—a proceeding now impossible, in consequence of the perverseness and arrogance of certain functionaries, and one which, whenever attempted, always led to the same inevitable result. This direct assault upon the Cardinal produced a furious debate. His enemies were delighted with the opportunity of venting their long-suppressed spleen. They indulged in savage invectives against the man whom they so sincerely hated. His adherents, on the other hand—Bossu, Berlaymont, Courieres—were as warm in his defence. They replied by indignant denials of the charge against him, and by bitter insinuations against the Prince of Orange. They charged him with nourishing the desire of being appointed governor of Brabant, an office considered inseparable from the general stadholderate of all the provinces. They protested for themselves that they were actuated by no ambitious designs—that they were satisfied with their own position, and not inspired by jealousy of personages more powerful than themselves. It is obvious that such charges and recriminations could excite no healing result, and that the lines between Cardinalists and their opponents would be defined in consequence more sharply than ever. The adjourned meeting of the Chevaliers of the Fleece took place a few days afterwards. The Duchess exerted herself as much as possible to reconcile the contending factions, without being able, however, to apply the only remedy which could be effective. The man who was already fast becoming the great statesman of the country knew that the evil was beyond healing, unless by a change of purpose on the part of the government. The Regent, on the other hand, who it must be confessed never exhibited any remarkable proof of intellectual ability during the period of her residence in the Netherlands, was often inspired by a feeble and indefinite hope that the matter might be arranged by a compromise between the views of conflicting parties. Unfortunately the inquisition was not a fit subject for a compromise.

Nothing of radical importance was accomplished by the Assembly of the Fleece. It was decided that an application should be made to the different states for a giant of money, and that, furthermore, a special envoy should be despatched to Spain. It was supposed by the Duchess and her advisers that more satisfactory information concerning the provinces could be conveyed to Philip by word of mouth than by the most elaborate epistles. The meeting was dissolved after these two measures had been agreed upon. Doctor Viglius, upon whom devolved the duty of making the report and petition to the states, proceeded to draw up the necessary application. This he did with his customary elegance, and, as usual, very much to his own satisfaction. On returning to his house, however, after having discharged this duty, he was very much troubled at finding that a large mulberry-tree; which stood in his garden, had been torn up by the roots in a violent hurricane. The disaster was considered ominous by the President, and he was accordingly less surprised than mortified when he found, subsequently, that his demand upon the orders had remained as fruitless as his ruined tree. The tempest which had swept his garden he considered typical of the storm which was soon to rage through the land, and he felt increased anxiety to reach a haven while it was yet comparatively calm.

The estates rejected the request for supplies, on various grounds; among others, that the civil war was drawing to a conclusion in France, and that less danger was to be apprehended from that source than had lately been the case. Thus, the "cup of bitterness," of which Granvelle had already complained; was again commended to his lips, and there was more reason than ever for the government to regret that the national representatives had contracted the habit of meddling with financial matters.

Florence de Montmorency, Seigneur de Montigny, was selected by the Regent for the mission which had been decided upon for Spain. This gentleman was brother to Count Horn, but possessed of higher talents and a more amiable character than those of the Admiral. He was a warm friend of Orange, and a bitter enemy to Granvelle. He was a sincere Catholic, but a determined foe to the inquisition. His brother had declined to act as envoy. This refusal can excite but little surprise, when Philip's wrath at their parting interview is recalled, and when it is also remembered that the new mission would necessarily lay bare fresh complaints against the Cardinal, still more extensive than those which had produced the former explosion of royal indignation. Montigny, likewise, would have preferred to remain at home, but he was overruled. It had been written in his destiny that he should go twice into the angry lion's den, and that he should come forth once, alive.

Thus it has been shown that there was an open, avowed hostility on the part of the grand seignors and most of the lesser nobility to the Cardinal and his measures. The people fully and enthusiastically sustained the Prince of Orange in his course. There was nothing underhand in the opposition made to the government. The Netherlands did not constitute an absolute monarchy. They did not even constitute a monarchy. There was no king in the provinces. Philip was King of Spain, Naples, Jerusalem, but he was only Duke of Brabant, Count of Flanders, Lord of Friesland, hereditary chief, in short, under various titles, of seventeen states, each one of which, although not republican, possessed constitutions as sacred as, and much more ancient than, the Crown. The resistance to the absolutism of Granvelle and Philip was, therefore, logical, legal, constitutional. It was no cabal, no secret league, as the Cardinal had the effrontery to term it, but a legitimate exercise of powers which belonged of old to those who wielded them, and which only an unrighteous innovation could destroy.

Granvelle's course was secret and subtle. During the whole course of the proceedings which have just been described, he was; in daily confidential correspondence with the King, besides being the actual author of the multitudinous despatches which were sent with the signature of the Duchess. He openly asserted his right to monopolize all the powers of the Government; he did his utmost to force upon the reluctant and almost rebellious people the odious measures which the King had resolved upon, while in his secret letters he uniformly represented the nobles who opposed him, as being influenced, not by an honest hatred of oppression and attachment to ancient rights, but by resentment, and jealousy of their own importance. He assumed, in his letters to his master, that the absolutism already existed of right and in fact, which it was the intention of Philip to establish. While he was depriving the nobles, the states and the nation of their privileges, and even of their natural rights (a slender heritage in those days), he assured the King that there was an evident determination to reduce his authority to a cipher.

The estates, he wrote, had usurped the whole administration of the finances, and had farmed it out to Antony Van Stralen and others, who were making enormous profits in the business. "The seignors," he said, "declare at their dinner parties that I wish to make them subject to the absolute despotism of your Majesty. In point of fact, however, they really exercise a great deal more power than the governors of particular provinces ever did before; and it lacks but little that Madame and your Majesty should become mere ciphers, while the grandees monopolize the whole power. This," he continued, "is the principal motive of their opposition to the new bishoprics. They were angry that your Majesty should have dared to solicit such an arrangement at Rome, without, first obtaining their consent. They wish to reduce your Majesty's authority to so low a point that you can do nothing unless they desire it. Their object is the destruction of the royal authority and of the administration of justice, in order to avoid the payment of their debts; telling their creditors constantly that they, have spent their all in your Majesty's service, and that they have never received recompence or salary. This they do to make your Majesty odious."

As a matter of course, he attributed the resistance on the part of the great nobles, every man of whom was Catholic, to base motives. They were mere demagogues, who refused to burn their fellow-creatures, not from any natural repugnance to the task, but in order to gain favor with the populace. "This talk about the inquisition," said he, "is all a pretext. 'Tis only to throw dust in the eyes of the vulgar, and to persuade them into tumultuous demonstrations, while the real reason is, that they choose that your Majesty should do nothing without their permission, and through their hands."

He assumed sometimes, however, a tone of indulgence toward the seignors—who formed the main topics of his letters—an affectation which might, perhaps, have offended them almost as much as more open and sincere denunciation. He could forgive offences against himself. It was for Philip to decide as to their merits or crimes so far as the Crown was concerned. His language often was befitting a wise man who was speaking of very little children. "Assonleville has told me, as coming from Egmont," he wrote, "that many of the nobles are dissatisfied with me; hearing from Spain that I am endeavoring to prejudice your Majesty against them." Certainly the tone of the Cardinal's daily letters would have justified such suspicion, could the nobles have seen them. Granvelle begged the King, however, to disabuse them upon this point. "Would to God," said he, piously, "that they all would decide to sustain the authority of your Majesty, and to procure such measures as tend to the service of God and the security of the states. May I cease to exist if I do not desire to render good service to the very least of these gentlemen. Your Majesty knows that, when they do any thing for the benefit of your service, I am never silent. Nevertheless, thus they are constituted. I hope, however, that this flurry will blow over, and that when your Majesty comes they will all be found to deserve rewards of merit."

Of Egmont, especially, he often spoke in terms of vague, but somewhat condescending commendation. He never manifested resentment in his letters, although, as already stated, the Count had occasionally indulged, not only in words, but in deeds of extreme violence against him. But the Cardinal was too forgiving a Christian, or too keen a politician not to pass by such offences, so long as there was a chance of so great a noble's remaining or becoming his friend. He, accordingly, described him, in general, as a man whose principles, in the main, were good, but who was easily led by his own vanity and the perverse counsels of others. He represented him as having been originally a warm supporter of the new bishoprics, and as having expressed satisfaction that two of them, those of Bruges and Ypres, should have been within his own stadholderate. He regretted, however; to inform the King that the Count was latterly growing lukewarm, perhaps from fear of finding himself separated from the other nobles. On the whole, he was tractable enough, said the Cardinal, if he were not easily persuaded by the vile; but one day, perhaps, he might open his eyes again. Notwithstanding these vague expressions of approbation, which Granvelle permitted himself in his letters to Philip, he never failed to transmit to the monarch every fact, every rumor, every inuendo which might prejudice the royal mind against that nobleman or against any of the noblemen, whose characters he at the same time protested he was most unwilling to injure.

It is true that he dealt mainly by insinuation, while he was apt to conclude his statements with disclaimers upon his own part, and with hopes of improvement in the conduct of the seignors. At this particular point of time he furnished Philip with a long and most circumstantial account of a treasonable correspondence which was thought to be going on between the leading nobles and the future emperor, Maximilian. The narrative was a good specimen of the masterly style of inuendo in which the Cardinal excelled, and by which he was often enabled to convince his master of the truth of certain statements while affecting to discredit them. He had heard a story, he said, which he felt bound to communicate to his Majesty, although he did not himself implicitly believe it. He felt himself the more bound to speak upon the subject because it tallied exactly with intelligence which he had received from another source. The story was that one of these seigniors (the Cardinal did not know which, for he had not yet thought proper to investigate the matter) had said that rather than consent that the King should act in this matter of the bishoprics against the privileges of Brabant, the nobles would elect for their sovereign some other prince of the blood. This, said the Cardinal, was perhaps a fantasy rather than an actual determination. Count Egmont, to be sure, he said, was constantly exchanging letters with the King of Bohemia (Maximilian), and it was supposed, therefore, that he was the prince of the blood who was to be elected to govern the provinces. It was determined that he should be chosen King of the Romans, by fair means or by force, that he should assemble an army to attack the Netherlands, that a corresponding movement should be made within the states, and that the people should be made to rise, by giving them the reins in the matter of religion. The Cardinal, after recounting all the particulars of this fiction with great minuteness, added, with apparent frankness, that the correspondence between Egmont and Maximilian did not astonish him, because there had been much intimacy between them in the time of the late Emperor. He did not feel convinced, therefore, from the frequency of the letters exchanged, that there was a scheme to raise an army to attack the provinces and to have him elected by force. On the contrary, Maximilian could never accomplish such a scheme without the assistance of his imperial father the Emperor, whom Granvelle was convinced would rather die than be mixed up with such villany against Philip. Moreover, unless the people should become still more corrupted by the bad counsels constantly given them, the Cardinal did not believe that any of the great nobles had the power to dispose in this way of the provinces at their pleasure. Therefore, he concluded that the story was to be rejected as improbable, although it had come to him directly from the house of the said Count Egmont. It is remarkable that, at the commencement of his narrative, the Cardinal had expressed his ignorance of the name of the seignior who was hatching all this treason, while at the end of it he gave a local habitation to the plot in the palace of Egmont. It is also quite characteristic that he should add that, after all, he considered that nobleman one of the most honest of all, if appearances did not deceive.

It may be supposed, however, that all these details of a plot which was quite imaginary, were likely to produce more effect upon a mind so narrow and so suspicious as that of Philip, than could the vague assertions of the Cardinal, that in spite of all, he would dare be sworn that he thought the Count honest, and that men should be what they seemed.

Notwithstanding the conspiracy, which, according to Granvelle's letters, had been formed against him, notwithstanding that his life was daily threatened, he did not advise the King at this period to avenge him by any public explosion of wrath. He remembered, he piously observed, that vengeance belonged to God, and that He would repay. Therefore he passed over insults meekly, because that comported best with his Majesty's service. Therefore, too, he instructed Philip to make no demonstration at that time, in order not to damage his own affairs. He advised him to dissemble, and to pretend not to know what was going on in the provinces. Knowing that his master looked to him daily for instructions, always obeyed them with entire docility, and, in fact, could not move a step in Netherland matters without them, he proceeded to dictate to him the terms in which he was to write to the nobles, and especially laid down rules for his guidance in his coming interviews with the Seigneur de Montigny. Philip, whose only talent consisted in the capacity to learn such lessons with laborious effort, was at this juncture particularly in need of tuition. The Cardinal instructed him, accordingly, that he was to disabuse all men of the impression that the Spanish inquisition was to be introduced into the provinces. He was to write to the seigniors, promising to pay them their arrears of salary; he was to exhort them to do all in their power for the advancement of religion and maintenance of the royal authority; and he was to suggest to them that, by his answer to the Antwerp deputation, it was proved that there was no intention of establishing the inquisition of Spain, under pretext of the new bishoprics.

The King was, furthermore, to signify his desire that all the nobles should exert themselves to efface this false impression from the popular mind. He was also to express himself to the same effect concerning the Spanish inquisition, the bishoprics, and the religious question, in the public letters to Madame de Parma, which were to be read in full council. The Cardinal also renewed his instructions to the King as to the manner in which the Antwerp deputies were to be answered, by giving them, namely, assurances that to transplant the Spanish inquisition into the provinces would be as hopeless as to attempt its establishment in Naples. He renewed his desire that Philip should contradict the story about the half dozen heads, and he especially directed him to inform Montigny that Berghen had known of the new bishoprics before the Cardinal. This, urged Granvelle, was particularly necessary, because the seigniors were irritated that so important a matter should have been decided upon without their advice, and because the Marquis Berghen was now the "cock of the opposition."

At about the same time, it was decided by Granvelle and the Regent, in conjunction with the King, to sow distrust and jealousy among the nobles, by giving greater "mercedes" to some than to others, although large sums were really due to all. In particular, the attempt was made in this paltry manner, to humiliate William of Orange. A considerable sum was paid to Egmont, and a trifling one to the Prince, in consideration of their large claims upon the treasury. Moreover the Duke of Aerschot was selected as envoy to the Frankfort Diet, where the King of the Romans was to be elected, with the express intention, as Margaret wrote to Philip, of creating divisions among the nobles, as he had suggested. The Duchess at the same time informed her brother that, according to, Berlaymont, the Prince of Orange was revolving some great design, prejudicial to his Majesty's service.

Philip, who already began to suspect that a man who thought so much must be dangerous, was eager to find out the scheme over which William the Silent was supposed to be brooding, and wrote for fresh intelligence to the Duchess.

Neither Margaret nor the Cardinal, however, could discover any thing against the Prince—who, meantime, although disappointed of the mission to Frankfort, had gone to that city in his private capacity—saving that he had been heard to say, "one day we shall be the stronger." Granvelle and Madame de Parma both communicated this report upon the same day, but this was all that they were able to discover of the latent plot.

In the autumn of this year (1562) Montigny made his visit to Spain, as confidential envoy from the Regent. The King being fully prepared as to the manner in which he was to deal with him, received the ambassador with great cordiality. He informed him in the course of their interviews, that Granvelle had never attempted to create prejudice against the nobles, that he was incapable of the malice attributed to him, and that even were it otherwise, his evil representations against other public servants would produce no effect. The King furthermore protested that he had no intention of introducing the Spanish inquisition into the Netherlands, and that the new bishops were not intended as agents for such a design, but had been appointed solely with a view of smoothing religious difficulties in the provinces, and of leading his people back into the fold of the faithful. He added, that as long ago as his visit to England for the purpose of espousing Queen Mary, he had entertained the project of the new episcopates, as the Marquis Berghen, with whom he had conversed freely upon the subject, could bear witness. With regard to the connexion of Granvelle with the scheme, he assured Montigny that the Cardinal had not been previously consulted, but had first learned the plan after the mission of Sonnius.

Such was the purport of the King's communications to the envoy, as appears from memoranda in the royal handwriting and from the correspondence of Margaret of Parma. Philip's exactness in conforming to his instructions is sufficiently apparent, on comparing his statements with the letters previously received from the omnipresent Cardinal. Beyond the limits of those directions the King hardly hazarded a syllable. He was merely the plenipotentiary of the Cardinal, as Montigny was of the Regent. So long as Granvelle's power lasted, he was absolute and infallible. Such, then, was the amount of satisfaction derived from the mission of Montigny. There was to be no diminution of the religious persecution, but the people were assured upon royal authority, that the inquisition, by which they were daily burned and beheaded, could not be logically denominated the Spanish inquisition. In addition to the comfort, whatever it might be, which the nation could derive from this statement, they were also consoled with the information that Granvelle was not the inventor of the bishoprics. Although he had violently supported the measure as soon as published, secretly denouncing as traitors and demagogues, all those who lifted their voices against it, although he was the originator of the renewed edicts, although he took, daily, personal pains that this Netherland inquisition, "more pitiless than the Spanish," should be enforced in its rigor, and although he, at the last, opposed the slightest mitigation of its horrors, he was to be represented to the nobles and the people as a man of mild and unprejudiced character, incapable of injuring even his enemies. "I will deal with the seigniors most blandly," the Cardinal had written to Philip, "and will do them pleasure, even if they do not wish it, for the sake of God and your Majesty." It was in this light, accordingly, that Philip drew the picture of his favorite minister to the envoy. Montigny, although somewhat influenced by the King's hypocritical assurances of the benignity with which he regarded the Netherlands, was, nevertheless, not to be deceived by this flattering portraiture of a man whom he knew so well and detested so cordially as he did Granvelle. Solicited by the King, at their parting interview, to express his candid opinion as to the causes of the dissatisfaction in the provinces, Montigny very frankly and most imprudently gave vent to his private animosity towards the Cardinal. He spoke of his licentiousness, greediness, ostentation, despotism, and assured the monarch that nearly all the inhabitants of the Netherlands entertained the same opinion concerning him. He then dilated upon the general horror inspired by the inquisition and the great repugnance felt to the establishment of the new episcopates. These three evils, Granvelle, the inquisition, and the bishoprics, he maintained were the real and sufficient causes of the increasing popular discontent. Time was to reveal whether the open-hearted envoy was to escape punishment for his frankness, and whether vengeance for these crimes against Granvelle and Philip were to be left wholly, as the Cardinal had lately suggested, in the hands of the Lord.

Montigny returned late in December. His report concerning the results of his mission was made in the state council, and was received with great indignation. The professions of benevolent intentions on the part of the sovereign made no impression on the mind of Orange, who was already in the habit of receiving secret information from Spain with regard to the intentions of the government. He knew very well that the plot revealed to him by Henry the Second in the wood of Vincennes was still the royal program, so far as the Spanish monarch was concerned. Moreover, his anger was heightened by information received from Montigny that the names of Orange, Egmont and their adherents, were cited to him as he passed through France as the avowed defenders of the Huguenots, in politics and religion. The Prince, who was still a sincere Catholic, while he hated the persecutions of the inquisition, was furious at the statement. A violent scene occurred in the council. Orange openly denounced the report as a new slander of Granvelle, while Margaret defended the Cardinal and denied the accusation, but at the same time endeavored with the utmost earnestness to reconcile the conflicting parties.

It had now become certain, however, that the government could no longer be continued on its present footing. Either Granvelle or the seigniors must succumb. The Prince of Orange was resolved that the Cardinal should fall or that he would himself withdraw from all participation in the affairs of government. In this decision he was sustained by Egmont, Horn, Montigny, Berghen, and the other leading nobles.


     Affecting to discredit them
     An inspiring and delightful recreation (auto-da-fe)
     Arrested on suspicion, tortured till confession
     Inquisition of the Netherlands is much more pitiless
     Inquisition was not a fit subject for a compromise
     Made to swing to and fro over a slow fire
     Orator was, however, delighted with his own performance
     Philip, who did not often say a great deal in a few words
     Scaffold was the sole refuge from the rack
     Ten thousand two hundred and twenty individuals were burned
     Torquemada's administration (of the inquisition)
     Two witnesses sent him to the stake, one witness to the rack


1563-1564 [CHAPTER IV.]

Joint letter to Philip, from Orange, Egmont, and Horn—Egmont's quarrel with Aerschot and with Aremberg—Philip's answer to the three nobles—His instructions to the Duchess—Egmont declines the King's invitation to visit Spain—Second letter of the three seigniors—Mission of Armenteros—Letter of Alva—Secret letters of Granvelle to Philip—The Cardinal's insinuations and instructions— His complaints as to the lukewarmness of Berghen and Montigny in the cause of the inquisition—Anecdotes to their discredit privately chronicled by Granvelle—Supposed necessity for the King's presence in the provinces—Correspondence of Lazarus Schwendi—Approaching crisis—Anxiety of Granvelle to retire—Banquet of Caspar Schetz— Invention of the foolscap livery—Correspondence of the Duchess and of the Cardinal with Philip upon the subject—Entire withdrawal of the three seigniors from the state council—the King advises with Alva concerning the recall of Granvelle—Elaborate duplicity of Philip's arrangements—His secret note to the Cardinal—His dissembling letters to others—Departure of Granvelle from the Netherlands—Various opinions as to its cause—Ludicrous conduct of Brederode and Hoogstraaten—Fabulous statements in Granvelle's correspondence concerning his recall—Universal mystification—The Cardinal deceived by the King—Granvelle in retirement—His epicureanism—Fears in the provinces as to his return—Universal joy at his departure—Representations to his discredit made by the Duchess to Philip—Her hypocritical letters to the Cardinal— Masquerade at Count Mansfeld's—Chantonnay's advice to his brother— Review of Granvelle's administration and estimate of his character.

On the 11th March, 1563, Orange, Horn, and Egmont united in a remarkable letter to the King. They said that as their longer "taciturnity" might cause the ruin of his Majesty's affairs, they were at last compelled to break silence. They hoped that the King would receive with benignity a communication which was pure, frank, and free from all passion. The leading personages of the province, they continued, having thoroughly examined the nature and extent of Cardinal Granvelle's authority, had arrived at the conclusion that every thing was in his hands. This persuasion, they said, was rooted in the hearts of all his Majesty's subjects, and particularly in their own, so deeply, that it could not be eradicated as long as the Cardinal remained. The King was therefore implored to consider the necessity of remedying the evil. The royal affairs, it was affirmed, would never be successfully conducted so long as they were entrusted to Granvelle, because he was so odious to so many people. If the danger were not imminent, they should not feel obliged to write to his Majesty with so much vehemence. It was, however, an affair which allowed neither delay nor dissimulation. They therefore prayed the King, if they had ever deserved credence in things of weight, to believe them now. By so doing, his Majesty would avoid great mischief. Many grand seigniors, governors, and others, had thought it necessary to give this notice, in order that the King might prevent the ruin of the country. If, however, his Majesty were willing, as they hoped, to avoid discontenting all for the sake of satisfying one, it was possible that affairs might yet prosper. That they might not be thought influenced by ambition or by hope of private profit, the writers asked leave to retire from the state council. Neither their reputation, they said, nor the interests of the royal service would permit them to act with the Cardinal. They professed themselves dutiful subjects and Catholic vassals. Had it not been for the zeal of the leading seigniors, the nobility, and other well-disposed persons, affairs would not at that moment be so tranquil; the common people having been so much injured, and the manner of life pursued by the Cardinal not being calculated to give more satisfaction than was afforded by his unlimited authority. In conclusion, the writers begged his Majesty not to throw the blame upon them, if mischance should follow the neglect of this warning. This memorable letter was signed by Guillaume, de Nassau, Lamoral d'Egmont, and Philippes de Montmorency (Count Horn). It was despatched undercover to Charles de Tisnacq, a Belgian, and procurator for the affairs of the Netherlands at Madrid, a man whose relations with Count Egmont were of a friendly character. It was impossible, however, to keep the matter a secret from the person most interested. The Cardinal wrote to the King the day before the letter was written, and many weeks before it was sent, to apprize him that it was coming, and to instruct him as to the answer he was to make. Nearly all the leading nobles and governors had adhered to the substance of the letter, save the Duke of Aerschot, Count Aremberg, and Baron Berlaymont. The Duke and Count had refused to join the league; violent scenes having occurred upon the subject between them and the leaders of the opposition party. Egmont, being with a large shooting party at Aerschot's country place, Beaumont, had taken occasion to urge the Duke to join in the general demonstration against the Cardinal, arguing the matter in the rough, off-hand, reckless manner which was habitual with him. His arguments offended the nobleman thus addressed, who was vain and irascible. He replied by affirming that he was a friend to Egmont, but would not have him for his master. He would have nothing to do, he said, with their league against the Cardinal, who had never given him cause of enmity. He had no disposition to dictate to the King as to his choice of ministers, and his Majesty was quite right to select his servants at his own pleasure. The Duke added that if the seigniors did not wish him for a friend, it was a matter of indifference to him. Not one of them was his superior; he had as large a band of noble followers and friends as the best of them, and he had no disposition to accept the supremacy of any nobleman in the land. The conversation carried on in this key soon became a quarrel, and from words the two gentlemen would soon have come to blows, but for the interposition of Aremberg and Robles, who were present at the scene. The Duchess of Parma, narrating the occurrence to the King, added that a duel had been the expected result of the affair, but that the two nobles had eventually been reconciled. It was characteristic of Aerschot that he continued afterward to associate with the nobles upon friendly terms, while maintaining an increased intimacy with the Cardinal.

The gentlemen who sent the letter were annoyed at the premature publicity which it seemed to have attained. Orange had in vain solicited Count Aremberg to join the league, and had quarrelled with him in consequence. Egmont, in the presence of Madame de Parma, openly charged Aremberg with having divulged the secret which had been confided to him. The Count fiercely denied that he had uttered a syllable on the subject to a human being; but added that any communication on his part would have been quite superfluous, while Egmont and his friends were daily boasting of what they were to accomplish. Egmont reiterated the charge of a breach of faith by Aremberg. That nobleman replied by laying his hand upon his sword, denouncing as liars all persons who should dare to charge him again with such an offence, and offering to fight out the quarrel upon the instant. Here, again, personal combat was, with much difficulty, averted.

Egmont, rude, reckless, and indiscreet, was already making manifest that he was more at home on a battle-field than in a political controversy where prudence and knowledge of human nature were as requisite as courage. He was at this period more liberal in his sentiments than at any moment of his life. Inflamed by his hatred of Granvelle, and determined to compass the overthrow of that minister, he conversed freely with all kinds of people, sought popularity among the burghers, and descanted to every one with much imprudence upon the necessity of union for the sake of liberty and the national good. The Regent, while faithfully recording in her despatches every thing of this nature which reached her ears, expressed her astonishment at Egmont's course, because, as she had often taken occasion to inform the King, she had always considered the Count most sincerely attached to his Majesty's service.

Berlaymont, the only other noble of prominence who did not approve the 11th of March letter, was at this period attempting to "swim in two waters," and, as usual in such cases, found it very difficult to keep himself afloat. He had refused to join the league, but he stood aloof from Granvelle. On a hope held out by the seigniors that his son should be made Bishop of Liege, he had ceased during a whole year from visiting the Cardinal, and had never spoken to him at the council-board. Granvelle, in narrating these circumstances to the King, expressed the opinion that Berlaymont, by thus attempting to please both parties, had thoroughly discredited himself with both.

The famous epistle, although a most reasonable and manly statement of an incontrovertible fact, was nevertheless a document which it required much boldness to sign. The minister at that moment seemed omnipotent, and it was obvious that the King was determined upon a course of political and religious absolutism. It is, therefore, not surprising that, although many sustained its principles, few were willing to affix their names to a paper which might prove a death-warrant to the signers. Even Montigny and Berghen, although they had been active in conducting the whole cabal, if cabal it could be called, refused to subscribe the letter. Egmont and Horn were men of reckless daring, but they were not keen-sighted enough to perceive fully the consequences of their acts.

Orange was often accused by his enemies of timidity, but no man ever doubted his profound capacity to look quite through the deeds of men. His political foresight enabled him to measure the dangerous precipice which they were deliberately approaching, while the abyss might perhaps be shrouded to the vision of his companions. He was too tranquil of nature to be hurried, by passions into a grave political step, which in cooler moments he might regret. He resolutely, therefore, and with his eyes open, placed himself in open and recorded enmity with the most powerful and dangerous man in the whole Spanish realm, and incurred the resentment of a King who never forgave. It may be safely averred that as much courage was requisite thus to confront a cold and malignant despotism, and to maintain afterwards, without flinching, during a whole lifetime, the cause of national rights and liberty of conscience, as to head the most brilliant charge of cavalry that ever made hero famous.

Philip answered the letter of the three nobles on the 6th June following. In this reply, which was brief, he acknowledged the zeal and affection by which the writers had been actuated. He suggested, nevertheless, that, as they had mentioned no particular cause for adopting the advice contained in their letter, it would be better that one of them should come to Madrid to confer with him. Such matters, he said, could be better treated by word of mouth. He might thus receive sufficient information to enable him to form a decision, for, said he in conclusion, it was not his custom to aggrieve any of his ministers without cause.

This was a fine phrase, but under the circumstances of its application, quite ridiculous. There was no question of aggrieving the minister. The letter of the three nobles was very simple. It consisted of a fact and a deduction. The fact stated was, that the Cardinal was odious to all classes of the nation. The deduction drawn was, that the government could no longer be carried on by him without imminent danger of ruinous convulsions. The fact was indisputable. The person most interested confirmed it in his private letters. "'Tis said," wrote Granvelle to Philip, "that grandees, nobles, and people, all abhor me, nor am I surprised to find that grandees, nobles, and people are all openly against me, since each and all have been invited to join in the league." The Cardinal's reasons for the existence of the unpopularity, which he admitted to the full, have no bearing upon the point in the letter. The fact was relied upon to sustain a simple, although a momentous inference. It was for Philip to decide upon the propriety of the deduction, and to abide by the consequences of his resolution when taken. As usual, however, the monarch was not capable of making up his mind. He knew very well that the Cardinal was odious and infamous, because he was the willing impersonation of the royal policy. Philip was, therefore, logically called upon to abandon the policy or to sustain the minister. He could make up his mind to do neither the one nor the other. In the mean time a well-turned period of mock magnanimity had been furnished him. This he accordingly transmitted as his first answer to a most important communication upon a subject which, in the words of the writers, "admitted neither of dissimulation nor delay." To deprive Philip of dissimulation and delay, however, was to take away his all. They were the two weapons with which he fought his long life's battle. They summed up the whole of his intellectual resources. It was inevitable, therefore, that he should at once have recourse to both on such an emergency as the present one.

At the same time that he sent his answer to the nobles, he wrote an explanatory letter to the Regent. He informed her that he had received the communication of the three seigniors, but instructed her that she was to appear to know nothing of the matter until Egmont should speak to her upon the subject. He added that, although he had signified his wish to the three nobles, that one of them, without specifying which, should come to Madrid, he in reality desired that Egmont, who seemed the most tractable of the three, should be the one deputed. The King added, that his object was to divide the nobles, and to gain time.

It was certainly superfluous upon Philip's part to inform his sister that his object was to gain time. Procrastination was always his first refuge, as if the march of the world's events would pause indefinitely while he sat in his cabinet and pondered. It was, however, sufficiently puerile to recommend to his sister an affectation of ignorance on a subject concerning which nobles had wrangled, and almost drawn their swords in her presence. This, however, was the King's statesmanship when left to his unaided exertions. Granvelle, who was both Philip and Margaret when either had to address or to respond to the world at large, did not always find it necessary to regulate the correspondence of his puppets between themselves. In order more fully to divide the nobles, the King also transmitted to Egmont a private note, in his own handwriting, expressing his desire that he should visit Spain in person, that they might confer together upon the whole subject.

These letters, as might be supposed, produced any thing but a satisfactory effect. The discontent and rage of the gentlemen who had written or sustained the 11th of March communication, was much increased. The answer was, in truth, no answer at all. "'Tis a cold and bad reply," wrote Louis of Nassau, "to send after so long a delay. 'Tis easy to see that the letter came from the Cardinal's smithy. In summa it is a vile business, if the gentlemen are all to be governed by one person. I hope to God his power will come soon to an end. Nevertheless," added Louis, "the gentlemen are all wide awake, for they trust the red fellow not a bit more than he deserves."

The reader has already seen that the letter was indeed "from the Cardinal's smithy," Granvelle having instructed his master how to reply to the seigniors before the communication had been despatched.

The Duchess wrote immediately to inform her brother that Egmont had expressed himself willing enough to go to Spain, but had added that he must first consult Orange and Horn. As soon as that step had been taken, she had been informed that it was necessary for them to advise with all the gentlemen who had sanctioned their letter. The Duchess had then tried in vain to prevent such an assembly, but finding that, even if forbidden, it would still take place, she had permitted the meeting in Brussels, as she could better penetrate into their proceedings there, than if it should be held at a distance. She added, that she should soon send her secretary Armenteros to Spain, that the King might be thoroughly acquainted with what was occurring.

Egmont soon afterwards wrote to Philip, declining to visit Spain expressly on account of the Cardinal. He added, that he was ready to undertake the journey, should the King command his presence for any other object. The same decision was formally communicated to the Regent by those Chevaliers of the Fleece who had approved the 11th of March letter—Montigny; Berghen, Meghem, Mansfeld, Ligne, Hoogstraaten, Orange, Egmont, and Horn. The Prince of Orange, speaking in the name of all, informed her that they did not consider it consistent with their reputation, nor with the interest of his Majesty, that any one of them should make so long and troublesome a journey, in order to accuse the Cardinal. For any other purpose, they all held themselves ready to go to Spain at once. The Duchess expressed her regret at this resolution. The Prince replied by affirming that, in all their proceedings, they had been governed, not by hatred of Granvelle but by a sense of duty to his Majesty. It was now, he added, for the King to pursue what course it pleased him.

Four days after this interview with the Regent, Orange, Egmont, and Horn addressed a second letter to the King. In this communication they stated that they had consulted with all the gentlemen with whose approbation their first letter had been written. As to the journey of one of them to Spain,—as suggested, they pronounced it very dangerous for any seignior to absent himself, in the condition of affairs which then existed. It was not a sufficient cause to go thither on account of Granvelle. They disclaimed any intention of making themselves parties to a process against the Cardinal. They had thought that their simple, brief announcement would have sufficed to induce his Majesty to employ that personage in other places, where his talents would be more fruitful. As to "aggrieving the Cardinal without cause," there was no question of aggrieving him at all, but of relieving him of an office which could not remain in his hands without disaster. As to "no particular cause having been mentioned," they said the omission was from no lack of many such. They had charged none, however, because, from their past services and their fidelity to his Majesty, they expected to be believed on their honor, without further witnesses or evidence. They had no intention of making themselves accusers. They had purposely abstained from specifications. If his Majesty should proceed to ampler information, causes enough would be found. It was better, however, that they should be furnished by others than by themselves. His Majesty would then find that the public and general complaint was not without adequate motives. They renewed their prayer to be excused from serving in the council of state, in order that they might not be afterwards inculpated for the faults of others. Feeling that the controversy between themselves and the Cardinal de Granvelle in the state council produced no fruit for his Majesty's affairs, they preferred to yield to him. In conclusion, they begged the King to excuse the simplicity of their letters, the rather that they were not by nature great orators, but more accustomed to do well than to speak well, which was also more becoming to persons of their quality.

On the 4th of August, Count Horn also addressed a private letter to the King, written in the same spirit as that which characterized the joint letter just cited. He assured his Majesty that the Cardinal could render no valuable service to the crown on account of the hatred which the whole nation bore him, but that, as far as regarded the maintenance of the ancient religion, all the nobles were willing to do their duty.

The Regent now despatched, according to promise, her private secretary, Thomas de Armenteros, to Spain. His instructions, which were very elaborate, showed that Granvelle was not mistaken when he charged her with being entirely changed in regard to him, and when he addressed her a reproachful letter, protesting his astonishment that his conduct had become auspicious, and his inability to divine the cause of the weariness and dissatisfaction which she manifested in regard to him.

Armenteros, a man of low, mercenary, and deceitful character, but a favorite of the Regent, and already beginning to acquire that influence over her mind which was soon to become so predominant, was no friend of the Cardinal. It was not probable that he would diminish the effect of that vague censure mingled with faint commendation, which characterized Margaret's instructions by any laudatory suggestions of his own. He was directed to speak in general terms of the advance of heresy, and the increasing penury of the exchequer. He was to request two hundred thousand crowns toward the lottery, which the Regent proposed to set up as a financial scheme. He was to represent that the Duchess had tried, unsuccessfully, every conceivable means of accommodating the quarrel between the Cardinal and the seigniors. She recognized Granvelle's great capacity, experience, zeal, and devotion—for all which qualities she made much of him—while on the other hand she felt that it would be a great inconvenience, and might cause a revolt of the country, were she to retain him in the Netherlands against the will of the seigniors. These motives had compelled her, the messenger was to add, to place both views of the subject before the eyes of the King. Armenteros was, furthermore, to narrate the circumstances of the interviews which had recently taken place between herself and the leaders of the opposition party.

From the tenor of these instructions, it was sufficiently obvious that Margaret of Parma was not anxious to retain the Cardinal, but that, on the contrary, she was beginning already to feel alarm at the dangerous position in which she found herself. A few days after the three nobles had despatched their last letter to the King, they had handed her a formal remonstrance. In this document they stated their conviction that the country was on the high road to ruin, both as regarded his Majesty's service and the common weal. The bare, the popular discontent daily increasing, the fortresses on the frontier in a dilapidated condition. It was to be apprehended daily that merchants and other inhabitants of the provinces would be arrested in foreign countries, to satisfy the debts owed by his Majesty. To provide against all these evils, but one course, it was suggested, remained to the government—to summon the states-general, and to rely upon their counsel and support. The nobles, however, forbore to press this point, by reason of the prohibition which the Regent had received from the King. They suggested, however, that such an interdiction could have been dictated only by a distrust created between his Majesty and the estates by persons having no love for either, and who were determined to leave no resource by which the distress of the country could be prevented. The nobles, therefore, begged her highness not to take it amiss if, so long as the King was indisposed to make other arrangements for the administration of the provinces, they should abstain from appearing at the state council. They preferred to cause the shadow at last to disappear, which they had so long personated. In conclusion, however, they expressed their determination to do their duty in their several governments, and to serve the Regent to the best of their abilities.

After this remonstrance had been delivered, the Prince of Orange, Count Horn, and Count Egmont abstained entirely from the sessions of the state council. She was left alone with the Cardinal, whom she already hated, and with his two shadows, Viglius and Berlaymont.

Armenteros, after a month spent on his journey, arrived in Spain, and was soon admitted to an audience by Philip. In his first interview, which lasted four hours, he read to the King all the statements and documents with which he had come provided, and humbly requested a prompt decision. Such a result was of course out of the question. Moreover, the Cortes of Tarragon, which happened then to be in session, and which required the royal attention, supplied the monarch with a fresh excuse for indulging in his habitual vacillation. Meantime, by way of obtaining additional counsel in so grave an emergency, he transmitted the letters of the nobles, together with the other papers, to the Duke of Alva, and requested his opinion on the subject. Alva replied with the roar of a wild beast, "Every time," he wrote, "that I see the despatches of those three Flemish seigniors my rage is so much excited that if I did not use all possible efforts to restrain it, my sentiments would seem those of a madman." After this splenitive exordium he proceeded to express the opinion that all the hatred and complaints against the Cardinal had arisen from his opposition to the convocation of the states-general. With regard to persons who had so richly deserved such chastisement, he recommended "that their heads should be taken off; but, until this could be done, that the King should dissemble with them." He advised Philip not to reply to their letters, but merely to intimate, through the Regent, that their reasons for the course proposed by them did not seem satisfactory. He did not prescribe this treatment of the case as "a true remedy, but only as a palliative; because for the moment only weak medicines could be employed, from which, however, but small effect could be anticipated." As to recalling the Cardinal, "as they had the impudence to propose to his Majesty," the Duke most decidedly advised against the step. In the mean time, and before it should be practicable to proceed "to that vigorous chastisement already indicated," he advised separating the nobles as much as possible by administering flattery and deceitful caresses to Egmont, who might be entrapped more easily than the others.

Here, at least, was a man who knew his own mind. Here was a servant who could be relied upon to do his master's bidding whenever this master should require his help. The vigorous explosion of wrath with which the Duke thus responded to the first symptoms of what he regarded as rebellion, gave a feeble intimation of the tone which he would assume when that movement should have reached a more advanced stage. It might be guessed what kind of remedies he would one day prescribe in place of the "mild medicines" in which he so reluctantly acquiesced for the present.

While this had been the course pursued by the seigniors, the Regent and the King, in regard to that all-absorbing subject of Netherland politics—the straggle against Granvelle—the Cardinal, in his letters to Philip, had been painting the situation by minute daily touches, in a manner of which his pencil alone possessed the secret.

Still maintaining the attitude of an injured but forgiving Christian, he spoke of the nobles in a tone of gentle sorrow. He deprecated any rising of the royal wrath in his behalf; he would continue to serve the gentlemen, whether they would or no; he was most anxious lest any considerations on his account should interfere with the King's decision in regard to the course to be pursued in the Netherlands. At the same time, notwithstanding these general professions of benevolence towards the nobles, he represented them as broken spendthrifts, wishing to create general confusion in order to escape from personal liabilities; as conspirators who had placed themselves within the reach of the attorney-general; as ambitious malcontents who were disposed to overthrow the royal authority, and to substitute an aristocratic republic upon its ruins. He would say nothing to prejudice the King's mind against these gentlemen, but he took care to omit nothing which could possibly accomplish that result. He described them as systematically opposed to the policy which he knew lay nearest the King's heart, and as determined to assassinate the faithful minister who was so resolutely carrying it out, if his removal could be effected in no other way. He spoke of the state of religion as becoming more and more unsatisfactory, and bewailed the difficulty with which he could procure the burning of heretics; difficulties originating in the reluctance of men from whose elevated rank better things might have been expected.

As Granvelle is an important personage, as his character has been alternately the subject of much censure and of more applause, and as the epoch now described was the one in which the causes of the great convulsion were rapidly germinating, it is absolutely necessary that the reader should be placed in a position to study the main character, as painted by his own hand; the hand in which were placed, at that moment, the destinies of a mighty empire. It is the historian's duty, therefore, to hang the picture of his administration fully in the light. At the moment when the 11th of March letter was despatched, the Cardinal represented Orange and Egmont as endeavoring by every method of menace or blandishment to induce all the grand seigniors and petty nobles to join in the league against himself. They had quarrelled with Aerschot and Aremberg, they had more than half seduced Berlaymont, and they stigmatized all who refused to enter into their league as cardinalists and familiars of the inquisition. He protested that he should regard their ill-will with indifference, were he not convinced that he was himself only a pretext, and that their designs were really much deeper. Since the return of Montigny, the seigniors had established a league which that gentleman and his brother, Count Horn, had both joined. He would say nothing concerning the defamatory letters and pamphlets of which he was the constant object, for he wished no heed taken of matters which concerned exclusively himself, Notwithstanding this disclaimer, however, he rarely omitted to note the appearance of all such productions for his Majesty's especial information. "It was better to calm men's spirits," he said, "than to excite them." As to fostering quarrels among the seigniors, as the King had recommended, that was hardly necessary, for discord was fast sowing its own seeds. "It gave him much pain," he said, with a Christian sigh, "to observe that such dissensions had already arisen, and unfortunately on his account." He then proceeded circumstantially to describe the quarrel between Aerschot and Egmont, already narrated by the Regent, omitting in his statement no particular which could make Egmont reprehensible in the royal eyes. He likewise painted the quarrel between the same noble and Aremberg, to which he had already alluded in previous letters to the King, adding that many gentlemen, and even the more prudent part of the people, were dissatisfied with the course of the grandees, and that he was taking underhand but dexterous means to confirm them in such sentiments. He instructed Philip how to reply to the letter addressed to him, but begged his Majesty not to hesitate to sacrifice him if the interests of his crown should seem to require it.

With regard to religious matters, he repeatedly deplored that, notwithstanding his own exertions and those of Madame de Parma, things were not going on as he desired, but, on the contrary, very badly. "For the-love of God and the service of the holy religion," he cried out fervently, "put your royal hand valiantly to the work, otherwise we have only to exclaim, Help, Lord, for we perish!"

Having uttered this pious exhortation in the ear of a man who needed no stimulant in the path of persecution, he proceeded to express his regrets that the judges and other officers were not taking in hand the chastisement of heresy with becoming vigor.

Yet, at that very moment Peter Titelmann was raging through Flanders, tearing whole families out of bed and burning them to ashes, with such utter disregard to all laws or forms as to provoke in the very next year a solemn protest from the four estates of Flanders; and Titelmann was but one of a dozen inquisitors.

Granvelle, however, could find little satisfaction in the exertions of subordinates so long as men in high station were remiss in their duties. The Marquis Berghen, he informed Philip, showed but little disposition to put down heresy, in Valenciennes, while Montigny was equally remiss at Tournay. They were often heard to say, to any who chose to listen, that it was not right to inflict the punishment of death for matters of religion. This sentiment, uttered in that age of blood and fire, and crowning the memory of those unfortunate nobles with eternal honor, was denounced by the churchman as criminal, and deserving of castigation. He intimated, moreover, that these pretences of clemency were mere hypocrisy, and that self-interest was at the bottom of their compassion. "'Tis very black," said he, "when interest governs; but these men are a in debt, so deeply that they owe their very souls. They are seeking every means of escaping from their obligations, and are most desirous of creating general confusion." As to the Prince of Orange, the Cardinal asserted that he owed nine hundred thousand florins, and had hardly twenty-five thousand a-year clear income, while he spent ninety thousand, having counts; barons, and gentlemen in great numbers, in his household. At this point, he suggested that it might be well to find employment for some of these grandees in Spain and other dominions of his Majesty, adding that perhaps Orange might accept the vice-royalty of Sicily.

Resuming the religious matter, a few weeks later, he expressed himself a little more cheerfully, "We have made so much outcry," said he, "that at last Marquis Berghen has been forced to burn a couple of heretics at Valenciennes. Thus, it is obvious," moralized the Cardinal, "that if he were really willing to apply the remedy in that place, much progress might be made; but that we can do but little so long as he remains in the government of the provinces and refuses to assist us." In a subsequent letter, he again uttered com plaints against the Marquis and Montigny, who were evermore his scapegoats and bugbears. Berghen will give us no aid, he wrote, despite of all the letters we send him. He absents himself for private and political reasons. Montigny has eaten meat in Lent, as the Bishop of Tournay informs me. Both he and the Marquis say openly that it is not right to shed blood for matters of faith, so that the King can judge how much can be effected with such coadjutors. Berghen avoids the persecution of heretics, wrote the Cardinal again, a month later, to Secretary Perez. He has gone to Spa for his health, although those who saw him last say he is fat and hearty.

Granvelle added, however, that they had at last "burned one more preacher alive." The heretic, he stated, had feigned repentance to save his life, but finding that, at any rate, his head would be cut off as a dogmatizer, he retracted his recantation. "So," concluded the Cardinal, complacently, "they burned him."

He chronicled the sayings and doings of the principal personages in the Netherlands, for the instruction of the King, with great regularity, insinuating suspicions when unable to furnish evidence, and adding charitable apologies, which he knew would have but small effect upon the mind of his correspondent. Thus he sent an account of a "very secret meeting" held by Orange, Egmont, Horn, Montigny and Berghen, at the abbey of La Forest, near Brussels, adding, that he did not know what they had been doing there, and was at loss what to suspect. He would be most happy, he said, to put the best interpretation upon their actions, but he could not help remembering with great sorrow the observation so recently made by Orange to Montigny, that one day they should be stronger. Later in the year, the Cardinal informed the King that the same nobles were holding a conference at Weerdt, that he had not learned what had been transacted there, but thought the affair very suspicious. Philip immediately communicated the intelligence to Alva, together with an expression of Granvelle's fears and of his own, that a popular outbreak would be the consequence of the continued presence of the minister in the Netherlands.

The Cardinal omitted nothing in the way of anecdote or inuendo, which could injure the character of the leading nobles, with the exception, perhaps, of Count Egmont. With this important personage, whose character he well understood, he seemed determined, if possible, to maintain friendly relations. There was a deep policy in this desire, to which we shall advert hereafter. The other seigniors were described in general terms as disposed to overthrow the royal authority. They were bent upon Granvelle's downfall as the first step, because, that being accomplished, the rest would follow as a matter of course. "They intend," said he, "to reduce the state into the form of a republic, in which the King shall have no power except to do their bidding." He added, that he saw with regret so many German troops gathering on the borders; for he believed them to be in the control of the disaffected nobles of the Netherlands. Having made this grave insinuation, he proceeded in the same breath to express his anger at a statement said to have been made by Orange and Egmont, to the effect that he had charged them with intending to excite a civil commotion, an idea, he added, which had never entered his head. In the same paragraph, he poured into the most suspicious ear that ever listened to a tale of treason, his conviction that the nobles were planning a republic by the aid of foreign troops, and uttered a complaint that these nobles had accused him of suspecting them. As for the Prince of Orange, he was described as eternally boasting of his influence in Germany, and the great things which he could effect by means of his connexions there, "so that," added the Cardinal, "we hear no other song."

He had much to say concerning the projects of these grandees to abolish all the councils, but that of state, of which body they intended to obtain the entire control. Marquis Berghen was represented as being at the bottom of all these intrigues. The general and evident intention was to make a thorough change in the form of government. The Marquis meant to command in every thing, and the Duchess would soon have nothing to do in the provinces as regent for the King. In fact, Philip himself would be equally powerless, "for," said the Cardinal, "they will have succeeded in putting your Majesty completely under guardianship." He added, moreover, that the seigniors, in order to gain favor with the people and with the estates, had allowed them to acquire so much power, that they would respond to any request for subsidies by a general popular revolt. "This is the simple truth," said Granvelle, "and moreover, by the same process, in a very few days there will likewise be no religion left in the land." When the deputies of some of the states, a few weeks later, had been irregularly convened in Brussels, for financial purposes, the Cardinal informed the monarch that the nobles were endeavoring to conciliate their good-will, by offering them a splendid series of festivities and banquets.

He related various anecdotes which came to his ears from time to time, all tending to excite suspicions as to the loyalty and orthodoxy of the principal nobles. A gentleman coming from Burgundy had lately, as he informed the King, been dining with the Prince of Orange, with whom Horn and Montigny were then lodging. At table, Montigny called out in a very loud voice to the strange cavalier, who was seated at a great distance from him, to ask if there were many Huguenots in Burgundy. No, replied the gentleman nor would they be permitted to exist there. "Then there can be very few people of intelligence in that province," returned Montigny, "for those who have any wit are mostly all Huguenots." The Prince of Orange here endeavored to put a stop to the conversation, saying that the Burgundians were very right to remain as they were; upon which Montigny affirmed that he had heard masses enough lately to last him for three months. These things may be jests, commented Granvelle, but they are very bad ones; and 'tis evident that such a man is an improper instrument to remedy the state of religious affairs in Tournay.

At another large party, the King was faithfully informed by the same chronicler, that Marquis Berghen had been teasing the Duke of Aerschot very maliciously, because he would not join the league. The Duke had responded as he had formerly done to Egmont, that his Majesty was not to receive laws from his vassals; adding that, for himself, he meant to follow in the loyal track of his ancestors, fearing God and honoring the king. In short, said Granvelle, he answered them with so much wisdom, that although they had never a high opinion of his capacity, they were silenced. This conversation had been going on before all the servants, the Marquis being especially vociferous, although the room was quite full of them. As soon as the cloth was removed, and while some of the lackies still remained, Berghen had resumed the conversation. He said he was of the same mind as his ancestor, John of Berghen, had been, who had once told the King's grandfather, Philip the Fair, that if his Majesty was bent on his own perdition, he had no disposition to ruin himself. If the present monarch means to lose these provinces by governing them as he did govern them, the Marquis affirmed that he had no wish to lose the little property that he himself possessed in the country. "But if," argued the Duke of Aerschot, "the King absolutely refuse to do what you demand of him; what then?"—"Par la cordieu!" responded Berghen, in a rage, "we will let him see!" whereupon all became silent.

Granvelle implored the King to keep these things entirely to himself; adding that it was quite necessary for his Majesty to learn in this manner what were the real dispositions of the gentlemen of the provinces. It was also stated in the same letter, that a ruffian Genoese, who had been ordered out of the Netherlands by the Regent, because of a homicide he had committed, was kept at Weert, by Count Horn, for the purpose of murdering the Cardinal.

He affirmed that he was not allowed to request the expulsion of the assassin from the Count's house; but that he would take care, nevertheless, that neither this ruffian nor any other, should accomplish his purpose. A few weeks afterwards, expressing his joy at the contradiction of a report that Philip had himself been assassinated, Granvelle added; "I too, who am but a worm in comparison, am threatened on so many sides, that many must consider me already dead. Nevertheless, I will endeavor, with God's help, to live as long as I can, and if they kill me, I hope they will not gain every thing." Yet, with characteristic Jesuitism, the Cardinal could not refrain, even in the very letter in which he detailed the rebellious demonstrations of Berghen, and the murderous schemes of Horn, to protest that he did not say these things "to prejudice his Majesty against any one, but only that it might be known to what a height the impudence was rising." Certainly the King and the ecclesiastic, like the Roman soothsayers, would have laughed in each other's face, could they have met, over the hollowness of such demonstrations. Granvelle's letters were filled, for the greater part, with pictures of treason, stratagem, and bloody intentions, fabricated mostly out of reports, table-talk, disjointed chat in the careless freedom of domestic intercourse, while at the same time a margin was always left to express his own wounded sense of the injurious suspicions uttered against him by the various subjects of his letters. "God knows," said he to Perez, "that I always speak of them with respect, which is more than they do of me. But God forgive them all. In times like these, one must hold one's tongue. One must keep still, in order not to stir up a hornet's nest."

In short, the Cardinal, little by little, during the last year of his residence in the Netherlands, was enabled to spread a canvas before his sovereign's eye, in which certain prominent figures, highly colored by patiently accumulated touches, were represented as driving a whole nation, against its own will, into manifest revolt. The estates and the people, he said, were already tired of the proceedings of the nobles, and those personages would find themselves very much mistaken in thinking that men who had any thing to lose would follow them, when they began a rebellion against his Majesty. On the whole, he was not desirous of prolonging his own residence, although, to do him justice, he was not influenced by fear. He thought or affected to think that the situation was one of a factitious popular discontent, procured by the intrigues of a few ambitious and impoverished Catilines and Cethegi, not a rising rebellion such as the world had never seen, born of the slowly-awakened wrath of, a whole people, after the martyrdom of many years. The remedy that he recommended was that his Majesty should come in person to the provinces. The monarch would cure the whole disorder as soon as he appeared, said the Cardinal, by merely making the sign of the cross. Whether, indeed, the rapidly-increasing cancer of national discontent would prove a mere king's evil, to be healed by the royal touch, as many persons besides Granvelle believed, was a point not doomed to be tested. From that day forward Philip began to hold out hopes that he would come to administer the desired remedy, but even then it was the opinion of good judges that he would give millions rather than make his appearance in the Netherlands. It was even the hope of William of Orange that the King would visit the provinces. He expressed his desire, in a letter to Lazarus Schwendi, that his sovereign should come in person, that he might see whether it had been right to sow so much distrust between himself and his loyal subjects. The Prince asserted that it was impossible for any person not on the spot to imagine the falsehoods and calumnies circulated by Granvelle and his friends, accusing Orange and his associates of rebellion and heresy, in the most infamous manner in the world. He added, in conclusion, that he could write no more, for the mere thought of the manner in which the government of the Netherlands was carried on filled him with disgust and rage. This letter, together with one in a similar strain from Egmont, was transmitted by the valiant and highly intellectual soldier to whom they were addressed, to the King of Spain, with an entreaty that he would take warning from the bitter truths which they contained. The Colonel, who was a most trusty friend of Orange, wrote afterwards to Margaret of Parma in the same spirit, warmly urging her to moderation in religious matters. This application highly enraged Morillon, the Cardinal's most confidential dependent, who accordingly conveyed the intelligence to his already departed chief, exclaiming in his letter, "what does the ungrateful baboon mean by meddling with our affairs? A pretty state of things, truly, if kings are to choose or retain their ministers at the will of the people; little does he know of the disasters which would be caused by a relaxation of the edicts." In the same sense, the Cardinal, just before his departure, which was now imminent, wrote to warn his sovereign of the seditious character of the men who were then placing their breasts between the people and their butchers. He assured Philip that upon the movement of those nobles depended the whole existence of the country. It was time that they should be made to open their eyes. They should be solicited in every way to abandon their evil courses, since the liberty which they thought themselves defending was but abject slavery; but subjection to a thousand base and contemptible personages, and to that "vile animal called the people."

It is sufficiently obvious, from the picture which we have now presented of the respective attitudes of Granvelle, of the seigniors and of the nation, during the whole of the year 1563, and the beginning of the following year, that a crisis was fast approaching. Granvelle was, for the moment, triumphant, Orange, Egmont, and Horn had abandoned the state council, Philip could not yet make up his mind to yield to the storm, and Alva howled defiance at the nobles and the whole people of the Netherlands. Nevertheless, Margaret of Parma was utterly weary of the minister, the Cardinal himself was most anxious to be gone, and the nation—for there was a nation, however vile the animal might be—was becoming daily more enraged at the presence of a man in whom, whether justly or falsely, it beheld the incarnation of the religious oppression under which they groaned. Meantime, at the close of the year, a new incident came to add to the gravity of the situation. Caspar Schetz, Baron of Grobbendonck, gave a Great dinner-party, in the month of December, 1563. This personage, whose name was prominent for many years in the public affairs of the nation, was one of the four brothers who formed a very opulent and influential mercantile establishment.

He was the King's principal factor and financial agent. He was one of the great pillars of the Bourse at Antwerp. He was likewise a tolerable scholar, a detestable poet, an intriguing politician, and a corrupt financier. He was regularly in the pay of Sir Thomas Gresham, to whom he furnished secret information, for whom he procured differential favors, and by whose government he was rewarded by gold chains and presents of hard cash, bestowed as secretly as the equivalent was conveyed adroitly. Nevertheless, although his venality was already more than suspected, and although his peculation, during his long career became so extensive that he was eventually prosecuted by government, and died before the process was terminated, the lord of Grobbendonck was often employed in most delicate negotiations, and, at the present epoch, was a man of much importance in the Netherlands.

The treasurer-general accordingly gave his memorable banquet to a distinguished party of noblemen. The conversation, during dinner, turned, as was inevitable, upon the Cardinal. His ostentation, greediness, insolence, were fully canvassed. The wine flowed freely as it always did in those Flemish festivities—the brains of the proud and reckless cavaliers became hot with excitement, while still the odious ecclesiastic was the topic of their conversation, the object alternately of fierce invective or of scornful mirth. The pompous display which he affected in his equipages, liveries, and all the appurtenances of his household, had frequently excited their derision, and now afforded fresh matter for their ridicule. The customs of Germany, the simple habiliments in which the retainers of the greatest houses were arrayed in that country, were contrasted with the tinsel and glitter in which the prelate pranked himself. It was proposed, by way of showing contempt for Granvelle, that a livery should be forthwith invented, as different as possible from his in general effect, and that all the gentlemen present should indiscriminately adopt it for their own menials. Thus would the people whom the Cardinal wished to dazzle with his finery learn to estimate such gauds at their true value. It was determined that something extremely plain, and in the German fashion, should be selected. At the same time, the company, now thoroughly inflamed with wine, and possessed by the spirit of mockery, determined that a symbol should be added to the livery, by which the universal contempt for Granvelle should be expressed. The proposition was hailed with acclamation, but who should invent the hieroglyphical costume? All were reckless and ready enough, but ingenuity of device was required. At last it was determined to decide the question by hazard. Amid shouts of hilarity, the dice were thrown. Those men were staking their lives, perhaps, upon the issue, but the reflection gave only a keener zest to the game. Egmont won. It was the most fatal victory which he had ever achieved, a more deadly prize even than the trophies of St. Quentin and Gravelingen.

In a few days afterwards, the retainers of the house of Egmont surprised Brussels by making their appearance in a new livery. Doublet and hose of the coarsest grey, and long hanging sleeves, without gold or silver lace, and having but a single ornament, comprised the whole costume. An emblem which seemed to resemble a monk's cowl, or a fool's cap and bells, was embroidered upon each sleeve. The device pointed at the Cardinal, as did, by contrast, the affected coarseness of the dress. There was no doubt as to the meaning of the hood, but they who saw in the symbol more resemblance to the jester's cap, recalled certain biting expressions which Granvelle had been accustomed to use. He had been wont, in the days of his greatest insolence, to speak of the most eminent nobles as zanies, lunatics, and buffoons. The embroidered fool's cap was supposed to typify the gibe, and to remind the arrogant priest that a Brutus, as in the olden time, might be found lurking in the costume of the fool. However witty or appropriate the invention, the livery had an immense success. According to agreement, the nobles who had dined with the treasurer ordered it for all their servants. Never did a new dress become so soon the fashion. The unpopularity of the minister assisted the quaintness of the device. The fool's-cap livery became the rage. Never was such a run upon the haberdashers, mercers, and tailors, since Brussels had been a city. All the frieze-cloth in Brabant was exhausted. All the serge in Flanders was clipped into monastic cowls. The Duchess at first laughed with the rest, but the Cardinal took care that the king should be at once informed upon the subject. The Regent was, perhaps, not extremely sorry to see the man ridiculed whom she so cordially disliked, and, she accepted the careless excuses made on the subject by Egmont and by Orange without severe criticism. She wrote to her brother that, although the gentlemen had been influenced by no evil intention, she had thought it best to exhort them not to push the jest too far. Already, however, she found that two thousand pairs, of sleeves had been made, and the most she could obtain was that the fools' caps, or monks' hoods, should in future be omitted from the livery. A change was accordingly made in the costume, at about the time of the cardinal's departure.

A bundle of arrows, or in some instances a wheat-sheaf, was substituted for the cowls. Various interpretations were placed upon this new emblem. According to the nobles themselves, it denoted the union of all their hearts in the King's service, while their enemies insinuated that it was obviously a symbol of conspiracy. The costume thus amended was worn by the gentlemen themselves, as well as by their servants. Egmont dined at the Regent's table, after the Cardinal's departure, in a camlet doublet, with hanging sleeves, and buttons stamped with the bundle of arrows.

For the present, the Cardinal affected to disapprove of the fashion only from its rebellious tendency. The fools' caps and cowls, he meekly observed to Philip, were the least part of the offence, for an injury to himself could be easily forgiven. The wheat-sheaf and the arrow-bundles, however, were very vile things, for they betokened and confirmed the existence of a conspiracy, such as never could be tolerated by a prince who had any regard for his own authority.

This incident of the livery occupied the public attention, and inflamed the universal hatred during the later months of the minister's residence in the country. Meantime the three seigniors had become very impatient at receiving no answer to their letter. Margaret of Parma was urging her brother to give them satisfaction, repeating to him their bitter complaints that their characters and conduct were the subject of constant misrepresentation to their sovereign, and picturing her own isolated condition. She represented herself as entirely deprived of the support of those great personages, who, despite her positive assurances to the contrary, persisted in believing that they were held up to the King as conspirators, and were in danger of being punished as traitors. Philip, on his part, was conning Granvelle's despatches, filled with hints of conspiracy, and holding counsel with Alva, who had already recommended the taking off several heads for treason. The Prince of Orange, who already had secret agents in the King's household, and was supplied with copies of the most private papers in the palace, knew better than to be deceived by the smooth representations of the Regent. Philip had, however, at last begun secretly to yield. He asked Alva's advice whether on the whole it would not be better to let the Cardinal leave the Netherlands, at least for a time, on pretence of visiting his mother in Burgundy, and to invite Count Egmont to Madrid, by way of striking one link from the chain, as Granvelle had suggested. The Duke had replied that he had no doubt of the increasing insolence of the three seigniors, as depicted in the letters of the Duchess Margaret, nor of their intention to make the Cardinal their first victim; it being the regular principle in all revolts against the sovereign, to attack the chief minister in the first place. He could not, however, persuade himself that the King should yield and Granvelle be recalled. Nevertheless, if it were to be done at all, he preferred that the Cardinal should go to Burgundy without leave asked either of the Duchess or of Philip; and that he should then write; declining to return, on the ground that his life was not safe in the Netherlands.

After much hesitation, the monarch at last settled upon a plan, which recommended itself through the extreme duplicity by which it was marked, and the complicated system of small deceptions, which it consequently required. The King, who was never so thoroughly happy or at home as when elaborating the ingredients of a composite falsehood, now busily employed himself in his cabinet. He measured off in various letters to the Regent, to the three nobles, to Egmont alone, and to Granvelle, certain proportionate parts of his whole plan, which; taken separately, were intended to deceive, and did deceive nearly every person in the world, not only in his own generation, but for three centuries afterwards, but which arranged synthetically, as can now be done, in consequence of modern revelations, formed one complete and considerable lie, the observation of which furnishes the student with a lesson in the political chemistry of those days, which was called Macchiavellian statesmanship. The termination of the Granvelle regency is, moreover, most important, not only for the grave and almost interminable results to which it led, but for the illustration which it affords of the inmost characters of the Cardinal and "his master."

The courier who was to take Philip's letters to the three nobles was detained three weeks, in order to allow Armenteros, who was charged with the more important and secret despatches for the Duchess and Granvelle to reach Brussels first. All the letters, however, were ready at the same time. The letter of instructions for Armenteros enjoined upon that envoy to tell the Regent that the heretics were to be chastised with renewed vigor, that she was to refuse to convoke the states-general under any pretext, and that if hard pressed, she was to refer directly to the King. With regard to Granvelle, the secretary was to state that his Majesty was still deliberating, and that the Duchess would be informed as to the decision when it should be made. He was to express the royal astonishment that the seigniors should absent themselves from the state council, with a peremptory intimation that they should immediately return to their posts. As they had specified no particularities against the Cardinal, the King would still reflect upon the subject.

He also wrote a private note to the Duchess, stating that he had not yet sent the letters for the three nobles, because he wished that Armenteros should arrive before their courier. He, however, enclosed two notes for Egmont, of which Margaret was to deliver that one, which, in her opinion, was, under the circumstances, the best. In one of these missives the King cordially accepted, and in the other he politely declined Egmont's recent offer to visit Spain. He also forwarded a private letter in his own hand-writing to the Cardinal. Armenteros, who travelled but slowly on account of the state of his health, arrived in Brussels towards the end of February. Five or six days afterwards, on the 1st March, namely, the courier arrived bringing the despatches for the seigniors. In his letter to Orange, Egmont, and Horn, the King expressed his astonishment at their resolution to abstain from the state council. Nevertheless, said he, imperatively, fail not to return thither and to show how much more highly you regard my service and the good of the country than any other particularity whatever. As to Granvelle, continued Philip, since you will not make any specifications, my intention is to think over the matter longer, in order to arrange it as may seem most fitting.

This letter was dated February 19 (1564), nearly a month later therefore than the secret letter to Granvelle, brought by Armenteros, although all the despatches had been drawn up at the same time and formed parts of the same plan. In this brief note to Granvelle, however, lay the heart of the whole mystery.

"I have reflected much," wrote the King, "on all that you have written me during these last few months, concerning the ill-will borne you by certain personages. I notice also your suspicions that if a revolt breaks out, they will commence with your person, thus taking occasion to proceed from that point to the accomplishment of their ulterior designs. I have particularly taken into consideration the notice received by you from the curate of Saint Gudule, as well as that which you have learned concerning the Genoese who is kept at Weert; all which has given me much anxiety as well from my desire for the preservation of your life in which my service is so deeply interested, as for the possible results if any thing should happen to you, which God forbid. I have thought, therefore, that it would be well, in order to give time and breathing space to the hatred and rancor which those persons entertain towards you, and in order to see what coarse they will take in preparing the necessary remedy, for the provinces, for you to leave the country for some days, in order to visit your mother, and this with the knowledge of the Duchess, my sister, and with her permission, which you will request, and which I have written to her that she must give, without allowing it to appear that you have received orders to that effect from me. You will also beg her to write to me requesting my approbation of what she is to do. By taking this course neither my authority nor yours will suffer prejudice; and according to the turn which things may take, measures may be taken for your return when expedient, and for whatever else there may be to arrange."

Thus, in two words, Philip removed the unpopular minister forever. The limitation of his absence had no meaning, and was intended to have none. If there were not strength enough to keep the Cardinal in his place, it was not probable that the more difficult task of reinstating him after his fall would be very soon attempted. It, seemed, however, to be dealing more tenderly with Granvelle's self-respect thus to leave a vague opening for a possible return, than to send him an unconditional dismissal.

Thus, while the King refused to give any weight to the representations of the nobles, and affected to be still deliberating whether or not he should recall the Cardinal, he had in reality already recalled him. All the minute directions according to which permission was to be asked of the Duchess to take a step which had already been prescribed by the monarch, and Philip's indulgence craved for obeying his own explicit injunctions, were fulfilled to the letter.

As soon as the Cardinal received the royal order, he privately made preparations for his departure. The Regent, on the other hand, delivered to Count Egmont the one of Philip's two letters in which that gentleman's visit was declined, the Duchess believing that, in the present position of affairs, she should derive more assistance from him than from the rest of the seigniors. As Granvelle, however, still delayed his departure, even after the arrival of the second courier, she was again placed in a situation of much perplexity. The three nobles considered Philip's letter to them extremely "dry and laconic," and Orange absolutely refused to comply with the order to re-enter the state council. At a session of that body, on the 3d of March, where only Granvelle, Viglius, and Berlaymont were present, Margaret narrated her fruitless attempts to persuade the seigniors into obedience to the royal orders lately transmitted, and asked their opinions. The extraordinary advice was then given, that "she should let them champ the bit a little while longer, and afterwards see what was to be done." Even at the last moment, the Cardinal, reluctant to acknowledge himself beaten, although secretly desirous to retire, was inclined for a parting struggle. The Duchess, however, being now armed with the King's express commands, and having had enough of holding the reins while such powerful and restive personages were "champing the bit," insisted privately that the Cardinal should make his immediate departure known. Pasquinades and pamphlets were already appearing daily, each more bitter than the other; the livery was spreading rapidly through all classes of people, and the seigniors most distinctly refused to recede from their determination of absenting themselves from the council so long as Granvelle remained. There was no help for it; and on the 13th of March the Cardinal took his departure. Notwithstanding the mystery of the whole proceeding, however, William of Orange was not deceived. He felt certain that the minister had been recalled, and thought it highly improbable that he would ever be permitted to return. "Although the Cardinal talks of coming back again soon," wrote the Prince to Schwartzburg, "we nevertheless hope that, as he lied about his departure, so he will also spare the truth in his present assertions." This was the general conviction, so far as the question of the minister's compulsory retreat was concerned, of all those who were in the habit of receiving their information and their opinions from the Prince of Orange. Many even thought that Granvelle had been recalled with indignity and much against his will. "When the Cardinal," wrote Secretary Lorich to Count Louis, "received the King's order to go, he growled like a bear, and kept himself alone in his chamber for a time, making his preparations for departure. He says he shall come back in two months, but some of us think they will be two long months which will eat themselves up like money borrowed of the Jews." A wag, moreover, posted a large placard upon the door of Granvelle's palace in Brussels as soon as the minister's departure was known, with the inscription, in large letters, "For sale, immediately." In spite of the royal ingenuity, therefore, many shrewdly suspected the real state of the case, although but very few actually knew the truth.

The Cardinal left Brussels with a numerous suite, stately equipages, and much parade. The Duchess provided him with her own mules and with a sufficient escort, for the King had expressly enjoined that every care should be taken against any murderous attack. There was no fear of such assault, however, for all were sufficiently satisfied to see the minister depart. Brederode and Count Hoogstraaten were standing together, looking from the window of a house near the gate of Caudenberg, to feast their eyes with the spectacle of their enemy's retreat. As soon as the Cardinal had passed through that gate, on his way to Namur, the first stage of his journey, they rushed into the street, got both upon one horse, Hoogstraaten, who alone had boots on his legs, taking the saddle and Brederode the croup, and galloped after the Cardinal, with the exultation of school-boys. Thus mounted, they continued to escort the Cardinal on his journey. At one time, they were so near his carriage, while it was passing through a ravine, that they might have spoken to him from the heights above, where they had paused to observe him; but they pulled the capes of their cloaks over their faces and suffered him to pass unchallenged. "But they are young folk," said the Cardinal, benignantly, after relating all these particulars to the Duchess, "and one should pay little regard to their actions." He added, that one of Egmont's gentlemen dogged their party on the journey, lodging in the same inns with them, apparently in the hope of learning something from their conversation or proceedings. If that were the man's object, however, Granvelle expressed the conviction that he was disappointed, as nothing could have been more merry than the whole company, or more discreet than their conversation.

The Cardinal began at once to put into operation the system of deception, as to his departure, which had been planned by Philip. The man who had been ordered to leave the Netherlands by the King, and pushed into immediate compliance with the royal command by the Duchess, proceeded to address letters both to Philip and Margaret. He wrote from Namur to beg the Regent that she would not fail to implore his Majesty graciously to excuse his having absented himself for private reasons at that particular moment. He wrote to Philip from Besancon, stating that his desire to visit his mother, whom he had not seen for nineteen years, and his natal soil, to which he had been a stranger during the same period, had induced him to take advantage of his brother's journey to accompany him for a few days into Burgundy. He had, therefore, he said, obtained the necessary permission from the Duchess, who had kindly promised to write very particularly by the first courier, to beg his Majesty's approval of the liberty which they had both taken. He wrote from the same place to the Regent again, saying that some of the nobles pretended to have learned from Armenteros that the King had ordered the Cardinal to leave the country and not to return; all which, he added, was a very false Renardesque invention, at which he did nothing but laugh.

As a matter of course, his brother, in whose company he was about to visit the mother whom he had not seen for the past nineteen years, was as much mystified as the rest of the world. Chantonnay was not aware that any thing but the alleged motives had occasioned the journey, nor did he know that his brother would perhaps have omitted to visit their common parent for nineteen years longer had he not received the royal order to leave the Netherlands.

Philip, on the other side, had sustained his part, in the farce with much ability. Viglius, Berlaymont, Morillon, and all the lesser cardinalists were entirely taken in by the letters which were formally despatched to the Duchess in reply to her own and the Cardinal's notification. "I can not take it amiss," wrote the King, "that you have given leave of absence to Cardinal de Granvelle, for two or three months, according to the advices just received from you, that he may attend to some private affairs of his own." As soon as these letters had been read in the council, Viglius faithfully transmitted them to Granvelle for that personage's enlightenment; adding his own innocent reflection, that "this was very different language from that held by some people, that your most illustrious lordship had retired by order of his Majesty." Morillon also sent the Cardinal a copy of the same passage in the royal despatch, saying, very wisely, "I wonder what they will all say now, since these letters have been read in council." The Duchess, as in duty bound, denied flatly, on all occasions, that Armenteros had brought any letters recommending or ordering the minister's retreat. She conscientiously displayed the letters of his Majesty, proving the contrary, and yet, said Viglius, it was very hard to prevent people talking as they liked. Granvelle omitted no occasion to mystify every one of his correspondents on the subject, referring, of course, to the same royal letters which had been written for public reading, expressly to corroborate these statements. "You see by his Majesty's letters to Madame de Parma," said he to Morillon, "how false is the report that the King had ordered me to leave Flanders, and in what confusion those persons find themselves who fabricated the story." It followed of necessity that he should carry out his part in the royal program, but he accomplished his task so adroitly, and with such redundancy of zeal, as to show his thorough sympathy with the King's policy. He dissembled with better grace, even if the King did it more naturally. Nobody was too insignificant to be deceived, nobody too august. Emperor Ferdinand fared no better than "Esquire" Bordey. "Some of those who hate me," he wrote to the potentate, "have circulated the report that I had been turned out of the country, and was never to return. This story has ended in smoke, since the letters written by his Majesty to the Duchess of Parma on the subject of the leave of absence which she had given me." Philip himself addressed a private letter to Granvelle, of course that others might see it, in which he affected to have just learned that the Cardinal had obtained permission from the Regent "to make a visit to his mother, in order to arrange certain family matters," and gravely gave his approbation to the step. At the same time it was not possible for the King to resist the temptation of adding one other stroke of dissimulation to his own share in the comedy. Granvelle and Philip had deceived all the world, but Philip also deceived Granvelle. The Cardinal made a mystery of his departure to Pollwiller, Viglius, Morillon, to the Emperor, to his own brother, and also to the King's secretary, Gonzalo Perez; but he was not aware that Perez, whom he thought himself deceiving as ingeniously as he had done all the others, had himself drawn up the letter of recall, which the King had afterwards copied out in his own hand and marked "secret and confidential." Yet Granvelle might have guessed that in such an emergency Philip would hardly depend upon his own literary abilities.

Granvelle remained month after month in seclusion, doing his best to philosophize. Already, during the latter period of his residence in the Netherlands, he had lived in a comparative and forced solitude. His house had been avoided by those power-worshippers whose faces are rarely turned to the setting sun. He had, in consequence, already, before his departure, begun to discourse on the beauties of retirement, the fatigues of greatness, and the necessity of repose for men broken with the storms of state. A great man was like a lake, he said, to which a thirsty multitude habitually resorted till the waters were troubled, sullied, and finally exhausted. Power looked more attractive in front than in the retrospect. That which men possessed was ever of less value than that which they hoped. In this fine strain of eloquent commonplace the falling minister had already begun to moralize upon the vanity of human wishes. When he was established at his charming retreat in Burgundy, he had full leisure to pursue the theme. He remained in retirement till his beard grew to his waist, having vowed, according to report, that he would not shave till recalled to the Netherlands. If the report were true, said some of the gentlemen in the provinces, it would be likely to grow to his feet. He professed to wish himself blind and deaf that he might have no knowledge of the world's events, described himself as buried in literature, and fit for no business save to remain in his chamber, fastened to his books, or occupied with private affairs and religious exercises. He possessed a most charming residence at Orchamps, where he spent a great portion of his time. In one of his letters to Vice-Chancellor Seld, he described the beauties of this retreat with much delicacy and vigor—"I am really not as badly off here," said he, "as I should be in the Indies. I am in sweet places where I have wished for you a thousand times, for I am certain that you would think them appropriate for philosophy and worthy the habitation of the Muses. Here are beautiful mountains, high as heaven, fertile on all their sides, wreathed with vineyards, and rich with every fruit; here are rivers flowing through charming valleys, the waters clear as crystal, filled with trout, breaking into numberless cascades. Here are umbrageous groves, fertile fields, lovely meadows; on the one aide great warmth, on the other aide delectable coolness, despite the summer's heat. Nor is there any lack of good company, friends, and relations, with, as you well know, the very best wines in the world."

Thus it is obvious that the Cardinal was no ascetic. His hermitage contained other appliances save those for study and devotion. His retired life was, in fact, that of a voluptuary. His brother, Chantonnay, reproached him with the sumptuousness and disorder of his establishment. He lived in "good and joyous cheer." He professed to be thoroughly satisfied with the course things had taken, knowing that God was above all, and would take care of all. He avowed his determination to extract pleasure and profit even from the ill will of his adversaries. "Behold my philosophy," he cried, "to live joyously as possible, laughing at the world, at passionate people, and at all their calumnies." It is evident that his philosophy, if it had any real existence, was sufficiently Epicurean. It was, however, mainly compounded of pretence, like his whole nature and his whole life. Notwithstanding the mountains high as heaven, the cool grottos, the trout, and the best Burgundy wines in the world, concerning which he descanted so eloquently, he soon became in reality most impatient of his compulsory seclusion. His pretence of "composing himself as much as possible to tranquillity and repose" could deceive none of the intimate associates to whom he addressed himself in that edifying vein. While he affected to be blind and deaf to politics, he had eyes and ears for nothing else. Worldly affairs were his element, and he was shipwrecked upon the charming solitude which he affected to admire. He was most anxious to return to the world again, but he had difficult cards to play. His master was even more dubious than usual about everything. Granvelle was ready to remain in Burgundy as long as Philip chose that he should remain there. He was also ready to go to "India, Peru, or into the fire," whenever his King should require any such excursion, or to return to the Netherlands, confronting any danger which might lie in his path. It is probable that he nourished for a long time a hope that the storm would blow over in the provinces, and his resumption of power become possible. William of Orange, although more than half convinced that no attempt would be made to replace the minister, felt it necessary to keep strict watch on his movements. "We must be on our guard," said he, "and not be deceived. Perhaps they mean to put us asleep, in order the better to execute their designs. For the present things are peaceable, and all the world is rejoiced at the departure of that good Cardinal." The Prince never committed the error of undervaluing the talents of his great adversary, and he felt the necessity of being on the alert in the present emergency. "'Tis a sly and cunning bird that we are dealing with," said he, "one that sleeps neither day nor night if a blow is to be dealt to us." Honest Brederode, after solacing himself with the spectacle of his enemy's departure, soon began to suspect his return, and to express himself on the subject, as usual, with ludicrous vehemence. "They say the red fellow is back again," he wrote to Count Louis, "and that Berlaymont has gone to meet him at Namur. The Devil after the two would be a good chase." Nevertheless, the chances of that return became daily fainter. Margaret of Parma hated the Cardinal with great cordiality. She fell out of her servitude to him into far more contemptible hands, but for a brief interval she seemed to take a delight in the recovery of her freedom. According to Viglius, the court, after Granvelle's departure, was like a school of boys and girls when the pedagogue's back is turned. He was very bitter against the Duchess for her manifest joy at emancipation. The poor President was treated with the most marked disdain by Margaret, who also took pains to show her dislike to all the cardinalists. Secretary Armenteros forbade Bordey, who was Granvelle's cousin and dependent, from even speaking to him in public. The Regent soon became more intimate with Orange and Egmont than she had ever been with the Cardinal. She was made to see—and, seeing, she became indignant—the cipher which she had really been during his administration. "One can tell what's o'clock," wrote Morillon to the fallen minister, "since she never writes to you nor mentions your name." As to Armenteros, with whom Granvelle was still on friendly relations, he was restless in his endeavors to keep the once-powerful priest from rising again. Having already wormed himself into the confidence of the Regent, he made a point of showing to the principal seigniors various letters, in which she had been warned by the Cardinal to put no trust in them. "That devil," said Armenteros, "thought he had got into Paradise here; but he is gone, and we shall take care that he never returns." It was soon thought highly probable that the King was but temporizing, and that the voluntary departure of the minister had been a deception. Of course nothing was accurately known upon the subject. Philip had taken good care of that, but meantime the bets were very high that there would be no restoration, with but few takers. Men thought if there had been any royal favor remaining for the great man, that the Duchess would not be so decided in her demeanor on the subject. They saw that she was scarlet with indignation whenever the Cardinal's name was mentioned. They heard her thank Heaven that she had but one son, because if she had had a second he must have been an ecclesiastic, and as vile as priests always were. They witnessed the daily contumely which she heaped upon poor Viglius, both because he was a friend of Granvelle and was preparing in his old age to take orders. The days were gone, indeed, when Margaret was so filled with respectful affection for the prelate, that she could secretly correspond with the Holy Father at Rome, and solicit the red hat for the object of her veneration. She now wrote to Philip, stating that she was better informed as to affairs in the Netherlands than she had ever formerly been. She told her brother that all the views of Granvelle and of his followers, Viglius with the rest, had tended to produce a revolution which they hoped that Philip would find in full operation when he should come to the Netherlands. It was their object, she said, to fish in troubled waters, and, to attain that aim, they had ever pursued the plan of gaining the exclusive control of all affairs. That was the reason why they had ever opposed the convocation of the states-general. They feared that their books would be read, and their frauds, injustice, simony, and rapine discovered. This would be the result, if tranquillity were restored to the country, and therefore they had done their best to foment and maintain discord. The Duchess soon afterwards entertained her royal brother with very detailed accounts of various acts of simony, peculation, and embezzlement committed by Viglius, which the Cardinal had aided and abetted, and by which he had profited.—[Correspondence de Phil. II, i. 318-320.]—These revelations are inestimable in a historical point of view. They do not raise our estimate of Margaret's character, but they certainly give us a clear insight into the nature of the Granvelle administration. At the same time it was characteristic of the Duchess, that while she was thus painting the portrait of the Cardinal for the private eye of his sovereign, she should address the banished minister himself in a secret strain of condolence, and even of penitence. She wrote to assure Granvelle that she repented extremely having adopted the views of Orange. She promised that she would state publicly every where that the Cardinal was an upright man, intact in his morals and his administration, a most zealous and faithful servant of the King. She added that she recognized the obligations she was under to him, and that she loved him like a brother. She affirmed that if the Flemish seigniors had induced her to cause the Cardinal to be deprived of the government, she was already penitent, and that her fault deserved that the King, her brother, should cut off her head, for having occasioned so great a calamity.—["Memoires de Granvelle," tom. 33, p. 67.]

There was certainly discrepancy between the language thus used simultaneously by the Duchess to Granvelle and to Philip, but Margaret had been trained in the school of Macchiavelli, and had sat at the feet of Loyola.

The Cardinal replied with equal suavity, protesting that such a letter from the Duchess left him nothing more to desire, as it furnished him with an "entire and perfect justification" of his conduct. He was aware of her real sentiments, no doubt, but he was too politic to quarrel with so important a personage as Philip's sister.

An incident which occurred a few months after the minister's departure served, to show the general estimation in which he was held by all ranks of Netherlanders. Count Mansfeld celebrated the baptism of his son, Philip Octavian, by a splendid series of festivities at Luxemburg, the capital of his government. Besides the tournaments and similar sports, with which the upper classes of European society were accustomed at that day to divert themselves, there was a grand masquerade, to which the public were admitted as spectators. In this "mummery" the most successful spectacle was that presented by a group arranged in obvious ridicule of Granvelle. A figure dressed in Cardinal's costume, with the red hat upon his head, came pacing through the arena upon horseback. Before him marched a man attired like a hermit, with long white beard, telling his beads upon a rosary, which he held ostentatiously in his hands. Behind the mounted Cardinal came the Devil, attired in the usual guise considered appropriate to the Prince of Darkness, who scourged both horse and rider with a whip of fog-tails, causing them to scamper about the lists in great trepidation, to the immense delight of the spectators. The practical pun upon Simon Renard's name embodied in the fox-tail, with the allusion to the effect of the manifold squibs perpetrated by that most bitter and lively enemy upon Granvelle, were understood and relished by the multitude. Nothing could be more hearty than the blows bestowed upon the minister's representative, except the applause with which this satire, composed of actual fustigation, was received. The humorous spectacle absorbed all the interest of the masquerade, and was frequently repeated. It seemed difficult to satisfy the general desire to witness a thorough chastisement of the culprit.

The incident made a great noise in the country. The cardinalists felt naturally very much enraged, but they were in a minority. No censure came from the government at Brussels, and Mansfeld was then and for a long time afterwards the main pillar of royal authority in the Netherlands. It was sufficiently obvious that Granvelle, for the time at least, was supported by no party of any influence.

Meantime he remained in his seclusion. His unpopularity did not, however, decrease in his absence. More than a year after his departure, Berlaymont said the nobles detested the Cardinal more than ever, and would eat him alive if they caught him. The chance of his returning was dying gradually out. At about the same period Chantonnay advised his brother to show his teeth. He assured Granvelle that he was too quiet in his disgrace, reminded him that princes had warm affections when they wished to make use of people, but that when they could have them too cheaply, they esteemed them but little; making no account of men whom they were accustomed to see under their feet. He urged the Cardinal, in repeated letters, to take heart again, to make himself formidable, and to rise from his crouching attitude. All the world say, he remarked, that the game is up between the King and yourself, and before long every one will be laughing at you, and holding you for a dupe.

Stung or emboldened by these remonstrances, and weary of his retirement, Granvelle at last abandoned all intention of returning to the Netherlands, and towards the end of 1565, departed to Rome, where he participated in the election of Pope Pius V. Five years afterwards he was employed by Philip to negotiate the treaty between Spain, Rome, and Venice against the Turk. He was afterwards Viceroy of Naples, and in 1575, he removed to Madrid, to take an active part in the management of the public business, "the disorder of which," says the Abbe Boisot, "could be no longer arrested by men of mediocre capacity." He died in that city on the 21st September, 1586, at the age of seventy, and was buried at Besancon.

We have dwelt at length on the administration of this remarkable personage, because the period was one of vital importance in the history of the Netherland commonwealth. The minister who deals with the country at an epoch when civil war is imminent, has at least as heavy a responsibility upon his head as the man who goes forth to confront the armed and full-grown rebellion. All the causes out of which the great revolt was born, were in violent operation during the epoch of Granvelle's power. By the manner in which he comported himself in presence of those dangerous and active elements of the coming convulsions, must his character as a historical personage be measured. His individuality had so much to do with the course of the government, the powers placed in his hands were so vast, and his energy so untiring, that it is difficult to exaggerate the importance of his influence upon the destiny of the country which he was permitted to rule. It is for this reason that we have been at great pains to present his picture, sketched as it were by his own hand. A few general remarks are, however, necessary. It is the historian's duty to fix upon one plain and definite canvas the chameleon colors in which the subtle Cardinal produced his own image. Almost any theory concerning his character might be laid down and sustained by copious citations from his works; nay, the most opposite conclusions as to his interior nature, may be often drawn from a single one of his private and interminable letters. Embarked under his guidance, it is often difficult to comprehend the point to which we are tending. The oarsman's face beams upon us with serenity, but he looks in one direction, and rows in the opposite course. Even thus it was three centuries ago. Was it to be wondered at that many did not see the precipice towards which the bark which held their all was gliding under the same impulse?

No man has ever disputed Granvelle's talents. From friend and foe his intellect has received the full measure of applause which it could ever claim. No doubt his genius was of a rare and subtle kind. His great power was essentially dramatic in its nature. He mastered the characters of the men with whom he had to deal, and then assumed them. He practised this art mainly upon personages of exalted station, for his scheme was to govern the world by acquiring dominion over its anointed rulers. A smooth and supple slave in appearance, but, in reality, while his power lasted, the despot of his masters, he exercised boundless control by enacting their parts with such fidelity that they were themselves deceived. It is impossible not to admire the facility with which this accomplished Proteus successively assumed the characters of Philip and of Margaret, through all the complicated affairs and voluminous correspondence of his government.

When envoys of high rank were to be despatched on confidential missions to Spain, the Cardinal drew their instructions as the Duchess—threw light upon their supposed motives in secret letters as the King's sister—and answered their representations with ponderous wisdom as Philip; transmitting despatches, letters and briefs for royal conversations, in time to be thoroughly studied before the advent of the ambassador. Whoever travelled from Brussels to Madrid in order to escape the influence of the ubiquitous Cardinal, was sure to be confronted with him in the inmost recesses of the King's cabinet as soon as he was admitted to an audience. To converse with Philip or Margaret was but to commune with Antony. The skill with which he played his game, seated quietly in his luxurious villa, now stretching forth one long arm to move the King at Madrid, now placing Margaret upon what square he liked, and dealing with Bishops, Knight of the Fleece, and lesser dignitaries, the Richardota, the Morillons, the Viglii and the Berlaymonts, with sole reference to his own scheme of action, was truly of a nature to excite our special wonder. His aptitude for affairs and his power to read character were extraordinary; but it was necessary that the affairs should be those of a despotism, and the characters of an inferior nature. He could read Philip and Margaret, Egmont or Berlaymont, Alva or Viglius, but he had no plummet to sound the depths of a mind like that of William the Silent. His genius was adroit and subtle, but not profound. He aimed at power by making the powerful subservient, but he had not the intellect which deals in the daylight face to face with great events and great minds. In the violent political struggle of which his administration consisted, he was foiled and thrown by the superior strength of a man whose warfare was open and manly, and who had no defence against the poisoned weapons of his foe.

His literary accomplishments were very great. His fecundity was prodigious, and he wrote at will in seven languages. 'This polyglot facility was not in itself a very remarkable circumstance, for it grew out of his necessary education and geographical position. Few men in that age and region were limited to their mother tongue. The Prince of Orange, who made no special pretence to learning, possessed at least five languages. Egmont, who was accounted an ignorant man, was certainly familiar with three. The Cardinal, however, wrote not only with ease, but with remarkable elegance, vigor and vivacity, in whatever language he chose to adopt. The style of his letters and other documents, regarded simply as compositions, was inferior to that of no writer of the age. His occasional orations, too, were esteemed models of smooth and flowing rhetoric, at an epoch when the art of eloquence was not much cultivated. Yet it must be allowed that beneath all the shallow but harmonious flow of his periods, it would be idle to search for a grain of golden sand. Not a single sterling, manly thought is to be found in all his productions. If at times our admiration is excited with the appearance of a gem of true philosophy, we are soon obliged to acknowledge, on closer inspection, that we have been deceived by a false glitter. In retirement, his solitude was not relieved by serious application to any branch of knowledge. Devotion to science and to the advancement of learning, a virtue which has changed the infamy of even baser natures than his into glory, never dignified his seclusion. He had elegant tastes, he built fine palaces, he collected paintings, and he discoursed of the fine arts with the skill and eloquence of a practised connoisseur; but the nectared fruits of divine philosophy were but harsh and crabbed to him.

His moral characteristics are even more difficult to seize than his intellectual traits. It is a perplexing task to arrive at the intimate interior structure of a nature which hardly had an interior. He did not change, but he presented himself daily in different aspects. Certain peculiarities he possessed, however, which were unquestionable. He was always courageous, generally calm. Placed in the midst of a nation which hated him, exposed to the furious opposition of the most powerful adversaries, having hardly a friend, except the cowardly Viglius and the pluralist Morillon, secretly betrayed by Margaret of Parma, insulted by rude grandees, and threatened by midnight assassins, he never lost his self-possession, his smooth arrogance, his fortitude. He was constitutionally brave. He was not passionate in his resentments. To say that he was forgiving by nature would be an immense error; but that he could put aside vengeance at the dictate of policy is very certain. He could temporize, even after the reception of what he esteemed grave injuries, if the offenders were powerful. He never manifested rancor against the Duchess. Even after his fall from power in the Netherlands, he interceded with the Pope in favor of the principality of Orange, which the pontiff was disposed to confiscate. The Prince was at that time as good a Catholic as the Cardinal. He was apparently on good terms with his sovereign, and seemed to have a prosperous career before him. He was not a personage to be quarrelled with. At a later day, when the position of that great man was most clearly defined to the world, the Cardinal's ancient affection for his former friend and pupil did not prevent him from suggesting the famous ban by which a price was set upon his head, and his life placed in the hands of every assassin in Europe. It did not prevent him from indulging in the jocularity of a fiend, when the news of the first-fruits of that bounty upon murder reached his ears. It did not prevent him from laughing merrily at the pain which his old friend must have suffered, shot through the head and face with a musket-ball, and at the mutilated aspect which his "handsome face must have presented to the eyes of his apostate wife." It did not prevent him from stoutly disbelieving and then refusing to be comforted, when the recovery of the illustrious victim was announced. He could always dissemble without entirely forgetting his grievances. Certainly, if he were the forgiving Christian he pictured himself, it is passing strange to reflect upon the ultimate fate of Egmont, Horn, Montigny, Berghen, Orange, and a host of others, whose relations with him were inimical.

His extravagance was enormous, and his life luxurious. At the same time he could leave his brother Champagny—a man, with all his faults, of a noble nature, and with scarcely inferior talents to his own—to languish for a long time in abject poverty; supported by the charity of an ancient domestic. His greediness for wealth was proverbial. No benefice was too large or too paltry to escape absorption, if placed within his possible reach. Loaded with places and preferments, rolling in wealth, he approached his sovereign with the whine of a mendicant. He talked of his property as a "misery," when he asked for boons, and expressed his thanks in the language of a slave when he received them. Having obtained the abbey of St. Armand, he could hardly wait for the burial of the Bishop of Tournay before claiming the vast revenues of Afflighem, assuring the King as he did so that his annual income was but eighteen thousand crowns. At the same time, while thus receiving or pursuing the vast rents of St. Armand and Afflighem, he could seize the abbey of Trulle from the expectant hands of poor dependents, and accept tapestries and hogsheads of wine from Jacques Lequien and others, as a tax on the benefices which he procured for them. Yet the man who, like his father before him, had so long fattened on the public money, who at an early day had incurred the Emperor's sharp reproof for his covetousness, whose family, beside all these salaries and personal property, possessed already fragments of the royal domain, in the shape of nineteen baronies and seigniories in Burgundy, besides the county of Cantecroix and other estates in the Netherlands, had the effrontery to affirm, "We have always rather regarded the service of the master than our own particular profit."

In estimating the conduct of the minister, in relation to the provinces, we are met upon the threshold by a swarm of vague assertions which are of a nature to blind or distract the judgment. His character must be judged as a whole, and by its general results, with a careful allowance for contradictions and equivocations. Truth is clear and single, but the lights are parti-colored and refracted in the prism of hypocrisy. The great feature of his administration was a prolonged conflict between himself and the leading seigniors of the Netherlands. The ground of the combat was the religious question. Let the quarrel be turned or tortured in any manner that human ingenuity can devise, it still remains unquestionable that Granvelle's main object was to strengthen and to extend the inquisition, that of his adversaries to overthrow the institution. It followed, necessarily, that the ancient charters were to be trampled in the dust before that tribunal could be triumphant. The nobles, although all Catholics, defended the cause of the poor religious martyrs, the privileges of the nation and the rights of their order. They were conservatives, battling for the existence of certain great facts, entirely consonant to any theory of justice and divine reason—for ancient constitutions which had been purchased with blood and treasure. "I will maintain," was the motto of William of Orange. Philip, bigoted and absolute almost beyond comprehension, might perhaps have proved impervious to any representations, even of Granvelle. Nevertheless, the minister might have attempted the task, and the responsibility is heavy upon the man who shared the power and directed the career, but who never ceased to represent the generous resistance of individuals to frantic cruelty, as offences against God and the King.

Yet extracts are drawn from his letters to prove that he considered the Spaniards as "proud and usurping," that he indignantly denied ever having been in favor of subjecting the Netherlands to the soldiers of that nation; that he recommended the withdrawal of the foreign regiments, and that he advised the King, when he came to the country, to bring with him but few Spanish troops. It should, however, be remembered that he employed, according to his own statements, every expedient which human ingenuity could suggest to keep the foreign soldiers in the provinces, that he "lamented to his inmost soul" their forced departure, and that he did not consent to that measure until the people were in a tumult, and the Zealanders threatening to lay the country under the ocean. "You may judge of the means employed to excite the people," he wrote to Perez in 1563, "by the fact that a report is circulated that the Duke of Alva is coming hither to tyrannize the provinces." Yet it appears by the admissions of Del Ryo, one of Alva's blood council, that, "Cardinal Granvelle expressly advised that an army of Spaniards should be sent to the Netherlands, to maintain the obedience to his Majesty and the Catholic religion," and that the Duke of Alva was appointed chief by the advice of Cardinal Spinosa, and by that of Cardinal Granvelle, as, appeared by many letters written at the time to his friends. By the same confessions; it appeared that the course of policy thus distinctly recommended by Granvelle, "was to place the country under a system of government like that of Spain and Italy, and to reduce it entirely under the council of Spain." When the terrible Duke started on his errand of blood and fire, the Cardinal addressed him, a letter of fulsome flattery; protesting "that all the world know that no person could be found so appropriate as he, to be employed in an affair of such importance;" urging him to advance with his army as rapidly as possible upon the Netherlands, hoping that "the Duchess of Parma would not be allowed to consent that any pardon or concession should be made to the cities, by which the construction of fortresses would be interfered with, or the revocation of the charters which had been forfeited, be prevented," and giving him much advice as to the general measures to be adopted, and the persons to be employed upon his arrival, in which number the infamous Noircarmes was especially recommended. In a document found among his papers, these same points, with others, were handled at considerable length. The incorporation of the provinces into one kingdom, of which the King was to be crowned absolute sovereign; the establishment of, a universal law for the Catholic religion, care being taken not to call that law inquisition, "because there was nothing so odious to the northern nations as the word Spanish Inquisition, although the thing in itself be most holy and just;" the abolition and annihilation of the broad or general council in the cities, the only popular representation in the country; the construction of many citadels and fortresses to be garrisoned with Spaniards, Italians, and Germans. Such were the leading features in that remarkable paper.

The manly and open opposition of the nobles was stigmatized as a cabal by the offended priest. He repeatedly whispered in the royal ear that their league was a treasonable conspiracy, which the Attorney-General ought to prosecute; that the seigniors meant to subvert entirely the authority of the Sovereign; that they meant to put their King under tutelage, to compel him to obey all their commands, to choose another prince of the blood for their chief, to establish a republic by the aid of foreign troops. If such insinuations, distilled thus secretly into the ear of Philip, who, like his predecessor, Dionysius, took pleasure in listening daily to charges against his subjects and to the groans of his prisoners, were not likely to engender a dangerous gangrene in the royal mind, it would be difficult to indicate any course which would produce such a result. Yet the Cardinal maintained that he had never done the gentlemen ill service, but that "they were angry with him for wishing to sustain the authority of the master." In almost every letter he expressed vague generalities of excuse, or even approbation, while he chronicled each daily fact which occurred to their discredit. The facts he particularly implored the King to keep to himself, the vague laudation he as urgently requested him to repeat to those interested. Perpetually dropping small innuendos like pebbles into the depths of his master's suspicious soul, he knew that at last the waters of bitterness would overflow, but he turned an ever-smiling face upon those who were to be his victims. There was ever something in his irony like the bland request of the inquisitor to the executioner that he would deal with his prisoners gently. There was about the same result in regard to such a prayer to be expected from Philip as from the hangman. Even if his criticisms had been uniformly indulgent, the position of the nobles and leading citizens thus subjected to a constant but secret superintendence, would have been too galling to be tolerated. They did not know, so precisely as we have learned after three centuries, that all their idle words and careless gestures as well as their graver proceedings, were kept in a noting book to be pored over and conned by rote in the recesses of the royal cabinet and the royal mind; but they suspected the espionage of the Cardinal, and they openly charged him with his secret malignity.

The men who refused to burn their fellow-creatures for a difference in religious opinion were stigmatized as demagogues; as ruined spendthrifts who wished to escape from their liabilities in the midst of revolutionary confusion; as disguised heretics who were waiting for a good opportunity to reveal their true characters. Montigny, who, as a Montmorency, was nearly allied to the Constable and Admiral of France, and was in epistolary correspondence with those relatives, was held up as a Huguenot; of course, therefore, in Philip's eye, the most monstrous of malefactors.

Although no man could strew pious reflections and holy texts more liberally, yet there was always an afterthought even in his most edifying letters. A corner of the mask is occasionally lifted and the deadly face of slow but abiding vengeance is revealed. "I know very well," he wrote, soon after his fall, to Viglius, "that vengeance is the Lord's-God is my witness that I pardon all the past." In the same letter, nevertheless, he added, "My theology, however, does not teach me, that by enduring, one is to enable one's enemies to commit even greater wrongs. If the royal justice is not soon put into play, I shall be obliged to right myself. This thing is going on too long-patience exhausted changes to fury. 'Tis necessary that every man should assist himself as he can, and when I choose to throw the game into confusion I shall do it perhaps more notably than the others." A few weeks afterwards, writing to the same correspondent, he observed, "We shall have to turn again, and rejoice together. Whatever the King commands I shall do, even were I to march into the fire, whatever happens, and without fear or respect for any person I mean to remain the same man to the end—Durate;—and I have a head that is hard enough when I do undertake any thing—'nec animism despondeo'." Here, certainly, was significant foreshadowing of the general wrath to come, and it was therefore of less consequence that the portraits painted by him of Berghen, Horn, Montigny, and others, were so rarely relieved by the more flattering tints which he occasionally mingled with the sombre coloring of his other pictures. Especially with regard to Count Egmont, his conduct was somewhat perplexing and, at first sight, almost inscrutable. That nobleman had been most violent in opposition to his course, had drawn a dagger upon him, had frequently covered him with personal abuse, and had crowned his offensive conduct by the invention of the memorable fool's-cap: livery. Yet the Cardinal usually spoke of him with pity and gentle consideration, described him as really well disposed in the main, as misled by others, as a "friend of smoke," who might easily be gained by flattery and bribery. When there was question of the Count's going to Madrid, the Cardinal renewed his compliments with additional expression of eagerness that they should be communicated to their object. Whence all this Christian meekness in the author of the Ban against Orange and the eulogist of Alva? The true explanation of this endurance on the part of the Cardinal lies in the estimate which he had formed of Egmont's character. Granvelle had taken the man's measure, and even he could not foresee the unparalleled cruelty and dulness which were eventually to characterize Philip's conduct towards him. On the contrary, there was every reason why the Cardinal should see in the Count a personage whom brilliant services, illustrious rank, and powerful connexions, had marked for a prosperous future. It was even currently asserted that Philip was about to create him Governor-General of the Netherlands, in order to detach him entirely from Orange, and to bind him more closely to the Crown. He was, therefore, a man to be forgiven. Nothing apparently but a suspicion of heresy could damage the prospects of the great noble, and Egmont was orthodox beyond all peradventure. He was even a bigot in the Catholic faith. He had privately told the Duchess of Parma that he had always been desirous of seeing the edicts thoroughly enforced; and he denounced as enemies all those persons who charged him with ever having been in favor of mitigating the System. He was reported, to be sure, at about the time of Granvelle's departure from the Netherlands, to have said "post pocula, that the quarrel was not with the Cardinal, but with the King, who was administering the public affairs very badly, even in the matter of religion." Such a bravado, however, uttered by a gentleman in his cups, when flushed with a recent political triumph, could hardly outweigh in the cautious calculations of Granvelle; distinct admissions in favor of persecution. Egmont in truth stood in fear of the inquisition. The hero of Gravelingen and St. Quentin actually trembled before Peter Titelmann. Moreover, notwithstanding all that had past, he had experienced a change in his sentiments in regard to the Cardinal. He frequently expressed the opinion that, although his presence in the Netherlands was inadmissible, he should be glad to see him Pope. He had expressed strong disapprobation of the buffooning masquerade by which he had been ridiculed at the Mansfeld christening party. When at Madrid he not only spoke well of Granvelle himself; but would allow nothing disparaging concerning him to be uttered in his presence. When, however, Egmont had fallen from favor, and was already a prisoner, the Cardinal diligently exerted himself to place under the King's eye what he considered the most damning evidence of the Count's imaginary treason; a document with which the public prosecutor had not been made acquainted.

Thus, it will be seen by this retrospect how difficult it is to seize all the shifting subtleties of this remarkable character. His sophisms even, when self-contradictory, are so adroit that they are often hard to parry. He made a great merit to himself for not having originated the new episcopates; but it should be remembered that he did his utmost to enforce the measure, which was "so holy a scheme that he would sacrifice for its success his fortune and his life." He refused the archbishopric of Mechlin, but his motives for so doing were entirely sordid. His revenues were for the moment diminished, while his personal distinction was not, in his opinion, increased by the promotion. He refused to accept it because "it was no addition to his dignity, as he was already Cardinal and Bishop of Arras," but in this statement he committed an important anachronism. He was not Cardinal when he refused the see of Mechlin; having received the red hat upon February 26, 1561, and having already accepted the archbishopric in May of the preceding year. He affirmed that "no man would more resolutely defend the liberty and privileges of the provinces than he would do," but he preferred being tyrannized by his prince, to maintaining the joyful entrance. He complained of the insolence of the states in meddling with the supplies; he denounced the convocation of the representative bodies, by whose action alone, what there was of "liberty and privilege" in the land could be guarded; he recommended the entire abolition of the common councils in the cities. He described himself as having always combated the opinion that "any thing could be accomplished by terror, death and violence," yet he recommended the mission of Alva, in whom "terror, death, and violence" were incarnate. He was indignant that he should be accused of having advised the introduction of the Spanish inquisition; but his reason was that the term sounded disagreeably in northern ears, while the thing was most commendable. He manifested much anxiety that the public should be disabused of their fear of the Spanish inquisition, but he was the indefatigable supporter of the Netherland inquisition, which Philip declared with reason to be "the more pitiless institution" of the two. He was the author, not of the edicts, but of their re-enactment, verbally and literally, in all the horrid extent to which they had been carried by Charles the Fifth; and had recommended the use of the Emperor's name to sanctify the infernal scheme. He busied himself personally in the execution of these horrible laws, even when judge and hangman slackened. To the last he denounced all those "who should counsel his Majesty to permit a moderation of the edicts," and warned the King that if he should consent to the least mitigation of their provisions, things would go worse in the provinces than in France. He was diligent in establishing the reinforced episcopal inquisition side by side with these edicts, and with the papal inquisition already in full operation. He omitted no occasion of encouraging the industry of all these various branches in the business of persecution. When at last the loud cry from the oppressed inhabitants of Flanders was uttered in unanimous denunciation by the four estates of that province of the infamous Titelmann, the Cardinal's voice, from the depths of his luxurious solitude, was heard, not in sympathy with the poor innocent wretches, who were daily dragged from their humble homes to perish by sword and fire, but in pity for the inquisitor who was doing the work of hell. "I deeply regret," he wrote to Viglius, "that the states of Flanders should be pouting at inquisitor Titelmann. Truly he has good zeal, although sometimes indiscreet and noisy; still he must be supported, lest they put a bridle upon him, by which his authority will be quite enervated." The reader who is acquainted with the personality of Peter Titelmann can decide as to the real benignity of the joyous epicurean who could thus commend and encourage such a monster of cruelty.

If popularity be a test of merit in a public man, it certainly could not be claimed by the Cardinal. From the moment when Gresham declared him to be "hated of all men," down to the period of his departure, the odium resting upon him had been rapidly extending: He came to the country with two grave accusations resting upon his name. The Emperor Maximilian asserted that the Cardinal had attempted to take his life by poison, and he persisted in the truth of the charge thus made by him, till the day of his death. Another accusation was more generally credited. He was the author of the memorable forgery by which the Landgrave Philip of Hesse had been entrapped into his long imprisonment. His course in and towards the Netherlands has been sufficiently examined. Not a single charge has been made lightly, but only after careful sifting of evidence. Moreover they are all sustained mainly from the criminal's own lips. Yet when the secrecy of the Spanish cabinet and the Macchiavellian scheme of policy by which the age was characterized are considered, it is not strange that there should have been misunderstandings and contradictions with regard to the man's character till a full light had been thrown upon it by the disinterment of ancient documents. The word "Durate," which was the Cardinals device, may well be inscribed upon his mask, which has at last been torn aside, but which was formed of such durable materials, that it has deceived the world for three centuries.


     Attempting to swim in two waters
     Dissimulation and delay
     Excited with the appearance of a gem of true philosophy
     Insinuating suspicions when unable to furnish evidence
     Maintaining the attitude of an injured but forgiving Christian
     More accustomed to do well than to speak well
     Perpetually dropping small innuendos like pebbles
     Procrastination was always his first refuge
     They had at last burned one more preacher alive


1564-1565 [CHAPTER V.]

Return of the three seigniors to the state council—Policy of Orange—Corrupt character of the government—Efforts of the Prince in favor of reform—Influence of Armenteros—Painful situation of Viglius—His anxiety to retire—Secret charges against him transmitted by the Duchess to Philip—Ominous signs of the times— Attention of Philip to the details of persecution—Execution of Fabricius, and tumult at Antwerp—Horrible cruelty towards the Protestants—Remonstrance of the Magistracy of Bruges and of the four Flemish estates against Titelmann—Obduracy of Philip—Council of Trent—Quarrel for precedence between the French and Spanish envoys—Order for the publication of the Trent decrees in the Netherlands—Opposition to the measure—Reluctance of the Duchess— Egmont accepts a mission to Spain—Violent debate in the council concerning his instructions—Remarkable speech of Orange—Apoplexy of Viglius—Temporary appointment of Hopper—Departure of Egmont— Disgraceful scene at Cambray—Character of the Archbishop—Egmont in Spain—Flattery and bribery—Council of Doctors—Vehement declarations of Philip—His instructions to Egmont at his departure —Proceedings of Orange in regard to his principality—Egmont's report to the state council concerning his mission—His vainglory— Renewed orders from Philip to continue the persecution—Indignation of Egmont—Habitual dissimulation of the King—Reproof of Egmont by Orange—Assembly of doctors in Brussels—Result of their deliberations transmitted to Philip—Universal excitement in the Netherlands—New punishment for heretics—Interview at Bayonne between Catharine de Medici and her daughter, the Queen of Spain— Mistaken views upon this subject—Diplomacy of Alva—Artful conduct of Catharine—Stringent letters from Philip to the Duchess with regard to the inquisition—Consternation of Margaret and of Viglius —New proclamation of the Edicts, the Inquisition, and the Council of Trent—Fury of the people—Resistance of the leading seigniors and of the Brabant Council—Brabant declared free of the inquisition—Prince Alexander of Parma betrothed to Donna Maria of Portugal—Her portrait—Expensive preparations for the nuptials— Assembly of the Golden Fleece—Oration of Viglius—Wedding of Prince Alexander.

The remainder of the year, in the spring of which the Cardinal had left the Netherlands, was one of anarchy, confusion, and corruption. At first there had been a sensation of relief.

Philip had exchanged letters of exceeding amity with Orange, Egmont, and Horn. These three seigniors had written, immediately upon Granvelle's retreat, to assure the King of their willingness to obey the royal commands, and to resume their duties at the state council. They had, however, assured the Duchess that the reappearance of the Cardinal in the country would be the signal for their instantaneous withdrawal. They appeared at the council daily, working with the utmost assiduity often till late into the night. Orange had three great objects in view, by attaining which the country, in his opinion, might yet be saved, and the threatened convulsions averted. These were to convoke the states-general, to moderate or abolish the edicts, and to suppress the council of finance and the privy council, leaving only the council of state. The two first of these points, if gained, would, of course, subvert the whole absolute policy which Philip and Granvelle had enforced; it was, therefore, hardly probable that any impression would be made upon the secret determination of the government in these respects. As to the council of state, the limited powers of that body, under the administration of the Cardinal, had formed one of the principal complaints against that minister. The justice and finance councils were sinks of iniquity. The most barefaced depravity reigned supreme. A gangrene had spread through the whole government. The public functionaries were notoriously and outrageously venal. The administration of justice had been poisoned at the fountain, and the people were unable to slake their daily thirst at the polluted stream. There was no law but the law of the longest purse. The highest dignitaries of Philip's appointment had become the most mercenary hucksters who ever converted the divine temple of justice into a den of thieves. Law was an article of merchandise, sold by judges to the highest bidder. A poor customer could obtain nothing but stripes and imprisonment, or, if tainted with suspicion of heresy, the fagot or the sword, but for the rich every thing was attainable. Pardons for the most atrocious crimes, passports, safe conducts, offices of trust and honor, were disposed of at auction to the highest bidder. Against all this sea of corruption did the brave William of Orange set his breast, undaunted and unflinching. Of all the conspicuous men in the land, he was the only one whose worst enemy had never hinted through the whole course of his public career, that his hands had known contamination. His honor was ever untarnished by even a breath of suspicion. The Cardinal could accuse him of pecuniary embarrassment, by which a large proportion of his revenues were necessarily diverted to the liquidation of his debts, but he could not suggest that the Prince had ever freed himself from difficulties by plunging his hands into the public treasury, when it might easily have been opened to him.

It was soon, however, sufficiently obvious that as desperate a struggle was to be made with the many-headed monster of general corruption as with the Cardinal by whom it had been so long fed and governed. The Prince was accused of ambition and intrigue. It was said that he was determined to concentrate all the powers of government in the state council, which was thus to become an omnipotent and irresponsible senate, while the King would be reduced to the condition of a Venetian Doge. It was, of course, suggested that it was the aim of Orange to govern the new Tribunal of Ten. No doubt the Prince was ambitious. Birth, wealth, genius, and virtue could not have been bestowed in such eminent degree on any man without carrying with them the determination to assert their value. It was not his wish so much as it was the necessary law of his being to impress himself upon his age and to rule his fellow-men. But he practised no arts to arrive at the supremacy which he felt must always belong to him, what ever might be his nominal position in the political hierarchy. He was already, although but just turned of thirty years, vastly changed from the brilliant and careless grandee, as he stood at the hour of the imperial abdication. He was becoming careworn in face, thin of figure, sleepless of habit. The wrongs of which he was the daily witness, the absolutism, the cruelty, the rottenness of the government, had marked his face with premature furrows. "They say that the Prince is very sad," wrote Morillon to Granvelle; "and 'tis easy to read as much in his face. They say he can not sleep." Truly might the monarch have taken warning that here was a man who was dangerous, and who thought too much. "Sleekheaded men, and such as slept o' nights," would have been more eligible functionaries, no doubt, in the royal estimation, but, for a brief period, the King was content to use, to watch, and to suspect the man who was one day to be his great and invincible antagonist. He continued assiduous at the council, and he did his best, by entertaining nobles and citizens at his hospitable mansion, to cultivate good relations with large numbers of his countrymen. He soon, however, had become disgusted with the court. Egmont was more lenient to the foul practices which prevailed there, and took almost a childish pleasure in dining at the table of the Duchess, dressed, as were many of the younger nobles, in short camlet doublet with the wheat-sheaf buttons.

The Prince felt more unwilling to compromise his personal dignity by countenancing the flagitious proceedings and the contemptible supremacy of Armenteros, and it was soon very obvious, therefore, that Egmont was a greater favorite at court than Orange. At the same time the Count was also diligently cultivating the good graces of the middle and lower classes in Brussels, shooting with the burghers at the popinjay, calling every man by his name, and assisting at jovial banquets in town-house or guild-hall. The Prince, although at times a necessary partaker also in these popular amusements, could find small cause for rejoicing in the aspect of affairs. When his business led him to the palace, he was sometimes forced to wait in the ante-chamber for an hour, while Secretary Armenteros was engaged in private consultation with Margaret upon the most important matters of administration. It could not be otherwise than galling to the pride and offensive to the patriotism of the Prince, to find great public transactions entrusted to such hands. Thomas de Armenteros was a mere private secretary—a simple clerk. He had no right to have cognizance of important affairs, which could only come before his Majesty's sworn advisers. He was moreover an infamous peculator. He was rolling up a fortune with great rapidity by his shameless traffic in benefices, charges, offices, whether of church or state. His name of Armenteros was popularly converted into Argenteros, in order to symbolize the man who was made of public money. His confidential intimacy with the Duchess procured for him also the name of "Madam's barber," in allusion to the famous ornaments of Margaret's upper lip, and to the celebrated influence enjoyed by the barbers of the Duke of Savoy, and of Louis the Eleventh. This man sold dignities and places of high responsibility at public auction. The Regent not only connived at these proceedings, which would have been base enough, but she was full partner in the disgraceful commerce. Through the agency of the Secretary, she, too, was amassing a large private fortune. "The Duchess has gone into the business of vending places to the highest bidders," said Morillon, "with the bit between her teeth." The spectacle presented at the council-board was often sufficiently repulsive not only to the cardinalists, who were treated with elaborate insolence, but to all men who loved honor and justice, or who felt an interest in the prosperity of government. There was nothing majestic in the appearance of the Duchess, as she sat conversing apart with Armenteros, whispering, pinching, giggling, or disputing, while important affairs of state were debated, concerning which the Secretary had no right to be informed. It was inevitable that Orange should be offended to the utmost by such proceedings, although he was himself treated with comparative respect. As for the ancient adherents of Granvelle, the Bordeys, Baves, and Morillons, they were forbidden by the favorite even to salute him in the streets. Berlaymont was treated by the Duchess with studied insult. "What is the man talking about?" she would ask with languid superciliousness, if he attempted to express his opinion in the state-council. Viglius, whom Berlaymont accused of doing his best, without success, to make his peace with the seigniors, was in even still greater disgrace than his fellow-cardinalists. He longed, he said, to be in Burgundy, drinking Granvelle's good wine. His patience under the daily insults which he received from the government made him despicable in the eyes of his own party. He was described by his friends as pusillanimous to an incredible extent, timid from excess of riches, afraid of his own shadow. He was becoming exceedingly pathetic, expressing frequently a desire to depart and end his days in peace. His faithful Hopper sustained and consoled him, but even Joachim could not soothe his sorrows when he reflected that after all the work performed by himself and colleagues, "they had only been beating the bush for others," while their own share in the spoils had been withheld. Nothing could well be more contumelious than Margaret's treatment of the learned Frisian. When other councillors were summoned to a session at three o'clock, the President was invited at four. It was quite impossible for him to have an audience of the Duchess except in the presence of the inevitable Armenteras. He was not allowed to open his mouth, even when he occasionally plucked up heart enough to attempt the utterance of his opinions. His authority was completely dead. Even if he essayed to combat the convocation of the states-general by the arguments which the Duchess, at his suggestion, had often used for the purpose, he was treated with the same indifference. "The poor President," wrote Granvelle to the King's chief secretary, Gonzalo Perez, "is afraid, as I hear, to speak a word, and is made to write exactly what they tell him." At the same time the poor President, thus maltreated and mortified, had the vanity occasionally to imagine himself a bold and formidable personage. The man whom his most intimate friends described as afraid of his own shadow, described himself to Granvelle as one who went his own gait, speaking his mind frankly upon every opportunity, and compelling people to fear him a little, even if they did not love him. But the Cardinal knew better than to believe in this magnanimous picture of the doctor's fancy.

Viglius was anxious to retire, but unwilling to have the appearance of being disgraced. He felt instinctively, although deceived as to the actual facts, that his great patron had been defeated and banished. He did not wish to be placed in the same position. He was desirous, as he piously expressed himself, of withdrawing from the world, "that he might balance his accounts with the Lord, before leaving the lodgings of life." He was, however, disposed to please "the master" as well as the Lord. He wished to have the royal permission to depart in peace. In his own lofty language, he wished to be sprinkled on taking his leave "with the holy water of the court." Moreover, he was fond of his salary, although he disliked the sarcasms of the Duchess. Egmont and others had advised him to abandon the office of President to Hopper, in order, as he was getting feeble, to reserve his whole strength for the state-council. Viglius did not at all relish the proposition. He said that by giving up the seals, and with them the rank and salary which they conferred, he should become a deposed saint. He had no inclination, as long as he remained on the ground at all, to part with those emoluments and honors, and to be converted merely into the "ass of the state-council." He had, however, with the sagacity of an old navigator, already thrown out his anchor into the best holding-ground during the storms which he foresaw were soon to sweep the state. Before the close of the year which now occupies, the learned doctor of laws had become a doctor of divinity also; and had already secured, by so doing, the wealthy prebend of Saint Bavon of Ghent. This would be a consolation in the loss of secular dignities, and a recompence for the cold looks of the Duchess. He did not scruple to ascribe the pointed dislike which Margaret manifested towards him to the awe in which she stood of his stern integrity of character. The true reason why Armenteros and the Duchess disliked him was because, in his own words, "he was not of their mind with regard to lotteries, the sale of offices, advancement to abbeys, and many other things of the kind, by which they were in such a hurry to make their fortune." Upon another occasion he observed, in a letter to Granvelle, that "all offices were sold to the highest bidder, and that the cause of Margaret's resentment against both the Cardinal and himself was, that they had so long prevented her from making the profit which she was now doing from the sale of benefices, offices, and other favors."

The Duchess, on her part, characterized the proceedings and policy, both past and present, of the cardinalists as factious, corrupt, and selfish in the last degree. She assured her brother that the simony, rapine, and dishonesty of Granvelle, Viglius, and all their followers, had brought affairs into the ruinous condition which was then but too apparent. They were doing their best, she said, since the Cardinal's departure, to show, by their sloth and opposition, that they were determined to allow nothing to prosper in his absence. To quote her own vigorous expression to Philip—"Viglius made her suffer the pains of hell." She described him as perpetually resisting the course of the administration, and she threw out dark suspicions, not only as to his honesty but his orthodoxy. Philip lent a greedy ear to these scandalous hints concerning the late omnipotent minister and his friends. It is an instructive lesson in human history to look through the cloud of dissimulation in which the actors of this remarkable epoch were ever enveloped, and to watch them all stabbing fiercely at each other in the dark, with no regard to previous friendship, or even present professions. It is edifying to see the Cardinal, with all his genius and all his grimace, corresponding on familiar terms with Armenteros, who was holding him up to obloquy upon all occasions; to see Philip inclining his ear in pleased astonishment to Margaret's disclosures concerning the Cardinal, whom he was at the very instant assuring of his undiminished confidence; and to see Viglius, the author of the edict of 1550, and the uniform opponent of any mitigation in its horrors, silently becoming involved without the least suspicion of the fact in the meshes of inquisitor Titelmann.

Upon Philip's eager solicitations for further disclosures, Margaret accordingly informed her brother of additional facts communicated to her, after oaths of secrecy had been exchanged, by Titelmann and his colleague del Canto. They had assured her, she said, that there were grave doubts touching the orthodoxy of Viglius. He had consorted with heretics during a large portion of his life, and had put many suspicious persons into office. As to his nepotism, simony, and fraud, there was no doubt at all. He had richly provided all his friends and relations in Friesland with benefices. He had become in his old age a priest and churchman, in order to snatch the provostship of Saint Bavon, although his infirmities did not allow him to say mass, or even to stand erect at the altar. The inquisitors had further accused him of having stolen rings, jewels, plate, linen, beds, tapestry, and other furniture, from the establishment, all which property he had sent to Friesland, and of having seized one hundred thousand florins in ready money which had belonged to the last abbe—an act consequently of pure embezzlement. The Duchess afterwards transmitted to Philip an inventory of the plundered property, including the furniture of nine houses, and begged him to command Viglius to make instant restitution. If there be truth in the homely proverb, that in case of certain quarrels honest men recover their rights, it is perhaps equally certain that when distinguished public personages attack each other, historians may arrive at the truth. Here certainly are edifying pictures of the corruption of the Spanish regency in the Netherlands, painted by the President of the state-council, and of the dishonesty of the President painted by the Regent.

A remarkable tumult occurred in October of this year, at Antwerp. A Carmelite monk, Christopher Smith, commonly called Fabricius, had left a monastery in Bruges, adopted the principles of the Reformation, and taken to himself a wife. He had resided for a time in England; but, invited by his friends, he had afterwards undertaken the dangerous charge of gospel-teacher in the commercial metropolis of the Netherlands. He was, however, soon betrayed to the authorities by a certain bonnet dealer, popularly called Long Margaret, who had pretended, for the sake of securing the informer's fee, to be a convert to his doctrines. He was seized, and immediately put to the torture. He manfully refused to betray any members of his congregation, as manfully avowed and maintained his religious creed. He was condemned to the flames, and during the interval which preceded his execution, he comforted his friends by letters of advice, religious consolation and encouragement, which he wrote from his dungeon. He sent a message to the woman who had betrayed him, assuring her of his forgiveness, and exhorting her to repentance. His calmness, wisdom, and gentleness excited the admiration of all. When; therefore, this humble imitator of Christ was led through the streets of Antwerp to the stake, the popular emotion was at once visible. To the multitude who thronged about the executioners with threatening aspect, he addressed an urgent remonstrance that they would not compromise their own safety by a tumult in his cause. He invited all, however, to remain steadfast to the great truth for which he was about to lay down his life. The crowd, as they followed the procession of hangmen, halberdsmen, and magistrates, sang the hundred and thirtieth psalm in full chorus. As the victim arrived upon the market-place, he knelt upon the ground to pray, for the last time. He was, however, rudely forced to rise by the executioner, who immediately chained him to the stake, and fastened a leathern strap around his throat. At this moment the popular indignation became uncontrollable; stones were showered upon the magistrates and soldiers, who, after a slight resistance, fled for their lives. The foremost of the insurgents dashed into the enclosed arena, to rescue the prisoner. It was too late. The executioner, even as he fled, had crushed the victim's head with a sledge hammer, and pierced him through and through with a poniard. Some of the bystanders maintained afterwards that his fingers and lips were seen to move, as if in feeble prayer, for a little time longer, until, as the fire mounted, he fell into the flames. For the remainder of the day, after the fire had entirely smouldered to ashes, the charred and half-consumed body of the victim remained on the market-place, a ghastly spectacle to friend and foe. It was afterwards bound to a stone and cast into the Scheld. Such was the doom of Christopher Fabricius, for having preached Christianity in Antwerp. During the night an anonymous placard, written with blood, was posted upon the wall of the town-house, stating that there were men in the city who would signally avenge his murder. Nothing was done, however, towards the accomplishment of the threat. The King, when he received the intelligence of the transaction, was furious with indignation, and wrote savage letters to his sister, commanding instant vengeance to be taken upon all concerned in so foul a riot. As one of the persons engaged had, however, been arrested and immediately hanged, and as the rest had effected their escape, the affair was suffered to drop.

The scenes of outrage, the frantic persecutions, were fast becoming too horrible to be looked upon by Catholic or Calvinist. The prisons swarmed with victims, the streets were thronged with processions to the stake. The population of thriving cities, particularly in Flanders, were maddened by the spectacle of so much barbarity inflicted, not upon criminals, but usually upon men remarkable for propriety of conduct and blameless lives. It was precisely at this epoch that the burgomasters, senators, and council of the city of Bruges (all Catholics) humbly represented to the Duchess Regent, that Peter Titelmann, inquisitor of the Faith, against all forms of law, was daily exercising inquisition among the inhabitants, not only against those suspected or accused of heresy, but against all, however untainted their characters; that he was daily citing before him whatever persons he liked, men or women, compelling them by force to say whatever it pleased him; that he was dragging people from their houses, and even from the sacred precincts of the church; often in revenge for verbal injuries to himself, always under pretext of heresy, and without form or legal warrant of any kind. They therefore begged that he might be compelled to make use of preparatory examinations with the co-operation of the senators of the city, to suffer that witnesses should make their depositions without being intimidated by menace, and to conduct all his subsequent proceedings according to legal forms, which he had uniformly violated; publicly declaring that he would conduct himself according to his own pleasure.

The four estates of Flanders having, in a solemn address to the King, represented the same facts, concluded their brief but vigorous description of Titelmann's enormities by calling upon Philip to suppress these horrible practices, so manifestly in violation of the ancient charters which he had sworn to support. It may be supposed that the appeal to Philip would be more likely to call down a royal benediction than the reproof solicited upon the inquisitor's head. In the privy council, the petitions and remonstrances were read, and, in the words of the President, "found to be in extremely bad taste." In the debate which followed, Viglius and his friends recalled to the Duchess, in earnest language, the decided will of the King, which had been so often expressed. A faint representation was made, on the other hand, of the dangerous consequences, in case the people were driven to a still deeper despair. The result of the movement was but meagre. The Duchess announced that she could do nothing in the matter of the request until further information, but that meantime she had charged Titelmann to conduct himself in his office "with discretion and modesty." The discretion and modesty, however, never appeared in any modification of the inquisitor's proceedings, and he continued unchecked in his infamous career until death, which did not occur till several years afterwards. In truth, Margaret was herself in mortal fear of this horrible personage. He besieged her chamber door almost daily, before she had risen, insisting upon audiences which, notwithstanding her repugnance to the man, she did not dare to refuse. "May I perish," said Morillon, "if she does not stand in exceeding awe of Titelmann." Under such circumstances, sustained by the King in Spain, the Duchess in Brussels, the privy council, and by a leading member of what had been thought the liberal party, it was not difficult for the inquisition to maintain its ground, notwithstanding the solemn protestations of the estates and the suppressed curses of the people.

Philip, so far from having the least disposition to yield in the matter of the great religious persecution, was more determined as to his course than ever. He had already, as easy as August of this year, despatched orders to the Duchess that the decrees of the Council of Trent should be published and enforced throughout the Netherlands. The memorable quarrel as to precedency between the French and Spanish delegates had given some hopes of a different determination. Nevertheless, those persons who imagined that, in consequence of this quarrel of etiquette, Philip would slacken in his allegiance to the Church, were destined to be bitterly mistaken. He informed his sister that, in the common cause of Christianity, he should not be swayed by personal resentments.

How, indeed, could a different decision be expected? His envoy at Rome, as well as his representatives at the council, had universally repudiated all doubts as to the sanctity of its decrees. "To doubt the infallibility of the council, as some have dared to do," said Francis de Vargas, "and to think it capable of error, is the most devilish heresy of all." Nothing could so much disturb and scandalize the world as such a sentiment. Therefore the Archbishop of Granada told, very properly, the Bishop of Tortosa, that if he should express such an opinion in Spain, they would burn him. These strenuous notions were shared by the King. Therefore, although all Europe was on tip-toe with expectation to see how Philip would avenge himself for the slight put upon his ambassador, Philip disappointed all Europe.

In August, 1564, he wrote to the Duchess Regent, that the decrees were to be proclaimed and enforced without delay. They related to three subjects, the doctrines to be inculcated by the Church, the reformation of ecclesiastical moral, and the education of the people. General police regulations were issued at the same time, by which heretics were to be excluded from all share in the usual conveniences of society, and were in fact to be strictly excommunicated. Inns were to receive no guests, schools no children, alms-houses no paupers, grave-yards no dead bodies, unless guests, children, paupers, and dead bodies were furnished with the most satisfactory proofs of orthodoxy. Midwives of unsuspected Romanism were alone to exercise their functions, and were bound to give notice within twenty-four hours of every birth which occurred; the parish clerks were as regularly to record every such addition to the population, and the authorities to see that Catholic baptism was administered in each case with the least possible delay. Births, deaths, and marriages could only occur with validity under the shadow of the Church. No human being could consider himself born or defunct unless provided with a priest's certificate. The heretic was excluded, so far as ecclesiastical dogma could exclude him, from the pale of humanity, from consecrated earth, and from eternal salvation.

The decrees contained many provisions which not only conflicted with the privileges of the provinces, but with the prerogatives of the sovereign. For this reason many of the lords in council thought that at least the proper exceptions should be made upon their promulgation. This was also the opinion of the Duchess, but the King, by his letters of October, and November (1564), expressly prohibited any alteration in the ordinances, and transmitted a copy of the form according to which the canons had been published in Spain, together with the expression of his desire that a similar course should be followed in the Netherlands. Margaret of Parma was in great embarrassment. It was evident that the publication could no longer be deferred. Philip had issued his commands, but grave senators and learned doctors of the university had advised strongly in favor of the necessary exceptions. The extreme party, headed by Viglius, were in favor of carrying out the royal decisions. They were overruled, and the Duchess was induced to attempt a modification, if her brother's permission could be obtained. The President expressed the opinion that the decrees, even with the restrictions proposed, would "give no contentment to the people, who, moreover, had no right to meddle with theology." The excellent Viglius forgot, however, that theology had been meddling altogether too much with the people to make it possible that the public attention should be entirely averted from the subject. Men and women who might be daily summoned to rack, stake, and scaffold, in the course of these ecclesiastical arrangements, and whose births, deaths, marriages, and position in the next world, were now to be formally decided upon, could hardly be taxed with extreme indiscretion, if they did meddle with the subject.

In the dilemma to which the Duchess was reduced, she again bethought herself of a special mission to Spain. At the end of the year (1564), it was determined that Egmont should be the envoy. Montigny excused himself on account of private affairs; Marquis Berghen "because of his indisposition and corpulence." There was a stormy debate in council after Egmont had accepted the mission and immediately before his departure. Viglius had been ordered to prepare the Count's instructions. Having finished the rough draught, he laid it before the board. The paper was conceived in general terms and might mean any thing or nothing. No criticism upon its language was, however, offered until it came to the turn of Orange to vote upon the document. Then, however, William the Silent opened his lips, and poured forth a long and vehement discourse, such as he rarely pronounced, but such as few except himself could utter. There was no shuffling, no disguise, no timidity in his language. He took the ground boldly that the time had arrived for speaking out. The object of sending an envoy of high rank and European reputation like the Count of Egmont, was to tell the King the truth. Let Philip know it now. Let him be unequivocally informed that this whole machinery of placards and scaffolds, of new bishops and old hangmen, of decrees, inquisitors, and informers, must once and forever be abolished. Their day was over. The Netherlands were free provinces, they were surrounded by free countries, they were determined to vindicate their ancient privileges. Moreover, his Majesty was to be plainly informed of the frightful corruption which made the whole judicial and administrative system loathsome. The venality which notoriously existed every where, on the bench, in the council chamber, in all public offices, where purity was most essential, was denounced by the Prince in scathing terms. He tore the mask from individual faces, and openly charged the Chancellor of Brabant, Engelbert Maas, with knavery and corruption. He insisted that the King should be informed of the necessity of abolishing the two inferior councils, and of enlarging the council of state by the admission of ten or twelve new members selected for their patriotism, purity, and capacity. Above all, it was necessary plainly to inform his Majesty that the canons of Trent, spurned by the whole world, even by the Catholic princes of Germany, could never be enforced in the Netherlands, and that it would be ruinous to make the attempt. He proposed and insisted that the Count of Egmont should be instructed accordingly. He avowed in conclusion that he was a Catholic himself and intended to remain in the Faith, but that he could not look on with pleasure when princes strove to govern the souls of men, and to take away their liberty in matters of conscience and religion.

Here certainly was no daintiness of phraseology, and upon these leading points, thus slightly indicated, William of Orange poured out his eloquence, bearing conviction upon the tide of his rapid invective. His speech lasted till seven in the evening, when the Duchess adjourned the meeting. The council broke up, the Regent went to supper, but the effect of the discourse upon nearly all the members was not to be mistaken. Viglius was in a state of consternation, perplexity, and despair. He felt satisfied that, with perhaps the exception of Berlaymont, all who had listened or should afterwards listen to the powerful arguments of Orange, would be inevitably seduced or bewildered. The President lay awake, tossing and tumbling in his bed, recalling the Prince's oration, point by point, and endeavoring, to answer it in order. It was important, he felt, to obliterate the impression produced. Moreover, as we have often seen, the learned Doctor valued himself upon his logic.

It was absolutely necessary, therefore, that in his reply, next day, his eloquence should outshine that of his antagonist. The President thus passed a feverish and uncomfortable night, pronouncing and listening to imaginary harangues. With the dawn of day he arose and proceeded to dress himself. The excitement of the previous evening and the subsequent sleeplessness of his night had, however, been too much for his feeble and slightly superannuated frame. Before he had finished his toilet, a stroke of apoplexy stretched him senseless upon the floor. His servants, when they soon afterwards entered the apartment, found him rigid, and to all appearance dead. After a few days, however, he recovered his physical senses in part, but his reason remained for a longer time shattered, and was never perhaps fully restored to its original vigor.

This event made it necessary that his place in the council should be supplied. Viglius had frequently expressed intentions of retiring, a measure to which he could yet never fully make up his mind. His place was now temporarily supplied by his friend and countryman, Joachim Hopper, like himself a Frisian doctor of ancient blood and extensive acquirements, well versed in philosophy and jurisprudence; a professor of Louvain and a member of the Mechlin council. He was likewise the original founder and projector of Douay University, an institution which at Philip's desire he had successfully organized in 1556, in order that a French university might be furnished for Walloon youths, as a substitute for the seductive and poisonous Paris. For the rest, Hopper was a mere man of routine. He was often employed in private affairs by Philip, without being entrusted with the secret at the bottom of them. His mind was a confused one, and his style inexpressibly involved and tedious. "Poor master Hopper," said Granvelle, "did not write the best French in the world; may the Lord forgive him. He was learned in letters, but knew very little of great affairs." His manners were as cringing as his intellect was narrow. He never opposed the Duchess, so that his colleagues always called him Councillor "Yes, Madam," and he did his best to be friends with all the world.

In deference to the arguments of Orange, the instructions for Egmont were accordingly considerably modified from the original draughts of Viglius. As drawn up by the new President, they contained at least a few hints to his Majesty as to the propriety of mitigating the edicts and extending some mercy to his suffering people. The document was, however, not very satisfactory to the Prince, nor did he perhaps rely very implicitly upon the character of the envoy.

Egmont set forth upon his journey early in January (1565). He travelled in great state. He was escorted as far as Cambray by several nobles of his acquaintance, who improved the occasion by a series of tremendous banquets during the Count's sojourn, which was protracted till the end of January. The most noted of these gentlemen were Hoogstraaten, Brederode, the younger Mansfeld, Culemburg, and Noircarmes. Before they parted with the envoy, they drew up a paper which they signed with their blood, and afterwards placed in the hands of his Countess. In this document they promised, on account of their "inexpressible and very singular affection" for Egmont, that if, during his mission to Spain, any evil should befal him, they would, on their faith as gentlemen and cavaliers of honor, take vengeance, therefore, upon the Cardinal Granvelle, or upon all who should be the instigators thereof.

[Green v. P., Archives, etc., i. 345, from Arnoldi, Hist. Denkwurd, p. 282., It is remarkable that after the return of the Count from. Spain, Hoogstraaten received this singular bond from the Countess, and gave it to Mansfeld, to be burned in his presence. Mansfeld, however, advised keeping it, on account of Noircarmes, whose signature was attached to the document, and whom he knew to be so false and deceitful a man that it might be well to have it within their power at some future day to reproach him therewith.—Ibid. It will be seen in the sequel that Noircarmes more than justified the opinion of Mansfeld, but that the subsequent career of Mansfeld himself did not entitle him to reproach any of Philip's noble hangmen.]

Wherever Brederode was, there, it was probable, would be much severe carousing. Before the conclusion, accordingly, of the visit to Cambray, that ancient city rang with the scandal created by a most uproarious scene. A banquet was given to Egmont and his friends in the citadel. Brederode, his cousin Lumey, and the other nobles from Brussels, were all present. The Archbishop of Cambray, a man very odious to the liberal party in the provinces, was also bidden to the feast. During the dinner, this prelate, although treated with marked respect by Egmont, was the object of much banter and coarse pleasantry by the ruder portion of the guests. Especially these convivial gentlemen took infinite pains to overload him with challenges to huge bumpers of wine; it being thought very desirable, if possible; to place the Archbishop under the table. This pleasantry was alternated with much rude sarcasm concerning the new bishoprics. The conversation then fell upon other topics, among others, naturally upon the mission of Count Egmont. Brederede observed that it was a very hazardous matter to allow so eminent a personage to leave the land at such a critical period. Should any thing happen to the Count, the Netherlands would sustain an immense loss. The Archbishop, irritated by the previous conversation, ironically requested the speaker to be comforted, "because," said he, "it will always be easy to find a new Egmont." Upon this, Brederode, beside himself with rage, cried out vehemently, "Are we to tolerate such language from this priest?" Gulemburg, too, turning upon the offender, observed, "Your observation would be much more applicable to your own case. If you were to die, 't would be easy to find five hundred of your merit, to replace you in the see of Cambray." The conversation was, to say the least, becoming personal. The Bishop, desirous of terminating this keen encounter of wits, lifted a goblet full of wine and challenged Brederode to drink. That gentleman declined the invitation. After the cloth had been removed, the cup circulated more freely than ever. The revelry became fast and furious. One of the younger gentlemen who was seated near the Bishop snatched the bonnet of that dignitary from his head and placed it upon his own. He then drained a bumper to his health, and passed the goblet and the cap to his next neighbor. Both circulated till they reached the Viscount of Ghent, who arose from his seat and respectfully restored the cap to its owner. Brederode then took a large "cup of silver and gold," filled it to the brim, and drained it to the confusion of Cardinal Granvelle; stigmatizing that departed minister, as he finished, by an epithet of more vigor than decency. He then called upon all the company to pledge him to the same toast, and denounced as cardinalists all those who should refuse. The Archbishop, not having digested the affronts which had been put upon him already, imprudently ventured himself once more into the confusion, and tried to appeal to the reason of the company. He might as well have addressed the crew of Comus. He gained nothing but additional insult. Brederode advanced upon him with threatening gestures. Egmont implored the prelate to retire, or at least not to take notice of a nobleman so obviously beyond the control of his reason. The Bishop, however, insisted—mingling reproof, menace; and somewhat imperious demands—that the indecent Saturnalia should cease. It would have been wiser for him to retire. Count Hoogstraaten, a young man and small of stature, seized the gilt laver, in which the company had dipped their fingers before seating themselves at table: "Be quiet, be quiet, little man," said Egmont, soothingly, doing his best to restrain the tumult. "Little man, indeed," responded the Count, wrathfully; "I would have you to know that never did little man spring from my race." With those words he hurled the basin, water, and all, at the head of the Archbishop. Hoogstraaten had no doubt manifested his bravery before that day; he was to display, on future occasions, a very remarkable degree of heroism; but it must be confessed that the chivalry of the noble house of Lalaing was not illustrated by this attack upon a priest. The Bishop was sprinkled by the water, but not struck by the vessel. Young Mansfeld, ashamed of the outrage, stepped forward to apologize for the conduct of his companions and to soothe the insulted prelate. That personage, however, exasperated, very naturally, to the highest point, pushed him rudely away, crying, "Begone, begone! who is this boy that is preaching to me?" Whereupon, Mansfeld, much irritated, lifted his hand towards the ecclesiastic, and snapped his fingers contemptuously in his face. Some even said that he pulled the archiepiscopal nose, others that he threatened his life with a drawn dagger. Nothing could well have been more indecent or more cowardly than the conduct of these nobles upon this occasion. Their intoxication, together with the character of the victim, explained, but certainly could not palliate the vulgarity of the exhibition. It was natural enough that men like Brederode should find sport in this remarkable badgering of a bishop, but we see with regret the part played by Hoogstraaten in the disgraceful scene.

The prelate, at last, exclaiming that it appeared that he had been invited only to be insulted, left the apartment, accompanied by Noircarmes and the Viscount of Ghent, and threatening that all his friends and relations should be charged with his vengeance. The next day a reconciliation was effected, as well as such an arrangement was possible, by the efforts of Egmont, who dined alone with the prelate. In the evening, Hoogstraaten, Culemburg, and Brederode called upon the Bishop, with whom they were closeted for, an hour, and the party separated on nominal terms of friendship.

This scandalous scene; which had been enacted not only before many guests, but in presence of a host of servants, made necessarily a great sensation throughout the country. There could hardly be much difference of opinion among respectable people as to the conduct of the noblemen who had thus disgraced themselves. Even Brederode himself, who appeared to have retained, as was natural, but a confused impression of the transaction, seemed in the days which succeeded the celebrated banquet, to be in doubt whether he and his friends had merited any great amount of applause. He was, however, somewhat self-contradictory, although always vehement in his assertions on the subject. At one time he maintained—after dinner, of course—that he would have killed the Archbishop if they had not been forcibly separated; at other moments he denounced as liars all persons who should insinuate that he had committed or contemplated any injury to that prelate; offering freely to fight any man who disputed either of his two positions.

The whole scene was dramatized and represented in masquerade at a wedding festival given by Councillor d'Assonleville, on the marriage of Councillor Hopper's daughter, one of the principal parts being enacted by a son of the President-judge of Artois. It may be supposed that if such eminent personages, in close connexion with the government, took part in such proceedings, the riot must have been considered of a very pardonable nature. The truth was, that the Bishop was a cardinalist, and therefore entirely out of favor with the administration. He was also a man of treacherous, sanguinary character, and consequently detested by the people. He had done his best to destroy heresy in Valenciennes by fire and sword. "I will say one thing," said he in a letter to Granvelle, which had been intercepted, "since the pot is uncovered, and the whole cookery known, we had best push forward and make an end of all the principal heretics, whether rich or poor, without regarding whether the city will be entirely ruined by such a course. Such an opinion I should declare openly were it not that we of the ecclesiastical profession are accused of always crying out for blood." Such was the prelate's theory. His practice may be inferred from a specimen of his proceedings which occurred at a little later day. A citizen of Cambray, having been converted to the Lutheran Confession, went to the Archbishop, and requested permission to move out of the country, taking his property with him. The petitioner having made his appearance in the forenoon, was requested to call again after dinner, to receive his answer. The burgher did so, and was received, not by the prelate, but by the executioner, who immediately carried the Lutheran to the market-place, and cut off his head. It is sufficiently evident that a minister of Christ, with such propensities, could not excite any great sympathy, however deeply affronted he might have been at a drinking party, so long as any Christians remained in the land.

Egmont departed from Cambray upon the 30th January, his friends taking a most affectionate farewell of him; and Brederode assuring him, with a thousand oaths, that he would forsake God for his service. His reception at Madrid was most brilliant. When he made his first appearance at the palace, Philip rushed from his cabinet into the grand hall of reception, and fell upon his neck, embracing him heartily before the Count had time to drop upon his knee and kiss the royal hand. During the whole period of his visit he dined frequently at the King's private table, an honor rarely accorded by Philip, and was feasted and flattered by all the great dignitaries of the court as never a subject of the Spanish crown had been before. All vied with each other in heaping honors upon the man whom the King was determined to honor.

Philip took him out to drive daily in his own coach, sent him to see the wonders of the new Escorial, which he was building to commemorate the battle of St. Quentin, and, although it was still winter, insisted upon showing him the beauties of his retreat in the Segovian forest. Granvelle's counsels as to the method by which the "friend of smoke" was so easily to be gained, had not fallen unheeded in his royal pupil's ears. The Count was lodged in the house of Ruy Gomez, who soon felt himself able, according to previous assurances to that effect, contained in a private letter of Armenteros, to persuade the envoy to any course which Philip might command. Flattery without stint was administered. More solid arguments to convince the Count that Philip was the most generous and clement of princes were also employed with great effect. The royal dues upon the estate of Gaasbecque, lately purchased by Egmont, were remitted. A mortgage upon his Seigneurie of Ninove was discharged, and a considerable sum of money presented to him in addition. Altogether, the gifts which the ambassador received from the royal bounty amounted to one hundred thousand crowns. Thus feasted, flattered, and laden with presents, it must be admitted that the Count more than justified the opinions expressed in the letter of Armenteros, that he was a man easily governed by those who had credit with him. Egmont hardly broached the public matters which had brought him to Madrid. Upon the subject of the edicts, Philip certainly did not dissemble, however loudly the envoy may have afterwards complained at Brussels. In truth, Egmont, intoxicated by the incense offered to him at the Spanish court, was a different man from Egmont in the Netherlands, subject to the calm but piercing glance and the irresistible control of Orange. Philip gave him no reason to suppose that he intended any change in the religious system of the provinces, at least in any sense contemplated by the liberal party. On the contrary, a council of doctors and ecclesiastics was summoned, at whose deliberations the Count was invited to assist; on which occasion the King excited general admiration by the fervor of his piety and the vehemence of his ejaculations. Falling upon his knees before a crucifix, in the midst of the assembly, he prayed that God would keep him perpetually in the same mind, and protested that he would never call himself master of those who denied the Lord God. Such an exhibition could leave but little doubt in the minds of those who witnessed it as to the royal sentiments, nor did Egmont make any effort to obtain any relaxation of those religious edicts, which he had himself declared worthy of approbation, and fit to be maintained. As to the question of enlarging the state-council, Philip dismissed the subject with a few vague observations, which Egmont, not very zealous on the subject at the moment, perhaps misunderstood. The punishment of heretics by some new method, so as to secure the pains but to take away the glories of martyrdom, was also slightly discussed, and here again Egmont was so unfortunate as to misconceive the royal meaning, and to interpret an additional refinement of cruelty into an expression of clemency. On the whole, however, there was not much negotiation between the monarch and the ambassador. When the Count spoke of business, the King would speak to him of his daughters, and of his desire to see them provided with brilliant marriages. As Egmont had eight girls, besides two sons, it was natural that he should be pleased to find Philip taking so much interest in looking out husbands for them. The King spoke to him, as hardly could be avoided, of the famous fool's-cap livery. The Count laughed the matter off as a jest, protesting that it was a mere foolish freak, originating at the wine-table, and asseverating, with warmth, that nothing disrespectful or disloyal to his Majesty had been contemplated upon that or upon any other occasion. Had a single gentleman uttered an undutiful word against the King, Egmont vowed he would have stabbed him through and through upon the spot, had he been his own brother. These warm protestations were answered by a gentle reprimand as to the past by Philip, and with a firm caution as to the future. "Let it be discontinued entirely, Count," said the King, as the two were driving together in the royal carriage. Egmont expressed himself in handsome terms concerning the Cardinal, in return for the wholesale approbation quoted to him in regard to his own character, from the private letters of that sagacious personage to his Majesty. Certainly, after all this, the Count might suppose the affair of the livery forgiven. Thus amicably passed the hours of that mission, the preliminaries for which had called forth so much eloquence from the Prince of Orange and so nearly carried off with apoplexy the President Viglius. On his departure Egmont received a letter of instructions from Philip as to the report which he was to make upon his arrival in Brussels, to the Duchess. After many things personally flattering to himself, the envoy was directed to represent the King as overwhelmed with incredible grief at hearing the progress made by the heretics, but as immutably determined to permit no change of religion within his dominions, even were he to die a thousand deaths in consequence. The King, he was to state, requested the Duchess forthwith to assemble an extraordinary session of the council, at which certain bishops, theological doctors, and very orthodox lawyers, were to assist, in which, under pretence of discussing the Council of Trent matter, it was to be considered whether there could not be some new way devised for executing heretics; not indeed one by which any deduction should be made from their sufferings (which certainly was not the royal wish, nor likely to be grateful to God or salutary to religion), but by which all hopes of glory—that powerful incentive to their impiety—might be precluded. With regard to any suggested alterations in the council of state, or in the other two councils, the King was to be represented as unwilling to form any decision until he should hear, at length, from the Duchess Regent upon the subject.

Certainly here was a sufficient amount of plain speaking upon one great subject, and very little encouragement with regard to the other. Yet Egmont, who immediately after receiving these instructions set forth upon his return to the Netherlands, manifested nothing but satisfaction. Philip presented to him, as his travelling companion, the young Prince Alexander of Parma, then about to make a visit to his mother in Brussels, and recommended the youth, afterwards destined to play so prominent a part in Flemish history, to his peculiar caret Egmont addressed a letter to the King from Valladolid, in which he indulged in ecstasies concerning the Escorial and the wood of Segovia, and declared that he was returning to the Netherlands "the most contented man in the world."

He reached Brussels at the end of April. Upon the fifth of May he appeared before the council, and proceeded to give an account of his interview with the King, together with a statement of the royal intentions and opinions. These were already sufficiently well known. Letters, written after the envoy's departure, had arrived before him, in which, while in the main presenting the same views as those contained in the instructions to Egmont, Philip had expressed his decided prohibition of the project to enlarge the state council and to suppress the authority of the other two. Nevertheless, the Count made his report according to the brief received at Madrid, and assured his hearers that the King was all benignity, having nothing so much at heart as the temporal and eternal welfare of the provinces. The siege of Malta, he stated, would prevent the royal visit to the Netherlands for the moment, but it was deferred only for a brief period. To remedy the deficiency in the provincial exchequer, large remittances would be made immediately from Spain. To provide for the increasing difficulties of the religious question, a convocation of nine learned and saintly personages was recommended, who should devise some new scheme by which the objections to the present system of chastising heretics might be obviated.

It is hardly necessary to state that so meagre a result to the mission of Egmont was not likely to inspire the hearts of Orange and his adherents with much confidence. No immediate explosion of resentment, however, occurred. The general aspect for a few days was peaceful. Egmont manifested much contentment with the reception which he met with in Spain, and described the King's friendly dispositions towards the leading nobles in lively colors. He went to his government immediately after his return, assembled the states of Artois, in the city of Arras, and delivered the letters sent to that body by the King. He made a speech on this occasion, informing the estates that his Majesty had given orders that the edicts of the Emperor were to be enforced to the letter; adding that he had told the King, freely, his own opinion upon the subject; in order to dissuade him from that which others were warmly urging. He described Philip as the most liberal and debonair of princes; his council in Spain as cruel and sanguinary. Time was to show whether the epithets thus applied to the advisers were not more applicable to the monarch than the eulogies thus lavished by the blind and predestined victim. It will also be perceived that this language, used before the estates of Artois, varied materially from his observation to the Dowager Duchess of Aerschot, denouncing as enemies the men who accused him of having requested a moderation of the edicts. In truth, this most vacillating, confused, and unfortunate of men perhaps scarcely comprehended the purport of his recent negotiations in Spain, nor perceived the drift of his daily remarks at home. He was, however, somewhat vainglorious immediately after his return, and excessively attentive to business. "He talks like a King," said Morillon, spitefully, "negotiates night and day, and makes all bow before him." His house was more thronged with petitioners, courtiers, and men of affairs, than even the palace of the Duchess. He avowed frequently that he would devote his life and his fortune to the accomplishment of the King's commands, and declared his uncompromising hostility to all who should venture to oppose that loyal determination.

It was but a very short time, however, before a total change was distinctly perceptible in his demeanor. These halcyon days were soon fled. The arrival of fresh letters from Spain gave a most unequivocal evidence of the royal determination, if, indeed, any doubt could be rationally entertained before. The most stringent instructions to keep the whole machinery of persecution constantly at work were transmitted to the Duchess, and aroused the indignation of Orange and his followers. They avowed that they could no longer trust the royal word, since, so soon after Egmont's departure, the King had written despatches so much at variance with his language, as reported by the envoy. There was nothing, they said, clement and debonair in these injunctions upon gentlemen of their position and sentiments to devote their time to the encouragement of hangmen and inquisitors. The Duchess was unable to pacify the nobles. Egmont was beside himself with rage. With his usual recklessness and wrath, he expressed himself at more than one session of the state council in most unmeasured terms. His anger had been more inflamed by information which he had received from the second son of Berlaymont, a young and indiscreet lad, who had most unfortunately communicated many secrets which he had learned from his father, but which were never intended for Egmont's ear.

Philip's habitual dissimulation had thus produced much unnecessary perplexity. It was his custom to carry on correspondence through the aid of various secretaries, and it was his invariable practice to deceive them all. Those who were upon the most confidential terms with the monarch, were most sure to be duped upon all important occasions. It has been seen that even the astute Granvelle could not escape this common lot of all who believed their breasts the depositories of the royal secrets. Upon this occasion, Gonzalo Perez and Ruy Gomez complained bitterly that they had known nothing of the letters which had recently been despatched from Valladolid, while Tisnacq and Courterville had been ignorant of the communications forwarded by the hands of Egmont. They avowed that the King created infinite trouble by thus treating his affairs in one way with one set of councillors and in an opposite sense with the others, thus dissembling with all, and added that Philip was now much astonished at the dissatisfaction created in the provinces by the discrepancy between the French letters brought by Egmont, and the Spanish letters since despatched to the Duchess. As this was his regular manner of transacting business, not only for the Netherlands, but for all his dominions, they were of opinion that such confusion and dissatisfaction might well be expected.

After all, however, notwithstanding the indignation of Egmont, it must be confessed that he had been an easy dupe. He had been dazzled by royal smiles, intoxicated by court incense, contaminated by yet baser bribes. He had been turned from the path of honor and the companionship of the wise and noble to do the work of those who were to compass his destruction. The Prince of Orange reproached him to his face with having forgotten, when in Spain, to represent the views of his associates and the best interests of the country, while he had well remembered his own private objects, and accepted the lavish bounty of the King. Egmont, stung to the heart by the reproof, from one whom he honored and who wished him well, became sad and sombre for a long time, abstained from the court and from society, and expressed frequently the intention of retiring to his estates. He was, however, much governed by his secretary, the Seigneur de Bakerzeel, a man of restless, intriguing, and deceitful character, who at this period exercised as great influence over the Count as Armenteros continued to maintain over the Duchess, whose unpopularity from that and other circumstances was daily increasing.

In obedience to the commands of the King, the canons of Trent had been published. They were nominally enforced at Cambray, but a fierce opposition was made by the clergy themselves to the innovation in Mechlin, Utrecht, and many other places.

This matter, together with other more vitally important questions, came before the assembly of bishops and doctors, which, according to Philip's instructions, had been convoked by the Duchess. The opinion of the learned theologians was, on the whole, that the views of the Trent Council, with regard to reformation of ecclesiastical morals and popular education, was sound. There was some discordancy between the clerical and lay doctors upon other points. The seigniors, lawyers, and deputies from the estates were all in favor of repealing the penalty of death for heretical offences of any kind. President Viglius, with all the bishops and doctors of divinity, including the prelates of St. Omer, Namur and Ypres, and four theological professors from Louvain, stoutly maintained the contrary opinion. The President especially, declared himself vehemently in favor of the death punishment, and expressed much anger against those who were in favor of its abolition. The Duchess, upon the second day of the assembly, propounded formally the question, whether any change was to be made in the chastisement of heretics. The Prince of Orange, with Counts Horn and Egmont, had, however, declined to take part in the discussions, on the ground that it was not his Majesty's intention that state councillors should deliver their opinions before strangers, but that persons from outside had been summoned to communicate their advice to the Council. The seigniors having thus washed their hands of the matter, the doctors came to a conclusion with great alacrity. It was their unanimous opinion that it comported neither with the service of God nor the common weal, to make any change in the punishment, except, perhaps, in the case of extreme youth; but that, on the contrary, heretics were only to be dealt with by retaining the edicts in their rigor, and by courageously chastising the criminals. After sitting for the greater part of six days, the bishops and doctors of divinity reduced their sentiments to writing, and affixed their signatures to the document. Upon the great point of the change suggested in the penalties of heresy, it was declared that no alteration was advisable in the edicts, which had been working so well for thirty-five years. At the same time it was suggested that "some persons, in respect to their age and quality, might be executed or punished more or less rigorously than others; some by death, some by galley slavery, some by perpetual banishment and entire confiscation of property." The possibility was also admitted, of mitigating the punishment of those who, without being heretics or sectaries, might bring themselves within the provisions of the edicts, "through curiosity, nonchalance, or otherwise." Such offenders, it was hinted, might be "whipped with rods, fined, banished, or subjected to similar penalties of a lighter nature." It will be perceived by this slight sketch of the advice thus offered to the Duchess that these theologians were disposed very carefully to strain the mercy, which they imagined possible in some cases, but which was to drop only upon the heads of the just. Heretics were still to be dealt with, so far as the bishops and presidents could affect their doom, with unmitigated rigor.

When the assembly was over, the Duchess, thus put in possession of the recorded wisdom of these special councillors, asked her constitutional advisers what she was to do with it. Orange, Egmont, Horn, Mansfeld replied, however, that it was not their affair, and that their opinion had not been demanded by his Majesty in the premises. The Duchess accordingly transmitted to Philip the conclusions of the assembly, together with the reasons of the seigniors for refusing to take part in its deliberations. The sentiments of Orange could hardly be doubtful, however, nor his silence fail to give offense to the higher powers. He contented himself for the time with keeping his eyes and ears open to the course of events, but he watched well. He had "little leisure for amusing himself," as Brederode suggested. That free-spoken individual looked upon the proceedings of the theological assembly with profound disgust. "Your letter," he wrote to Count Louis, "is full of those blackguards of bishops and presidents. I would the race were extinct, like that of green dogs. They will always combat with the arms which they have ever used, remaining to the end avaricious, brutal, obstinate, ambitious, et cetera. I leave you to supply the rest."

Thus, then, it was settled beyond peradventure that there was to be no compromise with heresy. The King had willed it. The theologians had advised it. The Duchess had proclaimed it. It was supposed that without the axe, the fire, and the rack, the Catholic religion would be extinguished, and that the whole population of the Netherlands would embrace the Reformed Faith. This was the distinct declaration of Viglius, in a private letter to Granvelle. "Many seek to abolish the chastisement of heresy," said he; "if they gain this point, actum est de religione Catholica; for as most of the people are ignorant fools, the heretics will soon be the great majority, if by fear of punishment they are not kept in the true path."

The uneasiness, the terror, the wrath of the people seemed rapidly culminating to a crisis. Nothing was talked of but the edicts and the inquisition. Nothing else entered into the minds of men. In the streets, in the shops, in the taverns, in the fields; at market, at church, at funerals, at weddings; in the noble's castle, at the farmer's fireside, in the mechanic's garret, upon the merchants' exchange, there was but one perpetual subject of shuddering conversation. It was better, men began to whisper to each other, to die at once than to live in perpetual slavery. It was better to fall with arms in hand than to be tortured and butchered by the inquisition. Who could expect to contend with such a foe in the dark?

They reproached the municipal authorities with lending themselves as instruments to the institution. They asked magistrates and sheriffs how far they would go in their defence before God's tribunal for the slaughter of his creatures, if they could only answer the divine arraignment by appealing to the edict of 1550. On the other hand, the inquisitors were clamorous in abuse of the languor and the cowardice of the secular authorities. They wearied the ear of the Duchess with complaints of the difficulties which they encountered in the execution of their functions—of the slight alacrity on the part of the various officials to assist them in the discharge of their duties. Notwithstanding the express command of his Majesty to that effect, they experienced, they said, a constant deficiency of that cheerful co-operation which they had the right to claim, and there was perpetual discord in consequence. They had been empowered by papal and by royal decree to make use of the gaols, the constables, the whole penal machinery of each province; yet the officers often refused to act, and had even dared to close the prisons. Nevertheless, it had been intended, as fully appeared by the imperial and royal instructions to the inquisitors, that their action through the medium of the provincial authorities should be unrestrained. Not satisfied with these representations to the Regent, the inquisitors had also made a direct appeal to the King. Judocus Tiletanus and Michael de Bay addressed to Philip a letter from Louvain. They represented to him that they were the only two left of the five inquisitors-general appointed by the Pope for all the Netherlands, the other three having been recently converted into bishops. Daily complaints, they said, were reaching them of the prodigious advance of heresy, but their own office was becoming so odious, so calumniated, and exposed to so much resistance, that they could not perform its duties without personal danger. They urgently demanded from his Majesty, therefore, additional support and assistance. Thus the Duchess, exposed at once to the rising wrath of a whole people and to the shrill blasts of inquisitorial anger, was tossed to and fro, as upon a stormy sea. The commands of the King, too explicit to be tampered with, were obeyed. The theological assembly had met and given advice. The Council of Trent was here and there enforced. The edicts were republished and the inquisitors encouraged. Moreover, in accordance with Philip's suggestion, orders were now given that the heretics should be executed at midnight in their dungeons, by binding their heads between their knees, and then slowly suffocating them in tubs of water. Secret drowning was substituted for public burning, in order that the heretic's crown of vainglory, which was thought to console him in his agony, might never be placed upon his head.

In the course of the summer, Magaret wrote to her brother that the popular frenzy was becoming more and more intense. The people were crying aloud, she said, that the Spanish inquisition, or a worse than Spanish inquisition, had been established among them by means of bishops and ecclesiastics. She urged Philip to cause the instructions for the inquisitors to be revised. Egmont, she said, was vehement in expressing his dissatisfaction at the discrepancy between Philip's language to him by word of mouth and that of the royal despatches on the religious question. The other seigniors were even more indignant.

While the popular commotion in the Netherlands was thus fearfully increasing, another circumstance came to add to the prevailing discontent. The celebrated interview between Catharine de Medici and her daughter, the Queen of Spain, occurred in the middle of the month of June, at Bayonne. The darkest suspicions as to the results to humanity of the plots to be engendered in this famous conference between the representatives of France and Spain were universally entertained. These suspicions were most reasonable, but they were nevertheless mistaken. The plan for a concerted action to exterminate the heretics in both kingdoms had, as it was perfectly well known, been formed long before this epoch. It was also no secret that the Queen Regent of France had been desirous of meeting her son-in-law in order to confer with him upon important matters, face to face. Philip, however, had latterly been disinclined for the personal interview with Catharine. As his wife was most anxious to meet her mother, it was nevertheless finally arranged that Queen Isabella should make the journey; but he excused himself, on account of the multiplicity of his affairs, from accompanying her in the expedition. The Duke of Alva was, accordingly, appointed to attend the Queen to Bayonne. Both were secretly instructed by Philip to leave nothing undone in the approaching interview toward obtaining the hearty co-operation of Catharine de Medici in a general and formally-arranged scheme for the simultaneous extermination of all heretics in the French and Spanish dominions. Alva's conduct in this diplomatic commission was stealthy in the extreme. His letters reveal a subtlety of contrivance and delicacy of handling such as the world has not generally reckoned among his characteristics. All his adroitness, as well as the tact of Queen Isabella, by whose ability Alva declared himself to have been astounded, proved quite powerless before the steady fencing of the wily Catharine. The Queen Regent, whose skill the Duke, even while defeated, acknowledged to his master, continued firm in her design to maintain her own power by holding the balance between Guise and Montmorency, between Leaguer and Huguenot. So long as her enemies could be employed in exterminating each other, she was willing to defer the extermination of the Huguenots. The great massacre of St. Bartholomew was to sleep for seven years longer. Alva was, to be sure, much encouraged at first by the language of the French princes and nobles who were present at Bayonne. Monluc protested that "they might saw the Queen Dowager in two before she would become Huguenot." Montpensier exclaimed that "he would be cut in pieces for Philip's service—that the Spanish monarch was the only hope for France," and, embracing Alva with fervor, he affirmed that "if his body were to be opened at that moment, the name of Philip would be found imprinted upon his heart." The Duke, having no power to proceed to an autopsy, physical or moral, of Montpensier's interior, was left somewhat in the dark, notwithstanding these ejaculations. His first conversation with the youthful King, however, soon dispelled his hopes. He found immediately, in his own words, that Charles the Ninth "had been doctored." To take up arms, for religious reasons, against his own subjects, the monarch declared to be ruinous and improper. It was obvious to Alva that the royal pupil had learned his lesson for that occasion. It was a pity for humanity that the wisdom thus hypocritically taught him could not have sunk into his heart. The Duke did his best to bring forward the plans and wishes of his royal master, but without success. The Queen Regent proposed a league of the two Kings and the Emperor against the Turk, and wished to arrange various matrimonial alliances between the sons and daughters of the three houses. Alva expressed the opinion that the alliances were already close enough, while, on the contrary, a secret league against the Protestants would make all three families the safer. Catherine, however, was not to be turned from her position. She refused even to admit that the Chancellor de l'Hospital was a Huguenot, to which the Duke replied that she was the only person in her kingdom who held that opinion. She expressed an intention of convoking an assembly of doctors, and Alva ridiculed in his letters to Philip the affectation of such a proceeding. In short, she made it sufficiently evident that the hour for the united action of the French and Spanish sovereigns against their subjects had not struck, so that the famous Bayonne conference was terminated without a result. It seemed not the less certain, however, in the general opinion of mankind, that all the particulars of a regular plot had been definitely arranged upon this occasion, for the extermination of the Protestants, and the error has been propagated by historians of great celebrity of all parties, down to our own days. The secret letters of Alva, however, leave no doubt as to the facts.

In the course of November, fresh letters from Philip arrived in the Netherlands, confirming every thing which he had previously written. He wrote personally to the inquisitors-general, Tiletanus and De Bay, encouraging them, commending them, promising them his support, and urging them not to be deterred by any consideration from thoroughly fulfilling their duties. He wrote Peter Titelmann a letter, in which he applauded the pains taken by that functionary to remedy the ills which religion was suffering, assured him of his gratitude, exhorted him to continue in his virtuous course, and avowed his determination to spare neither pains, expense, nor even his own life, to sustain the Catholic Faith. To the Duchess he wrote at great length, and in most unequivocal language. He denied that what he had written from Valladolid was of different meaning from the sense of the despatches by Egmont. With regard to certain Anabaptist prisoners, concerning whose fate Margaret had requested his opinion, he commanded their execution, adding that such was his will in the case of all, whatever their quality, who could be caught. That which the people said in the Netherlands touching the inquisition, he pronounced extremely distasteful to him. That institution, which had existed under his predecessors, he declared more necessary than ever; nor would he suffer it to be discredited. He desired his sister to put no faith in idle talk, as to the inconveniences likely to flow from the rigor of the inquisition. Much greater inconveniences would be the result if the inquisitors did not proceed with their labors, and the Duchess was commanded to write to the secular judges, enjoining upon them to place no obstacles in the path, but to afford all the assistance which might be required.

To Egmont, the King wrote with his own hand, applauding much that was contained in the recent decisions of the assembly of bishops and doctors of divinity, and commanding the Count to assist in the execution of the royal determination. In affairs of religion, Philip expressed the opinion that dissimulation and weakness were entirely out of place.

When these decisive letters came before the state council, the consternation was extreme. The Duchess had counted, in spite of her inmost convictions, upon less peremptory instructions. The Prince of Orange, the Count of Egmont, and the Admiral, were loud in their denunciations of the royal policy. There was a violent and protracted debate. The excitement spread at once to the people. Inflammatory hand-bills were circulated. Placards were posted every night upon the doors of Orange, Egmont, and Horn, calling upon them to come forth boldly as champions of the people and of liberty in religious matters. Banquets were held daily at the houses of the nobility, in which the more ardent and youthful of their order, with brains excited by wine and anger, indulged in flaming invectives against the government, and interchanged vows to protect each other and the cause of the oppressed provinces. Meanwhile the privy council, to which body the Duchess had referred the recent despatches from Madrid, made a report upon the whole subject to the state council, during the month of November, sustaining the royal views, and insisting upon the necessity of carrying them into effect. The edicts and inquisition having been so vigorously insisted upon by the King, nothing was to be done but to issue new proclamations throughout the country, together with orders to bishops, councils, governors and judges, that every care should be taken to enforce them to the full.

This report came before the state council, and was sustained by some of its members. The Prince of Orange expressed the same uncompromising hostility to the inquisition which he had always manifested, but observed that the commands of the King were so precise and absolute, as to leave no possibility of discussing that point. There was nothing to be done, he said, but to obey, but he washed his hands of the fatal consequences which he foresaw. There was no longer any middle course between obedience and rebellion. This opinion, the soundness of which could scarcely be disputed, was also sustained by Egmont and Horn.

Viglius, on the contrary, nervous, agitated, appalled, was now disposed to temporize. He observed that if the seigniors feared such evil results, it would be better to prevent, rather than to accelerate the danger which would follow the proposed notification to the governors and municipal authorities throughout the country, on the subject of the inquisition. To make haste, was neither to fulfil the intentions nor to serve the interests of the King, and it was desirable "to avoid emotion and scandal." Upon these heads the President made a very long speech, avowing, in conclusion, that if his Majesty should not find the course proposed agreeable, he was ready to receive all the indignation upon his own head.

Certainly, this position of the President was somewhat inconsistent with his previous course. He had been most violent in his denunciations of all who should interfere with the execution of the great edict of which he had been the original draughtsman. He had recently been ferocious in combating the opinion of those civilians in the assembly of doctors who had advocated the abolition of the death penalty against heresy. He had expressed with great energy his private opinion that the ancient religion would perish if the machinery of persecution were taken away; yet he now for the first time seemed to hear or to heed the outcry of a whole nation, and to tremble at the sound. Now that the die had been cast, in accordance with the counsels of his whole life, now that the royal commands, often enigmatical and hesitating; were at last too distinct to be misconstrued, and too peremptory to be tampered with—the president imagined the possibility of delay. The health of the ancient Frisian had but recently permitted him to resume his seat at the council board. His presence there was but temporary, for he had received from Madrid the acceptance of his resignation, accompanied with orders to discharge the duties of President until the arrival of his successor, Charles de Tisnacq. Thus, in his own language, the Duchess was still obliged to rely for a season "upon her ancient Palinurus," a necessity far from agreeable to her, for she had lost confidence in the pilot. It may be supposed that he was anxious to smooth the troubled waters during the brief period in which he was still to be exposed to their fury; but he poured out the oil of his eloquence in vain. Nobody sustained his propositions. The Duchess, although terrified at the probable consequences, felt the impossibility of disobeying the deliberate decree of her brother. A proclamation was accordingly prepared, by which it was ordered that the Council of Trent, the edicts and the inquisition, should be published in every town and village in the provinces, immediately, and once in six months forever afterwards. The deed was done, and the Prince of Orange, stooping to the ear of his next neighbor, as they sat at the council-board, whispered that they were now about to witness the commencement of the most extraordinary tragedy which had ever been enacted.

The prophecy was indeed a proof that the Prince could read the future, but the sarcasm of the President, that the remark had been made in a tone of exultation, was belied by every action of the prophet's life.

The fiat went forth. In the market-place of every town and village of the Netherlands, the inquisition was again formally proclaimed. Every doubt which had hitherto existed as to the intention of the government was swept away. No argument was thenceforward to be permissible as to the constitutionality of the edicts as to the compatibility of their provisions with the privileges of the land. The cry of a people in its agony ascended to Heaven. The decree was answered with a howl of execration. The flames of popular frenzy arose lurid and threatening above the house-tops of every town and village. The impending conflict could no longer be mistaken. The awful tragedy which the great watchman in the land had so long unceasingly predicted, was seen sweeping solemnly and steadily onward. The superstitious eyes of the age saw supernatural and ominous indications in the sky. Contending armies trampled the clouds; blood dropped from heaven; the exterminating angel rode upon the wind.

There was almost a cessation of the ordinary business of mankind. Commerce was paralyzed. Antwerp shook as with an earthquake. A chasm seemed to open, in which her prosperity and her very existence were to be forever engulfed. The foreign merchants, manufacturers, and artisans fled from her gates as if the plague were raging within them. Thriving cities were likely soon to be depopulated. The metropolitan heart of the whole country was almost motionless.

Men high in authority sympathized with the general indignation. The Marquis Berghen, the younger Mansfeld, the Baron Montigny, openly refused to enforce the edicts within their governments. Men of eminence inveighed boldly and bitterly against the tyranny of the government, and counselled disobedience. The Netherlanders, it was stoutly maintained, were not such senseless brutes as to be ignorant of the mutual relation of prince and people. They knew that the obligation of a king to his vassals was as sacred as the duties of the subjects to the sovereign.

The four principal cities of Brabant first came forward in formal denunciation of the outrage. An elaborate and conclusive document was drawn up in their name, and presented to the Regent. It set forth that the recent proclamation violated many articles in the "joyous entry." That ancient constitution had circumscribed the power of the clergy, and the jealousy had been felt in old times as much by the sovereign as the people. No ecclesiastical tribunal had therefore been allowed, excepting that of the Bishop of Cambray, whose jurisdiction was expressly confined to three classes of cases—those growing out of marriages, testaments, and mortmains.

It would be superfluous to discuss the point at the present day, whether the directions to the inquisitors and the publication of the edicts conflicted with the "joyous entrance." To take a man from his house and burn him, after a brief preliminary examination, was clearly not to follow the letter and spirit of the Brabantine habeas corpus, by which inviolability of domicile and regular trials were secured and sworn to by the monarch; yet such had been the uniform practice of inquisitors throughout the country. The petition of the four cities was referred by the Regent to the council of Brabant. The chancellor, or president judge of that tribunal was notoriously corrupt—a creature of the Spanish. His efforts to sustain the policy of the administration however vain. The Duchess ordered the archives of the province to be searched for precedents, and the council to report upon the petition. The case was too plain for argument or dogmatism, but the attempt was made to take refuge in obscurity. The answer of the council was hesitating and equivocal. The Duchess insisted upon a distinct and categorical answer to the four cities. Thus pressed, the council of Brabant declared roundly that no inquisition of any kind had ever existed, in the provinces. It was impossible that any other answer could be given, but Viglius, with his associates in the privy council, were extremely angry at the conclusion. The concession was, however, made, notwithstanding the bad example which, according to some persons, the victory thus obtained by so important a province would afford to the people in the other parts of the country. Brabant was declared free of the inquisition. Meanwhile the pamphlets, handbills, pasquils, and other popular productions were multiplied. To use a Flemish expression, they "snowed in the streets." They were nailed nightly on all the great houses in Brussels. Patriots were called upon to strike, speak, redress. Pungent lampoons, impassioned invectives, and earnest remonstrances, were thrust into the hands of the Duchess. The publications, as they appeared; were greedily devoured by the people. "We are willing," it was said, in a remarkable letter to the King, "to die for the Gospel, but we read therein 'Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and unto God that which is God's.' We thank God that our enemies themselves are compelled to bear witness to our piety and patience; so that it is a common saying—'He swears not; he is a Protestant; he is neither a fornicator nor a drunkard; he is of the new sect.' Yet, notwithstanding these testimonials to our character, no manner of punishment has been forgotten by which we can possibly be Chastised." This statement of the morality of the Puritans of the Netherlands was the justification of martyrs—not the self-glorification of Pharisees. The fact was incontrovertible. Their tenets were rigid, but their lives were pure. They belonged generally to the middling and lower classes. They were industrious artisans, who desired to live in the fear of God and in honor of their King. They were protected by nobles and gentlemen of high position, very many of whom came afterwards warmly to espouse the creed which at first they had only generously defended. Their whole character and position resembled, in many features, those of the English Puritans, who, three quarters of a century afterwards, fled for refuge to the Dutch Republic, and thence departed to establish the American Republic. The difference was that the Netherlanders were exposed to a longer persecution and a far more intense martyrdom.

Towards the end of the year (1565) which was closing in such universal gloom; the contemporary chronicles are enlivened with a fitful gleam of sunshine. The light enlivens only the more elevated regions of the Flemish world, but it is pathetic to catch a glimpse of those nobles, many of whose lives were to be so heroic, and whose destinies so tragic, as amid the shadows projected by coming evil, they still found time for the chivalrous festivals of their land and epoch. A splendid tournament was held at the Chateau d'Antoing to celebrate the nuptials of Baron Montigny with the daughter of Prince d'Espinoy. Orange, Horn, and Hoogstraaten were the challengers, and maintained themselves victoriously against all comers, Egmont and other distinguished knights being, among the number.

Thus brilliantly and gaily moved the first hours of that marriage which before six months had fled was to be so darkly terminated. The doom which awaited the chivalrous bridegroom in the dungeon of Simancas was ere long to be recorded in one of the foulest chapters of Philip's tyranny.

A still more elaborate marriage-festival, of which the hero was, at a later day, to exercise a most decisive influence over the fortunes of the land, was celebrated at Brussels before the close of the year. It will be remembered that Alexander, Prince of Parma, had accompanied Egmont on his return from Spain in the month of April. The Duchess had been delighted with the appearance of her son, then twenty years of age, but already an accomplished cavalier. She had expressed her especial pleasure in finding him so thoroughly a Spaniard "in manner, costume, and conversation," that it could not be supposed he had ever visited any other land, or spoken any other tongue than that of Spain.

The nobles of the Flemish court did not participate in the mother's enthusiasm. It could not be denied that he was a handsome and gallant young prince; but his arrogance was so intolerable as to disgust even those most disposed to pay homage to Margaret's son. He kept himself mainly in haughty retirement, dined habitually alone in his own apartments, and scarcely honored any of the gentlemen of the Netherlands with his notice. Even Egmont, to whose care he had been especially recommended by Philip, was slighted. If, occasionally, he honored one or two of the seigniors with an invitation to his table, he sat alone in solemn state at the head of the board, while the guests, to whom he scarcely vouchsafed a syllable, were placed on stools without backs, below the salt. Such insolence, it may be supposed, was sufficiently galling to men of the proud character, but somewhat reckless demeanor, which distinguished the Netherland aristocracy. After a short time they held themselves aloof, thinking it sufficient to endure such airs from Philip. The Duchess at first encouraged the young Prince in his haughtiness, but soon became sad, as she witnessed its effects. It was the universal opinion that the young Prince was a mere compound of pride and emptiness. "There is nothing at all in the man," said Chantonnay. Certainly the expression was not a fortunate one. Time was to show that there was more in the man than in all the governors despatched successively by Philip to the Netherlands; but the proof was to be deferred to a later epoch. Meantime, his mother was occupied and exceedingly perplexed with his approaching nuptials. He had been affianced early in the year to the Princess Donna Maria of Portugal. It was found necessary, therefore, to send a fleet of several vessels to Lisbon, to fetch the bride to the Netherlands, the wedding being appointed to take place in Brussels. This expense alone was considerable, and the preparations for banquets, jousts, and other festivities, were likewise undertaken on so magnificent a scale that the Duke, her husband, was offended at Margaret's extravagance. The people, by whom she was not beloved, commented bitterly on the prodigalities which they were witnessing in a period of dearth and trouble. Many of the nobles mocked at her perplexity. To crown the whole, the young Prince was so obliging as to express the hope, in his mother's hearing, that the bridal fleet, then on its way from Portugal, might sink with all it contained, to the bottom of the sea.

The poor Duchess was infinitely chagrined by all these circumstances. The "insane and outrageous expenses" in which the nuptials had involved her, the rebukes of her husband, the sneers of the seigniors, the undutiful epigrams of her son, the ridicule of the people, affected her spirits to such a degree, harassed as she was with grave matters of state, that she kept her rooms for days together, weeping, hour after hour, in the most piteous manner. Her distress was the town talk; nevertheless, the fleet arrived in the autumn, and brought the youthful Maria to the provinces. This young lady, if the faithful historiographer of the Farnese house is to be credited, was the paragon of princesses.

   [This princess, in her teens, might already exclaim, with the
   venerable Faustus:

          "Habe nun Philosophie
          Juristerei and Medicin
          Und leider ach: Theologie
          Durch studirt mit heissem Bemuhen," etc.

   The panegyrists of royal houses in the sixteenth century were not
   accustomed to do their work by halves.—Strada.]

She was the daughter of Prince Edward, and granddaughter of John the Third. She was young and beautiful; she could talk both Latin and Greek, besides being well versed in philosophy, mathematics and theology. She had the scriptures at her tongue's end, both the old dispensation and the new, and could quote from the fathers with the promptness of a bishop. She was so strictly orthodox that, on being compelled by stress of weather to land in England, she declined all communication with Queen Elizabeth, on account of her heresy. She was so eminently chaste that she could neither read the sonnets of Petrarch, nor lean on the arm of a gentleman. Her delicacy upon such points was, indeed, carried to such excess, that upon one occasion when the ship which was bringing her to the Netherlands was discovered to be burning, she rebuked a rude fellow who came forward to save her life, assuring him that there was less contamination in the touch of fire than in that of man. Fortunately, the flames were extinguished, and the Phoenix of Portugal was permitted to descend, unburned, upon the bleak shores of Flanders.

The occasion, notwithstanding the recent tears of the Duchess, and the arrogance of the Prince, was the signal for much festivity among the courtiers of Brussels. It was also the epoch from which movements of a secret and important character were to be dated. The chevaliers of the Fleece were assembled, and Viglius pronounced before them one of his most classical orations. He had a good deal to say concerning the private adventures of Saint Andrew, patron of the Order, and went into some details of a conversation which that venerated personage had once held with the proconsul Aegeas. The moral which he deduced from his narrative was the necessity of union among the magnates for the maintenance of the Catholic faith; the nobility and the Church being the two columns upon which the whole social fabric reposed. It is to be feared that the President became rather prosy upon the occasion. Perhaps his homily, like those of the fictitious Archbishop of Granada, began to smack of the apoplexy from which he had so recently escaped. Perhaps, the meeting being one of hilarity, the younger nobles became restive under the infliction of a very long and very solemn harangue. At any rate, as the meeting broke up, there was a good dial of jesting on the subject. De Hammes, commonly called "Toison d'Or," councillor and king-at-arms of the Order, said that the President had been seeing visions and talking with Saint Andrew in a dream. Marquis Berghen asked for the source whence he had derived such intimate acquaintance with the ideas of the Saint. The President took these remarks rather testily, and, from trifling, the company became soon earnestly engaged in a warm discussion of the agitating topics of the day. It soon became evident to Viglius that De Hammer and others of his comrades had been dealing with dangerous things. He began shrewdly to suspect that the popular heresy was rapidly extending into higher regions; but it was not the President alone who discovered how widely the contamination was spreading. The meeting, the accidental small talk, which had passed so swiftly from gaiety to gravity, the rapid exchange of ideas, and the free-masonry by which intelligence upon forbidden topics had been mutually conveyed, became events of historical importance. Interviews between nobles, who, in the course of the festivities produced by the Montigny and Parma marriages, had discovered that they entertained a secret similarity of sentiment upon vital questions, became of frequent occurrence. The result to which such conferences led will be narrated in the following chapter.

Meantime, upon the 11th November, 1565, the marriage of Prince Alexander and Donna Maria was celebrated; with great solemnity, by the Archbishop of Cambray, in the chapel of the court at Brussels. On the following Sunday the wedding banquet was held in the great hall, where, ten years previously, the memorable abdication of the bridegroom's imperial grandfather had taken place.

The walls were again hung with the magnificent tapestry of Gideon, while the Knights of the Fleece, with all the other grandees of the land, were assembled to grace the spectacle. The King was represented by his envoy in England, Don Guzman de Silva, who came to Brussels for the occasion, and who had been selected for this duty because, according to Armenteros, "he was endowed, beside his prudence, with so much witty gracefulness with ladies in matters of pastime and entertainment." Early in the month of December, a famous tournament was held in the great market-place of Brussels, the Duke of Parma, the Duke of Aerschot, and Count Egmont being judges of the jousts. Count Mansfeld was the challenger, assisted by his son Charles, celebrated among the gentry of the land for his dexterity in such sports. To Count Charles was awarded upon this occasion the silver cup from the lady of the lists. Count Bossu received the prize for breaking best his lances; the Seigneur de Beauvoir for the most splendid entrance; Count Louis, of Nassau, for having borne himself most gallantly in the melee. On the same evening the nobles, together with the bridal pair, were entertained at a splendid supper, given by the city of Brussels in the magnificent Hotel de Ville. On this occasion the prizes gained at the tournament were distributed, amid the applause and hilarity of all the revellers.

Thus, with banquet, tourney, and merry marriage bells, with gaiety gilding the surface of society, while a deadly hatred to the inquisition was eating into the heart of the nation, and while the fires of civil war were already kindling, of which no living man was destined to witness the extinction, ended the year 1565.


     All offices were sold to the highest bidder
     English Puritans
     Habeas corpus
     He did his best to be friends with all the world
     Look through the cloud of dissimulation
     No law but the law of the longest purse
     Panegyrists of royal houses in the sixteenth century
     Secret drowning was substituted for public burning
     Sonnets of Petrarch
     St. Bartholomew was to sleep for seven years longer
     To think it capable of error, is the most devilish heresy of all


1566 [CHAPTER VI.]

Francis Junius—His sermon at Culemburg House—The Compromise— Portraits of Sainte Aldegonde, of Louis 'Nassau, of "Toison d'Or," of Charles Mansfeld—Sketch of the Compromise—Attitude of Orange— His letter to the Duchess—Signers of the Compromise—Indiscretion of the confederates—Espionage over Philip by Orange— Dissatisfaction of the seigniors—Conduct of Egmont—Despair of the people—Emigration to England—Its effects—The request—Meeting at Breda and Hoogstraaten—Exaggerated statements concerning the Request in the state council—Hesitation of the Duchess—Assembly of notables—Debate concerning the Request and the inquisition— Character of Brederode—Arrival of the petitioners in Brussels— Presentation of the Request—Emotion of Margaret—Speech of Brederode—Sketch of the Request—Memorable sarcasm of Berlaymont— Deliberation in the state council—Apostille to the Request—Answer to the Apostille—Reply of the Duchess—Speech of D'Esquerdes— Response of Margaret—Memorable banquet at Culemburg House—Name of "the beggars" adopted—Orange, Egmont, and Horn break up the riotous meeting—Costume of "the beggars"—Brederode at Antwerp—Horrible execution at Oudenardo—Similar cruelties throughout the provinces— Project of "Moderation"—Religious views of Orange—His resignation of all his offices not accepted—The "Moderation" characterized— Egmont at Arras Debate on the "Moderation"—Vacillation of Egmont— Mission of Montigny and Berghen to Spain—Instructions to the envoys—Secret correspondence of Philip with the Pope concerning the Netherland inquisition and the edicts—Field-preaching in the provinces—Modet at Ghent—Other preachers characterized—Excitement at Tournay—Peter Gabriel at Harlem—Field—preaching near Antwerp— Embarrassment of the Regent—Excitement at Antwerp—Pensionary Wesenbeck sent to Brussels—Orange at Antwerp—His patriotic course —Misrepresentation of the Duchess—Intemperate zeal of Dr. Rythovius—Meeting at St. Trond—Conference at Duffel—Louis of Nassau deputed to the Regent—Unsatisfactory negotiations.

The most remarkable occurrence in the earlier part of the year 1556 was the famous Compromise. This document, by which the signers pledged themselves to oppose the inquisition, and to defend each other against all consequences of such a resistance, was probably the work of Philip de Marnix, Lord of Sainte Aldegonde. Much obscurity, however, rests upon the origin of this league. Its foundations had already been laid in the latter part of the preceding year. The nuptials of Parma with the Portuguese princess had been the cause of much festivity, not only in Brussels, but at Antwerp. The great commercial metropolis had celebrated the occasion by a magnificent banquet. There had been triumphal arches, wreaths of flowers, loyal speeches, generous sentiments, in the usual profusion. The chief ornament of the dinner-table had been a magnificent piece of confectionary, netting elaborately forth the mission of Count Mansfeld with the fleet to Portugal to fetch the bride from her home, with exquisitely finished figures in sugar—portraits, it is to be presumed—of the principal personages as they appeared during the most striking scenes of the history. At the very moment, however, of these delectations, a meeting was held at Brussels of men whose minds were occupied with sterner stuff than sugar-work. On the wedding-day of Parma, Francis Junius, a dissenting minister then residing at Antwerp, was invited to Brussels to preach a sermon in the house of Count Culemburg, on the horse-market (now called Little Sablon), before a small assembly of some twenty gentlemen.

This Francis Junius, born of a noble family in Bourges, was the pastor of the secret French congregation of Huguenots at Antwerp. He was very young, having arrived from Geneva, where he had been educated, to take charge of the secret church, when but just turned of twenty years. He was, however, already celebrated for his learning, his eloquence, and his courage. Towards the end of 1565, it had already become known that Junius was in secret understanding with Louis of Nassau, to prepare an address to government on the subject of the inquisition and edicts. Orders were given for his arrest.

A certain painter of Brussels affected conversion to the new religion, that he might gain admission to the congregation, and afterwards earn the reward of the informer. He played his part so well that he was permitted to attend many meetings, in the course of which he sketched the portrait of the preacher, and delivered it to the Duchess Regent, together with minute statements as to his residence and daily habits. Nevertheless, with all this assistance, the government could not succeed in laying hands on him. He escaped to Breda, and continued his labors in spite of persecution. The man's courage may be estimated from the fact that he preached on one occasion a sermon, advocating the doctrines of the reformed Church with his usual eloquence, in a room overlooking the market-place, where, at the very, instant, the execution by fire of several heretics was taking place, while the light from the flames in which the brethren of their Faith were burning, was flickering through the glass windows of the conventicle. Such was the man who preached a sermon in Culemburg Palace on Parma's wedding-day. The nobles who listened to him were occupied with grave discourse after conclusion of the religious exercises. Junius took no part in their conversation, but in his presence it was resolved that a league against the "barbarous and violent inquisition" should be formed, and, that the confederates should mutually bind themselves both within and without the Netherlands to this great purpose. Junius, in giving this explicit statement; has not mentioned the names of the nobles before whom he preached. It may be inferred that some of them were the more ardent and the more respectable among the somewhat miscellaneous band by whom the Compromise was afterwards signed.

At about the same epoch, Louis of Nassau, Nicolas de Hammes, and certain other gentlemen met at the baths of Spa. At this secret assembly, the foundations of the Compromise were definitely laid. A document was afterwards drawn up, which was circulated for signatures in the early part of 1566. It is, therefore, a mistake to suppose that this memorable paper was simultaneously signed and sworn to at any solemn scene like that of the declaration of American Independence, or like some of the subsequent transactions in the Netherland revolt, arranged purposely for dramatic effect. Several copies of the Compromise were passed secretly from hand to hand, and in the course of two months some two thousand signatures had been obtained. The original copy bore but three names, those of Brederode, Charles de Mansfeld, and Louis of Nassau. The composition of the paper is usually ascribed to Sainte Aldegonde, although the fact is not indisputable. At any rate, it is very certain that he was one of the originators and main supporters of the famous league. Sainte Aldegonde was one of the most accomplished men of his age. He was of ancient nobility, as he proved by an abundance of historical and heraldic evidence, in answer to a scurrilous pamphlet in which he had been accused, among other delinquencies, of having sprung from plebeian blood. Having established his "extraction from true and ancient gentlemen of Savoy, paternally and maternally," he rebuked his assailants in manly strain. "Even had it been that I was without nobility of birth," said he, "I should be none the less or more a virtuous or honest man; nor can any one reproach me with having failed in the point of honor or duty. What greater folly than to boast of the virtue or gallantry of others, as do many nobles who, having neither a grain of virtue in their souls nor a drop of wisdom in their brains, are entirely useless to their country! Yet there are such men, who, because their ancestors have done some valorous deed, think themselves fit to direct the machinery of a whole country, having from their youth learned nothing but to dance and to spin like weathercocks with their heads as well as their heels." Certainly Sainte Aldegonde had learned other lessons than these. He was one of the many-sided men who recalled the symmetry of antique patriots. He was a poet of much vigor and imagination; a prose writer whose style was surpassed by that of none of his contemporaries, a diplomatist in whose tact and delicacy William of Orange afterwards reposed in the most difficult and important negotiations, an orator whose discourses on many great public occasions attracted the attention of Europe, a soldier whose bravery was to be attested afterwards on many a well-fought field, a theologian so skilful in the polemics of divinity, that, as it will hereafter appear, he was more than a match for a bench of bishops upon their own ground, and a scholar so accomplished, that, besides speaking and writing the classical and several modern languages with facility, he had also translated for popular use the Psalms of David into vernacular verse, and at a very late period of his life was requested by the states-general of the republic to translate all the Scriptures, a work, the fulfilment of which was prevented by his death. A passionate foe to the inquisition and to all the abuses of the ancient Church, an ardent defender of civil liberty, it must be admitted that he partook also of the tyrannical spirit of Calvinism. He never rose to the lofty heights to which the spirit of the great founder of the commonwealth was destined to soar, but denounced the great principle of religious liberty for all consciences as godless. He was now twenty-eight years of age, having been born in the same year with his friend Louis of Nassau. His device, "Repos ailleurs," finely typified the restless, agitated and laborious life to which he was destined.

That other distinguished leader of the newly-formed league, Count Louis, was a true knight of the olden time, the very mirror of chivalry. Gentle, generous, pious; making use, in his tent before the battle, of the prayers which his mother sent him from the home of his childhood,—yet fiery in the field as an ancient crusader—doing the work of general and soldier with desperate valor and against any numbers—cheerful and steadfast under all reverses, witty and jocund in social intercourse, animating with his unceasing spirits the graver and more foreboding soul of his brother; he was the man to whom the eyes of the most ardent among the Netherland Reformers were turned at this early epoch, the trusty staff upon which the great Prince of Orange was to lean till it was broken. As gay as Brederode, he was unstained by his vices, and exercised a boundless influence over that reckless personage, who often protested that he would "die a poor soldier at his feet." The career of Louis was destined to be short, if reckoned by years, but if by events, it was to attain almost a patriarchal length. At the age of nineteen he had taken part in the battle of St. Quentin, and when once the war of freedom opened, his sword was never to be sheathed. His days were filled with life, and when he fell into his bloody but unknown grave, he was to leave a name as distinguished for heroic valor and untiring energy as for spotless integrity. He was small of stature, but well formed; athletic in all knightly exercises, with agreeable features, a dark laughing eye, close-clipped brown hair, and a peaked beard.

"Golden Fleece," as Nicholas de Hammes was universally denominated, was the illegitimate scion of a noble house. He was one of the most active of the early adherents to the league, kept the lists of signers in his possession, and scoured the country daily to procure new confederates. At the public preachings of the reformed religion, which soon after this epoch broke forth throughout the Netherlands as by a common impulse, he made himself conspicuous. He was accused of wearing, on such occasions, the ensigns of the Fleece about his neck, in order to induce ignorant people to believe that they might themselves legally follow, when they perceived a member of that illustrious fraternity to be leading the way. As De Hammer was only an official or servant of that Order, but not a companion, the seduction of the lieges by such false pretenses was reckoned among the most heinous of his offences. He was fierce in his hostility to the government, and one of those fiery spirits whose premature zeal was prejudicial to the cause of liberty, and disheartening to the cautious patriotism of Orange. He was for smiting at once the gigantic atrocity of the Spanish dominion, without waiting for the forging of the weapons by which the blows were to be dealt. He forgot that men and money were as necessary as wrath, in a contest with the most tremendous despotism of the world. "They wish," he wrote to Count Louis, "that we should meet these hungry wolves with remonstrances, using gentle words, while they are burning and cutting off heads.—Be it so then. Let us take the pen let them take the sword. For them deeds, for us words. We shall weep, they will laugh. The Lord be praised for all; but I can not write this without tears." This nervous language painted the situation and the character of the writer.

As for Charles Mansfeld, he soon fell away from the league which he had embraced originally with excessive ardor.

By the influence of the leaders many signatures were obtained during the first two months of the year. The language of the document was such that patriotic Catholics could sign it as honestly as Protestants. It inveighed bitterly against the tyranny of "a heap of strangers," who, influenced only by private avarice and ambition, were making use of an affected zeal for the Catholic religion, to persuade the King into a violation of his oaths. It denounced the refusal to mitigate the severity of the edicts. It declared the inquisition, which it seemed the intention of government to fix permanently upon them, as "iniquitous, contrary to all laws, human and divine, surpassing the greatest barbarism which was ever practised by tyrants, and as redounding to the dishonor of God and to the total desolation of the country." The signers protested, therefore, that "having a due regard to their duties as faithful vassals of his Majesty, and especially, as noblemen—and in order not to be deprived of their estates and their lives by those who, under pretext of religion, wished to enrich themselves by plunder and murder," they had bound themselves to each other by holy covenant and solemn oath to resist the inquisition. They mutually promised to oppose it in every shape, open or covert, under whatever mask, it might assume, whether bearing the name of inquisition, placard, or edict, "and to extirpate and eradicate the thing in any form, as the mother of all iniquity and disorder." They protested before God and man, that they would attempt nothing to the dishonor of the Lord or to the diminution of the King's grandeur, majesty, or dominion. They declared, on the contrary, an honest purpose to "maintain the monarch in his estate, and to suppress all seditious, tumults, monopolies, and factions." They engaged to preserve their confederation, thus formed, forever inviolable, and to permit none of its members to be persecuted in any manner, in body or goods, by any proceeding founded on the inquisition, the edicts, or the present league.

It will be seen therefore, that the Compromise was in its origin, a covenant of nobles. It was directed against the foreign influence by which the Netherlands were exclusively governed, and against the inquisition, whether papal, episcopal, or by edict. There is no doubt that the country was controlled entirely by Spanish masters, and that the intention was to reduce the ancient liberty of the Netherlands into subjection to a junta of foreigners sitting at Madrid. Nothing more legitimate could be imagined than a constitutional resistance to such a policy.

The Prince of Orange had not been consulted as to the formation of the league. It was sufficiently obvious to its founders that his cautious mind would find much to censure in the movement. His sentiments with regard to the inquisition and the edicts were certainly known to all men. In the beginning of this year, too, he had addressed a remarkable letter to the Duchess, in answer to her written commands to cause the Council of Trent, the inquisition, and the edicts, in accordance with the recent commands of the King, to be published and enforced throughout his government. Although his advice on the subject had not been asked, he expressed his sense of obligation to speak his mind on the subject, preferring the hazard of being censured for his remonstrance, to that of incurring the suspicion of connivance at the desolation of the land by his silence. He left the question of reformation in ecclesiastical morals untouched, as not belonging to his vocation: As to the inquisition, he most distinctly informed her highness that the hope which still lingered in the popular mind of escaping the permanent establishment of that institution, had alone prevented the utter depopulation of the country, with entire subversion of its commercial and manufacturing industry. With regard to the edicts, he temperately but forcibly expressed the opinion that it was very hard to enforce those placards now in their rigor, when the people were exasperated, and the misery universal, inasmuch as they had frequently been modified on former occasions. The King, he said, could gain nothing but difficulty for himself, and would be sure to lose the affection of his subjects by renewing the edicts, strengthening the inquisition, and proceeding to fresh executions, at a time when the people, moved by the example of their neighbors, were naturally inclined to novelty. Moreover, when by reason of the daily increasing prices of grain a famine was impending over the land, no worse moment could be chosen to enforce such a policy. In conclusion, he observed that he was at all times desirous to obey the commands of his Majesty and her Highness, and to discharge the duties of "a good Christian." The use of the latter term is remarkable, as marking an epoch in the history of the Prince's mind. A year before he would have said a good Catholic, but it was during this year that his mind began to be thoroughly pervaded by religious doubt, and that the great question of the Reformation forced itself, not only as a political, but as a moral problem upon him, which he felt that he could not much longer neglect instead of solving.

Such were the opinions of Orange. He could not, however, safely entrust the sacred interests of a commonwealth to such hands as those of Brederode—however deeply that enthusiastic personage might drink the health of "Younker William," as he affectionately denominated the Prince—or to "Golden Fleece," or to Charles Mansfeld, or to that younger wild boar of Ardennes, Robert de la Marck. In his brother and in Sainte Aldegonde he had confidence, but he did not exercise over them that control which he afterwards acquired. His conduct towards the confederacy was imitated in the main by the other great nobles. The covenanters never expected to obtain the signatures of such men as Orange, Egmont, Horn, Meghen, Berghen, or Montigny, nor were those eminent personages ever accused of having signed the Compromise, although some of them were afterwards charged with having protected those who did affix their names to the document. The confederates were originally found among the lesser nobles. Of these some were sincere Catholics, who loved the ancient Church but hated the inquisition; some were fierce Calvinists or determined Lutherans; some were troublous and adventurous spirits, men of broken fortunes, extravagant habits, and boundless desires, who no doubt thought that the broad lands of the Church, with their stately abbeys; would furnish much more fitting homes and revenues for gallant gentlemen than for lazy monks. All were young, few had any prudence or conduct, and the history of the league more than justified the disapprobation of Orange. The nobles thus banded together, achieved little by their confederacy. They disgraced a great cause by their orgies, almost ruined it by their inefficiency, and when the rope of sand which they had twisted fell asunder, the people had gained nothing and the gentry had almost lost the confidence of the nation. These remarks apply to the mass of the confederates and to some of the leaders. Louis of Nassau and Sainte Aldegonde were ever honored and trusted as they deserved.

Although the language of the Compromise spoke of the leaguers as nobles, yet the document was circulated among burghers and merchants also, many of whom, according to the satirical remark of a Netherland Catholic, may, have been influenced by the desire of writing their names in such aristocratic company, and some of whom were destined to expiate such vainglory upon the scaffold.

With such associates, therefore, the profound and anxious mind of Orange could have little in common. Confidence expanding as the numbers increased, their audacity and turbulence grew with the growth of the league. The language at their wild banquets was as hot as the wine which confused their heads; yet the Prince knew that there was rarely a festival in which there did not sit some calm, temperate Spaniard, watching with quiet eye and cool brain the extravagant demeanor, and listening with composure to the dangerous avowals or bravados of these revellers, with the purpose of transmitting a record of their language or demonstrations, to the inmost sanctuary of Philip's cabinet at Madrid. The Prince knew, too, that the King was very sincere in his determination to maintain the inquisition, however dilatory his proceedings might appear. He was well aware that an armed force might be expected ere long to support the royal edicts. Already the Prince had organized that system of espionage upon Philip, by which the champion of his country was so long able to circumvent its despot. The King left letters carefully locked in his desk at night, and unseen hands had forwarded copies of them to William of Orange before the morning. He left memoranda in his pockets on retiring to bed, and exact transcripts of those papers found their way, likewise, ere he rose, to the same watchman in the Netherlands. No doubt that an inclination for political intrigue was a prominent characteristic of the Prince, and a blemish upon the purity of his moral nature. Yet the dissimulating policy of his age he had mastered only that he might accomplish the noblest purposes to which a great and good man can devote his life-the protection of the liberty and the religion of a whole people against foreign tyranny. His intrigue served his country, not a narrow personal ambition, and it was only by such arts that he became Philip's master, instead of falling at once, like so many great personages, a blind and infatuated victim. No doubt his purveyors of secret information were often destined fearfully to atone for their contraband commerce, but they who trade in treason must expect to pay the penalty of their traffic.

Although, therefore, the great nobles held themselves aloof from the confederacy, yet many of them gave unequivocal signs of their dissent from the policy adopted by government. Marquis Berghen wrote to the Duchess; resigning his posts, on the ground of his inability to execute the intention of the King in the matter of religion. Meghen replied to the same summons by a similar letter. Egmont assured her that he would have placed his offices in the King's hands in Spain, could he have foreseen that his Majesty would form such resolutions as had now been proclaimed. The sentiments of Orange were avowed in the letter to which we have already alluded. His opinions were shared by Montigny, Culemburg, and many others. The Duchess was almost reduced to desperation. The condition of the country was frightful. The most determined loyalists, such as Berlaymont, Viglius and Hopper, advised her not to mention the name of inquisition in a conference which she was obliged to hold with a deputation from Antwerp. She feared, all feared, to pronounce the hated word. She wrote despairing letters to Philip, describing the condition of the land and her own agony in the gloomiest colors. Since the arrival of the royal orders, she said, things had gone from bad to worse. The King had been ill advised. It was useless to tell the people that the inquisition had always existed in the provinces. They maintained that it was a novelty; that the institution was a more rigorous one than the Spanish Inquisition, which, said Margaret, "was most odious, as the King knew." It was utterly impossible to carry the edicts into execution. Nearly all the governors of provinces had told her plainly that they would not help to burn fifty or sixty thousand Netherlanders. Thus bitterly did Margaret of Parma bewail the royal decree; not that she had any sympathy for the victims, but because she felt the increasing danger to the executioner. One of two things it was now necessary to decide upon, concession or armed compulsion. Meantime, while Philip was slowly and secretly making his levies, his sister, as well as his people, was on the rack. Of all the seigniors, not one was placed in so painful a position as Egmont. His military reputation and his popularity made him too important a personage to be slighted, yet he was deeply mortified at the lamentable mistake which he had committed. He now averred that he would never take arms against the King, but that he would go where man should never see him more.

Such was the condition of the nobles, greater and less. That of the people could not well be worse. Famine reigned in the land. Emigration, caused not by over population, but by persecution, was fast weakening the country. It was no wonder that not only, foreign merchants should be scared from the great commercial cities by the approaching disorders; but that every industrious artisan who could find the means of escape should seek refuge among strangers, wherever an asylum could be found. That asylum was afforded by Protestant England, who received these intelligent and unfortunate wanderers with cordiality, and learned with eagerness the lessons in mechanical skill which they had to teach. Already thirty thousand emigrant Netherlanders were established in Sandwich, Norwich, and other places, assigned to them by Elizabeth. It had always, however, been made a condition of the liberty granted to these foreigners for practising their handiwork, that each house should employ at least one English apprentice. "Thus," said a Walloon historian, splenetically, "by this regulation, and by means of heavy duties on foreign manufactures, have the English built up their own fabrics and prohibited those of the Netherlands. Thus have they drawn over to their own country our skilful artisans to practise their industry, not at home but abroad, and our poor people are thus losing the means of earning their livelihood. Thus has clothmaking, silk-making and the art of dyeing declined in this country, and would have been quite extinguished but by our wise countervailing edicts." The writer, who derived most of his materials and his wisdom from the papers of Councillor d'Assonleville, could hardly doubt that the persecution to which these industrious artisans, whose sufferings he affected to deplore, had been subjected, must have had something to do with their expatriation; but he preferred to ascribe it wholly to the protective system adopted by England. In this he followed the opinion of his preceptor. "For a long time," said Assonleville, "the Netherlands have been the Indies to England; and as long as she has them, she needs no other. The French try to surprise our fortresses and cities: the English make war upon our wealth and upon the purses of the people." Whatever the cause, however, the current of trade was already turned. The cloth-making of England was already gaining preponderance over that of the provinces. Vessels now went every week from Sandwich to Antwerp, laden with silk, satin, and cloth, manufactured in England, while as many but a few years before, had borne the Flemish fabrics of the same nature from Antwerp to England.

It might be supposed by disinterested judges that persecution was at the bottom of this change in commerce. The Prince of Orange estimated that up to this period fifty thousand persons in the provinces had been put to death in obedience to the edicts. He was a moderate man, and accustomed to weigh his words. As a new impulse had been given to the system of butchery—as it was now sufficiently plain that "if the father had chastised his people with a scourge the son held a whip of scorpions" as the edicts were to be enforced with renewed vigor—it was natural that commerce and manufactures should make their escape out of a doomed land as soon as possible, whatever system of tariffs might be adopted by neighboring nations.

A new step had been resolved upon early in the month of March by the confederates. A petition, or "Request," was drawn up, which was to be presented to the Duchess Regent in a formal manner by a large number of gentlemen belonging to the league. This movement was so grave, and likely to be followed by such formidable results, that it seemed absolutely necessary for Orange and his friends to take some previous cognizance of it before it was finally arranged. The Prince had no power, nor was there any reason why he should have the inclination, to prevent the measure, but he felt it his duty to do what he could to control the vehemence of the men who were moving so rashly forward, and to take from their manifesto, as much as possible, the character of a menace.

For this end, a meeting ostensibly for social purposes and "good cheer" was held, in the middle of March, at Breda, and afterwards adjourned to Hoogstraaten. To these conferences Orange invited Egmont, Horn, Hoogstraaten, Berghen, Meghen, Montigny, and other great nobles. Brederode, Tholouse, Boxtel, and other members of the league, were also present. The object of the Prince in thus assembling his own immediate associates, governors of provinces and knights of the Fleece, as well as some of the leading members of the league, was twofold. It had long been his opinion that a temperate and loyal movement was still possible, by which the impending convulsions might be averted. The line of policy which he had marked out required the assent of the magnates of the land, and looked towards the convocation of the states-general. It was natural that he should indulge in the hope of being seconded by the men who were in the same political and social station with himself. All, although Catholics, hated the inquisition. As Viglius pathetically exclaimed, "Saint Paul himself would have been unable to persuade these men that good fruit was to be gathered from the inquisition in the cause of religion." Saint Paul could hardly be expected to reappear on earth for such a purpose. Meantime the arguments of the learned President had proved powerless, either to convince the nobles that the institution was laudable or to obtain from the Duchess a postponement in the publication of the late decrees. The Prince of Orange, however, was not able to bring his usual associates to his way of thinking. The violent purposes of the leaguers excited the wrath of the more loyal nobles. Their intentions were so dangerous, even in the estimation of the Prince himself, that he felt it his duty to lay the whole subject before the Duchess, although he was not opposed to the presentation of a modest and moderate Request. Meghen was excessively indignant at the plan of the confederates, which he pronounced an insult to the government, a treasonable attempt to overawe the Duchess, by a "few wretched vagabonds." He swore that "he would break every one of their heads, if the King would furnish him with a couple of hundred thousand florins." Orange quietly rebuked this truculent language, by assuring him both that such a process would be more difficult than he thought, and that he would also find many men of great respectability among the vagabonds.

The meeting separated at Hoogstraaten without any useful result, but it was now incumbent upon the Prince, in his own judgment, to watch, and in a measure to superintend, the proceedings of the confederates. By his care the contemplated Request was much altered, and especially made more gentle in its tone. Meghen separated himself thenceforth entirely from Orange, and ranged himself exclusively upon the side of Government. Egmont vacillated, as usual, satisfying neither the Prince nor the Duchess.

Margaret of Parma was seated in her council chamber very soon after these occurrences, attended both by Orange and Egmont, when the Count of Meghen entered the apartment. With much precipitation, he begged that all matters then before the board might be postponed, in order that he might make an important announcement. He then stated that he had received information from a gentleman on whose word he could rely, a very affectionate servant of the King, but whose name he had promised not to reveal, that a very extensive conspiracy of heretics and sectaries had been formed, both within and without the Netherlands, that they had already a force of thirty-five thousand men, foot and horse, ready for action, that they were about to make a sudden invasion, and to plunder the whole country, unless they immediately received a formal concession of entire liberty of conscience, and that, within six or seven days, fifteen hundred men-at-arms would make their appearance before her Highness. These ridiculous exaggerations of the truth were confirmed by Egmont, who said that he had received similar information from persons whose names he was not at liberty to mention, but from whose statements he could announce that some great tumult might be expected every day. He added that there were among the confederates many who wished to change their sovereign, and that the chieftains and captains of the conspiracy were all appointed. The same nobleman also laid before the council a copy of the Compromise, the terms of which famous document scarcely justified the extravagant language with which it had been heralded. The Duchess was astounded at these communications. She had already received, but probably not yet read, a letter from the Prince of Orange upon the subject, in which a moderate and plain statement of the actual facts was laid down, which was now reiterated by the same personage by word of mouth. An agitated and inconclusive debate followed, in which, however, it sufficiently appeared, as the Duchess informed her brother, that one of two things must be done without further delay. The time had arrived for the government to take up arms, or to make concessions.

In one of the informal meetings of councillors, now held almost daily, on the subject of the impending Request, Aremberg, Meghen, and Berlaymont maintained that the door should be shut in the face of the petitioners without taking any further notice of the petition. Berlaymont suggested also, that if this course were not found advisable, the next best thing would be to allow the confederates to enter the palace with their Request, and then to cut them to pieces to the very last man, by means of troops to be immediately ordered from the frontiers. Such sanguinary projects were indignantly rebuked by Orange. He maintained that the confederates were entitled to be treated with respect. Many of them, he said, were his friends—some of them his relations—and there was no reason for refusing to gentlemen of their rank, a right which belonged to the poorest plebeian in the land. Egmont sustained these views of the Prince as earnestly as he had on a previous occasion appeared to countenance the more violent counsels of Meghen.

Meantime, as it was obvious that the demonstration on the part of the confederacy was soon about to be made, the Duchess convened a grand assembly of notables, in which not only all the state and privy councillors, but all the governors and knights of the Fleece were to take part. On the 28th of March, this assembly was held, at which the whole subject of the Request, together with the proposed modifications of the edicts and abolition of the inquisition, was discussed. The Duchess also requested the advice of the meeting—whether it would not be best for her to retire to some other city, like Mons, which she had selected as her stronghold in case of extremity. The decision was that it would be a high-handed proceeding to refuse the right of petition to a body of gentlemen, many of them related to the greatest nobles in the land; but it was resolved that they should be required to make their appearance without arms. As to the contemplated flight of the Duchess, it was urged, with much reason, that such a step would cast disgrace upon the government, and that it would be a sufficiently precautionary measure to strengthen the guards at the city gates—not to prevent the entrance of the petitioners, but to see that they were unaccompanied by an armed force. It had been decided that Count Brederode should present the petition to the Duchess at the head of a deputation of about three hundred gentlemen. The character of the nobleman thus placed foremost on such an important occasion has been sufficiently made manifest. He had no qualities whatever but birth and audacity to recommend him as a leader for a political party. It was to be seen that other attributes were necessary to make a man useful in such a position, and the Count's deficiencies soon became lamentably conspicuous. He was the lineal descendant and representative of the old Sovereign Counts of Holland. Five hundred years before his birth; his ancestor Sikko, younger brother of Dirk the Third, had died, leaving two sons, one of whom was the first Baron of Brederode. A descent of five centuries in unbroken male succession from the original sovereigns of Holland, gave him a better genealogical claim to the provinces than any which Philip of Spain could assert through the usurping house of Burgundy. In the approaching tumults he hoped for an opportunity of again asserting the ancient honors of his name. He was a sworn foe to Spaniards and to "water of the fountain." But a short time previously to this epoch he had written to Louis of Nassau, then lying ill of a fever, in order gravely to remonstrate with him on the necessity of substituting wine for water on all occasions, and it will be seen in the sequel that the wine-cup was the great instrument on which he relied for effecting the deliverance of the country. Although "neither bachelor nor chancellor," as he expressed it, he was supposed to be endowed with ready eloquence and mother wit. Even these gifts, however, if he possessed them, were often found wanting on important emergencies. Of his courage there was no question, but he was not destined to the death either of a warrior or a martyr. Headlong, noisy, debauched, but brave, kind-hearted and generous, he was a fitting representative of his ancestors, the hard-fighting, hard-drinking, crusading, free-booting sovereigns of Holland and Friesland, and would himself have been more at home and more useful in the eleventh century than in the sixteenth.

It was about six o'clock in the evening, on the third day of April (1566), that the long-expected cavalcade at last entered Brussels. An immense concourse of citizens of all ranks thronged around the noble confederates as soon as they made their appearance. They were about two hundred in number, all on horseback, with pistols in their holsters, and Brederode, tall, athletic, and martial in his bearing, with handsome features and fair curling locks upon his shoulders, seemed an appropriate chieftain for that band of Batavian chivalry.

The procession was greeted with frequent demonstrations of applause as it wheeled slowly through the city till it reached the mansion of Orange Nassau. Here Brederode and Count Louis alighted, while the rest of the company dispersed to different quarters of the town.

"They thought that I should not come to Brussels," said Brederode, as he dismounted. "Very well, here I am; and perhaps I shall depart in a different manner." In the Course of the next day, Counts Culemburg and Van den Berg entered the city with one hundred other cavaliers.

On the morning of the fifth of April, the confederates were assembled at the Culemburg mansion, which stood on the square called the Sabon, within a few minutes' walk of the palace. A straight handsome street led from the house along the summit of the hill, to the splendid residence of the ancient Dukes of Brabant, then the abode of Duchess Margaret. At a little before noon, the gentlemen came forth, marching on foot, two by two, to the number of three hundred. Nearly all were young, many of them bore the most ancient historical names of their country, every one was arrayed in magnificent costume. It was regarded as ominous, that the man who led the procession, Philip de Bailleul, was lame. The line was closed by Brederode and Count Louis, who came last, walking arm in arm. An immense crowd was collected in the square in front of the palace, to welcome the men who were looked upon as the deliverers of the land from Spanish tyranny, from the Cardinalists, and from the inquisition. They were received with deafening huzzas and clappings of hands by the assembled populace. As they entered the council chamber, passing through the great hall, where ten years before the Emperor had given away his crowns, they found the Emperor's daughter seated in the chair of state, and surrounded by the highest personages of the country. The emotion of the Duchess was evident, as the procession somewhat abruptly made its appearance; nor was her agitation diminished as she observed among the petitioners many relatives and, retainers of the Orange and Egmont houses, and saw friendly glances of recognition exchanged between them and their chiefs.

As soon as all had entered the senate room, Brederode advanced, made a low obeisance, and spoke a brief speech. He said that he had come thither with his colleagues to present a humble petition to her Highness. He alluded to the reports which had been rife, that they had contemplated tumult, sedition, foreign conspiracies, and, what was more abominable than all, a change of sovereign. He denounced such statements as calumnies, begged the Duchess to name the men who had thus aspersed an honorable and loyal company, and called upon her to inflict exemplary punishment upon the slanderers. With these prefatory remarks he presented the petition. The famous document was then read aloud.—Its tone was sufficiently loyal, particularly in the preamble, which was filled with protestations of devotion to both King and Duchess. After this conventional introduction, however, the petitioners proceeded to state, very plainly, that the recent resolutions of his Majesty, with regard to the edict and the inquisition, were likely to produce a general rebellion. They had hoped, they said, that a movement would be made by the seigniors or by the estates, to remedy the evil by striking at its cause, but they had waited in vain. The danger, on the other hand, was augmenting every day, universal sedition was at the gate, and they had therefore felt obliged to delay no longer, but come forward the first and do their duty. They professed to do this with more freedom, because the danger touched them very nearly. They were the most exposed to the calamities which usually spring from civil commotions, for their houses and lands situate in the open fields, were exposed to the pillage of all the world. Moreover there was not one of them, whatever his condition, who was not liable at any moment to be executed under the edicts, at the false complaint of the first man who wished to obtain his estate, and who chose to denounce him to the inquisitor, at whose mercy were the lives and property of all. They therefore begged the Duchess Regent to despatch an envoy on their behalf, who should humbly implore his Majesty to abolish the edicts. In the mean time they requested her Highness to order a general surcease of the inquisition, and of all executions, until the King's further pleasure was made known, and until new ordinances, made by his Majesty with advice and consent of the states-general duly assembled, should be established. The petition terminated as it had commenced, with expressions of extreme respect and devoted loyalty.

The agitation of Duchess Margaret increased very perceptibly during the reading of the paper. When it was finished, she remained for a few minutes quite silent, with tears rolling down her cheeks. As soon as she could overcome her excitement, she uttered a few words to the effect that she would advise with her councillors and give the petitioners such answer as should be found suitable. The confederates then passed out from the council chamber into the grand hall; each individual, as he took his departure, advancing towards the Duchess and making what was called the "caracole," in token of reverence. There was thus ample time to contemplate the whole company; and to count the numbers of the deputation.

After this ceremony had been concluded, there was much earnest debate in. the council. The Prince of Orange addressed a few words to the Duchess, with the view of calming her irritation. He observed that the confederates were no seditious rebels, but loyal gentlemen, well born, well connected, and of honorable character. They had been influenced, he said, by an honest desire to save their country from impending danger—not by avarice or ambition. Egmont shrugged his shoulders, and observed that it was necessary for him to leave the court for a season, in order to make a visit to the baths of Aix, for an inflammation which he had in the leg. It was then that Berlaymont, according to the account which has been sanctioned by nearly every contemporary writer, whether Catholic or Protestant, uttered the gibe which was destined to become immortal, and to give a popular name to the confederacy. "What, Madam," he is reported to have cried in a passion, "is it possible that your Highness can entertain fears of these beggars? (gueux). Is it not obvious what manner of men they are? They have not had wisdom enough to manage their own estates, and are they now to teach the King and your Highness how to govern the country? By the living God, if my advice were taken, their petition should have a cudgel for a commentary, and we would make them go down the steps of the palace a great deal faster than they mounted them."

The Count of Meghen was equally violent in his language. Aremberg