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Title: Life and Death of John of Barneveld, Advocate of Holland : with a view of the primary causes and movements of the Thirty Years' War, 1617

Author: John Lothrop Motley

Release date: January 1, 2004 [eBook #4894]
Most recently updated: December 28, 2020

Language: English


This eBook was produced by David Widger

[NOTE: There is a short list of bookmarks, or pointers, at the end of the file for those who may wish to sample the author's ideas before making an entire meal of them. D.W.]



By John Lothrop Motley, D.C.L., LL.D.

MOTLEY'S HISTORY OF THE NETHERLANDS, Project Gutenberg Edition, Volume 94

Life and Death of John of Barneveld, v8, 1617


     Ferdinand of Gratz crowned King of Bohemia—His Enmity to
     Protestants—Slawata and Martinitz thrown from the Windows of the
     Hradschin—Real Beginning of the Thirty Years' War—The Elector-
     Palatine's Intrigues in Opposition to the House of Austria—He
     supports the Duke of Savoy—The Emperor Matthias visits Dresden—
     Jubilee for the Hundredth Anniversary of the Reformation.

When the forlorn emperor Rudolph had signed the permission for his brother Matthias to take the last crown but one from his head, he bit the pen in a paroxysm of helpless rage. Then rushing to the window of his apartment, he looked down on one of the most stately prospects that the palaces of the earth can offer. From the long monotonous architectural lines of the Hradschin, imposing from its massiveness and its imperial situation, and with the dome and minarets of the cathedral clustering behind them, the eye swept across the fertile valley, through which the rapid, yellow Moldau courses, to the opposite line of cliffs crested with the half imaginary fortress-palaces of the Wyscherad. There, in the mythical legendary past of Bohemia had dwelt the shadowy Libuscha, daughter of Krok, wife of King Premysl, foundress of Prague, who, when wearied of her lovers, was accustomed to toss them from those heights into the river. Between these picturesque precipices lay the two Pragues, twin-born and quarrelsome, fighting each other for centuries, and growing up side by side into a double, bellicose, stormy, and most splendid city, bristling with steeples and spires, and united by the ancient many-statued bridge with its blackened mediaeval entrance towers.

But it was not to enjoy the prospect that the aged, discrowned, solitary emperor, almost as dim a figure among sovereigns as the mystic Libuscha herself, was gazing from the window upon the imperial city.

"Ungrateful Prague," he cried, "through me thou hast become thus magnificent, and now thou hast turned upon and driven away thy benefactor. May the vengeance of God descend upon thee; may my curse come upon thee and upon all Bohemia."

History has failed to record the special benefits of the Emperor through which the city had derived its magnificence and deserved this malediction. But surely if ever an old man's curse was destined to be literally fulfilled, it seemed to be this solemn imprecation of Rudolph. Meantime the coronation of Matthias had gone on with pomp and popular gratulations, while Rudolph had withdrawn into his apartments to pass the little that was left to him of life in solitude and in a state of hopeless pique with Matthias, with the rest of his brethren, with all the world.

And now that five years had passed since his death, Matthias, who had usurped so much power prematurely, found himself almost in the same condition as that to which he had reduced Rudolph.

Ferdinand of Styria, his cousin, trod closely upon his heels. He was the presumptive successor to all his crowns, had not approved of the movements of Matthias in the lifetime of his brother, and hated the Vienna Protestant baker's son, Cardinal Clesel, by whom all those movements had been directed. Professor Taubmann, of Wittenberg, ponderously quibbling on the name of that prelate, had said that he was of "one hundred and fifty ass power." Whether that was a fair measure of his capacity may be doubted, but it certainly was not destined to be sufficient to elude the vengeance of Ferdinand, and Ferdinand would soon have him in his power.

Matthias, weary of ambitious intrigue, infirm of purpose, and shattered in health, had withdrawn from affairs to devote himself to his gout and to his fair young wife, Archduchess Anna of Tyrol, whom at the age of fifty-four he had espoused.

On the 29th June 1617, Ferdinand of Gratz was crowned King of Bohemia. The event was a shock and a menace to the Protestant cause all over the world. The sombre figure of the Archduke had for years appeared in the background, foreshadowing as it were the wrath to come, while throughout Bohemia and the neighbouring countries of Moravia, Silesia, and the Austrias, the cause of Protestantism had been making such rapid progress. The Emperor Maximilian II. had left five stalwart sons, so that there had seemed little probability that the younger line, the sons of his brother, would succeed. But all the five were childless, and now the son of Archduke Charles, who had died in 1590, had become the natural heir after the death of Matthias to the immense family honours—his cousins Maximilian and Albert having resigned their claims in his favour.

Ferdinand, twelve years old at his father's death, had been placed under the care of his maternal uncle, Duke William of Bavaria. By him the boy was placed at the high school of Ingolstadt, to be brought up by the Jesuits, in company with Duke William's own son Maximilian, five years his senior. Between these youths, besides the tie of cousinship, there grew up the most intimate union founded on perfect sympathy in religion and politics.

When Ferdinand entered upon the government of his paternal estates of Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola, he found that the new religion, at which the Jesuits had taught him to shudder as at a curse and a crime, had been widely spreading. His father had fought against heresy with all his might, and had died disappointed and broken-hearted at its progress. His uncle of Bavaria, in letters to his son and nephew, had stamped into their minds with the enthusiasm of perfect conviction that all happiness and blessing for governments depended on the restoration and maintenance of the unity of the Catholic faith. All the evils in times past and present resulting from religious differences had been held up to the two youths by the Jesuits in the most glaring colours. The first duty of a prince, they had inculcated, was to extirpate all false religions, to give the opponents of the true church no quarter, and to think no sacrifice too great by which the salvation of human society, brought almost to perdition by the new doctrines, could be effected.

Never had Jesuits an apter scholar than Ferdinand. After leaving school, he made a pilgrimage to Loretto to make his vows to the Virgin Mary of extirpation of heresy, and went to Rome to obtain the blessing of Pope Clement VIII.

Then, returning to the government of his inheritance, he seized that terrible two-edged weapon of which the Protestants of Germany had taught him the use.

"Cujus regio ejus religio;" to the prince the choice of religion, to the subject conformity with the prince, as if that formula of shallow and selfish princelings, that insult to the dignity of mankind, were the grand result of a movement which was to go on centuries after they had all been forgotten in their tombs. For the time however it was a valid and mischievous maxim. In Saxony Catholics and Calvinists were proscribed; in Heidelberg Catholics and Lutherans. Why should either Calvinists or Lutherans be tolerated in Styria? Why, indeed? No logic could be more inexorable, and the pupil of the Ingolstadt Jesuits hesitated not an instant to carry out their teaching with the very instrument forged for him by the Reformation. Gallows were erected in the streets of all his cities, but there was no hanging. The sight of them proved enough to extort obedience to his edict, that every man, woman, and child not belonging to the ancient church should leave his dominions. They were driven out in hordes in broad daylight from Gratz and other cities. Rather reign over a wilderness than over heretics was the device of the Archduke, in imitation of his great relative, Philip II. of Spain. In short space of time his duchies were as empty of Protestants as the Palatinate of Lutherans, or Saxony of Calvinists, or both of Papists. Even the churchyards were rifled of dead Lutherans and Utraquists, their carcasses thrown where they could no longer pollute the true believers mouldering by their side.

It was not strange that the coronation as King of Bohemia of a man of such decided purposes—a country numbering ten Protestants to one Catholic—should cause a thrill and a flutter. Could it be doubted that the great elemental conflict so steadily prophesied by Barneveld and instinctively dreaded by all capable of feeling the signs of the time would now begin? It had begun. Of what avail would be Majesty-Letters and Compromises extorted by force from trembling or indolent emperors, now that a man who knew his own mind, and felt it to be a crime not to extirpate all religions but the one orthodox religion, had mounted the throne? It is true that he had sworn at his coronation to maintain the laws of Bohemia, and that the Majesty-Letter and the Compromise were part of the laws.

But when were doctors ever wanting to prove the unlawfulness of law which interferes with the purposes of a despot and the convictions of the bigot?

"Novus rex, nova lex," muttered the Catholics, lifting up their heads and hearts once more out of the oppression and insults which they had unquestionably suffered at the hands of the triumphant Reformers. "There are many empty poppy-heads now flaunting high that shall be snipped off," said others. "That accursed German Count Thurn and his fellows, whom the devil has sent from hell to Bohemia for his own purposes, shall be disposed of now," was the general cry.

It was plain that heresy could no longer be maintained except by the sword. That which had been extorted by force would be plucked back by force. The succession of Ferdinand was in brief a warshout to be echoed by all the Catholics of Europe. Before the end of the year the Protestant churches of Brunnau were sealed up. Those at Klostergrab were demolished in three days by command of the Archbishop of Prague. These dumb walls preached in their destruction more stirring sermons than perhaps would ever have been heard within them had they stood. This tearing in pieces of the Imperial patent granting liberty of Protestant worship, this summary execution done upon senseless bricks and mortar, was an act of defiance to the Reformed religion everywhere. Protestantism was struck in the face, spat upon, defied.

The effect was instantaneous. Thurn and the other defenders of the Protestant faith were as prompt in action as the Catholics had been in words. A few months passed away. The Emperor was in Vienna, but his ten stadholders were in Prague. The fateful 23rd of May 1618 arrived.

Slawata, a Bohemian Protestant, who had converted himself to the Roman Church in order to marry a rich widow, and who converted his peasants by hunting them to mass with his hounds, and Martinitz, the two stadholders who at Ferdinand's coronation had endeavoured to prevent him from including the Majesty-Letter among the privileges he was swearing to support, and who were considered the real authors of the royal letters revoking all religious rights of Protestants, were the most obnoxious of all. They were hurled from the council-chamber window of the Hradschin. The unfortunate secretary Fabricius was tossed out after them. Twenty- eight ells deep they fell, and all escaped unhurt by the fall; Fabricius being subsequently ennobled by a grateful emperor with the well-won title of Baron Summerset.

The Thirty Years' War, which in reality had been going on for several years already, is dated from that day. A provisional government was established in Prague by the Estates under Protestant guidance, a college of thirty directors managing affairs.

The Window-Tumble, as the event has always been called in history, excited a sensation in Europe. Especially the young king of France, whose political position should bring him rather into alliance with the rebels than the Emperor, was disgusted and appalled. He was used to rebellion. Since he was ten years old there had been a rebellion against himself every year. There was rebellion now. But his ministers had never been thrown out of window. Perhaps one might take some day to tossing out kings as well. He disapproved the process entirely.

Thus the great conflict of Christendom, so long impending, seemed at last to have broken forth in full fury on a comparatively insignificant incident. Thus reasoned the superficial public, as if the throwing out of window of twenty stadholders could have created a general war in Europe had not the causes of war lain deep and deadly in the whole framework of society.

The succession of Ferdinand to the throne of the holy Wenzel, in which his election to the German Imperial crown was meant to be involved, was a matter which concerned almost every household in Christendom. Liberty of religion, civil franchise, political charters, contract between government and subject, right to think, speak, or act, these were the human rights everywhere in peril. A compromise between the two religious parties had existed for half a dozen years in Germany, a feeble compromise by which men had hardly been kept from each others' throats. That compromise had now been thrown to the winds. The vast conspiracy of Spain, Rome, the House of Austria, against human liberty had found a chief in the docile, gloomy pupil of the Jesuits now enthroned in Bohemia, and soon perhaps to wield the sceptre of the Holy Roman Empire. There was no state in Europe that had not cause to put hand on sword- hilt. "Distrust and good garrisons," in the prophetic words of Barneveld, would now be the necessary resource for all intending to hold what had been gained through long years of toil, martyrdom, and hard fighting,

The succession of Ferdinand excited especial dismay and indignation in the Palatinate. The young elector had looked upon the prize as his own. The marked advance of Protestant sentiment throughout the kingdom and its neighbour provinces had seemed to render the succession of an extreme Papist impossible. When Frederic had sued for and won the hand of the fair Elizabeth, daughter of the King of Great Britain, it was understood that the alliance would be more brilliant for her than it seemed. James with his usual vanity spoke of his son-in-law as a future king.

It was a golden dream for the Elector and for the general cause of the
Reformed religion. Heidelberg enthroned in the ancient capital of the
Wenzels, Maximilians, and Rudolphs, the Catechism and Confession enrolled
among the great statutes of the land, this was progress far beyond flimsy
Majesty-Letters and Compromises, made only to be torn to pieces.

Through the dim vista of futurity and in ecstatic vision no doubt even the Imperial crown might seem suspended over the Palatine's head. But this would be merely a midsummer's dream. Events did not whirl so rapidly as they might learn to do centuries later, and—the time for a Protestant to grasp at the crown of Germany could then hardly be imagined as ripening.

But what the Calvinist branch of the House of Wittelsbach had indeed long been pursuing was to interrupt the succession of the House of Austria to the German throne. That a Catholic prince must for the immediate future continue to occupy it was conceded even by Frederic, but the electoral votes might surely be now so manipulated as to prevent a slave of Spain and a tool of the Jesuits from wielding any longer the sceptre of Charlemagne.

On the other hand the purpose of the House of Austria was to do away with the elective principle and the prescriptive rights of the Estates in Bohemia first, and afterwards perhaps to send the Golden Bull itself to the limbo of wornout constitutional devices. At present however their object was to secure their hereditary sovereignty in Prague first, and then to make sure of the next Imperial election at Frankfurt. Time afterwards might fight still more in their favour, and fix them in hereditary possession of the German throne.

The Elector-Palatine had lost no time. His counsellors even before the coronation of Ferdinand at Prague had done their best to excite alarm throughout Germany at the document by which Archdukes Maximilian and Albert had resigned all their hereditary claims in favour of Ferdinand and his male children. Should there be no such issue, the King of Spain claimed the succession for his own sons as great-grandchildren of Emperor Maximilian, considering himself nearer in the line than the Styrian branch, but being willing to waive his own rights in favour of so ardent a Catholic as Ferdinand. There was even a secret negotiation going on a long time between the new king of Bohemia and Philip to arrange for the precedence of the Spanish males over the Styrian females to the hereditary Austrian states, and to cede the province of Alsace to Spain.

It was not wonderful that Protestant Germany should be alarmed. After a century of Protestantism, that Spain should by any possibility come to be enthroned again over Germany was enough to raise both Luther and Calvin from their graves. It was certainly enough to set the lively young palatine in motion. So soon as the election of Frederic was proclaimed, he had taken up the business in person. Fond of amusement, young, married to a beautiful bride of the royal house of England, he had hitherto left politics to his counsellors.

Finding himself frustrated in his ambition by the election of another to the seat he had fondly deemed his own, he resolved to unseat him if he could, and, at any rate, to prevent the ulterior consequences of his elevation. He made a pilgrimage to Sedan, to confer with that irrepressible intriguer and Huguenot chieftain, the Duc de Bouillon. He felt sure of the countenance of the States-General, and, of course, of his near relative the great stadholder. He was resolved to invite the Duke of Lorraine to head the anti-Austrian party, and to stand for the kingship of the Romans and the Empire in opposition to Ferdinand. An emissary sent to Nancy came back with a discouraging reply. The Duke not only flatly refused the candidacy, but warned the Palatine that if it really came to a struggle he could reckon on small support anywhere, not even from those who now seemed warmest for the scheme. Then Frederic resolved to try his cousin, the great Maximilian of Bavaria, to whom all Catholics looked with veneration and whom all German Protestants respected. Had the two branches of the illustrious house of Wittelsbach been combined in one purpose, the opposition to the House of Austria might indeed have been formidable. But what were ties of blood compared to the iron bands of religious love and hatred? How could Maximilian, sternest of Papists, and Frederick V., flightiest of Calvinists, act harmoniously in an Imperial election? Moreover, Maximilian was united by ties of youthful and tender friendship as well as by kindred and perfect religious sympathy to his other cousin, King Ferdinand himself. The case seemed hopeless, but the Elector went to Munich, and held conferences with his cousin. Not willing to take No for an answer so long as it was veiled under evasive or ornamental phraseology, he continued to negotiate with Maximilian through his envoys Camerarius and Secretary Neu, who held long debates with the Duke's chief councillor, Doctor Jocher. Camerarius assured Jocher that his master was the Hercules to untie the Gordian knot, and the lion of the tribe of Judah. How either the lion of Judah or Hercules were to untie the knot which was popularly supposed to have been cut by the sword of Alexander did not appear, but Maximilian at any rate was moved neither by entreaties nor tropes. Being entirely averse from entering himself for the German crown, he grew weary at last of the importunity with which the scheme was urged. So he wrote a short billet to his councillor, to be shown to Secretary Neu.

"Dear Jocher," he said, "I am convinced one must let these people understand the matter in a little plainer German. I am once for all determined not to let myself into any misunderstanding or even amplifications with the House of Austria in regard to the succession. I think also that it would rather be harmful than useful to my house to take upon myself so heavy a burthen as the German crown."

This time the German was plain enough and produced its effect. Maximilian was too able a statesman and too conscientious a friend to wish to exchange his own proud position as chief of the League, acknowledged head of the great Catholic party, for the slippery, comfortless, and unmeaning throne of the Holy Empire, which he considered Ferdinand's right.

The chiefs of the anti-Austrian party, especially the Prince of Anhalt and the Margrave of Anspach, in unison with the Heidelberg cabinet, were forced to look for another candidate. Accordingly the Margrave and the Elector-Palatine solemnly agreed that it was indispensable to choose an emperor who should not be of the House of Austria nor a slave of Spain. It was, to be sure, not possible to think of a Protestant prince. Bavaria would not oppose Austria, would also allow too much influence to the Jesuits. So there remained no one but the Duke of Savoy. He was a prince of the Empire. He was of German descent, of Saxon race, a great general, father of his soldiers, who would protect Europe against a Turkish invasion better than the bastions of Vienna could do. He would be agreeable to the Catholics, while the Protestants could live under him without anxiety because the Jesuits would be powerless with him. It would be a master-stroke if the princes would unite upon him. The King of France would necessarily be pleased with it, the King of Great Britain delighted.

At last the model candidate had been found. The Duke of Savoy having just finished for a second time his chronic war with Spain, in which the United Provinces, notwithstanding the heavy drain on their resources, had allowed him 50,000 florins a month besides the soldiers under Count Ernest of Nassau, had sent Mansfeld with 4000 men to aid the revolted estates in Bohemia. Geographically, hereditarily, necessarily the deadly enemy of the House of Austria, he listened favourably to the overtures made to him by the princes of the Union, expressed undying hatred for the Imperial race, and thought the Bohemian revolt a priceless occasion for expelling them from power. He was informed by the first envoy sent to him, Christopher van Dohna, that the object of the great movement now contemplated was to raise him to the Imperial throne at the next election, to assist the Bohemian estates, to secure the crown of Bohemia for the Elector-Palatine, to protect the Protestants of Germany, and to break down the overweening power of the Austrian house.

The Duke displayed no eagerness for the crown of Germany, while approving the election of Frederic, but expressed entire sympathy with the enterprise. It was indispensable however to form a general federation in Europe of England, the Netherlands, Venice, together with Protestant Germany and himself, before undertaking so mighty a task. While the negotiations were going on, both Anspach and Anhalt were in great spirits. The Margrave cried out exultingly, "In a short time the means will be in our hands for turning the world upside down." He urged the Prince of Anhalt to be expeditious in his decisions and actions. "He who wishes to trade," he said, "must come to market early."

There was some disappointment at Heidelberg when the first news from Turin arrived, the materials for this vast scheme for an overwhelming and universal European war not seeming to be at their disposition. By and by the Duke's plans seem to deepen and broaden. He told Mansfeld, who, accompanied by Secretary Neu, was glad at a pause in his fighting and brandschatzing in Bohemia to be employed on diplomatic business, that on the whole he should require the crown of Bohemia for himself. He also proposed to accept the Imperial crown, and as for Frederic, he would leave him the crown of Hungary, and would recommend him to round himself out by adding to his hereditary dominions the province of Alsace, besides Upper Austria and other territories in convenient proximity to the Palatinate.

Venice, it had been hoped, would aid in the great scheme and might in her turn round herself out with Friuli and Istria and other tempting possessions of Ferdinand, in reward for the men and money she was expected to furnish. That republic had however just concluded a war with Ferdinand, caused mainly by the depredations of the piratical Uscoques, in which, as we have seen, she had received the assistance of 4000 Hollanders under command of Count John of Nassau. The Venetians had achieved many successes, had taken the city of Gortz, and almost reduced the city of Gradiska. A certain colonel Albert Waldstein however, of whom more might one day be heard in the history of the war now begun, had beaten the Venetians and opened a pathway through their ranks for succour to the beleaguered city. Soon afterwards peace was made on an undertaking that the Uscoques should be driven from their haunts, their castles dismantled, and their ships destroyed.

Venice declined an engagement to begin a fresh war.

She hated Ferdinand and Matthias and the whole Imperial brood, but, as old Barbarigo declared in the Senate, the Republic could not afford to set her house on fire in order to give Austria the inconvenience of the smoke.

Meantime, although the Elector-Palatine had magnanimously agreed to use his influence in Bohemia in favour of Charles Emmanuel, the Duke seems at last to have declined proposing himself for that throne. He knew, he said, that King James wished that station for his son-in-law. The Imperial crown belonged to no one as yet after the death of Matthias, and was open therefore to his competition.

Anhalt demanded of Savoy 15,000 men for the maintenance of the good cause, asserting that "it would be better to have the Turk or the devil himself on the German throne than leave it to Ferdinand."

The triumvirate ruling at Prague-Thurn, Ruppa, and Hohenlohe—were anxious for a decision from Frederic. That simple-hearted and ingenuous young elector had long been troubled both with fears lest after all he might lose the crown of Bohemia and with qualms of conscience as to the propriety of taking it even if he could get it. He wrestled much in prayer and devout meditation whether as anointed prince himself he were justified in meddling with the anointment of other princes. Ferdinand had been accepted, proclaimed, crowned. He artlessly sent to Prague to consult the Estates whether they possessed the right to rebel, to set aside the reigning dynasty, and to choose a new king. At the same time, with an eye to business, he stipulated that on account of the great expense and trouble devolving upon him the crown must be made hereditary in his family. The impression made upon the grim Thurn and his colleagues by the simplicity of these questions may be imagined. The splendour and width of the Savoyard's conceptions fascinated the leaders of the Union. It seemed to Anspach and Anhalt that it was as well that Frederic should reign in Hungary as in Bohemia, and the Elector was docile. All had relied however on the powerful assistance of the great defender of the Protestant faith, the father-in-law of the Elector, the King of Great Britain. But James had nothing but cold water and Virgilian quotations for his son's ardour. He was more under the influence of Gondemar than ever before, more eagerly hankering for the Infanta, more completely the slave of Spain. He pledged himself to that government that if the Protestants in Bohemia continued rebellious, he would do his best to frustrate their designs, and would induce his son- in-law to have no further connection with them. And Spain delighted his heart not by immediately sending over the Infanta, but by proposing that he should mediate between the contending parties. It would be difficult to imagine a greater farce. All central Europe was now in arms. The deepest and gravest questions about which men can fight: the right to worship God according to their conscience and to maintain civil franchises which have been earned by the people with the blood and treasure of centuries, were now to be solved by the sword, and the pupil of Buchanan and the friend of Buckingham was to step between hundreds of thousands of men in arms with a classical oration. But James was very proud of the proposal and accepted it with alacrity.

"You know, my dear son," he wrote to Frederic, "that we are the only king in Europe that is sought for by friend and foe for his mediation. It would be for this our lofty part very unbecoming if we were capable of favouring one of the parties. Your suggestion that we might secretly support the Bohemians we must totally reject, as it is not our way to do anything that we would not willingly confess to the whole world."

And to do James justice, he had never fed Frederic with false hopes, never given a penny for his great enterprise, nor promised him a penny. He had contented himself with suggesting from time to time that he might borrow money of the States-General. His daughter Elizabeth must take care of herself, else what would become of her brother's marriage to the daughter of Spain.

And now it was war to the knife, in which it was impossible that Holland, as well as all the other great powers should not soon be involved. It was disheartening to the cause of freedom and progress, not only that the great kingdom on which the world, had learned to rely in all movements upward and onward should be neutralized by the sycophancy of its monarch to the general oppressor, but that the great republic which so long had taken the lead in maintaining the liberties of Europe should now be torn by religious discord within itself, and be turning against the great statesman who had so wisely guided her councils and so accurately foretold the catastrophe which was now upon the world.

Meantime the Emperor Matthias, not less forlorn than through his intrigues and rebellions his brother Rudolph had been made, passed his days in almost as utter retirement as if he had formally abdicated. Ferdinand treated him as if in his dotage. His fair young wife too had died of hard eating in the beginning of the winter to his inexpressible grief, so that there was nothing left to solace him now but the Rudolphian Museum.

He had made but one public appearance since the coronation of Ferdinand in Prague. Attended by his brother Maximilian, by King Ferdinand, and by Cardinal Khlesl, he had towards the end of the year 1617 paid a visit to the Elector John George at Dresden. The Imperial party had been received with much enthusiasm by the great leader of Lutheranism. The Cardinal had seriously objected to accompanying the Emperor on this occasion. Since the Reformation no cardinal had been seen at the court of Saxony. He cared not personally for the pomps and glories of his rank, but still as prince of the Church he had settled right of precedence over electors. To waive it would be disrespectful to the Pope, to claim it would lead to squabbles. But Ferdinand had need of his skill to secure the vote of Saxony at the next Imperial election. The Cardinal was afraid of Ferdinand with good reason, and complied. By an agreeable fiction he was received at court not as cardinal but as minister, and accommodated with an humble place at table. Many looking on with astonishment thought he would have preferred to dine by himself in retirement. But this was not the bitterest of the mortifications that the pastor and guide of Matthias was to suffer at the hands of Ferdinand before his career should be closed. The visit at Dresden was successful, however. John George, being a claimant, as we have seen, for the Duchies of Cleve and Julich, had need of the Emperor. The King had need of John George's vote. There was a series of splendid balls, hunting parties, carousings.

The Emperor was an invalid, the King was abstemious, but the Elector was a mighty drinker. It was not his custom nor that of his councillors to go to bed. They were usually carried there. But it was the wish of Ferdinand to be conciliatory, and he bore himself as well as he could at the banquet. The Elector was also a mighty hunter. Neither of his Imperial guests cared for field sports, but they looked out contentedly from the window of a hunting-lodge, before which for their entertainment the Elector and his courtiers slaughtered eight bears, ten stags, ten pigs, and eleven badgers, besides a goodly number of other game; John George shooting also three martens from a pole erected for that purpose in the courtyard. It seemed proper for him thus to exhibit a specimen of the skill for which he was justly famed. The Elector before his life closed, so says the chronicle, had killed 28,000 wild boars, 208 bears, 3543 wolves, 200 badgers, 18,967 foxes, besides stags and roedeer in still greater number, making a grand total of 113,629 beasts. The leader of the Lutheran party of Germany had not lived in vain.

Thus the great chiefs of Catholicism and of Protestantism amicably disported themselves in the last days of the year, while their respective forces were marshalling for mortal combat all over Christendom. The Elector certainly loved neither Matthias nor Ferdinand, but he hated the Palatine. The chief of the German Calvinists disputed that Protestant hegemony which John George claimed by right. Indeed the immense advantage enjoyed by the Catholics at the outbreak of the religious war from the mutual animosities between the two great divisions of the Reformed Church was already terribly manifest. What an additional power would it derive from the increased weakness of the foe, should there be still other and deeper and more deadly schisms within one great division itself!

"The Calvinists and Lutherans," cried the Jesuit Scioppius, "are so furiously attacking each other with calumnies and cursings and are persecuting each other to such extent as to give good hope that the devilish weight and burthen of them will go to perdition and shame of itself, and the heretics all do bloody execution upon each other. Certainly if ever a golden time existed for exterminating the heretics, it is the present time."

The Imperial party took their leave of Dresden, believing themselves to have secured the electoral vote of Saxony; the Elector hoping for protection to his interests in the duchies through that sequestration to which Barneveld had opposed such vigorous resistance. There had been much slavish cringing before these Catholic potentates by the courtiers of Dresden, somewhat amazing to the ruder churls of Saxony, the common people, who really believed in the religion which their prince had selected for them and himself.

And to complete the glaring contrast, Ferdinand and Matthias had scarcely turned their backs before tremendous fulminations upon the ancient church came from the Elector and from all the doctors of theology in Saxony.

For the jubilee of the hundredth anniversary of the Reformation was celebrated all over Germany in the autumn of this very year, and nearly at the exact moment of all this dancing, and fuddling, and pig shooting at Dresden in honour of emperors and cardinals. And Pope Paul V. had likewise ordained a jubilee for true believers at almost the same time.

The Elector did not mince matters in his proclamation from any regard to the feelings of his late guests. He called on all Protestants to rejoice, "because the light of the Holy Gospel had now shone brightly in the electoral dominions for a hundred years, the Omnipotent keeping it burning notwithstanding the raging and roaring of the hellish enemy and all his scaly servants."

The doctors of divinity were still more emphatic in their phraseology. They called on all professors and teachers of the true Evangelical churches, not only in Germany but throughout Christendom, to keep the great jubilee. They did this in terms not calculated certainly to smother the flames of religious and party hatred, even if it had been possible at that moment to suppress the fire. "The great God of Heaven," they said, "had caused the undertaking of His holy instrument Mr. Doctor Martin Luther to prosper. Through His unspeakable mercy he has driven away the Papal darkness and caused the sun of righteousness once more to beam upon the world. The old idolatries, blasphemies, errors, and horrors of the benighted Popedom have been exterminated in many kingdoms and countries. Innumerable sheep of the Lord Christ have been fed on the wholesome pasture of the Divine Word in spite of those monstrous, tearing, ravenous wolves, the Pope and his followers. The enemy of God and man, the ancient serpent, may hiss and rage. Yes, the Roman antichrist in his frantic blusterings may bite off his own tongue, may fulminate all kinds of evils, bans, excommunications, wars, desolations, and burnings, as long and as much as he likes. But if we take refuge with the Lord God, what can this inane, worn-out man and water-bubble do to us?" With more in the same taste.

The Pope's bull for the Catholic jubilee was far more decorous and lofty in tone, for it bewailed the general sin in Christendom, and called on all believers to flee from the wrath about to descend upon the earth, in terms that were almost prophetic. He ordered all to pray that the Lord might lift up His Church, protect it from the wiles of the enemy, extirpate heresies, grant peace and true unity among Christian princes, and mercifully avert disasters already coming near.

But if the language of Paul V. was measured and decent, the swarm of Jesuit pamphleteers that forthwith began to buzz and to sting all over Christendom were sufficiently venomous. Scioppius, in his Alarm Trumpet to the Holy War, and a hundred others declared that all heresies and heretics were now to be extirpated, the one true church to be united and re-established, and that the only road to such a consummation was a path of blood.

The Lutheran preachers, on the other hand, obedient to the summons from Dresden, vied with each other in every town and village in heaping denunciations, foul names, and odious imputations on the Catholics; while the Calvinists, not to be behindhand with their fellow Reformers, celebrated the jubilee, especially at Heidelberg, by excluding Papists from hope of salvation, and bewailing the fate of all churches sighing under the yoke of Rome.

And not only were the Papists and the Reformers exchanging these blasts and counterblasts of hatred, not less deadly in their effects than the artillery of many armies, but as if to make a thorough exhibition of human fatuity when drunk with religious passion, the Lutherans were making fierce paper and pulpit war upon the Calvinists. Especially Hoe, court preacher of John George, ceaselessly hurled savage libels against them. In the name of the theological faculty of Wittenberg, he addressed a "truehearted warning to all Lutheran Christians in Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, and other provinces, to beware of the erroneous Calvinistic religion." He wrote a letter to Count Schlick, foremost leader in the Bohemian movement, asking whether "the unquiet Calvinist spirit, should it gain ascendency, would be any more endurable than the Papists. Oh what woe, what infinite woe," he cried, "for those noble countries if they should all be thrust into the jaws of Calvinism!"

Did not preacher Hoe's master aspire to the crown of Bohemia himself? Was he not furious at the start which Heidelberg had got of him in the race for that golden prize? Was he not mad with jealousy of the Palatine, of the Palatine's religion, and of the Palatine's claim to "hegemony" in Germany?

Thus embittered and bloodthirsty towards each other were the two great sections of the Reformed religion on the first centennial jubilee of the Reformation. Such was the divided front which the anti-Catholic party presented at the outbreak of the war with Catholicism.

Ferdinand, on the other hand, was at the head of a comparatively united party. He could hardly hope for more than benevolent neutrality from the French government, which, in spite of the Spanish marriages, dared not wholly desert the Netherlands and throw itself into the hands of Spain; but Spanish diplomacy had enslaved the British king, and converted what should have been an active and most powerful enemy into an efficient if concealed ally. The Spanish and archiducal armies were enveloping the Dutch republic, from whence the most powerful support could be expected for the Protestant cause. Had it not been for the steadiness of Barneveld, Spain would have been at that moment established in full panoply over the whole surface of those inestimable positions, the disputed duchies. Venice was lukewarm, if not frigid; and Savoy, although deeply pledged by passion and interest to the downfall of the House of Austria, was too dangerously situated herself, too distant, too poor, and too Catholic to be very formidable.

Ferdinand was safe from the Turkish side. A twenty years' peace, renewable by agreement, between the Holy Empire and the Sultan had been negotiated by those two sons of bakers, Cardinal Khlesl and the Vizier Etmekdschifade. It was destined to endure through all the horrors of the great war, a stronger protection to Vienna than all the fortifications which the engineering art could invent. He was safe too from Poland, King Sigmund being not only a devoted Catholic but doubly his brother-in- law.

Spain, therefore, the Spanish Netherlands, the Pope, and the German League headed by Maximilian of Bavaria, the ablest prince on the continent of Europe, presented a square, magnificent phalanx on which Ferdinand might rely. The States-General, on the other hand, were a most dangerous foe. With a centennial hatred of Spain, splendidly disciplined armies and foremost navy of the world, with an admirable financial system and vast commercial resources, with a great stadholder, first captain of the age, thirsting for war, and allied in blood as well as religion to the standard-bearer of the Bohemian revolt; with councils directed by the wisest and most experienced of living statesman, and with the very life blood of her being derived from the fountain of civil and religious liberty, the great Republic of the United Netherlands—her Truce with the hereditary foe just expiring was, if indeed united, strong enough at the head of the Protestant forces of Europe to dictate to a world in arms.

Alas! was it united?

As regarded internal affairs of most pressing interest, the electoral vote at the next election at Frankfurt had been calculated as being likely to yield a majority of one for the opposition candidate, should the Savoyard or any other opposition candidate be found. But the calculation was a close one and might easily be fallacious. Supposing the Palatine elected King of Bohemia by the rebellious estates, as was probable, he could of course give the vote of that electorate and his own against Ferdinand, and the vote of Brandenburg at that time seemed safe. But Ferdinand by his visit to Dresden had secured the vote of Saxony, while of the three ecclesiastical electors, Cologne and Mayence were sure for him. Thus it would be three and three, and the seventh and decisive vote would be that of the Elector-Bishop of Treves. The sanguine Frederic thought that with French influence and a round sum of money this ecclesiastic might be got to vote for the opposition candidate. The ingenious combination was not destined to be successful, and as there has been no intention in the present volume to do more than slightly indicate the most prominent movements and mainsprings of the great struggle so far as Germany is concerned, without entering into detail, it may be as well to remind the reader that it proved wonderfully wrong. Matthias died on the 20th March, 1619, the election of a new emperor took place at Frankfurt On the 28th of the following August, and not only did Saxony and all three ecclesiastical electors vote for Ferdinand, but Brandenburg likewise, as well as the Elector-Palatine himself, while Ferdinand, personally present in the assembly as Elector of Bohemia, might according to the Golden Bull have given the seventh vote for himself had he chosen to do so. Thus the election was unanimous.

Strange to say, as the electors proceeded through the crowd from the hall of election to accompany the new emperor to the church where he was to receive the popular acclaim, the news reached them from Prague that the Elector-Palatine had been elected King of Bohemia.

Thus Frederic, by voting for Ferdinand, had made himself voluntarily a rebel should he accept the crown now offered him. Had the news arrived sooner, a different result and even a different history might have been possible.


Barneveld connected with the East India Company, but opposed to the West India Company—Carleton comes from Venice inimical to Barneveld— Maurice openly the Chieftain of the Contra-Remonstrants—Tumults about the Churches—"Orange or Spain" the Cry of Prince Maurice and his Party—They take possession of the Cloister Church—"The Sharp Resolve"—Carleton's Orations before the States-General.

King James never forgave Barneveld for drawing from him those famous letters to the States in which he was made to approve the Five Points and to admit the possibility of salvation under them. These epistles had brought much ridicule upon James, who was not amused by finding his theological discussions a laughing-stock. He was still more incensed by the biting criticisms made upon the cheap surrender of the cautionary towns, and he hated more than ever the statesman who, as he believed, had twice outwitted him.

On the other hand, Maurice, inspired by his brother-in-law the Duke of Bouillon and by the infuriated Francis Aerssens, abhorred Barneveld's French policy, which was freely denounced by the French Calvinists and by the whole orthodox church. In Holland he was still warmly sustained except in the Contra-Remonstrant Amsterdam and a few other cities of less importance. But there were perhaps deeper reasons for the Advocate's unpopularity in the great commercial metropolis than theological pretexts. Barneveld's name and interests were identified with the great East India Company, which was now powerful and prosperous beyond anything ever dreamt of before in the annals of commerce. That trading company had already founded an empire in the East. Fifty ships of war, fortresses guarded by 4000 pieces of artillery and 10,000 soldiers and sailors, obeyed the orders of a dozen private gentlemen at home seated in a back parlour around a green table. The profits of each trading voyage were enormous, and the shareholders were growing rich beyond their wildest imaginings. To no individual so much as to Holland's Advocate was this unexampled success to be ascribed. The vast prosperity of the East India Company had inspired others with the ambition to found a similar enterprise in the West. But to the West India Company then projected and especially favoured in Amsterdam, Barneveld was firmly opposed. He considered it as bound up with the spirit of military adventure and conquest, and as likely to bring on prematurely and unwisely a renewed conflict with Spain. The same reasons which had caused him to urge the Truce now influenced his position in regard to the West India Company.

Thus the clouds were gathering every day more darkly over the head of the Advocate. The powerful mercantile interest in the great seat of traffic in the Republic, the personal animosity of the Stadholder, the execrations of the orthodox party in France, England, and all the Netherlands, the anger of the French princes and all those of the old Huguenot party who had been foolish enough to act with the princes in their purely selfish schemes against the, government, and the overflowing hatred of King James, whose darling schemes of Spanish marriages and a Spanish alliance had been foiled by the Advocate's masterly policy in France and in the duchies, and whose resentment at having been so completely worsted and disarmed in the predestination matter and in the redemption of the great mortgage had deepened into as terrible wrath as outraged bigotry and vanity could engender; all these elements made up a stormy atmosphere in which the strongest heart might have quailed. But Barneveld did not quail. Doubtless he loved power, and the more danger he found on every side the less inclined he was to succumb. But he honestly believed that the safety and prosperity of the country he had so long and faithfully served were identified with the policy which he was pursuing. Arrogant, overbearing, self-concentrated, accustomed to lead senates and to guide the councils and share the secrets of kings, familiar with and almost an actor in every event in the political history not only of his own country but of every important state in Christendom during nearly two generations of mankind, of unmatched industry, full of years and experience, yet feeling within him the youthful strength of a thousand intellects compared to most of those by which he was calumniated, confronted, and harassed; he accepted the great fight which was forced upon him. Irascible, courageous, austere, contemptuous, he looked around and saw the Republic whose cradle he had rocked grown to be one of the most powerful and prosperous among the states of the world, and could with difficulty imagine that in this supreme hour of her strength and her felicity she was ready to turn and rend the man whom she was bound by every tie of duty to cherish and to revere.

Sir Dudley Carleton, the new English ambassador to the States, had arrived during the past year red-hot from Venice. There he had perhaps not learned especially to love the new republic which had arisen among the northern lagunes, and whose admission among the nations had been at last accorded by the proud Queen of the Adriatic, notwithstanding the objections and the intrigues both of French and English representatives. He had come charged to the brim with the political spite of James against the Advocate, and provided too with more than seven vials of theological wrath. Such was the King's revenge for Barneveld's recent successes. The supporters in the Netherlands of the civil authority over the Church were moreover to be instructed by the political head of the English Church that such supremacy, although highly proper for a king, was "thoroughly unsuitable for a many-headed republic." So much for church government. As for doctrine, Arminianism and Vorstianism were to be blasted with one thunderstroke from the British throne.

"In Holland," said James to his envoy, "there have been violent and sharp contestations amongst the towns in the cause of religion . . . . . If they shall be unhappily revived during your time, you shall not forget that you are the minister of that master whom God hath made the sole protector of His religion."

There was to be no misunderstanding in future as to the dogmas which the royal pope of Great Britain meant to prescribe to his Netherland subjects. Three years before, at the dictation of the Advocate, he had informed the States that he was convinced of their ability to settle the deplorable dissensions as to religion according to their wisdom and the power which belonged to them over churches and church servants. He had informed them of his having learned by experience that such questions could hardly be decided by the wranglings of theological professors, and that it was better to settle them by public authority and to forbid their being brought into the pulpit or among common people. He had recommended mutual toleration of religious difference until otherwise ordained by the public civil authority, and had declared that neither of the two opinions in regard to predestination was in his opinion far from the truth or inconsistent with Christian faith or the salvation of souls.

It was no wonder that these utterances were quite after the Advocate's heart, as James had faithfully copied them from the Advocate's draft.

But now in the exercise of his infallibility the King issued other decrees. His minister was instructed to support the extreme views of the orthodox both as to government and dogma, and to urge the National Synod, as it were, at push of pike. "Besides the assistance," said he to Carleton, "which we would have you give to the true professors of the Gospel in your discourse and conferences, you may let fall how hateful the maintenance of these erroneous opinions is to the majesty of God, how displeasing unto us their dearest friends, and how disgraceful to the honour and government of that state."

And faithfully did the Ambassador act up to his instructions. Most sympathetically did he embody the hatred of the King. An able, experienced, highly accomplished diplomatist and scholar, ready with tongue and pen, caustic, censorious, prejudiced, and partial, he was soon foremost among the foes of the Advocate in the little court of the Hague, and prepared at any moment to flourish the political and theological goad when his master gave the word.

Nothing in diplomatic history is more eccentric than the long sermons upon abstruse points of divinity and ecclesiastical history which the English ambassador delivered from time to time before the States-General in accordance with elaborate instructions drawn up by his sovereign with his own hand. Rarely has a king been more tedious, and he bestowed all his tediousness upon My Lords the States-General. Nothing could be more dismal than these discourses, except perhaps the contemporaneous and interminable orations of Grotius to the states of Holland, to the magistrates of Amsterdam, to the states of Utrecht; yet Carleton was a man of the world, a good debater, a ready writer, while Hugo Grotius was one of the great lights of that age and which shone for all time.

Among the diplomatic controversies of history, rarely refreshing at best, few have been more drouthy than those once famous disquisitions, and they shall be left to shrivel into the nothingness of the past, so far as is consistent with the absolute necessities of this narrative.

The contest to which the Advocate was called had become mainly a personal and a political one, although the weapons with which it was fought were taken from ecclesiastical arsenals. It was now an unequal contest.

For the great captain of the country and of his time, the son of William the Silent, the martial stadholder, in the fulness of his fame and vigour of his years, had now openly taken his place as the chieftain of the Contra-Remonstrants. The conflict between the civil and the military element for supremacy in a free commonwealth has never been more vividly typified than in this death-grapple between Maurice and Barneveld.

The aged but still vigorous statesman, ripe with half a century of political lore, and the high-born, brilliant, and scientific soldier, with the laurels of Turnhout and Nieuwpoort and of a hundred famous sieges upon his helmet, reformer of military science, and no mean proficient in the art of politics and government, were the representatives and leaders of the two great parties into which the Commonwealth had now unhappily divided itself. But all history shows that the brilliant soldier of a republic is apt to have the advantage, in a struggle for popular affection and popular applause, over the statesman, however consummate. The general imagination is more excited by the triumphs of the field than by those of the tribune, and the man who has passed many years of life in commanding multitudes with necessarily despotic sway is often supposed to have gained in the process the attributes likely to render him most valuable as chief citizen of a flee commonwealth. Yet national enthusiasm is so universally excited by splendid military service as to forbid a doubt that the sentiment is rooted deeply in our nature, while both in antiquity and in modern times there are noble although rare examples of the successful soldier converting himself into a valuable and exemplary magistrate.

In the rivalry of Maurice and Barneveld however for the national affection the chances were singularly against the Advocate. The great battles and sieges of the Prince had been on a world's theatre, had enchained the attention of Christendom, and on their issue had frequently depended, or seemed to depend, the very existence of the nation. The labours of the statesman, on the contrary, had been comparatively secret. His noble orations and arguments had been spoken with closed doors to assemblies of colleagues—rather envoys than senators—were never printed or even reported, and could be judged of only by their effects; while his vast labours in directing both the internal administration and especially the foreign affairs of the Commonwealth had been by their very nature as secret as they were perpetual and enormous.

Moreover, there was little of what we now understand as the democratic sentiment in the Netherlands. There was deep and sturdy attachment to ancient traditions, privileges, special constitutions extorted from a power acknowledged to be superior to the people. When partly to save those chartered rights, and partly to overthrow the horrible ecclesiastical tyranny of the sixteenth century, the people had accomplished a successful revolt, they never dreamt of popular sovereignty, but allowed the municipal corporations, by which their local affairs had been for centuries transacted, to unite in offering to foreign princes, one after another, the crown which they had torn from the head of the Spanish king. When none was found to accept the dangerous honour, they had acquiesced in the practical sovereignty of the States; but whether the States-General or the States-Provincial were the supreme authority had certainly not been definitely and categorically settled. So long as the States of Holland, led by the Advocate, had controlled in great matters the political action of the States-General, while the Stadholder stood without a rival at the head of their military affairs, and so long as there were no fierce disputes as to government and dogma within the bosom of the Reformed Church, the questions which were now inflaming the whole population had been allowed to slumber.

The termination of the war and the rise of Arminianism were almost contemporaneous. The Stadholder, who so unwillingly had seen the occupation in which he had won so much glory taken from him by the Truce, might perhaps find less congenial but sufficiently engrossing business as champion of the Church and of the Union.

The new church—not freedom of worship for different denominations of Christians, but supremacy of the Church of Heidelberg and Geneva—seemed likely to be the result of the overthrow of the ancient church. It is the essence of the Catholic Church to claim supremacy over and immunity from the civil authority, and to this claim for the Reformed Church, by which that of Rome had been supplanted, Barneveld was strenuously opposed.

The Stadholder was backed, therefore, by the Church in its purity, by the majority of the humbler classes—who found in membership of the oligarchy of Heaven a substitute for those democratic aspirations on earth which were effectually suppressed between the two millstones of burgher aristocracy and military discipline—and by the States-General, a majority of which were Contra-Remonstrant in their faith.

If the sword is usually an overmatch for the long robe in political struggles, the cassock has often proved superior to both combined. But in the case now occupying our attention the cassock was in alliance with the sword. Clearly the contest was becoming a desperate one for the statesman.

And while the controversy between the chiefs waged hotter and hotter, the tumults around the churches on Sundays in every town and village grew more and more furious, ending generally in open fights with knives, bludgeons, and brickbats; preachers and magistrates being often too glad to escape with a whole skin. One can hardly be ingenuous enough to consider all this dirking, battering, and fisticuffing as the legitimate and healthy outcome of a difference as to the knotty point whether all men might or might not be saved by repentance and faith in Christ.

The Greens and Blues of the Byzantine circus had not been more typical of fierce party warfare in the Lower Empire than the greens and blues of predestination in the rising commonwealth, according to the real or imagined epigram of Prince Maurice.

"Your divisions in religion," wrote Secretary Lake to Carleton, "have, I doubt not, a deeper root than is discerned by every one, and I doubt not that the Prince Maurice's carriage doth make a jealousy of affecting a party under the pretence of supporting one side, and that the States fear his ends and aims, knowing his power with the men of war; and that howsoever all be shadowed under the name of religion there is on either part a civil end, of the one seeking a step of higher authority, of the other a preservation of liberty."

And in addition to other advantages the Contra-Remonstrants had now got a good cry—an inestimable privilege in party contests.

"There are two factions in the land," said Maurice, "that of Orange and that of Spain, and the two chiefs of the Spanish faction are those political and priestly Arminians, Uytenbogaert and Oldenbarneveld."

Orange and Spain! the one name associated with all that was most venerated and beloved throughout the country, for William the Silent since his death was almost a god; the other ineradicably entwined at that moment with, everything execrated throughout the land. The Prince of Orange's claim to be head of the Orange faction could hardly be disputed, but it was a master stroke of political malice to fix the stigma of Spanish partisanship on the Advocate. If the venerable patriot who had been fighting Spain, sometimes on the battle-field and always in the council, ever since he came to man's estate, could be imagined even in a dream capable of being bought with Spanish gold to betray his country, who in the ranks of the Remonstrant party could be safe from such accusations? Each party accused the other of designs for altering or subverting the government. Maurice was suspected of what were called Leicestrian projects, "Leycestrana consilia"—for the Earl's plots to gain possession of Leyden and Utrecht had never been forgotten—while the Prince and those who acted with him asserted distinctly that it was the purpose of Barneveld to pave the way for restoring the Spanish sovereignty and the Popish religion so soon as the Truce had reached its end?

Spain and Orange. Nothing for a faction fight could be neater. Moreover the two words rhyme in Netherlandish, which is the case in no other language, "Spanje-Oranje." The sword was drawn and the banner unfurled.

The "Mud Beggars" of the Hague, tired of tramping to Ryswyk of a Sunday to listen to Henry Rosaeus, determined on a private conventicle in the capital. The first barn selected was sealed up by the authorities, but Epoch Much, book-keeper of Prince Maurice, then lent them his house. The Prince declared that sooner than they should want a place of assembling he would give them his own. But he meant that they should have a public church to themselves, and that very soon. King James thoroughly approved of all these proceedings. At that very instant such of his own subjects as had seceded from the Established Church to hold conventicles in barns and breweries and backshops in London were hunted by him with bishops' pursuivants and other beagles like vilest criminals, thrown into prison to rot, or suffered to escape from their Fatherland into the trans- Atlantic wilderness, there to battle with wild beasts and savages, and to die without knowing themselves the fathers of a more powerful United States than the Dutch Republic, where they were fain to seek in passing a temporary shelter. He none the less instructed his envoy at the Hague to preach the selfsame doctrines for which the New England Puritans were persecuted, and importunately and dictatorially to plead the cause of those Hollanders who, like Bradford and Robinson, Winthrop and Cotton, maintained the independence of the Church over the State.

Logic is rarely the quality on which kings pride themselves, and Puritanism in the Netherlands, although under temporary disadvantage at the Hague, was evidently the party destined to triumph throughout the country. James could safely sympathize therefore in Holland with what he most loathed in England, and could at the same time feed fat the grudge he owed the Advocate. The calculations of Barneveld as to the respective political forces of the Commonwealth seem to have been to a certain extent defective.

He allowed probably too much weight to the Catholic party as a motive power at that moment, and he was anxious both from that consideration and from his honest natural instinct for general toleration; his own broad and unbigoted views in religious matters, not to force that party into a rebellious attitude dangerous to the state. We have seen how nearly a mutiny in the important city of Utrecht, set on foot by certain Romanist conspirators in the years immediately succeeding the Truce, had subverted the government, had excited much anxiety amongst the firmest allies of the Republic, and had been suppressed only by the decision of the Advocate and a show of military force.

He had informed Carleton not long after his arrival that in the United Provinces, and in Holland in particular, were many sects and religions of which, according to his expression, "the healthiest and the richest part were the Papists, while the Protestants did not make up one-third part of the inhabitants."

Certainly, if these statistics were correct or nearly correct, there could be nothing more stupid from a purely political point of view than to exasperate so influential a portion of the community to madness and rebellion by refusing them all rights of public worship. Yet because the Advocate had uniformly recommended indulgence, he had incurred more odium at home than from any other cause. Of course he was a Papist in disguise, ready to sell his country to Spain, because he was willing that more than half the population of the country should be allowed to worship God according to their conscience. Surely it would be wrong to judge the condition of things at that epoch by the lights of to-day, and perhaps in the Netherlands there had before been no conspicuous personage, save William the Silent alone, who had risen to the height of toleration on which the Advocate essayed to stand. Other leading politicians considered that the national liberties could be preserved only by retaining the Catholics in complete subjection.

At any rate the Advocate was profoundly convinced of the necessity of maintaining harmony and mutual toleration among the Protestants themselves, who, as he said, made up but one-third of the whole people. In conversing with the English ambassador he divided them into "Puritans and double Puritans," as they would be called, he said, in England. If these should be at variance with each other, he argued, the Papists would be the strongest of all. "To prevent this inconvenience," he said, "the States were endeavouring to settle some certain form of government in the Church; which being composed of divers persecuted churches such as in the beginning of the wars had their refuge here, that which during the wars could not be so well done they now thought seasonable for a time of truce; and therefore would show their authority in preventing the schism of the Church which would follow the separation of those they call Remonstrants and Contra-Remonstrants."

There being no word so offensive to Carleton's sovereign as the word Puritan, the Ambassador did his best to persuade the Advocate that a Puritan in Holland was a very different thing from a Puritan in England. In England he was a noxious vermin, to be hunted with dogs. In the Netherlands he was the governing power. But his arguments were vapourous enough and made little impression on Barneveld. "He would no ways yield," said Sir Dudley.

Meantime the Contra-Remonstrants of the Hague, not finding sufficient accommodation in Enoch Much's house, clamoured loudly for the use of a church. It was answered by the city magistrates that two of their persuasion, La Motte and La Faille, preached regularly in the Great Church, and that Rosaeus had been silenced only because he refused to hold communion with Uytenbogaert. Maurice insisted that a separate church should be assigned them. "But this is open schism," said Uytenbogaert.

Early in the year there was a meeting of the Holland delegation to the States-General, of the state council, and of the magistracy of the Hague, of deputies from the tribunals, and of all the nobles resident in the capital. They sent for Maurice and asked his opinion as to the alarming situation of affairs. He called for the register-books of the States of Holland, and turning back to the pages on which was recorded his accession to the stadholderate soon after his father's murder, ordered the oath then exchanged between himself and the States to be read aloud.

That oath bound them mutually to support the Reformed religion till the last drop of blood in their veins.

"That oath I mean to keep," said the Stadholder, "so long as I live."

No one disputed the obligation of all parties to maintain the Reformed religion. But the question was whether the Five Points were inconsistent with the Reformed religion. The contrary was clamorously maintained by most of those present: In the year 1586 this difference in dogma had not arisen, and as the large majority of the people at the Hague, including nearly all those of rank and substance, were of the Remonstrant persuasion, they naturally found it not agreeable to be sent out of the church by a small minority. But Maurice chose to settle the question very summarily. His father had been raised to power by the strict Calvinists, and he meant to stand by those who had always sustained William the Silent. "For this religion my father lost his life, and this religion will I defend," said he.

"You hold then," said Barneveld, "that the Almighty has created one child for damnation and another for salvation, and you wish this doctrine to be publicly preached."

"Did you ever hear any one preach that?" replied the Prince.

"If they don't preach it, it is their inmost conviction," said the other.
And he proceeded to prove his position by copious citations.

"And suppose our ministers do preach this doctrine, is there anything strange in it, any reason why they should not do so?"

The Advocate expressed his amazement and horror at the idea.

"But does not God know from all eternity who is to be saved and who to be damned; and does He create men for any other end than that to which He from eternity knows they will come?"

And so they enclosed themselves in the eternal circle out of which it was not probable that either the soldier or the statesman would soon find an issue.

"I am no theologian," said Barneveld at last, breaking off the discussion.

"Neither am I," said the Stadholder. "So let the parsons come together. Let the Synod assemble and decide the question. Thus we shall get out of all this."

Next day a deputation of the secessionists waited by appointment on Prince Maurice. They found him in the ancient mediaeval hall of the sovereign counts of Holland, and seated on their old chair of state. He recommended them to use caution and moderation for the present, and to go next Sunday once more to Ryswyk. Afterwards he pledged himself that they should have a church at the Hague, and, if necessary, the Great Church itself.

But the Great Church, although a very considerable Catholic cathedral before the Reformation, was not big enough now to hold both Henry Rosaeus and John Uytenbogaert. Those two eloquent, learned, and most pugnacious divines were the respective champions in the pulpit of the opposing parties, as were the Advocate and the Stadholder in the council. And there was as bitter personal rivalry between the two as between the soldier and statesman.

"The factions begin to divide themselves," said Carleton, "betwixt his Excellency and Monsieur Barneveld as heads who join to this present difference their ancient quarrels. And the schism rests actually between Uytenbogaert and Rosaeus, whose private emulation and envy (both being much applauded and followed) doth no good towards the public pacification." Uytenbogaert repeatedly offered, however, to resign his functions and to leave the Hague. "He was always ready to play the Jonah," he said.

A temporary arrangement was made soon afterwards by which Rosaeus and his congregation should have the use of what was called the Gasthuis Kerk, then appropriated to the English embassy.

Carleton of course gave his consent most willingly. The Prince declared that the States of Holland and the city magistracy had personally affronted him by the obstacles they had interposed to the public worship of the Contra-Remonstrants. With their cause he had now thoroughly identified himself.

The hostility between the representatives of the civil and military authority waxed fiercer every hour. The tumults were more terrible than ever. Plainly there was no room in the Commonwealth for the Advocate and the Stadholder. Some impartial persons believed that there would be no peace until both were got rid of. "There are many words among this free- spoken people," said Carleton, "that to end these differences they must follow the example of France in Marshal d'Ancre's case, and take off the heads of both chiefs."

But these decided persons were in a small minority. Meantime the States of Holland met in full assembly; sixty delegates being present.

It was proposed to invite his Excellency to take part in the deliberations. A committee which had waited upon him the day before had reported him as in favour of moderate rather than harsh measures in the church affair, while maintaining his plighted word to the seceders.

Barneveld stoutly opposed the motion.

"What need had the sovereign states of Holland of advice from a stadholder, from their servant, their functionary?" he cried.

But the majority for once thought otherwise. The Prince was invited to come. The deliberations were moderate but inconclusive. He appeared again at an adjourned meeting when the councils were not so harmonious.

Barneveld, Grotius, and other eloquent speakers endeavoured to point out that the refusal of the seceders to hold communion with the Remonstrant preachers and to insist on a separation was fast driving the state to perdition. They warmly recommended mutual toleration and harmony. Grotius exhausted learning and rhetoric to prove that the Five Points were not inconsistent with salvation nor with the constitution of the United Provinces.

The Stadholder grew impatient at last and clapped his hand on his rapier.

"No need here," he said, "of flowery orations and learned arguments. With this good sword I will defend the religion which my father planted in these Provinces, and I should like to see the man who is going to prevent me!"

The words had an heroic ring in the ears of such as are ever ready to applaud brute force, especially when wielded by a prince. The argumentum ad ensem, however, was the last plea that William the Silent would have been likely to employ on such an occasion, nor would it have been easy to prove that the Reformed religion had been "planted" by one who had drawn the sword against the foreign tyrant, and had made vast sacrifices for his country's independence years before abjuring communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

When swords are handled by the executive in presence of civil assemblies there is usually but one issue to be expected.

Moreover, three whales had recently been stranded at Scheveningen, one of them more than sixty feet long, and men wagged their beards gravely as they spoke of the event, deeming it a certain presage of civil commotions. It was remembered that at the outbreak of the great war two whales had been washed ashore in the Scheldt. Although some free-thinking people were inclined to ascribe the phenomenon to a prevalence of strong westerly gales, while others found proof in it of a superabundance of those creatures in the Polar seas, which should rather give encouragement to the Dutch and Zealand fisheries, it is probable that quite as dark forebodings of coming disaster were caused by this accident as by the trumpet-like defiance which the Stadholder had just delivered to the States of Holland.

Meantime the seceding congregation of the Hague had become wearied of the English or Gasthuis Church, and another and larger one had been promised them. This was an ancient convent on one of the principal streets of the town, now used as a cannon-foundry. The Prince personally superintended the preparations for getting ready this place of worship, which was thenceforth called the Cloister Church. But delays were, as the Contra- Remonstrants believed, purposely interposed, so that it was nearly Midsummer before there were any signs of the church being fit for use.

They hastened accordingly to carry it, as it were, by assault. Not wishing peaceably to accept as a boon from the civil authority what they claimed as an indefeasible right, they suddenly took possession one Sunday night of the Cloister Church.

It was in a state of utter confusion—part monastery, part foundry, part conventicle. There were few seats, no altar, no communion-table, hardly any sacramental furniture, but a pulpit was extemporized. Rosaeus preached in triumph to an enthusiastic congregation, and three children were baptized with the significant names of William, Maurice, and Henry.

On the following Monday there was a striking scene on the Voorhout. This most beautiful street of a beautiful city was a broad avenue, shaded by a quadruple row of limetrees, reaching out into the thick forest of secular oaks and beeches—swarming with fallow-deer and alive with the notes of singing birds—by which the Hague, almost from time immemorial, has been embowered. The ancient cloisterhouse and church now reconverted to religious uses—was a plain, rather insipid structure of red brick picked out with white stone, presenting three symmetrical gables to the street, with a slender belfry and spire rising in the rear.

Nearly adjoining it on the north-western side was the elegant and commodious mansion of Barneveld, purchased by him from the representatives of the Arenberg family, surrounded by shrubberies and flower-gardens; not a palace, but a dignified and becoming abode for the first citizen of a powerful republic.

On that midsummer's morning it might well seem that, in rescuing the old cloister from the military purposes to which it had for years been devoted, men had given an even more belligerent aspect to the scene than if it had been left as a foundry. The miscellaneous pieces of artillery and other fire-arms lying about, with piles of cannon-ball which there had not been time to remove, were hardly less belligerent and threatening of aspect than the stern faces of the crowd occupied in thoroughly preparing the house for its solemn destination. It was determined that there should be accommodation on the next Sunday for all who came to the service. An army of carpenters, joiners, glaziers, and other workmen- assisted by a mob of citizens of all ranks and ages, men and women, gentle and simple were busily engaged in bringing planks and benches; working with plane, adze, hammer and saw, trowel and shovel, to complete the work.

On the next Sunday the Prince attended public worship for the last time at the Great Church under the ministration of Uytenbogaert. He was infuriated with the sermon, in which the bold Remonstrant bitterly inveighed against the proposition for a National Synod. To oppose that measure publicly in the very face of the Stadholder, who now considered himself as the Synod personified, seemed to him flat blasphemy. Coming out of the church with his step-mother, the widowed Louise de Coligny, Princess of Orange, he denounced the man in unmeasured terms. "He is the enemy of God," said Maurice. At least from that time forth, and indeed for a year before, Maurice was the enemy of the preacher.

On the following Sunday, July 23, Maurice went in solemn state to the divine service at the Cloister Church now thoroughly organized. He was accompanied by his cousin, the famous Count William Lewis of Nassau, Stadholder of Friesland, who had never concealed his warm sympathy with the Contra-Remonstrants, and by all the chief officers of his household and members of his staff. It was an imposing demonstration and meant for one. As the martial stadholder at the head of his brilliant cavalcade rode forth across the drawbridge from the Inner Court of the old moated palace—where the ancient sovereign Dirks and Florences of Holland had so long ruled their stout little principality—along the shady and stately Kneuterdyk and so through the Voorhout, an immense crowd thronged around his path and accompanied him to the church. It was as if the great soldier were marching to siege or battle-field where fresher glories than those of Sluys or Geertruidenberg were awaiting him.

The train passed by Barneveld's house and entered the cloister. More than four thousand persons were present at the service or crowded around the doors vainly attempting to gain admission into the overflowing aisles; while the Great Church was left comparatively empty, a few hundred only worshipping there. The Cloister Church was thenceforth called the Prince's Church, and a great revolution was beginning even in the Hague.

The Advocate was wroth as he saw the procession graced by the two stadholders and their military attendants. He knew that he was now to bow his head to the Church thus championed by the chief personage and captain-general of the state, to renounce his dreams of religious toleration, to sink from his post of supreme civic ruler, or to accept an unequal struggle in which he might utterly succumb. But his iron nature would break sooner than bend. In the first transports of his indignation he is said to have vowed vengeance against the immediate instruments by which the Cloister Church had, as he conceived, been surreptitiously and feloniously seized. He meant to strike a blow which should startle the whole population of the Hague, send a thrill of horror through the country, and teach men to beware how they trifled with the sovereign states of Holland, whose authority had so long been undisputed, and with him their chief functionary.

He resolved—so ran the tale of the preacher Trigland, who told it to Prince Maurice, and has preserved it in his chronicle—to cause to be seized at midnight from their beds four men whom he considered the ringleaders in this mutiny, to have them taken to the place of execution on the square in the midst of the city, to have their heads cut off at once by warrant from the chief tribunal without any previous warning, and then to summon all the citizens at dawn of day, by ringing of bells and firing of cannon, to gaze on the ghastly spectacle, and teach them to what fate this pestilential schism and revolt against authority had brought its humble tools. The victims were to be Enoch Much, the Prince's book-keeper, and three others, an attorney, an engraver, and an apothecary, all of course of the Contra-Remonstrant persuasion. It was necessary, said the Advocate, to make once for all an example, and show that there was a government in the land.

He had reckoned on a ready adhesion to this measure and a sentence from the tribunal through the influence of his son-in-law, the Seignior van Veenhuyzen, who was president of the chief court. His attempt was foiled however by the stern opposition of two Zealand members of the court, who managed to bring up from a bed of sickness, where he had long been lying, a Holland councillor whom they knew to be likewise opposed to the fierce measure, and thus defeated it by a majority of one.

Such is the story as told by contemporaries and repeated from that day to this. It is hardly necessary to say that Barneveld calmly denied having conceived or even heard of the scheme. That men could go about looking each other in the face and rehearsing such gibberish would seem sufficiently dispiriting did we not know to what depths of credulity men in all ages can sink when possessed by the demon of party malice.

If it had been narrated on the Exchange at Amsterdam or Flushing during that portentous midsummer that Barneveld had not only beheaded but roasted alive, and fed the dogs and cats upon the attorney, the apothecary, and the engraver, there would have been citizens in plenty to devour the news with avidity.

But although the Advocate had never imagined such extravagances as these, it is certain that he had now resolved upon very bold measures, and that too without an instant's delay. He suspected the Prince of aiming at sovereignty not only over Holland but over all the provinces and to be using the Synod as a principal part of his machinery. The gauntlet was thrown down by the Stadholder, and the Advocate lifted it at once. The issue of the struggle would depend upon the political colour of the town magistracies. Barneveld instinctively felt that Maurice, being now resolved that the Synod should be held, would lose no time in making a revolution in all the towns through the power he held or could plausibly usurp. Such a course would, in his opinion, lead directly to an unconstitutional and violent subversion of the sovereign rights of each province, to the advantage of the central government. A religious creed would be forced upon Holland and perhaps upon two other provinces which was repugnant to a considerable majority of the people. And this would be done by a majority vote of the States-General, on a matter over which, by the 13th Article of the fundamental compact—the Union of Utrecht— the States-General had no control, each province having reserved the disposition of religious affairs to itself. For let it never be forgotten that the Union of the Netherlands was a compact, a treaty, an agreement between sovereign states. There was no pretence that it was an incorporation, that the people had laid down a constitution, an organic law. The people were never consulted, did not exist, had not for political purposes been invented. It was the great primal defect of their institutions, but the Netherlanders would have been centuries before their age had they been able to remedy that defect. Yet the Netherlanders would have been much behind even that age of bigotry had they admitted the possibility in a free commonwealth, of that most sacred and important of all subjects that concern humanity, religious creed—the relation of man to his Maker—to be regulated by the party vote of a political board.

It was with no thought of treason in his heart or his head therefore that the Advocate now resolved that the States of Holland and the cities of which that college was composed should protect their liberties and privileges, the sum of which in his opinion made up the sovereignty of the province he served, and that they should protect them, if necessary, by force. Force was apprehended. It should be met by force. To be forewarned was to be forearmed. Barneveld forewarned the States of Holland.

On the 4th August 1617, he proposed to that assembly a resolution which was destined to become famous. A majority accepted it after brief debate. It was to this effect.

The States having seen what had befallen in many cities, and especially in the Hague, against the order, liberties, and laws of the land, and having in vain attempted to bring into harmony with the States certain cities which refused to co-operate with the majority, had at last resolved to refuse the National Synod, as conflicting with the sovereignty and laws of Holland. They had thought good to set forth in public print their views as to religious worship, and to take measures to prevent all deeds of violence against persons and property. To this end the regents of cities were authorized in case of need, until otherwise ordained, to enrol men-at-arms for their security and prevention of violence. Furthermore, every one that might complain of what the regents of cities by strength of this resolution might do was ordered to have recourse to no one else than the States of Holland, as no account would be made of anything that might be done or undertaken by the tribunals.

Finally, it was resolved to send a deputation to Prince Maurice, the Princess-Widow, and Prince Henry, requesting them to aid in carrying out this resolution.

Thus the deed was done. The sword was drawn. It was drawn in self- defence and in deliberate answer to the Stadholder's defiance when he rapped his sword hilt in face of the assembly, but still it was drawn. The States of Holland were declared sovereign and supreme. The National Synod was peremptorily rejected. Any decision of the supreme courts of the Union in regard to the subject of this resolution was nullified in advance. Thenceforth this measure of the 4th August was called the "Sharp Resolve." It might prove perhaps to be double-edged.

It was a stroke of grim sarcasm on the part of the Advocate thus solemnly to invite the Stadholder's aid in carrying out a law which was aimed directly at his head; to request his help for those who meant to defeat with the armed hand that National Synod which he had pledged himself to bring about.

The question now arose what sort of men-at-arms it would be well for the city governments to enlist. The officers of the regular garrisons had received distinct orders from Prince Maurice as their military superior to refuse any summons to act in matters proceeding from the religious question. The Prince, who had chief authority over all the regular troops, had given notice that he would permit nothing to be done against "those of the Reformed religion," by which he meant the Contra- Remonstrants and them only.

In some cities there were no garrisons, but only train-bands. But the train bands (Schutters) could not be relied on to carry out the Sharp Resolve, for they were almost to a man Contra-Remonstrants. It was therefore determined to enlist what were called "Waartgelders;" soldiers, inhabitants of the place, who held themselves ready to serve in time of need in consideration of a certain wage; mercenaries in short.

This resolution was followed as a matter of course by a solemn protest from Amsterdam and the five cities who acted with her.

On the same day Maurice was duly notified of the passage of the law. His wrath was great. High words passed between him and the deputies. It could hardly have been otherwise expected. Next-day he came before the Assembly to express his sentiments, to complain of the rudeness with which the resolution of 4th August had been communicated to him, and to demand further explanations. Forthwith the Advocate proceeded to set forth the intentions of the States, and demanded that the Prince should assist the magistrates in carrying out the policy decided upon. Reinier Pauw, burgomaster of Amsterdam, fiercely interrupted the oration of Barneveld, saying that although these might be his views, they were not to be held by his Excellency as the opinions of all. The Advocate, angry at the interruption, answered him sternly, and a violent altercation, not unmixed with personalities, arose. Maurice, who kept his temper admirably on this occasion, interfered between the two and had much difficulty in quieting the dispute. He then observed that when he took the oath as stadholder these unfortunate differences had not arisen, but all had been good friends together. This was perfectly true, but he could have added that they might all continue good friends unless the plan of imposing a religious creed upon the minority by a clerical decision were persisted in. He concluded that for love of one of the two great parties he would not violate the oath he had taken to maintain the Reformed religion to the last drop of his blood. Still, with the same 'petitio principii' that the Reformed religion and the dogmas of the Contra-Remonstrants were one and the same thing, he assured the Assembly that the authority of the magistrates would be sustained by him so long as it did not lead to the subversion of religion.

Clearly the time for argument had passed. As Dudley Carleton observed, men had been disputing 'pro aris' long enough. They would soon be fighting 'pro focis.'

In pursuance of the policy laid down by the Sharp Resolution, the States proceeded to assure themselves of the various cities of the province by means of Waartgelders. They sent to the important seaport of Brielle and demanded a new oath from the garrison. It was intimated that the Prince would be soon coming there in person to make himself master of the place, and advice was given to the magistrates to be beforehand with him. These statements angered Maurice, and angered him the more because they happened to be true. It was also charged that he was pursuing his Leicestrian designs and meant to make himself, by such steps, sovereign of the country. The name of Leicester being a byword of reproach ever since that baffled noble had a generation before left the Provinces in disgrace, it was a matter of course that such comparisons were excessively exasperating. It was fresh enough too in men's memory that the Earl in his Netherland career had affected sympathy with the strictest denomination of religious reformers, and that the profligate worldling and arrogant self-seeker had used the mask of religion to cover flagitious ends. As it had indeed been the object of the party at the head of which the Advocate had all his life acted to raise the youthful Maurice to the stadholderate expressly to foil the plots of Leicester, it could hardly fail to be unpalatable to Maurice to be now accused of acting the part of Leicester.

He inveighed bitterly on the subject before the state council: The state council, in a body, followed him to a meeting of the States-General. Here the Stadholder made a vehement speech and demanded that the States of Holland should rescind the "Sharp Resolution," and should desist from the new oaths required from the soldiery. Barneveld, firm as a rock, met these bitter denunciations. Speaking in the name of Holland, he repelled the idea that the sovereign States of that province were responsible to the state council or to the States-General either. He regretted, as all regretted, the calumnies uttered against the Prince, but in times of such intense excitement every conspicuous man was the mark of calumny.

The Stadholder warmly repudiated Leicestrian designs, and declared that he had been always influenced by a desire to serve his country and maintain the Reformed religion. If he had made mistakes, he desired to be permitted to improve in the future.

Thus having spoken, the soldier retired from the Assembly with the state council at his heels.

The Advocate lost no time in directing the military occupation of the principal towns of Holland, such as Leyden, Gouda, Rotterdam, Schoonhoven, Hoorn, and other cities.

At Leyden especially, where a strong Orange party was with difficulty kept in obedience by the Remonstrant magistracy, it was found necessary to erect a stockade about the town-hall and to plant caltrops and other obstructions in the squares and streets.

The broad space in front; of the beautiful medieval seat of the municipal government, once so sacred for the sublime and pathetic scenes enacted there during the famous siege and in the magistracy of Peter van der Werff, was accordingly enclosed by a solid palisade of oaken planks, strengthened by rows of iron bars with barbed prongs: The entrenchment was called by the populace the Arminian Fort, and the iron spear heads were baptized Barneveld's teeth. Cannon were planted at intervals along the works, and a company or two of the Waartgelders, armed from head to foot, with snaphances on their shoulders, stood ever ready to issue forth to quell any disturbances. Occasionally a life or two was lost of citizen or soldier, and many doughty blows were interchanged.

It was a melancholy spectacle. No commonwealth could be more fortunate than this republic in possessing two such great leading minds. No two men could be more patriotic than both Stadholder and Advocate. No two men could be prouder, more overbearing, less conciliatory.

"I know Mons. Barneveld well," said Sir Ralph Winwood, "and know that he hath great powers and abilities, and malice itself must confess that man never hath done more faithful and powerful service to his country than he. But 'finis coronat opus' and 'il di lodi lacera; oportet imperatorem stantem mori.'"

The cities of Holland were now thoroughly "waartgeldered," and Barneveld having sufficiently shown his "teeth" in that province departed for change of air to Utrecht. His failing health was assigned as the pretext for the visit, although the atmosphere of that city has never been considered especially salubrious in the dog-days.

Meantime the Stadholder remained quiet, but biding his time. He did not choose to provoke a premature conflict in the strongholds of the Arminians as he called them, but with a true military instinct preferred making sure of the ports. Amsterdam, Enkhuyzen, Flushing, being without any effort of his own within his control, he quietly slipped down the river Meuse on the night of the 29th September, accompanied by his brother Frederic Henrys and before six o'clock next morning had introduced a couple of companies of trustworthy troops into Brielle, had summoned the magistrates before him, and compelled them to desist from all further intention of levying mercenaries. Thus all the fortresses which Barneveld had so recently and in such masterly fashion rescued from the grasp of England were now quietly reposing in the hands of the Stadholder.

Maurice thought it not worth his while for the present to quell the mutiny—as he considered it the legal and constitutional defence of vested right—as great jurists like Barneveld and Hugo Grotius accounted the movement—at its "fountain head Leyden or its chief stream Utrecht;" to use the expression of Carleton. There had already been bloodshed in Leyden, a burgher or two having been shot and a soldier stoned to death in the streets, but the Stadholder deemed it unwise to precipitate matters. Feeling himself, with his surpassing military knowledge and with a large majority of the nation at his back, so completely master of the situation, he preferred waiting on events. And there is no doubt that he was proving himself a consummate politician and a perfect master of fence. "He is much beloved and followed both of soldiers and people," said the English ambassador, "he is a man 'innoxiae popularitatis' so as this jealousy cannot well be fastened upon him; and in this cause of religion he stirred not until within these few months he saw he must declare himself or suffer the better party to be overborne."

The chief tribunal-high council so called-of the country soon gave evidence that the "Sharp Resolution" had judged rightly in reckoning on its hostility and in nullifying its decisions in advance.

They decided by a majority vote that the Resolution ought not to be obeyed, but set aside. Amsterdam, and the three or four cities usually acting with her, refused to enlist troops.

Rombout Hoogerbeets, a member of the tribunal, informed Prince Maurice that he "would no longer be present on a bench where men disputed the authority of the States of Holland, which he held to be the supreme sovereignty over him."

This was plain speaking; a distinct enunciation of what the States' right party deemed to be constitutional law.

And what said Maurice in reply?

"I, too, recognize the States of Holland as sovereign; but we might at least listen to each other occasionally."

Hoogerbeets, however, deeming that listening had been carried far enough, decided to leave the tribunal altogether, and to resume the post which he had formerly occupied as Pensionary or chief magistrate of Leyden.

Here he was soon to find himself in the thick of the conflict. Meantime the States-General, in full assembly, on 11th November 1617, voted that the National Synod should be held in the course of the following year. The measure was carried by a strict party vote and by a majority of one. The representatives of each province voting as one, there were four in favour of to three against the Synod. The minority, consisting of Holland, Utrecht, and Overyssel, protested against the vote as an outrageous invasion of the rights of each province, as an act of flagrant tyranny and usurpation.

The minority in the States of Holland, the five cities often named, protested against the protest.

The defective part of the Netherland constitutions could not be better illustrated. The minority of the States of Holland refused to be bound by a majority of the provincial assembly. The minority of the States- General refused to be bound by the majority of the united assembly.

This was reducing politics to an absurdity and making all government impossible. It is however quite certain that in the municipal governments a majority had always governed, and that a majority vote in the provincial assemblies had always prevailed. The present innovation was to govern the States-General by a majority.

Yet viewed by the light of experience and of common sense, it would be difficult to conceive of a more preposterous proceeding than thus to cram a religious creed down the throats of half the population of a country by the vote of a political assembly. But it was the seventeenth and not the nineteenth century.

Moreover, if there were any meaning in words, the 13th Article of Union, reserving especially the disposition over religious matters to each province, had been wisely intended to prevent the possibility of such tyranny.

When the letters of invitation to the separate states and to others were drawing up in the general assembly, the representatives of the three states left the chamber. A solitary individual from Holland remained however, a burgomaster of Amsterdam.

Uytenbogaert, conversing with Barneveld directly afterwards, advised him to accept the vote. Yielding to the decision of the majority, it would be possible, so thought the clergyman, for the great statesman so to handle matters as to mould the Synod to his will, even as he had so long controlled the States-Provincial and the States-General.

"If you are willing to give away the rights of the land," said the
Advocate very sharply, "I am not."

Probably the priest's tactics might have proved more adroit than the stony opposition on which Barneveld was resolved.

But it was with the aged statesman a matter of principle, not of policy. His character and his personal pride, the dignity of opinion and office, his respect for constitutional law, were all at stake.

Shallow observers considered the struggle now taking place as a personal one. Lovers of personal government chose to look upon the Advocate's party as a faction inspired with an envious resolve to clip the wings of the Stadholder, who was at last flying above their heads.

There could be no doubt of the bitter animosity between the two men. There could be no doubt that jealousy was playing the part which that master passion will ever play in all the affairs of life. But there could be no doubt either that a difference of principle as wide as the world separated the two antagonists.

Even so keen an observer as Dudley Carleton, while admitting the man's intellectual power and unequalled services, could see nothing in the Advocate's present course but prejudice, obstinacy, and the insanity of pride. "He doth no whit spare himself in pains nor faint in his resolution," said the Envoy, "wherein notwithstanding he will in all appearance succumb ere afore long, having the disadvantages of a weak body, a weak party, and a weak cause." But Carleton hated Barneveld, and considered it the chief object of his mission to destroy him, if he could. In so doing he would best carry out the wishes of his sovereign.

The King of Britain had addressed a somewhat equivocal letter to the States-General on the subject of religion in the spring of 1617. It certainly was far from being as satisfactory as, the epistles of 1613 prepared under the Advocate's instructions, had been, while the exuberant commentary upon the royal text, delivered in full assembly by his ambassador soon after the reception of the letter, was more than usually didactic, offensive, and ignorant. Sir Dudley never omitted an opportunity of imparting instruction to the States-General as to the nature of their constitution and the essential dogmas on which their Church was founded. It is true that the great lawyers and the great theologians of the country were apt to hold very different opinions from his upon those important subjects, but this was so much the worse for the lawyers and theologians, as time perhaps might prove.

The King in this last missive had proceeded to unsay the advice which he had formerly bestowed upon the States, by complaining that his earlier letters had been misinterpreted. They had been made use of, he said, to authorize the very error against which they had been directed. They had been held to intend the very contrary of what they did mean. He felt himself bound in conscience therefore, finding these differences ready to be "hatched into schisms," to warn the States once more against pests so pernicious.

Although the royal language was somewhat vague so far as enunciation of doctrine, a point on which he had once confessed himself fallible, was concerned, there was nothing vague in his recommendation of a National Synod. To this the opposition of Barneveld was determined not upon religious but upon constitutional grounds. The confederacy did not constitute a nation, and therefore there could not be a national synod nor a national religion.

Carleton came before the States-General soon afterwards with a prepared oration, wearisome as a fast-day sermon after the third turn of the hour- glass, pragmatical as a schoolmaster's harangue to fractious little boys.

He divided his lecture into two heads—the peace of the Church, and the peace of the Provinces—starting with the first. "A Jove principium," he said, "I will begin with that which is both beginning and end. It is the truth of God's word and its maintenance that is the bond of our common cause. Reasons of state invite us as friends and neighbours by the preservation of our lives and property, but the interest of religion binds us as Christians and brethren to the mutual defence of the liberty of our consciences."

He then proceeded to point out the only means by which liberty of conscience could be preserved. It was by suppressing all forms of religion but one, and by silencing all religious discussion. Peter Titelman and Philip II. could not have devised a more pithy formula. All that was wanting was the axe and faggot to reduce uniformity to practice. Then liberty of conscience would be complete.

"One must distinguish," said the Ambassador, "between just liberty and unbridled license, and conclude that there is but one truth single and unique. Those who go about turning their brains into limbecks for distilling new notions in religious matters only distract the union of the Church which makes profession of this unique truth. If it be permitted to one man to publish the writings and fantasies of a sick spirit and for another moved by Christian zeal to reduce this wanderer 'ad sanam mentem;' why then 'patet locus adversus utrumque,' and the common enemy (the Devil) slips into the fortress." He then proceeded to illustrate this theory on liberty of conscience by allusions to Conrad Vorstius.

This infamous sectary had in fact reached such a pitch of audacity, said the Ambassador, as not only to inveigh against the eternal power of God but to indulge in irony against the honour of his Majesty King James.

And in what way had he scandalized the government of the Republic? He had dared to say that within its borders there was religious toleration. He had distinctly averred that in the United Provinces heretics were not punished with death or with corporal chastisement.

"He declares openly," said Carleton, "that contra haereticos etiam vere dictos (ne dum falso et calumniose sic traductos) there is neither sentence of death nor other corporal punishment, so that in order to attract to himself a great following of birds of the name feather he publishes to all the world that here in this country one can live and die a heretic, unpunished, without being arrested and without danger."

In order to suppress this reproach upon the Republic at which the Ambassador stood aghast, and to prevent the Vorstian doctrines of religious toleration and impunity of heresy from spreading among "the common people, so subject by their natures to embrace new opinions," he advised of course that "the serpent be sent back to the nest where he was born before the venom had spread through the whole body of the Republic."

A week afterwards a long reply was delivered on part of the States- General to the Ambassador's oration. It is needless to say that it was the work of the Advocate, and that it was in conformity with the opinions so often exhibited in the letters to Caron and others of which the reader has seen many samples.

That religious matters were under the control of the civil government, and that supreme civil authority belonged to each one of the seven sovereign provinces, each recognizing no superior within its own sphere, were maxims of state always enforced in the Netherlands and on which the whole religious controversy turned.

"The States-General have always cherished the true Christian Apostolic religion," they said, "and wished it to be taught under the authority and protection of the legal government of these Provinces in all purity, and in conformity with the Holy Scriptures, to the good people of these Provinces. And My Lords the States and magistrates of the respective provinces, each within their own limits, desire the same."

They had therefore given express orders to the preachers "to keep the peace by mutual and benign toleration of the different opinions on the one side and the other at least until with full knowledge of the subject the States might otherwise ordain. They had been the more moved to this because his Majesty having carefully examined the opinions of the learned hereon each side had found both consistent with Christian belief and the salvation of souls."

It was certainly not the highest expression of religious toleration for the civil authority to forbid the clergymen of the country from discussing in their pulpits the knottiest and most mysterious points of the schoolmen lest the "common people" should be puzzled. Nevertheless, where the close union of Church and State and the necessity of one church were deemed matters of course, it was much to secure subordination of the priesthood to the magistracy, while to enjoin on preachers abstention from a single exciting cause of quarrel, on the ground that there was more than one path to salvation, and that mutual toleration was better than mutual persecution, was; in that age, a stride towards religious equality. It was at least an advance on Carleton's dogma, that there was but one unique and solitary truth, and that to declare heretics not punishable with death was an insult to the government of the Republic.

The States-General answered the Ambassador's plea, made in the name of his master, for immediate and unguaranteed evacuation of the debatable land by the arguments already so often stated in the Advocate's instructions to Caron. They had been put to great trouble and expense already in their campaigning and subsequent fortification of important places in the duchies. They had seen the bitter spirit manifested by the Spaniards in the demolition of the churches and houses of Mulheim and other places. "While the affair remained in its present terms of utter uncertainty their Mightinesses," said the States-General, "find it most objectionable to forsake the places which they have been fortifying and to leave the duchies and all their fellow-religionists, besides the rights of the possessory princes a prey to those who have been hankering for the territories for long years, and who would unquestionably be able to make themselves absolute masters of all within a very few days."

A few months later Carleton came before the States-General again and delivered another elaborate oration, duly furnished to him by the King, upon the necessity of the National Synod, the comparative merits of Arminianism and Contra-Remonstrantism, together with a full exposition of the constitutions of the Netherlands.

It might be supposed that Barneveld and Grotius and Hoogerbeets knew something of the law and history of their country.

But James knew much better, and so his envoy endeavoured to convince his audience.

He received on the spot a temperate but conclusive reply from the delegates of Holland. They informed him that the war with Spain—the cause of the Utrecht Union—was not begun about religion but on account of the violation of liberties, chartered rights and privileges, not the least of which rights was that of each province to regulate religious matters within its borders.

A little later a more vehement reply was published anonymously in the shape of a pamphlet called 'The Balance,' which much angered the Ambassador and goaded his master almost to frenzy. It was deemed so blasphemous, so insulting to the Majesty of England, so entirely seditious, that James, not satisfied with inditing a rejoinder, insisted through Carleton that a reward should be offered by the States for the detection of the author, in order that he might be condignly punished. This was done by a majority vote, 1000 florins being offered for the discovery of the author and 600 for that of the printer.

Naturally the step was opposed in the States-General; two deputies in particular making themselves conspicuous. One of them was an audacious old gentleman named Brinius of Gelderland, "much corrupted with Arminianism," so Carleton informed his sovereign. He appears to have inherited his audacity through his pedigree, descending, as it was ludicrously enough asserted he did, from a chief of the Caninefates, the ancient inhabitants of Gelderland, called Brinio. And Brinio the Caninefat had been as famous for his stolid audacity as for his illustrious birth; "Erat in Caninefatibus stolidae audaciae Brinio claritate natalium insigni."

The patronizing manner in which the Ambassador alluded to the other member of the States-General who opposed the decree was still more diverting. It was "Grotius, the Pensioner of Rotterdam, a young petulant brain, not unknown to your Majesty," said Carleton.

Two centuries and a half have rolled away, and there are few majesties, few nations, and few individuals to whom the name of that petulant youth is unknown; but how many are familiar with the achievements of the able representative of King James?

Nothing came of the measure, however, and the offer of course helped the circulation of the pamphlet.

It is amusing to see the ferocity thus exhibited by the royal pamphleteer against a rival; especially when one can find no crime in 'The Balance' save a stinging and well-merited criticism of a very stupid oration.

Gillis van Ledenberg was generally supposed to be the author of it. Carleton inclined, however, to suspect Grotius, "because," said he, "having always before been a stranger to my house, he has made me the day before the publication thereof a complimentary visit, although it was Sunday and church time; whereby the Italian proverb, 'Chi ti caresse piu che suole,' &c.,' is added to other likelihoods."

It was subsequently understood however that the pamphlet was written by a Remonstrant preacher of Utrecht, named Jacobus Taurinus; one of those who had been doomed to death by the mutinous government in that city seven years before.

It was now sufficiently obvious that either the governments in the three opposition provinces must be changed or that the National Synod must be imposed by a strict majority vote in the teeth of the constitution and of vigorous and eloquent protests drawn up by the best lawyers in the country. The Advocate and Grotius recommended a provincial synod first and, should that not succeed in adjusting the differences of church government, then the convocation of a general or oecumenical synod. They resisted the National Synod because, in their view, the Provinces were not a nation. A league of seven sovereign and independent Mates was all that legally existed in the Netherlands. It was accordingly determined that the governments should be changed, and the Stadholder set himself to prepare the way for a thorough and, if possible, a bloodless revolution. He departed on the 27th November for a tour through the chief cities, and before leaving the Hague addressed an earnest circular letter to the various municipalities of Holland.

A more truly dignified, reasonable, right royal letter, from the Stadholder's point of view, could not have been indited. The Imperial "we" breathing like a morning breeze through the whole of it blew away all legal and historical mistiness.

But the clouds returned again nevertheless. Unfortunately for Maurice it could not be argued by the pen, however it might be proved by the sword, that the Netherlands constituted a nation, and that a convocation of doctors of divinity summoned by a body of envoys had the right to dictate a creed to seven republics.

All parties were agreed on one point. There must be unity of divine worship. The territory of the Netherlands was not big enough to hold two systems of religion, two forms of Christianity, two sects of Protestantism. It was big enough to hold seven independent and sovereign states, but would be split into fragments—resolved into chaos—should there be more than one Church or if once a schism were permitted in that Church. Grotius was as much convinced of this as Gomarus. And yet the 13th Article of the Union stared them all in the face, forbidding the hideous assumptions now made by the general government. Perhaps no man living fully felt its import save Barneveld alone. For groping however dimly and hesitatingly towards the idea of religious liberty, of general toleration, he was denounced as a Papist, an atheist, a traitor, a miscreant, by the fanatics for the sacerdotal and personal power. Yet it was a pity that he could never contemplate the possibility of his country's throwing off the swaddling clothes of provincialism which had wrapped its infancy. Doubtless history, law, tradition, and usage pointed to the independent sovereignty of each province. Yet the period of the Truce was precisely the time when a more generous constitution, a national incorporation might have been constructed to take the place of the loose confederacy by which the gigantic war had been fought out. After all, foreign powers had no connection with the States, and knew only the Union with which and with which alone they made treaties, and the reality of sovereignty in each province was as ridiculous as in theory it was impregnable. But Barneveld, under the modest title of Advocate of one province, had been in reality president and prime minister of the whole commonwealth. He had himself been the union and the sovereignty. It was not wonderful that so imperious a nature objected to transfer its powers to the Church, to the States-General, or to Maurice.

Moreover, when nationality assumed the unlovely form of rigid religious uniformity; when Union meant an exclusive self-governed Church enthroned above the State, responsible to no civic authority and no human law, the boldest patriot might shiver at emerging from provincialism.


The Commonwealth bent on Self-destruction—Evils of a Confederate System of Government—Rem Bischop's House sacked—Aerssens' unceasing Efforts against Barneveld—The Advocate's Interview with Maurice—The States of Utrecht raise the Troops—The Advocate at Utrecht—Barneveld urges mutual Toleration—Barneveld accused of being Partisan of Spain—Carleton takes his Departure.

It is not cheerful after widely contemplating the aspect of Christendom in the year of supreme preparation to examine with the minuteness absolutely necessary the narrow theatre to which the political affairs of the great republic had been reduced.

That powerful commonwealth, to which the great party of the Reformation naturally looked for guidance in the coming conflict, seemed bent on self-destruction. The microcosm of the Netherlands now represented, alas! the war of elements going on without on a world-wide scale. As the Calvinists and Lutherans of Germany were hotly attacking each other even in sight of the embattled front of Spain and the League, so the Gomarites and the Arminians by their mutual rancour were tearing the political power of the Dutch Republic to shreds and preventing her from assuming a great part in the crisis. The consummate soldier, the unrivalled statesman, each superior in his sphere to any contemporary rival, each supplementing the other, and making up together, could they have been harmonized, a double head such as no political organism then existing could boast, were now in hopeless antagonism to each other. A mass of hatred had been accumulated against the Advocate with which he found it daily more and more difficult to struggle. The imperious, rugged, and suspicious nature of the Stadholder had been steadily wrought upon by the almost devilish acts of Francis Aerssens until he had come to look upon his father's most faithful adherent, his own early preceptor in statesmanship and political supporter, as an antagonist, a conspirator, and a tyrant.

The soldier whose unrivalled ability, experience, and courage in the field should have placed him at the very head of the great European army of defence against the general crusade upon Protestantism, so constantly foretold by Barneveld, was now to be engaged in making bloodless but mischievous warfare against an imaginary conspiracy and a patriot foe.

The Advocate, keeping steadily in view the great principles by which his political life had been guided, the supremacy of the civil authority in any properly organized commonwealth over the sacerdotal and military, found himself gradually forced into mortal combat with both. To the individual sovereignty of each province he held with the tenacity of a lawyer and historian. In that he found the only clue through the labyrinth which ecclesiastical and political affairs presented. So close was the tangle, so confused the medley, that without this slender guide all hope of legal issue seemed lost.

No doubt the difficulty of the doctrine of individual sovereignty was great, some of the provinces being such slender morsels of territory, with resources so trivial, as to make the name of sovereignty ludicrous. Yet there could be as little doubt that no other theory was tenable. If so powerful a mind as that of the Advocate was inclined to strain the theory to its extreme limits, it was because in the overshadowing superiority of the one province Holland had been found the practical remedy for the imbecility otherwise sure to result from such provincial and meagre federalism.

Moreover, to obtain Union by stretching all the ancient historical privileges and liberties of the separate provinces upon the Procrustean bed of a single dogma, to look for nationality only in common subjection to an infallible priesthood, to accept a Catechism as the palladium upon which the safety of the State was to depend for all time, and beyond which there was to be no further message from Heaven—such was not healthy constitutionalism in the eyes of a great statesman. No doubt that without the fervent spirit of Calvinism it would have been difficult to wage war with such immortal hate as the Netherlands had waged it, no doubt the spirit of republican and even democratic liberty lay hidden within that rigid husk, but it was dishonour to the martyrs who had died by thousands at the stake and on the battle field for the rights of conscience if the only result of their mighty warfare against wrong had been to substitute a new dogma for an old one, to stifle for ever the right of free enquiry, theological criticism, and the hope of further light from on high, and to proclaim it a libel on the Republic that within its borders all heretics, whether Arminian or Papist, were safe from the death penalty or even from bodily punishment. A theological union instead of a national one and obtained too at the sacrifice of written law and immemorial tradition, a congress in which clerical deputations from all the provinces and from foreign nations should prescribe to all Netherlanders an immutable creed and a shadowy constitution, were not the true remedies for the evils of confederacy, nor, if they had been, was the time an appropriate one for their application.

It was far too early in the world's history to hope for such redistribution of powers and such a modification of the social compact as would place in separate spheres the Church and the State, double the sanctions and the consolations of religion by removing it from the pollutions of political warfare, and give freedom to individual conscience by securing it from the interference of government.

It is melancholy to see the Republic thus perversely occupying its energies. It is melancholy to see the great soldier becoming gradually more ardent for battle with Barneveld and Uytenbogaert than with Spinola and Bucquoy, against whom he had won so many imperishable laurels. It is still sadder to see the man who had been selected by Henry IV. as the one statesman of Europe to whom he could confide his great projects for the pacification of Christendom, and on whom he could depend for counsel and support in schemes which, however fantastic in some of their details, had for their object to prevent the very European war of religion against which Barneveld had been struggling, now reduced to defend himself against suspicion hourly darkening and hatred growing daily more insane.

The eagle glance and restless wing, which had swept the whole political atmosphere, now caged within the stifling limits of theological casuistry and personal rivalry were afflicting to contemplate.

The evils resulting from a confederate system of government, from a league of petty sovereignties which dared not become a nation, were as woefully exemplified in the United Provinces as they were destined to be more than a century and a half later, and in another hemisphere, before that most fortunate and sagacious of written political instruments, the American Constitution of 1787, came to remedy the weakness of the old articles of Union.

Meantime the Netherlands were a confederacy, not a nation. Their general government was but a committee.

It could ask of, but not command, the separate provinces. It had no dealings with nor power over the inhabitants of the country; it could say "Thou shalt" neither to state nor citizen; it could consult only with corporations—fictitious and many-headed personages—itself incorporate. There was no first magistrate, no supreme court, no commander-in-chief, no exclusive mint nor power of credit, no national taxation, no central house of representation and legislation, no senate. Unfortunately it had one church, and out of this single matrix of centralism was born more discord than had been produced by all the centrifugal forces of provincialism combined.

There had been working substitutes found, as we well know, for the deficiencies of this constitution, but the Advocate felt himself bound to obey and enforce obedience to the laws and privileges of his country so long as they remained without authorized change. His country was the Province of Holland, to which his allegiance was due and whose servant he was. That there was but one church paid and sanctioned by law, he admitted, but his efforts were directed to prevent discord within that church, by counselling moderation, conciliation, mutual forbearance, and abstention from irritating discussion of dogmas deemed by many thinkers and better theologians than himself not essential to salvation. In this he was much behind his age or before it. He certainly was not with the majority.

And thus, while the election of Ferdinand had given the signal of war all over Christendom, while from the demolished churches in Bohemia the tocsin was still sounding, whose vibrations were destined to be heard a generation long through the world, there was less sympathy felt with the call within the territory of the great republic of Protestantism than would have seemed imaginable a few short years before. The capture of the Cloister Church at the Hague in the summer of 1617 seemed to minds excited by personal rivalries and minute theological controversy a more momentous event than the destruction of the churches in the Klostergrab in the following December. The triumph of Gomarism in a single Dutch city inspired more enthusiasm for the moment than the deadly buffet to European Protestantism could inspire dismay.

The church had been carried and occupied, as it were, by force, as if an enemy's citadel. It seemed necessary to associate the idea of practical warfare with a movement which might have been a pacific clerical success. Barneveld and those who acted with him, while deploring the intolerance out of which the schism had now grown to maturity, had still hoped for possible accommodation of the quarrel. They dreaded popular tumults leading to oppression of the magistracy by the mob or the soldiery and ending in civil war. But what was wanted by the extreme partisans on either side was not accommodation but victory.

"Religious differences are causing much trouble and discontents in many cities," he said. "At Amsterdam there were in the past week two assemblages of boys and rabble which did not disperse without violence, crime, and robbery. The brother of Professor Episcopius (Rem Bischop) was damaged to the amount of several thousands. We are still hoping that some better means of accommodation may be found."

The calmness with which the Advocate spoke of these exciting and painful events is remarkable. It was exactly a week before the date of his letter that this riot had taken place at Amsterdam; very significant in its nature and nearly tragical in its results. There were no Remonstrant preachers left in the city, and the people of that persuasion were excluded from the Communion service. On Sunday morning, 17th February (1617), a furious mob set upon the house of Rem Bischop, a highly respectable and wealthy citizen, brother of the Remonstrant professor Episcopius, of Leyden. The house, an elegant mansion in one of the principal streets, was besieged and after an hour's resistance carried by storm. The pretext of the assault was that Arminian preaching was going on within its walls, which was not the fact. The mistress of the house, half clad, attempted to make her escape by the rear of the building, was pursued by the rabble with sticks and stones, and shrieks of "Kill the Arminian harlot, strike her dead," until she fortunately found refuge in the house of a neighbouring carpenter. There the hunted creature fell insensible on the ground, the master of the house refusing to give her up, though the maddened mob surged around it, swearing that if the "Arminian harlot"—as respectable a matron as lived in the city—were not delivered over to them, they would tear the house to pieces. The hope of plunder and of killing Rem Bischop himself drew them at last back to his mansion. It was thoroughly sacked; every portable article of value, linen, plate, money, furniture, was carried off, the pictures and objects of art destroyed, the house gutted from top to bottom. A thousand spectators were looking on placidly at the work of destruction as they returned from church, many of them with Bible and Psalm-book in their hands. The master effected his escape over the roof into an adjoining building. One of the ringleaders, a carpenter by trade, was arrested carrying an armful of valuable plunder. He was asked by the magistrate why he had entered the house. "Out of good zeal," he replied; "to help beat and kill the Arminians who were holding conventicle there." He was further asked why he hated the Arminians so much. "Are we to suffer such folk here," he replied, "who preach the vile doctrine that God has created one man for damnation and another for salvation?"—thus ascribing the doctrine of the church of which he supposed himself a member to the Arminians whom he had been plundering and wished to kill.

Rem Bischop received no compensation for the damage and danger; the general cry in the town being that the money he was receiving from Barneveld and the King of Spain would make him good even if not a stone of the house had been left standing. On the following Thursday two elders of the church council waited upon and informed him that he must in future abstain from the Communion service.

It may well be supposed that the virtual head of the government liked not the triumph of mob law, in the name of religion, over the civil authority. The Advocate was neither democrat nor demagogue. A lawyer, a magistrate, and a noble, he had but little sympathy with the humbler classes, which he was far too much in the habit of designating as rabble and populace. Yet his anger was less against them than against the priests, the foreigners, the military and diplomatic mischief-makers, by whom they were set upon to dangerous demonstrations. The old patrician scorned the arts by which highborn demagogues in that as in every age affect adulation for inferiors whom they despise. It was his instinct to protect, and guide the people, in whom he recognized no chartered nor inherent right to govern. It was his resolve, so long as breath was in him, to prevent them from destroying life and property and subverting the government under the leadership of an inflamed priesthood.

It was with this intention, as we have just seen, and in order to avoid bloodshed, anarchy, and civil war in the streets of every town and village, that a decisive but in the Advocate's opinion a perfectly legal step had been taken by the States of Holland. It had become necessary to empower the magistracies of towns to defend themselves by enrolled troops against mob violence and against an enforced synod considered by great lawyers as unconstitutional.

Aerssens resided in Zealand, and the efforts of that ex-ambassador were unceasing to excite popular animosity against the man he hated and to trouble the political waters in which no man knew better than he how to cast the net.

"The States of Zealand," said the Advocate to the ambassador in London, "have a deputation here about the religious differences, urging the holding of a National Synod according to the King's letters, to which some other provinces and some of the cities of Holland incline. The questions have not yet been defined by a common synod, so that a national one could make no definition, while the particular synods and clerical personages are so filled with prejudices and so bound by mutual engagements of long date as to make one fear an unfruitful issue. We are occupied upon this point in our assembly of Holland to devise some compromise and to discover by what means these difficulties may be brought into a state of tranquillity."

It will be observed that in all these most private and confidential utterances of the Advocate a tone of extreme moderation, an anxious wish to save the Provinces from dissensions, dangers, and bloodshed, is distinctly visible. Never is he betrayed into vindictive, ambitious, or self-seeking expressions, while sometimes, although rarely, despondent in mind. Nor was his opposition to a general synod absolute. He was probably persuaded however, as we have just seen, that it should of necessity be preceded by provincial ones, both in due regard to the laws of the land and to the true definition of the points to be submitted to its decision. He had small hope of a successful result from it.

The British king gave him infinite distress. As towards France so towards England the Advocate kept steadily before him the necessity of deferring to powerful sovereigns whose friendship was necessary to the republic he served, however misguided, perverse, or incompetent those monarchs might be.

"I had always hoped," he said, "that his Majesty would have adhered to his original written advice, that such questions as these ought to be quietly settled by authority of law and not by ecclesiastical persons, and I still hope that his Majesty's intention is really to that effect, although he speaks of synods."

A month later he felt even more encouraged. "The last letter of his Majesty concerning our religious questions," he said, "has given rise to various constructions, but the best advised, who have peace and unity at heart, understand the King's intention to be to conserve the state of these Provinces and the religion in its purity. My hope is that his Majesty's good opinion will be followed and adopted according to the most appropriate methods."

Can it be believed that the statesman whose upright patriotism, moderation, and nobleness of purpose thus breathed through every word spoken by him in public or whispered to friends was already held up by a herd of ravening slanderers to obloquy as a traitor and a tyrant?

He was growing old and had suffered much from illness during this eventful summer, but his anxiety for the Commonwealth, caused by these distressing and superfluous squabbles, were wearing into him more deeply than years or disease could do.

"Owing to my weakness and old age I can't go up-stairs as well as I used," he said,—[Barneveld to Caron 31 July and 21 Aug. 1617. (H. Arch. MS.)]—"and these religious dissensions cause me sometimes such disturbance of mind as will ere long become intolerable, because of my indisposition and because of the cry of my heart at the course people are pursuing here. I reflect that at the time of Duke Casimir and the Prince of Chimay exactly such a course was held in Flanders and in Lord Leicester's time in the city of Utrecht, as is best known to yourself. My hope is fixed on the Lord God Almighty, and that He will make those well ashamed who are laying anything to heart save his honour and glory and the welfare of our country with maintenance of its freedom and laws. I mean unchangeably to live and die for them . . . . Believe firmly that all representations to the contrary are vile calumnies."

Before leaving for Vianen in the middle of August of this year (1617) the Advocate had an interview with the Prince. There had been no open rupture between them, and Barneveld was most anxious to avoid a quarrel with one to whose interests and honour he had always been devoted. He did not cling to power nor office. On the contrary, he had repeatedly importuned the States to accept his resignation, hoping that perhaps these unhappy dissensions might be quieted by his removal from the scene. He now told the Prince that the misunderstanding between them arising from these religious disputes was so painful to his heart that he would make and had made every possible effort towards conciliation and amicable settlement of the controversy. He saw no means now, he said, of bringing about unity, unless his Excellency were willing to make some proposition for arrangement. This he earnestly implored the Prince to do, assuring him of his sincere and upright affection for him and his wish to support such measures to the best of his ability and to do everything for the furtherance of his reputation and necessary authority. He was so desirous of this result, he said, that he would propose now as he did at the time of the Truce negotiations to lay down all his offices, leaving his Excellency to guide the whole course of affairs according to his best judgment. He had already taken a resolution, if no means of accommodation were possible, to retire to his Gunterstein estate and there remain till the next meeting of the assembly; when he would ask leave to retire for at least a year; in order to occupy himself with a revision and collation of the charters, laws, and other state papers of the country which were in his keeping, and which it was needful to bring into an orderly condition. Meantime some scheme might be found for arranging the religious differences, more effective than any he had been able to devise.

His appeal seems to have glanced powerlessly upon the iron reticence of Maurice, and the Advocate took his departure disheartened. Later in the autumn, so warm a remonstrance was made to him by the leading nobles and deputies of Holland against his contemplated withdrawal from his post that it seemed a dereliction of duty on his part to retire. He remained to battle with the storm and to see "with anguish of heart," as he expressed it, the course religious affairs were taking.

The States of Utrecht on the 26th August resolved that on account of the gathering of large masses of troops in the countries immediately adjoining their borders, especially in the Episcopate of Cologne, by aid of Spanish money, it was expedient for them to enlist a protective force of six companies of regular soldiers in order to save the city from sudden and overwhelming attack by foreign troops.

Even if the danger from without were magnified in this preamble, which is by no means certain, there seemed to be no doubt on the subject in the minds of the magistrates. They believed that they had the right to protect and that they were bound to protect their ancient city from sudden assault, whether by Spanish soldiers or by organized mobs attempting, as had been done in Rotterdam, Oudewater, and other towns, to overawe the civil authority in the interest of the Contra-Remonstrants.

Six nobles of Utrecht were accordingly commissioned to raise the troops. A week later they had been enlisted, sworn to obey in all things the States of Utrecht, and to take orders from no one else. Three days later the States of Utrecht addressed a letter to their Mightinesses the States-General and to his Excellency the Prince, notifying them that for the reasons stated in the resolution cited the six companies had been levied. There seemed in these proceedings to be no thought of mutiny or rebellion, the province considering itself as acting within its unquestionable rights as a sovereign state and without any exaggeration of the imperious circumstances of the case.

Nor did the States-General and the Stadholder at that moment affect to dispute the rights of Utrecht, nor raise a doubt as to the legality of the proceedings. The committee sent thither by the States-General, the Prince, and the council of state in their written answer to the letter of the Utrecht government declared the reasons given for the enrolment of the six companies to be insufficient and the measure itself highly dangerous. They complained, but in very courteous language, that the soldiers had been levied without giving the least notice thereof to the general government, without asking its advice, or waiting for any communication from it, and they reminded the States of Utrecht that they might always rely upon the States-General and his Excellency, who were still ready, as they had been seven years before (1610), to protect them against every enemy and any danger.

The conflict between a single province of the confederacy and the authority of the general government had thus been brought to a direct issue; to the test of arms. For, notwithstanding the preamble to the resolution of the Utrecht Assembly just cited, there could be little question that the resolve itself was a natural corollary of the famous "Sharp Resolution," passed by the States of Holland three weeks before. Utrecht was in arms to prevent, among other things at least, the forcing upon them by a majority of the States-General of the National Synod to which they were opposed, the seizure of churches by the Contra- Remonstrants, and the destruction of life and property by inflamed mobs.

There is no doubt that Barneveld deeply deplored the issue, but that he felt himself bound to accept it. The innate absurdity of a constitutional system under which each of the seven members was sovereign and independent and the head was at the mercy of the members could not be more flagrantly illustrated. In the bloody battles which seemed impending in the streets of Utrecht and in all the principal cities of the Netherlands between the soldiers of sovereign states and soldiers of a general government which was not sovereign, the letter of the law and the records of history were unquestionably on the aide of the provincial and against the general authority. Yet to nullify the authority of the States-General by force of arms at this supreme moment was to stultify all government whatever. It was an awful dilemma, and it is difficult here fully to sympathize with the Advocate, for he it was who inspired, without dictating, the course of the Utrecht proceedings.

With him patriotism seemed at this moment to dwindle into provincialism, the statesman to shrink into the lawyer.

Certainly there was no guilt in the proceedings. There was no crime in the heart of the Advocate. He had exhausted himself with appeals in favour of moderation, conciliation, compromise. He had worked night and day with all the energy of a pure soul and a great mind to assuage religious hatreds and avert civil dissensions. He was overpowered. He had frequently desired to be released from all his functions, but as dangers thickened over the Provinces, he felt it his duty so long as he remained at his post to abide by the law as the only anchor in the storm. Not rising in his mind to the height of a national idea, and especially averse from it when embodied in the repulsive form of religious uniformity, he did not shrink from a contest which he had not provoked, but had done his utmost to avert. But even then he did not anticipate civil war. The enrolling of the Waartgelders was an armed protest, a symbol of legal conviction rather than a serious effort to resist the general government. And this is the chief justification of his course from a political point of view. It was ridiculous to suppose that with a few hundred soldiers hastily enlisted—and there were less than 1800 Waartgelders levied throughout the Provinces and under the orders of civil magistrates—a serious contest was intended against a splendidly disciplined army of veteran troops, commanded by the first general of the age.

From a legal point of view Barneveld considered his position impregnable.

The controversy is curious, especially for Americans, and for all who are interested in the analysis of federal institutions and of republican principles, whether aristocratic or democratic. The States of Utrecht replied in decorous but firm language to the committee of the States- General that they had raised the six companies in accordance with their sovereign right so to do, and that they were resolved to maintain them. They could not wait as they had been obliged to do in the time of the Earl of Leicester and more recently in 1610 until they had been surprised and overwhelmed by the enemy before the States-General and his Excellency the Prince could come to their rescue. They could not suffer all the evils of tumults, conspiracies, and foreign invasion, without defending themselves.

Making use, they said, of the right of sovereignty which in their province belonged to them alone, they thought it better to prevent in time and by convenient means such fire and mischief than to look on while it kindled and spread into a conflagration, and to go about imploring aid from their fellow confederates who, God better it, had enough in these times to do at home. This would only be to bring them as well as this province into trouble, disquiet, and expense. "My Lords the States of Utrecht have conserved and continually exercised this right of sovereignty in its entireness ever since renouncing the King of Spain. Every contract, ordinance, and instruction of the States-General has been in conformity with it, and the States of Utrecht are convinced that the States of not one of their confederate provinces would yield an atom of its sovereignty."

They reminded the general government that by the 1st article of the "Closer Union" of Utrecht, on which that assembly was founded, it was bound to support the States of the respective provinces and strengthen them with counsel, treasure, and blood if their respective rights, more especially their individual sovereignty, the most precious of all, should be assailed. To refrain from so doing would be to violate a solemn contract. They further reminded the council of state that by its institution the States-Provincial had not abdicated their respective sovereignties, but had reserved it in all matters not specifically mentioned in the original instruction by which it was created.

Two days afterwards Arnold van Randwyck and three other commissioners were instructed by the general government to confer with the States of Utrecht, to tell them that their reply was deemed unsatisfactory, that their reasons for levying soldiers in times when all good people should be seeking to restore harmony and mitigate dissension were insufficient, and to request them to disband those levies without prejudice in so doing to the laws and liberties of the province and city of Utrecht.

Here was perhaps an opening for a compromise, the instruction being not without ingenuity, and the word sovereignty in regard either to the general government or the separate provinces being carefully omitted. Soon afterwards, too, the States-General went many steps farther in the path of concession, for they made another appeal to the government of Utrecht to disband the Waartgelders on the ground of expediency, and in so doing almost expressly admitted the doctrine of provincial sovereignty. It is important in regard to subsequent events to observe this virtual admission.

"Your Honours lay especial stress upon the right of sovereignty as belonging to you alone in your province," they said, "and dispute therefore at great length upon the power and authority of the Generality, of his Excellency, and of the state council. But you will please to consider that there is here no question of this, as our commissioners had no instructions to bring this into dispute in the least, and most certainly have not done so. We have only in effect questioned whether that which one has an undoubted right to do can at all times be appropriately and becomingly done, whether it was fitting that your Honours, contrary to custom, should undertake these new levies upon a special oath and commission, and effectively complete the measure without giving the slightest notice thereof to the Generality."

It may fairly be said that the question in debate was entirely conceded in this remarkable paper, which was addressed by the States-General, the Prince-Stadholder, and the council of state to the government of Utrecht. It should be observed, too, that while distinctly repudiating the intention of disputing the sovereignty of that province, they carefully abstain from using the word in relation to themselves, speaking only of the might and authority of the Generality, the Prince, and the council.

There was now a pause in the public discussion. The soldiers were not disbanded, as the States of Utrecht were less occupied with establishing the soundness of their theory than with securing its practical results. They knew very well, and the Advocate knew very well, that the intention to force a national synod by a majority vote of the Assembly of the States-General existed more strongly than ever, and they meant to resist it to the last. The attempt was in their opinion an audacious violation of the fundamental pact on which the Confederacy was founded. Its success would be to establish the sacerdotal power in triumph over the civil authority.

During this period the Advocate was resident in Utrecht. For change of air, ostensibly at least, he had absented himself from the seat of government, and was during several weeks under the hands of his old friend and physician Dr. Saul. He was strictly advised to abstain altogether from political business, but he might as well have attempted to abstain from food and drink. Gillis van Ledenberg, secretary of the States of Utrecht, visited him frequently. The proposition to enlist the Waartgelders had been originally made in the Assembly by its president, and warmly seconded by van Ledenberg, who doubtless conferred afterwards with Barneveld in person, but informally and at his lodgings.

It was almost inevitable that this should be the case, nor did the Advocate make much mystery as to the course of action which he deemed indispensable at this period. Believing it possible that some sudden and desperate attempt might be made by evil disposed people, he agreed with the States of Utrecht in the propriety of taking measures of precaution. They were resolved not to look quietly on while soldiers and rabble under guidance perhaps of violent Contra-Remonstrant preachers took possession of the churches and even of the city itself, as had already been done in several towns.

The chief practical object of enlisting the six companies was that the city might be armed against popular tumults, and they feared that the ordinary military force might be withdrawn.

When Captain Hartvelt, in his own name and that of the other officers of those companies, said that they were all resolved never to use their weapons against the Stadholder or the States-General, he was answered that they would never be required to do so. They, however, made oath to serve against those who should seek to trouble the peace of the Province of Utrecht in ecclesiastical or political matters, and further against all enemies of the common country. At the same time it was deemed expedient to guard against a surprise of any kind and to keep watch and ward.

"I cannot quite believe in the French companies," said the Advocate in a private billet to Ledenberg. "It would be extremely well that not only good watch should be kept at the city gates, but also that one might from above and below the river Lek be assuredly advised from the nearest cities if any soldiers are coming up or down, and that the same might be done in regard to Amersfoort." At the bottom of this letter, which was destined to become historical and will be afterwards referred to, the Advocate wrote, as he not unfrequently did, upon his private notes, "When read, burn, and send me back the two enclosed letters."

The letter lies in the Archives unburned to this day, but, harmless as it looked, it was to serve as a nail in more than one coffin.

In his confidential letters to trusted friends he complained of "great physical debility growing out of heavy sorrow," and described himself as entering upon his seventy-first year and no longer fit for hard political labour. The sincere grief, profound love of country, and desire that some remedy might be found for impending disaster, is stamped upon all his utterances whether official or secret.

"The troubles growing out of the religious differences," he said, "are running into all sorts of extremities. It is feared that an attempt will be made against the laws of the land through extraordinary ways, and by popular tumults to take from the supreme authority of the respective provinces the right to govern clerical persons and regulate clerical disputes, and to place it at the disposition of ecclesiastics and of a National Synod.

"It is thought too that the soldiers will be forbidden to assist the civil supreme power and the government of cities in defending themselves from acts of violence which under pretext of religion will be attempted against the law and the commands of the magistrates.

"This seems to conflict with the common law of the respective provinces, each of which from all times had right of sovereignty and supreme authority within its territory and specifically reserved it in all treaties and especially in that of the Nearer Union . . . . The provinces have always regulated clerical matters each for itself. The Province of Utrecht, which under the pretext of religion is now most troubled, made stipulations to this effect, when it took his Excellency for governor, even more stringent than any others. As for Holland, she never imagined that one could ever raise a question on the subject . . . . All good men ought to do their best to prevent the enemies to the welfare of these Provinces from making profit out of our troubles."

The whole matter he regarded as a struggle between the clergy and the civil power for mastery over the state, as an attempt to subject provincial autonomy to the central government purely in the interest of the priesthood of a particular sect. The remedy he fondly hoped for was moderation and union within the Church itself. He could never imagine the necessity for this ferocious animosity not only between Christians but between two branches of the Reformed Church. He could never be made to believe that the Five Points of the Remonstrance had dug an abyss too deep and wide ever to be bridged between brethren lately of one faith as of one fatherland. He was unceasing in his prayers and appeals for "mutual toleration on the subject of predestination." Perhaps the bitterness, almost amounting to frenzy, with which abstruse points of casuistry were then debated, and which converted differences of opinion upon metaphysical divinity into deadly hatred and thirst for blood, is already obsolete or on the road to become so. If so, then was Barneveld in advance of his age, and it would have been better for the peace of the world and the progress of Christianity if more of his contemporaries had placed themselves on his level.

He was no theologian, but he believed himself to be a Christian, and he certainly was a thoughtful and a humble one. He had not the arrogance to pierce behind the veil and assume to read the inscrutable thoughts of the Omnipotent. It was a cruel fate that his humility upon subjects which he believed to be beyond the scope of human reason should have been tortured by his enemies into a crime, and that because he hoped for religious toleration he should be accused of treason to the Commonwealth.

"Believe and cause others to believe," he said, "that I am and with the grace of God hope to continue an upright patriot as I have proved myself to be in these last forty-two years spent in the public service. In the matter of differential religious points I remain of the opinions which I have held for more than fifty years, and in which I hope to live and die, to wit, that a good Christian man ought to believe that he is predestined to eternal salvation through God's grace, giving for reasons that he through God's grace has a firm belief that his salvation is founded purely on God's grace and the expiation of our sins through our Saviour Jesus Christ, and that if he should fall into any sins his firm trust is that God will not let him perish in them, but mercifully turn him to repentance, so that he may continue in the same belief to the last."

These expressions were contained in a letter to Caron with the intention doubtless that they should be communicated to the King of Great Britain, and it is a curious illustration of the spirit of the age, this picture of the leading statesman of a great republic unfolding his religious convictions for private inspection by the monarch of an allied nation. More than anything else it exemplifies the close commixture of theology, politics, and diplomacy in that age, and especially in those two countries.

Formerly, as we have seen, the King considered a too curious fathoming of divine mysteries as highly reprehensible, particularly for the common people. Although he knew more about them than any one else, he avowed that even his knowledge in this respect was not perfect. It was matter of deep regret with the Advocate that his Majesty had not held to his former positions, and that he had disowned his original letters.

"I believe my sentiments thus expressed," he said, "to be in accordance with Scripture, and I have always held to them without teasing my brains with the precise decrees of reprobation, foreknowledge, or the like, as matters above my comprehension. I have always counselled Christian moderation. The States of Holland have followed the spirit of his Majesty's letters, but our antagonists have rejected them and with seditious talk, sermons, and the spreading of infamous libels have brought matters to their present condition. There have been excesses on the other side as well."

He then made a slight, somewhat shadowy allusion to schemes known to be afloat for conferring the sovereignty upon Maurice. We have seen that at former periods he had entertained this subject and discussed it privately with those who were not only friendly but devoted to the Stadholder, and that he had arrived at the conclusion that it would not be for the interest of the Prince to encourage the project. Above all he was sternly opposed to the idea of attempting to compass it by secret intrigue. Should such an arrangement be publicly discussed and legally completed, it would not meet with his unconditional opposition.

"The Lord God knows," he said, "whether underneath all these movements does not lie the design of the year 1600, well known to you. As for me, believe that I am and by God's grace hope to remain, what I always was, an upright patriot, a defender of the true Christian religion, of the public authority, and of all the power that has been and in future may be legally conferred upon his Excellency. Believe that all things said, written, or spread to the contrary are falsehoods and calumnies."

He was still in Utrecht, but about to leave for the Hague, with health somewhat improved and in better spirits in regard to public matters.

"Although I have entered my seventy-first year," he said, "I trust still to be of some service to the Commonwealth and to my friends . . . . Don't consider an arrangement of our affairs desperate. I hope for better things."

Soon after his return he was waited upon one Sunday evening, late in October—being obliged to keep his house on account of continued indisposition—by a certain solicitor named Nordlingen and informed that the Prince was about to make a sudden visit to Leyden at four o'clock next morning.

Barneveld knew that the burgomasters and regents were holding a great banquet that night, and that many of them would probably have been indulging in potations too deep to leave them fit for serious business. The agitation of people's minds at that moment made the visit seem rather a critical one, as there would probably be a mob collected to see the Stadholder, and he was anxious both in the interest of the Prince and the regents and of both religious denominations that no painful incidents should occur if it was in his power to prevent them.

He was aware that his son-in-law, Cornelis van der Myle, had been invited to the banquet, and that he was wont to carry his wine discreetly. He therefore requested Nordlingen to proceed to Leyden that night and seek an interview with van der Myle without delay. By thus communicating the intelligence of the expected visit to one who, he felt sure, would do his best to provide for a respectful and suitable reception of the Prince, notwithstanding the exhilarated condition in which the magistrates would probably find themselves, the Advocate hoped to prevent any riot or tumultuous demonstration of any kind. At least he would act conformably to his duty and keep his conscience clear should disasters ensue.

Later in the night he learned that Maurice was going not to Leyden but to Delft, and he accordingly despatched a special messenger to arrive before dawn at Leyden in order to inform van der Myle of this change in the Prince's movements. Nothing seemed simpler or more judicious than these precautions on the part of Barneveld. They could not fail, however, to be tortured into sedition, conspiracy, and treason.

Towards the end of the year a meeting of the nobles and knights of Holland under the leadership of Barneveld was held to discuss the famous Sharp Resolution of 4th August and the letters and arguments advanced against it by the Stadholder and the council of state. It was unanimously resolved by this body, in which they were subsequently followed by a large majority of the States of Holland, to maintain that resolution and its consequences and to oppose the National Synod. They further resolved that a legal provincial synod should be convoked by the States of Holland and under their authority and supervision. The object of such synod should be to devise "some means of accommodation, mutual toleration, and Christian settlement of differences in regard to the Five Points in question."

In case such compromise should unfortunately not be arranged, then it was resolved to invite to the assembly two or three persons from France, as many from England, from Germany, and from Switzerland, to aid in the consultations. Should a method of reconciliation and mutual toleration still remain undiscovered, then, in consideration that the whole Christian world was interested in composing these dissensions, it was proposed that a "synodal assembly of all Christendom," a Protestant oecumenical council, should in some solemn manner be convoked.

These resolutions and propositions were all brought forward by the Advocate, and the draughts of them in his handwriting remain. They are the unimpeachable evidences of his earnest desire to put an end to these unhappy disputes and disorders in the only way which he considered constitutional.

Before the close of the year the States of Holland, in accordance with the foregoing advice of the nobles, passed a resolution, the minutes of which were drawn up by the hand of the Advocate, and in which they persisted in their opposition to the National Synod. They declared by a large majority of votes that the Assembly of the States-General without the unanimous consent of the Provincial States were not competent according to the Union of Utrecht—the fundamental law of the General Assembly—to regulate religious affairs, but that this right belonged to the separate provinces, each within its own domain.

They further resolved that as they were bound by solemn oath to maintain the laws and liberties of Holland, they could not surrender this right to the Generality, nor allow it to be usurped by any one, but in order to settle the question of the Five Points, the only cause known to them of the present disturbances, they were content under: their own authority to convoke a provincial synod within three months, at their own cost, and to invite the respective provinces, as many of them as thought good, to send to this meeting a certain number of pious and learned theologians.

It is difficult to see why the course thus unanimously proposed by the nobles of Holland, under guidance of Barneveld, and subsequently by a majority of the States of that province, would not have been as expedient as it was legal. But we are less concerned with that point now than with the illustrations afforded by these long buried documents of the patriotism and sagacity of a man than whom no human creature was ever more foully slandered.

It will be constantly borne in mind that he regarded this religious controversy purely from a political, legal, and constitutional—and not from a theological-point of view. He believed that grave danger to the Fatherland was lurking under this attempt, by the general government, to usurp the power of dictating the religious creed of all the provinces. Especially he deplored the evil influence exerted by the King of England since his abandonment of the principles announced in his famous letter to the States in the year 1613. All that the Advocate struggled for was moderation and mutual toleration within the Reformed Church. He felt that a wider scheme of forbearance was impracticable. If a dream of general religious equality had ever floated before him or before any one in that age, he would have felt it to be a dream which would be a reality nowhere until centuries should have passed away. Yet that moderation, patience, tolerance, and respect for written law paved the road to that wider and loftier region can scarcely be doubted.

Carleton, subservient to every changing theological whim of his master, was as vehement and as insolent now in enforcing the intolerant views of James as he had previously been in supporting the counsels to tolerance contained in the original letters of that monarch.

The Ambassador was often at the Advocate's bed-side during his illness that summer, enforcing, instructing, denouncing, contradicting. He was never weary of fulfilling his duties of tuition, but the patient Barneveld; haughty and overbearing as he was often described to be, rarely used a harsh or vindictive word regarding him in his letters.

"The ambassador of France," he said, "has been heard before the Assembly of the States-General, and has made warm appeals in favour of union and mutual toleration as his Majesty of Great Britain so wisely did in his letters of 1613 . . . . If his Majesty could only be induced to write fresh letters in similar tone, I should venture to hope better fruits from them than from this attempt to thrust a national synod upon our necks, which many of us hold to be contrary to law, reason, and the Act of Union."

So long as it was possible to hope that the action of the States of Holland would prevent such a catastrophe, he worked hard to direct them in what he deemed the right course.

"Our political and religious differences," he said, "stand between hope and fear."

The hope was in the acceptance of the Provincial Synod—the fear lest the National Synod should be carried by a minority of the cities of Holland combining with a majority of the other Provincial States.

"This would be in violation," he said, "of the so-called Religious Peace, the Act of Union, the treaty with the Duke of Anjou, the negotiations of the States of Utrecht, and with Prince Maurice in 1590 with cognizance of the States-General and those of Holland for, the governorship of that province, the custom of the Generality for the last thirty years according to which religious matters have always been left to the disposition of the States of each province . . . . Carleton is strenuously urging this course in his Majesty's name, and I fear that in the present state of our humours great troubles will be the result."

The expulsion by an armed mob, in the past year, of a Remonstrant preacher at Oudewater, the overpowering of the magistracy and the forcing on of illegal elections in that and other cities, had given him and all earnest patriots grave cause for apprehension. They were dreading, said Barneveld, a course of crimes similar to those which under the Earl of Leicester's government had afflicted Leyden and Utrecht.

"Efforts are incessant to make the Remonstrants hateful," he said to Caron, "but go forward resolutely and firmly in the conviction that our friends here are as animated in their opposition to the Spanish dominion now and by God's grace will so remain as they have ever proved themselves to be, not only by words, but works. I fear that Mr. Carleton gives too much belief to the enviers of our peace and tranquillity under pretext of religion, but it is more from ignorance than malice."

Those who have followed the course of the Advocate's correspondence, conversation, and actions, as thus far detailed, can judge of the gigantic nature of the calumny by which he was now assailed. That this man, into every fibre of whose nature was woven undying hostility to Spain, as the great foe to national independence and religious liberty throughout the continent of Europe, whose every effort, as we have seen, during all these years of nominal peace had been to organize a system of general European defence against the war now actually begun upon Protestantism, should be accused of being a partisan of Spain, a creature of Spain, a pensioner of Spain, was enough to make honest men pray that the earth might be swallowed up. If such idiotic calumnies could be believed, what patriot in the world could not be doubted? Yet they were believed. Barneveld was bought by Spanish gold. He had received whole boxes full of Spanish pistoles, straight from Brussels! For his part in the truce negotiations he had received 120,000 ducats in one lump.

"It was plain," said the greatest man in the country to another great man, "that Barneveld and his party are on the road to Spain."

"Then it were well to have proof of it," said the great man.

"Not yet time," was the reply. "We must flatten out a few of them first."

Prince Maurice had told the Princess-Dowager the winter before (8th December 1616) that those dissensions would never be decided except by use of weapons; and he now mentioned to her that he had received information from Brussels, which he in part believed, that the Advocate was a stipendiary of Spain. Yet he had once said, to the same Princess Louise, of this stipendiary that "the services which the Advocate had rendered to the House of Nassau were so great that all the members of that house might well look upon him not as their friend but their father." Councillor van Maldere, President of the States of Zealand, and a confidential friend of Maurice, was going about the Hague saying that "one must string up seven or eight Remonstrants on the gallows; then there might be some improvement."

As for Arminius and Uytenbogaert, people had long told each other and firmly believed it, and were amazed when any incredulity was expressed in regard to it, that they were in regular and intimate correspondence with the Jesuits, that they had received large sums from Rome, and that both had been promised cardinals' hats. That Barneveld and his friend Uytenbogaert were regular pensioners of Spain admitted of no dispute whatever. "It was as true as the Holy Evangel." The ludicrous chatter had been passed over with absolute disdain by the persons attacked, but calumny is often a stronger and more lasting power than disdain. It proved to be in these cases.

"You have the plague mark on your flesh, oh pope, oh pensioner," said one libeller. "There are letters safely preserved to make your process for you. Look out for your head. Many have sworn your death, for it is more than time that you were out of the world. We shall prove, oh great bribed one, that you had the 120,000 little ducats." The preacher Uytenbogaert was also said to have had 80,000 ducats for his share. "Go to Brussels," said the pamphleteer; "it all stands clearly written out on the register with the names and surnames of all you great bribe- takers."

These were choice morsels from the lampoon of the notary Danckaerts.

"We are tortured more and more with religious differences," wrote Barneveld; "with acts of popular violence growing out of them the more continuously as they remain unpunished, and with ever increasing jealousies and suspicions. The factious libels become daily more numerous and more impudent, and no man comes undamaged from the field. I, as a reward for all my troubles, labours, and sorrows, have three double portions of them. I hope however to overcome all by God's grace and to defend my actions with all honourable men so long as right and reason have place in the world, as to which many begin to doubt. If his Majesty had been pleased to stick to the letters of 1613, we should never have got into these difficulties . . . . It were better in my opinion that Carleton should be instructed to negotiate in the spirit of those epistles rather than to torment us with the National Synod, which will do more harm than good."

It is impossible not to notice the simplicity and patience with which the Advocate, in the discharge of his duty as minister of foreign affairs, kept the leading envoys of the Republic privately informed of events which were becoming day by day more dangerous to the public interests and his own safety. If ever a perfectly quiet conscience was revealed in the correspondence of a statesman, it was to be found in these letters.

Calmly writing to thank Caron for some very satisfactory English beer which the Ambassador had been sending him from London, he proceeded to speak again of the religious dissensions and their consequences. He sent him the letter and remonstrance which he had felt himself obliged to make, and which he had been urged by his ever warm and constant friend the widow of William the Silent to make on the subject of "the seditious libels, full of lies and calumnies got up by conspiracy against him." These letters were never published, however, until years after he had been in his grave.

"I know that you are displeased with the injustice done me," he said, "but I see no improvement. People are determined to force through the National Synod. The two last ones did much harm. This will do ten times more, so intensely embittered are men's tempers against each other." Again he deplored the King's departure from his letters of 1613, by adherence to which almost all the troubles would have been spared.

It is curious too to observe the contrast between public opinion in Great Britain, including its government, in regard to the constitution of the United Provinces at that period of domestic dissensions and incipient civil war and the general impressions manifested in the same nation two centuries and a half later, on the outbreak of the slavery rebellion, as to the constitution of the United States.

The States in arms against the general government on the other side of the Atlantic were strangely but not disingenuously assumed to be sovereign and independent, and many statesmen and a leading portion of the public justified them in their attempt to shake off the central government as if it were but a board of agency established by treaty and terminable at pleasure of any one of among sovereigns and terminable at pleasure of any one of them.

Yet even a superficial glance at the written constitution of the Republic showed that its main object was to convert what had been a confederacy into an Incorporation; and that the very essence of its renewed political existence was an organic law laid down by a whole people in their primitive capacity in place of a league banding together a group of independent little corporations. The chief attributes of sovereignty— the rights of war and peace, of coinage, of holding armies and navies, of issuing bills of credit, of foreign relations, of regulating and taxing foreign commerce—having been taken from the separate States by the united people thereof and bestowed upon a government provided with a single executive head, with a supreme tribunal, with a popular house of representatives and a senate, and with power to deal directly with the life and property of every individual in the land, it was strange indeed that the feudal, and in America utterly unmeaning, word Sovereign should have been thought an appropriate term for the different States which had fused themselves three-quarters of a century before into a Union.

When it is remembered too that the only dissolvent of this Union was the intention to perpetuate human slavery, the logic seemed somewhat perverse by which the separate sovereignty of the States was deduced from the constitution of 1787.

On the other hand, the Union of Utrecht of 1579 was a league of petty sovereignties; a compact less binding and more fragile than the Articles of Union made almost exactly two hundred years later in America, and the worthlessness of which, after the strain of war was over, had been demonstrated in the dreary years immediately following the peace of 1783. One after another certain Netherland provinces had abjured their allegiance to Spain, some of them afterwards relapsing under it, some having been conquered by the others, while one of them, Holland, had for a long time borne the greater part of the expense and burthen of the war.

"Holland," said the Advocate, "has brought almost all the provinces to their liberty. To receive laws from them or from their clerical people now is what our State cannot endure. It is against her laws and customs, in the enjoyment of which the other provinces and his Excellency as Governor of Holland are bound to protect us."

And as the preservation of chattel slavery in the one case seemed a legitimate ground for destroying a government which had as definite an existence as any government known to mankind, so the resolve to impose a single religious creed upon many millions of individuals was held by the King and government of Great Britain to be a substantial reason for imagining a central sovereignty which had never existed at all. This was still more surprising as the right to dispose of ecclesiastical affairs and persons had been expressly reserved by the separate provinces in perfectly plain language in the Treaty of Union.

"If the King were better informed," said Barneveld, "of our system and laws, we should have better hope than now. But one supposes through notorious error in foreign countries that the sovereignty stands with the States-General which is not the case, except in things which by the Articles of Closer Union have been made common to all the provinces, while in other matters, as religion, justice, and polity, the sovereignty remains with each province, which foreigners seem unable to comprehend."

Early in June, Carleton took his departure for England on leave of absence. He received a present from the States of 3000 florins, and went over in very ill-humour with Barneveld. "Mr. Ambassador is much offended and prejudiced," said the Advocate, "but I know that he will religiously carry out the orders of his Majesty. I trust that his Majesty can admit different sentiments on predestination and its consequences, and that in a kingdom where the supreme civil authority defends religion the system of the Puritans will have no foothold."

Certainly James could not be accused of allowing the system of the
Puritans much foothold in England, but he had made the ingenious
discovery that Puritanism in Holland was a very different thing from
Puritanism in the Netherlands.


Acts of violence which under pretext of religion
Adulation for inferiors whom they despise
Calumny is often a stronger and more lasting power than disdain
Created one child for damnation and another for salvation
Depths of credulity men in all ages can sink
Devote himself to his gout and to his fair young wife
Furious mob set upon the house of Rem Bischop
Highborn demagogues in that as in every age affect adulation
In this he was much behind his age or before it
Logic is rarely the quality on which kings pride themselves
Necessity of deferring to powerful sovereigns
Not his custom nor that of his councillors to go to bed
Partisans wanted not accommodation but victory
Puritanism in Holland was a very different thing from England
Seemed bent on self-destruction
Stand between hope and fear
The evils resulting from a confederate system of government
To stifle for ever the right of free enquiry