The Project Gutenberg eBook of Life and Death of John of Barneveld, Advocate of Holland : with a view of the primary causes and movements of the Thirty Years' War, 1618

This ebook is for the use of anyone anywhere in the United States and most other parts of the world at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at If you are not located in the United States, you will have to check the laws of the country where you are located before using this eBook.

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, 1618

Author: John Lothrop Motley

Release date: January 1, 2004 [eBook #4895]
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 95

Life and Death of John of Barneveld, v9, 1618


Maurice revolutionizes the Provinces—Danckaert's libellous Pamphlet —Barneveld's Appeal to the Prince—Barneveld'a Remonstrance to the States—The Stadholder at Amsterdam—The Treaty of Truce nearly expired—King of Spain and Archduke Albert—Scheme for recovering the Provinces—Secret Plot to make Maurice Sovereign.

Early in the year (1618) Maurice set himself about revolutionizing the provinces on which he could not yet thoroughly rely. The town of Nymegen since its recovery from the Spaniards near the close of the preceding century had held its municipal government, as it were, at the option of the Prince. During the war he had been, by the terms of surrender, empowered to appoint and to change its magistracy at will. No change had occurred for many years, but as the government had of late fallen into the hands of the Barneveldians, and as Maurice considered the Truce to be a continuance of the war, he appeared suddenly, in the city at the head of a body of troops and surrounded by his lifeguard. Summoning the whole board of magistrates into the townhouse, he gave them all notice to quit, disbanding them like a company of mutinous soldiery, and immediately afterwards appointed a fresh list of functionaries in their stead.

This done, he proceeded to Arnhem, where the States of Gelderland were in session, appeared before that body, and made a brief announcement of the revolution which he had so succinctly effected in the most considerable town of their province. The Assembly, which seems, like many other assemblies at precisely this epoch, to have had an extraordinary capacity for yielding to gentle violence, made but little resistance to the extreme measures now undertaken by the Stadholder, and not only highly applauded the subjugation of Nymegen, but listened with sympathy to his arguments against the Waartgelders and in favour of the Synod.

Having accomplished so much by a very brief visit to Gelderland, the Prince proceeded, to Overyssel, and had as little difficulty in bringing over the wavering minds of that province into orthodoxy and obedience. Thus there remained but two provinces out of seven that were still "waartgeldered" and refused to be "synodized."

It was rebellion against rebellion. Maurice and his adherents accused the States' right party of mutiny against himself and the States-General. The States' right party accused the Contra-Remonstrants in the cities of mutiny against the lawful sovereignty of each province.

The oath of the soldiery, since the foundation of the Republic, had been to maintain obedience and fidelity to the States-General, the Stadholder, and the province in which they were garrisoned, and at whose expense they were paid. It was impossible to harmonize such conflicting duties and doctrines. Theory had done its best and its worst. The time was fast approaching, as it always must approach, when fact with its violent besom would brush away the fine-spun cobwebs which had been so long undisturbed.

"I will grind the Advocate and all his party into fine meal," said the
Prince on one occasion.

A clever caricature of the time represented a pair of scales hung up in a great hall. In the one was a heap of parchments, gold chains, and magisterial robes; the whole bundle being marked the "holy right of each city." In the other lay a big square, solid, ironclasped volume, marked "Institutes of Calvin." Each scale was respectively watched by Gomarus and by Arminius. The judges, gowned, furred, and ruffed, were looking decorously on, when suddenly the Stadholder, in full military attire, was seen rushing into the apartment and flinging his sword into the scale with the Institutes.

The civic and legal trumpery was of course made to kick the beam.

Maurice had organized his campaign this year against the Advocate and his party as deliberately as he had ever arranged the details of a series of battles and sieges against the Spaniard. And he was proving himself as consummate master in political strife as in the great science of war.

He no longer made any secret of his conviction that Barneveld was a traitor to his country, bought with Spanish gold. There was not the slightest proof for these suspicions, but he asserted them roundly. "The Advocate is travelling straight to Spain," he said to Count Cuylenborg. "But we will see who has got the longest purse."

And as if it had been a part of the campaign, a prearranged diversion to the more direct and general assault on the entrenchments of the States' right party, a horrible personal onslaught was now made from many quarters upon the Advocate. It was an age of pamphleteering, of venomous, virulent, unscrupulous libels. And never even in that age had there been anything to equal the savage attacks upon this great statesman. It moves the gall of an honest man, even after the lapse of two centuries and a half, to turn over those long forgotten pages and mark the depths to which political and theological party spirit could descend. That human creatures can assimilate themselves so closely to the reptile, and to the subtle devil within the reptile, when a party end is to be gained is enough to make the very name of man a term of reproach.

Day by day appeared pamphlets, each one more poisonous than its predecessor. There was hardly a crime that was not laid at the door of Barneveld and all his kindred. The man who had borne a matchlock in early youth against the foreign tyrant in days when unsuccessful rebellion meant martyrdom and torture; who had successfully guided the councils of the infant commonwealth at a period when most of his accusers were in their cradles, and when mistake was ruin to the republic; he on whose strong arm the father of his country had leaned for support; the man who had organized a political system out of chaos; who had laid down the internal laws, negotiated the great indispensable alliances, directed the complicated foreign policy, established the system of national defence, presided over the successful financial administration of a state struggling out of mutiny into national existence; who had rocked the Republic in its cradle and ever borne her in his heart; who had made her name beloved at home and honoured and dreaded abroad; who had been the first, when the great Taciturn had at last fallen a victim to the murderous tyrant of Spain, to place the youthful Maurice in his father's place, and to inspire the whole country with sublime courage to persist rather than falter in purpose after so deadly a blow; who was as truly the founder of the Republic as William had been the author of its independence,—was now denounced as a traitor, a pope, a tyrant, a venal hucksterer of his country's liberties. His family name, which had long been an ancient and knightly one, was defiled and its nobility disputed; his father and mother, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, accused of every imaginable and unimaginable crime, of murder, incest, robbery, bastardy, fraud, forgery, blasphemy. He had received waggon-loads of Spanish pistoles; he had been paid 120,000 ducats by Spain for negotiating the Truce; he was in secret treaty with Archduke Albert to bring 18,000 Spanish mercenaries across the border to defeat the machinations of Prince Maurice, destroy his life, or drive him from the country; all these foul and bitter charges and a thousand similar ones were rained almost daily upon that grey head.

One day the loose sheets of a more than commonly libellous pamphlet were picked up in the streets of the Hague and placed in the Advocate's hands. It was the work of the drunken notary Danckaerts already mentioned, then resident in Amsterdam, and among the papers thus found was a list of wealthy merchants of that city who had contributed to the expense of its publication. The opposition of Barneveld to the West India Corporation could never be forgiven. The Advocate was notified in this production that he was soon to be summoned to answer for his crimes. The country was weary of him, he was told, and his life was forfeited.

Stung at last beyond endurance by the persistent malice of his enemies, he came before the States of Holland for redress. Upon his remonstrance the author of this vile libel was summoned to answer before the upper tribunal at the Hague for his crime. The city of Amsterdam covered him with the shield 'de non evocando,' which had so often in cases of less consequence proved of no protective value, and the notary was never punished, but on the contrary after a brief lapse of time rewarded as for a meritorious action.

Meantime, the States of Holland, by formal act, took the name and honour of Barneveld under their immediate protection as a treasure belonging specially to themselves. Heavy penalties were denounced upon the authors and printers of these libellous attacks, and large rewards offered for their detection. Nothing came, however, of such measures.

On the 24th April the Advocate addressed a frank, dignified, and conciliatory letter to the Prince. The rapid progress of calumny against him had at last alarmed even his steadfast soul, and he thought it best to make a last appeal to the justice and to the clear intellect of William the Silent's son.

"Gracious Prince," he said, "I observe to my greatest sorrow an entire estrangement of your Excellency from me, and I fear lest what was said six months since by certain clerical persons and afterwards by some politicians concerning your dissatisfaction with me, which until now I have not been able to believe, must be true. I declare nevertheless with a sincere heart to have never willingly given cause for any such feeling; having always been your very faithful servant and with God's help hoping as such to die. Ten years ago during the negotiations for the Truce I clearly observed the beginning of this estrangement, but your Excellency will be graciously pleased to remember that I declared to you at that time my upright and sincere intention in these negotiations to promote the service of the country and the interests of your Excellency, and that I nevertheless offered at the time not only to resign all my functions but to leave the country rather than remain in office and in the country to the dissatisfaction of your Excellency."

He then rapidly reviewed the causes which had produced the alienation of which he complained and the melancholy divisions caused by the want of mutual religious toleration in the Provinces; spoke of his efforts to foster a spirit of conciliation on the dread subject of predestination, and referred to the letter of the King of Great Britain deprecating discussion and schism on this subject, and urging that those favourable to the views of the Remonstrants ought not to be persecuted. Referring to the intimate relations which Uytenbogaert had so long enjoyed with the Prince, the Advocate alluded to the difficulty he had in believing that his Excellency intended to act in opposition to the efforts of the States of Holland in the cause of mutual toleration, to the manifest detriment of the country and of many of its best and truest patriots and the greater number of the magistrates in all the cities.

He reminded the Prince that all attempts to accommodate these fearful quarrels had been frustrated, and that on his departure the previous year to Utrecht on account of his health he had again offered to resign all his offices and to leave Holland altogether rather than find himself in perpetual opposition to his Excellency.

"I begged you in such case," he said, "to lend your hand to the procuring for me an honourable discharge from My Lords the States, but your Excellency declared that you could in no wise approve such a step and gave me hope that some means of accommodating the dissensions would yet be proposed."

"I went then to Vianen, being much indisposed; thence I repaired to Utrecht to consult my old friend Doctor Saulo Saul, in whose hands I remained six weeks, not being able, as I hoped, to pass my seventieth birthday on the 24th September last in my birthplace, the city of Amersfoort. All this time I heard not one single word or proposal of accommodation. On the contrary it was determined that by a majority vote, a thing never heard of before, it was intended against the solemn resolves of the States of Holland, of Utrecht, and of Overyssel to bring these religious differences before the Assembly of My Lords the States- General, a proceeding directly in the teeth of the Act of Union and other treaties, and before a Synod which people called National, and that meantime every effort was making to discredit all those who stood up for the laws of these Provinces and to make them odious and despicable in the eyes of the common people.

"Especially it was I that was thus made the object of hatred and contempt in their eyes. Hundreds of lies and calumnies, circulated in the form of libels, seditious pamphlets, and lampoons, compelled me to return from Utrecht to the Hague. Since that time I have repeatedly offered my services to your Excellency for the promotion of mutual accommodation and reconciliation of differences, but without success."

He then alluded to the publication with which the country was ringing, 'The Necessary and Living Discourse of a Spanish Counsellor', and which was attributed to his former confidential friend, now become his deadliest foe, ex-Ambassador Francis Aerssens, and warned the Prince that if he chose, which God forbid, to follow the advice of that seditious libel, nothing but ruin to the beloved Fatherland and its lovers, to the princely house of Orange-Nassau and to the Christian religion could be the issue. "The Spanish government could desire no better counsel," he said, "than this which these fellows give you; to encourage distrust and estrangement between your Excellency and the nobles, the cities, and the magistrates of the land and to propose high and haughty imaginings which are easy enough to write, but most difficult to practise, and which can only enure to the advantage of Spain. Therefore most respectfully I beg your Excellency not to believe these fellows, but to reject their counsels . . . . Among them are many malignant hypocrites and ambitious men who are seeking their own profit in these changes of government—many utterly ragged and beggarly fellows and many infamous traitors coming from the provinces which have remained under the dominion of the Spaniard, and who are filled with revenge, envy, and jealousy at the greater prosperity and bloom of these independent States than they find at home.

"I fear," he said in conclusion, "that I have troubled your Excellency too long, but to the fulfilment of my duty and discharge of my conscience I could not be more brief. It saddens me deeply that in recompense for my long and manifold services I am attacked by so many calumnious, lying, seditious, and fraudulent libels, and that these indecencies find their pretext and their food in the evil disposition of your Excellency towards me. And although for one-and-thirty years long I have been able to live down such things with silence, well-doing, and truth, still do I now find myself compelled in this my advanced old age and infirmity to make some utterances in defence of myself and those belonging to me, however much against my heart and inclinations."

He ended by enclosing a copy of the solemn state paper which he was about to lay before the States of Holland in defence of his honour, and subscribed himself the lifelong and faithful servant of the Prince.

The Remonstrance to the States contained a summary review of the political events of his life, which was indeed nothing more nor less than the history of his country and almost of Europe itself during that period, broadly and vividly sketched with the hand of a master. It was published at once and strengthened the affection of his friends and the wrath of his enemies. It is not necessary to our purpose to reproduce or even analyse the document, the main facts and opinions contained in it being already familiar to the reader. The frankness however with which, in reply to the charges so profusely brought against him of having grown rich by extortion, treason, and corruption, of having gorged himself with plunder at home and bribery from the enemy, of being the great pensioner of Europe and the Marshal d'Ancre of the Netherlands—he alluded to the exact condition of his private affairs and the growth and sources of his revenue, giving, as it were, a kind of schedule of his property, has in it something half humorous, half touching in its simplicity.

He set forth the very slender salaries attached to his high offices of Advocate of Holland, Keeper of the Seals, and other functions. He answered the charge that he always had at his disposition 120,000 florins to bribe foreign agents withal by saying that his whole allowance for extraordinary expenses and trouble in maintaining his diplomatic and internal correspondence was exactly 500 florins yearly. He alluded to the slanders circulated as to his wealth and its sources by those who envied him for his position and hated him for his services.

"But I beg you to believe, My Lords," he continued, "that my property is neither so great nor so small as some people represent it to be.

"In the year '75 I married my wife," he said. "I was pleased with her person. I was likewise pleased with the dowry which was promptly paid over to me, with firm expectation of increase and betterment . . . . I ac knowledge that forty-three years ago my wife and myself had got together so much of real and personal property that we could live honourably upon it. I had at that time as good pay and practice as any advocate in the courts which brought me in a good 4000 florins a year; there being but eight advocates practising at the time, of whom I was certainly not the one least employed. In the beginning of the year '77 I came into the service of the city of Rotterdam as 'Pensionary. Upon my salary from that town I was enabled to support my family, having then but two children. Now I can clearly prove that between the years 1577 and 1616 inclusive I have inherited in my own right or that of my wife, from our relatives, for ourselves and our children by lawful succession, more than 400 Holland morgens of land (about 800 acres), more than 2000 florins yearly of redeemable rents, a good house in the city of Delft, some houses in the open country, and several thousand florins in ready money. I have likewise reclaimed in the course of the past forty years out of the water and swamps by dyking more than an equal number of acres to those inherited, and have bought and sold property during the same period to the value of 800,000 florins; having sometimes bought 100,000 florins' worth and sold 60,000 of it for 160,000, and so on."

It was evident that the thrifty Advocate during his long life had understood how to turn over his money, and it was not necessary to imagine "waggon-loads of Spanish pistoles" and bribes on a gigantic scale from the hereditary enemy in order to account for a reasonable opulence on his part.

"I have had nothing to do with trade," he continued, "it having been the custom of my ancestors to risk no money except where the plough goes. In the great East India Company however, which with four years of hard work, public and private, I have helped establish, in order to inflict damage on the Spaniards and Portuguese, I have adventured somewhat more than 5000 florins . . . . Now even if my condition be reasonably good, I think no one has reason to envy me. Nevertheless I have said it in your Lordships' Assembly, and I repeat it solemnly on this occasion, that I have pondered the state of my affairs during my recent illness and found that in order to leave my children unencumbered estates I must sell property to the value of 60,000 or 70,000 florins. This I would rather do than leave the charge to my children. That I should have got thus behindhand through bad management, I beg your Highnesses not to believe. But I have inherited, with the succession of four persons whose only heir I was and with that of others to whom I was co-heir, many burthens as well. I have bought property with encumbrances, and I have dyked and bettered several estates with borrowed money. Now should it please your Lordships to institute a census and valuation of the property of your subjects, I for one should be very well pleased. For I know full well that those who in the estimates of capital in the year 1599 rated themselves at 50,000 or 60,000 florins now may boast of having twice as much property as I have. Yet in that year out of patriotism I placed myself on the list of those liable for the very highest contributions, being assessed on a property of 200,000 florins."

The Advocate alluded with haughty contempt to the notorious lies circulated by his libellers in regard to his lineage, as if the vast services and unquestioned abilities of such a statesman would not have illustrated the obscurest origin. But as he happened to be of ancient and honourable descent, he chose to vindicate his position in that regard.

"I was born in the city of Amersfoort," he said, "by the father's side an Oldenbarneveld; an old and noble race, from generation to generation steadfast and true; who have been duly summoned for many hundred years to the assembly of the nobles of their province as they are to this day. By my mother's side I am sprung from the ancient and knightly family of Amersfoort, which for three or four hundred years has been known as foremost among the nobles of Utrecht in all state affairs and as landed proprietors."

It is only for the sake of opening these domestic and private lights upon an historical character whose life was so pre-eminently and almost exclusively a public one that we have drawn some attention to this stately defence made by the Advocate of his birth, life, and services to the State. The public portions of the state paper belong exclusively to history, and have already been sufficiently detailed.

The letter to Prince Maurice was delivered into his hands by Cornelis van der Myle, son-in-law of Barneveld.

No reply to it was ever sent, but several days afterwards the Stadholder called from his open window to van der Myle, who happened to be passing by. He then informed him that he neither admitted the premises nor the conclusion of the Advocate's letter, saying that many things set down in it were false. He furthermore told him a story of a certain old man who, having in his youth invented many things and told them often for truth, believed them when he came to old age to be actually true and was ever ready to stake his salvation upon them. Whereupon he shut the window and left van der Myle to make such application of the parable as he thought proper, vouchsafing no further answer to Barneveld's communication.

Dudley Carleton related the anecdote to his government with much glee, but it may be doubted whether this bold way of giving the lie to a venerable statesman through his son-in-law would have been accounted as triumphant argumentation anywhere out of a barrack.

As for the Remonstrance to the States of Holland, although most respectfully received in that assembly except by the five opposition cities, its immediate effect on the public was to bring down a fresh "snow storm"—to use the expression of a contemporary—of pamphlets, libels, caricatures, and broadsheets upon the head of the Advocate. In every bookseller's and print shop window in all the cities of the country, the fallen statesman was represented in all possible ludicrous, contemptible, and hateful shapes, while hags and blind beggars about the streets screeched filthy and cursing ballads against him, even at his very doors.

The effect of energetic, uncompromising calumny has rarely been more strikingly illustrated than in the case of this statesman. Blackened daily all over by a thousand trowels, the purest and noblest character must have been defiled, and it is no wonder that the incrustation upon the Advocate's fame should have lasted for two centuries and a half. It may perhaps endure for as many more: Not even the vile Marshal d'Ancre, who had so recently perished, was more the mark of obloquy in a country which he had dishonoured, flouted, and picked to the bone than was Barneveld in a commonwealth which he had almost created and had served faithfully from youth to old age. It was even the fashion to compare him with Concini in order to heighten the wrath of the public, as if any parallel between the ignoble, foreign paramour of a stupid and sensual queen, and the great statesman, patriot, and jurist of whom civilization will be always proud, could ever enter any but an idiot's brain.

Meantime the Stadholder, who had so successfully handled the Assembly of Gelderland and Overyssel, now sailed across the Zuiderzee from Kampen to Amsterdam. On his approach to the stately northern Venice, standing full of life and commercial bustle upon its vast submerged forest of Norwegian pines, he was met by a fleet of yachts and escorted through the water gates of the into the city.

Here an immense assemblage of vessels of every class, from the humble gondola to the bulky East Indianian and the first-rate ship of war, gaily bannered with the Orange colours and thronged from deck to topmast by enthusiastic multitudes, was waiting to receive their beloved stadholder. A deafening cannonade saluted him on his approach. The Prince was escorted to the Square or Dam, where on a high scaffolding covered with blue velvet in front of the stately mediaeval town-hall the burgomasters and board of magistrates in their robes of office were waiting to receive him. The strains of that most inspiriting and suggestive of national melodies, the 'Wilhelmus van Nassouwen,' rang through the air, and when they were silent, the chief magistrate poured forth a very eloquent and tedious oration, and concluded by presenting him with a large orange in solid gold; Maurice having succeeded to the principality a few months before on the death of his half-brother Philip William.

The "Blooming in Love," as one of the Chambers of "Rhetoric " in which the hard-handed but half-artistic mechanics and shopkeepers of the Netherlands loved to disport themselves was called, then exhibited upon an opposite scaffold a magnificent representation of Jupiter astride upon an eagle and banding down to the Stadholder as if from the clouds that same principality. Nothing could be neater or more mythological.

The Prince and his escort, sitting in the windows of the town-hall, the square beneath being covered with 3000 or 4000 burgher militia in full uniform, with orange plumes in their hats and orange scarves on their breasts, saw still other sights. A gorgeous procession set forth by the "Netherlandish Academy," another chamber of rhetoric, and filled with those emblematic impersonations so dear to the hearts of Netherlanders, had been sweeping through all the canals and along the splendid quays of the city. The Maid of Holland, twenty feet high, led the van, followed by the counterfeit presentment of each of her six sisters. An orange tree full of flowers and fruit was conspicuous in one barge, while in another, strangely and lugubriously enough, lay the murdered William the Silent in the arms of his wife and surrounded by his weeping sons and daughters all attired in white satin.

In the evening the Netherland Academy, to improve the general hilarity, and as if believing exhibitions of murder the most appropriate means of welcoming the Prince, invited him to a scenic representation of the assassination of Count Florence V. of Holland by Gerrit van Velsen and other nobles. There seemed no especial reason for the selection, unless perhaps the local one; one of the perpetrators of this crime against an ancient predecessor of William the Silent in the sovereignty of Holland having been a former lord proprietor of Amsterdam and the adjacent territories, Gysbrecht van Amatel.

Maurice returned to the Hague. Five of the seven provinces were entirely his own. Utrecht too was already wavering, while there could be no doubt of the warm allegiance to himself of the important commercial metropolis of Holland, the only province in which Barneveld's influence was still paramount.

Owing to the watchfulness and distrust of Barneveld, which had never faltered, Spain had not secured the entire control of the disputed duchies, but she had at least secured the head of a venerated saint. "The bargain is completed for the head of the glorious Saint Lawrence, which you know I so much desire," wrote Philip triumphantly to the Archduke Albert. He had, however, not got it for nothing.

The Abbot of Glamart in Julich, then in possession of that treasure, had stipulated before delivering it that if at any time the heretics or other enemies should destroy the monastery his Majesty would establish them in Spanish Flanders and give them the same revenues as they now enjoyed in Julich. Count Herman van den Berg was to give a guarantee to that effect.

Meantime the long controversy in the duchies having tacitly come to a standstill upon the basis of 'uti possidetis,' the Spanish government had leisure in the midst of their preparation for the general crusade upon European heresy to observe and enjoy the internal religious dissensions in their revolted provinces. Although they had concluded the convention with them as with countries over which they had no pretensions, they had never at heart allowed more virtue to the conjunction "as," which really contained the essence of the treaty, than grammatically belonged to it. Spain still chose to regard the independence of the Seven Provinces as a pleasant fiction to be dispelled when, the truce having expired by its own limitation, she should resume, as she fully meant to do, her sovereignty over all the seventeen Netherlands, the United as well as the obedient. Thus at any rate the question of state rights or central sovereignty would be settled by a very summary process. The Spanish ambassador was wroth, as may well be supposed, when the agent of the rebel provinces received in London the rank, title, and recognition of ambassador. Gondemar at least refused to acknowledge Noel de Caron as his diplomatic equal or even as his colleague, and was vehement in his protestations on the subject. But James, much as he dreaded the Spanish envoy and fawned upon his master, was not besotted enough to comply with these demands at the expense of his most powerful ally, the Republic of the Netherlands. The Spanish king however declared his ambassador's proceedings to be in exact accordance with his instructions. He was sorry, he said, if the affair had caused discontent to the King of Great Britain; he intended in all respects to maintain the Treaty of Truce of which his Majesty had been one of the guarantors, but as that treaty had but a few more years to run, after which he should be reinstated in his former right of sovereignty over all the Netherlands, he entirely justified the conduct of Count Gondemar.

It may well be conceived that, as the years passed by, as the period of the Truce grew nearer and the religious disputes became every day more envenomed, the government at Madrid should look on the tumultuous scene with saturnine satisfaction. There was little doubt now, they thought, that the Provinces, sick of their rebellion and that fancied independence which had led them into a whirlpool of political and religious misery, and convinced of their incompetence to govern themselves, would be only too happy to seek the forgiving arms of their lawful sovereign. Above all they must have learned that their great heresy had carried its chastisement with it, that within something they called a Reformed Church other heresies had been developed which demanded condign punishment at the hands of that new Church, and that there could be neither rest for them in this world nor salvation in the next except by returning to the bosom of their ancient mother.

Now was the time, so it was thought, to throw forward a strong force of Jesuits as skirmishers into the Provinces by whom the way would be opened for the reconquest of the whole territory.

"By the advices coming to us continually from thence," wrote the King of Spain to Archduke Albert, "we understand that the disquiets and differences continue in Holland on matters relating to their sects, and that from this has resulted the conversion of many to the Catholic religion. So it has been taken into consideration whether it would not be expedient that some fathers of the company of Jesuits be sent secretly from Rome to Holland, who should negotiate concerning the conversion of that people. Before taking a resolution, I have thought best to give an account of this matter to your Highness. I should be glad if you would inform me what priests are going to Holland, what fruits they yield, and what can be done for the continuance of their labours. Please to advise me very particularly together with any suggestions that may occur to you in this matter."

The Archduke, who was nearer the scene, was not so sure that the old religion was making such progress as his royal nephew or those who spoke in his name believed. At any rate, if it were not rapidly gaining ground, it would be neither for want of discord among the Protestants nor for lack of Jesuits to profit by it.

"I do not understand," said he in reply, "nor is it generally considered certain that from the differences and disturbances that the Hollanders are having among themselves there has resulted the conversion of any of them to our blessed Catholic faith, because their disputes are of certain points concerning which there are different opinions within their sect. There has always been a goodly number of priests here, the greater part of whom belong to the Company. They are very diligent and fervent, and the Catholics derive much comfort from them. To send more of them would do more harm than good. It might be found out, and then they would perhaps be driven out of Holland or even chastised. So it seems better to leave things as they are for the present."

The Spanish government was not discouraged however, but was pricking up its ears anew at strange communications it was receiving from the very bosom of the council of state in the Netherlands. This body, as will be remembered, had been much opposed to Barneveld and to the policy pursued under his leadership by the States of Holland. Some of its members were secretly Catholic and still more secretly disposed to effect a revolution in the government, the object of which should be to fuse the United Provinces with the obedient Netherlands in a single independent monarchy to be placed under the sceptre of the son of Philip III.

A paper containing the outlines of this scheme had been sent to Spain, and the King at once forwarded it in cipher to the Archduke at Brussels for his opinion and co-operation.

"You will see," he said, "the plan which a certain person zealous for the public good has proposed for reducing the Netherlanders to my obedience. . . . . You will please advise with Count Frederic van den Berg and let me know with much particularity and profound secrecy what is thought, what is occurring, and the form in which this matter ought to be negotiated, and the proper way to make it march."

Unquestionably the paper was of grave importance. It informed the King of Spain that some principal personages in the United Netherlands, members of the council of state, were of opinion that if his Majesty or Archduke Albert should propose peace, it could be accomplished at that moment more easily than ever before. They had arrived at the conviction that no assistance was to be obtained from the King of France, who was too much weakened by tumults and sedition at home, while nothing good could be expected from the King of England. The greater part of the Province of Gelderland, they said, with all Friesland, Utrecht, Groningen, and Overyssel were inclined to a permanent peace. Being all of them frontier provinces, they were constantly exposed to the brunt of hostilities. Besides this, the war expenses alone would now be more than 3,000,000 florins a year. Thus the people were kept perpetually harassed, and although evil-intentioned persons approved these burthens under the pretence that such heavy taxation served to free them from the tyranny of Spain, those of sense and quality reproved them and knew the contrary to be true. "Many here know," continued these traitors in the heart of the state council, "how good it would be for the people of the Netherlands to have a prince, and those having this desire being on the frontier are determined to accept the son of your Majesty for their ruler." The conditions of the proposed arrangement were to be that the Prince with his successors who were thus to possess all the Netherlands were to be independent sovereigns not subject in any way to the crown of Spain, and that the great governments and dignities of the country were to remain in the hands then holding them.

This last condition was obviously inserted in the plan for the special benefit of Prince Maurice and Count Lewis, although there is not an atom of evidence that they had ever heard of the intrigue or doubt that, if they had, they would have signally chastised its guilty authors.

It was further stated that the Catholics having in each town a church and free exercise of their religion would soon be in a great majority. Thus the political and religious counter-revolution would be triumphantly accomplished.

It was proposed that the management of the business should be entrusted to some gentleman of the country possessing property there who "under pretext of the public good should make people comprehend what a great thing it would be if they could obtain this favour from the Spanish King, thus extricating themselves from so many calamities and miseries, and obtaining free traffic and a prince of their own." It would be necessary for the King and Archduke to write many letters and promise great rewards to persons who might otherwise embarrass the good work.

The plot was an ingenious one. There seemed in the opinion of these conspirators in the state council but one great obstacle to its success. It should be kept absolutely concealed from the States of Holland. The great stipendiary of Spain, John of Barneveld, whose coffers were filled with Spanish pistoles, whose name and surname might be read by all men in the account-books at Brussels heading the register of mighty bribe- takers, the man who was howled at in a thousand lampoons as a traitor ever ready to sell his country, whom even Prince Maurice "partly believed" to be the pensionary of Philip, must not hear a whisper of this scheme to restore the Republic to Spanish control and place it under the sceptre of a Spanish prince.

The States of Holland at that moment and so long as he was a member of the body were Barneveld and Barneveld only; thinking his thoughts, speaking with his tongue, writing with his pen. Of this neither friend nor foe ever expressed a doubt. Indeed it was one of the staple accusations against him.

Yet this paper in which the Spanish king in confidential cipher and profound secrecy communicated to Archduke Albert his hopes and his schemes for recovering the revolted provinces as a kingdom for his son contained these words of caution.

"The States of Holland and Zealand will be opposed to the plan," it said. "If the treaty come to the knowledge of the States and Council of Holland before it has been acted upon by the five frontier provinces the whole plan will be demolished."

Such was the opinion entertained by Philip himself of the man who was supposed to be his stipendiary. I am not aware that this paper has ever been alluded to in any document or treatise private or public from the day of its date to this hour. It certainly has never been published, but it lies deciphered in the Archives of the Kingdom at Brussels, and is alone sufficient to put to shame the slanderers of the Advocate's loyalty.

Yet let it be remembered that in this very summer exactly at the moment when these intrigues were going on between the King of Spain and the class of men most opposed to Barneveld, the accusations against his fidelity were loudest and rifest.

Before the Stadholder had so suddenly slipped down to Brielle in order to secure that important stronghold for the Contra-Remonstrant party, reports had been carefully strewn among the people that the Advocate was about to deliver that place and other fortresses to Spain.

Brielle, Flushing, Rammekens, the very cautionary towns and keys to the country which he had so recently and in such masterly manner delivered from the grasp of the hereditary ally he was now about to surrender to the ancient enemy.

The Spaniards were already on the sea, it was said. Had it not been for his Excellency's watchfulness and promptitude, they would already under guidance of Barneveld and his crew have mastered the city of Brielle. Flushing too through Barneveld's advice and connivance was open at a particular point, in order that the Spaniards, who had their eye upon it, might conveniently enter and take possession of the place. The air was full of wild rumours to this effect, and already the humbler classes who sided with the Stadholder saw in him the saviour of the country from the treason of the Advocate and the renewed tyranny of Spain.

The Prince made no such pretence, but simply took possession of the fortress in order to be beforehand with the Waartgelders. The Contra- Remonstrants in Brielle had desired that "men should see who had the hardest fists," and it would certainly have been difficult to find harder ones than those of the hero of Nieuwpoort.

Besides the Jesuits coming in so skilfully to triumph over the warring sects of Calvinists, there were other engineers on whom the Spanish government relied to effect the reconquest of the Netherlands. Especially it was an object to wreak vengeance on Holland, that head and front of the revolt, both for its persistence in rebellion and for the immense prosperity and progress by which that rebellion had been rewarded. Holland had grown fat and strong, while the obedient Netherlands were withered to the marrow of their bones. But there was a practical person then resident in Spain to whom the Netherlands were well known, to whom indeed everything was well known, who had laid before the King a magnificent scheme for destroying the commerce and with it the very existence of Holland to the great advantage of the Spanish finances and of the Spanish Netherlands. Philip of course laid it before the Archduke as usual, that he might ponder it well and afterwards, if approved, direct its execution.

The practical person set forth in an elaborate memoir that the Hollanders were making rapid progress in commerce, arts, and manufactures, while the obedient provinces were sinking as swiftly into decay. The Spanish Netherlands were almost entirely shut off from the sea, the rivers Scheldt and Meuse being hardly navigable for them on account of the control of those waters by Holland. The Dutch were attracting to their dominions all artisans, navigators, and traders. Despising all other nations and giving them the law, they had ruined the obedient provinces. Ostend, Nieuwpoort, Dunkerk were wasting away, and ought to be restored.

"I have profoundly studied forty years long the subjects of commerce and navigation," said the practical person, "and I have succeeded in penetrating the secrets and acquiring, as it were, universal knowledge— let me not be suspected of boasting—of the whole discovered world and of the ocean. I have been assisted by study of the best works of geography and history, by my own labours, and by those of my late father, a man of illustrious genius and heroical conceptions and very zealous in the Catholic faith."

The modest and practical son of an illustrious but anonymous father, then coming to the point, said it would be the easiest thing in the world to direct the course of the Scheldt into an entirely new channel through Spanish Flanders to the sea. Thus the Dutch ports and forts which had been constructed with such magnificence and at such vast expense would be left high and dry; the Spaniards would build new ones in Flanders, and thus control the whole navigation and deprive the Hollanders of that empire of the sea which they now so proudly arrogated. This scheme was much simpler to carry out than the vulgar might suppose, and, when. accomplished, it would destroy the commerce, navigation, and fisheries of the Hollanders, throwing it all into the hands of the Archdukes. This would cause such ruin, poverty, and tumults everywhere that all would be changed. The Republic of the United States would annihilate itself and fall to pieces; the religious dissensions, the war of one sect with another, and the jealousy of the House of Nassau, suspected of plans hostile to popular liberties, finishing the work of destruction. "Then the Republic," said the man of universal science, warming at sight of the picture he was painting, "laden with debt and steeped in poverty, will fall to the ground of its own weight, and thus debilitated will crawl humbly to place itself in the paternal hands of the illustrious house of Austria."

It would be better, he thought, to set about the work, before the expiration of the Truce. At any rate, the preparation for it, or the mere threat of it, would ensure a renewal of that treaty on juster terms. It was most important too to begin at once the construction of a port on the coast of Flanders, looking to the north.

There was a position, he said, without naming it, in which whole navies could ride in safety, secure from all tempests, beyond the reach of the Hollanders, open at all times to traffic to and from England, France, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Russia—a perfectly free commerce, beyond the reach of any rights or duties claimed or levied by the insolent republic. In this port would assemble all the navigators of the country, and it would become in time of war a terror to the Hollanders, English, and all northern peoples. In order to attract, protect, and preserve these navigators and this commerce, many great public edifices must be built, together with splendid streets of houses and impregnable fortifications. It should be a walled and stately city, and its name should be Philipopolis. If these simple projects, so easy of execution, pleased his Majesty, the practical person was ready to explain them in all their details.

His Majesty was enchanted with the glowing picture, but before quite deciding on carrying the scheme into execution thought it best to consult the Archduke.

The reply of Albert has not been preserved. It was probably not enthusiastic, and the man who without boasting had declared himself to know everything was never commissioned to convert his schemes into realities. That magnificent walled city, Philipopolis, with its gorgeous streets and bristling fortresses, remained unbuilt, the Scheldt has placidly flowed through its old channel to the sea from that day to this, and the Republic remained in possession of the unexampled foreign trade with which rebellion had enriched it.

These various intrigues and projects show plainly enough however the encouragement given to the enemies of the United Provinces and of Protestantism everywhere by these disastrous internal dissensions. But yesterday and the Republic led by Barneveld in council and Maurice of Nassau in the field stood at the head of the great army of resistance to the general crusade organized by Spain and Rome against all unbelievers. And now that the war was absolutely beginning in Bohemia, the Republic was falling upon its own sword instead of smiting with it the universal foe.

It was not the King of Spain alone that cast longing eyes on the fair territory of that commonwealth which the unparalleled tyranny of his father had driven to renounce his sceptre. Both in the Netherlands and France, among the extreme orthodox party, there were secret schemes, to which Maurice was not privy, to raise Maurice to the sovereignty of the Provinces. Other conspirators with a wider scope and more treasonable design were disposed to surrender their country to the dominion of France, stipulating of course large rewards and offices for themselves and the vice-royalty of what should then be the French Netherlands to Maurice.

The schemes were wild enough perhaps, but their very existence, which is undoubted, is another proof, if more proof were wanted, of the lamentable tendency, in times of civil and religious dissension, of political passion to burn out the very first principles of patriotism.

It is also important, on account of the direct influence exerted by these intrigues upon subsequent events of the gravest character, to throw a beam of light on matters which were thought to have been shrouded for ever in impenetrable darkness.

Langerac, the States' Ambassador in Paris, was the very reverse of his predecessor, the wily, unscrupulous, and accomplished Francis Aerssens. The envoys of the Republic were rarely dull, but Langerac was a simpleton. They were renowned for political experience, skill, familiarity with foreign languages, knowledge of literature, history, and public law; but he was ignorant, spoke French very imperfectly, at a court where not a human being could address him in his own tongue, had never been employed in diplomacy or in high office of any kind, and could carry but small personal weight at a post where of all others the representative of the great republic should have commanded deference both for his own qualities and for the majesty of his government. At a period when France was left without a master or a guide the Dutch ambassador, under a becoming show of profound respect, might really have governed the country so far as regarded at least the all important relations which bound the two nations together. But Langerac was a mere picker-up of trifles, a newsmonger who wrote a despatch to-day with information which a despatch was written on the morrow to contradict, while in itself conveying additional intelligence absolutely certain to be falsified soon afterwards. The Emperor of Germany had gone mad; Prince Maurice had been assassinated in the Hague, a fact which his correspondents, the States-General, might be supposed already to know, if it were one; there had been a revolution in the royal bed-chamber; the Spanish cook of the young queen had arrived from Madrid; the Duke of Nevers was behaving very oddly at Vienna; such communications, and others equally startling, were the staple of his correspondence.

Still he was honest enough, very mild, perfectly docile to Barneveld, dependent upon his guidance, and fervently attached to that statesman so long as his wheel was going up the hill. Moreover, his industry in obtaining information and his passion for imparting it made it probable that nothing very momentous would be neglected should it be laid before him, but that his masters, and especially the Advocate, would be enabled to judge for themselves as to the attention due to it.

"With this you will be apprised of some very high and weighty matters," he wrote privately and in cipher to Barneveld, "which you will make use of according to your great wisdom and forethought for the country's service."

He requested that the matter might also be confided to M. van der Myle, that he might assist his father-in-law, so overburdened with business, in the task of deciphering the communication. He then stated that he had been "very earnestly informed three days before by M. du Agean"—member of the privy council of France—"that it had recently come to the King's ears, and his Majesty knew it to be authentic, that there was a secret and very dangerous conspiracy in Holland of persons belonging to the Reformed religion in which others were also mixed. This party held very earnest and very secret correspondence with the factious portion of the Contra-Remonstrants both in the Netherlands and France, seeking under pretext of the religious dissensions or by means of them to confer the sovereignty upon Prince Maurice by general consent of the Contra- Remonstrants. Their object was also to strengthen and augment the force of the same religious party in France, to which end the Duc de Bouillon and M. de Chatillon were very earnestly co-operating. Langerac had already been informed by Chatillon that the Contra-Remonstrants had determined to make a public declaration against the Remonstrants, and come to an open separation from them.

"Others propose however," said the Ambassador, "that the King himself should use the occasion to seize the sovereignty of the United Provinces for himself and to appoint Prince Maurice viceroy, giving him in marriage Madame Henriette of France." The object of this movement would be to frustrate the plots of the Contra-Remonstrants, who were known to be passionately hostile to the King and to France, and who had been constantly traversing the negotiations of M. du Maurier. There was a disposition to send a special and solemn embassy to the States, but it was feared that the British king would at once do the same, to the immense disadvantage of the Remonstrants. "M. de Barneveld," said the envoy, "is deeply sympathized with here and commiserated. The Chancellor has repeatedly requested me to present to you his very sincere and very hearty respects, exhorting you to continue in your manly steadfastness and courage." He also assured the Advocate that the French ambassador, M. du Maurier, enjoyed the entire confidence of his government, and of the principal members of the council, and that the King, although contemplating, as we have seen, the seizure of the sovereignty of the country, was most amicably disposed towards it, and so soon as the peace of Savoy was settled "had something very good for it in his mind." Whether the something very good was this very design to deprive it of independence, the Ambassador did not state. He however recommended the use of sundry small presents at the French court—especially to Madame de Luynes, wife of the new favourite of Lewis since the death of Concini, in which he had aided, now rising rapidly to consideration, and to Madame du Agean—and asked to be supplied with funds accordingly. By these means he thought it probable that at least the payment to the States of the long arrears of the French subsidy might be secured.

Three weeks later, returning to the subject, the Ambassador reported another conversation with M. du Agean. That politician assured him, "with high protestations," as a perfectly certain fact that a Frenchman duly qualified had arrived in Paris from Holland who had been in communication not only with him but with several of the most confidential members of the privy council of France. This duly qualified gentleman had been secretly commissioned to say that in opinion of the conspirators already indicated the occasion was exactly offered by these religious dissensions in the Netherlands for bringing the whole country under the obedience of the King. This would be done with perfect ease if he would only be willing to favour a little the one party, that of the Contra- Remonstrants, and promise his Excellency "perfect and perpetual authority in the government with other compensations."

The proposition, said du Agean, had been rejected by the privy councillors with a declaration that they would not mix themselves up with any factions, nor assist any party, but that they would gladly work with the government for the accommodation of these difficulties and differences in the Provinces.

"I send you all this nakedly," concluded Langerac, "exactly as it has been communicated to me, having always answered according to my duty and with a view by negotiating with these persons to discover the intentions as well of one side as the other."

The Advocate was not profoundly impressed by these revelations. He was too experienced a statesman to doubt that in times when civil and religious passion was running high there was never lack of fishers in troubled waters, and that if a body of conspirators could secure a handsome compensation by selling their country to a foreign prince, they would always be ready to do it.

But although believed by Maurice to be himself a stipendiary of Spain, he was above suspecting the Prince of any share in the low and stupid intrigue which du Agean had imagined or disclosed. That the Stadholder was ambitious of greater power, he hardly doubted, but that he was seeking to acquire it by such corrupt and circuitous means, he did not dream. He confidentially communicated the plot as in duty bound to some members of the States, and had the Prince been accused in any conversation or statement of being privy to the scheme, he would have thought himself bound to mention it to him. The story came to the ears of Maurice however, and helped to feed his wrath against the Advocate, as if he were responsible for a plot, if plot it were, which had been concocted by his own deadliest enemies. The Prince wrote a letter alluding to this communication of Langerac and giving much alarm to that functionary. He thought his despatches must have been intercepted and proposed in future to write always by special courier. Barneveld thought that unnecessary except when there were more important matters than those appeared to him to be and requiring more haste.

"The letter of his Excellency," said he to the Ambassador, "is caused in my opinion by the fact that some of the deputies to this assembly to whom I secretly imparted your letter or its substance did not rightly comprehend or report it. You did not say that his Excellency had any such design or project, but that it had been said that the Contra- Remonstrants were entertaining such a scheme. I would have shown the letter to him myself, but I thought it not fair, for good reasons, to make M. du Agean known as the informant. I do not think it amiss for you to write yourself to his Excellency and tell him what is said, but whether it would be proper to give up the name of your author, I think doubtful. At all events one must consult about it. We live in a strange world, and one knows not whom to trust."

He instructed the Ambassador to enquire into the foundation of these statements of du Agean and send advices by every occasion of this affair and others of equal interest. He was however much more occupied with securing the goodwill of the French government, which he no more suspected of tampering in these schemes against the independence of the Republic than he did Maurice himself. He relied and he had reason to rely on their steady good offices in the cause of moderation and reconciliation. "We are not yet brought to the necessary and much desired unity," he said, "but we do not despair, hoping that his Majesty's efforts through M. du Maurier, both privately and publicly, will do much good. Be assured that they are very agreeable to all rightly disposed people . . . . My trust is that God the Lord will give us a happy issue and save this country from perdition." He approved of the presents to the two ladies as suggested by Langerac if by so doing the payment of the arrearages could be furthered. He was still hopeful and confident in the justice of his cause and the purity of his conscience. "Aerssens is crowing like a cock," he said, "but the truth will surely prevail."


A Deputation from Utrecht to Maurice—The Fair at Utrecht—Maurice and the States' Deputies at Utrecht—Ogle refuses to act in Opposition to the States—The Stadholder disbands the Waartgelders— The Prince appoints forty Magistrates—The States formally disband the Waartgelders.

The eventful midsummer had arrived. The lime-tree blossoms were fragrant in the leafy bowers overshadowing the beautiful little rural capital of the Commonwealth. The anniversary of the Nieuwpoort victory, July 2, had come and gone, and the Stadholder was known to be resolved that his political campaign this year should be as victorious as that memorable military one of eighteen years before.

Before the dog-days should begin to rage, the fierce heats of theological and political passion were to wax daily more and more intense.

The party at Utrecht in favour of a compromise and in awe of the Stadholder sent a deputation to the Hague with the express but secret purpose of conferring with Maurice. They were eight in number, three of whom, including Gillis van Ledenberg, lodged at the house of Daniel Tressel, first clerk of the States-General.

The leaders of the Barneveld party, aware of the purport of this mission and determined to frustrate it, contrived a meeting between the Utrecht commissioners and Grotius, Hoogerbeets, de Haan, and de Lange at Tressel's house.

Grotius was spokesman. Maurice had accused the States of Holland of mutiny and rebellion, and the distinguished Pensionary of Rotterdam now retorted the charges of mutiny, disobedience, and mischief-making upon those who, under the mask of religion, were attempting to violate the sovereignty of the States, the privileges and laws of the province, the authority of the, magistrates, and to subject them to the power of others. To prevent such a catastrophe many cities had enlisted Waartgelders. By this means they had held such mutineers to their duty, as had been seen at Leyden, Haarlem, and other places. The States of Utrecht had secured themselves in the same way. But the mischiefmakers and the ill-disposed had been seeking everywhere to counteract these wholesome measures and to bring about a general disbanding of these troops. This it was necessary to resist with spirit. It was the very foundation of the provinces' sovereignty, to maintain which the public means must be employed. It was in vain to drive the foe out of the country if one could not remain in safety within one's own doors. They had heard with sorrow that Utrecht was thinking of cashiering its troops, and the speaker proceeded therefore to urge with all the eloquence he was master of the necessity of pausing before taking so fatal a step.

The deputies of Utrecht answered by pleading the great pecuniary burthen which the maintenance of the mercenaries imposed upon that province, and complained that there was no one to come to their assistance, exposed as they were to a sudden and overwhelming attack from many quarters. The States-General had not only written but sent commissioners to Utrecht insisting on the disbandment. They could plainly see the displeasure of the Prince. It was a very different affair in Holland, but the States of Utrecht found it necessary of two evils to choose the least.

They had therefore instructed their commissioners to request the Prince to remove the foreign garrison from their capital and to send the old companies of native militia in their place, to be in the pay of the episcopate. In this case the States would agree to disband the new levies.

Grotius in reply again warned the commissioners against communicating with Maurice according to their instructions, intimated that the native militia on which they were proposing to rely might have been debauched, and he held out hopes that perhaps the States of Utrecht might derive some relief from certain financial measures now contemplated in Holland.

The Utrechters resolved to wait at least several days before opening the subject of their mission to the Prince. Meantime Ledenberg made a rough draft of a report of what had occurred between them and Grotius and his colleagues which it was resolved to lay secretly before the States of Utrecht. The Hollanders hoped that they had at last persuaded the commissioners to maintain the Waartgelders.

The States of Holland now passed a solemn resolution to the effect that these new levies had been made to secure municipal order and maintain the laws from subversion by civil tumults. If this object could be obtained by other means, if the Stadholder were willing to remove garrisons of foreign mercenaries on whom there could be no reliance, and supply their place with native troops both in Holland and Utrecht, an arrangement could be made for disbanding the Waartgelders.

Barneveld, at the head of thirty deputies from the nobles and cities, waited upon Maurice and verbally communicated to him this resolution. He made a cold and unsatisfactory reply, although it seems to have been understood that by according twenty companies of native troops he might have contented both Holland and Utrecht.

Ledenberg and his colleagues took their departure from the Hague without communicating their message to Maurice. Soon afterwards the States- General appointed a commission to Utrecht with the Stadholder at the head of it.

The States of Holland appointed another with Grotius as its chairman.

On the 25th July Grotius and Pensionary Hoogerbeets with two colleagues arrived in Utrecht.

Gillis van Ledenberg was there to receive them. A tall, handsome, bald- headed, well-featured, mild, gentlemanlike man was this secretary of the Utrecht assembly, and certainly not aware, while passing to and fro on such half diplomatic missions between two sovereign assemblies, that he was committing high-treason. He might well imagine however, should Maurice discover that it was he who had prevented the commissioners from conferring with him as instructed, that it would go hard with him.

Ledenberg forthwith introduced Grotius and his committee to the Assembly at Utrecht.

While these great personages were thus holding solemn and secret council, another and still greater personage came upon the scene.

The Stadholder with the deputation from the States-General arrived at

Evidently the threads of this political drama were converging to a catastrophe, and it might prove a tragical one.

Meantime all looked merry enough in the old episcopal city. There were few towns in Lower or in Upper Germany more elegant and imposing than Utrecht. Situate on the slender and feeble channel of the ancient Rhine as it falters languidly to the sea, surrounded by trim gardens and orchards, and embowered in groves of beeches and limetrees, with busy canals fringed with poplars, lined with solid quays, and crossed by innumerable bridges; with the stately brick tower of St. Martin's rising to a daring height above one of the most magnificent Gothic cathedrals in the Netherlands; this seat of the Anglo-Saxon Willebrord, who eight hundred years before had preached Christianity to the Frisians, and had founded that long line of hard-fighting, indomitable bishops, obstinately contesting for centuries the possession of the swamps and pastures about them with counts, kings, and emperors, was still worthy of its history and its position.

It was here too that sixty-one years before the famous Articles of Union were signed. By that fundamental treaty of the Confederacy, the Provinces agreed to remain eternally united as if they were but one province, to make no war nor peace save by unanimous consent, while on lesser matters a majority should rule; to admit both Catholics and Protestants to the Union provided they obeyed its Articles and conducted themselves as good patriots, and expressly declared that no province or city should interfere with another in the matter of divine worship.

From this memorable compact, so enduring a landmark in the history of human freedom, and distinguished by such breadth of view for the times both in religion and politics, the city had gained the title of cradle of liberty: 'Cunabula libertatis'.

Was it still to deserve the name? At that particular moment the mass of the population was comparatively indifferent to the terrible questions pending. It was the kermis or annual fair, and all the world was keeping holiday in Utrecht. The pedlars and itinerant merchants from all the cities and provinces had brought their wares jewellery and crockery, ribbons and laces, ploughs and harrows, carriages and horses, cows and sheep, cheeses and butter firkins, doublets and petticoats, guns and pistols, everything that could serve the city and country-side for months to come—and displayed them in temporary booths or on the ground, in every street and along every canal. The town was one vast bazaar. The peasant-women from the country, with their gold and silver tiaras and the year's rent of a comfortable farm in their earrings and necklaces, and the sturdy Frisian peasants, many of whom had borne their matchlocks in the great wars which had lasted through their own and their fathers' lifetime, trudged through the city, enjoying the blessings of peace. Bands of music and merry-go-rounds in all the open places and squares; open-air bakeries of pancakes and waffles; theatrical exhibitions, raree- shows, jugglers, and mountebanks at every corner—all these phenomena which had been at every kermis for centuries, and were to repeat themselves for centuries afterwards, now enlivened the atmosphere of the grey, episcopal city. Pasted against the walls of public edifices were the most recent placards and counter-placards of the States-General and the States of Utrecht on the great subject of religious schisms and popular tumults. In the shop-windows and on the bookstalls of Contra- Remonstrant tradesmen, now becoming more and more defiant as the last allies of Holland, the States of Utrecht, were gradually losing courage, were seen the freshest ballads and caricatures against the Advocate. Here an engraving represented him seated at table with Grotius, Hoogerbeets, and others, discussing the National Synod, while a flap of the picture being lifted put the head of the Duke of Alva on the legs of Barneveld, his companions being transformed in similar manner into Spanish priests and cardinals assembled at the terrible Council of Blood- with rows of Protestant martyrs burning and hanging in the distance. Another print showed Prince Maurice and the States-General shaking the leading statesmen of the Commonwealth in a mighty sieve through which came tumbling head foremost to perdition the hated Advocate and his abettors. Another showed the Arminians as a row of crest-fallen cocks rained upon by the wrath of the Stadholder—Arminians by a detestable pun being converted into "Arme haenen" or "Poor cocks." One represented the Pope and King of Spain blowing thousands of ducats out of a golden bellows into the lap of the Advocate, who was holding up his official robes to receive them, or whole carriage-loads of Arminians starting off bag and baggage on the road to Rome, with Lucifer in the perspective waiting to give them a warm welcome in his own dominions; and so on, and so on. Moving through the throng, with iron calque on their heads and halberd in hand, were groups of Waartgelders scowling fiercely at many popular demonstrations such as they had been enlisted to suppress, but while off duty concealing outward symptoms of wrath which in many instances perhaps would have been far from genuine.

For although these mercenaries knew that the States of Holland, who were responsible for the pay of the regular troops then in Utrecht, authorized them to obey no orders save from the local authorities, yet it was becoming a grave question for the Waartgelders whether their own wages were perfectly safe, a circumstance which made them susceptible to the atmosphere of Contra-Remonstrantism which was steadily enwrapping the whole country. A still graver question was whether such resistance as they could offer to the renowned Stadholder, whose name was magic to every soldier's heart not only in his own land but throughout Christendom, would not be like parrying a lance's thrust with a bulrush. In truth the senior captain of the Waartgelders, Harteveld by name, had privately informed the leaders of the Barneveld party in Utrecht that he would not draw his sword against Prince Maurice and the States-General. "Who asks you to do so?" said some of the deputies, while Ledenberg on the other hand flatly accused him of cowardice. For this affront the Captain had vowed revenge.

And in the midst of this scene of jollity and confusion, that midsummer night, entered the stern Stadholder with his fellow commissioners; the feeble plans for shutting the gates upon him not having been carried into effect.

"You hardly expected such a guest at your fair," said he to the magistrates, with a grim smile on his face as who should say, "And what do you think of me now I have came?"

Meantime the secret conference of Grotius and colleagues with the States of Utrecht proceeded. As a provisional measure, Sir John Ogle, commander of the forces paid by Holland, had been warned as to where his obedience was due. It had likewise been intimated that the guard should be doubled at the Amersfoort gate, and a watch set on the river Lek above and below the city in order to prevent fresh troops of the States-General from being introduced by surprise.

These precautions had been suggested a year before, as we have seen, in a private autograph letter from Barneveld to Secretary Ledenberg.

Sir John Ogle had flatly refused to act in opposition to the Stadholder and the States-General, whom he recognized as his lawful superiors and masters, and he warned Ledenberg and his companions as to the perilous nature of the course which they were pursuing. Great was the indignation of the Utrechters and the Holland commissioners in consequence.

Grotius in his speech enlarged on the possibility of violence being used by the Stadholder, while some of the members of the Assembly likewise thought it likely that he would smite the gates open by force. Grotius, when reproved afterwards for such strong language towards Prince Maurice, said that true Hollanders were no courtiers, but were wont to call everything by its right name.

He stated in strong language the regret felt by Holland that a majority of the States of Utrecht had determined to disband the Waartgelders which had been constitutionally enlisted according to the right of each province under the 1st Article of the Union of Utrecht to protect itself and its laws.

Next day there were conferences between Maurice and the States of Utrecht and between him and the Holland deputies. The Stadholder calmly demanded the disbandment and the Synod. The Hollanders spoke of securing first the persons and rights of the magistracy.

"The magistrates are to be protected," said Maurice, "but we must first know how they are going to govern. People have tried to introduce five false points into the Divine worship. People have tried to turn me out of the stadholdership and to drive me from the country. But I have taken my measures. I know well what I am about. I have got five provinces on my side, and six cities of Holland will send deputies to Utrecht to sustain me here."

The Hollanders protested that there was no design whatever, so far as they knew, against his princely dignity or person. All were ready to recognize his rank and services by every means in their power. But it was desirable by conciliation and compromise, not by stern decree, to arrange these religious and political differences.

The Stadholder replied by again insisting on the Synod. "As for the
Waartgelders," he continued, "they are worse than Spanish fortresses.
They must away."

After a little further conversation in this vein the Prince grew more excited.

"Everything is the fault of the Advocate," he cried.

"If Barneveld were dead," replied Grotius, "all the rest of us would still deem ourselves bound to maintain the laws. People seem to despise Holland and to wish to subject it to the other provinces."

"On the contrary," cried the Prince, "it is the Advocate who wishes to make Holland the States-General."

Maurice was tired of argument. There had been much ale-house talk some three months before by a certain blusterous gentleman called van Ostrum about the necessity of keeping the Stadholder in check. "If the Prince should undertake," said this pot-valiant hero, "to attack any of the cities of Utrecht or Holland with the hard hand, it is settled to station 8000 or 10,000 soldiers in convenient places. Then we shall say to the Prince, if you don't leave us alone, we shall make an arrangement with the Archduke of Austria and resume obedience to him. We can make such a treaty with him as will give us religious freedom and save us from tyranny of any kind. I don't say this for myself, but have heard it on good authority from very eminent persons."

This talk had floated through the air to the Stadholder.

What evidence could be more conclusive of a deep design on the part of Barneveld to sell the Republic to the Archduke and drive Maurice into exile? Had not Esquire van Ostrum solemnly declared it at a tavern table? And although he had mentioned no names, could the "eminent personages" thus cited at second hand be anybody but the Advocate?

Three nights after his last conference with the Hollanders, Maurice quietly ordered a force of regular troops in Utrecht to be under arms at half past three o'clock next morning. About 1000 infantry, including companies of Ernest of Nassau's command at Arnhem and of Brederode's from Vianen, besides a portion of the regular garrison of the place, had accordingly been assembled without beat of drum, before half past three in the morning, and were now drawn up on the market-place or Neu. At break of day the Prince himself appeared on horseback surrounded by his staff on the Neu or Neude, a large, long, irregular square into which the seven or eight principal streets and thoroughfares of the town emptied themselves. It was adorned by public buildings and other handsome edifices, and the tall steeple of St. Martin's with its beautiful open- work spire, lighted with the first rays of the midsummer sun, looked tranquilly down upon the scene.

Each of the entrances to the square had been securely guarded by Maurice's orders, and cannon planted to command all the streets. A single company of the famous Waartgelders was stationed in the Neu or near it. The Prince rode calmly towards them and ordered them to lay down their arms. They obeyed without a murmur. He then sent through the city to summon all the other companies of Waartgelders to the Neu. This was done with perfect promptness, and in a short space of time the whole body of mercenaries, nearly 1000 in number, had laid down their arms at the feet of the Prince.

The snaphances and halberds being then neatly stacked in the square, the Stadholder went home to his early breakfast. There was an end to those mercenaries thenceforth and for ever. The faint and sickly resistance to the authority of Maurice offered at Utrecht was attempted nowhere else.

For days there had been vague but fearful expectations of a "blood bath," of street battles, rioting, and plunder. Yet the Stadholder with the consummate art which characterized all his military manoeuvres had so admirably carried out his measure that not a shot was fired, not a blow given, not a single burgher disturbed in his peaceful slumbers. When the population had taken off their nightcaps, they woke to find the awful bugbear removed which had so long been appalling them. The Waartgelders were numbered with the terrors of the past, and not a cat had mewed at their disappearance.

Charter-books, parchments, 13th Articles, Barneveld's teeth, Arminian forts, flowery orations of Grotius, tavern talk of van Ostrum, city immunities, States' rights, provincial laws, Waartgelders and all—the martial Stadholder, with the orange plume in his hat and the sword of Nieuwpoort on his thigh, strode through them as easily as through the whirligigs and mountebanks, the wades and fritters, encumbering the streets of Utrecht on the night of his arrival.

Secretary Ledenberg and other leading members of the States had escaped the night before. Grotius and his colleagues also took a precipitate departure. As they drove out of town in the twilight, they met the deputies of the six opposition cities of Holland just arriving in their coach from the Hague. Had they tarried an hour longer, they would have found themselves safely in prison.

Four days afterwards the Stadholder at the head of his body-guard appeared at the town-house. His halberdmen tramped up the broad staircase, heralding his arrival to the assembled magistracy. He announced his intention of changing the whole board then and there. The process was summary. The forty members were required to supply forty other names, and the Prince added twenty more. From the hundred candidates thus furnished the Prince appointed forty magistrates such as suited himself. It is needless to say that but few of the old bench remained, and that those few were devoted to the Synod, the States- General, and the Stadholder. He furthermore announced that these new magistrates were to hold office for life, whereas the board had previously been changed every year. The cathedral church was at once assigned for the use of the Contra-Remonstrants.

This process was soon to be repeated throughout the two insubordinate provinces Utrecht and Holland.

The Prince was accused of aiming at the sovereignty of the whole country, and one of his grief's against the Advocate was that he had begged the Princess-Widow, Louise de Coligny, to warn her son-in-law of the dangers of such ambition. But so long as an individual, sword in hand, could exercise such unlimited sway over the whole municipal, and provincial organization of the Commonwealth, it mattered but little whether he was called King or Kaiser, Doge or Stadholder. Sovereign he was for the time being at least, while courteously acknowledging the States-General as his sovereign.

Less than three weeks afterwards the States-General issued a decree formally disbanding the Waartgelders; an almost superfluous edict, as they had almost ceased to exist, and there were none to resist the measure. Grotius recommended complete acquiescence. Barneveld's soul could no longer animate with courage a whole people.

The invitations which had already in the month of June been prepared for the Synod to meet in the city of Dortor Dordtrecht-were now issued. The States of Holland sent back the notification unopened, deeming it an unwarrantable invasion of their rights that an assembly resisted by a large majority of their body should be convoked in a city on their own territory. But this was before the disbandment of the Waartgelders and the general change of magistracies had been effected.

Earnest consultations were now held as to the possibility of devising some means of compromise; of providing that the decisions of the Synod should not be considered binding until after having been ratified by the separate states. In the opinion of Barneveld they were within a few hours' work of a favourable result when their deliberations were interrupted by a startling event.


     Fruitless Interview between Barneveld and Maurice—The Advocate,
     warned of his Danger, resolves to remain at the Hague—Arrest of
     Barneveld, of Qrotius, and of Hoogerbeets—The States-General assume
     the Responsibility in a "Billet"—The States of Holland protest—
     The Advocate's Letter to his Family—Audience of Boississe—
     Mischief-making of Aerssens—The French Ambassadors intercede for
     Barneveld—The King of England opposes their Efforts—Langerac's
     Treachery to the Advocate—Maurice continues his Changes in the
     Magistracy throughout the Country—Vote of Thanks by the States of

The Advocate, having done what he believed to be his duty, and exhausted himself in efforts to defend ancient law and to procure moderation and mutual toleration in religion, was disposed to acquiesce in the inevitable. His letters giving official and private information of those grave events were neither vindictive nor vehement.

"I send you the last declaration of My Lords of Holland," he said to Caron, "in regard to the National Synod, with the counter-declaration of Dordtrecht and the other five cities. Yesterday was begun the debate about cashiering the enrolled soldiers called Waartgelders. To-day the late M. van Kereburg was buried."

Nothing could be calmer than his tone. After the Waartgelders had been disbanded, Utrecht revolutionized by main force, the National Synod decided upon, and the process of changing the municipal magistracies everywhere in the interest of Contra-Remonstrants begun, he continued to urge moderation and respect for law. Even now, although discouraged, he was not despondent, and was disposed to make the best even of the Synod.

He wished at this supreme moment to have a personal interview with the Prince in order to devise some means for calming the universal agitation and effecting, if possible, a reconciliation among conflicting passions and warring sects. He had stood at the side of Maurice and of Maurice's great father in darker hours even than these. They had turned to him on all trying and tragical occasions and had never found his courage wavering or his judgment at fault. "Not a friend to the House of Nassau, but a father," thus had Maurice with his own lips described the Advocate to the widow of William the Silent. Incapable of an unpatriotic thought, animated by sincere desire to avert evil and procure moderate action, Barneveld saw no reason whatever why, despite all that had been said and done, he should not once more hold council with the Prince. He had a conversation accordingly with Count Lewis, who had always honoured the Advocate while differing with him on the religious question. The Stadholder of Friesland, one of the foremost men of his day in military and scientific affairs, in administrative ability and philanthropic instincts, and, in a family perhaps the most renowned in Europe for heroic qualities and achievements, hardly second to any who had borne the name, was in favour of the proposed interview, spoke immediately to Prince Maurice about it, but was not hopeful as to its results. He knew his cousin well and felt that he was at that moment resentful, perhaps implacably so, against the whole Remonstrant party and especially against their great leader.

Count Lewis was small of stature, but dignified, not to say pompous, in demeanour. His style of writing to one of lower social rank than himself was lofty, almost regal, and full of old world formality.

Noble, severe, right worshipful, highly learned and discreet, special good friend," he wrote to Barneveld; "we have spoken to his Excellency concerning the expediency of what you requested of us this forenoon. We find however that his Excellency is not to be moved to entertain any other measure than the National Synod which he has himself proposed in person to all the provinces, to the furtherance of which he has made so many exertions, and which has already been announced by the States- General.

"We will see by what opportunity his Excellency will appoint the interview, and so far as lies in us you may rely on our good offices. We could not answer sooner as the French ambassadors had audience of us this forenoon and we were visiting his Excellency in the afternoon. Wishing your worship good evening, we are your very good friend."

Next day Count William wrote again. "We have taken occasion," he said, "to inform his Excellency that you were inclined to enter into communication with him in regard to an accommodation of the religious difficulties and to the cashiering of the Waartgelders. He answered that he could accept no change in the matter of the National Synod, but nevertheless would be at your disposal whenever your worship should be pleased to come to him."

Two days afterwards Barneveld made his appearance at the apartments of the Stadholder. The two great men on whom the fabric of the Republic had so long rested stood face to face once more.

The Advocate, with long grey beard and stern blue eye, haggard with illness and anxiety, tall but bent with age, leaning on his staff and wrapped in black velvet cloak—an imposing magisterial figure; the florid, plethoric Prince in brown doublet, big russet boots, narrow ruff, and shabby felt hat with its string of diamonds, with hand clutched on swordhilt, and eyes full of angry menace, the very type of the high-born, imperious soldier—thus they surveyed each other as men, once friends, between whom a gulf had opened.

Barneveld sought to convince the Prince that in the proceedings at Utrecht, founded as they were on strict adherence to the laws and traditions of the Provinces, no disrespect had been intended to him, no invasion of his constitutional rights, and that on his part his lifelong devotion to the House of Nassau had suffered no change. He repeated his usual incontrovertible arguments against the Synod, as illegal and directly tending to subject the magistracy to the priesthood, a course of things which eight-and-twenty years before had nearly brought destruction on the country and led both the Prince and himself to captivity in a foreign land.

The Prince sternly replied in very few words that the National Synod was a settled matter, that he would never draw back from his position, and could not do so without singular disservice to the country and to his own disreputation. He expressed his displeasure at the particular oath exacted from the Waartgelders. It diminished his lawful authority and the respect due to him, and might be used per indirectum to the oppression of those of the religion which he had sworn to maintain. His brow grew black when he spoke of the proceedings at Utrecht, which he denounced as a conspiracy against his own person and the constitution of the country.

Barneveld used in vain the powers of argument by which he had guided kings and republics, cabinets and assemblies, during so many years. His eloquence fell powerless upon the iron taciturnity of the Stadholder. Maurice had expressed his determination and had no other argument to sustain it but his usual exasperating silence.

The interview ended as hopelessly as Count Lewis William had anticipated, and the Prince and the Advocate separated to meet no more on earth.

"You have doubtless heard already," wrote Barneveld to the ambassador in London, "of all that has been passing here and in Utrecht. One must pray to God that everything may prosper to his honour and the welfare of the country. They are resolved to go through with the National Synod, the government of Utrecht after the change made in it having consented with the rest. I hope that his Majesty, according to your statement, will send some good, learned, and peace-loving personages here, giving them wholesome instructions to help bring our affairs into Christian unity, accommodation, and love, by which his Majesty and these Provinces would be best served."

Were these the words of a baffled conspirator and traitor? Were they uttered to produce an effect upon public opinion and avert a merited condemnation by all good men? There is not in them a syllable of reproach, of anger, of despair. And let it be remembered that they were not written for the public at all. They were never known to the public, hardly heard of either by the Advocate's enemies or friends, save the one to whom they were addressed and the monarch to whom that friend was accredited. They were not contained in official despatches, but in private, confidential outpourings to a trusted political and personal associate of many years. From the day they were written until this hour they have never been printed, and for centuries perhaps not read.

He proceeded to explain what he considered to be the law in the Netherlands with regard to military allegiance. It is not probable that there was in the country a more competent expounder of it; and defective and even absurd as such a system was, it had carried the Provinces successfully through a great war, and a better method for changing it might have been found among so law-loving and conservative a people as the Netherlanders than brute force.

"Information has apparently been sent to England," he said, "that My Lords of Holland through their commissioners in Utrecht dictated to the soldiery standing at their charges something that was unreasonable. The truth is that the States of Holland, as many of them as were assembled, understanding that great haste was made to send his Excellency and some deputies from the other provinces to Utrecht, while the members of the Utrecht assembly were gone to report these difficulties to their constituents and get fresh instructions from them, wishing that the return of those members should be waited for and that the Assembly of Holland might also be complete—a request which was refused—sent a committee to Utrecht, as the matter brooked no delay, to give information to the States of that province of what was passing here and to offer their good offices.

"They sent letters also to his Excellency to move him to reasonable accommodation without taking extreme measures in opposition to those resolutions of the States of Utrecht which his Excellency had promised to conform with and to cause to be maintained by all officers and soldiers. Should his Excellency make difficulty in this, the commissioners were instructed to declare to him that they were ordered to warn the colonels and captains standing in the payment of Holland, by letter and word of mouth, that they were bound by oath to obey the States of Holland as their paymasters and likewise to carry out the orders of the provincial and municipal magistrates in the places where they were employed. The soldiery was not to act or permit anything to be done against those resolutions, but help to carry them out, his Excellency himself and the troops paid by the States of Holland being indisputably bound by oath and duty so to do."

Doubtless a more convenient arrangement from a military point of view might be imagined than a system of quotas by which each province in a confederacy claimed allegiance and exacted obedience from the troops paid by itself in what was after all a general army. Still this was the logical and inevitable result of State rights pushed to the extreme and indeed had been the indisputable theory and practice in the Netherlands ever since their revolt from Spain. To pretend that the proceedings and the oath were new because they were embarrassing was absurd. It was only because the dominant party saw the extreme inconvenience of the system, now that it was turned against itself, that individuals contemptuous of law and ignorant of history denounced it as a novelty.

But the strong and beneficent principle that lay at the bottom of the Advocate's conduct was his unflagging resolve to maintain the civil authority over the military in time of peace. What liberal or healthy government would be possible otherwise? Exactly as he opposed the subjection of the magistracy by the priesthood or the mob, so he now defended it against the power of the sword. There was no justification whatever for a claim on the part of Maurice to exact obedience from all the armies of the Republic, especially in time of peace. He was himself by oath sworn to obey the States of Holland, of Utrecht, and of the three other provinces of which he was governor. He was not commander-in-chief. In two of the seven provinces he had no functions whatever, military or civil. They had another governor.

Yet the exposition of the law, as it stood, by the Advocate and his claim that both troops and Stadholder should be held to their oaths was accounted a crime. He had invented a new oath—it was said—and sought to diminish the power of the Prince. These were charges, unjust as they were, which might one day be used with deadly effect.

"We live in a world where everything is interpreted to the worst," he said. "My physical weakness continues and is increased by this affliction. I place my trust in God the Lord and in my upright and conscientious determination to serve the country, his Excellency, and the religion in which through God's grace I hope to continue to the end."

On the 28th August of a warm afternoon, Barneveld was seated on a porcelain seat in an arbor in his garden. Councillor Berkhout, accompanied by a friend, called to see him, and after a brief conversation gave him solemn warning that danger was impending, that there was even a rumour of an intention to arrest him.

The Advocate answered gravely, "Yes, there are wicked men about."

Presently he lifted his hat courteously and said, "I thank you, gentlemen, for the warning."

It seems scarcely to have occurred to him that he had been engaged in anything beyond a constitutional party struggle in which he had defended what in his view was the side of law and order. He never dreamt of seeking safety in flight. Some weeks before, he had been warmly advised to do as both he and Maurice had done in former times in order to escape the stratagems of Leicester, to take refuge in some strong city devoted to his interests rather than remain at the Hague. But he had declined the counsel. "I will await the issue of this business," he said, "in the Hague, where my home is, and where I have faithfully served my masters. I had rather for the sake of the Fatherland suffer what God chooses to send me for having served well than that through me and on my account any city should fall into trouble and difficulties."

Next morning, Wednesday, at seven o'clock, Uytenbogaert paid him a visit. He wished to consult him concerning a certain statement in regard to the Synod which he desired him to lay before the States of Holland. The preacher did not find his friend busily occupied at his desk, as usual, with writing and other work. The Advocate had pushed his chair away from the table encumbered with books and papers, and sat with his back leaning against it, lost in thought. His stern, stoical face was like that of a lion at bay.

Uytenbogaert tried to arouse him from his gloom, consoling him by reflections on the innumerable instances, in all countries and ages, of patriotic statesmen who for faithful service had reaped nothing but ingratitude.

Soon afterwards he took his leave, feeling a presentiment of evil within him which it was impossible for him to shake off as he pressed Barneveld's hand at parting.

Two hours later, the Advocate went in his coach to the session of the States of Holland. The place of the Assembly as well as that of the States-General was within what was called the Binnenhof or Inner Court; the large quadrangle enclosing the ancient hall once the residence of the sovereign Counts of Holland. The apartments of the Stadholder composed the south-western portion of the large series of buildings surrounding this court. Passing by these lodgings on his way to the Assembly, he was accosted by a chamberlain of the Prince and informed that his Highness desired to speak with him. He followed him towards the room where such interviews were usually held, but in the antechamber was met by Lieutenant Nythof, of the Prince's bodyguard. This officer told him that he had been ordered to arrest him in the name of the States-General. The Advocate demanded an interview with the Prince. It was absolutely refused. Physical resistance on the part of a man of seventy-two, stooping with age and leaning on a staff, to military force, of which Nythof was the representative, was impossible. Barneveld put a cheerful face on the matter, and was even inclined to converse. He was at once carried off a prisoner and locked up in a room belonging to Maurice's apartments.

Soon afterwards, Grotius on his way to the States-General was invited in precisely the same manner to go to the Prince, with whom, as he was informed, the Advocate was at that moment conferring. As soon as he had ascended the stairs however, he was arrested by Captain van der Meulen in the name of the States-General, and taken to a chamber in the same apartments, where he was guarded by two halberdmen. In the evening he was removed to another chamber where the window shutters were barred, and where he remained three days and nights. He was much cast down and silent. Pensionary Hoogerbeets was made prisoner in precisely the same manner. Thus the three statesmen—culprits as they were considered by their enemies—were secured without noise or disturbance, each without knowing the fate that had befallen the other. Nothing could have been more neatly done. In the same quiet way orders were sent to secure Secretary Ledenberg, who had returned to Utrecht, and who now after a short confinement in that city was brought to the Hague and imprisoned in the Hof.

At the very moment of the Advocate's arrest his son-in-law van der Myle happened to be paying a visit to Sir Dudley Carleton, who had arrived very late the night before from England. It was some hours before he or any other member of the family learned what had befallen.

The Ambassador reported to his sovereign that the deed was highly applauded by the well disposed as the only means left for the security of the state. "The Arminians," he said, "condemn it as violent and insufferable in a free republic."

Impartial persons, he thought, considered it a superfluous proceeding now that the Synod had been voted and the Waartgelders disbanded.

While he was writing his despatch, the Stadholder came to call upon him, attended by his cousin Count Lewis William. The crowd of citizens following at a little distance, excited by the news with which the city was now ringing, mingled with Maurice's gentlemen and bodyguards and surged up almost into the Ambassador's doors.

Carleton informed his guests, in the course of conversation, as to the general opinion of indifferent judges of these events. Maurice replied that he had disbanded the Waartgelders, but it had now become necessary to deal with their colonel and the chief captains, meaning thereby Barneveld and the two other prisoners.

The news of this arrest was soon carried to the house of Barneveld, and filled his aged wife, his son, and sons-in-law with grief and indignation. His eldest son William, commonly called the Seignior van Groeneveld, accompanied by his two brothers-in-law, Veenhuyzen, President of the Upper Council, and van der Myle, obtained an interview with the Stadholder that same afternoon.

They earnestly requested that the Advocate, in consideration of his advanced age, might on giving proper bail be kept prisoner in his own house.

The Prince received them at first with courtesy. "It is the work of the States-General," he said, " no harm shall come to your father any more than to myself."

Veenhuyzen sought to excuse the opposition which the Advocate had made to the Cloister Church.

The word was scarcely out of his mouth when the Prince fiercely interrupted him—"Any man who says a word against the Cloister Church," he cried in a rage, "his feet shall not carry him from this place."

The interview gave them on the whole but little satisfaction. Very soon afterwards two gentlemen, Asperen and Schagen, belonging to the Chamber of Nobles, and great adherents of Barneveld, who had procured their enrolment in that branch, forced their way into the Stadholder's apartments and penetrated to the door of the room where the Advocate was imprisoned. According to Carleton they were filled with wine as well as rage, and made a great disturbance, loudly demanding their patron's liberation. Maurice came out of his own cabinet on hearing the noise in the corridor, and ordered them to be disarmed and placed under arrest. In the evening however they were released.

Soon afterwards van der Myle fled to Paris, where he endeavoured to make influence with the government in favour of the Advocate. His departure without leave, being, as he was, a member of the Chamber of Nobles and of the council of state, was accounted a great offence. Uytenbogaert also made his escape, as did Taurinus, author of The Balance, van Moersbergen of Utrecht, and many others more or less implicated in these commotions.

There was profound silence in the States of Holland when the arrest of
Barneveld was announced. The majority sat like men distraught. At last
Matenesse said, "You have taken from us our head, our tongue, and our
hand, henceforth we can only sit still and look on."

The States-General now took the responsibility of the arrest, which eight individuals calling themselves the States-General had authorized by secret resolution the day before (28th August). On the 29th accordingly, the following "Billet," as it was entitled, was read to the Assembly and ordered to be printed and circulated among the community. It was without date or signature.

"Whereas in the course of the changes within the city of Utrecht and in other places brought about by the high and mighty Lords the States- General of the United Netherlands, through his Excellency and their Lordships' committee to him adjoined, sundry things have been discovered of which previously there had been great suspicion, tending to the great prejudice of the Provinces in general and of each province in particular, not without apparent danger to the state of the country, and that thereby not only the city of Utrecht, but various other cities of the United Provinces would have fallen into a blood bath; and whereas the chief ringleaders in these things are considered to be John van Barneveld, Advocate of Holland, Rombout Hoogerbeets, and Hugo Grotius, whereof hereafter shall declaration and announcement be made, therefore their High Mightinesses, in order to prevent these and similar inconveniences, to place the country in security, and to bring the good burghers of all the cities into friendly unity again, have resolved to arrest those three persons, in order that out of their imprisonment they may be held to answer duly for their actions and offences."

The deputies of Holland in the States-General protested on the same day against the arrest, declaring themselves extraordinarily amazed at such proceedings, without their knowledge, with usurpation of their jurisdiction, and that they should refer to their principals for instructions in the matter.

They reported accordingly at once to the States of Holland in session in the same building. Soon afterwards however a committee of five from the States-General appeared before the Assembly to justify the proceeding. On their departure there arose a great debate, the six cities of course taking part with Maurice and the general government. It was finally resolved by the majority to send a committee to the Stadholder to remonstrate with, and by the six opposition cities another committee to congratulate him, on his recent performances.

His answer was to this effect:

"What had happened was not by his order, but had been done by the States- General, who must be supposed not to have acted without good cause. Touching the laws and jurisdiction of Holland he would not himself dispute, but the States of Holland would know how to settle that matter with the States-General."

Next day it was resolved in the Holland assembly to let the affair remain as it was for the time being. Rapid changes were soon to be expected in that body, hitherto so staunch for the cause of municipal laws and State rights.

Meantime Barneveld sat closely guarded in the apartments of the Stadholder, while the country and very soon all Europe were ringing with the news of his downfall, imprisonment, and disgrace. The news was a thunder-bolt to the lovers of religious liberty, a ray of dazzling sunlight after a storm to the orthodox.

The showers of pamphlets, villanous lampoons, and libels began afresh. The relatives of the fallen statesman could not appear in the streets without being exposed to insult, and without hearing scurrilous and obscene verses against their father and themselves, in which neither sex nor age was spared, howled in their ears by all the ballad-mongers and broadsheet vendors of the town. The unsigned publication of the States- General, with its dark allusions to horrible discoveries and promised revelations which were never made, but which reduced themselves at last to the gibberish of a pot-house bully, the ingenious libels, the powerfully concocted and poisonous calumnies, caricatures, and lampoons, had done their work. People stared at each other in the streets with open mouths as they heard how the Advocate had for years and years been the hireling of Spain, whose government had bribed him largely to bring about the Truce and kill the West India Company; how his pockets and his coffers were running over with Spanish ducats; how his plot to sell the whole country to the ancient tyrant, drive the Prince of Orange into exile, and bring every city of the Netherlands into a "blood-bath," had, just in time, been discovered.

And the people believed it and hated the man they had so lately honoured, and were ready to tear him to pieces in the streets. Men feared to defend him lest they too should be accused of being stipendiaries of Spain. It was a piteous spectacle; not for the venerable statesman sitting alone there in his prison, but for the Republic in its lunacy, for human nature in its meanness and shame. He whom Count Lewis, although opposed to his politics, had so lately called one of the two columns on which the whole fabric of the States reposed, Prince Maurice being the other, now lay prostrate in the dust and reviled of all men.

"Many who had been promoted by him to high places," said a contemporary, "and were wont to worship him as a god, in hope that he would lift them up still higher, now deserted him, and ridiculed him, and joined the rest of the world in heaping dirt upon him."

On the third day of his imprisonment the Advocate wrote this letter to his family:—

"My very dear wife, children, children-in-law, and grandchildren,—I know that you are sorrowful for the troubles which have come upon me, but I beg you to seek consolation from God the Almighty and to comfort each other. I know before the Lord God of having given no single lawful reason for the misfortunes which have come upon me, and I will with patience await from His Divine hand and from my lawful superiors a happy issue, knowing well that you and my other well-wishers will with your prayers and good offices do all that you can to that end.

"And so, very dear wife, children, children-in-law, and grandchildren, I commend you to God's holy keeping.

"I have been thus far well and honourably treated and accommodated, for which I thank his princely Excellency.

"From my chamber of arrest, last of August, anno 1618.

"Your dear husband, father, father-in-law, and grand father,


On the margin was written:

"From the first I have requested and have at last obtained materials for writing."

A fortnight before the arrest, but while great troubles were known to be impending, the French ambassador extraordinary, de Boississe, had audience before the Assembly of the States-General. He entreated them to maintain the cause of unity and peace as the foundation of their state; "that state," he said, "which lifts its head so high that it equals or surpasses the mightiest republics that ever existed, and which could not have risen to such a height of honour and grandeur in so short a time, but through harmony and union of all the provinces, through the valour of his Excellency, and through your own wise counsels, both sustained by our great king, whose aid is continued by his son."—"The King my master," he continued, "knows not the cause of your disturbances. You have not communicated them to him, but their most apparent cause is a difference of opinion, born in the schools, thence brought before the public, upon a point of theology. That point has long been deemed by many to be so hard and so high that the best advice to give about it is to follow what God's Word teaches touching God's secrets; to wit, that one should use moderation and modesty therein and should not rashly press too far into that which he wishes to be covered with the veil of reverence and wonder. That is a wise ignorance to keep one's eyes from that which God chooses to conceal. He calls us not to eternal life through subtle and perplexing questions."

And further exhorting them to conciliation and compromise, he enlarged on the effect of their internal dissensions on their exterior relations. "What joy, what rapture you are preparing for your neighbours by your quarrels! How they will scorn you! How they will laugh! What a hope do you give them of revenging themselves upon you without danger to themselves! Let me implore you to baffle their malice, to turn their joy into mourning, to unite yourselves to confound them."

He spoke much more in the same vein, expressing wise and moderate sentiments. He might as well have gone down to the neighbouring beach when a south-west gale was blowing and talked of moderation to the waves of the German Ocean. The tempest of passion and prejudice had risen in its might and was sweeping all before it. Yet the speech, like other speeches and intercessions made at this epoch by de Boississe and by the regular French ambassador, du Maurier, was statesmanlike and reasonable. It is superfluous to say that it was in unison with the opinions of Barneveld, for Barneveld had probably furnished the text of the oration. Even as he had a few years before supplied the letters which King James had signed and subsequently had struggled so desperately to disavow, so now the Advocate's imperious intellect had swayed the docile and amiable minds of the royal envoys into complete sympathy with his policy. He usually dictated their general instructions. But an end had come to such triumphs. Dudley Carleton had returned from his leave of absence in England, where he had found his sovereign hating the Advocate as doctors hate who have been worsted in theological arguments and despots who have been baffled in their imperious designs. Who shall measure the influence on the destiny of this statesman caused by the French-Spanish marriages, the sermons of James through the mouth of Carleton, and the mutual jealousy of France and England?

But the Advocate was in prison, and the earth seemed to have closed over him. Hardly a ripple of indignation was perceptible on the calm surface of affairs, although in the States-General as in the States of Holland his absence seemed to have reduced both bodies to paralysis.

They were the more easily handled by the prudent, skilful, and determined

The arrest of the four gentlemen had been communicated to the kings of France and Great Britain and the Elector-Palatine in an identical letter from the States-General. It is noticeable that on this occasion the central government spoke of giving orders to the Prince of Orange, over whom they would seem to have had no legitimate authority, while on the other hand he had expressed indignation on more than one occasion that the respective states of the five provinces where he was governor and to whom he had sworn obedience should presume to issue commands to him.

In France, where the Advocate was honoured and beloved, the intelligence excited profound sorrow. A few weeks previously the government of that country had, as we have seen, sent a special ambassador to the States, M. de Boississe, to aid the resident envoy, du Maurier, in his efforts to bring about a reconciliation of parties and a termination of the religious feud. Their exertions were sincere and unceasing. They were as steadily countermined by Francis Aerssens, for the aim of that diplomatist was to bring about a state of bad feeling, even at cost of rupture, between the Republic and France, because France was friendly to the man he most hated and whose ruin he had sworn.

During the summer a bitter personal controversy had been going on, sufficiently vulgar in tone, between Aerssens and another diplomatist, Barneveld's son-in-law, Cornelis van der Myle. It related to the recall of Aerssens from the French embassy of which enough has already been laid before the reader. Van der Myle by the production of the secret letters of the Queen-Dowager and her counsellors had proved beyond dispute that it was at the express wish of the French government that the Ambassador had retired, and that indeed they had distinctly refused to receive him, should he return. Foul words resulting in propositions for a hostile meeting on the frontier, which however came to nothing, were interchanged and Aerssens in the course of his altercation with the son-inlaw had found ample opportunity for venting his spleen upon his former patron the now fallen statesman.

Four days after the arrest of Barneveld he brought the whole matter before the States-General, and the intention with which he thus raked up the old quarrel with France after the death of Henry, and his charges in regard to the Spanish marriages, was as obvious as it was deliberate.

The French ambassadors were furious. Boississe had arrived not simply as friend of the Advocate, but to assure the States of the strong desire entertained by the French government to cultivate warmest relations with them. It had been desired by the Contra-Remonstrant party that deputies from the Protestant churches of France should participate in the Synod, and the French king had been much assailed by the Catholic powers for listening to those suggestions. The Papal nuncius, the Spanish ambassador, the envoy of the Archduke, had made a great disturbance at court concerning the mission of Boississe. They urged with earnestness that his Majesty was acting against the sentiments of Spain, Rome, and the whole Catholic Church, and that he ought not to assist with his counsel those heretics who were quarrelling among themselves over points in their heretical religion and wishing to destroy each other.

Notwithstanding this outcry the weather was smooth enough until the proceedings of Aerssens came to stir up a tempest at the French court. A special courier came from Boississe, a meeting of the whole council, although it was Sunday, was instantly called, and the reply of the States-General to the remonstrance of the Ambassador in the Aerssens affair was pronounced to be so great an affront to the King that, but for overpowering reasons, diplomatic intercourse would have at once been suspended. "Now instead of friendship there is great anger here," said Langerac. The king forbade under vigorous penalties the departure of any French theologians to take part in the Synod, although the royal consent had nearly been given. The government complained that no justice was done in the Netherlands to the French nation, that leading personages there openly expressed contempt for the French alliance, denouncing the country as "Hispaniolized," and declaring that all the council were regularly pensioned by Spain for the express purpose of keeping up the civil dissensions in the United Provinces.

Aerssens had publicly and officially declared that a majority of the French council since the death of Henry had declared the crown in its temporal as well as spiritual essence to be dependent on the Pope, and that the Spanish marriages had been made under express condition of the renunciation of the friendship and alliance of the States.

Such were among the first-fruits of the fall of Barneveld and the triumph of Aerssens, for it was he in reality who had won the victory, and he had gained it over both Stadholder and Advocate. Who was to profit by the estrangement between the Republic and its powerful ally at a moment too when that great kingdom was at last beginning to emerge from the darkness and nothingness of many years, with the faint glimmering dawn of a new great policy?

Barneveld, whose masterful statesmanship, following out the traditions of William the Silent, had ever maintained through good and ill report cordial and beneficent relations between the two countries, had always comprehended, even as a great cardinal-minister was ere long to teach the world, that the permanent identification of France with Spain and the Roman League was unnatural and impossible.

Meantime Barneveld sat in his solitary prison, knowing not what was passing on that great stage where he had so long been the chief actor, while small intriguers now attempted to control events.

It was the intention of Aerssens to return to the embassy in Paris whence he had been driven, in his own opinion, so unjustly. To render himself indispensable, he had begun by making himself provisionally formidable to the King's government. Later, there would be other deeds to do before the prize was within his grasp.

Thus the very moment when France was disposed to cultivate the most earnest friendship with the Republic had been seized for fastening an insult upon her. The Twelve Years' Truce with Spain was running to its close, the relations between France and Spain were unusually cold, and her friendship therefore more valuable than ever.

On the other hand the British king was drawing closer his relations with Spain, and his alliance was demonstrably of small account. The phantom of the Spanish bride had become more real to his excited vision than ever, so that early in the year, in order to please Gondemar, he had been willing to offer an affront to the French ambassador.

The Prince of Wales had given a splendid masquerade at court, to which the envoy of his Most Catholic Majesty was bidden. Much to his amazement the representative of the Most Christian King received no invitation, notwithstanding that he had taken great pains to procure one. M. de la Boderie was very angry, and went about complaining to the States' ambassador and his other colleagues of the slight, and darkened the lives of the court functionaries having charge of such matters with his vengeance and despair. It was represented to him that he had himself been asked to a festival the year before when Count Gondemar was left out. It was hinted to him that the King had good reasons for what he did, as the marriage with the daughter of Spain was now in train, and it was desirable that the Spanish ambassador should be able to observe the Prince's disposition and make a more correct report of it to his government. It was in vain. M. de la Boderie refused to be comforted, and asserted that one had no right to leave the French ambassador uninvited to any "festival or triumph" at court. There was an endless disturbance. De la Boderie sent his secretary off to Paris to complain to the King that his ambassador was of no account in London, while much favour was heaped upon the Spaniard. The Secretary returned with instructions from Lewis that the Ambassador was to come home immediately, and he went off accordingly in dudgeon. "I could see that he was in the highest degree indignant," said Caron, who saw him before he left, "and I doubt not that his departure will increase and keep up the former jealousy between the governments."

The ill-humor created by this event lasted a long time, serving to neutralize or at least perceptibly diminish the Spanish influence produced in France by the Spanish marriages. In the autumn, Secretary de Puysieux by command of the King ordered every Spaniard to leave the French court. All the "Spanish ladies and gentlemen, great and small," who had accompanied the Queen from Madrid were included in this expulsion with the exception of four individuals, her Majesty's father confessor, physician, apothecary, and cook.

The fair young queen was much vexed and shed bitter tears at this calamity, which, as she spoke nothing but Spanish, left her isolated at the court, but she was a little consoled by the promise that thenceforth the King would share her couch. It had not yet occurred to him that he was married.

The French envoys at the Hague exhausted themselves in efforts, both private and public, in favour of the prisoners, but it was a thankless task. Now that the great man and his chief pupils and adherents were out of sight, a war of shameless calumny was began upon him, such as has scarcely a parallel in political history.

It was as if a whole tribe of noxious and obscene reptiles were swarming out of the earth which had suddenly swallowed him. But it was not alone the obscure or the anonymous who now triumphantly vilified him. Men in high places who had partaken of his patronage, who had caressed him and grovelled before him, who had grown great through his tuition and rich through his bounty, now rejoiced in his ruin or hastened at least to save themselves from being involved in it. Not a man of them all but fell away from him like water. Even the great soldier forgot whose respectful but powerful hand it was which, at the most tragical moment, had lifted him from the high school at Leyden into the post of greatest power and responsibility, and had guided his first faltering footsteps by the light of his genius and experience. Francis Aerssens, master of the field, had now become the political tutor of the mature Stadholder. Step by step we have been studying the inmost thoughts of the Advocate as revealed in his secret and confidential correspondence, and the reader has been enabled to judge of the wantonness of the calumny which converted the determined antagonist into the secret friend of Spain. Yet it had produced its effect upon Maurice.

He told the French ambassadors a month after the arrest that Barneveld had been endeavouring, during and since the Truce negotiations, to bring back the Provinces, especially Holland, if not under the dominion of, at least under some kind of vassalage to Spain. Persons had been feeling the public pulse as to the possibility of securing permanent peace by paying tribute to Spain, and this secret plan of Barneveld had so alienated him from the Prince as to cause him to attempt every possible means of diminishing or destroying altogether his authority. He had spread through many cities that Maurice wished to make himself master of the state by using the religious dissensions to keep the people weakened and divided.

There is not a particle of evidence, and no attempt was ever made to produce any, that the Advocate had such plan, but certainly, if ever, man had made himself master of a state, that man was Maurice. He continued however to place himself before the world as the servant of the States- General, which he never was, either theoretically or in fact.

The French ambassadors became every day more indignant and more discouraged. It was obvious that Aerssens, their avowed enemy, was controlling the public policy of the government. Not only was there no satisfaction to be had for the offensive manner in which he had filled the country with his ancient grievances and his nearly forgotten charges against the Queen-Dowager and those who had assisted her in the regency, but they were repulsed at every turn when by order of their sovereign they attempted to use his good offices in favour of the man who had ever been the steady friend of France.

The Stadholder also professed friendship for that country, and referred to Colonel-General Chatillon, who had for a long time commanded the French regiments in the Netherlands, for confirmation of his uniform affection for those troops and attachment to their sovereign.

He would do wonders, he said, if Lewis would declare war upon Spain by land and sea.

"Such fruits are not ripe," said Boississe, "nor has your love for France been very manifest in recent events."

"Barneveld," replied the Prince, "has personally offended me, and has boasted that he would drive me out of the country like Leicester. He is accused of having wished to trouble the country in order to bring it back under the yoke of Spain. Justice will decide. The States only are sovereign to judge this question. You must address yourself to them."

"The States," replied the ambassadors, "will require to be aided by your counsels."

The Prince made no reply and remained chill and "impregnable." The ambassadors continued their intercessions in behalf of the prisoners both by public address to the Assembly and by private appeals to the Stadholder and his influential friends. In virtue of the intimate alliance and mutual guarantees existing between their government and the Republic they claimed the acceptance of their good offices. They insisted upon a regular trial of the prisoners according to the laws of the land, that is to say, by the high court of Holland, which alone had jurisdiction in the premises. If they had been guilty of high-treason, they should be duly arraigned. In the name of the signal services of Barneveld and of the constant friendship of that great magistrate for France, the King demanded clemency or proof of his crimes. His Majesty complained through his ambassadors of the little respect shown for his counsels and for his friendship. "In times past you found ever prompt and favourable action in your time of need."

"This discourse," said Maurice to Chatillon, "proceeds from evil intention."

Thus the prisoners had disappeared from human sight, and their enemies ran riot in slandering them. Yet thus far no public charges had been made.

"Nothing appears against them," said du Maurier, "and people are beginning to open their mouths with incredible freedom. While waiting for the condemnation of the prisoners, one is determined to dishonour them."

The French ambassadors were instructed to intercede to the last, but they were steadily repulsed—while the King of Great Britain, anxious to gain favour with Spain by aiding in the ruin of one whom he knew and Spain knew to be her determined foe, did all he could through his ambassador to frustrate their efforts and bring on a catastrophe. The States-General and Maurice were now on as confidential terms with Carleton as they were cold and repellent to Boississe and du Maurier.

"To recall to them the benefits of the King," said du Maurier, "is to beat the air. And then Aerssens bewitches them, and they imagine that after having played runaway horses his Majesty will be only too happy to receive them back, caress them, and, in order to have their friendship, approve everything they have been doing right or wrong."

Aerssens had it all his own way, and the States-General had just paid him 12,000 francs in cash on the ground that Langerac's salary was larger than his had been when at the head of the same embassy many years before.

His elevation into the body of nobles, which Maurice had just stocked with five other of his partisans, was accounted an additional affront to France, while on the other hand the Queen-Mother, having through Epernon's assistance made her escape from Blois, where she had been kept in durance since the death of Concini, now enumerated among other grievances for which she was willing to take up arms against her son that the King's government had favoured Barneveld.

It was strange that all the devotees of Spain—Mary de' Medici, and Epernon, as well as James I. and his courtiers—should be thus embittered against the man who had sold the Netherlands to Spain.

At last the Prince told the French ambassadors that the "people of the Provinces considered their persistent intercessions an invasion of their sovereignty." Few would have anything to say to them. "No one listens to us, no one replies to us," said du Maurier, "everyone visiting us is observed, and it is conceived a reproach here to speak to the ambassadors of France."

Certainly the days were changed since Henry IV. leaned on the arm of Barneveld, and consulted with him, and with him only, among all the statesmen of Europe on his great schemes for regenerating Christendom and averting that general war which, now that the great king had been murdered and the Advocate imprisoned, had already begun to ravage Europe.

Van der Myle had gone to Paris to make such exertions as he could among the leading members of the council in favour of his father-in-law. Langerac, the States' ambassador there, who but yesterday had been turning at every moment to the Advocate for light and warmth as to the sun, now hastened to disavow all respect or regard for him. He scoffed at the slender sympathy van der Myle was finding in the bleak political atmosphere. He had done his best to find out what he had been negotiating with the members of the council and was glad to say that it was so inconsiderable as to be not worth reporting. He had not spoken with or seen the King. Jeannin, his own and his father-in-law's principal and most confidential friend, had only spoken with him half an hour and then departed for Burgundy, although promising to confer with him sympathetically on his return. "I am very displeased at his coming here," said Langerac, " . . . . . but he has found little friendship or confidence, and is full of woe and apprehension."

The Ambassador's labours were now confined to personally soliciting the King's permission for deputations from the Reformed churches of France to go to the Synod, now opened (13th November) at Dordtrecht, and to clearing his own skirts with the Prince and States-General of any suspicion of sympathy with Barneveld.

In the first object he was unsuccessful, the King telling him at last "with clear and significant words that this was impossible, on account of his conscience, his respect for the Catholic religion, and many other reasons."

In regard to the second point he acted with great promptness.

He received a summons in January 1619 from the States-General and the
Prince to send them all letters that he had ever received from Barneveld.
He crawled at once to Maurice on his knees, with the letters in his hand.

"Most illustrious, high-born Prince, most gracious Lord," he said; "obeying the commands which it has pleased the States and your princely Grace to give me, I send back the letters of Advocate Barneveld. If your princely Grace should find anything in them showing that the said Advocate had any confidence in me, I most humbly beg your princely Grace to believe that I never entertained any affection for, him, except only in respect to and so far as he was in credit and good authority with the government, and according to the upright zeal which I thought I could see in him for the service of My high and puissant Lords the States-General and of your princely Grace."

Greater humbleness could be expected of no ambassador. Most nobly did the devoted friend and pupil of the great statesman remember his duty to the illustrious Prince and their High Mightinesses. Most promptly did he abjure his patron now that he had fallen into the abyss.

"Nor will it be found," he continued, "that I have had any sympathy or communication with the said Advocate except alone in things concerning my service. The great trust I had in him as the foremost and oldest counsellor of the state, as the one who so confidentially instructed me on my departure for France, and who had obtained for himself so great authority that all the most important affairs of the country were entrusted to him, was the cause that I simply and sincerely wrote to him all that people were in the habit of saying at this court.

"If I had known in the least or suspected that he was not what he ought to be in the service of My Lords the States and of your princely Grace and for the welfare and tranquillity of the land, I should have been well on my guard against letting myself in the least into any kind of communication with him whatever."

The reader has seen how steadily and frankly the Advocate had kept Langerac as well as Caron informed of passing events, and how little concealment he made of his views in regard to the Synod, the Waartgelders, and the respective authority of the States-General and States-Provincial. Not only had Langerac no reason to suspect that Barneveld was not what he ought to be, but he absolutely knew the contrary from that most confidential correspondence with him which he was now so abjectly repudiating. The Advocate, in a protracted constitutional controversy, had made no secret of his views either officially or privately. Whether his positions were tenable or flimsy, they had been openly taken.

"What is more," proceeded the Ambassador, "had I thought that any account ought to be made of what I wrote to him concerning the sovereignty of the Provinces, I should for a certainty not have failed to advise your Grace of it above all."

He then, after profuse and maudlin protestations of his most dutiful zeal all the days of his life for "the service, honour, reputation, and contentment of your princely Grace," observed that he had not thought it necessary to give him notice of such idle and unfounded matters, as being likely to give the Prince annoyance and displeasure. He had however always kept within himself the resolution duly to notify him in case he found that any belief was attached to the reports in Paris. "But the reports," he said, "were popular and calumnious inventions of which no man had ever been willing or able to name to him the authors."

The Ambassador's memory was treacherous, and he had doubtless neglected to read over the minutes, if he had kept them, of his wonderful disclosures on the subject of the sovereignty before thus exculpating himself. It will be remembered that he had narrated the story of the plot for conferring sovereignty upon Maurice not as a popular calumny flying about Paris with no man to father it, but he had given it to Barneveld on the authority of a privy councillor of France and of the King himself. "His Majesty knows it to be authentic," he had said in his letter. That letter was a pompous one, full of mystery and so secretly ciphered that he had desired that his friend van der Myle, whom he was now deriding for his efforts in Paris to save his father-inlaw from his fate, might assist the Advocate in unravelling its contents. He had now discovered that it had been idle gossip not worthy of a moment's attention.

The reader will remember too that Barneveld, without attaching much importance to the tale, had distinctly pointed out to Langerac that the Prince himself was not implicated in the plot and had instructed the Ambassador to communicate the story to Maurice. This advice had not been taken, but he had kept the perilous stuff upon his breast. He now sought to lay the blame, if it were possible to do so, upon the man to whom he had communicated it and who had not believed it.

The business of the States-General, led by the Advocate's enemies this winter, was to accumulate all kind of tales, reports, and accusations to his discredit on which to form something like a bill of indictment. They had demanded all his private and confidential correspondence with Caron and Langerae. The ambassador in Paris had been served, moreover, with a string of nine interrogatories which he was ordered to answer on oath and honour. This he did and appended the reply to his letter.

The nine questions had simply for their object to discover what Barneveld had been secretly writing to the Ambassador concerning the Synod, the enlisted troops, and the supposed projects of Maurice concerning the sovereignty. Langerac was obliged to admit in his replies that nothing had been written except the regular correspondence which he endorsed, and of which the reader has been able to see the sum and substance in the copious extracts which have been given.

He stated also that he had never received any secret instructions save the marginal notes to the list of questions addressed by him, when about leaving for Paris in 1614, to Barneveld. Most of these were of a trivial and commonplace nature.

They had however a direct bearing on the process to be instituted against the Advocate, and the letter too which we have been examining will prove to be of much importance. Certainly pains enough were taken to detect the least trace of treason in a very loyal correspondence. Langerac concluded by enclosing the Barneveld correspondence since the beginning of the year 1614, protesting that not a single letter had been kept back or destroyed. "Once more I recommend myself to mercy, if not to favour," he added, "as the most faithful, most obedient, most zealous servant of their High Mightinesses and your princely Grace, to whom I have devoted and sacrificed my honour and life in most humble service; and am now and forever the most humble, most obedient, most faithful servant of my most serene, most illustrious, most highly born Prince, most gracious Lord and princeliest Grace."

The former adherent of plain Advocate Barneveld could hardly find superlatives enough to bestow upon the man whose displeasure that prisoner had incurred.

Directly after the arrest the Stadholder had resumed his tour through the Provinces in order to change the governments. Sliding over any opposition which recent events had rendered idle, his course in every city was nearly the same. A regiment or two and a train of eighty or a hundred waggons coming through the city-gate preceded by the Prince and his body-guard of 300, a tramp of halberdmen up the great staircase of the town-hall, a jingle of spurs in the assembly-room, and the whole board of magistrates were summoned into the presence of the Stadholder. They were then informed that the world had no further need of their services, and were allowed to bow themselves out of the presence. A new list was then announced, prepared beforehand by Maurice on the suggestion of those on whom he could rely. A faint resistance was here and there attempted by magistrates and burghers who could not forget in a moment the rights of self-government and the code of laws which had been enjoyed for centuries. At Hoorn, for instance, there was deep indignation among the citizens. An imprudent word or two from the authorities might have brought about a "blood-bath."

The burgomaster ventured indeed to expostulate. They requested the Prince not to change the magistracy. "This is against our privileges," they said, "which it is our duty to uphold. You will see what deep displeasure will seize the burghers, and how much disturbance and tumult will follow. If any faults have been committed by any member of the government, let him be accused and let him answer for them. Let your Excellency not only dismiss but punish such as cannot properly justify themselves."

But his Excellency summoned them all to the town-house and as usual deposed them all. A regiment was drawn up in half-moon on the square beneath the windows. To the magistrates asking why they were deposed, he briefly replied, "The quiet of the land requires it. It is necessary to have unanimous resolutions in the States-General at the Hague. This cannot be accomplished without these preliminary changes. I believe that you had good intentions and have been faithful servants of the Fatherland. But this time it must be so."

And so the faithful servants of the Fatherland were dismissed into space. Otherwise how could there be unanimous voting in parliament? It must be regarded perhaps as fortunate that the force of character, undaunted courage, and quiet decision of Maurice enabled him to effect this violent series of revolutions with such masterly simplicity. It is questionable whether the Stadholder's commission technically empowered him thus to trample on municipal law; it is certain that, if it did, the boasted liberties of the Netherlands were a dream; but it is equally true that, in the circumstances then existing, a vulgar, cowardly, or incompetent personage might have marked his pathway with massacres without restoring tranquillity.

Sometimes there was even a comic aspect to these strokes of state. The lists of new magistrates being hurriedly furnished by the Prince's adherents to supply the place of those evicted, it often happened that men not quahified by property, residence, or other attributes were appointed to the government, so that many became magistrates before they were citizens.

On being respectfully asked sometimes who such a magistrate might be whose face and name were equally unknown to his colleagues and to the townsmen in general; "Do I know the fellows?" he would say with a cheerful laugh. And indeed they might have all been dead men, those new functionaries, for aught he did know. And so on through Medemblik and Alkmaar, Brielle, Delft, Monnikendam, and many other cities progressed the Prince, sowing new municipalities broadcast as he passed along. At the Hague on his return a vote of thanks to the Prince was passed by the nobles and most of the cities for the trouble he had taken in this reforming process. But the unanimous vote had not yet been secured, the strongholds of Arminianism, as it was the fashion to call them, not being yet reduced.

The Prince, in reply to the vote of thanks, said that "in what he had done and was going to do his intention sincerely and uprightly had been no other than to promote the interests and tranquillity of the country, without admixture of anything personal and without prejudice to the general commonwealth or the laws and privileges of the cities." He desired further that "note might be taken of this declaration as record of his good and upright intentions."

But the sincerest and most upright intentions may be refracted by party atmosphere from their aim, and the purest gold from the mint elude the direct grasp through the clearest fluid in existence. At any rate it would have been difficult to convince the host of deposed magistrates hurled from office, although recognized as faithful servants of the Fatherland, that such violent removal had taken place without detriment to the laws and privileges.

And the Stadholder went to the few cities where some of the leaven still lingered.

He arrived at Leyden on the 22nd October, "accompanied by a great suite of colonels, ritmeesters, and captains," having sent on his body-guard to the town strengthened by other troops. He was received by the magistrates at the "Prince's Court" with great reverence and entertained by them in the evening at a magnificent banquet.

Next morning he summoned the whole forty of them to the town-house, disbanded them all, and appointed new ones in their stead; some of the old members however who could be relied upon being admitted to the revolutionized board.

The populace, mainly of the Stadholder's party, made themselves merry over the discomfited "Arminians". They hung wisps of straw as derisive wreaths of triumph over the dismantled palisade lately encircling the town-hall, disposed of the famous "Oldenbarneveld's teeth" at auction in the public square, and chased many a poor cock and hen, with their feathers completely plucked from their bodies, about the street, crying "Arme haenen, arme haenen"—Arminians or poor fowls—according to the practical witticism much esteemed at that period. Certainly the unfortunate Barneveldians or Arminians, or however the Remonstrants might be designated, had been sufficiently stripped of their plumes.

The Prince, after having made proclamation from the town-house enjoining "modesty upon the mob" and a general abstention from "perverseness and petulance," went his way to Haarlem, where he dismissed the magistrates and appointed new ones, and then proceeded to Rotterdam, to Gouda, and to Amsterdam.

It seemed scarcely necessary to carry, out the process in the commercial capital, the abode of Peter Plancius, the seat of the West India Company, the head-quarters of all most opposed to the Advocate, most devoted to the Stadholder. But although the majority of the city government was an overwhelming one, there was still a respectable minority who, it was thought possible, might under a change of circumstances effect much mischief and even grow into a majority.

The Prince therefore summoned the board before him according to his usual style of proceeding and dismissed them all. They submitted without a word of remonstrance.

Ex-Burgomaster Hooft, a man of seventy-two-father of the illustrious Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft, one of the greatest historians of the Netherlands or of any country, then a man of thirty-seven-shocked at the humiliating silence, asked his colleagues if they had none of them a word to say in defence of their laws and privileges.

They answered with one accord "No."

The old man, a personal friend of Barneveld and born the same year, then got on his feet and addressed the Stadholder. He spoke manfully and well, characterizing the summary deposition of the magistracy as illegal and unnecessary, recalling to the memory of those who heard him that he had been thirty-six years long a member of the government and always a warm friend of the House of Nassau, and respectfully submitting that the small minority in the municipal government, while differing from their colleagues and from the greater number of the States-General, had limited their opposition to strictly constitutional means, never resorting to acts of violence or to secret conspiracy.

Nothing could be more truly respectable than the appearance of this ancient magistrate, in long black robe with fur edgings, high ruff around his thin, pointed face, and decent skull-cap covering his bald old head, quavering forth to unsympathetic ears a temperate and unanswerable defence of things which in all ages the noblest minds have deemed most valuable.

His harangue was not very long. Maurice's reply was very short.

"Grandpapa," he said, "it must be so this time. Necessity and the service of the country require it."

With that he dismissed the thirty-six magistrates and next day appointed a new board, who were duly sworn to fidelity to the States-General. Of course a large proportion of the old members were renominated.

Scarcely had the echo of the Prince's footsteps ceased to resound through the country as he tramped from one city to another, moulding each to his will, when the States of Holland, now thoroughly reorganized, passed a solemn vote of thanks to him for all that he had done. The six cities of the minority had now become the majority, and there was unanimity at the Hague. The Seven Provinces, States-General and States-Provincial, were as one, and the Synod was secured. Whether the prize was worth the sacrifices which it had cost and was still to cost might at least be considered doubtful.


Affection of his friends and the wrath of his enemies
Depths theological party spirit could descend
Extraordinary capacity for yielding to gentle violence
Human nature in its meanness and shame
It had not yet occurred to him that he was married
Make the very name of man a term of reproach
Never lack of fishers in troubled waters
Opposed the subjection of the magistracy by the priesthood
Pot-valiant hero
Resolve to maintain the civil authority over the military
Tempest of passion and prejudice
The effect of energetic, uncompromising calumny
Yes, there are wicked men about