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Cornell University Library 

DH 186.5.M91 1900 


The writings of John Lothrop Motley 

3 1924 014 608 966 

Cornell University 

The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 

ilibrar^ COttton 



Abdication of Charles V. 

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J^tojork anbj[^oniion 

iLibrar^ CDitton 




D.C.L., LL.D. 






This is one of the first 
impressions of 1000 sets. 

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 

one thousand eight hundred and sixty, by 

John Lothrop Motley, 

in the Clerk's Office of the Disti-ict Court of the 

District of Massachusetts. 

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 
one thousand eight hundred and sixty-seven, by 

John Lothrop Motley, 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the 

District of Massachusetts. 

Copyright, 1888, 1900, by Elizabeth Cabot Vernon Harcourt, 
Mary Lothrop Sheridan, Susaj^ Margaret 
Stackpole Mildmay. 

The De Vinne Press 


The position of Motley in the world of letters is unique. 
He was the first American historian to teU the story of 
a foreign country with such fullness of research, with 
such scholarly ability, and with such wide general accep- 
tance, that his work at once became a classic. Prescott, 
Ticknor, and Irving had indeed preceded him, and with 
the supposed advantage of writing upon more romantic 
and fascinating subjects, because dealing with the older 
and southern Europe. Yet Motley showed that not 
only could the glory of romance enhalo even a little 
northern country wrapped in fog and cloud, but that the 
actual facts when set in sober narrative made a story 
more wonderful than that of Spain, while vastly more 
morally beautiful and more helpful to the lover of liberty. 
He pictured the drama of the Netherlands' struggle for 
liberty as no other writer had done before him or is 
hkely to do after him. As Busken Huet has written, 
Motley succeeded, where even Schiller had failed, in 
making the story of Dutch liberty interesting. 

Richly dowered by nature and inheritance. Motley's 
life spanned the course of years from 1814 to 1877. On 


Ms father's side descended from nonconformist and Irish, 
and on his mother's from English, ancestry, he was 
born in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 15, 1814. The 
delicacy of his physical organization, which ia after life 
manifested itself in extreme refinement of manner and 
beauty of countenance, made him more fond of study 
than of rough outdoor sports. From childhood he de- 
lighted in reading the works of romancers, novelists, and 
poets. As early as eleven he had planned a novel. Pre- 
pared in the schools of Boston, at thirteen he entered 
Harvard College. There he won the admiration of 
professors and students for his many fine qualities. 
His facility in BngUsh composition and the mastery of 
languages was noteworthy. After graduation he visited 
Europe, devoting a year to travel and reading. Ee- 
tuming home, he began the study of law. Married at 
twenty-three to Miss Mary Benjamin, daughter of Park 
Benjamin, he found an accomplished helpmeet. With 
domestic happiness and inherited wealth, it was not won- 
derful that Motley should follow his innate tastes rather 
than persevere against nature in attempts to adorn either 
the jurisprudence or the legislative annals of Massachu- 
setts. It did not surprise his friends when they learned 
that he was engaged upon a novel, " Morton's Hope." 

Motley was then a young man of but twenty-five, full 
of aspiration and promise, though his powers were as 
yet chaotic and unregulated. Intellectually gorged with 
the undigested results of miscellaneous reading, he was 


not yet able, possibly not persevering enough, to produce 
an enduring work of art. " Morton's Hope " is absurd 
as a story and unreadable as a book. In its general 
mass it reminds one rather of a crucible of steel bub- 
bling over with the slag as yet unhammered and un- 
purified out of it, rather than the product that has issued 
from the converter and passed under the trip-hammer 
and the lathe. There is no cohesion in the plot, no de- 
velopment of character. Even the unities of time and 
place are outraged. Yet this novel, so called, is a self- 
revelation of the writer. Reading the work in the light 
of his triumph of disciplined powers, one can see that 
under the mask of the hero is Motley himself. 

The appointment of secretary to the American lega- 
tion in St. Petersburg was offered to Motley in the 
autumn of 1841. He accepted, but being alone, this 
young husband and father was too homesick to remain 
longer than a few wintry months. He studied this 
half-way house between Asia and Europe, and enjoyed 
the gorgeous splendors of a court at which the Oriental 
semibarbarism meets modern Christendom. He became 
especially fascinated with the story of the life and work 
of Russia's gi-eat civilizer, Czar Peter. The task of 
shaping the career of a young and robust nation, while 
adapting the forms of an older civilization to a new and 
untamed country, must ever be of intrinsic interest to 
Americans, and Motley was American to the core. In 
his first serious effort in historical composition he 


treated of Peter the Great, in an elaborate article in tlie 
"North American Review" of October, 1845. 

To the student of Motley, the man of letters, this essay- 
is of extreme interest, for in a double sense it reveals 
and foreshadows the future historian of the Dutch Re- 
public. It suggests, if it does not tell exactly, why he 
took the Netherlands for his life-theme. With thorough 
command of his subject, briUiancy of coloring, power 
of dramatic arrangement, skill in starthug antitheses, 
swiftness in penetrating the designs of leading actors 
in a great drama, and delicacy in discriminating and 
portrajdng their characteristics. Motley frames a superb 
historical painting in prose and tells an entrancing 

It is highly probable that Motley's experiences in St. 
Petersburg gave him his supreme subject and his future 
task. Living as he did in the Russia which "Baas 
Pieter " had done so much to mold, so keen an observer 
could not fail to note how greatly little Holland had 
been the tutor and helper of the Muscovite empire. In- 
deed, the assistance which Holland gave to Russia in her 
national renovation and alliance of interests with civi- 
lized Europe may be likened to, and finds a parallel in, 
the work which Americans have done in Japan in our 
own century. In or near St. Petersbiirg there was a 
settlement of Dutchmen who wrought in Russia, which 
was named after their own home. Not a few of Peter's 
best helpers were Hollanders, and to this day many of 


the terms of command and the points, places, and things 
useful in a ship are Dutch. 

It is certain that about this time (1846) Motley began 
seriously to collect materials for a history of the Nether- 
lands. Meantime, as Dr. Holmes— as yet his only biog- 
rapher—says. Motley was " studying history for its facts 
and principles, and fiction for its scenery and portraits." 
In two other essays in the "North American Review" 
he showed how highly he appreciated Balzac. In an- 
other he reviewed with appreciative sympathy the policy 
of the Puritans in America. 

Mr. Motley served one year faithfully, but not very 
effectively, as a member of the Massachusetts legislature. 
The bill which he brought in to reform education in Mas- 
sachusetts was hopelessly beaten. Nature seemed, by 
dooming him to failure there, to be only showing him 
the one road which he was to travel. 

On the other hand. Motley's literary ambition was 
greatly stimulated by the warm praises of his essay ou 
Peter the Great. Thereupon he ventured upon the pub- 
lication of a novel which he had written several years 
before. Fascinated with the early annals and local lore 
of Plymouth and the Pilgrims, Motley had put together a 
certain number of thousands of words into a novel called 
" Merry Mount." Yet although this story in its structure 
was a vast improvement upon his first venture, almost 
as much so as in the Japanese theoiy of evolution those 
gods having form and sex show improvement over 


masses of warm and moving mud, it showed very clearly 
that Motley was not to rank high as a romancer. His 
descriptive powers were uncommonly fine, but it seemed 
utterly beyond his power to originate or develop char- 
acter, to create events, or to imagine circumstances. He 
was still exuberantly and chaotically what he always 
remained, even when order and splendor were his char- 
acteristics—a colorist rather than a draftsman. From 
first to last Motley is a maker of pictures. What he 
needed was something tangible and solid to hang his 
pictiu-es upon. 

Nevertheless, this novel showed such unquestionable 
signs of promise and power that the reviewers gave it 
kindly notice and detailed attention. They further in- 
vited Mm to meet them again on the " half -historical 
ground" which he had chosen. Certainly fame was 
beckoning him on. At any rate. Motley kept on collecting 
his materials for a history of Holland, in which his friend 
Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes— himself a descendant of 
Dutchmen in Europe, and of Schenectady and Rensselaer- 
wyck deacons in New Netherland — encouraged him. 
Yet having made his plans to write of one of the small- 
est while one of the greatest nations of Europe, and one 
which, after England, had the most to do in the making 
of the American republic, we can imagine with what 
a sense first of hunger and then of disgust Motley 
must have investigated and exhausted the libraries of 
Boston and Cambridge and the region adjacent, then 


and until recently notorious for their poverty as to 
Dutch books and literature. His passionate love of the 
truth drove liim to the fountains, yes, even into the un- 
explored recesses of the wilderness of parchment and 
paper, of dust and neglect, where, like dry bones, lay the 
material which he was to summon forth to take on a life 
of glory and of beauty. 

What was there already in the field before Motley 
wrote? We name, of course, the old folios— ponderous 
black-lettered tomes bound in pigskin, weighing, many 
of them, ten to fifteen pounds apiece— of Meteren, Bor, 
Hoofd, Boudart, besides Wagenaer's serried array of 
volumes, nearly f oui'score in number (counting text and 
additions). These, however, were in Dutch, which, not to 
the discredit of the average man of culture perhaps, but 
certainly to the man professing to be a historian of 
American origins, was as little known in New England 
as Japanese. Even among the Dutch themselves there 
were few modern monogi-aphs on the history of their 
own country. It may be safely said that the modern 
revival of Dutch historical writing, which has been such 
a marked feature of the recent literary movement in the 
Netherlands, was in very great part due to the stimulus 
given by Motley's labors. The Germans had done little, 
except Schiller, whose work is at best a crude sketch 
and confessedly uninteresting. One need not forget that 
Grattan, the Irish novelist, had in 1830, twenty years be- 
fore, penned the history of the Netherlands. His duU 


and thoroughly uninteresting story, reprinted in Phila- 
delphia in 1831, is a compilation rather than an original 
work, affording Motley a warning. Mr. C. M. Davies, a 
gentleman of Welsh extraction, who had made himself 
thoroughly conversant with Dutch, Flemish, and Frisian, 
and had spent several years upon his congenial task, pub- 
lished in 1841 his first and in 1851 his second and third 
volume of his "History of Holland." Excellent as is 
Davies's work in judicial breadth of mind, and irritating 
as some of his truthful revelations must have been to 
his British countrymen, there is no comparison to be 
made between Davies and Motley, whether for philo- 
sophic insight, breadth of view, thoroughness of exami- 
nation of authorities, or beauty and splendor of diction. 

It will be seen that Motley had almost a virgin field 
before him, while it is doubtful whether any modern 
historian since Gribbon had, before his time and example, 
gone so thoroughly into original research, so utilized 
the treasures of archives, or made such long and detailed 

Fortunately, having wealth at his back to carry out his 
plans, Motley left America with his family and spent 
several years in Europe. He gave most of his time to 
the archives in Berlin, Dresden, Brussels, and The Hague, 
recreating for himself out of their own records the 
characters of the men who had once moved as living 
figures in the streets of the Netherlands. 

During these years Motley had, except in the joys of 


home and family, few recreations. He beguUed his 
hours of leisure with fiction. He fed his soul with art. 
In the land of Rubens he reveled in the splendid color- 
ing of the grand Fleming. In the land of Rembrandt 
he enjoyed the might and mirth, the truth and glory, of 
the Netherlandish painters, taking many a hint for his 
pen both from the brush of the king of the colorists and 
from the sovereign tamer of light and shadow. The 
literary methods of Motley— clear statements followed 
by rhetorical amplification and embelhshment, Rem- 
brandt-Uke antitheses which arrayed against each other 
glory and gloom, sunshine and darkness, the fine limning 
and illumination of his portraits, the artistic attention 
to minute details— seem, if not borrowed, certainly 
stimulated to their best expression by Rubens, Rem- 
brandt, Frans Hals, the matchless portrait-painter, 
Teniers, Ostade, and Jan Steen, the leaders of the world 
in genre. 

Calculating that from the time of writing his first 
historical work, the essay on Peter the Great, with 
its contact with Dutch themes. Motley was collecting 
material, making his studies, and shaping the design or 
composing the chapters, his great work occupied him 
during ten years. His "Rise of the Dutch Republic" 
appeared in London and New York in 1856. In England 
the welcome from the nonconformist press was instant 
and warm, while the Tory papers and those that repre- 
sent that England which Americans find hard to love 


were, as Motley said, decidedly disagreeable. The re- 
view which set the tone for later English criticism was 
from the pen of Mr. J. A. Froude. He declared this story 
of the first twenty years of the revolt of the United Prov- 
inces to be "a history as complete as industry and 
genius can make it. In power of dramatic description 
no modern historian except Mr. Carlyle surpasses him, 
and in analysis of character he is elaborate and distinct. 
His place wlU be at once conceded to him among the first 
historians in our common language." 

The wide reading of Motley's " Rise of the Dutch 
Repubhc" and his subsequent historical works on the 
same general theme is shown by the fact that his works 
are now found in nearly every library of importance, 
whether pubhc or private. 

On the Continent the book was quickly translated into 
Dutch, German, French, and Russian. In Holland Bak- 
huyzen van den Brink, the Dutch archivist and scholar, 
translated the work, furnishing an introduction and an 
abundance of luminous and helpful notes. He thus 
gave the narrative a dress which, especially in the 
Dutch forms of the proper names, was delightful to the 
eyes of all natives of Patria. Edition after edition of 
this translation has been read, while many thousand 
Dutchmen have read the work in the original English, 
not a few, as I have been credibly informed, learning 
our tongue for the express purpose of reading Motley at 
fii'st-hand. In America, Motley's friends and literary 


men broke out in one great chorus of approval. The 
sincerest form of flattery has been shown abundantly in 
later years by numerous writers and orators, who, find- 
ing Motley's books a mine of information, and not going 
to the original authorities, copy both his statements and 
style, besides taking his general view and his coloring 
of events. Motley's name was once for aU enrolled 
among the names of the great writers of history. 

Motley's literary triumph made him a citizen of the 
world. He returned to America, li%'ing in Boston during 
the winter of 1856-57, but went back to " our old home " 
in 1858, finding the doors of English society open to him. 
He entered that society with the ease, grace, and power 
of the cultivated American, appreciating also, as the cul- 
tivated American invariably does, the warmth of true 
English hearts. He was an active patriot dxiring our 
Civil "War. In later years he was minister of the United 
States to Austria and Great Britain. 

" The Rise of the Dutch Republic " was only the portico 
of a larger temple of history of which Motley hoped 
to be the builder. A letter written March 4, 1869, from 
Rome, reveals his plan of devoting still other volumes to 
the epoch of Independence Achieved, from the death of 
William the Silent to the twelve years' truce (1586-1609) ; 
and another set to the third epoch. Independence Rec- 
ognized, from the twelve years' truce to the peace of 
Westphaha (1609-48). 

Comparing this plan with the work actually accom- 


plished, it will be seen that Motley, like so many other 
earnest scholars who find that life is short, whUe art is 
long, left only part of the finished building. In after 
years, the history of which we need not detail, he accom- 
plished only the writing of the four volumes devoted to 
the " History of the United Netherlands," thus finishing 
his treatment of the two epochs. Into the third he really 
never entered, for after issuing the four volumes on the 
" History of the United Netherlands " he turned aside to 
picture that long conflict of principles between state 
sovereignty and national supremacy, and that protracted 
duel between the two men who incarnated these ideas, 
the aristocratic burgher John of Barneveldt and the man 
of the people, Prince Maurice. The entire period of 
Dutch history covered in detail by Motley is that from 
the abdication of Charles V., in 1555, to the death of 
Barneveldt, in 1619. 

Motley died near Dorchester, England, on May 29, 
1877, and was buried at Kensal Green Cemetery, Lon- 
don. Through painting, picture, and marble bust, his 
features have become familiar to the American people, 
and his name is honored on both sides of the sea. 

Rev. William Elliot Griffis. 



Preface xxv 

Historical Introduction 1 

Part I 

Phiup the Second est the Netherlands, 


Chapter I. —Abdication of Charles resolved upon — Brussels 
in the sixteenth century — Hall of the palace described — 
Portraits of prominent individuals present at the ceremony 
—Formalities of the abdication— Universal emotion— Ee- 
marks upon the character and career of Charles— His 
retirement at Yuste 119 

Chapter II. — Sketch of Philip II.— Characteristics of Mary 
Tudor — Portrait of Philip— His council— Rivalry of Ruy 
Gomez and Alva— Character of Kuy Gomez— Queen Mary 
of Hungary — Sketch of Philibert of Savoy— Truce of Vau- 
celles— Secret treaty between the pope and Henry II.— 
Rejoicings in the Netherlands on account of the peace- 
Purposes of Philip— Reenaotment of the edict of 1550— The 
king's dissimulation — "Request" to the provinces — Infrac- 
tion of the truce in Italy— Character of Pope Paul PV.— In- 
trigues of Cardinal Caraffa— War against Spain resolved 
upon by France — Campaign in Italy — Amicable siege of 
Rome— Peace with the pontiff— Hostilities on the Flemish 
border— Coligny foiled at Douai— Sacks Lens— Philip in 
England— Queen Mary engages in the war— Philip's army 
assembled atJGivet— Portrait of Count Egmont— The French 
army under Coligny and Montmorency— Siege of St.-Quentin 
—Attempts of the constable to relieve the city— Battle of 



St. -Quentin— Hesitation and timidity of Philip— City of St.- 
Quentin taken and sacked— Continued indecision of Philip 
—His army disbanded— Campaign of the Diike of Guise- 
Capture of Calais— Interview between Cardinal de Lorraine 
and the Bishop of Arras— Secret combinations for a league 
between France and Spain against heresy— Languid move- 
ments of Guise— Foray of De Thermes on the Flemish fron- 
tier—Battle of Gravelines— Popularity of Egmont— Enmity 
of Alva 166 

Chaptee in. -Secret negotiations for peace- Two fresh armies 
assembled, but inactive- Negotiations at Cercamp— Death 
of Mary Tudor— Treaty of Cateau-Cambr^sis— Death of 
Henry II. —Policy of Catherine de' Medici- Revelations by 
Henry II. to the Prince of Orange— Funeral of Charles V. 
in Brussels— Universal joy in the Netherlands at the resto- 
ration of peace— Organization of the government by Philip, 
and preparations for his departure — Appointment of Mar- 
garet of Parma as regent of the Netherlands — Three 
councils — The consulta — The stadholders of the different 
provinces — Dissatisfaction caused by the foreign troops — 
Assembly of the estates at Ghent to receive the parting 
instructions and farewell of the king — Speech of the Bishop 
of Arras— Eequest for three millions— Fierce denunciation 
of heresy on the part of Philip — Strenuous enforcement of 
the edicts commanded— Reply by the states of Artois — 
Unexpected conditions— Rage of the king— Similar conduct 
on the part of the other provinces— Remonstrance in the 
name of the States-General against the foreign soldiery- 
Formal reply on the part of the crown- Departure of the 
king from the Netherlands— Autos da fe in Spain .... 247 

Part II 

Administration of the Duchess Margaret, 

Chapter I.— Biographical sketch and portrait of Margaret 
of Parma— The state council— Berlaymont—Viglius— Sketch 
of William the Silent— Portrait of Anthony Perrenot, after- 



ward Cardinal Granyelle— General view of the political, 
social, and religious condition of the Netherlands— Habits 
of the aristocracy— Emulation in extravagance- Pecuniai-y 
emharrassments— Sympathy for the Reformation, steadily 
increasing among the people, the true cause of the impend- 
ing revolt — Measures of the government— Edict of 1550 
described— Papal bulls granted to Philip for increasing 
the number of bishops in the Netherlands— Necessity for 
retaining the Spanish troops to enforce the policy of perse- 
cution .... 279 

Chapter II. — Agitation in the Netherlands— The ancient 
charters resorted to as barriers against the measures of gov- 
ernment— "Joyous entrance" of Brabant — Constitution of 
Holland— Growing unpopularity of Anthony Perrenot, Arch- 
bishop of Mechlin— Opposition to the new bishoprics by 
Orange, Egmont, and other influential nobles— Fury of the 
people at the continued presence of the foreign soldiery- 
Orange resigns the command of the legion— The troops 
recalled— Philip's personal attention to the details of perse- 
cution- Perrenot becomes Cardinal de Granvelle— All the 
power of government in his hands— His increasing un- 
popularity—Animosity and violence of Egmont toward the 
cardinal— Relations between Orange and Granvelle— An- 
cient friendship gradually changing to enmity — Renewal 
of the magistracy at Antwerp— Quarrel between the prince 
and cardinal— Joint letter of Orange and Egmont to the 
king — Answer of the king— Indignation of PhiUp against 
Count Horn — Secret correspondence between the king 
and cardinal— Remonstrances against the new bishoprics- 
Philip's private financial statements— Penury of the ex- 
chequer in Spain and in the provinces— Plan for debasing 
the coin— Mari'iage of William the Silent with the Princess 
of Lorraine circumvented— Negotiations for his matrimonial 
alliance with Princess Anna of Saxony — Correspondence be- 
tween Granvelle and Philip upon the subject— Opposition 
of Landgrave Philip and of Philip II. —Character and conduct 
of Elector Augustus— Mission of Count Schwarzburg— Com- 
munications of Orange to the king and to Duchess Margaret 
—Characteristic letter of Philip— Artful conduct of Gran- 



velle and of the regent— Visit of Orange to Dresden— Pro- 
posed "note" of Elector Augustus— Refusal of tlie prince 
—Protest of the landgrave against the marriage— Prepara- 
tions for the wedding at Leipsic— Notarial instrument drawn 
up on the marriage day— Wedding ceremonies and festiv- 
ities—Entrance of Granvelle into Mechlin as archbishop- 
Compromise in Brabant between the abbeys and bishops . 329 

Chapter III. — The Inquisition the great cause of the revolt 
— The three varieties of the institution — The Spanish In- 
quisition described — The episcopal Inquisition in the Nether- 
lands — The papal Inquisition established in the provinces 
by Charles V. — His instructions to the inquisitors — They 
are renewed by Philip — Inquisitor Titelmann — Instances 
of his manner of proceeding — Spanish and Netherland 
inqtdsitions compared — Conduct of Granvelle — Faveau and 
Mallart condemned at Valenciennes — "Journ^e des mau- 
brul^s " — Severe measures at Valenciennes — Attack of the 
rhetoric clubs upon Granvelle — Granvelle's insinuations 
against Egmont and Simon Eenard — Timidity of VigUus — 
Universal hatred toward the cardinal — Buffoonery of Brede- 
rode and Lumey — Courage of Granvelle — Philip taxes the 
Netherlands for the suppression of the Huguenots in 
Erance — Meeting of the Knights of the Fleece — Assembly 
at the house of Orange — Demand upon the estates for sup- 
plies — Montigny appointed envoy to Spain — Open and de- 
termined opposition to Granvelle — Secret representations 
by the cardinal to Philip concerning Egmont and other 
seigniors — Line of conduct traced out for the king — Mon- 
tigny's representations in Spain — Unsatisfactory result of 
his mission 393 


Abdication of Chaeles V Frontispiece 

Map of Holland and Belgium . . . Facing page xxxii 

Philip the Good " 

Chaeles the Bold " 

Chaeles V " 

Count Egmont " 

Caedinal Geanvelle " 







The rise of the Dutch RepubUc must ever be regarded 
as one of the leading events of modern times. Without 
the birth of this great commonwealth, the various his- 
torical phenomena of the sixteenth and following cen- 
turies must have either not existed, or have presented 
themselves under essential modifications. Itself an or- 
ganized protest against ecclesiastical tyranny and uni- 
versal empire, the Republic guarded with sagacity, at 
many critical periods in the world's history, that balance 
of power which, among civilized states, ought always 
to be identical with the scales of divine justice. The 
splendid empire of Charles V. was erected upon the 
grave of liberty. It is a consolation to those who have 
hope in humanity to watch, imder the reign of his suc- 
cessor, the gradual but triumphant resurrection of the 
spirit over which the sepulcher had so long been sealed. 
From the handbreadth of territoiy called the province 
of HoUand rises a power which wages eighty years' war- 
fare with the most potent empire upon earth, and which, 
during the progress of the struggle, becoming itself a 
mighty state, and binding about its own slender form a 



zone of the richest possessions of earth, from pole to 
tropic, iinally dictates its decrees to the empire of 

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

To the Dutch Republic, even more than to Florence at 
an earlier day, is the world indebted for practical in- 
struction in that great science of political equilibrium 
which must always become more and more important as 
the various states of the civilized world are pressed more 
closely together, and as the struggle for preeminence 
becomes more feverish and fatal. Courage and skill in 
political and military combinations enabled William the 
Silent to overcome the most powerful and unscrupulous 
monarch of his age. The same hereditary audacity and 
fertility of genius placed the destiny of Europe in the 
hands of William's great-grandson, and enabled him to 
mold into an impregnable barrier the various elements 

PREFACE xxvii 

of opposition to the overshadowing monarchy of Louis 
XIV. As the schemes of the Inquisition and the unpar- 
alleled tyranny of Philip, in one century, led to the es- 
tablishment of the Republic of the United Provinces, so, 
in the next, the revocation of the Nantes Edict and the 
invasion of Holland are avenged by the elevation of the 
Dutch stadholder upon the throne of the stipendiary 

To aU who speak the English language, the history of 
the great agony through which the Republic of Holland 
was ushered into hfe must have peculiar interest, for it 
is a portion of the records of the Anglo-Saxon race — es- 
sentially the same, whether in Friesland, England, or 

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

For America the spectacle is one of still deeper import. 


The Dutch Republic originated in the opposition of the 
rational elements of human natm-e to sacerdotal dogma- 
tism and persecution— in the courageous resistance of 
historical and chartered liberty to foreign despotism. 
Neither that liberty nor ours was born of the cloud-em- 
braces of a false Divinity with a Humanity of impos- 
sible beauty, nor was the infant career of either arrested 
in blood and tears by the madness of its worshipers. 
" To maintain," not to overthrow, was the device of the 
Washington of the sixteenth century, as it was the aim 
of our own hero and his great contemporaries. 

The great Western Republic, therefore,— in whose 
Anglo-Saxon veins flows much of that ancient and kin- 
dred blood received from the nation once ruling a noble 
portion of its territory, and tracking its own political 
existence to the same parent spring of temperate human 
liberty,— must look with affectionate interest upon the 
trials of the older commonwealth. These volumes recite 
the achievement of Dutch independence, for its recog- 
nition was delayed till the acknowledgment was super- 
fluous and ridiculous. The existence of the Republic is 
properly to be dated from the Union of Utrecht in 1581, 
while the final separation of territorjr into independent 
and obedient provinces, into the Commonwealth of the 
United States and the Belgian provinces of Spain, was in 
reality effected by William the Silent, with whose death, 
three years subsequently, the heroic period of the history 
may be said to terminate. At this point these volumes 


close. Another series, with less attention to minute 
details, and carrying the story through a longer rauge 
of years, will paint the progress of the Republic in its 
palmy days, and narrate the establishment of its exter- 
nal system of dependencies and its interior combinations 
for self-government and European covmterpoise. The 
lessons of history and the fate of free states can never 
be suHEiciently pondered by those upon whom so large and 
heavy a responsibility for the maintenance of rational 
human freedom rests. 

I have only to add that this work is the result of con- 
scientious research, and of an earnest desire to arrive at 
the truth. I have faithfully studied all the important 
contemporary chroniclers and later historians— Dutch, 
Flemish, French, Italian, Spanish, or German. Catholic 
and Protestant, Monarchist and RepubHcan, have been 
consulted with the same sincerity. The works of Bor 
(whose enormous but indispensable folios form a complete 
magazine of contemporaiy state papers, letters, and 
pamphlets, blended together in mass, and connected by 
a chain of artless but earnest narrative), of Meteren, De 
Thou, Burgundius, Heuterus, Tassis, Viglius, Hoofd, 
Haraeus, Van der Haer, Grotius, of Van der Vynckt, 
Wagenaer, Van Wyn, De Jonghe, Kluit, Van Kampen, 
Dewez, Kappelle, Bakhuyzen, Groen van Prinsterer, of 
Ranke and Raumer, have been as familiar to me as 
those of Mendoza, Carnero, Cabrera, Herrera, UUoa, Ben- 
tivoglio, Perez, Strada. The manuscript relations of 


those Argus-eyed Venetian envoys who surprised so 
many courts and cabinets in their most unguarded mo- 
ments, and daguerreot3rped their character and policy 
for the instruction of the crafty republic, and whose re- 
ports remain such an inestimable source for the secret 
history of the sixteenth century, have been carefully 
examined, especially the narratives of the caustic and 
accomplished Badovaro, of Suriano and Michele. It is 
unnecessary to add that all the publications of M. Gachard, 
particidarly the invaluable correspondence of Pliilip II. 
and of William the Silent, as well as the " Archives et 
Correspondance " of the Orange Nassau family, edited by 
the learned and distinguished Groen van Prinsterer, have 
been my constant guides through the tortuous labyrinth 
of Spanish and Netherland politics. The large and most 
interesting series of pamphlets known as " The Duncan 
Collection," in the Eoyal Library at The Hague, has also 
afforded a great variety of details by which I have en- 
deavored to give color and interest to the narrative. 
Besides these and many other printed works, I have also 
had the advantage of perusing many manuscript his- 
tories, among which may be particularly mentioned the 
works of Pontus Payen, of Renom de France, and of 
Pasquier de la Barre ; while the vast collection of unpub- 
lished documents in the Eoyal Archives of The Hague, of 
Brussels, and of Dresden has furnished me with much 
new matter of great importance. I venture to hope that 
many years of labor, a portion of them in the archives 


of those countries whose history forms the object of my 
study, will not have been entirely in vain ; and that the 
lovers of human progress, the believers in the capacity of 
nations for self-government and self-improvement, and 
the admirers of disinterested human genius and virtue, 
may find encouragement for their views in the detailed 
history of an heroic people in its most eventful period, 
and in the life and death of the great man whose name 
and fame are identical with those of his country. 

No apology is offered for this somewhat personal state- 
ment. When an unknown writer asks the attention of 
the public upon an important theme, he is not only 
authori2;ed, but required, to show that by industry and 
earnestness he has entitled himself to a hearing. The 
author too keenly feels that he has no further claims 
than these, and he therefore most diffidently asks for his 
work the indulgence of his readers. 

I would take this opportunity of expressing my grati- 
tude to Dr. Klemm, Hofrath and Chief Librarian at 
Dresden, and to Mr. Von Weber, Ministerialrath and 
Head of the Royal Archives of Saxony, for the courtesy 
and kindness extended to me so uniformly during the 
course of my researches in that city. I would also speak 
a word of sincere thanks to Mr. Campbell, Assistant 
Librarian at The Hague, for his numerous acts of friend- 
ship during the absence of his chief, M. Holtrop. To 
that most distinguished critic and historian, M. Bakhuy- 
zen van den Brinck, Chief Archivist of the Netherlands, 


I am under deep obligations for advice, instruction, and 
constant kindness during my residence at The Hague ; 
and I would also signify my sense of the courtesy of Mr. 
Charter-Master de Schwane, and of the accuracy with 
which copies of MSS. in the archives were prepared for 
me by his care. Finally, I would allude in the strongest 
language of gi-atitude and respect to M. Gaehard, Archi- 
vist-General of Belgium, for his unwearied courtesy and 
manifold acts of kindness to me during my studies in 
the Royal Archives of Brussels. 




THE northwestern corner of the vast plain which 
extends from the German Ocean to the Ural Moun- 
tains is occupied by the countries called the Netherlands. 
This small triangle, inclosed between France, Germany 
and the sea, is divided by the modern kingdoms of Bel- 
gium and Holland into two nearly equal portions. Our 
earliest information concerning this territory is derived 
from the Romans. The wars waged by that nation with 
the northern barbarians have rescued the damp island of 
Batavia, with its neighboring morasses, from the obscu- 
rity in which they might have remained for ages, before 
anything concerning land or people would have been 
made known by the native inhabitants. Julius Cassar 
has saved from oblivion the heroic savages who fought 
against his legions in defense of their dismal homes with 
ferocious but unfortunate patriotism ; and the great poet 
of England, learning from the conqueror's Commenta- 
ries the name of the boldest tribe, has kept the Nervii, 

VOL. I. — 1 1 


after almost twenty centuries, still f resli and familiar in 
our ears. 

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

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

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

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


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

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

Such were the rivers which, with their numerous 
tribiitaries, coursed through the spongy land. Their 
frequent overflow, when forced back upon their currents 
by the stormy sea, rendered the country almost unin- 
habitable. Here, within a half-submerged territory, a 
race of wretched ichthyophagi dwelt upon terpen, or 
mounds, which they had raised, like beavers, above the 
almost fluid soil. Here, at a later day, the same race 
chained the tyrant Ocean and his mighty streams into 
subserviency, forcing them to fertilize, to render com- 
modious, to cover with a beneficent network of veins and 
arteries, and to bind by watery highways with the far- 
thest ends of the world, a country disinherited by na- 
ture of its rights. A region outcast of ocean and earth, 
wrested at last from both domains their richest treasures. 


A race engaged for generations in stubborn conflict with 
the angry elements was unconsciously educating itself 
for its great struggle with the still more savage despo- 
tism of man. 

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

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



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

When the Cimbri and their associates, about a century 
before our era, made their memorable onslaught upon 
Rome, the early inhabitants of the Rhine island of Bata- 
via, who were probably Celts, joined in the expedition. 


A recent and tremendous inundation had swept away 
their miserable homes, and even the trees of the forests, 
and had thus rendered them still more dissatisfied with 
their gloomy abodes. The island was deserted of its 
population. At about the same period a civil dissension 
among the Chatti— a powerful German race within the 
Hercynian forest— resulted in the expatriation of a por- 
tion of the people. The exiles sought a new home in 
the empty Rhine island, called it Bet-aim, or "good- 
meadow," and were themselves called, thenceforward, 
Batavi, or Batavians. 

These Batavians, according to Tacitus, were the brav- 
est of all the Germans. The Chatti, of whom they 
formed a portion, were a preeminently warlike race. 
" Others go to battle," says the historian ; " these go to 
war." Their bodies were more hardy, their minds more 
vigorous, than those of other tribes. Their young men 
cut neither hair nor beard till they had slain an enemy. 
On the iield of battle, in the midst of carnage and plun- 
der, they, for the first time, bared their faces. The 
cowardly and sluggish only remained unshorn. They 
wore an iron ring, too, or shackle upon their necks until 
they had performed the same achievement, a symbol 
which they then threw away, as the emblem of sloth. 
The Batavians were ever spoken of by the Romans 
with entire respect. They conquered the Belgians, they 
forced the free Frisians to pay tribute, but they called 
the Batavians their friends. The tax-gatherer never 
invaded their island. Honorable alliance united them 
with the Romans. It was, however, the alliance of the 
giant and the dwarf. The Roman gained glory and 
empire, the Batavian gained nothing but the hardest 
blows. The Batavian cavalry became famous through- 


out the Republic and the Empire. They were the fa- 
vorite troops of Cfesar, and with reason, for it was their 
valor which turned the tide of battle at Pharsalia. 
From the death of Julius down to the times of Ves- 
pasian, the Batavian legion was the imperial body- 
guard, the Batavian island the basis of operations in 
the Roman wars with Gaul, Germany, and Britain. 

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

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

Physically the two races resembled each other. Both 
were of vast stature. The gigantic Gaul derided the 
Roman soldiers as a band of pygmies. The German 
excited astonishment by his huge body and muscular 
limbs. Both were fair, with fierce blue eyes, but the 


Celt had yellow liair floating over his shoulders, and the 
German long locks of fiery red, which he even dyed 
with woad to heighten the favorite color, and wore 
twisted into a war-knot upon the top of his head. 
Here the German's love of finery ceased. A simple 
tunic fastened at his throat with a thorn, while his 
other garments defined and gave full play to his limbs, 
completed his costume. The Gaul, on the contrary, 
was so fond of dress that the Eomans divided his race 
respectively into long-haired, breeched, and gowned 
Gaul {Gallia comafa, braccata, togata). He was fond of 
brilliant and party-colored clothes, a taste which sur- 
vives in the Highlandei-'s costume. He covered his 
neck and arms with golden chains. The simple and 
ferocious German wore no decoration save his iron ring, 
from which his first homicide relieved him. The Gaul 
was irascible, furioias in his wrath, but less formidable 
in a sustained conflict with a powerful foe. " All the 
Gauls are of very high stature," says a soldier who 
fought under Jidian (Amm. Marcel, xv. 12, 1). 
" They are white, golden-haired, terrible in the fierceness 
of their eyes, greedy of quarrels, bragging and insolent. 
A band of strangers could not resist one of them in a 
brawl, assisted by his strong blue-eyed wife, especially 
when she begins, gnashing her teeth, her neck swollen, 
brandishing her vast and snowy arms, and kicking with 
her heels at the same time, to deliver her fisticuffs, like 
bolts from the twisted strings of a catapult. The voices 
of many are threatening and formidable. They are 
quick to anger, but quickly appeased. All are clean in 
their persons ; nor among them is ever seen any man or 
woman, as elsewhere, squalid in ragged garments. At 
all ages they are apt for nailitary service. The old man 


goes forth to the fight with equal strength of breast, 
■with limbs as hardened by cold and assiduous labor, 
and as contemptuous of all dangers, as the young. Not 
one of them, as in Italy is often the case, was ever 
known to cut off his thumbs to avoid the service of 

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

With the Germans, the sovereignty resided in the 
great assembly of the people. There were slaves, indeed, 
but in small number, consisting either of prisoners of 
war or of those unfortunates who had gambled away 
their liberty in games of chance. Their chieftains, 
although called by the Romans princes and kings, were. 


in reality, generals, chosen by universal suffrage. 
Elected in the great assembly to preside in war, they 
were raised on the shoulders of martial freemen, amid 
wUd battle-cries and the clash of spear and shield. 
The army consisted entirely of volunteers, and the 
soldier was for life infamous who deserted the field 
while his chief remained alive. The same great 
assembly elected the village magistrates and decided 
upon all important matters both of peace and war. At 
the full of the moon it was usually convoked. The 
nobles and the popular delegates arrived at irregular 
intervals, for it was an inconvenience arising from 
their liberty that two or three days were often lost in 
waiting for the delinquents. All state affairs were in 
the hands of this fierce democracy. The elected chief- 
tains had rather authority to persuade than power to 

The Gauls were an agricultural people. They were 
not without many arts of life. They had extensive 
flocks and herds, and they even exported salted provi- 
sions as far as Rome. The tniculent German, Ger- 
mann, Heer-mann, War-man, considered carnage the 
only useful occupation, and despised agriculture as en- 
ervating and ignoble. It was base, in his opinion, to 
gain by sweat what was more easily acquired by blood. 
The land was divided annually by the magistrates, 
certain farms being assigned to certain families, who 
were forced to leave them at the expiration of the year. 
They cultivated as a common property the lands allotted 
by the magistrates, but it was easier to summon them 
to the battle-field than to the plow. Thus they were 
more fitted for the roaming and conquering life which 
Providence was to assign to them for ages than if they 


had become more prone to root themselves in the soil. 
The Gauls buUt towns and villages. The German built 
his solitary hut where inclination prompted. Close 
neighborhood was not to his taste. 

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

The German, in his simplicity, had raised himself to 
a purer belief than that of the sensuous Roman or the 
superstitious Gaul. He believed in a single, supreme, 
almighty God, All-Vater or All-father. This Divinity 
was too sublime to be incarnated or imaged, too infinite 
to be inclosed in temples built with hands. Such is the 
Roman's testimony to the lofty conception of the Ger- 
man. Certain forests were consecrated to the unseen 
God whom the eye of reverent faith could alone behold. 
Thither, at stated times, the people repaired to worship. 
They entered the sacred grove with feet bound to- 
gether, in token of submission. Those who fell were 
forbidden to rise, but dragged themselves backward on 
the ground. Their rites were few and simple. They 
had no caste of priests, nor were they, when first known 
to the Romans, accustomed to offer sacrifice. It must 
be confessed that in a later age a single victim, a crim- 


inal or a prisoner, was occasionally immolated. The 
purity of their religion was soon stained by their Celtic 
neighborhood. In the course of the Eoman dominion 
it became contaminated, and at last profoundly de- 
praved. The fantastic intermixture of Roman mythol- 
ogy with the gloomy but modified superstition of 
Romanized Celts was not favorable to the simple char- 
acter of German theology. The entire extirpation, thus 
brought about, of any conceivable system of rehgion 
prepared the way for a true revelation. Within that 
little river territory, amid those obscure morasses of 
the Rhine and Scheld, three great forms of religion— 
the sanguinary superstition of the Druid, the sensuous 
polytheism of the Roman, the elevated but dimly grop- 
ing creed of the German — stood for centuries face to 
face, until, having mutually debased and destroyed each 
other, they all faded away in the pure light of Chris- 

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


ward she was to share his labors and to become a por- 
tion of himself. 

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

The German was not ambitious at the grave. He 
threw neither garments nor odors upon the funeral 
pyre, but the arms and the war-horse of the departed 
were burned and buried with him. The turf was his 
only sepulcher, the memory of his valor his only monu- 
ment. Even tears were forbidden to the men. "It 
was esteemed honorable," says the historian, "for wo- 
men to lament, for men to remember." 

The parallel need be pursued no further. Thus much 
it was necessary to recall to the historical student con- 
cerning the prominent characteristics by which the two 
great races of the land were distinguished— charac- 
teristics which time has rather hardened than effaced. 
In the contrast and the separation lies the key to much 
of their history. Had Providence permitted a fusion 
of the two races, it is possible, from their position, and 
from the geographical and historical link which they 
would have afforded to the dominant tribes of Europe, 
that a world-empire might have been the result, differ- 
ent in many respects from any which has ever arisen. 
Speculations upon what might have been are idle. It 
is well, however, to ponder the many misfortunes result- 


ing from a mutual repulsion, which, under other cir- 
cumstances and in other spheres, has been exchanged 
for mutual attraction and support. 

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


The earliest chapter in the history of the Netherlands 
was written by their conqueror. Celtic Gaul is already 
in the power of Rome; the Belgic tribes, alarmed at 
the approaching danger, arm against the universal 
tyrant. Inflammable, quick to strike, but too fickle to 
prevail against so powerful a foe, they hastily form a 
league of almost every clan. At the fii-st blow of 
Caesar's sword, the fraQ confederacy falls asunder like 
a rope of sand. The tribes scatter in all directions. 
Nearly all are soon defeated, and sue for mercy. The 
Nervii, true to the German blood in their veins, swear 
to die rather than surrender. They, at least, are worthy 
of their cause. Caesar advances against them at the 
head of eight legions. Drawn up on the banks of the 
Sambre, they await the Roman's approach. In three 
days' march Caesar comes up with them, pitches his camp 
upon a steep hill sloping down to the river, and sends 
some cavalry across. Hardly have the Roman horsemen 
crossed the stream than the Nervii rush from the wooded 
hilltop, overthrow horse and rider, plunge in one great 
mass into the current, and, directly afterward, are seen 


charging up the hill into the midst of the enemy's force. 
"At the same moment," says the conqueror, "they 
seemed in. the wood, in the river, and within our lines." 
There is a panic among the Romans, but it is brief. 
Eight veteran Roman legions, with the world's victor at 
their head, are too much for the brave but undisciplined 
Nervii. Snatching a shield from a soldier, and otherwise 
unarmed, Ca3sar throws himself into the hottest of the 
fight. The battle rages foot to foot and hand to hand ; 
but the hero's skill, with the cool valor of his troops, 
proves invincible as ever. The Nervii, true to their 
vow, die, but not a man surrenders. They fought upon 
that day till the ground was heaped -with, their dead, 
while, as the foremost fell thick and fast, their com- 
rades, says the Roman, sprang upon their piled-up 
bodies, and hurled their javelins at the enemy as from 
a hill. They fought like men to whom life without 
liberty was a curse. They were not defeated, but ex- 
terminated. Of many thousand fighting men went 
home but five hundred. Upon reaching the place of 
refuge where they had bestowed their women and 
children, Caesar found, after the battle, that there were 
but three of their senators left alive. So perished the 
Nervii. Caesar commanded his legions to treat with 
respect the little remnant of the tribe which had just 
fallen to swell the empty echo of his glory, and then, 
with hardly a breathing-pause, he proceeded to annihilate 
the Aduatici, the Menapii, and the Morini. 

Gaul being thus pacified, as, with subUme irony, he 
expresses himself concerning a country some of whose 
tribes had been annihilated, some sold as slaves, and 
others hunted to their lairs like beasts of prey, the 
conqueror departed for Italy. Legations for peace 


from many German races to Eome were the consequence 
of these great achievements. Among others the Bata^ 
vians formed an alliance with the masters of the world. 
Their position was always an honorable one. They 
were justly proud of paying no tribute, but it was, 
perhaps, because they had nothing to pay. They had 
few cattle, they could give no hides and horns like the 
Frisians, and they were therefore allowed to furnish only 
their blood. From this time forth, their cavalry, which 
was the best of Germany, became renowned in the 
Eoman army upon every battle-field of Europe. 

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

Galba, succeeding to the purple upon the suicide of 
Nero, dismissed the Batavian life-guards to whom he 
owed his elevation. He is murdered, Otho and Vitellius 
contend for the succession, while all eyes are turned 
upon the eight Batavian regiments. In their hands the 
scales of empire seem to rest. They declare for Vitel- 
lius, and the civil war begins. Otho is defeated, Vitel- 
Hus acknowledged by Senate and people. Fearing, like 
his predecessors, the imperious turbulence of the Bata- 
vian legions, he, too, sends them into Germany. It was 


the signal for a long and extensive revolt, which had 
well-nigh overturned the Roman power in Gaul and 
Lower Germany. 


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

VOL. I.— 2 


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

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

The struggle was an unsuccessful one. After many 
victories and many overthrows, CiviUs was left alone. 
The GaRic tribes fell off, and sued for peace. Vespasian, 
victorious over Vitellius, proved too powerful for his old 


comrade. Even the Batavians became weary of the 
hopeless contest, while fortune, after much capricious 
hovering, settled at last upon the Roman side. The 
imperial commander, Ceriahs, seized the moment when 
the cause of the Batavian hero was most desperate to 
send emissaries among his tribe, and even to tamper 
with the mysterious woman whose prophecies had so 
inflamed his imagination. These intrigues had their 
effect. The fidelity of the people was sapped; the 
prophetess fell away from her worshiper, and foretold 
ruin to his cause. The Batavians murmured that their 
destruction was inevitable, that one nation coiild not 
arrest the slavery which was destined for the whole 
world. How large a part of the human race were the 
Batavians ? What were they in a contest with the whole 
Roman Empire? Moreover, they were not oppressed 
with tribute. They were only expected to furnish men 
and valor to their proud allies. It was the next thing 
to liberty. If they were to have rulers, it was better to 
serve a Roman emperor than a German witch. 

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


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

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

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

The contest of Civilis with Rome contains a remark- 


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

The characteristics of the two great races of the land 
portrayed themselves in the Roman and the Spanish 
struggle with much the same colors. The Southrons, 
inflammable, petulant, audacious, were the flrst to 
assault and to defy the imperial power in both revolts, 
while the inhabitants of the northern provinces, slower 
to be aroused, but of more enduring wrath, were less 
ardent at the commencement, but alone steadfast at 


the close of the contest. In both wars the southern 
Celts fell away from the league, their courageous but 
corrupt chieftains having been purchased with imperial 
gold to bring about the abject submission of their fol- 
lowers ; while the German Netherlands, although even- 
tually subjugated by Rome, after a desperate struggle, 
were successful in the great conflict with Spain, and 
trampled out of existence every vestige of her authority. 
The Batavian Republic took its rank among the leading 
powers of the earth; the Belgic provinces remained 
Roman, Spanish, Austrian property. 

Obscure but important movements in the regions of 
eternal twilight ; revolutions, of which history has been 
silent, in the mysterious depths of Asia ; outpourings of 
human rivers along the sides of the Altai Mountains; 
convulsions upheaving remote realms and unknown 
dynasties ; shock after shock throbbing throughout the 
barbarian world and dying upon the edge of civiliza- 
tion ; vast throes which shake the earth as precursory 
pangs to the birth of a new empire, as dying symptoms 
of the proud but effete realm which called itself the world ; 
scattered hordes of sanguinary, grotesque savages pushed 
from their own homes, and hovering with vague pur- 
poses upon the Roman frontier, constantly repelled 
and perpetually reappearing in ever-increasing swarms 
guided thither by a fierce instinct or by mysterious laws 
— such are the well-known phenomena which preceded 
the fall of western Rome. Stately, externally powerful, 
although undermined and putrescent at the core, the 


death-stricken empire still dashed back the assaults of its 
barbarous enemies. 

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

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

For a century longer, Rome still retains its outward 
form, but the swarming nations are now in full career. 
The Netherlands are successively or simultaneous^ 
trampled by Franks, Vandals, Alani, Suevi, Saxons, 
Frisians, and even Slavonians, as the great march of 
Germany to universal empii-e, which her prophets and 


bards had foretold, went majestically forward. The 
fountains of the frozen North were opened, the waters 
prevailed, but the ark of Chi-istianity floated upon the 
flood. As the deluge assuaged, the earth had returned 
to chaos, the last pagan empire had been washed out of 
existence, but the dimly groping, faltering, ignorant in- 
fancy of Christian Europe had begun. 

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

The history of the Franks becomes, therefore, the 
history of the Netherlands. The Frisians struggle for 
several centuries against their dominion, until eventu- 
ally subjugated by Charlemagne. They even encroach 
upon the Franks in Belgic Gaul, who are determined not 
to yield their possessions. Moreover, the pious Mero- 


vingian faineants desire to plant Christianity among 
the still pagan Frisians. Dagobert, son of the second 
Clotaire, advances against them as far as the Weser, 
takes possession of Utrecht, founds there the first 
Christian church in Friesland, and establishes a nominal 
dominion over the whole country. 

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

It was Pepin's bastard, Charles the Hammer, whose 
tremendous blows completed his father's work. The 
new mayor of the palace soon drove the Frisian chief 
into submission, and even into Christianity. A bishop's 
indiscretion, however, neiitralized the apostolic blows of 
the mayor. The pagan Radbod had already immersed 
one of his royal legs in the baptismal font when a 
thought struck him. " Where are my dead forefathers 
at present?" he said, turning suddenly upon Bishop 
Wolfran. "In hell, with all other unbelievers," was 
the imprudent answer. " Mighty well," replied Radbod, 
removing his leg ; " then will I rather feast with my 
ancestors in the haUs of Woden than dwell with your 
little starveling band of Christians in heaven." En- 
treaties and threats were unavailing. The Frisian de- 
clined positively a rite which was to cause an eternal 
separation from his buried kindred, and he died as he 
had lived, a heathen. His son Poppo, succeeding to 
the nominal sovereignty, did not actively oppose the 


introduction of Christianity among Ms people, but him- 
self refused to be converted. Rebelling against the 
Frank dominion, he was totally routed by Charles 
Martel in a great battle (a. d. 750), and perished with a 
vast number of Frisians. The Christian dispensation, 
thus enforced, was now accepted by these northern 
pagans. The commencement of their conversion had 
been mainly the work of their brethren from Britain. 
The monk Wilfred was followed in a few years by the 
Anglo-Saxon Willibrord. It was he who destroyed the 
images of Woden in Walcheren, abolished his worship, 
and founded churches in North Holland. Charles Mar- 
tel rewarded him with extensive domains about Utrecht, 
together with many slaves and other chattels. Soon 
afterward he was consecrated bishop of all the Frisians. 
Thus rose the famous episcopate of Utrecht. Another 
Anglo-Saxon, Winfred, or Bonifacius, had been equally 
active among his Frisian cousins. His crozier had gone 
hand in hand with the battle-ax. Bonifacius followed 
close upon the track of his orthodox coadjutor Charles. 
By the middle of the eighth century some hundred 
thousand Frisians had been slaiightered, and as many 
more converted. The hammer which smote the Saracens 
at Tours was at last successful in beating the Nether- 
landers into Christianitj^ The labors of Bonifacius 
through Upper and Lower Germany were immense; 
but he, too, received gi-eat material rewards. He was 
created Archbishop of Mayence, and, upon the death of 
Willibrord, Bishop of Utrecht. Faithful to his mission, 
however, he met heroically a martyr's death at the 
hands of the refractory pagans at Dokkum. Thus was 
Christianity established in the Netherlands. 
Under Charlemagne the Frisians often rebelled, mak- 


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

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


country shared the fate and enjoyed the general organ- 
ization of the empire. 

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

Moreover, the Carlovingian race had been exhaiisted 
by producing a race of heroes like the Pepins and the 
Charleses. The family became, soon, as contemptible as 
the ox-drawn, long-haired " do-nothings " whom it had 
expelled. But it is not our task to describe the f ortimes 
of the emperor's ignoble descendants. The realm was 
divided, subdivided, at times partially reunited, like a 


family farm, among monarchs incompetent alike to 
hold, to delegate, or to resign the inheritance of the 
great warrior and lawgiver. The meek, bald, fat, stam- 
mering, simple Charles or Louis who successively sat 
upon his throne — princes whose only historic individu- 
ality consists in these insipid appellations— had not the 
sense to comprehend, far less to develop, the plans of 
their ancestor. 

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

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

Of this small sovereign and his successors the most 
powerful foe for centuries was ever the Bishop of 
Utrecht, the origin of whose greatness has been already 


indicated. Of the other Netherland provinces, now or 
before become hereditary, the first in rank was Lotha- 
ringia, once the kingdom of Lothaire, now the dukedom 
of Lorraine. In 965 it was divided into Upper and 
Lower Lorraine, of which the lower duchy alone be- 
longed to the Netherlands. Two centuries later, the 
counts of Louvain, then occupying most of Brabant, ob- 
tained a permanent hold of Lower Lorraine, and began 
to caU themselves Dukes of Brabant. The same prin- 
ciple of local independence and isolation which created 
these dukes established the hereditary power of the 
counts and barons who formerly exei'cised jurisdiction 
under them and others. Thus arose sovereign counts 
of Namur, Hainault, Limburg, Zutphen, dukes of 
Luxemburg and Guelder s, barons of Mechlin, mar- 
quises of Antwerp, and others, all petty autocrats. The 
most important of aU, after the house of Lorraine, were 
the earls of Flanders ; for the bold foresters of Charles 
the Great had soon wrested the sovereignty of their little 
territory from his feeble descendants as easily as Bald- 
win, with the iron arm, had deprived the bald Charles 
of his daughter. Holland, Zealand, Utrecht, Overyssel, 
Groningen, Drenthe, and Friesland (aU seven being por- 
tions of Friesland in a general sense) were crowded 
together upon a little desolate corner of Europe, an 
obscure fragment of Charlemagne's broken empire. 
They were afterward to constitute the United States of 
the Netherlands, one of the most powerful republics 
of history. Meantime, for century after century, the 
counts of Holland and the bishops of Utrecht were to 
exercise divided sway over the ten-itory. 

Thus the whole country was broken into many shreds 
and patches of sovereignty. The separate history of 


such half-organized morsels is tedious and petty. Tri- 
fling dynasties, where a family or two were everything, 
the people nothing, leave little worth recording. Even 
the most devout of genealogists might shudder to 
chronicle the long succession of so many illustrious 

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

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

The counts, assisted by inferior judges, hold diets 
from time to time— thrice, perhaps, annually. They 
also summon assemblies in case of war. Thither are 


called the great vassals, who, in turn, call their lesser 
vassals, each armed with "a shield, a spear, a bow, 
twelve arrows, and a cuirass." Such assemblies, con- 
voked in the name of a distant sovereign, whose face his 
subjects had never seen, whose language they could 
hardly understand, were very different from those 
tumultuous mass-meetings where boisterous freemen, 
armed with the weapons they loved the best, and arriv- 
ing sooner or later, according to their pleasure, had been 
accustomed to elect their generals and magistrates and 
to raise them upon their shields. The people are now 
governed, their rulers appointed, by an iiwisible hand. 
Edicts issued by a power, as it were, supernatural de- 
mand implicit obedience. The people, acquiescing in 
their own annihilation, abdicate not only their political 
but their personal rights. On the other hand, the great 
source of power diffuses less and less of light and 
warmth. Losing its attractive and controlling influence, 
it becomes gradually eclipsed, while its satellites fly 
from their prescribed bounds, and chaos and darkness 
return. The scepter, stretched over realms so wide, re- 
quires stronger hands than those of degenerate Carlo- 
vingians. It breaks asunder. Functionaries become 
sovereigns, with hereditary, not delegated, right to own 
the people, to tax their roads and rivers, to take tithings 
of their blood and sweat, to harass them in all the rela- 
tions of life. There is no longer a metropolis to protect 
them from official oppression. Power the more sub- 
divided becomes the more tyi-annical. The sword is 
the only symbol of law, the cross is a weapon of offense, 
the bishop is a consecrated pirate, every petty baron a 
burglar, while the people, alternately the prey of duke, 
prelate, and seignior, shorn and butchered like sheep. 


esteem it happiness to sell themselves into slavery, or to 
huddle beneath the castle walls of some little potentate, 
for the sake of his wolfish protection. Here they build 
hovels, which they surround from time to time with 
palisades and muddy intrenchments ; and here, in these 
squalid abodes of ignorance and misery, the genius of 
Liberty, conducted by the spirit of Commerce, descends 
at last to awaken mankind from its sloth and cowardly 
stupor. A longer night was to intervene, however, be- 
fore the dawn of day. 

The crown-appointed functionaries had been, of course, 
financial officers. They collected the revenue of the sov- 
ereign, one third of which slipped through their fingers 
into their own coffers. Becoming sovereigns themselves, 
they retain these funds for their private emolument. 
Four principal sources yielded this revenue— royal do- 
mains, tolls and imposts, direct levies, and a pleasantry 
called voluntary contributions or benevolences. In ad- 
dition to these supplies were also the proceeds of fines. 
Taxation upon sin was, in those rude ages, a considerable 
branch of the revenue. The old Frisian laws consisted 
almost entirely of a discriminating tariff upon crimes. 
Nearly all the misdeeds which man is prone to commit were 
punished by a money-bote only. Murder, larcenj-, arson, 
rape — all offenses against the person— were commuted 
for a definite price. There were a few exceptions, such 
as parricide, which was followed by loss of inheritance ; 
sacrilege and the murder of a master by a slave, which 
were punished with death. It is a natural inference 
that, as the roj-al treasury was enriched by these im- 
posts, the sovereign would hardly attempt to check the 
annual harvest of iniquity by which his revenue was 
increased. Still, although the moral sense is shocked by 
VOL. I.— 3 


a system which makes the ruler's interest identical with 
the wickedness of his people and holds out a com- 
parative immunity in evil-doing for the rich, it was 
better that crime should be punished by money rather 
than not be punished at aU. A severe tax, which the 
noble reluctantly paid and which the pennUess culprit 
commuted by personal slavery, was sufficiently unjust 
as well as absurd, yet it served to mitigate the horrors 
with which tumult, rapine, and murder enveloped those 
early days. Gradually, as the Light of reason broke 
upon the dark ages, the most noxious features of the 
system were removed, while the general sentiment of 
reverence for law remained. 


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

The sword— the first, for a time the only, force : the 
force of iron. The "land's master," having acquired 
the property in the territory and in the people who feed 
thereon, distributes to his subalterns, often but a shade 
beneath him in power, portions of his estate, getting 
the use of their faithful swords in return. Vavasors 
subdivide again to vassals, eschangiag land and cattle, 


human or otherwise, against fealt}', and so the iron 
chain of a military hierarchy, forged of mutually inter- 
dependent links, is stretched over each little province. 
Impregnable castles, here more numerous than in any 
other part of Christendom, dot the level surface of the 
country. Mail-clad knights, with their followers, en- 
camp permanently upon the soil. The fortunate fable 
of divine right is invented to sanction the system; 
superstition and ignorance give currency to the de- 
lusion. Thus the grace of Grod, having conferred the 
property in a vast portion of Europe upon a certain 
idiot in France, makes him competent to sell large frag- 
ments of his estate, and to give a divine, and therefore 
most satisfactory, title along with them — a great con- 
venience to a man who had neither power, wit, nor will 
to keep the property in his own hands. So the Dirks of 
Holland get a deed from Charles the Simple, and al- 
though the grace of God does not prevent the royal 
grantor himself from dying a miserable, discrowned 
captive, the conveyance to Dirk is none the less hallowed 
by almighty flat. So the Roberts and Guys, the Johns 
and Baldwins, become sovereigns in Hainault, Brabant, 
Flanders, and other little districts, affecting supernatural 
sanction for the authority which their good swords have 
won and are ever ready to maintain. Thus organized, 
the force of iron asserts and exerts itself. Duke, count, 
seignior and vassal, knight and squire, master and man, 
swarm and struggle amain— a wild, chaotic, sanguinary 
scene. Here bishop and baron contend, centuries long, 
murdering human creatures by ten thousands for an 
acre or two of swampy pasture ; there doughty families, 
hugging old musty quarrels to their heart, buffet each 
other from generation to generation. Thus they go on. 


raging and wrestling among themselves, with all the 
world, shrieking insane war-cries which no human soul 
ever understood— red caps and black, white hoods and 
gray. Hooks and Kabbeljaws, dealing destruction, 
building castles and burning them, tilting at tourneys, 
steahng buUocks, roasting Jews, robbing the highways, 
crusading, — now upon Syrian sands against paynim 
dogs, now in Frisian quagmires against Albigenses, 
Stedingers, and other heretics, — plunging about in blood 
and fire, repenting at idle times, and paying their 
passage through purgatory with large slices of ill-gotten 
gains placed in the ever-extended dead-hand of the 
Church ; acting, on the whole, according to their kind, 
and so getting themselves civilized or exterminated, it 
matters little which. Thus they play their part, those 
energetic men-at-arms ; and thus one great force, the 
force of iron, spins and expands itself, century after 
century, helping on, as it whirls, the great progress of 
society toward its goal, wherever that may be. 

Another force — the force clerical, the power of 
clerks— arises ; the might of educated mind measuring 
itself against brute violence ; a force embodied, as often 
before, as priestcraft— the strength of priests, "craft" 
meaning simply strength in our old mother-tongue. 
This great force, too, develops itself variously, being 
sometimes beneficent, sometimes malignant. Priest- 
hood works out its task age after age : now smoothing 
penitent death-beds, consecrating graves, feeding the 
hungry, clothing the naked, incarnating the Christian 
precepts in an age of rapine and homicide, doing a 
thousand deeds of love and charity among the obscure 
and forsaken— deeds of which there shaU never be 
human chronicle, but a leaf or two, perhaps, in the re- 


cording angel's book ; hiving precious honey from the 
few flowers of gentle art which bloom upon a howling 
wilderness; holding up the light of science over a 
stormy sea ; treasuring in convents and crypts the few 
fossils of antique learning which become visible, as the 
extinct megatherium of an elder world reappears after 
the Gothic deluge : and now careering in helm and hau- 
berk with the other ruffians, bandying blows in the 
thickest of the fight, blasting with beU, book, and candle 
its trembling enemies, while sovereigns, at the head of 
armies, grovel in the dust and offer abject submission 
for the kiss of peace ; exercising the same conjury over 
ignorant baron and cowardly hind ; making the fiction 
of apostolic authority to bind and loose as prohfic in 
acres as the other divine right to have and hold. Thus 
the force of cultivated intellect, wielded by a chosen few 
and sanctioned by supernatural authority, becomes as 
potent as the sword. 

A third force, developing itself more slowly, becomes 
even more potent than the rest: the power of gold. 
Even ii-ou yields to the more ductile metal. The im- 
portance of municipalities enriched by trade begins to 
be felt. Commerce, the mother of Netherland freedom, 
and eventually its destroyer,— even as in all human 
history the vivifying becomes afterward the dissolving 
principle,— commerce changes insensibly and miracu- 
lously the aspect of society. Clusters of hovels become 
towered cities ; the green and gilded hanse of com- 
mercial republicanism coils itself around the decaying 
trunk of feudal despotism. Cities leagued with cities 
throughout and beyond Christendom— empire within 
empire — bind themselves closer and closer in the electric 
chain of human sjrmpathy, and grow stronger and 


Stronger by mutual support. Fishermen and river 
raftsmen become ocean adventurers and merchant 
princes. Commerce plucks up half-drowned Holland 
by the locks and pours gold into her lap. Gold wrests 
power from iron. Needy Flemish weavers become 
mighty manufacturers. Armies of workmen, fifty 
thousand strong, tramp through the swarming streets. 
Silk-makers, clothiers, brewers, become the gossips of 
kings, lend theu' royal gossips vast sums, and burn the 
royal notes of hand in fires of cinnamon- wood. Wealth 
brings strength, strength confidence. Learning to 
handle crossbow and dagger, the burghers fear less the 
baronial sword, finding that their own will cut as well, 
seeing that great armies— flowers of chivalry— can ride 
away before them fast enough at battles of spurs and 
other encounters. Sudden riches beget insolence, 
tumults, civic broHs. Internecine quarrels, horrible 
tumults, stain the streets with blood. But education lifts 
the citizens more and more out of the original slough. 
They learn to tremble as httle at priestcraft as at sword- 
craft, having acquired something of each. Gold in the 
end, unsanctioned by right divine, weighs up the other 
forces, supernatural as they are. And so, struggling 
along their appointed path, making cloth, making 
money, making treaties with great kingdoms, making 
war by land and sea, ringing great bells, waving great 
banners, they, too,— these insolent, boisterous burghers, 
— accomplish their work. Thus the mighty power of 
the purse develops itself, and municipal liberty becomes 
a substantial fact. A fact, not a principle ; for the old 
theorem of sovereignty remains undisputed as ever. 
Neither the nation, in mass, nor the citizens, in class, 
lay claim to human rights. All upper attributes— legis- 


lative, judicial, administrative— remain in the land- 
master's breast alone. It is an absurdity, therefore, to 
argue with Grotius concerning the unknown antiquity 
of the Batavian Republic. The repubUe never existed at 
all till the sixteenth century, and was only born after 
long years of agony. The democratic instincts of the 
ancient German savages were to survive in the breasts 
of their cultivated descendants, but an organized, 
civilLzed, republican polity had never existed. The 
cities, as they grew in strength, never claimed the right 
to make the laws or to share in the government. As 
a matter of fact, they did make the laws, and shared, 
besides, in most important functions of sovereignty, in 
the treaty-making power especially. Sometimes by 
bargains, sometimes by blood, by gold, threats, promises, 
or good hard blows, they extorted their charters. Their 
codes, statutes, joyful entrances, and other constitutions 
were dictated by the bui-ghers and sworn to by the 
monarch. They were concessions from above ; privileges 
— private laws; fragments indeed of a larger liberty, 
but vastly better than the slavery for which they had 
been substituted ; solid facts instead of empty abstrac- 
tions, which, in those practical and violent days, would 
have yielded little nutriment; but they still rather 
sought to reconcile themselves, by a rough, clumsj' fic- 
tion, with the hierarchy which they had invaded, than 
to overturn the sj'stem. Thus the cities, not regarding 
themselves as representatives or aggregations of the 
people, became fabulous personages, bodies Avithout 
souls, corporations which had acqiiired vitality and 
strength enough to assert their existence. As persons, 
therefore, — gigantic individuahties,— they wheeled into 
the feudal ranks and assumed feudal powers and re- 


sponsibilities. The city of Dort, of Middelburg, of 
Ghent, of Louvain, was a living being, doing fealty, 
claiming service, bowing to its lord, struggling with 
its equals, trampling upon its slaves. 

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


Franks, a free woman thus disgracing herself was girt 
with a sword and a distaff. Choosing the one, she was 
to strike her husband dead; choosing the other, she 
adopted the symbol of slavery, and became a chattel for 

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

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


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

By degrees, the class of freemen, artisans, traders, and 
the like, becoming the more numerous, built stronger 
and better houses outside the castle gates of the "land's 
master" or the burghs of the more powerful nobles. 
The superiors, anxious to increase their own importance, 
favored the progress of the httle boroughs. The popu- 
lation, thus collected, began to divide themselves into 
gilds. These were soon afterward erected by the com- 


munity into bodies corporate, the establishment of the 
community, of course, preceding the incorporation of 
the gilds. Those communities were created by charters, 
or heuren, granted by the sovereign. Unless the earli- 
est concessions of this nature have perished, the town 
charters of Holland or Zealand are nearly a century later 
than those of Flanders, France, and England. 

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

" The inhabitants," ran the charter, " are taken into 
protection by both counts. Upon fighting, maiming, 
wounding, striking, scolding ; upon peace-breaking, upon 
resistance to peacemakers and to the judgment of 
schepens ; upon contemning the ban, upon selling 
spoiled wine, and upon other misdeeds, fines are imposed 
for behoof of the count, the city, and sometimes of the 
schepens. ... To all Middelburgers one kind of law 
is guaranteed. Every man must go to law before the 
schepens. If any one being summoned and present in 
Walcheren does not appear or refuses submission to 
sentence, he shall be banished, with confiscation of 
property. Schout or schepen denying justice to a com- 
plainant shall, until reparation, hold no tribunal again. 
... A burgher having a dispute with an outsider 
[huiten mann\ must summon him before the schepens. 
An appeal lies from the schepens to the count. No 


one can testify but a householder. All alienation of 
real estate must take place before the schepens. If an 
outsider has a complaint against a burgher, the schepens 
and schout must arrange it. If either party refuses 
submission to them, they must ring the town bell and 
summon an assembly of all the burghers to compel him. 
Any one ringing the town beU, except by general con- 
sent, and any one not appearing when it tolls, are 
liable to a fine. No Middelburger can be arrested or 
held in durance within Flanders or Holland, except for 

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

These charters are certainly not very extensive, even 
for the privileged municipalities which obtained them, 
when viewed from an abstract standpoint. They con- 
stituted, however, a very great advance from the stand- 
point at which humanity actually foiind itself. They 
created, not for all inhabitants, but for great numbers 
of them, the right, not to govern themselves, but to be 
governed by law. They furnished a local administra- 
tion of justice. They provided against arbitrary im- 
prisonment. They set up tribunals where men of 
burgher class were to sit in judgment. They held up a 
shield against arbitrary violence from above and sedi- 
tion from within. They encouraged peacemakers, pun- 
ished peace-breakers. They guarded the fundamental 
principle, ut sua tenerent, to the verge of absurdity, for- 
bidding a freeman without a freehold from testifying— a 
capacity not denied even to a country slave. Certainly 
aU this was better than fist-law and courts manorial. 


For the commencement of the thirteenth century it was 

The schout and schepens, or chief magistrate and 
aldermen, were originally appointed by the sovereign. 
In process of time the election of these municipal 
authorities was conceded to the communities. This in- 
estimable privilege, however, after having been exer- 
cised during a certain period by the whole body of citi- 
zens, was eventually monopolized by the municipal 
government itself, acting in common with the deans of 
the various gilds. 

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

The trade between England and the Netherlands had 
existed for ages, and was still extending itself, to the 
great advantage of both coimtries. A dispute, however, 
between the merchants of Holland and England, toward 
the year 1275, caused a privateering warfare and a ten 
years' suspension of intercourse. A reconciliation after- 
ward led to the establishment of the English wool 
staple at Dort. A subsequent quarrel deprived Holland 
of this great advantage. King Edward refused to assist 
Count Florence in a war with the Flemings, and trans- 
ferred the staple from Dort to Bruges and Mechlin. 

The trade of the Netherlands vnth the Mediterranean 
and the East was mainly through this favored city of 
Bruges, which already in the thirteenth century had 
risen to the first rank in the commercial world. It was 


the resting-place for the Lombards and other Italians, 
the great entrepot for their merchandise. It now be- 
came, in addition, the great market-place for English 
-wool and the woolen fabrics of all the Netherlands, as 
well as for the drugs and spices of the East. It had, 
however, by no means reached its apogee, but was to 
culminate with Venice, and to sink with her dechne. 
When the overland Indian trade fell off with the dis- 
covery of the Cape passage, both cities withered. Grass 
grew in the fair and pleasant streets of Bruges, and sea- 
weed clustered about the marble halls of Venice. At 
this epoch, however, both were in a state of rapid and 
insolent prosperity. 

The cities, thus advancing in wealth and importance, 
were no longer satisfied with being governed according 
to law, and began to participate not only in their own, 
but in the general government. Under G-uy of Flanders 
the towns appeared regularly, as well as the nobles, in 
the assembly of the provincial estates (1386-89 a. d.). 
In the course of the following century the six chief 
cities, or capitals, of Holland (Dort, Haarlem, Delft, 
Leyden, Gouda, and Amsterdam) acquired the right of 
sending their deputies regularly to the estates of the 
provinces. These towns, therefore, with the nobles, 
constituted the parliamentary power of the nation. 
They also acquired letters patent from the count, allow- 
ing them to choose their burgomasters and a limited 
number of councilors or senators {vroedschappen). 

Thus the liberties of Holland and Flanders waxed 
daily stronger. A great physical conviilsion in the 
course of the thirteenth century came to add its in- 
fluence to the slower process of political revolution. 
Hitherto there had been but one Friesland, including 


Holland and nearly all the territory of the future Ee- 
public. A slender stream alone separated the two great 
districts. The low lands along the Vlie, often threat- 
ened, at last sank in the waves. The German Ocean 
rolled in upon the inland lake of Flevo. The stormy 
Zuyder Zee began its existence by engulfing thousands 
of Frisian villages, with aU their population, and by 
spreading a chasm between kindred peoples. The polit- 
ical as well as the geographical continuity of the land 
was obUterated by this tremendous deluge. The Hol- 
landers were cut off from their relatives in the east by 
as dangeroiis a sea as that which divided them from 
their Anglo-Saxon brethren in Britain. The deputies to 
the general assemblies at Aurich could no longer under- 
take a journey grown so perilous. West Friesland be- 
came absorbed in Holland. East Friesland remained 
a federation of rude but self-governed maritime prov- 
inces until the brief and bloody dominion of the Saxon 
dukes led to the establishment of Charles V.'s author- 
ity. Whatever the nominal sovereignty over them, this 
most republican tribe of Netherlanders, or of Eiiro- 
peans, had never accepted feudalism. There was an 
annual congress of the whole confederacy. Each of 
the seven little states, on the other hand, regulated its 
own internal affairs. Each state was subdivided into 
districts, each district governed by a griet-mann (great- 
man, selectman) and assistants. Above all these dis- 
trict officers was a podestS,, a magistrate identical in 
name and functions with the chief officer of the Italian 
republics. There was sometimes but one podesta, some- 
times one for each province. He was chosen by the 
people, took oath of fidelity to the separate estates, or, 
if podest^-general, to the federal diet, and was generally 


elected for a limited term, although sometimes for life. 
He was assisted by a board of eighteen or twenty 
councilors. The deputies to the general congress were 
chosen by popular suffrage in Easter week. The clergy 
were not recognized as a political estate. 

Thus, in those lands which a niggard nature had ap- 
parently condemned to perpetual poverty and obscurity, 
the principle of reasonable human freedom, without 
wliich there is no national prosperity or glory worth 
contending for, was taking deepest and strongest root 
Already in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries 
Friesland was a republic, except in name ; Holland, 
Flanders, Brabant, had acquired a large share of self- 
government. The powerful commonwealth at a later 
period to be evolved out of the great combat between 
centralized tyranny and the spirit of civil and religious 
liberty was already foreshadowed. The elements of 
which that important republic was to be compounded 
were germinating for centuries. Love of freedom, read- 
iness to strike and bleed at any moment in her cause, 
manly resistance to despotism, however overshadow- 
ing, were the leading characteristics of the race in all 
regions or periods, whether among Frisian swamps, 
Dutch dikes, the gentle hills and dales of England, or 
the pathless forests of America. Doubtless the history 
of human liberty in Holland and Flanders, as every- 
where else upon earth where there has been such a 
history, unrolls many scenes of turbulence and blood- 
shed, although these features have been exaggerated by 
prejudiced historians. Still, if there were luxury and 
insolence, sedition and uproar, at any rate there was 
life. Those violent little commonwealths had blood in 
their veins. They were compact of proud, self -helping. 


muscular vigor. The most sanguinary tumults Tvhieh 
they ever enacted in the face of day were better than 
the order and silence born of the midniglit darkness 
of despotism. That very unruliness was educating the 
people for their future work. Those merchants, manu- 
facturers, country squires, and hard-fighting barons, all 
pent up in a narrow corner of the earth, quarreling 
with each other and with all the world for centuries, 
were keeping alive a national pugnacity of character, 
for which there was to be a heavy demand in the six- 
teenth century, and without which the fatherland had 
perhaps succumbed in the most unequal conflict ever 
waged by man against oppression. 

To sketch the special history of even the leading 
Netherland provinces, during the five centuries which 
we have thus rapidly sought to characterize, is foreign to 
our purpose. By holding the clue of Holland's history 
the general maze of dynastic transformations through- 
out the country may, however, be s^^^dftly threaded. From 
the time of the first Dirk to the close of the thirteenth 
century there were nearly four hundred years of unbroken 
male descent, a long line of Dirks and Florences. This 
iron-handed, hot-headed, adventurous race, placed as 
sovereign upon its little sandy hook, making ferocious 
exertions to swell into larger consequence, conquering 
a mile or two of morass or barren furze, after harder 
blows and bloodier encounters than might have estab- 
lished an empire under more favorable circumstances, 
at last dies out. The countship falls to the house of 
Avennes, counts of Hainault. Holland, together with 
Zealand, which it had annexed, is thus joined to the 
province of Hainault. At the end of another half- 
century the Hainault line expires. William IV. died 

VOL. I.— 4 


childless in 1355. His death is the signal for the 
outbreak of an almost interminable series of civil com- 
motions. Those two great parties known by the un- 
couth names of Hook and Kabbeljaw come into ex- 
istence, dividing noble against noble, city against city, 
father against son, for some hundred and fifty years, 
without foundation upon any abstract or intelligible 
principle. It may be observed, however, that, in the 
sequel and as a general rule, the Kabbeljaw or codfish 
party represented the city or municipal faction, whUe 
the Hooks (fish-hooks), that were to catch and control 
them, were the nobles ; iron and audacity against brute 
number and weight. 

Duke William of Bavaria, sistei-'s son of William IV., 
gets himself established in 1354. He is succeeded by 
his brother Albert ; Albert by his son William. WiUiam, 
who' had married Margaret of Burgundy, daughter of 
Philip the Bold, dies in 1417. The goodly heritage of 
these three Netherland provinces descends to his daugh- 
ter Jacqueline, a damsel of seventeen. Little need to 
trace the career of the fair and ill-starred Jacqueline. 
Pew chapters ot historical romance have drawn more 
frequent tears. The favorite heroine of ballad and 
drama, to Netherlanders she is endued with the palpa- 
ble form and perpetual existence of the Iphigenias, 
Mary Stuarts, Joans of Arc, or other consecrated indi- 
vidualities. Exhausted and broken-hearted after thir- 
teen years of conflict with her own kinsmen, consoled 
for the cowardice and bratality of three husbands by 
the gentle and knightly spirit of the fourth, dispos- 
sessed of her father's broad domains, degraded from the 
rank of sovereign to be lady forester of her own prov- 
inces by her couisin, the bad Duke of Burgundy, PhUip 


surnamed "the Good," she dies at last, and the good 
cousin takes undisputed dominion of the land (1437). 


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

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

Lord of so many opulent cities and fruitftil provinces, 
he felt himself equal to the kings of Europe. Upon 
his marriage with Isabella of Portugal, he founded, at 
Bruges, the celebrated Order of the Golden Fleece. What 
could be more practical or more devout than the con- 
ception ■? Did not the Lamb of God suspended at each 
knightly breast symbolize at once the woolen fabrics to 
which so much of Flemish wealth and Burgundian 
power was owing, and the gentle humility of Christ, 


which was ever to characterize the order ? Twenty-five 
was the limited number, including Philip himself, as 
grand master. The chevaliers were emperors, kings, 
princes, and the most illustrious nobles of Christendom ; 
whde a leading provision at the oixtset forbade the 
brethren, crowned heads excepted, to accept or retain 
the companionship of any other order. 

The accession of so potent and ambitious a prince as 
the good Philip boded evU to the cause of freedom in 
the Netherlands. The spirit of liberty seemed to have 
been typified in the fair form of the benignant and un- 
happy Jacqueline, and to be buried in her grave. The 
usm-per who had crushed her oiit of existence now 
strode forward to trample upon all the laws and privi- 
leges of the provinces which had formed her heritage. 

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

Philip the Good. 


ably republican tone to the institutions. Power actually, 
if not nominally, was in the hands of many who had 
achieved the greatness to which they had not been born. 

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

Philip's first step upon assuming the government 
was to issue a declaration, through the council of Hol- 
land, that the privileges and constitutions which he had 
sworn to as ruivard, or guardian, during the period 


in which Jacquehne had still retained a nominal 
sovereignty, were to be considered nuU and void, unless 
afterward confirmed by him as count. At a single 
blow he thus severed the whole knot of pledges, oaths, 
and other political complications by which he had en- 
tangled himself dui-ing his cautious advance to power. 
He was now untrammeled again. As the conscience 
of the smooth usurper was thenceforth the measure 
of provincial liberty, his subjects soon found it meted 
to them more sparingly than they wished. From this 
point, then, through the Burgundian period, and until 
the rise of the Repubhc, the liberty of the Netherlands, 
notwithstanding several brilhant but brief luminations, 
occurring at irregular intervals, seemed to remain in 
almost perpetual eclipse. 

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


lish brettren often lasted four uninterrupted days and 

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

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

For the house of Burgundy was rapidly culminating 
and as rapidly curtailing the political privileges of the 
Netherlands. The contest was at first favorable to the 
cause of arbitrary power ; but little seeds were silently 
germinating, which, in the progress of their gigantic de- 
velopment, were one day to undermine the foundations of 
tyranny and to overshadow the world. The early prog- 
ress of the religious reformation in the Netherlands 
will be outlined in a separate chapter. Another great 
principle was likewise at work at this period. At the 
very epoch when the greatness of Burgundy was most 
swiftly ripening, another weapon was secretly forging, 
more potent in the gi-eat struggle for freedom than 


any which the wit or hand of man has ever devised or 
wielded. When Philip the Good, in the full blaze of 
his power, and flushed with the triumphs of territorial 
aggrandizement, was instituting at Bruges the Order of 
the Golden Fleece, " to the glory of God, of the Blessed 
Virgin, and of the holy Andrew, patron saint of the 
Burgundian family," and enroUing the names of the 
kings and princes who were to be honored with its 
symbols, at that very moment, an obscure citizen of 
Haarlem, one Lorenz Coster, or Lawrence the Sexton, 
succeeded in printing a little grammar by means of 
movable types. The invention of printing was ac- 
complished, but it was not ushered in with such a blaze 
of glory as heralded the contemporaneous erection of 
the Golden Fleece. The humble setter of types did not 
deem emperors and princes alone worthy his compan- 
ionship. His invention sent no thrill of admiration 
throughout Christendom ; and yet, what was the good 
Philip of Burgundy, with his Knights of the Golden 
Fleece, and all their effulgent trumpery, in the eye of 
humanity and civilization, compared with the poor sex- 
ton and his wooden types ? ^ 

Phihp died in February, 1467. The details of his life 
and career do not belong to our purpose. The practical 
tendency of his government was to repress the spirit of 
liberty, while especial privileges, extensive in nature, 
but limited in time, were frequently granted to corpora- 

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


tions. Philip in one day conferred thirty charters upon 
as many different bodies of citizens. These were, how- 
ever, grants of monopoly, not concessions of rights. He 
also fixed the number of city councils, or vroedschappen, 
in many Netherland cities, giving them permission to 
present a double list of candidates for burgomasters 
and judges, from which he himself made the appoint- 
ments. He was certainly neither a good nor great 
prince, but he possessed much administrative ability. 
His military talents were considerable, and he was suc- 
cessful in his wars. He was an adroit dissembler, a 
practical politician. He had the sense to comprehend 
that the power of a prince, however absolute, must de- 
pend upon the prosperity of his subjects. He taxed 
severely the wealth, but he protected the commerce and 
the manufactures, of Holland and Flanders. He en- 
couraged art, science, and literature. The brothers 
John and Hubert van Eyck were attracted by his 
generosity to Bruges, where they painted many pictures. 
John was even a member of the duke's council. The 
art of oil-painting was carried to great perfection by 
Hubert's scholar, John of Bruges. An incredible num- 
ber of painters, of greater or less merit, flourished at 
this epoch in the Netherlands, heralds of that great 
school which at a subsequent period was to astonish 
the world with brilliant colors, profound science, star- 
tling effects, and vigorous reproductions of nature. 
Authors, too, like Olivier de la Marche and Philippe de 
Comines, who, in the words of the latter, " wrote, not 
for the amusement of brutes and people of low degree, 
but for princes and other persons of quality," these and 
other writers, with aims as lofty, flourished at the court 
of Burgundy, and were rewarded by the duke with 


princely generosity. Philip remodeled and befriended 
the University of Louvain. He founded at Brussels the 
Burgundian library, which became celebrated through- 
out Europe. He levied largely, spent profusely, but 
was yet so thrifty a housekeeper as to leave four hun- 
dred thousand crowns of gold, a vast amount in those 
days, besides three million marks' worth of plate and 
furniture, to be wasted like water in the insane career 
of his son. 

The exploits of that son require but few words of 
illustration. Hardly a chapter of European history or 
romance is more familiar to the world than the one 
which records the meteoric course of Charles the Bold. 
The propriety of his title was never doubtfiil. No 
prince was ever bolder, but it is certain that no quality 
could be less desirable at that particular moment in 
the history of his house. It was not the quality to con- 
firm a usurping family in its ill-gotten possessions. Re- 
newed aggressions upon the rights of others justified 
retaliation and invited attack. Justice, prudence, firm- 
ness, wisdom of internal administration, were desirable 
in the son of Philip and the rival of Louis. These at- 
tributes the gladiator lacked entirely. His career might 
have been a brilliant one in the old days of chivalry. 
His image might have appeared as imposing as the 
romantic forms of Baldwin Bras de Per or Godfrey of 
BouUlon, had he not been misplaced in history. Never- 
theless, he imagined himself governed by a profound 
policy. He had one dominant idea, to make Burgundy 
a kingdom. Prom the moment when, with almost the 
first standing army known to history, and with coffers 
well filled by his cautious father's economy, he threw 
himself into the lists against the crafty Louis, down to 


the day when he was found dead, naked, deserted, and 
with his face frozen into a pool of blood and water, he 
faithfully pursued this thought. His ducal cap was to 
be exchanged for a kingly crown, while all the provinces 
which lay between the Mediterranean and the North 
Sea and between France and Germany were to be 
united under his scepter. The Netherlands, with their 
wealth, had been already appropriated and their free- 
dom crushed. Another land of liberty remained, physi- 
cally the reverse of Holland, but stamped with the 
same courageous nationality, the same ardent love of 
human rights. Switzerland was to be conquered. Her 
eternal battlements of ice and granite were to constitute 
the great bulwark of his realm. The world knows well 
the result of the struggle between the lord of so many 
duchies and earldoms and the Alpine mountaineers. 
"With all his boldness, Charles was but an indifferent 
soldier. His only merit was physical corn-age. He 
imagined himself a consummate commander, and in 
conversation with his jester was fond of comparing 
himself to Hannibal. "We are getting well Hanni- 
balized to-day, my lord," said the bitter fool, as they 
rode off together from the disastrous defeat of Granson. 
Well " Hannibalized " he was, too, at Granson, at Murten, 
and at Nancy. He followed in the track of his proto- 
type only to the base of the mountains. 

As a conqueror he was signally unsuccessful; as a 
politician he could outwit none but himself ; it was only 
as a tyrant within his own ground that he could sustain 
the character which he chose to enact. He lost the 
crown which he might have secured, because he thought 
the emperor's son unworthy the heu-ess of Burgundy ; 
and yet after her father's death her marriage with that 


very Maximilian alone secured the possession of her 
paternal inheritance. Unsuccessful in schemes of con- 
quest and in political intrigue, as an oppressor of the 
Netherlands he nearly carried out his plans. Those 
provinces he regarded merely as a bank to draw upon. 
His immediate intercourse with the country was confined 
to the extortion of vast requests. These were granted 
with ever-increasing reluctance by the estates. The 
new taxes and excises which the sanguinary extrava- 
gance of the duke rendered necessary could seldom 
be collected in the various cities without tumults, sedi- 
tion, and bloodshed. Few princes were ever a greater 
curse to the people whom they were allowed to hold as 
property. He neai'ly succeeded in establishing a cen- 
trahzed despotism upon the ruins of the provincial 
institutions. His sudden death alone deferred the 
catastrophe. His removal of the Supreme Court of 
Holland from The Hague to Mechlin, and his main- 
tenance of a standing army, were the two great mea- 
sures by which he prostrated the Netherlands. The 
tribunal had been remodeled by his father ; the expanded 
authority which Philip had given to a bench of judges 
dependent upon himself was an infraction of the riglits 
of Holland. The court, however, still held its sessions 
in the country, and the sacred privilege, de non evoccindo, 
the right of every Hollander to be tried in his own 
land, was, at least, retained. Charles threw off the 
mask ; he proclaimed that this council — composed of his 
creatures, holding office at his pleasure — should have 
supreme jurisdiction over all the charters of the prov- 
inces; that it was to follow his person and derive all 
authority from his will. The usual seat of the court he 
transferred to Mechlin. It wiU be seen, in the sequel. 


that the attempt, imder Philip II., to enforce its supreme 
authority was a collateral cause of the great revolution 
of the Netherlands. 

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

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


A CRISIS, both for Burgundy and the Netherlands, 
succeeds. Within the provinces there is an elastic re- 
bound as soon as the pressure is removed from them 
by the tyrant's death. A sudden spasm of Liberty gives 


the whole people gigantic strength. In an instant they 
recover all, and more than all, the rights which they had 
lost. The cities of Holland, Flanders, and other prov- 
inces call a convention at Ghent. Laying aside their 
musty feuds, men of all parties, Hooks and Kabbel- 
jaws, patricians and people, move forward in phalanx 
to recover their national constitutions. On the other 
hand, Louis XL seizes Burgundy, claiming the territory 
for his crown, the heiress for his son. The situation is 
critical for the Lady Mary. As usual in such cases, 
appeals are made to the faithful commons. A prodi- 
gality of oaths and pledges is showered upon the people, 
that their loyalty may be refreshed and grow green. 
The congress meets at Ghent. The Lady Mary pro- 
fesses much, but she wiU keep her vow. The deputies 
are called upon to rally the country around the duchess 
and to resist the fraud and force of Louis. The con- 
gress is willing to maintain the cause of its young mis- 
tress. The members declare, at the same time, very 
roundly, "that the provinces have been much im- 
poverished and oppressed bj' the enormous taxation im- 
posed upon them by the ruinous wars waged by Duke 
Charles from the beginning to the end of his life." They 
rather require " to be relieved than additionally encum- 
bered." They add that, "for many years past, there 
has been a constant violation of the provincial and 
municipal charters, and that they should be happy to 
see them restored." 

The result of the deliberations is the formal grant by 
Duchess Mary of the " Groot Pi'ivilegie," or Great Priv- 
ilege, the Magna Charta of Holland. Although this in- 
strument was afterward violated, and indeed abolished, 
it became the foundation of the Republic. It was a re- 


capitulation and recognition of ancient rights, not an 
acquisition of new privileges. It was a restoration, not 
a revolution. Its principal points deserve attention 
from those interested in the political progress of man- 

" The duchess shall not marry without consent of the 
estates of her provinces. All offices in her gift shall be 
conferred on natives only. No man shall fill two offices. 
No office shall be farmed. The 'Great Council and 
Supreme Court of Holland' is reestablished. Causes 
shall be brought before it on appeal from the ordinary 
courts. It shall have no original jurisdiction of matters 
within the cognizance of the provincial and municipal 
tribunals. The estates and cities are guaranteed in 
their right not to be summoned to justice beyond the 
limits of their territory. The cities, in common with 
all the provinces of the Netherlands, may hold diets as 
often and at such places as they choose. No new taxes 
shall he imposed hut hy consent of the provincial estates. 
Neither the duchess nor her descendants shall hegin 
either an offensive or defensive ivar tcithout consent of the 
estates. In case a war be iEegaUy undertaken, the 
estates are not bound to contribute to its maintenance. 
In all public and legal documents the Netherland 
language shall be employed. The commands of the 
duchess shall be invalid if conflicting with the privileges 
of a city. The seat of the Supreme Council is trans- 
ferred from Mechlin to The Hague. No money shall be 
coined, nor its value raised or lowered, but by consent 
of the estates. Cities are not to be compelled to con- 
tribute to requests which they have not voted. The 
sovereign shall come in person before the estates to 
make his request for supplies." 


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

Truly, here was a fundamental law which largely, 
roundly, and reasonably recognized the existence of a 
people with hearts, heads, and hands of their own. It 

CharleH the Bold. 


was a vast step in advance of natural servitude, the 
dogma of the dark ages. It was a noble and temperate 
vindication of natural liberty, the doctrine of more en- 
lightened days. To no people in the world more than 
to the stout burghers of Flanders and Holland belongs 
the honor of having battled audaciouslj' and perennially 
in behalf of human rights. 

Similar privileges to the great charter of Holland are 
granted to many other provinces, especially to Flanders, 
ever ready to stand forward in fierce vindication of 
freedom. For a season all is peace and joy; but the 
duchess is young, weak, and a woman. There is no 
lack of intriguing politicians, reactionary councilors. 
There is a cunning old king in the distance, lying in 
wait, seeking what he can devour. A mission goes from 
the estates to France. The well-known tragedy of Im- 
brecourt and Hugonet occurs. Envoys from the states, 
they dare to accept secret instructions from the duchess 
to enter into private negotiations with the French mon- 
arch, against their colleagues, against the great charter, 
against then.' country. Sly Louis betrays them, think- 
ing that policy the more expedient. They are seized in 
Ghent, rapidly tried, and as rapidly beheaded by the en- 
raged burghers. All the entreaties of the Lady Marj% 
who, di'essed in mourning garments, with disheveled 
hair, unloosed girdle, and streaming eyes, appears at 
the town house, and afterward in the market-place, 
humbly to intercede for her servants, are fruitless. 
There is no help for the juggling diplomatists. The 
punishment was sharp. Was it more severe and sudden 
than that which betrayed monarchs usually inflict? 
Would the Flemings, at that critical moment, have 
deserved their freedom had they not taken swift and 

VOL. I.— 5 


signal vengeance for this first infraction of their newly 
recognized rights 1 Had it not been weakness to spare 
the traitors who had thus stained the childhood of the 
national joy at liberty regained? 


Another step, and a wide one, into the great stream 
of European history. The Lady Mary espouses the 
Archduke Maximilian. The Netherlands are about to 
become Hapsburg property. The Ghenters reject the 
pretensions of the dauphin, and select for husband of 
their duchess the very man whom her father had so 
stupidly rejected. It had been a wiser choice for 
Chaiies the Bold than for the Netherlanders. The mar- 
riage takes place on the 18th of August, 1477. Mary 
of Bui'gundy passes from the guardianship of Ghent 
burghers into that of the emperor's son. The crafty 
husband allies himself with the city party, feeling where 
the strength lies. He knows that the voracious Kabbel- 
jaws have at last swallowed the Hooks and run away 
with them. Promising himself future rights of recon- 
sideration, he is liberal in promises to the municipal 
party. In the meantime he is governor and guardian 
of his wife and her provinces. His children are to in- 
herit the Netherlands and all that therein is. What 
can be more consistent than laws of descent regulated 
by right divine '? At the beginning of the century, good 
Philip dispossesses Jacqueline, because females cannot 
inherit. At its close, his granddaughter succeeds to the 
property, and transmits it to her children. Pope and 
emperor maintain both positions with equal logic. The 


policy and promptness of Maximilian are as effective as 
the force and fraud of Philip. 

The Lady Mary falls from her horse and dies. Her 
son Philip, four years of age, is recognized as successor. 
Thus the house of Burgundy is followed by that of 
Austria, the fifth and last family which governed Hol- 
land previously to the erection of the Republic. Maxi- 
milian is recognized by the provinces as governor and 
guardian during the minority of his children. Flanders 
alone refuses. The burghers, ever prompt in action, 
take personal possession of the child Philip, and carry 
on the government in his name. A commission of citi- 
zens and nobles thus maintain their authority against 
Maximilian for several years. In 1488 the archduke, 
now King of the Romans, with a small force of cavalry, 
attempts to take the city of Bruges, but the result is a 
mortifying one to the Roman king. The citizens of 
Bruges take him. Maximilian, with several councilors, 
is kept a prisoner in a house on the market-place. The 
magistrates are aU changed, the affairs of government 
conducted in the name of the young Philip alone. 
Meantime the estates of the other Netherlands assemble 
at Ghent, anxious, unfortunately, not for the national 
liberty, but for that of the Roman king. Already Hol- 
land, torn again by civil feuds and blinded by the arti- 
fices of Maximilian, has deserted, for a season, the great 
cause to which Flanders has remained so true. At last 
a treaty is made between the archduke and the Flem- 
ings. Maximilian is to be regent of the other prov- 
inces; Philip, under guardianship of a council, is to 
govern Flanders. Moreover, a congress of all the prov- 
inces is to be summoned annually to provide for the 
general welfare. Maximilian signs and swears to the 


treaty on the 16th May, 1488. He swears, also, to dis- 
miss all foreign troops within four days. Giving hos- 
tages for his fidelity, he is set at liberty. What are oaths 
and hostages when prerogative and the people are con- 
tending? Emperor Frederick sends to his son an army 
under the Duke of Saxony. The oaths are broken, the 
hostages left to their fate. The struggle lasts a year, 
but at the end of it the Flemings are subdued. What 
could a single province effect, when its sister states, 
even liberty-loving Holland, had basely abandoned the 
common cause ? A new treaty is made (October, 1489). 
Maximilian obtains uncontrolled guardianship of his 
son, absolute dominion over Flanders and the other 
provinces. The insolent burghers are severely punished 
for remembering that they had been freemen. The 
magistrates of Ghent, Bruges, and Ypres, in black gar- 
ments, ungirdled, bareheaded, and kneeling, are com- 
pelled to implore the despot's forgiveness and to pay 
three hundred thousand crowns of gold as its price. 
After this, for a brief season, order reigns in Flanders. 
The course of Maximilian had been stealthy, but 
decided Allying himself with the city party, he had 
crushed the nobles. The power thus obtained he then 
turned against the bin-ghers. Step by step he had 
trampled oiit the liberties which his wife and himself 
had sworn to protect. He had spurned the authority 
of the Great Privilege and all other charters. Bur- 
gomasters and other citizens had been beheaded in 
great numbers for appealing to their statutes against 
the edicts of the regent, for voting in favor of a general 
congress according to the unquestionable law. He had 
proclaimed that all landed estates should, in lack of 
heirs male, escheat to his own exchequer. He had de- 


based the coin of the country, and thereby authorized 
unlimited swindling on the part of all his agents, from 
stadholders down to the meanest official. If such op- 
pression and knavery did not justify the resistance of 
the Flemings to the guardianship of Maximilian, it 
would be difficult to find any reasonable course in pohti- 
cal aifairs save abject submission to authority. 

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

Friesland is, for a brief season, politically separated 
from the rest of the country. Harassed and exhausted 
by centuries of warfare, foreign and domestic, the free 
Frisians, at the suggestion or command of Emperor 
Maximilian, elect the Duke of Saxony as their podesta. 
The sovereign prince, naturally proving a chief magis- 
trate far from democratic, gets himself acknowledged 
or submitted to, soon afterward, as legitimate sovereign 
of Friesland. Seventeen years afterward Saxony sells 
the sovereignty to the Austrian house for three hundred 
and fifty thousand crowns. This little country, whose 
statutes proclaimed her to be " free as the wind, as long 
as it blew," whose institutions Charlemagne had honored 
and left unmolested, who had freed herself with ready 


poniard from Norman tyi-anny , who never bowed her neck 
to feudal chieftain nor to the papal yoke, now driven to 
madness and suicide by the dissensions of her wild chil- 
dren, forfeits at last her independent existence. All the 
provinces are thus united in a common servitude, and 
regret, too late, their supineness at a moment when then- 
liberties might yet have been vindicated. Their ancient 
and cherished charters, which theu* bold ancestors had 
earned with the sweat of their brows and the blood of 
their hearts, are at the mercy of an autocrat, and liable 
to be superseded by his edicts. 

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

Two prudent marriages, made by Austrian archdukes 
within twenty years, have altered the face of the earth. 
The stream, which we have been tracing from its 
source, empties itself at last into the ocean of a world- 
empire. Count Dirk I., lord of a half-submerged 
corner of Europe, is succeeded by Count Charles II. 


of Holland, better known as Charles V., King of Spain, 
Sicily, and Jerusalem, Duke of Milan, Emperor of Ger- 
many, dominator in Asia and Africa, autocrat of half 
the world. The leading events of his brilliant reign are 
familiar to every child. The Netherlands now share the 
fate of so large a group of nations, a fate to these prov- 
inces most miserable. The weddings of Austria Felix ^ 
were not so prolific of happiness to her subjects as to 
herself. It can never seem just or reasonable that the 
destiny of many millions of human beings should depend 
upon the marriage settlements of one man with one 
woman, and a permanent, prosperous empire can never 
be reared upon so frail a foundation. The leading 
thought of the first Charlemagne was a noble and a 
useful one, nor did his imperial scheme seem chimerical, 
even although time, wiser than monarchs or lawgivers, 
was to prove it impracticable. To weld into one great 
whole the various tribes of Franks, Frisians, Saxons, 
Lombards, Burgundians, and others, still in their tur- 
bulent youth, and still composing one great Teutonic 
family; to enforce the mutual adhesion of naturally 
coherent masses, all of one lineage, one language, one 
history, and which were only beginning to exhibit their 
tendencies to insulation ; to acquiesce in a variety of local 
laws and customs, while an iron will was to concentrate 
a vast but homogeneous people into a single nation ; 
to raise up from the grave of corrupt and buried Eome 
a fresh, vigorous, German, Christian empire— this was a 
reasonable and manly thought. Far different the con- 
ception of the second Charlemagne. To force into 
discordant union tribes which for seven centuries had 
developed themselves into hostile nations, separated by 
1 "Bella gerant alii, tu felix Austria nube," etc. 


geography and history, customs and laws ; to combine 
many millions under one scepter, not because of natural 
identity, but for the sake of composing one splendid 
family property ; to establish unity by annihilating local 
institutions ; to supersede popular and liberal charters by 
the edicts of a central despotism ; to do battle with the 
whole spirit of an age ; to regard the soids as well as the 
bodies of vast multitudes as the personal property of 
one individual ; to strive for the perpetuation in a single 
house of many crowns which accident had blended, and 
to imagine the consecration of the whole system by 
placing the pope's triple diadem forever upon the im- 
perial head of the Hapsburgs— all this was not the effort 
of a great constructive genius, but the selfish scheme of 
an autocrat. 

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


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

Philip the Fair and Ferdinand had detested and quar- 
reled with each other from the beginning. The Span- 
iards and Flemings participated in the mutual antipathy, 
and hated each other cordially at first sight. The un- 
scrupulous avarice of the Netherland nobles in Spain, 
their grasping and venal ambition, enraged and dis- 
gusted the haughty Spaniards. This international 
malignity furnishes one of the keys to a proper under- 
standing of the great revolt in the next reiga 

The provinces, now all united again under an emperor, 
were treated, opulent and powerful as they were, as 
obscure dependencies. The regency over them was in- 


trusted by Charles to his near relatives, who governed 
in the interest of his house, not of the country. His 
course toward them upon the religious question will be 
hereafter indicated. The political character of his 
administration was typified and, as it were, dramatized 
on the occasion of the memorable insurrection at Ghent. 
For this reason a few interior details concerning that 
remarkable event seem requisite. 


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

Placed in the midst of well-cultivated plains, Ghent 


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

The constitution of the city was very free. It was a 
little republic in all but name. Its population was 
divided into fifty-two gilds of manufacturers and into 
thirty-two tribes of weavers, each fraternity electing 
annually or biennially its own deans and suboi-dinate 
of&cers. The senate, which exercised functions legisla- 
tive, judicial, and administrative, subject of course to 
the Grand Council of Mechlin and to the sovereign au- 
thority, consisted of twenty-six members. These were 
appointed partly from the upper class, or the men who 
lived upon their means, partly from the manufacturers 
in general, and partly from the weavers. They were 


chosen by a college of eight electors, who were ap- 
pointed by the sovereign on nomination by the citizens. 
The whole city, in its collective capacity, constituted one 
of the four estates {membra) of the province of Flan- 
ders. It is obvious that so much liberty of form and of 
fact, added to the stormy character by which its citizens 
were distinguished, would be most offensive in the eyes 
of Charles, and that the delinquencies of the little com- 
monwealth would be represented in the most glaring 
colors by all those quiet souls who preferred the tran- 
quillity of despotism to the turbulence of freedom. The 
city claimed, moreover, the general provisions of the 
Great Privilege of the Lady Mary, the Magna Charta, 
which, according to the monarchical party, had been 
legally abrogated by Maximilian. The liberties of the 
town had also been nominally curtailed by the " Calf- 
skin " (Kalf Vel). By this celebrated document, Charles 
v., then fifteen years of age, had been made to threaten 
with condign punishment all persons who should main- 
tain that he had sworn at his inauguration to observe 
any privileges or charters claimed by the Ghenters 
before the peace of Cadsand. 

The immediate cause of the discontent, the attempt to 
force from Flanders a subsidy of four hundred thousand 
caroli, as the third part of the twelve hundred thousand 
granted by the states of the Netherlands, and the resis- 
tance of Ghent in opposition to the other three members 
of the province, will, of course, be judged differently, 
according as the sympathies are stronger with popular 
rights or with prerogative. The citizens claimed that the 
subsidy could only be granted by the unanimous con- 
sent of the four estates of the province. Among other 
proofs of this their unquestionable right, they appealed 


to a muniment -whieli had never existed, save in the 
imagination of the credulous populace. At a certain 
remote epoch, one of the counts of Flanders, it was 
contended, had gambled away his countship to the Earl 
of Holland, but had been extricated from his dilemma 
by the generosity of Ghent. The burghers of the town 
had paid the debts and redeemed the sovereignty of 
their lord, and had thereby gained, in return, a charter, 
called the " Bargain of Flanders" (Koop van Flandern). 
Among the privileges granted by this document was 
an express stipulation that no subsidy should ever be 
granted by the province -without the consent of Ghent. 
This charter woidd have been conclusive in the present 
emergency, had it not labored under the disadvantage 
of never having existed. It was supposed by many that 
the magistrates, some of whom were favorable to gov- 
ernment, had hidden the document. Lieven Pyl, an 
ex-senator, was supposed to be privy to its concealment. 
He was also, with more justice, charged with an act of 
great baseness and effrontery. Deputed by the citizens to 
carry to the queen regent their positive refusal to grant 
the subsidy, he had, on the contrary, given an answer, in 
their name, in the affirmative. For these delinquencies, 
the imaginary' and the real, he was inhumanly tortured 
and afterward beheaded. " I know, my children," said 
he upon the scaffold, "that you wiU be grieved when 
you have seen my blood flow, and that you will regret 
me when it is too late." It does not appear, however, 
that there was any especial reason to regret him, how- 
ever sanguinary the punishment which had requited his 
broken faith. 

The mischief being thus afoot, the tongue of Roland 
and the easily excited spirits of the citizens soon did 


the rest. Ghent broke forth into open insm-rection. 
They had been willing to enlist and pay troops under 
their own banners, but they had felt outraged at the enor- 
mous contribution demanded of them for a foreign war 
undertaken in the family interests of their distant master. 
They could not find the Bargain of Flanders, but they 
got possession of the odious Calfskin, which was sol- 
emnly cut in two by the dean of the weavers. It was 
then torn in shreds by the angry citizens, many of whom 
paraded the streets with pieces of the hated docimient 
stuck in theii' caps like plumes. From these demon- 
strations they proceeded to intrigues with Francis I. 
He rejected them, and gave notice of their overtures 
to Charles, who now resolved to quell the insurrection 
at once. Francis wrote, begging that the emperor 
would honor him by coming through France ; " wishing 
to assure you," said he, " my lord and good brother, by 
this letter, written and signed by my hand, upon my 
honor, and on the faith of a prince and of the best 
brother you have, that in passing through my kingdom 
every possible honor and hospitality will be ofPered you, 
even as they could be to mj'self ." Certainly the French 
king, after such profuse and voluntary pledges, to con- 
firm which he, moreover, offered his two sons and other 
great individuals as hostages, could not, without utterly 
disgracing himself, have taken any unhandsome advan- 
tage of the emperoi"'s presence in his dominions. The 
reflections often made concerning the high-minded chiv- 
alry of Francis and the subtle knowledge of human 
nature displayed by Charles upon the occasion seem, 
therefore, entirely superfluous. The emperor came to 
Paris. "Here," says a citizen of Ghent at the time, 
who has left a minute account of the transaction upon 


record, but whose sympathies were ludicrously with the 
despot and against his own townspeople, "here the 
emperor was received as if the God of Paradise had 
descended." On the 9th of February, 1540, he left 
Brussels ; on the 14th he came to Ghent. His entrance 
into the city lasted more than six hours. Four thou- 
sand lancers, one thousand archers, five thousand hal- 
berdmen and musketeers composed his body-guard, all 
armed to the teeth and ready for combat. The em- 
peror rode in their midst, surrounded by "cardinals, 
archbishops, bishops, and other great ecclesiastical 
lords," so that the terrors of the Church were combined 
with the panoply of war to affright the souls of the tur- 
bulent burghers. A brilliant train of " dukes, princes, 
earls, barons, grand masters, and seigniors, together with 
most of the Knights of the Fleece," were, according to 
the testimony of the same eye-witness, in attendance 
upon his MajestJ^ This unworthy son of Ghent was in 
ecstasies with the magnificence displayed upon the 
occasion. There was such a number of " grand lords, 
members of sovereign houses, bishops, and other ecclesi- 
astical dignitaries going about the streets that," as the 
poor soul protested with delight, "there was nobody 
else to be met with." Especially the fine clothes of 
these distinguished guests excited his warmest admira- 
tion. It was wonderful to behold, he said, "the nobilitj' 
and great richness of the princes and seigniors, displayed 
as well in their beautiful furs, martens and sables, as 
in the great chains of fine gold which they wore twisted 
round their necks, and the pearls and precious stones in 
their bonnets and otherwise, which they displayed in 
great abundance. It was a very trmmpliant tiling to see 
them thus i-ichly dressed and accoutred." 


An idea may be formed of the size and wealth of the 
city at this period from the fact that it received and 
accommodated sixty thousand strangers, with their 
fifteen thousand horses, upon the occasion of the 
emperor's visit. Charles allowed a month of awful 
suspense to intervene between his arrival and his 
vengeance. Despair and hope alternated during the 
interval. On the 17th of March the spell was broken 
by the execution of nineteen persons, who were beheaded 
as ringleaders. On the 29th of Aprd he pronounced 
sentence upon the city. The hall where it was rendered 
was open to all comers, and graced by the presence of 
the emperor, the queen regent, and the great func- 
tionaries of court, church, and state. The decree, 
DOW matured, was read at length. It annulled all the 
charters, privileges, and laws of Ghent. It confiscated 
aU its public property, rents, revenues, houses, artillery, 
munitions of war, and in general everything which the 
corporation or the traders, each and all, possessed in 
common. In particular, the great bell Roland was con- 
demned and sentenced to immediate removal. It was 
decreed that the four hundred thousand florins which 
had caused the revolt should forthwith be paid, to- 
gether with an additional fine by Ghent of one hun- 
dred and fifty thousand, besides six thousand a year 
forever after. In place of their ancient and beloved 
constitution, thus annihilated at a blow, was promul- 
gated a new form of municipal government of the 
simplest kind, according to which all officers were in 
future to be appointed by himself, and the gUds to be 
reduced to half their number, shorn of all political 
power, and deprived entirely of self-government. It was, 
moreover, decreed that the senators, their pensionaries. 


clerks, and secretaries, thirty notable burghers to be 
named by the emperor, with the great deaix and second 
dean of the weavers, all di-essed in black robes, without 
their chains, and bareheaded, should appear upon an 
appointed day, in company with fifty persons from the 
gilds, and fifty others to be arbitrarily named, in their 
shirts, with halters upon their neclis. This large number 
of deputies, as representatives of the city, were then to 
fall upon their knees before the emperor, say in a loud 
and inteUigible voice, by the mouth of one of their 
clerks, that they were extremely sorry for the disloyalty, 
disobedience, infraction of laws, commotions, rebeUion, 
and high treason of which they had been guilty, prom- 
ise that they would never do the like again, and hum- 
bly implore him, for the sake of the passion of Jesus 
Christ, to grant them mercy and forgiveness. 

The third day of May was appointed for the execu- 
tion of the sentence. Charles, who was fond of imposing 
exhibitions and prided himself upon arranging them 
with skiU, was determined that this occasion should be 
long remembered by all burghers throughout his do- 
minions who might be disposed to insist strongly upon 
their municipal rights. The streets were alive with 
troops, cavalry and infantry in great numbers keeping 
strict guard at every point throughout the whole extent 
of the city ; for it was known that the hatred produced 
by the sentence was most deadly, and that nothing but 
an array of invincible force could keep those hostile 
sentiments in check. The senators in their black 
mourning robes, the other deputies in Unen shirts, 
bareheaded, with halters on their necks, proceeded at 
the appointed hour from the senate-house to the im- 
perial residence. High on his throne, with the queen 

VOL. I. — 6 


regent at his side, suiTOunded by princes, prelates, and 
nobles, guarded by his archers and halberdiers, his 
crown on his head and his scepter in his hand, the 
emperor, exalted, sat. The senators and burghers, in 
their robes of humiliation, knelt in the dust at his feet. 
The prescribed words of contrition and of supplication 
for mercy were then read by the pensionary, all the 
deputies remaining upon theii- knees, and many of them 
crying bitterly with rage and shame. " What principally 
distressed them," said the honest citizen whose admiration 
for the brilliant accoutrement of the princes and prelates 
has been recorded, " was to have the halter on their necks, 
which they found hard to bear, and if they had not been 
compelled, they would rather have died than submit to it." 

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

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


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


It is impossible to comprehend the character of the 
great Netherland revolt in the sixteenth century without 
taking a rapid retrospective survey of the religious 
phenomena exhibited in the provinces. The introduc- 
tion of Christianity has been already indicated. From 
the earliest times, neither prince, people, nor even prel- 
ates were very dutiful to the pope. As the papal au- 
thority made progress, strong resistance was often made 
to its decrees. The bishops of Utrecht were dependent 
for their wealth and territory upon the good wiU of the 
emperor. They were the determined opponents of 
Hildebrand, warm adherents of the Hohenstaufens— 
Ghibelline rather than Guelf. Heresy was a plant of 
early growth in the Netherlands. As early as the be- 
ginning of the twelfth century, the notorious Tancheljm 
preached at Antwerp, attacking the authority of the 


pope and of all other ecclesiastics, scoffing at tiie cere- 
monies and sacraments of the Church. Unless his char- 
acter and career have been grossly misrepresented, he 
was the most infamous of the many impostors who have 
so often disgraced the cause of religious reformation. 
By more than four centuries he anticipated the licen- 
tiousness and greediness manifested by a series of false 
prophets, and was the first to turn both the stupidity 
of a populace and the viciousness of a priesthood to 
his own advancement — an ambition which afterward 
reached its most signal expression in the celebrated 
John of Leyden. 

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


the effrontery to proceed to Rome, promxilgating what 
he called his doctrines as he went. He seems to have 
been assassinated by a priest in an obscure brawl, 
about the year 1115. 

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

Nevertheless, heresy increased in the face of oppres- 
sion. The Scriptures, translated by "Waldo into French, 
were rendered into Netherland rhyme, and the converts 
to the "\^audois doctrine increased in numbers and bold- 
ness. At the same time the power and luxury of the 
clergy was waxing daily. The bishops of Utrecht, no 
longer the defenders of the people against arbitrary 


power, conducted themselves like little popes. Yielding 
in dignity neither to king nor kaiser, they exacted 
homage from the most powerful princes of the Nether- 
lands. The clerical order became the most privileged 
of all. The accused priest refused to acknowledge the 
temporal tribunals. The protection of ecclesiastical 
edifices was extended over all criminals and fugitives 
from justice— a beneficent result in those sanguinary 
ages, even if its roots were sacerdotal pride. To estab- 
lish an accusation against a bishop, seventy-two wit- 
nesses were necessary ; against a deacon, twenty-seven ; 
against an inferior dignitary, seven; while two were 
sufficient to convict a layman. The power to read and 
write helped the clergy to much wealth. Privileges and 
charters from petty princes, gifts and devises from 
private persons, were documents which few, save eccle- 
siastics, could draw or dispute. Not content, moreover, 
with their territories and their tithings, the churchmen 
perpetually devised new burdens upon the peasantry. 
Plows, sickles, horses, oxen, all implements of hus- 
bandry, were taxed for the benefit of those who toiled 
not, but who gathered into barns. In the course of the 
twelfth century, many religious houses, richly endowed 
with lands and other property, were founded in the 
Netherlands. Was hand or voice raised against clerical 
encroachment, the priests held ever in readiness a 
deadly weapon of defense: a blasting anathema was 
thundered against their antagonist, and smote him into 
submission. The disciples of Him who ordered his fol- 
lowers to bless their persecutors and to love their 
enemies invented such Christian formulas as these: 
" In the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost, 
the Blessed Virgin Mary, John the Baptist, Peter and 


Paul, and all other saints in heaven, do "sve curse and 
cut off from our communion him Trho has thus rebelled 
against us. May the curse strike him in his house, barn, 
bed, field, path, city, castle. May he be cursed in battle, 
accursed in praying, in speaking, in silence, in eating, in 
drinking, in sleeping. May he be accursed in his taste, 
hearing, smell, and all his senses. May the curse blast 
his eyes, head, and his body, from his crown to the soles 
of his feet. I conjure you, De\al, and all your imps, 
that you take no rest till you have brought him to 
eternal shame ; till he is destroyed by drowning or 
hanging, till he is torn to pieces by wild beasts, or con- 
sumed by fire. Let his children become orphans, his 
wife a widow. I command you, De\'il, and all your 
imps, that even as I now blow out these torches, you do 
immediately extinguish the light from his eyes. So be 
it, so be it. Amen, amen." So speaking, the curser 
was wont to blow out two waxen torches which he held 
in his hands, and with this practical illustration the 
anathema was complete. 

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

By the end of the thirteenth century, however, the 
clerical power was already beginning to decline. It was 


not the corruption of the Church, but its enormous 
wealth, which engendered the hatred with which it was 
by many regarded. Temporal princes and haughty 
barons began to dispute the right of ecclesiastics to 
enjoy vast estates, while refusing the burden of taxa- 
tion, and unable to draw a sword for the common 
defense. At this period the counts of Flanders, of 
Holland, and other Netherland sovereigns, issued de- 
crees forbidding clerical institutions from acquiring 
property by devise, gift, purchase, or any other mode. 
The downfall of the rapacious and licentious Knights 
Templars in the provinces and throughout Europe was 
another severe blow administered at the same time. 
The attacks upon church abuses redoubled in boldness 
as its authority declined. Toward the end of the four- 
teenth century the doctrines of Wyclif had made great 
progress in the land. Early in the fifteenth, the execu- 
tions of Huss and Jerome of Prague produce the Bohe- 
mian rebellion. The pope proclaims a crusade against 
the Hussites. Knights and prelates, esquires and citi- 
zens, enlist in the saored cause throughout Holland and 
its sister provinces ; but many Netherlanders who had felt 
the might of Ziska's arm come back, feeling more sym- 
pathy with the heresy which they had attacked than 
with the Church for which they had battled. 

Meantime, the restrictions imposed by Netherland 
sovereigns upon clerical rights to hold or acquire prop- 
erty become more stern and more general. On the 
other hand, with the invention of printing the cause of 
the Eeformation takes a colossal stride in advance. A 
Bible, which before had cost five hundred crowns, now 
costs but five. The people acquire the power of read- 
ing God's Word, or of hearing it read, for themselves. 


The light of truth dispels the clouds of superstition as 
by a new revelation. The pope and his mouks are 
found to bear, very often, but faint resemblance to 
Jesus and his apostles. Moreover, the instinct of self- 
interest sharpens the eye of the public. Many greedy 
priests of lower rank had turned shopkeepers in the 
Netherlands, and were growing rich by selling their 
wares, exempt from taxation, at a lower rate than lay 
hucksters could afford. The benefit of clergy, thus 
taking the bread from the mouths of many, excites 
jealousy; the more so as, besides their miscellaneous 
business, the reverend traders have a most lucrative 
branch of commerce from which other merchants are 
excluded. The sale of absolutions was the source of 
large fortunes to the priests. The enormous impudence 
of this traffic almost exceeds belief. Throughout the 
Netherlands the price current of the wares thus offered 
for sale was published in every town and village. God's 
pardon for crimes already committed, or about to be 
committed, was advertised according to a graduated 
tariff. Thus, poisoning, for example, was absolved for 
eleven ducats six livres tournois. Absolution for incest 
was afforded at three ducats thirty-six livres. Perjury 
came to seven livres and three carlinos. Pardon for 
murder, if not by poison, was cheaper. Even a parri- 
cide could biiy forgiveness at God's tribunal at one ducat 
four livres eight carlinos. Henry de Montfort, in the 
year 1448, purchased absolution for that crime at that 
price. Was it strange that a century or so of this kind 
of work should produce a Luther? Was it unnatural 
that plain people who loved the ancient Church should 
rather desire to see her purged of such blasphemous 
abuses than to hear of St. Peter's dome rising a little 


nearer to the clouds on these proceeds of commuted 
crime ? 

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

With the beginning of the sixteenth century the great 
Reformation was actually alive. The name of Erasmus 
of Rotterdam was already celebrated— the man who, 
according to Grotius, "so weU showed the road to a 
reasonable reformation." But if Erasmus showed the 
road, he certainly did not travel far upon it himself. 
Perpetual type of the quietist, the moderate man, he 
censured the errors of the Church with discrimination 
and gentleness, as if Borgianism had not been too long 
rampant at Rome, as if men's minds throughout Chris- 
tendom were not too deeply stirred to be satisfied with 


mild rebukes against sin, especially when the mild 
rebuker was in receipt of livings and salaries from the 
sinner. Instead of rebukes, the age wanted reforms. 
The sage of Rotterdam was a keen observer, a shrewd 
satirist, but a moderate morahst. He loved ease, good 
company, the soft repose of princely palaces, better than 
a life of martyrdom and a death at the stake. He was 
not of the stuff of which martyrs are made, as he hand- 
somely confessed on more than one occasion. "Let 
others affect martyrdom," he said ; " for myself, I am 
unworthy of the honor"; and, at another time, "I am 
not of a mind," he observed, " to venture my life for the 
truth's sake ; all men have not strength to endure the 
martyr's death. For myself, if it came to the point, I 
should do no better than Simon Peter." Moderate in all 
things, he would have liked, he said, to live without 
eating and drinking, although he never found it con- 
venient to do so, and he rejoiced when advancing age 
diminished his tendency to other carnal pleasures in 
which he had moderately indulged. Although awake 
to the abuses of the Church, he thought Luther going 
too fast and too far. He began by applauding, ended 
by censuring, the monk of Wittenberg. The Reforma- 
tion might have been delayed for centuries had Erasmus 
and other moderate men been the only reformers. He 
will long be honored for his elegant Latinity. In the 
republic of letters, his efforts to infuse a pure taste, a 
sound criticism, a love for the beautiful and the classic. 
in place of the owlish pedantry which had so long flapped 
and hooted through medieval cloisters, will always be 
held in grateful reverence. In the history of the religious 
Reformation his name seems hardly to deserve the com- 
mendations of Grotius. 

As the schism yawns more and more ominously 


througliout Christendom, tlie emperor naturally trem- 
bles. Anxious to save the state, but being no antique 
Koman, he wishes to close the gulf, but with more con- 
venience to himself. He conceives the highly original 
plan of combining church and empire under one crown. 
This is Maximilian's scheme for church reformation. 
An hereditary papacy, a perpetual pope-emperor, the 
Charlemagne and Hildebrand systems united and sim- 
plified — thus the world may yet be saved. "Nothing 
more honorable, nobler, better, could happen to us," 
writes Maximilian to Paul Lichtenstein (September 16, 
1511), " than to reannex the said popedom— which prop- 
erly belongs to us — to our empire. Cardinal Adrian 
approves our reasons and encourages us to proceed, 
being of opinion that we should not have much trouble 
with the cardinals. It is much to be feared that the 
pope may die of his present sickness. He has lost his 
appetite, and fills himself with so much drink that 
his health is destroyed. As such matters cannot be 
arranged without money, we have promised the cardi- 
nals, whom we expect to bring over, three hundred thou- 
sand ducats, which we shall raise from the Fuggers, 
and make payable in Rome upon the appointed day." 

These businesslike arrangements he communicates, 
two days afterward, in a secret letter to his daughter 
Margaret, and already exults at his future eminence, 
both in this world and the next. "We are sending 
Monsieur de G-urce," he says, "to make an agreement 
with the pope, that we may be taken as coadjutor, in 
order that, upon his death, we may he sure of the papacy, 
and, afterward, of becoming a saint. After my decease, 
therefore, you will be constrained to adore me, of which / 
shall he very proud. I am beginning to work upon the 


cardinals, iu which affair two or three hundred thousand 
ducats will be of great service." The letter was signed, 
" From the hand of your good father, Maximilian,/«!;«)-e 

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


all over Christendom with incredible swiftness. "Within 
a few weeks the ninety-five propositions have flown 
through Grermanj', the Netherlands, Spain, and are 
found in Jerusalem. 

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

Erasmus, however, was offending both parties. A 
swarm of monks were already buzzing about him for 
the bold language of his Commentaries and Dialogues. 
He was called Errasmus for his errors, Arasmus because 
he would plow up sacred things, Erasinus because he 
had written himself an ass ; Behemoth, Antichrist, and 
many other names of similar import. Luther was said 
to have bought the deadly seed in his barn. The egg 
had been laid by Erasmus, hatched by Luther. On the 
other hand, he was reviled for not taking side manfully 
with the reformer. The moderate man received much 



denunciation from zealots on either side. He soon 
clears himself, however, from all suspicions of Luther- 
anism. He is appalled at the fierce conflict which rages 
far and wide. He becomes querulous as the mighty 
besom sweeps away sacred dust and consecrated cobwebs. 
" Men should not attempt everything at once," he writes, 
" but rather step by step. That which men cannot im- 
prove they must look at through the fingers. If the 
godlessness of mankind requires such fierce physicians 
as Luther, if man cannot be healed with soothing oint- 
ments and cooling drinks, let us hope that God wiH 
comfort as repentant those whom he has punished as 
rebellious. If the dove of Christ— not the owl of Minerva 
— would only fly to us, some measure might be put to 
the madness of mankind." 

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


the Patmos of Eisenach, and huge wrestlings with the 

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

Pope Adrian VI., the Netherland boat-maker's son 
and the emperor's ancient tutor, was sufficiently alive 
to the sins of churchmen. The humble scholar of 
Utrecht was, at least, no Borgia. At the Diet of Nurem- 
berg, summoned to put down Luther, the honest pope 
declared roundly, through the Bishop of Fabriano, that 
" these disorders had sprung from the sins of men, more 
especially from the sins of priests and prelates. Even in 


the holy chair," said he, "many horrible crimes have 
been committed. Many abuses have grown up in the 
ecclesiastical state. The contagious disease, spreading 
from the head to the members,— from the pope to lesser 
prelates,— has spread far and wide, so that scarcely any 
one is to be found who does right and who is free from 
infection. Nevertheless, the evils have become so an- 
cient and manifold that it will be necessary to go step 
by step." 

In those passionate days the ardent reformers were as 
much outraged by this pregnant confession as the eccle- 
siastics. It would indeed be a slov\' process, they thought, 
to move step by step in the Keformation, if between 
each step a whole centm-y was to intervene. In vain 
did the gentle pontiff call upon Erasmus to assuage the 
stormy sea with his smooth rhetoric. The sage of Rot- 
terdam was old and sickly; his day was over. Adrian's 
liead, too, languishes beneath the triple crown but 
twenty months. He dies September 13, 1523, having 
arrived at the conviction, according to his epitaph, that 
the greatest misfortune of his life was to have reigned. 

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

VOL. I. —7 


A fresh edict renewed and sharpened the punishment 
for reading the Scriptures in private or public. At the 
same time, the violent personal altercation between 
Luther and Erasmus upon predestination, together with 
the bitter dispute between Luther and Zwingli concern- 
ing the real presence, did more to impede the progress 
of the Eeformation than ban or edict, sword or iire. 
The spirit of humanity hung her head, finding that the 
bold reformer had only a new dogma in place of the old 
ones, seeing that dissenters, in their turn, were some- 
times as ready as papists with ax, fagot, and excom- 
munication. In 1526 Felix Mants, the Anabaptist, is 
drowned at Zurich, in obedience to Zwingli's pithy for- 
mula, "Qui iterum mergit mergatur." Thus the Ana^ 
baptists, upon their first appearance, were exposed to the 
fires of the Church and the water of the Zwinglians. 

There is no doubt that the Anabaptist delusion was 
so ridiculous and so loathsome as to palliate or at least 
render intelligible the wrath with which they were re- 
garded by all parties. The turbulence of the sect was 
alarming to constituted authorities, its bestiality dis- 
graceful to the cause of religious reformation. The 
leaders were among the most depraved of human crea- 
tures, as much distinguished for licentiousness, blas- 
phemy, and cruelty as their followers for groveling 
superstition. The evil spirit driven out of Luther 
seemed, in orthodox eyes, to have taken possession of a 
herd of swine. The Germans Muncer and Hoffmann 
had been succeeded, as chief prophets, by a Dutch baker 
named Matthiszoon, of Haarlem, who announced himself 
as Enoch. Chief of this man's disciples was the notori- 
ous John Boccold of Leyden. Under the government 
of this prophet the Anabaptists mastered the city of 


Miinster. Here they confiscated property, plundered 
churches, Adolated females, mm-dered men who refused 
to join the gang, and, in brief, practised all the enormi- 
ties which humanity alone can conceive or perpetrate. 
The prophet proclaimed himself King of Sion, and sent 
out apostles to preach his doctrines in Germany and the 
Netherlands. Polygamy being a leading article of the 
system, he exemplified the principle by marrying four- 
teen wives. Of these, the beautiful widow of Matthiszoon 
was chief, was called the Queen of Sion, and wore a 
golden crown. The prophet made many fruitless efforts 
to seize Amsterdam and Leyden. The armed invasion 
of the Anabaptists was repelled, but their contagious 
madness spread. The plague broke forth in Amsterdam. 
On a cold winter's night (February, 1535) seven men 
and five women, inspired by the Holy Ghost, threw off 
their clothes and rushed naked and raving through the 
streets, shrieking, " Woe, woe, woe ! the wrath of God, 
the wrath of God ! " When arrested, they obstinately 
refused to put on clothing. " We are," they observed, 
" the naked truth." In a day or two, these furious luna- 
tics, who certainly deserved a madhouse rather than the 
scaffold, were all executed. The numbers of the sect 
increased with the martyrdom to which they were ex- 
posed, and the disorder spread to every part of the 
Netherlands. Many were put to death in lingering 
torments, but no perceptible effect was produced by the 
chastisement. Meantime the great chief of the sect, the 
prophet John, was defeated by the forces of the Bishop 
of Miinster, who recovered his city and caused the " King 
of Sion " to be pinched to death with red-hot tongs. 

Unfortunately, the severity of government was not 
wreaked alone upon the prophet and his mischievous crew. 


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



The civil institutions of the country had assumed 
their last provincial form in the Burguudo-Austrian 
epoch. As already stated, their tendency, at a later 
period a vicious one, was to substitute fictitious person- 
ages for men. A chain of corporations was wound 
about the liberty of the Netherlands ; yet that hberty 
had been originally sustained by the system in which it, 
one day, might be strangled. The spirit of local self- 
government, always the life-blood of liberty, was often 
excessive in its manifestations. The centrifugal force 
had been too much developed, and, combining with the 
mutual jealousy of corporations, had often made the 
nation weak against a common foe. Instead of popular 
rights there were state rights ; for the large cities, with 
extensive districts and villages under their government, 
were rather petty states than municipalities. Although 
the supreme legislative and executive functions belonged 
to the sovereign, yet each city made its by-laws, and 
possessed, besides, a body of statutes and regulations 
made from time to time by its own authority and con- 
fii-med by the prince. Thus a large portion, at least, of 
the nation shared practically in the legislative functions, 
which, technically, it did not claim ; nor had the require- 
ments of society made constant legislation so necessary 
as that to exclude the people from the work was to 
enslave the country. There was popular power enough 
to effect much good, but it was widely scattered, and, at 
the same time, confined in artificial forms. The gilds 
were vassals of the towns, the towns vassals of the 
feudal lord. The gild voted in the "broad council" 


of the city as one person ; the city voted in tlie estates 
as one person. The people of the United Netherlands 
was the personage yet to be invented. It was a privilege, 
not a right, to exercise a handiwork or to participate in 
the action of government. Yet the mass of privileges 
was so large, the shareholders so numerous, that prac- 
tically the towns were republics. The government was 
in the hands of a large number of the people. Industry 
and intelligence led to wealth and power. This was 
great progress from the general servitude of the eleventh 
and twelfth centuries, an immense barrier against arbi- 
trary rule. Loftier ideas of human rights, larger concep- 
tions of commerce, have taught mankind, in later days, the 
difference between liberties and liberty, between gilds 
and free competition. At the same time it was the prin- 
ciple of mercantile association in the middle ages which 
protected the infant steps of human freedom and human 
industry against violence and wrong. Moreover, at this 
period the tree of municipal life was still green and 
vigorous. The healthful flow of sap from the humblest 
roots to the most verdurous branches indicated the in- 
ternal soundness of the core and provided for the con- 
stant development of exterior strength. The road to 
political influence was open to all, not by right of birth, 
but through honorable exertion of heads and hands. 

The chief city of the Netherlands, the commercial 
capital of the world, was Antwerp. In the north and 
east of Europe the Hanseatic League had withered with 
the revolution in commerce. At the south the splendid 
marble channels through which the overland India trade 
had been conducted from the Mediterranean by a few 
stately cities were now dry, the great aqueducts ruinous 
and deserted. Verona, Venice, Nm-emberg, Augsburg, 


Bruges, were sinking ; but Antwerp, with its deep and 
convenient river, stretched its arm to the ocean and 
caught the golden prize as it fell from its sister cities' 
grasp. The city was so ancient that its genealogists, 
with ridiculous gravity, ascended to a period two cen- 
turies before the Trojan war, and discovered a giant, 
rejoicing in the classic name of Antigonus, established 
on the Schelde. This patriarch exacted one half the 
merchandise of aU navigators who passed his castle, 
and was accustomed to amputate and cast into the river 
the right hands of those who infringed this simple tariff. 
Thus Hand-tverpen, "hand-throwing," became Antwerp, 
and hence two hands, in the escutcheon of the city, were 
ever held up in heraldic attestation of the truth. The 
giant was, in his turn, thrown into the Schelde by a hero 
named Brabo, from whose exploits Brabant derived its 
name ; " de quo Brabonica tellus." But for these anti- 
quarian researches, a simpler derivation of the name 
would seem an t' icerf, "on the wharf." It had now 
become the principal entrepot and exchange of Europe. 
The Fuggers, Velsens, Ostetts, of Germany, the Gual- 
terotti and Bonvisi of Italy, and many other great mer- 
cantile houses were there established. No city, except 
Paris, surpassed it in population, none approached it in 
commercial splendor. Its government was very free. 
The sovereign, as Marquis of Antwerp, was solemnly 
sworn to govern according to the ancient charters and 
laws. The stadholder, as his representative, shared his 
authority with the four estates of the city. The senate 
of eighteen members was appointed by the stadholder 
out of a quadruple number nominated by the senate 
itself and by the fourth body, called the lorgery. Half 
the board was thus renewed annually. It exercised 


executive and appellate jiidieial functions, appointed 
two burgomasters and two pensionaries or legal coun- 
cilors, and also selected the lesser magistrates and 
officials of the city. The board of ancients or ex-sena- 
tors held their seats ex officio. The twenty-six ward- 
masters, appointed, two from each ward, by the senate 
on nomination by the wards, formed the third estate. 
Their especial business was to enroll the militia and to 
attend to its mustering and training. The deans of 
the gilds, flfty-foui- in number, two from each gild, 
selected by the senate from a triple list of candidates 
presented by the gilds, composed the fourth estate. 
This influential body was always assembled in the broad 
council of the city. Their duty was likewise to conduct 
the examination of candidates claiming admittance to 
any gild and offering specimens of art or handiwork, 
to superintend the general affairs of the gilds, and to 
regidate disputes. 

There were also two important functionaries repre- 
senting the king in criminal and civil matters. The 
vicarius capitalis, scultetus, schout, sheriff, or mar- 
grave, took precedence of all magistrates. His business 
was to superintend criminal arrests, trials, and execu- 
tions. The vicarius civilis was called the amman, and 
his office corresponded with that of the podesta in the 
Frisian and Italian republics. His duties were nearly sim- 
ilar in civil to those of his colleague in criminal matters. 

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


The personal and domiciliary rights of the citizen 
were scrupulously guarded. The schout could only 
make arrests with the burgomaster's warrant, and was 
obliged to bi-ing the accused within three days before 
the judges, whoso courts were open to the public. 

The couditiou of the population was prosperous. 
There were but few poor, and those did not seek, but 
were sought by, the almoners. The schools were excel- 
lent and cheap. It was difficult to find a child of suffi- 
cient age who could not read, write, and speak at least 
two languages. The sons of the wealthier citizens 
completed their education at Louvain, Douai, Paris, or 

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

From what has alreadj'' been said of the municipal 
institutions of the coiintry, it may be inferred that the 
powers of the States-General were limited. The mem- 
bers of that congress were not representatives chosen by 
the people, but merely a few ambassadors from indi- 
vidual provinces. This individuality was not always 
composed of the same ingredients. Thus, Holland con- 


sisted of two members, or branches— the nobles and the 
six chief cities; Flanders of four branches— the cities, 
namely, of Ghent, Bruges, Ypres, and the " freedom of 
Bruges " ; Brabant of Louvain, Brussels, Bois-le-Duc, 
and Antwerp, four great cities, without representation 
of nobility or clergy ; Zealand of one clerical person, the 
Abbot of Middelburg, one noble, the Marquis of Veer 
and Vlissingen, and six chief cities ; Utrecht of three 
branches— the nobility, the clergy, and five cities. These 
and other provinces, constituted in similar manner, 
were supposed to be actually present at the diet when 
assembled. The chief business of the States-G-eneral 
was financial, the sovereign, or his stadholder, only 
obtaining supplies by making a request in person, while 
any single city, as branch of a province, had a right to 
refuse the grant. 


Education had felt the onward movement of the coun- 
try and the times. The whole system was, however, 
pervaded by the monastic spirit, which had originally 
preserved all learning from annihilation, but which now 
kept it wrapped in the ancient cerecloths and stiffening 
in the stony sarcophagus of a bygone age. The Uni- 
versity of Louvain was the chief literary institution in 
the provinces. It had been established in 1423 by Duke 
John IV. of Brabant. Its government consisted of a 
president and senate, forming a close corporation, 
which had received from the founder all his own au- 
thority, and the right to supply their own vacancies. 
The five faculties of law, canon law, medicine, theology, 
and the arts were cultivated at the institution. There 



was, besides, a high school for undergraduates, divided 
into four classes. The place reeked with pedantry, and 
the character of the university naturally diffused itself 
through other scholastic establishments. Nevertheless, 
it had done and was doing much to preserve the love 
for profound learning, while the rapidly advancing 
spirit of commerce was attended by an ever-increasing 
train of humanizing arts. 

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

For the principle of association had not confined itself 
exclusively to politics and trade. Besides the numerous 
gilds by which citizenship was acquired in the various 
cities were many other societies for mutual improve- 
ment, support, or recreation. The great secret, archi- 
tectural or masonic brotherhood of Germany, that league 
to which the artistic and patient completion of the 
magnificent works of Gothic architecture in the middle 
ages is mainly to be attributed, had its branches in 
nether Germany, and explains the presence of so many 
splendid and elaborately finished churches in the prov- 
inces. There were also military sodalities of muske- 
teers, crossbowmen, archers, swordsmen, in every town. 
Once a year these clubs kept holiday, choosing a king, 
who was selected for his prowess and skill in the use of 


various weapons. These festivals, always held with 
great solemnity and rejoicing, were accompanied by 
many exhibitions of archery and swordsmanship. The 
people were not likely, therefore, voluntarily to abandon 
that privilege and duty of freemen, the right to bear 
arms, and the power to handle them. 

Another and most important collection of brother- 
hoods were the so-called gilds of rhetoric, which 
existed, in greater or less number, in aU the principal 
cities. These were associations of mechanics for the 
purpose of amusing their leisure with poetical effusions, 
dramatic and musical exhibitions, theatrical processions, 
and other harmless and not inelegant recreations. Such 
chambers of rhetoric came originally in the iifteenth 
century from France. The fact that in their very title 
they confounded rhetoric with poetry and the drama in- 
dicates the meager attainments of these early "redery- 
kers." In the outset of their career they gave theatrical 
exhibitions. " King Herod and his Deeds" was enacted 
in the cathedral at Utrecht in 1418. The associations 
spread with great celerity throughout the Netherlands, 
and, as they were all connected with each other and in 
habits of periodical intercourse, these humble links of 
literature were of great value in drawing the people of 
the provinces into closer viniou. They became, like- 
wise, important political engines. As early as the 
time of Philip the Good, their songs and lampoons be- 
came so offensive to the arbitrary notions of the Bm*- 
gundian government as to cause the societies to be 
prohibited. It was, however, out of the sovereign's 
power permanently to suppress institutions which 
already partook of the character of the modern periodi- 
cal press combined with functions resembling the show 


and license of the Athenian drama. A^iewed from the 
standpoint of literarj^ criticism their productions were 
not very commendable in taste, conception, or execntion. 
To torture the Muses to madness, to wire-draw poetry 
through inextricable coils of difficult rhymes and im- 
possible measures, to hammer one golden grain of wit 
into a sheet of infinite platitude, with frightful ingenuity 
to construct ponderous anagrams and preternatural 
acrostics, to dazzle the viUgar eye with tawdry costumes, 
and to tickle the vulgar ear with \'irulent personalities, 
were tendencies which perhaps smacked of the hammer, 
the yardstick, and the pincers, and gave sufficient proof, 
had proof been necessary, that literature is not one of 
the mechanical arts, and that poetry cannot be manu- 
factiired to a profit by joint-stock companies. Yet, if 
the style of these lucubrations was often depraved, the 
artisans rarely received a better example from the 
literary institiitions above them. It was not for gilds 
of mechanics to give the tone to literature, nor were 
their efforts in more execrable taste than the emanations 
from the pedants of Louvain. The "rhetoricians" are 
not responsible for all the bad taste of their generation. 
The gravest historians of the Netherlands often relieved 
their elephantine labors by the most asinine gambols, 
and it was not to be expected that these bustling weavers 
and cutlers should excel their literary superiors in taste 
or elegance. 

Philip the Fair enrolled himself as a member in one 
of these societies. It may easily be inferred, therefore, 
that they had already become bodies of recognized im- 
portance. The rhetorical chambers existed in the most 
obscure villages. The number of yards of Flemish 
poetry annually manufactured and consumed through- 


out the provinces almost exceed belief. The societies 
had regular constitutions. Their presiding officers were 
called kings, princes, captains, archdeacons, or rejoiced 
in similar high-sounding names. Each chamber had its 
treasurer, its buffoon, and its standard-bearer for public 
processions. Each had its pecidiar title or blazon, as 
the Lily, the Marigold, or the Violet, wilh an appro- 
priate motto. By the year 1493 the associations had 
become so important that Philip the Fair summoned 
them all to a general assembly at Mechlin. Here they 
were organized, and formally incorporated under the 
general supervision of an upper or mother society of 
rhetoric, consisting of fifteen members, and called by 
the title of " Jesus with the balsam ilower." 

The sovereigns were always anxious to conciliate 
these influential gilds by becoming members of them 
in person. Like the players, the rhetoricians were the 
brief abstract and chronicle of the time, and neither 
prince nor private person desired their ill report. It 
had, indeed, been Philip's intention to convert them 
into engines for the arbitrary purposes of his house, but 
fortunately the publicly organized societies were not the 
only chambers. On the contrary, the unchartered gilds 
were the most numerous and influential. They exercised 
a vast influence upon the progress of the religious ref- 
ormation and the subsequent revolt of the Netherlands. 
They ridiculed, with their farces and their satires, the 
vices of the clergy. They dramatized tyranny for public 
execration. It was also not surprising that among the 
leaders of the wild Anabaptists, who disgraced the great 
revolution in church and state by their hideous antics, 
should be found many who, like David of DeLEt, John of 
Leyden, and others, had been members of rhetorical 


chambers. The genius for mummery and theatrical 
exhibitions, transplanted from its sphere, and exerting 
itself for purposes of fraud and licentiousness, was as 
baleful in its effects as it was healthy in its original 
manifestations. Such exhibitions were but the excres- 
cences of a system which had borne good fruit. These 
literary gilds befitted and denoted a people which was 
alive, a people which had neither sunk to sleep in the 
lap of material prosperity, nor abased itself in the sty of 
ignorance and political servitude. The spirit of liberty 
pervaded these rude but not illiterate assemblies, and 
her fair proportions were distinctly visible even through 
the somewhat grotesque garb which she thus assumed. 

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

From the amusements of a people may be gathered 
much that is necessary for a proper estimation of its 
character. No unfavorable opinion can be formed as 
to the culture of a nation whose weavers, smiths, gar- 
deners, and traders found the favorite amusement of 
their holidays in composing and enacting tragedies or 
farces, reciting their own verses, or in personifying 
moral and esthetic sentiments by ingeniously arranged 
groups or gorgeous habiliments. The cramoisie velvets 


and yellow-satin doublets of the court, the gold-brocaded 
mantles of priests and princes, are often but vulgar 
drapery of little historic worth. Such costximes thrown 
around the swart figures of hard-working artisans for 
literary and artistic purposes have a real significance, 
and are worthy of a closer examination. Were not 
these amusements of the Netherlands as elevated and 
humanizing as the contemporary bull-figlits and autos 
dafe of Spain? What place in history does the gloomy 
bigot merit who, for the love of Christ, converted all 
these gay cities into shambles, and changed the glit- 
tering processions of their land-jeM-els into fettered 
marches to the scaffold? 

Thus fifteen ages have passed away, and in the place 
of a horde of savages, living among swamps and thickets, 
swarm three millions of people, the most industrious, 
the most prosperous, perhaps the most intelligent under 
the sun. Their cattle, grazing on the bottom of the sea, 
are the finest in Europe, their agricultural products of 
more exchangeable value than if nature had made their 
land to overflow with wine and oil. Their navigators 
are the boldest, their mercantile marine the most power- 
ful, their merchants the most enterprising in the world. 
Holland and Flanders, peopled by one race, vie with 
each other in the pursuits of civihzation. The Flemish 
skill in the mechanical and in the fine arts is unrivaled. 
Belgian musicians delight and instruct other nations, 
Belgian pencils have, for a century, caused the canvas 
to glow with colors and combinations never seen before. 
Flemish fabrics are exported to all parts of Europe, to 
the East and West Indies, to Africa. The splendid 
tapestries, silks, linens, as well as the more homely 
and useful manufactures of the Netherlands, are prized 


througliout the world. Most ingenious, as they had 
already been described by the keen-eyed Caesar, in imi- 
tating the arts of other nations, the skilful artificers 
of the country, at Louvain, Ghent, and other places, re- 
produce the shawls and silks of India with admirable 

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

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

Within the little circle which incloses the seventeen 
provinces are 208 walled cities, many of them among the 
most stately in Christendom, 150 chartered towns, 6300 
villages, with their watch-towers and steeples, besides 
numerous other more insignificant hamlets; the whole 
guarded by a belt of sixty fortresses of surpassing 

VOL. I. —8 



Texts in tMs rapid sketch of the course and develop- 
ment of the Netherland nation during sixteen centuries 
we have seen it ever marked by one prevailing charac- 
teristic, one master passion— the love of liberty, the 
instinct of self-government. Largely compounded of 
the bravest Teutonic elements, Batavian and Frisian, 
the race ever battles to the death with tyranny, organizes 
extensive revolts in the age of Vespasian, maintains a 
partial independence even against the sagacious do- 
minion of Charlemagne, refuses in Friesland to accept 
the papal yoke or feudal chain, and throughout the dark 
ages struggles resolutely toward the light, wresting 
from a series of petty sovereigns a gradual and practical 
recognition of the claims of humanity. With the advent 
of the Burgundian family the power of the commons 
has reached so high a point that it is able to measure 
itself undaunted with the spirit of arbitrary rule, of 
which that engrossing and tyrannical house is the em- 
bodiment. For more than a century the struggle for 
freedom, for civic life, goes on ; Philip the Good, Charles 
the Bold, Mary's husband Maximilian, Charles V., in 
turn, assailing or undermining the bulwarks raised, age 
after age, against the despotic principle. The combat is 
ever renewed. Liberty, often crushed, rises again and 
again from her native earth with redoubled energy. At 
last, in the sixteenth century, a new and more powerful 
spirit, the genius of religious freedom, comes to partici- 
pate in the great conflict. Arbitrary power, incarnated 
in the second Charlemagne, assails the new combination 
with unscrupulous, unforgiving fierceness. Venerable 


civic magistrates, haltered, grovel in sackclotli and ashes ; 
innocent rehgious reformers burn in holocausts. By 
the middle of the century the battle rages more fiercely 
than ever. In the little Netherland territory. Humanity, 
bleeding but not killed, still stands at bay and defies the 
hunters. The two great powers have been gathering 
strength for centuries. They are soon to be matched in 
a longer and more determined combat than the world 
had ever seen. The emperor is about to leave the stage. 
The provinces, so passionate for nationality, for muni- 
cipal freedom, for religious reformation, are to become 
the property of an utter stranger, a prince foreign to 
their blood, their tongue, their religion, their whole 
habits of life and thought. 

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





Abdication of Charles resolved upon — Brussels in the sixteenth 
century— Hall of the palace described— Portraits of prominent 
individuals present at the ceremony— Formalities of the abdi- 
cation—Universal emotion— Eemarks upon the character and 
career of Charles— His retirement at Yuste. 

On the twenty-fifth day of October, 1555, the estates 
of the Netherlands were assembled in the great hall of 
the palace at Brussels.^ They had been summoned to 
be the witnesses and the guaranties of the abdication 
which Charles V. had long before resolved upon, and 
which he was that day to execute. The emperor, like 
many potentates before and since, was fond of great 
political spectacles. He knew their influence upon the 
masses of mankind. Although plain even to shabbiness 
in his own costume, and usually attired in black,^ no 
one ever understood better than he how to arrange such 
exhibitions in a striking and artistic style. We have 
seen the theatrical and imposing manner in which he 
quelled the insurrection at Ghent and nearly crushed 
the life forever out of that vigorous and turbulent little 

1 Eml. van Meteren, Historien der Nederlanden, i. f. 16. Pieter 
Bor, Nederlandshe Oorlogen, i. f. 3. 

2 " Illiberalior quoque quam tantum decebat Cfesarem est 
habitus— vestitus fere popularis, colore atrooblectabatur."— Poati 
Heuteri Rerum Austriacarum Hist. (Lovanii, 1643), siv. 346'. 



commonwealth. The closing scene of his long and 
energetic reign he had now arranged with profound 
study, and with an accurate knowledge of the manner 
in which the requisite effects were to be produced. The 
termination of his own career, the opening of his 
beloved Phihp's, were to be dramatized in a manner 
worthy the august character of the actors, and the 
importance of the great stage where they played their 
parts. The eyes of the whole world were directed upon 
that day toward Brussels ; for an imperial abdication 
was an event which had not, in the sixteenth century, 
been staled by custom. 

The gay capital of Brabant— of that province which 
rejoiced in the liberal constitution known by the cheer- 
ful title of the " joyful entrance " — was worthy to be the 
scene of the imposing show. Brussels had been a city 
for more than five centuries, and at that day numbered 
about one hundred thousand inhabitants.^ Its walls, 
six miles in circumference, were already two hundred 
years old.^ Unlike most Netherland cities, lying usually 
upon extensive plains, it was built along the sides of an 
abmpt promontory. A wide expanse of living verdure, 
cultivated gardens, shady groves, fertile corn-fields, 
flowed round it like a sea. The foot of the town was 
washed by the little river Senne, while the irregular but 
picturesque streets rose up the steep sides of the hill 
like the semicircles and stairways of an amphitheater. 
Nearly in the heart of the place rose the audacious and 
exquisitely embroidered tower of the town house, 
three hundred and sixty-six feet in height, a miracle of 

1 Lud. Guicoiardini, Belgii Descript. (Amst. 1660), p. 110 sqq. 

2 Ibid. Compare Les D^lices des Pays Bas, par le PSre GrifEet 
(Lifege, 1769), i. 193 sqq. 

Charles \ 

•^^Stenan J^L. e( J^ua. 

1555] BRUSSELS 121 

needlework in stone, rivaling in its intricate carving 
the cobweb tracery of that lace which has for centuries 
been synonymous with the city, and rearing itself above 
a facade of profusely decorated and brocaded archi- 
tecture. The crest of the elevation was crowned by the 
towers of the old ducal palace of Brabant, with its 
extensive and thickly wooded park on the left, and by 
the stately mansions of Orange, Egmont, Aremberg, 
Culeraburg, and other Flemish grandees, on the right.^ 
The great forest of Soignies, dotted with monasteries 
and convents, swarming with every variety of game, 
whither the citizens made their summer pilgrimages, 
and where the nobles chased the wild boar and the stag, 
extended to within a quarter of a mile of the city walls.- 
The population, as thrifty, as intelligent, as prosperous 
as that of any city in Europe, was divided into fiftj'- 
two gilds of artisans, among which the most important 
were the armorers, whose suits of mail would tui-n a 
musket-ball ; the gardeners, upon whose gentler creations 
incredible sums were annually lavished ; and the tapes- 
try-workers, whose gorgeous fabrics were the wonder of 
the world.^ Seven principal churches, of which the 
most striking was that of St. Gudule, with its twin 
towers, its charming facade, and its magnificently 
painted windows, adorned the upper part of the city. 
The number seven was a magic number in Brussels, 
and was supposed at that epoch, during which astronomy 
was in its infancy and astrology in its prime, to denote 
the seven planets which governed all things terrestrial 
by their aspects and influences.* Seven noble families, 

1 Guicoiardini. Le Pere Griff et, ubi sup. 

2 Ibid. 3 Ibid., p. 120. 
4 Ibid., p. in. Le Pere Grifiet. 


springing from seven ancient castles, supplied the stock 
from whicli the seven senators were selected who com- 
posed the upper council of the city. There were seven 
great squares, seven city gates, and upon the occasion 
of the present ceremony it was observed hy the lovers 
of wonderful coincidences that seven crowned heads ^ 
would be congregated under a single roof in the liberty- 
loving city. 

The palace where the States-General were upon this 
occasion convened had been the residence of the dukes 
of Brabant since the days of John II., who had built 
it about the year 1300. It was a spacious and con- 
venient building, but not distinguished for the beauty 
of its architecture. In front was a large open square 
inclosed by an iron railing; in the rear an extensive 
and beautiful park, fiUed with forest-trees, and con- 
taining gardens and labyrinths, fish-ponds and game- 
preserves, fountains and promenades, race-courses and 
archery grounds.^ The main entrance to this edifice 
opened upon a spacious hall, connected with a beauti- 
ful and symmetrical chapel. The hall was celebrated 
for its size, harmonious proportions, and the richness of 
its decorations.^ It was the place where the chapters of 

1 Eml. van Meteren, i. f. 17. Le Pfere Griffet, i. 196. Van der 
Vynckt, Nederl. Beroerten (Amst. 1823), i. 109. Guicciardini, 110. 

2 Guicc, 116 sqq. Griffet, i. 196 sqq. 

' Recoeil, par forme de Memoires des actes et clioses les plus 
notables quy sont advennes es Pays Bas, mis et redigSes par escript 
par Pasquier de la Barre, natif de Tournay. (MS. in the Royal 
Archives of Brussels, f . 5. ) This very curious manuscript, which we 
shall often have occasion to cite in the course of this volume, was 
discovered a few years since among some account-hooks in the 
Archives of Belgium. Its author was procureur g6n6ral at Tournay 
until deprived of his office, in February, 1567, by Noircarmes. The 


the famous Order of the Golden Fleece were held.i Its 
walls were hung with a magnificent tapestry of AiTas, 
representing the life and achievements of Gideon the 
Midianite, and giving particular prominence to the 
miracle of the "fleece of wool" vouchsafed to that re- 
nowned champion,^ the great patron of the Knights of 
the Fleece. On the present occasion there were various 
additional embellishments of flowers and votive gar- 
lands. At the western end a spacious platform or stage, 
with six or seven steps, had been constructed, below 
which was a range of benches for the deputies of the 
seventeen provinces.^ Upon the stage itself there were 
rows of seats, covered with tapestry, upon the right 
hand and upon the left. These were respectively to 
accommodate the knights of the order and the guests 
of high distinction.* In the rear of these were other 

MS. is full of curious and important details for the eventful year 
1566. Vide Gachard, Notice d'un Manuscrit eonoernant I'Hist. de 
Tournay. Com. Koy. d'Hist., t. i., No. 1, 2'^^ S^rie du Compte 

1 Four days before the ahdication, namely, on the 21st October, 
Charles had held a council of the Fleece, at which eleven knights 
had been present. To these personages he had made the first 
formal communication of his intention of conceding all his realms 
to his son. At the same time he intimated that, being chief of the 
Order of the Golden Fleece, as sovereign of Bm-gundy and the Neth- 
erlands, he wished to divest himself of that dignity in favor of 
Philip. The king then retired from the eoimcil. The knights held 
a formal discussion upon the subject, concluding by approving 
unanimously the appointment. Philip then reentered the apart- 
ment, and was congratulated upon his new office. Liventairo de 
la Toison d'Or, Brussels Archives MS., tom. i. 

2 De la Barre MS., ubi sup. Judges, chap. vi. 

3 Gachard, Analectes Belgiques (Paris, 1830), pp. 70-106. 

4 Ibid. 


benches, for the members of the three great councils.^ 
In the center of the stage was a splendid canopy, deco- 
rated with the arms of Burgundy, beneath which were 
placed three gilded arm-chau's.^ All the seats upon the 
platform were vacant, but the benches below, assigned 
to the depiities of the provinces, were already filled. 
Numerous representatives from all the states but two — 
Gelderland and Overyssel— had already taken their 
places. Grave magistrates in chain and gown, and 
executive officers in the splendid civic uniforms for 
which the Netherlands were celebrated, already filled 
every seat within the space allotted. The remainder of 
the hall was crowded with the more favored portion of 
the multitude which had been fortunate enough to pro- 
cure admission to the exhibition. The archers and hal- 
berdiers of the body-guard kept watch at all the doors.^ 
The theater was filled, the audience was eager with 
expectation, the actors were yet to arrive. As the clock 
struck three, the hero of the scene appeared. Csesar, 
as he was always designated in the classic language of 
the day, entered, leaning on the shoulder of William of 
Orange.* They came from the chapel, and were imme- 
diately followed by Philip II. and Queen Mary of Hun- 
gary. The Archduke Maximilian, the Duke of Savoy, 
and other great personages came afterward, accom- 
panied by a glittering throng of warriors, councilors, 
governors, and Knights of the Fleece.^ 

1 Gachard, Analectes Belgiqnes (Paris, 1830), pp. 70-106. 

2 Ibid., ubi sup. 

5 Ibid. Compare Pont. Heut., xiv. 336. 

* Ibid., ubi sup. Van Meteren, i. 16. 

5 Ibid. Pont. Heut., xiv. 336. Wilhelmus Godelaevus, Histori- 
ola de Abdicatione Imperii a Carolo V., etc. Apud Sehardii Rer. 
Germ. Scriptores, torn. ii. 638-654. 


Many individuals of existing or future historic celeb- 
rity in the Netherlands, whose names are so familiar to 
the student of the epoch, seemed to have been grouped, 
as if by premeditated design, upon this imposing plat- 
form, where the curtain was to fall forever upon the 
mightiest emperor since Charlemagne, and where the 
opening scene of the long and tremendous tragedy of 
Philip's reign was to be simultaneously enacted. There 
was the Bishop of Arras, soon to be known thi-oughout 
Christendom by the more celebrated title of Cardinal 
GranveUe, the serene and smiling priest whose subtle 
influence over the destinies of so many individuals then 
present, and over the fortunes of the whole land, was to 
be so extensive and so deadly. There was that flower 
of Flemish chivalry, the lineal descendant of ancient 
Frisian kings, already distinguished for his bravery in 
many fields, but not having yet won those two remark- 
able victories which were soon to make the name of 
Egmont like the sound of a trumpet throughout the 
whole country. Tall, magnificent in costume, with dark 
flowing hair, soft brown eye, smooth cheek, a slight 
mustache, and features of almost feminine delicacy — 
such was the gallant and ill-fated Lamoral Egmont.^ 
The Count of Horn, too, with bold, suUen face and 
fan-shaped beard— a brave, honest, discontented, quar- 
relsome, unpopular man; those other twins in doom, 
the Marquis Berghen and the Lord of Montigny; the 
Baron Berlaymont, brave, intensely loyal, insatiably 
greedy for office and wages, but who, at least, never 
served but one party; the Diike of Aerschot, who was 

1 In the royal gallery at Amsterdam there are very good origi- 
nal portraits of Egmont, Horn, Alva, Orange and all his brothers, 
besides many other contemporary pictures. 


to serve all, essay to rule all, and to betray all— a 
splendid seignior, magnificent in cramoisie velvet, but a 
poor creature, who traced his pedigree from Adam,^ 
according to the family monumental inscriptions at 
Louvain, but who was better known as grandnephew 
of the emperor's famous tutor, Chi^vres; the bold, 
debauched Brederode, with handsome, reckless face and 
turbulent demeanor; the infamous Noircarmes, whose 
name was to be covered with eternal execration for 
aping toward his own compatriots and kindred as much 
of Alva's atrocities and avarice as he was permitted to 
exercise ; the distinguished soldiers Meghen and Arem- 
berg— these, with many others whose deeds of arms 
were to become celebrated throughout Europe, were all 
conspicuous in the brilliant crowd. There, too, was 
that learned Frisian, President VigUus, crafty, plausible, 
adroit, eloquent— a small, brisk man, with long yeUow 
hair, glittering green eyes, round, tumid, rosy cheeks, 
and flowing beard.^ Foremost among the Spanish gran- 
dees, and close to Philip, stood the famous favorite, Ruy 
Gomez, or, as he was familiarly called, "Re i G-omez"* 

1 "Amplius ibi, res mirandEB : marmorea principiim Croyorum 
monument, ibi genealogiam Dueum de Aersoliot ab Adamo usque 
ad prEesentes,'' etc.— Guicoiardini, p. 108 (art. Lovanium). 

2 Vita VigUi ab Aytta Zuiohemi ab ipso Viglio Scripta. Apud 
Hoynck v. Papendreoht, i. 1 to 33. Levensbeschryving beroemede 
Ned. Mannen en Vrouwen, iv. 75 to 82. Prosopographia Viglii. 
Ex. Suf. Petri Decade xii. de Script. Frisite apud Hoynck. 

3 "Ma il titolo principale che gli vien dato 6 di Ee i Gomez et 
non di Rui Gomez, perche non par che sia stato mai alcun huomo 
del mondo con alcun principe di tanta autorita et cosi amato dal 
siio signor com egli da questo RS."— Relazione del Cl™° Fed" Bado- 
varo Ritornato ambasciatore della Ser"" Rep" Venetiana, I'aniio 
1557. MS. Bibl. de Bourgogne, N° 6085 bis. 


(King and Gomez), a man of meridional aspect, with 
coal-black hair and beard, gleaming eyes, a face pallid 
■with intense application, and slender but handsome fig- 
ure ;i while in immediate attendance upon the emperor 
was the immortal Prince of Orange. 

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

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

Charles V. was then fifty-five years and eight months 
old; but he was already decrepit with premature old 
age. He was of about the middle height, and had 

1 " Buy Gomez— d'eta di 39 armi, di mediocre statura, ha oochi 
pieni di sp'o, di pelo una barba nero e riceio, di sottil ossatura, di 
gagliarda complessione, ma par debole forse per I'inoredibiel 
fatiche che egli sostiene, le quale lo fauno molto pallido,'' etc.— 
Badovaro MS. 


been athletic and well proportioned. Broad in tlie slioul- 
ders, deep in the chest, thin in the flank, very muscidar 
in the arms and legs, he had been able to match himself 
with all competitors in the tourney and the ring, and to 
vanquish the bull with his own hand in the favorite 
national amusement of Spain. He had been able in the 
field to do the duty of captain and soldier, to endure 
fatigue and exposure, and every privation except f asting.^ 
These personal advantages were now departed. Crip- 
pled in hands, knees, and legs, he supported himself with 
difficulty upon a crutch, with the aid of an attendant's 
shoulder.2 In face he had always been extremely ugly, 
and time had certainly not improved his physiognomy. 
His hair, once of a light color, was now white with age, 
close-clipped and bristling ; his beard was gray, coarse, 
and shaggy. His forehead was spacious and com- 
manding; the eye was dark blue, with an expression 
both majestic and benignant. His nose was aquiline, 
but crooked. The lower part of his face was famous for 
its deformity. The under lip, a Burgundian inheritance, 
as faithfully transmitted as the duchy and county, was 
heavy and hanging; the lower jaw protruding so far 
beyond the upper that it was impossible for him to 
bring together the few fragments of teeth which stOI 
remained, or to speak a whole sentence in an intelligible 
voice. Eating and talking, occupations to which he 
was always much addicted, were becoming daily more 
arduous, in consequence of this original defect, which 

1 Pont. Heut., xiv. 346''. Compare Relazione di Marino Cavalli 
in Alberi, ser. i. vol. ii. 209 ; Badovaro, Relazione MS. 

"Hostem non semel propria manu feriens." — Pont. Heut. 
"Ha amazzato il toro," etc.— Marino Cavalli. 

2 Ibid., xiv. 339. 

1555] PHILIP n. 129 

now seemed hardly human, but rather an original de- 

So much for the father. The son, Philip II., was 
a small, meager man, much below the middle height, 
with thin legs, a narrow chest, and the shrinking, timid 
air of an habitual invalid.^ He seemed so little, upon 
his first visit to his aunts, the Queens Eleanor and Mary,^ 
accustomed to look upon proper men in Flanders and 
Germany, that he was fain to win their favor by making 
certain attempts in the tournament,* in which his suc- 
cess was sufficiently problematical. " His body," says 
his professed panegyrist, "was but a human cage, in 
which, however brief and narrow, dwelt a soul to whose 
flight the immeasurable expanse of heaven was too 

1 Pont. Heiit., xiv. 346. Badovaro MS. . " Ha il fronte spatioso, 
gli occhi celesti, il naso aquilino alquanto torto, la mascella in- 
feriore lunga e larga onde awiene che ella non puo con giungere i 
denti et nel flnir le parole non h Iten intesa. Ha pochi denti dinanti 
et fracidi, le carni telle, la barba corta, spinosa et canuta.'' 

Comp. Gasp. Contarini apud Alberi, ser. i. vol ii. 60 : " Tutta la 
mascella inferiore e tanto Inngha che non pare naturale ma pare 
postiocia, onde awiene che non pu6, chiudendo la bocca oongiim- 
gere le denti inferiori eon li superiori, ma gli rimane spazio della 
grossezza d'lm dente, onde nel parlare, massime nel iinire della 
clausula, balbutiare qual che parola la quale spesso non s'intende 
molto bene." 

2 Badovaro MS. "E di statura piccolo et membri minuti— la 
sua complessione 6 flemmatica et malenconica."— Relazione del 
Mag"^" M. Giovan. Michele, Venuto Ambaso''* d'Inghilterra, d'anno 
1557. ". . . infermo e valetudinario non solo, perche sia natural- 
mente debile, et persona di pooa, anzi di nessuno exercitio," etc. 
-MS. Bib. de Bourg., N° 6093. 

3 " Aunque les pareoio pequeno de euerpo— aeostumbradas a ver 
los Alemannes," etc. — Cabrera, Vita de Felipe Segundo, Key de 
Espana (Mad. 1619), lib. 1. 12. 

* Cabrera, ubi sup. 
VOL. I. — 9 


contracted."^ The same wholesale admirer adds that 
"his aspect was so reverend that rustics who met him 
alone in a wood, without knowing him, bowed down 
with instinctive veneration." ^ In face he was the living 
image of his father,^ having the same broad forehead 
and blue eye, with the same aquiline, but better-pro- 
portioned, nose. In the lower part of the countenance 
the remarkable Burgundian deformity was likewise 
reproduced. He had the same heavy, hanging lip, with 
a vast mouth and monstrously protruding lower jaw.* 
His complexion was fair, his hair light and thin, his 
beard yellow, short, and pointed.^ He had the aspect of 
a Fleming, but the loftiness of a Spaniard.^ His de- 
meanor in public was still, silent, almost sepulchral. 
He looked habitually on the ground when he conversed, 
was chary of speech, embarrassed, and even suffering in 
manner.'' This was ascribed partly to a natural haugh- 

1 "Como si fuera el cuerpo imiana jaula que por mas breve i 
mas estrecha no la abita animo a cuyo buelo sea pequena la re- 
dondar del cielo."— Cabrera, i. 12. 

2 ". . . que de los rusticos que ni le conoscieron ni vieron en 
compania e solo en una selva, juzgandole degno de toda veneracion, 
era saludado con reverencia."— Ibid., i. 4. 

3 " L'istessa imagine e intento deU' Imperatore suo padre, con- 
formissimo di carne et di faccia et lineamente con queUa bocca et 
labro pendente piu dall altro et eon tutte I'altre qualita del Imp" ma 
da minor statura."— Miehele MS. 

* Miehele MS. and Badovaro MS. : "II labro di sotto grosso che 
gli desdiee al quanto— fronte grande e bella, gl' occhi di color 
celeste et assai grande," etc. 

5 " Porta la barba corta, pontuta 6 di pelo bianco et biondo et 
ha apparenza di flamengo ma altiero perche sta su le maniere di 
Spagnuolo."— Badovaro MS. 6 Ibid. 

7 " Ma non guarda ordinariamente chi negotia et tien gli occhi 
bassi in terra."— Ibid. 


tiness which he had occasionally endeavored to overcome, 
and partly to habitual pains in the stomach, occasioned 
by his inordinate fondness for pastry.^ 

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

The three royal personages being seated upon chairs 
placed triangularly under the canopy,^ such of the audi- 
ence as had seats provided for them now took their 
places, and the proceedings commenced. Philibert de 
Bruxelles, a member of the privy council of the Nether- 
lands, arose at the emperor's command, and made a long 
oration.^ He spoke of the emperor's warm affection for 
the provinces, as the land of his birth ; of his deep regret 
that his broken health and failing powers, both of body 
and mind, compelled him to resign his sovereignty and 
to seek relief for his shattered frame in a more genial 
climate.^ Ctesar's gout was then depicted in energetic 
language, which must have cost him a twinge as he sat 
there and listened to the councilor's eloquence. " 'T is 

1 "Si come la natura ha fatto Sua M'' di corpo debole cosi I'ha 
fatto al quanto d'animo timido . . . et quanto agli effetti delle 
temperanza elle ecce^ t nel mangiare qualita di cibi, spetialmente 
intorno a pasticci."— Badovaro MS. 

" . . . e patisee doglie di stomaco e dei fianchi."— Ibid. 
"... spessissimo sotto posto alle dolori di stomaclio."— Giov. 
Michele MS. 

2 Godelaevus, De Abdieatione, etc., p. 640. 

3 Gaehard, Anal. Belg., 81-102. P. Bor, i. 3. 

* Bor, i. 3, 4. Pont. Heut., xiv. 336-338. Godelae^Tis, 640, 642. 


a most truculent executioner," said PMlibert: "it in- 
vades the whole body, from the crown of the head to 
the soles of the feet, leaving nothing untouched. It con- 
tracts the nerves with intolerable anguish, it enters the 
bones, it freezes the marrow, it converts the lubricating 
fluids of the joints into chalk, it pauses not untU, having 
exhausted and debilitated the whole bodj^, it has ren- 
dered all its necessary instruments useless, and con- 
quered the mind by immense torture." ^ Engaged in 
mortal struggle with such an enemy, C^sar felt himself 
obliged, as the councilor proceeded to inform his audi- 
ence, to change the scene of the contest from the humid 
air of Flanders to the warmer atmosphere of Spain. He 
rejoiced, however, that his son was both vigorous and 
experienced, and that his recent marriage with the Queen 
of England had furnished the provinces with a most 
valuable alliance. ^ He then again referred to the em- 
peror's boundless love for his subjects, and concluded 
with a tremendous but superfluous exhortation to Philip 
on the necessity of maintaining the Catholic religion in 
its purity. After this long harangue, which has been 
f uUy reported by several historians who were present at 
the ceremony, the councilor proceeded to read the deed 
of cession, by which Philip, already sovereign of Sicily, 
Naples, Milan, and titular King of England, France, and 
Jerusalem, now received all the duchies, marquisates, 
earldoms, baronies, cities, towns, and castles of the Bur- 

' Pont. Heut., 336. The historian was present at the ceremony, 
and gives a very full report of the speeches, all of which he heard. 
His imagination may have assisted his memory in the task. The 
other reporters of the councilor's harangue have reduced this patho- 
logical flight of rhetoric to a very small compass. 

2 Ibid., uhi sup. 


gnndian property, including, of course, the seventeen 

As De BruxeUes finished, there was a buzz of admira- 
tion throughout the assembly, mingled with murmurs of 
regret that, in the present great danger upon the fron- 
tiers from the belligerent King of Prance and his warlike 
and restless nation, the provinces should be left without 
their ancient and puissant defender.^ The emperor then 
rose to his feet. Leaning on his crutch, he beckoned 
from his seat the personage upon whose arm he had 
leaned as he entered the hall. A taU, handsome youth 
of twenty-two came forward— a man whose name from 
that time forward, and as long as history shall endure, 
has been, and will be, more familiar than any other in 
the mouths of Netherlanders. At that day he had 
rather a southern than a German or Flemish appearance. 
He had a Spanish cast of features, dark, well chiseled, 
and symmetrical. His head was small and well placed 
upon his shoulders. His hair was dark brown, as were 
also his mustache and peaked beard. His forehead 
was lofty, spacious, and already prematurely engraved 
with the anxious lines of thought. His eyes were full, 
brown, well opened, and expressive of profound reflec- 
tion.' He was dressed in the magnificent apparel for 
which the Netherlanders were celebrated above all other 
nations, and which the ceremony rendered necessary. 
His presence being considered indispensable at this 
great ceremony, he had been summoned but recently 

1 Godelaevus, 640, 641. 

2 Pont. Heut, xiv. 338 sqq. 

3 The most satisfactory portrait of the prince during the early 
part of his career is one belonging to the private collection of the 
late King of Holland, William IV., at The Hague. 


from the camp on the frontier, where, notwithstanding 
his youth, the emperor had appointed him to command 
his army-in-chief against such antagonists as Admiral 
CoUgny and the Due de Nevers.^ 

Thus supported upon his crutch and upon the shoulder 
of William of Orange,^ the emperor proceeded to addi'ess 
the states, by the aid of a closely written brief which he 
held in his hand.' He reviewed rapidly the progress of 
events from his seventeenth year up to that day. He 
spoke of his nine expeditions into Germany, six to Spain, 
seven to Italy, four to France, ten to the Netherlands, 
two to England, as many to Africa, and of his eleven 
voyages by sea. He sketched his various wars, victories, 
and treaties of peace, assuring his hearers that the 
welfare of his subjects and the security of the Roman 
Catholic religion had ever been the leading objects of 
his life. As long as God had granted him health, he con- 
tinued, only enemies could have regretted that Charles 
was living and reigning ; but now that his strength was 
but vanity, and life fast ebbing away, his love for do- 
minion, his affection for his subjects, and his regard for 
their interests, required his departure. Instead of a 
decrepit man with one foot in the grave, he presented 
them with a sovereign in the prime of life and the vigor 
of health. Turning toward PhUip, he observed that for 
a dying father to bequeath so magnificent an empire to 

1 Apologie ou Defense de tr6s Illustre Prince Guillaume, Prince 
d'Orange (Sylvius, 1581), pp. 29, 30, 31. 

2 "Surgens igitur, et in pede stans, dextra ob imbecillitatem 
scipioni, sinistra Lumero Gulielmi Nassau vii, Aurantiiprincipis."— 
Pont. Heut., 338. 

3 "Et membranula eorum quEB ad senatum referre statuisset 
capite continente memoriam adjuvans."— Godelaevus, 642. 


his son was a deed worthy of gratitude, but that when 
the father thus descended to the grave before his time, 
and by an anticipated and living burial sought to pro- 
vide for the welfare of his realms and the grandeur of 
his son, the benefit thus conferred was surely far greater. 
He added that the debt would be paid to him, and with 
usury, should PhUip conduct himself in his adminis- 
tration of the provinces with a wise and affectionate 
regard to their true interests. Posterity would ajjplaud 
his abdication, shoidd his son prove worthy of his 
bounty ; and that could only be by living in the fear 
of God, and by maintaining law, justice, and the Cath- 
olic religion in all their purity, as the true foundation of 
the realm. In conclusion, he entreated the estates, and 
through them the nation, to render obedience to their 
new prince, to maintain concord, and to preserve invio- 
late the Catholic faith ; begging them, at the same time, 
to pardon him all errors or offenses which he might have 
committed toward them during his reign, and assuring 
them that he should unceasingly remember their obedi- 
ence and affection in his every prayer to that Being to 
whom the remainder of his life was to be dedicated.^ 

Such brave words as these, so many vigorous assevera- 
tions of attempted performance of duty, such fervent 
hopes expressed of a benign administration in behalf of 
the son, could not but affect the sensibilities of the au- 
dience, already excited and softened by the impressive 
character of the whole display. Sobs were heard through- 
out every portion of the hall, and tears poured profusely 
from every eye. The Fleece Knights on the platform 

1 Pont. Heut., xiv. 338, 339. Godelaevus, 640-G42. Gachard, 
Anal. Belg., 81-102. Compare Bor, i. 4, 5 ; Van Meteren, i. 16 ; 
Fam. Strada de Belle Belgico (Rom. 1653), i. 9, 7. 


and the burghers in the background were all melted 
with the same emotion. As for the emperor himself, 
he sank almost fainting upon his chair as he concluded 
his address. An ashy paleness overspread his counte- 
nance, and he wept like a child.^ Even the icy Philip 
was almost softened, as he rose to perform his part in 
the ceremony. Dropping upon his knees before his 
father's feet, he reverently kissed his hand. Charles 
placed his hands solemnly upon his son's head, made the 
sign of the cross, and blessed him in the name of the 
Holy Trinity.^ Then raising him in his arms, he tenderly 
embraced him, saying, as he did so, to the great potentates 
around him, that he felt a sincere compassion for the son 
on whose shoulders so heavy a weight had just devolved, 
and which only a lifelong labor would enable him to 
support.^ Philip now uttered a few words expressive 
of his duty to his father and his affection for his people. 
Turning to the orders, he signified his regret that he was 
unable to address them either in the French or Flemish 
language, and was therefore obliged to ask their atten- 
tion to the Bishop of Arras, who would act as his inter- 
preter.* Antony Perrenot accordingly arose, and in 
smooth, fluent, and well-turned commonplaces expressed 
at great length the gratitude of Philip toward his fa- 
ther, with his firm determination to walk in the path of 
duty, and to obey his father's counsels and example in 
the future administration of the provinces.^ This long 

1 Pont. Heut. Meteren, ubi sup. 

2 Godelaevus, 642. ^ aid. 

* Ibid. Pont. Heut., 340. Meteren, i. 16. Bor, i. 5, 6. 

5 Gaehard, Anal. Belg,. ubi sup. Pont. Heut., Bor, ubi sup. 
Godelaevus reports the bishop's speech in six folio columns of 
the most flowing commonplace. De Abdioat., 642 sqq. 


address of the prelate was responded to at equal length 
by Jacob Maas, member of the council of Brabant, a 
man of great learning, eloquence, and prolixity, who had 
been selected to reply on behalf of the States-General, 
and who now, in the name of these bodies, accepted the 
abdication in an elegant and complimentary harangue.^ 
Queen Mary of Hungary, the "Christian widow" of 
Erasmus,^ and regent of the Netherlands during the 
past twenty-five years, then rose to resign her office, 
making a brief address expressive of her affection for 
the people, her regrets at leaving them, and her hopes 
that all errors which she might have committed during 
her long administration would be forgiven her. Again 
the redundant Maas responded, asserting in terms of 
fresh compliment and elegance the uniform satisfaction 
of the provinces with her conduct during her whole 

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

It is obvious that the drama had been completely 
successful. It had been a scene where heroic self-sacri- 
fice, touching confidence, ingenuous love of duty, pa- 
triotism, and paternal affection upon one side, filial 

1 Godelaevus, 642 sqq. 

2 Het Leven van Desiderius Erasmus. Nederl. Marmen en 
Vrouwen, i. 274. 

3 Pont. Heut., Godelaevus, Bor, Meteren, ubi sup. 

* Godelaevus, 645. ^ Gachard, Anal. Belg. 


reverence, with a solemn regard for public duty and the 
highest interests of the people, on the other, were sup- 
posed to be the predominant sentiments. The happi- 
ness of the Netherlands was apparently the only object 
contemplated in the great transaction. All had played 
well their part,s in the past, aU hoped the best in the 
times which were to follow. The abdicating emperor 
was looked upon as a hero and a prophet. The stage 
was drowned in tears. There is not the least doubt as 
to the genuine and universal emotion which was excited 
throughout the assembly. " Cesar's oration," says Sec- 
retary Godelaevus, who was present at the ceremony, 
" deeply moved the nobility and gentry, many of whom 
burst into tears; even the illustrious Knights of the 
Fleece were melted." ^ The historian Pontus Heuterus, 
who, then twenty years of age, was likewise among the 
audience, attests that " most of the assembly were dis- 
solved in tears, uttering the while such sonorous sobs 
that they compelled his Ctesarean Majesty and the 
queen to cry with them. My own face," he adds, "was 
certainly quite wet."^ The English envoy, Sir John 
Mason, describing in a despatch to his government the 
scene which he had just witnessed, paints the same pic- 
ture. " The emperor," he said, " begged the forgiveness 
of his subjects if he had ever unwittingly omitted the 
performance of any of his duties towards them. And 
here," continues the envoy, " he broke into a weeping, 
whereunto, besides the dolefulness of the matter, I 
think, he was moche provoked by seeing the whole com- 

1 " Commovit ea C»saris oratio Prooeres et multi in profusissi- 
mas eruperunt lachrymas ctiam illustres aurei Velleris equites." — 
GodeL, 642. 

2 Pont. Heut., xiv. 336-339. 


pany to do the lyke before ; there beyng in myne opinion 
not one man in the whole assemblie, stranger or another, 
that dewi-ing the time of a good piece of his oration 
poured not out as abundantly teares, some more, some 
lesse. And yet he prayed them to beare ■\\dth his imper- 
fections, proceeding of his sickly age, and of the men- 
tioning of so tender a matter as the departing from such 
a sort of dere and loving subjects." ^ 

And yet what was the Emperor Charles to the inhabi- 
tants of the Netherlands that they should weep for him ? 
His conduct toward them during his whole career had 
been one of unmitigated oppression. What to them 
were all these forty voyages by sea and laud, these 
journeyings back and forth from Friesland to Tunis, 
from Madrid to Vienna ? What was it to them that the 
imperial shuttle was thus industriously flying to and fro ? 
The fabric wrought was but the daUy growing grandeur 
and splendor of his imperial house; the looms were 
kept moving at the expense of their hardly earned 
treasure, and the woof was often dyed red in the blood 
of his bravest subjects. The interests of the Nether- 
lands had never been even a secondary consideration 
with their master. He had fulfilled no duty toward 
them, he had committed the gravest crimes against them. 
He had regarded them merely as a treasury upon which 
to draw, while the sums which he extorted were spent 
upon ceaseless and senseless wars, which were of no 
more interest to them than if they had been waged in 
another planet. Of five millions of gold annually which 
he derived from all his realms, two millions came from 

1 Extracts from this despatch are given by J. W. Burgon, Life 
and Times of Sir Thomas Gresham, a work which contains various 
documents, both rare and important. 


these industrious and opulent provinces, while but a 
half -million came from Spain and another half from the 
Indies.^ The mines of wealth which had been opened by 
the hand of industry in that slender territorj'^ of ancient 
morass and thicket ^ contributed four times as much 
income to the imperial exchequer as all the boasted 
wealth of Mexico and Peru. Yet the artisans, the 
farmers, and the merchants by whom these riches were 
produced were consulted about as much in the expendi- 
ture of the imposts upon their industry as were the 
savages of America as to the distribution of the mineral 
treasures of their soil. The rivalry of the houses of 
Hapsburg and Valois, this was the absorbing theme dur- 
ing the greater part of the reign which had just been 

1 "Di tutti questi Suoi Regni ha sua M'* cinque millioni d'oro 
d'intrata in tempo di pace, oio6 mez della Spagna, mez dalle Indie, 
uno da Milano et da Sicilia, «m altro di Fiandra et dalli paesi hassi 
un aifro. "—Relazione del Cl"° M. Mich. Suriano. MS. Bih. de 
Bourg., N" 12, 871. 

"Le rendite de S. M. (dalli poesi bassi) sono al presente da un 
millione et 150 seudi— ma in poco piil da cinque anni vengono ad 
haver contrihuito i Fiam menghi di straordinario quasi otto migli- 
oni d'oro e tutto il peso si fuo dir vien portato dalla Fiandra Bra- 
bantia, Olanda e Zelanda.''— Badovaro MS. 

2 Badovaro estimated the annual value of butter and cheese 
produced in those meadows which Holland had rescued from the 
ocean at eight hundred thousand crowns, a sum which, making 
allowance for the difference in the present value of money from 
that which it bore in 1557, would represent nearly eight millions. 
(MS. Relazione.) In agriculture, commerce, and manufactures the 
Netherlanders were the foremost nation in the world. The fabrics 
of Arras, Tournay, Brussels, Louvain, Ghent, Bruges, were entirely 
unrivaled. Antwerp was the great commercial metropolis of 
Christendom. "Aversa," says Badovaro, " e stimata la maggiore 
piazza del Mondo— si puo credere quanto sia la somma si afferma 
passare 40 millioni d'oro I'anno, quelli ehe incontanto girano.'' 


SO dramatically terminated. To gain the empire over 
Francis, to leave to Don Philip a richer heritage than 
the Dauphin could expect, were the great motives of the 
unparalleled energy displayed by Charles during the 
longer and the more successful portion of his career. 
To crush the Reformation throughout his dominions 
was his occupation afterward, till he abandoned the field 
in despair. It was certainly not desirable for the Nether- 
landers that they should be thus controlled by a man 
who forced them to contribute so largely to the success 
of schemes some of which were at best indifferent, and 
others entirely odious to them. They paid one million 
two hundred thousand crowns a year regularly; they 
paid in five years an extraordinary subsidy of eight mil- 
lions of ducats ; and the states were roundly rebuked bj' 
the courtly representatives of their despot if they pre- 
sumed to inquire into the objects of the appropriations, 
or to express an interest in their judicious administra- 
tion.i Yet it may be supposed to have been a matter 
of indifference to them whether Francis or Charles had 
won the day at Pavia, and it certainly was not a cause 
of triumph to the daily increasing thousands of reli- 
gious reformers in Holland and Flanders that their 
brethren had been crushed by the emperor at MiiM- 
berg. But it was not alone that he drained their trea- 
sure and hampered their industry. He was in constant 
conflict with their ancient and dearly bought political 
liberties. Like his ancestor Charles the Bold, he was 
desirous of constructing a kingdom out of the provinces. 
He was disposed to place all their separate and individ- 
ual charters on a Procrustean bed, and shape them 
all into uniformity simply by reducing the whole to a 

1 Postea. Granvelle's Complaints. 


nullity. The difficulties in the way— the stout oppo- 
sition offered by burghers whose fathers had gained 
these charters with their blood, and his want of leisure 
during the vast labors which devolved upon him as the 
autocrat of so large a portion of the world — caused him 
to defer indefinitely the execution of his plan. He 
found time only to crush some of the foremost of the 
liberal institutions of the provinces in detail. He found 
the city of Tournay a happy, thriving, self-governed 
little republic in all its local affairs ; he destroyed its 
liberties without a tolerable pretext, and reduced it to 
the condition of a Spanish or Italian provincial town.^ 
His memorable chastisement of Ghent for having dared 
to assert its ancient rights of self -taxation is sufficiently 
known to the world, and has been already narrated at 
length.^ Many other instances might be adduced, if it 
were not a superfluous task to prove that Charles was 
not only a political despot, but most arbitrary and cruel 
in the exercise of his despotism. 

But if his sins against the Netherlands had been only 
those of financial and political oppression, it would be 
at least conceivable, although certainly not commend- 
able, that the inhabitants should have regretted his 
departure. But there are far darker crimes for which 
he stands arraigned at the bar of history, and it is 
indeed strange that the man who had committed them 
should have been permitted to speak his farewell amid 
blended plaudits and tears. His hand planted the In- 
quisition in the Netherlands. Before his day it is idle 
to say that the diabohcal institution ever had a place 

^ Extraits des Registres des Consaux de Toumay, 1472-1581, par 
M. Gaehard (Bruxelles, 1846), pp. 8-13. 
2 Introduction to this work. 


there. The isolated cases in which inquisitors had exer- 
cised functions proved the absence and not the presence 
of the system, and will be discussed in a later chapter. 
Charles introduced and organized a papal inquisition 
side by side with those terrible "placards" of his In- 
vention, which constituted a masked inquisition even 
more cruel than that of Spain. The execution of the 
system was never permitted to languish. The number 
of Netherlanders who were burned, strangled, beheaded, 
or buried alive, in obedience to his edicts, and for the 
offenses of reading the Scriptures, of looking askance at 
a graven image, or of ridiculing the actual presence of 
the body and blood of Christ in a wafer, have been placed 
as high as one hundred thousand by distinguished au- 
thorities, and have never been put at a lower mark than 
fifty thousand.^ The Venetian envoy Navigero placed 
the number of victims in the provinces of Holland and 
Triesland alone at thirty thousand, and this in 1546,^ 
ten years before the abdication, and five before the 
promulgation of the hideous edict of 1550 ! 

The edicts and the Inquisition were the gift of Charles 
to the Netherlands, in return for their wasted treasure 
and their constant obedience. For this, his name de- 
serves to be handed down to eternal infamy, not only 
throughout the Netherlands, but in every land where a 
single heart beats for political or rehgious freedom. To 

1 "Nam post carnificata hominum non minus centum millia, ex 
quo te tatum an posset incendium hoc sanguine restingui, tanta 
multitT lo per Belgicam insmrexerat, ut publiea interdum supplicia 
quoties insignior reus, aut atrociores cruciatus seditione impedi- 
rentur."— Hugonis Grotii Annal., lib. i. 17 (Amst. 1658). 

2 Relazione di Cl™° Bernardo Navigero, 1546. Correspondence 
of Charles the Fifth, by Rev. W. Bradford (London, 1850), p. 471. 


eradicate these institutions after they had been watered 
and watched by the care of his successor was the work 
of an eighty years' war, in the coui'se of which millions 
of lives were sacrificed. Yet the abdicating emperor 
had summoned his faithful estates around him, and 
stood up before them in his imperial robes for the last 
time, to tell them of the affectionate regard which he 
had always borne them, and to mingle his tears with 

Could a single phantom have risen from one of the 
many thousand graves where human beings had been 
thrust alive by his decree, perhaps there might have 
been an answer to the question propounded by the em- 
peror amid all that piteous weeping. Perhaps it might 
have told the man who asked his hearers to be forgiven 
if he had ever unwittingly offended them that there was 
a world where it was deemed an offense to torture, 
strangle, burn, and drown one's innocent fellow-creatures. 
The usual but trifling excuse for such enormities can- 
not be pleaded for the emperor. Charles was no fanatic. 
The man whose armies sacked Rome, who laid his sacri- 
legious hands on Christ's vicegerent and kept the in- 
fallible head of the Church a prisoner to serve his own 
political ends, was then no bigot. He believed in no- 
thing, save that when the course of his imperial wiU was 
impeded, and the interests of his imperial house in jeop- 
ardy, pontiffs were to succumb as well as Anabaptists. 
It was the political heresy which lurked in the restiveness 
of the religious reformers under dogma, tradition, and 
supernatural sanction to temporal power, which he was 
disposed to combat to the death. He was too shrewd a 
politician not to recognize the connection between aspira- 
tions for religious and for political freedom. His hand 


was ever ready to crush both heresies in one. Had he 
been a true son of the Church, a faithful champion of 
her infallibility, he would not have submitted to the 
peace of Passau so long as he could bring a soldier to 
the field. Yet he acquiesced in the Reformation for 
Germany, while the fires for burning the reformers were 
ever blazing in the Netherlands, where it was death even 
to allude to the existence of the peace of Passau. Nor 
did he acquiesce only from compulsion, for long before 
his memorable defeat by Maurice he had permitted the 
German troops, with whose services he could not dis- 
pense, regularly to attend Protestant worship performed 
by their own Protestant chaplains. Lutheran preachers 
marched from city to city of the Netherlands under the 
imperial banner, while the subjects of those patrimonial 
provinces were daily suffering on the scaffold for their 
nonconformity. The influence of this garrison-preaching 
upon the progress of the Reformation in the Nether- 
lands is well known. Charles hated Lutherans, but he 
required soldiers, and he thus helped by his own policy 
to disseminate what, had he been the fanatic which he 
perhaps became in retirement, he would have sacrificed 
his life to crush. It is quite true that the growing Cal- 
vinism of the provinces was more dangerous, both 
religiously and politically, than the Protestantism of 
the German princes, which had not yet been formally 
pronounced heresy ; but it is thus the more evident that 
it was political rather than religious heterodoxy which 
the despot wished to suppress. 

No man, however, could have been more observant of 

religious rites. He heard mass daily. He listened to a 

sermon every Sunday and holidaj^ He confessed and 

received the sacrament four times a year. He was some- 

voL. I. — 10 


times to be seen in liis tent at midnight on his knees 
before a crucifix, with eyes and hands uplifted. He ate 
no meat in Lent, and used extraordinary diligence to 
discover and to punish any man, whether courtier or 
plebeian, who failed to fast during the whole forty days.^ 
He was too good a poKtician not to know the value of 
broad phylacteries and long prayers. He was too nice 
an observer of human nature not to know how easily 
mint and cumin could still outweigh the "weightier 
matters of law, judgment, mercy, and faith " ; as if the 
founder of the religion which he professed, and to main- 
tain which he had established the Inquisition and the 
edicts, had never cried woe upon the Pharisees. Yet 
there is no doubt that the emperor was at times almost 
popular in the Netherlands, and that he was never as 
odious as his successor. There were some deep reasons 
for this, and some superficial ones ; among others, a 
singularly fortunate manner. He spoke German, 
Spanish, Italian, French, and Flemish, and could assume 
the characteristics of each country as easily as he could 
use its language. He could be stately with Spaniards, 
familiar with Flemings, witty with Italians. He could 

1 " . . . Ha Sua M'° in tutti i suoi ragionamenti et atti esteriori 
mostrate haver la fede catt''' in sonima osservanza, et in tutta la 
vita sua ha udita la messe ogni giorno et gran tempo due et hora 
tre . . . et le prediche nei giorni solenni, et in tutte le cose le 
feste de la quadragesima et alle volte vesperi et altri divini officii 
et hora si fa ogni giorno leggere la bibbia et come ha usato di con- 
fesarsi et communicarsi ogni anno quatro volte . . . e quando alia 
si ritrova al Ingolstadt et ayicinata al exercitio degli protestanti, 
/i( veduta mezza notte nel suo padiglione in ginocchioni avanti un 
erocifisso con le mani quinte et la quadrayesima innanzi fece una 
diligensa extraordinaria per intendere chi nelle corte magna va came," 
etc. — Badovaro MS. 


strike down a bull in the ring like a matador at Madrid, 
or win the prize in the tourney like a knight of old ; he 
could ride at the ring with the Flemish nobles, hit the 
popinjay with his crossbow among Antwerp artisans, or 
drink beer and exchange rude jests with the boors of 
Brabant. For virtues such as these, his grave crimes 
against God and man, against religion and chartered 
and solemnly sworn rights, have been palliated, as if 
oppression became more tolerable because the oppressor 
was an accompUshed linguist and a good marksman. 

But the great reason for his popularity no doubt laj' 
in his military genius. Charles was inferior to no gen- 
eral of his age. " When he was born into the world," 
said Alva, "he was born a soldier," ^ and the emperor 
confirmed the statement and reciprocated the compli- 
ment when he declared that " the three first captains of 
the age were himself first, and then the Duke of Alva and 
Constable Montmorency." " It is quite true that all his 
officers were not of the same opinion, and many were 
too apt to complain that his constant presence in the 
field did more harm than good, and that "his Majesty 
would do much better to stay at home." ^ There is, how- 
ever, no doubt that he was both a good soldier and a 
good general. He was constitutionally fearless, and he 
possessed great energy and endurance. He was ever 
the first to arm when a battle was to be fought, and the 

1 " Pero acuerdesele h. V. E. que es hijo de tal padie, qui en naci- 
endo en el mundo nacio soldado."— Carta del Duque de Alba al 
S°"' Don Juan de Austria. Documentos ineditos para la Historia 
de Espaiia, vol. iii. 273-283. 

2 Brantome, Hommes lUustres et Grands Capitaines Estran- 
gers, art. Charles Quint. 

3 Relatione di B" Navigero, apud Bradford Coirespondence, 
p. 450. 


last to take off his harness.^ He commanded in person 
and in chief even when surrounded by veterans and 
crippled by the gout. He was calm in great reverses. 
It was said that he was never known to change color 
except upon two occasions : after the fatal destruction 
of his fleet at Algiers, and in the memorable flight from 
Innsbruck. He was of a phlegmatic, stoical tempera- 
ment, until shattered by age and disease— a man with- 
out a sentiment and without a tear. It was said by 
Spaniards that he was never seen to weep, even at the 
death of his nearest relatives and friends, except on the 
solitary occasion of the departure of Don Ferrante 
Gonzaga from court.^ Such a temperament was in- 
valuable in the stormy career to which he had devoted 
his life. He was essentially a man of action, a military 
chieftain. " Pray only for my health and my life," he 
was accustomed to say to the young officers who came 
to him from every part of his dominions to serve under 
his banners ; " for so long as I have these I will never 
leave you idle, at least in France. I love peace no better 
than the rest of you. I was born and bred to arms, and 
must of necessity keep on my harness till I can bear it 
no longer." ^ The restless energy and the magnificent 
tranquillity of his character made him a hero among 
princes, an idol with his offtcers, a popular favorite every- 
where. The promptness with which, at much personal 

1 "... e poi aversi voluto trovar presente alle vere e essere 
stato il primo ad armarsi et ultimo a spogliarsi ha dimostrato in 
somma d'esser gran capitano d'effetti grandi," etc.— Badovaro MS. 

2 " . . . lio da Spagnuoli sentito olie ne per alcun aeeidente di 
morte di congionta di sangue ne di gran ministri suoi cari e stata 
veduta piangere, se non alia partita delle corte di Don Ferrante 
Gouzaga. " — Ibid. 

3 Brantome, Grands Capitaines, art. Charles Quint. 

1555] LACK OF CHn'ALRY 149 

hazard, he descended like a thunderbolt in the midst of 
the Ghent insurrection ; the juvenile ardor with -which 
the almost bedridden man arose from his sick-bed to 
smite the Protestants at Miihlberg; the grim stoicism 
with which he saw sixty thousand of his own soldiers 
perish in the wintry siege of Metz, all insured him a 
large measure of that applause which ever follows mili- 
tary distinction, especially when the man who achieves 
it happens to wear a crown. He combined the personal 
prowess of a knight of old with the more modern accom- 
plishments of a scientific tactician. He could charge 
the enemy in person like the most brilliant cavalry 
officer, and he thoroughly understood the arrangements 
of a campaign, the marshaling and victualing of troops, 
and the whole art of setting and maintaining an army in 
the field.i 

Yet, though brave and warlike as the most chivalrous 
of his ancestors, Gothic, Burgundian, or Suabian, he 
was entirely without chivalry. Fanaticism for the faith, 
protection for the oppressed, fidelity to friend and foe, 
knightly loyalty to a cause deemed sacred, the sacrifice of 
personal interests to great ideas, generosity of hand and 
heart— all those qualities which unite with courage and 
constancy to make up the ideal chevalier Charles not 
only lacked, but despised. He trampled on the weak 
antagonist, whether burgher or petty potentate. He 
was false as water. He inveigled his foes who trusted 
to imperial promises by arts unworthy an emperor or a 

1 "Ella ha . . . messosi ad imprese non solo pericolose a diffi- 
cile ma che tenerano dell impossitiile . . . ma nel sostenerli ha 
mostrato gran intelligenza e nel fare apparecchio delle cose degli 
eseroiti, nell ordine di metter gli insieme, vedergli marciare, far le 
battalie finite," etc.— Badovaro MS. 


gentleman.^ He led about the unfortunate John Fred- 
erick of Saxony, in his own language, " like a bear in a 
chain," ready to be slipped upon Maurice should "the 
boy " prove ungrateful. He connived at the famous for- 
gery of the prelate of Arras, to which the Landgrave 
Philip owed his long imprisonment — a villainy worse 
than many for which humbler rogues have suffered by 
thousands upon the gallows. ^ The contemporary world 
knew well the history of his frauds, on scale both colossal 
and minute, and called him familiarly "Charles qui 
triche." ^ 

The absolute master of realms on which the sun per- 
petually shone, he was not only greedy for additional 
domiaion, but he was avaricious in small matters, 
and hated to part with a hundred dollars.* To the sol- 
dier who brought him the sword and gauntlets of 
Francis I. he gave a hundred crowns, when ten thousand 
would have been less than the customary present, so 
that the man left his presence full of desperation. The 
three soldiers who swam the Elbe, with their swords in 
their mouths, to bring him the boats with which he 

1 "In rebus agendis tractandisque," says one of his greatest 
contemporary admirers, "simtilator egregius, fidei liberioris, pri- 
vati commodi perquam studiosus, atque ut uno verbo dieam alter 
avus matemus Ferdinandiis Catholicus."— Pont. Heut., xiv. 346". 

2 De Thou, Histoire Universelle (Londres, 1734), i. 267, 599. 
Compare Groen van Prinsterer, Archives et Correspondanoe In6- 
dite de la Maison d'Orange Nassau (Leide, 1838), t. v. 63, 65, 66; 
E. H. Pfeilschmidt, Vor dreihundert Jahren : Blatter der Erinne- 
rung an Kurfiirst Moritz von Sachsen (Dresden, 1852), p. 10. 
Vide Postea. 

3 Brantome, art. Charles Quint. 

* " Ad alcuni della corte di S. M. ho inteso dire ella haver paruto 
natura tale che nel dare cento scudi lia considerato troppo minuta- 
mente," etc. — Badovaro MS. 


passed to the •victory of MiiMberg, received from his 
imperial bounty a doublet, a pair of stockings, and four 
crowns apiece. i His courtiers and ministers complained 
bitterly of his habitual niggardliness, and were fain to 
eke out their slender salaries by accepting bribes from 
every hand rich enough to bestow them. In truth, 
Charles was more than anything else a politician, not- 
withstanding his signal abilities as a soldier. If to have 
founded institutions which could last be the test of 
statesmanship, he was even a statesman ; for many of 
his institutions have resisted the pressm-e of three cen- 
turies. But those of Charlemagne fell as soon as his 
hand was cold, while the works of many ordinary legis- 
lators have attained to a perpetuity denied to the 
statutes of Solon or Lycurgus. Durability is not the 
test of merit in human institutions. Tried by the only 
touchstone applicable to governments, their capacity to 
insure the highest welfare of the governed, we shall not 
find his polity deserving of much admiration. It is not 
merely that he was a despot by birth and inclination, 
nor that he naturally substituted, as far as was practi- 
cable, the despotic for the republican element, wherever 
his hand can be traced. There may be possible good 
in despotisms, as there is often much tjTanny in democ- 
racy. Tried, however, according to the standard by 
which all governments may be measured, those laws of 
truth and di\"ine justice which all Christian nations 
recognize, and which are perpetual, whether recognized 
or not, we shall find little to venerate in the life-work 
of the emperor. The interests of his family, the secu- 
rity of his dynasty, these were his end and aim. The 
happiness or the progress of his people never furnished 
1 Badovaro MS. 


even the indirect motives of his conduct, and the result 
was a baffled policy and a crippled and bankrupt empire 
at last. 

He knew men, especially he knew their weaknesses, 
and he knew how to turn them to account. He knew 
how much they would bear, and that little grievances 
would sometimes inflame more than vast and deliber- 
ate injustice. Therefore he employed natives mainly in 
the subordinate offices of his various states, and he re- 
peatedly warned his successor that the haughtiness of 
Spaniards and the incompatibility of their character with 
the Flemish would be productive of great difficulties 
and dangers.^ It was his opinion that men might be 
tyrannized more intelligently by their own kindred, 
and in this perhaps he was right. He was indefatigable 
in the discharge of business, and if it were possible that 
haK a world could be administered as if it were the pri- 
vate property of an individual, the task would have 
been perhaps as well accomplished by Charles as by any 
man. He had not the absurdity of supposing it possible 
for him to attend to the details of every individual affair 
in every one of his realms ; and he therefore intrusted 
the stewardship of all specialities to his various minis- 
ters and agents. It was his biisiness to know men and 
to deal with affairs on a large scale, and in this he cer- 
tainly was superior to his successor. His correspondence 
was mainly in the hands of Granvelle the elder, who 
analyzed letters received, and frequently wrote all but 
the signatures of the answers. The same minister 
usually possessed the imperial ear, and farmed it out for 
his own benefit. In all this there was of coui'se room 
for vast deception, but the emperor was quite aware of 

1 Apologie d'Orange, 47, 48. 


what was going on, and took a philosophic view of the 
matter as an inevitable part of his system.^ Granvelle 
grew enormously rich under his eye by trading on the 
imperial favor and sparing his Majesty much trouble. 
Charles saw it all, ridiculed his peculations, but called 
him his " bed of down." ^ His knowledge of human na- 
ture was, however, derived from a contemplation mainly 
of its weaknesses, and was therefore one-sided. He was 
often deceived, and made many a fatal blunder, shrewd 
politician though he was. He involved himself often in 
enterprises which could not be honorable or profitable, 
and which inflicted damage on his greatest interests. 
He often offended men who might have been useful 
friends, and converted allies into enemies. " His Maj- 
esty," said a keen observer who knew him weU, "has 
not in his career shown the prudence which was neces- 
sary to him. He has often offended those whose love 
he might have conciliated, converted friends into ene- 
mies, and let those perisli who were his most faithfid 
partizans." ^ Thus it must be acknowledged that even 
his boasted knowledge of human nature and his power 
of dealing witli men was rather superficial and empirical 
than the real gift of genius. 

His personal habits during the greater part of his life 
were those of an indefatigable soldier. He could remain 
in the saddle day and night, and endure every hardship 
but hunger. He was addicted to vulgar and miscel- 

1 Relazione di Navigero, apud Bradford, p. 445. 

2 "Nous avons perdu," wrote the emperor to Philip on the elder 
Granvelle's death, "un bon lit de repos."— Dom I'Evesque, M6- 
moires pour servir i, rHistoire du Card, de Granvelle (Paris, 1753), 
i. 180. 

3 Badovaro MS. 


laneous incontinence.^ He was an enormous eater. He 
breakfasted at five, on a fowl seethed in milk and 
dressed with sugar and spices. After this he went to 
sleep again. He dined at twelve, partaking always 
of twenty dishes. He supped twice ; at first soon after 
vespers, and the second time at midnight or one o'clock, 
which meal was perhaps the most sohd of the four. 
After meat he ate a great quantity of pastry and sweet- 
meats, and he irrigated every repast by vast draughts of 
beer and wine.^ His stomach, originally a wonderful 
one, succumbed after forty years of such labors. His 
taste, but not his appetite, began to fail, and he com- 
plained to his majordomo that aU his food was insipid. 
The reply is perhaps among the most celebrated of 
faceti*. The cook could do nothing more unless he 
served his Majesty a pasty of watches. The allusion to 
the emperoi''s passion for horology was received with 
great applause. Charles " laughed longer than he was 
ever known to laugh before, and all the courtiers [of 
course] laughed as long as his Majesty." ^ The success 
of so sorry a jest would lead one to suppose that the 

1 "... et 6 stato ne piaoeri venerei di non temperata volunt^ 
in ogni parte dove si h trovata con donne di grande et auco di picoola 
conditions. "—Badovaro MS. 

2 " Nel magnare ha sempre S. M'' ecceso, et fino al tempo che 
ella parti di Fiandra per Spagna, la mattina svegliate clie alia era, 
pigliava una soatola di pistoohi, Cappone con latte, zuccaro e 
spetiarie, dopo il quale tornava a riposare. A mezzo giorno de- 
sinava molto varieta di vivande, e poco di po vespro me rendava, 
et ad una hora di notte se n'andava h cena, magnando cose tutte 
da generare humeri grossi e viscosi." — Ibid. Compare Navigcro, 
Relazione, apud Bradford, p. 365. 

3 " . . . una nuova vivanda di pasticci di orologii, il che mosse 
& quel maggior e piu lungo rise che mai sia stato in lei et cosi risero 
quelli di camera," etc. — Ibid. 


fooling was less admirable at the imperial court than 
some of the recorded quips of Tribaulet would lead us 
to suppose. 

The transfer of the other crowns and dignitaries to 
Philip was accomplished a month afterward, in a quiet 
manner.i Spain, Sicily, the Balearic Islands, America, 
and other portions of the globe were made over without 
more display than an ordinary donatio infer vivos. The 
empire occasioned some difficulty. It had been already 
signified to Ferdinand that his brother was to resign 
the imperial crown in his favor, and the symbols of 
sovereignty were accordingly transmitted to him by the 
hands of William of Orange.^ A deputation, moreover, 
of which that nobleman, Vice-Chancellor Seld, and Dr. 
Wolfgang Haller were the chiefs, was despatched to 
signify to the electors of the empire the step which had 
been thus resolved upon. A delay of more than two 
years, however, intervened, occasioned partly by the 
deaths of three electors, partly by the war which so soon 
broke out in Europe, before the matter was formally 
acted upon.^ In February, 1553, however, the electors, 
having been assembled in Frankfort, received the abdi- 
cation of Charles, and proceeded to the election of Fer- 
dinand.* That emperor was crowned in March, and 
immediately despatched a legation to the pope to apprise 
him of the fact. Nothing was less expected than any 
opposition on the part of the pontiff. The querulous 
dotard, however, who then sat in St. Peter's chair hated 
Charles and all his race. He accordingly denied the 
validity of the whole transaction without sanction pre- 

1 Godelaevus, 645 sqq. Van Meteren, i. 17. Bor, i. 6 sqq. 

2 GodelaevTis, 646 sqq. Pont. Heut., xiv. 645 sqq. Meteren, i. 17. 

3 Godelaevus, 646 sqq. * Ibid. 


viously obtained from the pope, to whom all crowns be- 
longed. Ferdinand, after listening, through his envoys, 
to much ridiculous dogmatism on the part of the pope, at 
last withdrew from the discussion with a formal protest, 
and was first recognized by Caraffa's successor, Pius IV.^ 
Charles had not deferred his retirement till the end of 
these disputes. He occupied a private house in Brus- 
sels, near the gate of Louvain, until August of the year 
1556. On the 27th of that month he addressed a letter 
from Ghent to John of Osnabriick, president of the 
chamber of Speyer, stating his abdication in favor of 
Ferdinand, and requesting that in the interim the same 
obedience might be rendered to Ferdinand as could 
have been yielded to himself.^ Ten days later he ad- 
dressed a letter to the estates of the empire, stating the 
same fact; and on the 17th September, 1556, he set sail 
from Zealand for Spain.^ These delays and difficulties 
occasioned some misconceptions. Many persons who 
did not admire an abdication which others, on the con- 
trary, esteemed as an act of unexampled magnanimity, 
stoutly denied that it was the intention of Charles to 
renounce the empire. The Venetian envoy informed 
his government that Ferdinand was only to be lieutenant 
for Charles, under strict limitations, and that the em- 
peror was to resume the government so soon as his 
health would allow.* The Bishop of Arras and Don 
Juan de Manrique had both assm-ed him, he said, that 
Charles would not, on any account, definitely abdicate.^ 
Manrique even asserted that it was a mere farce to believe 
in any such intention.^ The emperor ought to remain 

1 Godelaevus, 654 sqq. ^ Ibid., 654°. ^ Ibid., 645 sqq. 

* Badovaro. 5 ihid. 

* ". . . ohe era cosa di bm-la a crederlo."— Ibid. 


to protect his son, by the resources of the empire, 
against France, the Turks, and the heretics. His very 
shadow was terrible to the Lutherans,^ and his form 
might be expected to rise again in stern reality from its 
temporary grave. Time has shown the falsitj' of all 
these imaginings, but views thus maintained by those 
in the best condition to know the truth prove how 
difficult it was for men to believe in a transaction which 
was then so extraordinary, and how little consonant it 
was in their eyes with true propriety. It was necessary 
to ascend to the times of Diocletian to find an example 
of a similar abdication of empu-e on so deliberate and 
extensive a scale, and the great English historian of the 
Roman Empire has compared the two acts with each 
other. But there seems a vast difference between the 
cases. Both emperors were distinguished soldiei-s ; both 
were merciless perseciitors of defenseless Christians ; 
both exchanged unbounded empire for absolute seclu- 
sion. But Diocletian was born in the lowest abyss of 
human degradation— a slave and the son of a slave. 
For such a man, after having reached the highest pin- 
nacle of human greatness, voluntarily to descend from 
power, seems an act of far greater magnanimity than 
the retreat of Charles. Born in the purple, having ex- 
ercised unlimited authority from his boyhood, and having 
worn from his cradle so many crowns and coronets, the 
German emperor might well be supposed to have 
learned to estimate them at theii- proper value. Con- 
temporary minds were busy, however, to discover the 
hidden motives which could have influenced him, and 
the world even yet has hardly ceased to wonder. Yet 

1 "Parendo loro che solo I'ombra sua sia da Luterani temuta." 
— Badovaro. 


it ■would have been more wonderful, considering the 
emperor's character, had he remained. The end had 
not crowned the work ; it not unreasonably discrowned 
the workman. The earlier and indeed the gi-eater part 
of his career had been one unbroken procession of tri- 
umphs. The cherished dream of his grandfather,^ and 
of his own youth,^ to add the pope's triple crown to the 
rest of the hereditary' possessions of his family, he had 
indeed been obliged to resign. He had too much prac- 
tical Flemish sense to indulge long in chimeras, but he 
had achieved the empire over formidable rivals, and he 
had successively not only conquered but captured almost 
every potentate who had arrayed himself in arms against 
him. Clement and Francis, the dukes and landgraves 
of Cleves, Hesse, Saxony, and Brunswick, he had bound 
to his chariot- wheels, forcing many to eat the bread of 
humiliation and captivity during long and weary years. 
But the concluding portion of his reign had reversed aU 
its previou.s glories. His whole career had been a failure. 
He had been defeated, after all, in most of his projects. 
He had humbled Francis, but Henry had most signally 
avenged his father. He had trampled upon Philip of 
Hesse and Frederick of Saxony, but it had been reserved 
for one of that German race, which he characterized as 
•'dreamy, drunken, and incapable of intrigue," to outwit 
the man who had outwitted all the world, and to drive 
before him, in ignominious flight, the conqueror of the 
nations. The German lad who had learned both war 
and dissimulation in the court and camp of him who 
was so profound a master of both arts was destined to 

1 Introduetion to this work. 

2 Brantome, Hommes niustres, etc., art. Charles Quint. Bayle, 
Diet. Hist, et Crit., art. Charles Quiiit. 


eclipse liis teacher on the most august theater of Chris- 
tendom. Absorbed at Innsbruck with the deliberations 
of the Trent Council, Charles had not heeded the distant 
mutterings of the tempest which was gathering around 
him. WhUe he was preparing to crush forever the 
Protestant Church with the arms which a bench of bish- 
ops were forging, lo ! the rapid and desperate Maurice, 
with long red beard streaming like a meteor in the wind, 
dashing through the mountain passes at the head of his 
lancers— arguments more convincing than all the dog- 
mas of Granvelle. Disguised as an old woman,^ the 
emperor had attempted, on the 6th April, to escape in a 
peasant's wagon from Innsbruck into Flanders. Saved 
for the time by the mediation of Ferdinand, he had, a 
few weeks later, after his troops had been defeated by 
Maurice at Fiissen, again fled at midnight of the 22d 
May, almost unattended, sick in body and soul, in the 
midst of thunder, lightning, and rain, along the difiicult 
Alpine passes from Innsbruck into Carinthia. His pupil 
had permitted his escape only because, in his own lan- 
guage, " for such a bird he had no convenient cage." ^ 
The imprisoned princes now owed their liberation, not 
to the emperor's clemency, but to his panic. The peace 
of Passau, in the following August, crushed the whole 
fabric of the emperoi-'s toil, and laid the foundation of 
the Protestant Church. He had smitten the Protestants 
at Miihlberg for the last time. On the other hand, the 
man who had dealt with Rome as if the pope, not he, 
had been the vassal, was compelled to witness, before he 

1 " . . . iniirmlieher, man sagt, sogar in Frauentraoht." — Pfeil- 
sehmidt, Vor di-eihundert Jahi-en, p. 56. 

2" . . . 'fiir einen solclien Vogel,' sagte er, 'habe er keinen 
E;afig."'-n)id., 58. 


departed, the insolence of a pontiff who took a special 
pride in insulting and humbling his house and tram- 
pling upon the pride of Charles, Philip, and Ferdinand. 
In France, too, the disastrous siege of Metz had taught 
him that in the imperial zodiac the fatal sign of Cancer 
had been reached. The figure of a crab, with the words 
" plus citra," instead of his proud motto of " plus ultra," 
scrawled on the walls where he had resided during that 
dismal epoch, avenged more deeply, perhaps, than the 
jester thought the previous misfortunes of France.^ 
The Grand Turk, too, Solyman the Magnificent, pos- 
sessed most of Hungary, and held at that moment a 
fleet ready to sail against Naples, in cooperation with 
the pope and France.^ Thus the infidel, the Protestant, 
and the holy Church were all combined together to 
crush him. Toward all the great powers of the earth 
he stood not in the attitude of a conqueror, but of a 
disappointed, bafiled, defeated potentate. Moreover, he 
had been foiled long before in his earnest attempts to 
secure the imperial throne for Philip. Ferdinand and 
Maximilian had both stoutly resisted his arguments and 
his blandishments. The father had represented the 
slender patrimony of their branch of the family, com- 
pared with the enormous heritage of Philip, who, being, 
after all, but a man, and endowed with finite powers, 
might sink under so great a pressure of empire as his 
father wished to provide for him.^ Maximilian, also, 
assured his uncle that he had as good an appetite for the 

1 Histoire du Duo d'Albe, i. 369 (ed. Paris, 1698). 

2 Cabrera, i. 32. 

5 " . . . Principem PMlippum hominem esse finitasque habere 
vires atque ingenium captmnque tantum humanum.''— Pont. Heut., 
xii. 301. 


crown as Philip, and could digest the dignity quite as 
easily.^ The son, too, for whom the emperor was thus 
solicitous, had already, before the abdication, repaid his 
affection with ingratitude. He had turned out all his 
father's old officials in Milan, and had refused to visit 
him at Brussels till assured as to the amount of cere- 
monial respect which the new-made king was to receive 
at the hands of his father.^ 

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

Disappointed in his schemes, broken in his fortunes, 
with income anticipated, estates mortgaged, all his 
affairs in confusion, failing in mental powers, and with 
a constitution hopelessly shattered, it was time for him 
to retire. He showed his keenness in recognizing the 
fact that neither his power nor his glory would be in- 
creased should he lag superfluous on the stage, where 
mortification instead of applause was likely to be his 
portion. His frame was indeed but a wreck. Forty 

1 Brantome, i. 49, 50. 

2 Dom I'Evesque, M^m. de Granv., i. 24-26. "Get embairas," 
says the Benedictine, "fut la veritable cause de son abdication et 
de sa retraite dans le Convent de Yuste. La politique s'^puiseroit 
en vain k en chercher une autre." 

VOL. I.— 11 


years of unexampled gluttony had done their work. He 
was a victim to gout, asthma, dyspepsia, gravel. He 
was crippled in the neck, arms, knees, and hands. 
He was troubled with chronic cutaneous eruptions. 
His appetite remained, while his stomach, unable longer 
to perform the task still imposed upon it, occasioned him 
constant suffering. Physiologists, who know how im- 
portant a part this organ plays in the affairs of life, will 
perhaps see in this physical condition of the emperor a 
sufficient explanation, if explanation were required, of 
his descent from the throne. Moreover, it is well known 
that the resolution to abdicate before his death had been 
long a settled scheme with him. It had been formally 
agreed between himself and the empress that they 
should separate at the approach of old age, and pass the 
remainder of their lives in a convent and a monastery. 
He had, when comparatively a young man, been struck 
by the reply made to him by an aged officer whose rea- 
sons he had asked for earnestly soHciting permission to 
retire from the imperial service. It was, said the vet- 
eran, that he might put a little space of religious con- 
templation between the active portion of his life and 
the grave.i 

A similar determination, deferred from time to time, 
Charles had now carried into execution. While he still 
lingered in Brussels after his abdication, a comet ap- 
peared, to warn him to the fulfilment of his pui-pose.^ 
Prom first to last, comets and other heavenly bodies 
were much connected with his evolutions and arrange- 
ments. There was no mistaking the motives with which 
this luminary had presented itself. The emperor knew 
very well, says a contemporaiy German chronicler, that 

1 Strada, i. 18. '^ Godelaevus, 645. 


it portended pestilence and war, together -udtli the ap- 
proaching death of mighty princes. " My fates call out," ^ 
he cried, and forthwith applied himself to hasten the 
preparations for his departure. 

The romantic picture of his philosophical retirement 
at Tuste, painted originally by Sandoval and Sigueuza, 
reproduced by the fascinating pencil of Strada, and 
imitated in frequent succession by authors of every age 
and coiintiy, is unfortunately but a sketch of fancy. 
The investigations of modern writers have entirely 
thrown down the scaffolding on which the airy fabric, so 
delightful to poets and moralists, reposed. The depart- 
ing emperor stands no longer in a transparency robed in 
shining garments. His transfigui'ation is at an end. 
Every action, almost every moment of his retirement, 
accurately chronicled by those who shared his solitude, 
have been placed before our eyes, in the most felicitous 
manner, by able and brilliant writers.^ The emperor, 
shorn of the philosophical robe in which he had been 

1 " . . . ingens et luoidum sydus— flammiferum crinem trahens 
in octavo libras gradu conspiei coeptum— at Carolus sciens hujus 
visione magnorum principum interitus— eo eonspeeto. His inquit 
indiciis, me mea fata vocant," etc. — Godelaevus, 645. 

2 StirUng, The Cloister Life of Charles V. (London, 1853). 
Bakhuyzen van den Brink, Analyse d'un Manuscrit Contemporain 
sur la Retraite de Charles Quint (Bruxelles, 1850). The works of 
Mignet and Piehot on the same subject (Paris, 1854), and particu- 
larly the late publication of M. Gachard, Retraite et Mort de Charles 
Quint (Bruxelles, 1854), in which last work the subject may be con- 
sidered to have been fairly exhausted, and in which the text of 
Siguenza and of the anonymous manuscript discovered by M. Bak- 
huyzen in the greffe of the Court of Appeals at Brussels are placed 
in full before the reader, so far as they bear on the vexed question 
as to the celebration by the emperor of his own obsequies. 


conventionally arrayed for three centuries, shivers now 
in the cold air of reality. 

So far from his having immersed himself in profound 
and pious contemplation, below the current of the world's 
events, his thoughts, on the contrary, never were for a 
moment diverted from the political surface of the times. 
He read nothing but despatches; he wrote or dictated 
interminable ones in reply, as dull and prolix as any 
which ever came from his pen. He manifested a suc- 
cession of emotions at the course of contemporary 
affairs, as intense and as varied as if the world still 
rested in his palm. He was, in truth, essentially a man 
of action. He had neither the taste nor talents which 
make a man great in retirement. Not a lofty thought, 
not a generous sentiment, not a profound or acute sug- 
gestion in his retreat has been recorded from his lips. 
The epigrams which had been invented for him by fabu- 
lists have been all taken away, and nothing has been 
substituted, save a few dull jests exchanged with stupid 
friars. So far from having entertained and even ex- 
pressed that sentiment of religious toleration for which 
he was said to have been condemned as a heretic by the 
Inquisition, and for which Philip was ridiculously re- 
ported to have ordered his father's body to be burned 
and his ashes scattered to the winds,^ he became in re- 
treat the bigot effectually, which during his reign he 
had only been conventionally. Bitter regrets that he 
should have kept his word to Luther, as if he had not 
broken faith enough to reflect upon in his retirement; 
stem self-reproach for onaitting to put to death, while 
he had him in his power, the man who had caused all 
the mischief of the age; fierce instructions thundered 

1 Brantdme, CEuvres Completes (Paris, 1822), i. 32. 


from his retreat to the inquisitors to hasten the execu- 
tion of all heretics, including particularly his ancient 
friends, preachers, and almoners, Cazalla and Constantine 
de Fuente ; furious exhortations to Philip— as if Philip 
needed a prompter in such a work— that he should set 
himself to " cutting out the root of heresy with rigor 
and rude chastisement"— such explosions of savage 
bigotry as these, alternating with exhibitions of revolt- 
ing gluttony, with surfeits of sardine omelets, Estrema- 
dura sausages, eel pies, pickled partridges, fat capons, 
quince syrups, iced beer, and flagons of Rhenish, relieved 
by copious draughts of senna and rhubarb, to which his 
horror-stricken doctor doomed him as he ate, compose 
a spectacle less attractive to the imagination than the 
ancient portrait of the cloistered Charles. Unfortunately, 
it is the one which was painted from life. 


Sketch of Philip II. —Characteristics of Mary Tudor — Portrait of 
Philip— His coTiiieil- Rivalry of Kuy G-omez and Alva— Character 
of Ruy Gomez — Queen Mary of Hungary— Sketch of Philibert of 
Savoy— Truce of Vaucelles— Secret treaty between the pope and 
Henry II.— Rejoicings in the Netherlands on account of the peace 
—Purposes of Philip— Reenactment of the edict of 1550— The 
king's dissimulation — "Request" to the provinces— Infraction of 
the truce in Italy— Character of Pope Paul FV. —Intrigues of Car- 
dinal Caraffa— War against Spain resolved upon by France— Cam- 
paign in Italy— Amicable siege of Rome— Peace with the pontiff 
—Hostilities on the Flemish border— Coligny foiled at Douai — 
Sacks Lens— Philip in England— Queen Mary engages in the war 
—Philip's army assembled at Givet — Portrait of CouJit Egmont — 
The French army under Coligny and Montmorency— Siege of St.- 
Quentin— Attempts of the constable to relieve the city— Battle of 
St. -Quentin — Hesitation and timidity of Philip— City of St. -Quentin 
taken and sacked— Continued indecision of Philip — His army dis- 
banded—Campaign of the Duke of Guise— Capture of Calais— In- 
terview between Cardinal de Lorraine and the Bishop of Arras- 
Secret combinations for a league between Prance and Spain 
against heresy— Languid movements of Guise— Foray of De 
Thermes on the Flemish frontier — Battle of Gra valines— Popular- 
ity of Egmont- Enmity of Alva. 

Philip II. had received tlie investiture of Milan and 
the crown of Naples previously to his marriage with 
Mary Tudor.^ The imperial crown he had been obliged, 
much against his wiU, to forego. The archduchy of 

xix. Godelaevus, 645. 


Austria, with the hereditary German dependencies of 
his father's family, had been transferred by the em- 
peror to his brother Ferdinand, on the occasion of 
the marriage of that prince with Anna, only sister 
of King Louis of Hungary.i Ten years afterward, 
Ferdinand (King of Hungary and Bohemia since the 
death of Louis, slain in 1526 at the battle of Moh'acs) 
was elected King of the Romans, and steadily refused 
all the entreaties afterward made to him, in behalf of 
Philip, to resign his crown and his succession to the em- 
pire in favor of his nephew. With these diminutions, 
Philip had now received all the dominions of his father. 
He was king of all the Spanish kingdoms and of both 
the Sicilies; he was titular King of England, France, 
and Jerusalem ; he was " absolute dominator " in Asia, 
Africa, and America ; he was Duke of Milan and of both 
Burgundies, and hereditary sovereign of the seventeen 

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

He was born in May, 1527, and was now therefore 
twenty-eight years of age. At the age of sixteen he had 

1 Pont. Heiat., viii. 197. 2 Ibid., x. 240. 


been united to his cousin, Maria of Portugal, daughter 
of John III. and of the emperor's sister. Donna Catalina. 
In the following year (1544) he became father of the 
celebrated and Ul-starred Don Carlos, and a widower.^ 
The princess owed her death, it was said, to her own 
imprudence and to the negligence or bigotry of her at- 
tendants. The Duchess of Alva, and other ladies who 
had charge of her during her confinement, deserted her 
chamber in order to obtain absolution by witnessing an 
auto da fe of heretics. During their absence the prin- 
cess partook voraciously of a melon, and forfeited her 
life in consequence.^ In 1548 Don Philip had made his 
first appearance in the Netherlands. He came thither to 
receive homage in the various provinces as their future 
sovereign, and to exchange oaths of mutual fidelity with 
them all.^ Andrew Doria, with a fleet of fifty ships, had 
brought him to Genoa, whence he had passed to MUan, 
where he was received with great rejoicing. At Trent 
he was met by Duke Maurice of Saxony, who warmly 
begged his intercession with the emperor in behalf of 
the imprisoned Landgrave of Hesse. This boon Philip 
was graciously pleased to promise,* and to keep the 
pledge as sacredly as most of the vows plighted by him 
during this memorable year. The Duke of Aerschot 
met him in Germany with a regiment of cavalry and 
escorted him to Brussels. A summer was spent in great 
festivities, the cities of the Netherlands vying with each 
other in magnificent celebrations of the ceremonies by 
which Philip successively swore allegiance to the vari- 
ous constitutions and charters of the provinces, and 

1 Cabrera, i. 8. 2 Meteren, i. f. 13. 

5 Ibid., i. 13. Wagenaer, Vaderlandsohe Historie (Amst. 1770), 
iv. 294 sqq. * Ibid., i. 13. 


received tlieir oaths of future fealty in return. His oath 
to support all the constitutions and privileges was with- 
out reservation, while his father and grandfather had 
only sworn to maintain the charters granted or confirmed 
by Philip and Charles of Burgundy.^ Suspicion was 
disarmed by these indiscriminate concessions, which had 
been resolved upon by the unscrupulous Charles to con- 
ciliate the good wiU of the people. In view of the pre- 
tensions which might be preferred by the Brederode 
family in Holland and by other descendants of ancient 
sovereign races in other provinces, the emperor, wishing 
to insure the siiccession to his sisters in case of the 
deaths of himself, Philip, and Don Carlos without issue, 
was unsparing in those promises which he knew to be 
binding only upon the weak. Although the house of 
Burgundy had usurped many of the provinces on the 
express pretext that females could not inherit, the rule 
had been already violated, and he determined to spare no 
pains to conciliate the estates, in order that they might 
be content with a new violation, should the contingency 
occur. Philip's oaths were therefore without reserve, 

1 The oath which he took in Holland was : " Well and truly to 
maintain all the privileges and freedoms of the nobles, cities, com- 
munities, subjects (lay and clerical) of the province of Holland and 
West Friesland, to them granted by my ancestors, counts and count- 
esses of Holland ; and, moreover, their customs, traditions, usages, 
and rights [geiooonte, herkomen, usantien en rechten], all and sev- 
eral, which they now have and use." The oath in Brabant was : 
"To support all the privileges," etc. ; and the same form, without 
conditions and exceptions, was adopted in the other provinces, 
whereas his father and grandfather had sworn only to maintain 
the limited privileges conceded by the usurping house of Burgundy. 
Vide Groot Plakkaat Boek, iv. 3, iii. 20 ; Blyde Inkommst v. Filip, 
apud Mieris, Nederl. Voorst, iii. 222 ; Wagenaer, Vaderl. Hist., iv, 
294-297, V. 328-341. 


and the light-hearted Flemings, Brabantines, and Wal- 
loons received him with open arms. In Valenciennes 
the festivities vrhich attended his entrance were on a 
most gorgeous scale, but the " joyous entrance " arranged 
for him at Antwerp was of unparalleled magnificence.^ 
A cavalcade of the magistrates and notable burghers, 
" all attired in cramoisie velvet," attended by lackeys in 
splendid liveries and followed by four thousand citizen 
soldiers in full uniform, went forth from the gates to 
receive him. Twenty-eight triumphal arches, which 
alone, according to the thrifty chronicler, had cost 26,800 
Carolus guldens, were erected in the different streets and 
squares, and every possible demonstration of affectionate 
welcome was lavished upon the prince and the emperor.^ 
The rich and prosperous city, unconscious of the doom 
which awaited it in the future, seemed to have covered 
itself with garlands to honor the approach of its master. 
Yet icy was the deportment with which Philip received 
these demonstrations of affection, and haughty the 
glance with which he looked down upon these exhibi- 
tions of civic hilarity, as from the height of a grim and 
inaccessible tower. The impression made upon the 
Netherlanders was anything but favorable, and when he 
had fully experienced the futility of the projects on the 
empire which it was so difficult both for his father and 
himself to resign, he returned to the more congenial 
soil of Spain. In 1554 he had again issued from the 
Peninsula to marry the Queen of England, a privilege 
which his father had graciously resigned to him. He 
was united to Mary Tudor, at Winchester, on the 25th 
July of that year, and if congeniaUty of tastes could 
have made a marriage happy, that union shotdd have 

1 Meteren, i. f. 13. 2 Ibid. 


been thrice blessed. To maintain the supremacy of the 
Church seemed to both the main object of existence, to 
execute unbelievers the most sacred duty imposed by the 
Deity upon anointed princes, to convert their kingdoms 
into a hell the siirest means of winning heaven for 
themselves. It was not strange that the conjunction of 
two such wonders of superstition in one sphere should 
have seemed portentous in the eyes of the English na- 
tion. Philip's mock efforts in favor of certain con- 
demned reformers, and his pretended intercessions in 
favor of the Princess Elizabeth, failed entirely of their 
object. The Parliament refused to confer upon him 
more than a nominal authority in England. His chil- 
dren, should they be born, might be sovereigns ; he was 
but husband of the queen — of a woman who could not 
atone by her abject but peevish fondness for himself, 
and by her congenial bloodthirstiness toward her sub- 
jects, for her eleven years' seniority, her deficiency in 
attractions, and her incapacity to make him the father of 
a line of EngUsh monarchs. It almost excites compas- 
sion even for Mary Tudor when her passionate efforts 
to inspire him with affection are contrasted with his im- 
passiveuess. Tyrant, bigot, murderess though she was, 
she was still woman, and she lavished upon her husband 
all that was not ferocious in her nature. Forbidding 
prayers to be said for the soul of her father,^ hating her 
sister and her people, burning bishops, bathing herself in 
the blood of heretics, to Philip she was aU submissive- 
ness and feminine devotion. It was a most singular 
contrast, Mary the Queen of England and Mary the wife 
of Philip. Small, lean, and sickly ; painfully near-sighted, 
yet with an eye of fierceness and fire ; her face wrinkled 
1 De Thou, ii. 419. 


by the hands of care and evil passions still more than by- 
time, with a big man's voice, whose harshness made those 
in the next room tremble ; ^ yet feminine in her tastes, 
skilful with her needle, fond of embroidery-work, strik- 
ing the lute with a touch remarkable for its science and 
feeling, speaking many languages, including Latin, vdth 
fluency and grace ;- most feminine, too, in her constitu- 
tional sufferings, hysterical of habit, shedding floods 
of tears daily at Philip's coldness,^ undisguised infidel- 
ity, and frequent absences from England— she almost 

1 " E la regina Maria di statura pioeola— di persona magra et 
delioata— adesso cavate qualche crespe causate piu dagli affanni 
che dall eta — ha gli oechi vivi che inducono non solo riverenza ma 
timore verso chi li raove, se bene la vista molto eorta non potendo 
leggere ne far altro se non si mette con la vista vieinissima a quello 
che voglia leggere o ben discernere— ha la voce grossa et alta 
quassi d'uomo, si che quando parla e sempre sentita gran pezzo di 
lontano."— Kelazione di Giov. Michele, venuto Ambr" d'Inghilterra, 
1557, MS. The envoy sums up the personal attractions of her 
Majesty by observing that "... even at her present age she is 
not entirely to be abhorred for her ugliness, without any regard to 
her rank of queen.'' "In somma e donna honesta ne mai per bru- 
tezza etiam in questa eta non considerate il grado di regina d'es- 
sire abhorrita." As the Venetian was exceedingly disposed to 
be complimentary, it must be confessed that the eulogy does 
not appear redundant. Compare Cabrera: "Era la Regna pe- 
quena de cuerpo, iiaea, con vista eorta en vivos ojos que ponian 
aeatamiento— grave— mesurada— la voce gruesa mas que de mu- 
ger" (iv. 210). 

2 "E instrutta di cinque lingue— quattro d'essi parla— nella 
latina farria sempre ognuno eon le risposte che da et con i pro- 
posite che tiene intendentissima oltre I'esercitio di lavorare d'ago 
in ogni sorte di rieamo, anco della musica— specialmente sonar di 
manacordi et di liuto— incanta per la velocita del mano e per la ma- 
niera di sonare."— Michele MS. 

3 Michele, Relazione MS. ; "Per rimedio non basta indogli los 
fogarsi come sdesso usa con le lagrime et col piangere." 

1555] MAEY TUDOR 173 

awakens compassion and causes a momentary oblivion 
of her identity. 

Her subjects, ab-eady half maddened by religious per- 
secution, were exasperated still further by the pecuniary 
burdens which she imposed upon them to supply the 
king's exigencies, and she unhesitatingly confronted 
their frenzy, in the hope of winning a smile from him. 
When at last her chronic maladies had assumed the 
memorable form which caused Philip and Mary to unite 
in a letter to Cardinal Pole announcing not the expected 
but the actual birth of a prince, but judiciously leaving 
the date in blank,i the momentary satisfaction and delu- 
sion of the queen was unbounded. The false intelli- 
gence was transmitted everywhere. Great were the joy 
and the festivities in the Netherlands, where people were 
so easily made to rejoice and keep holiday for anything. 
" The Regent, being in Antwerp," wrote Sir Thomas 
Gresham to the lords of council, "did cause the great 
bell to ringe to give all men to understand that the news 
was trewe. The Queene's highness' mere merchants 
caused all our Inglishe ships to shoote off with such joy 
and triumph, as by men's arts and pollicey coulde be 
devised — and the Regent sent our Inglishe maroners one 
hundred crownes to drynke." ^ If bell-ringing and can- 
non-firing could have given England a Spanish sovereign, 
the devoutly wished consummation would have been 
reached. "When the futility of the royal hopes could no 

1 Burgon (Life and Times of Sir T. Gresham) oommunieates 
the letter from the State-Paper Office : "Whereas it hath pleased 
Almighty God of his infinite goodness to adds unto the great 
number of other his benefites bestowed upon us the gladding of 
us with the happy deliverie of a prince" (i. 171). 

2 Ibid., i. 169. 


longer be concealed, PMlip left the country, never to 
retiu-n till Ms war with France made him reqnii-e troops, 
subsidies, and a declaration of hostUities fi-om England. 

The personal appearance of the ne'w' sovereign has 
already been described. His manner was far from con- 
ciliatory, and in tliis respect he was the absolute reveree 
of his father. Upon his first journey out of Spain, in 
154S, into his various dominions, he had made a most 
painful impression everywhere. " He was disagreeable," 
says Envoy S\iriano, "to the Italians, detestable to the 
Flemings, odious to the Germans." i 

The remonstrances of the emperor and of Queen 
!Mary of Hungaiy at the impropriety of his mannei-s 
had produced, however, some effect, so that on his wed- 
ding-joui'ney to England he manifested much •• gentle- 
ness and humanity, mingled with royal gra^'ity." - Upon 
this occasion, says another Venetian accredited to him, 
"he had divested himself of that Spanish haughtiness 
which, when he first came from Spain, had rendered him 
so odious."' The famous ambassador Badovaro con- 
firms the impression. ■ Upon his fii'st jom-ney," he says, 
"he was esteemed proud, and too greedy for the imperial 
succession ; but now "t is the common opinion that his 
humanity- and modesty ai-e all which could be desired." * 
These humane qiaalities, however, it must be observed, 

1 "Fti poco grato ad Italiani, mgratissimo a Fiamenglu et a 
Tedeschi odioso."— Suriano, Relazione MS. 

- Suriano MS. 

2 '• Harendopersa qtiella altezza — con la quale usei la prima volta 
di Spagna et riusci cosi odiosi.''— Mieliele MS. 

* " Xel p° passagio suo in Spagna per Italia. Germania et Fiandra 
era stimata superba et troppo enpida d'essere coadjutore dell' Im- 
perio ma liora & comune opinione che ella habbia in se tutta quelle 
humanita et modestia che dir si possa."— Badovaro MS, 


were exhibited only in the presence of ambassadors and 
grandees, the only representatives of "humanity" with 
whom he came publicly and avowedly in contact. 

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

That learned and eloquent author, Estelle Calvete, 
even filled the greater part of a volume, in which he 
described the journey of the prince, with a minute 
description of these feasts and justs ;^ but we may rea- 
sonably conclude that to the loyal imagination of his 
eulogist Philip is indebted for most of these knightly 
trophies. It was the universal opinion of unprejudiced 

1 " Si come la natura I'ha fatta di corpo debole cosi I'ha fatta al 
quanto d'animo timido."— Badovaro MS. "Non promette quella 
grandezza et generalita d'animo et vivezza di spirito ohe si con- 
venga ad un principe potente come lui— e infermo e valetudinario 
— da natura abliorrisee molto la guerra, et andare hn persona ne 
mai egli vi si ridurra se non per gran neeessita."— Michele MS. 
" La natura la qual inclina piu alia quiete ch' all' esseroitio piu al 
riposo ch' al travaglio," etc. — Suriano MS. 

2 " Arrojo los tro^os muy en alto eon vozeria del pueblo, regoeijo 
del Emperador e de las Keynas— rompi^ndo sus lanzas con gal- 
lardia i destreza, agradados de su valor y majestad estavan co razon 
supadre y ^i'os."— Cabrera, i. 12. 

3 V. ibid., i. 12, 13. 


contemporaries that he was without a spark of enterprise. 
He was even censured for a culpable want of ambition, 
and for being inferior to his father in this respect, as if 
the love of encroaching on his neighbors' dominions, 
and a disposition to foreign commotions and war, would 
have constituted additional virtues, had he happened to 
possess them. Those who were most disposed to think 
favorably of him remembered that there was a time 
when even Charles V. was thought weak and indo- 
lent,'^ and were willing to ascribe Phdip's pacific dis- 
position to his habitual colic and sideache, and to his 
father's inordinate care for him in youth.^ They even 
looked forward to the time when he should blaze forth 
to the world as a conqueror and a hero. These, however, 
were views entertained by but few ; the general and the 
correct opinion, as it proved, being that PhiUp hated 
war, would never certainly acquire any personal distinc- 
tion ia the field, and when engaged in hostilities would 
be apt to gather his laurels at the hands of his generals 
rather than with his own sword. He was believed to be 
the reverse of the emperor. Charles sought great enter- 
prises ; Philip woidd avoid them. The emperor never 
recoiled before threats ; the son was reserved, cautious, 
suspicious of all men, and capable of sacrificing a realm 
from hesitation and timidity. The father had a genius 
for action, the son a predilection for repose. Charles 
took "all men's opinions, but reserved his judgment," 
and acted on it, when matured, with irresistible energy ; 
Philip was led by others, was vacillating in forming 
decisions, and irresolute in executing them when formed.^ 
Philip, then, was not considered, in that warlike age, 

1 "Era havuto per sapido et adonnentato.''— Michele MS. 

2 Ibid. 3 Suriano MS. 


as likely to shine as a warrior. His mental capacity, in 
general, was likewise not very highly esteemed. His 
talents were, in truth, very much below mediocrity. His 
mind was incredibly small. A petty passion for con- 
temptible details characterized him from his youth, and, 
as long as he lived, he could neither learn to generalize, 
nor understand that one man, however diligent, could 
not be minutely acquainted with all the public and pri- 
vate affairs of fifty millions of other men. He was a 
glutton of work. He was born to write despatches, 
and to scrawl comments ^ upon those which he received. 
He often remained at the council-board four or five 
hours at a time, and he lived in his cabinet.^ He gave 
audiences to ambassadors and deputies verj^ willingly, 
listening attentively to all that was said to him, and 
answering in monosyllables.^ He spoke no tongue but 
Spanish, and was sufBcieutly sparing of that, but he 

1 The character of these apostils, always confused, wordy, and 
awkward, was sometimes very ludicrous ; nor did it improve after 
his thirty or forty years' daily practice in making them. Thus, 
when he received a letter from France in 1589, narrating the assas- 
sination of Henry III., and stating that "the manner in which he 
had been killed was that a Jacobin monk had given him a pistol- 
shot in the head '' (" la fa^on que I'on dit qu'il a ett6 tue, sa ett6 par 
un Jacobin qui luy a donnfe d'un cou de pistolle dans la tayte "), he 
scrawled the following luminous comment upon the margin. Under- 
lining the word " pistolle, " he observed : ' ' This is perhaps some kind 
of knife ; and as for ' tayte,' it can be nothing else but head, which 
is not tayte, but tete, or teyte, as you very well know" ("'quiza de 
alguna manera de cuchillo," etc.) — Gachard, Rapport a M. le 
Minist. de I'lnt^rieur, prefixed to Corresp. Philippe II., vol. i. xlix. 
note 1. It is obvious that a person who made such wonderful com- 
mentaries as this, and was hard at work eight or nine hours a day 
for forty years, would leave a prodigious quantity of unpublished 
matter at his death. 

2 Michele MS. ^ Badovaro MS. 

VOL. I. —12 


was indefatigable with Ms pen. He hated to converse, 
but he could write a letter eighteen pages long, when 
his correspondent was in the next room, and when the 
subject was, perhaps, one which a man of talent could 
have settled with six words of his tongue. The world, in 
his opinion, was to move upon protocols and apostils. 
Events had no right to be born throughout his dominions 
without a preparatory course of his obstetrical pedantry. 
He could never learn that the earth would not rest on 
its axis while he wrote a program of the way it was 
to turn.i He was slow in deciding, slower in communi- 
cating his decisions. He was prolix with his pen, not 
from affluence, but from paucity of ideas. He took 
refuge in a cloud of words, sometimes to conceal his 
meaning, oftener to conceal the absence of any meaning, 
thus mystifying not only others, but himself. To one 
great purpose, formed early, he adhered inflexibly. This, 
however, was rather an instinct than an opinion ; born 
with him, not created by him. The idea seemed to ex- 
press itself through him and to master him, rather than 
to form one of a stock of sentiments which a free agent 
might be expected to possess. Although at certain times 
even this master feeling could yield to the pressure of a 
predominant self-interest,— thus showing that even in 
Philip bigotry was not absolute, — yet he appeared on the 

1 "De Koning," says one of tlie most profound and learned of 
modern historical writers, Bakhuyzen van den Brink, "Filipe el 
prudente, zoo als hij zich gaame lioorde noemen, belieerschte niet 
zijn bureau, maar zijn bureau belieerschte hem— nooit heeft hij 
begrepen, dat de geschiedenis niet stil stond, om op zijne beslissing 
te waohten, maar altoos meende hij, dat de gebeartenissen haar 
regt om te gebeuren verkregen door zijne hand teekening of pa- 
raphe.'' — Het Huwelijk van W. van Oranje met Anna v. Saxen 
(Amst. 1853), p. 108. 


whole the embodiment of Spanish chivalry and Spanish 
religious enthusiasm in its late and corrupted form. 
He was entirely a Spaniard. The Burgundian and 
Austrian elements of his blood seemed to have evapo- 
rated, and his veins were filled alone with the ancient 
ardor which in heroic centuries had animated the Gothic 
champions of Spain. The fierce enthusiasm for the 
cross, which in the long internal warfare against the 
crescent had been the romantic and distinguishing 
featui'e of the national character, had degenerated into 
bigotry. That which had been a nation's glory now 
made the monarch's shame. The Christian heretic was 
to be regarded with a more intense hatred than even 
Moor or Jew had excited in the most Christian ages, and 
Philip was to be the latest and most perfect incarnation 
of aU this traditional enthusiasm, this perpetual hate. 
Thus he was likely to be single-hearted in his life. It 
was believed that his ambition would be less to extend 
his dominions than to vindicate his title of the Most 
Catholic King. There could be Httle doubt entertained 
that he would be, at least, dutiful to his father in this 
respect, and that the edicts would be enforced to the 

He was by birth, education, and character a Spaniard, 
and that so exclusively that the circumstance would 
alone have made him unfit to govern a country so 
totally different in habits and national sentiments from 
his native land. He was more a foreigner in Brussels, 
even, than in England. The gay, babbling, energetic, 
noisy life of Flanders and Brabant was detestable to 
him. The loquacity of the Netherlanders was a contin- 
ual reproach upon his taciturnity. His education had 
imbued him, too, with the antiquated international hatred 


of Spaniard and Fleming, which had been strengthening 
in the metropolis, while the more rapid current of life had 
rather tended to obliterate the sentiment in the provinces. 

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

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

1 De Thou, ii. 661. 

2 Miohele MS. "Nella sua lingua parla raramente et I'usa 
sempre," says Badovaro concisely (MS.). 

3 Badovaro MS. 


The king's personal habits were regular. His delicate 
health made it necessary for him to attend to his diet, 
although he was apt to exceed in sweetmeats and pastry. 
He slept much, and took little exercise habitually, but 
he had recently been urged by the physicians to try the 
effect of the chase as a corrective to his sedentary habits.^ 
He was most strict in religious observances, as regular 
at mass, sermons, and vespers as a monk ; much more, it 
WuS thought by many good Catholics, than was becom- 
ing to his rank and age.- Besides several friars who 
preached regularly for his instruction, he had daily dis- 
cussions with others on abstruse theological points.^ 
He consulted his confessor most minutely as to all the ac- 
tions of life, inquiring anxiously whether this proceeding 
or that were likelj' to burden his conscience.* He was 
grossly licentious. It was his chief amusement to issue 
forth at night disguised, that he might indidge in vulgar 
and miscellaneous incontinence in the common haunts 
of vice. This was his solace at Brussels in the midst of 
the gravest affairs of state. ^ He was not illiberal, but, 
on the contrary, it was thought that he would have been 
even generous had he not been straitened for money at 

1 Badovaro MS. 

2 " Attentissimo alle messi, alii vesperi et alle prediehe com' un 
religiose molto piu che alio stato et eta sua a molti pare che si con- 
venga."— Michele MS. 

3 " Oltre certi frati theologi predioanti huomini di stimo, anco 
altri che ogni di trattano con lui," etc.— Ibid. 

^ Ibid. Badovaro MS. : " Dal sue confessore vuole intendere 
se il far quella et questa cosa puo aggravar la sua eonscienza," 

5 " Nelle piaceri delle donne h incontinente, prendendo diletta- 
tione d'andare in maschera la notte et nei tempi de negotii gravi," 
etc.— Badovaro MS. 


the outset of his career. During a cold winter he dis- 
tributed alms to the poor of Brussels with an open hand.^ 
He was fond of jests in private, and would laugh im- 
moderately, when with a few intimate associates, at 
buffooneries, which he checked in public by the icy 
gravity of his deportment.^ He dressed usually in the 
Spanish fashion, with close doublet, trunk-hose, and 
short cloak, although at times he indulged in the more 
airy fashions of France and Burgundy, wearing buttons 
on his coats and feathers in his hat.^ He was not 
thought at that time to be cruel by nature, but was 
usually spoken of, in the conventional language appro- 
priated to monarchs, as a prince " clement, benign, and 
debonair." * Time was to show the justice of his claims 
to such honorable epithets. 

The court was organized during his residence at Brus- 
sels on the Burgundian, not the Spanish model,^ but of 
the one hundred and fifty persons who composed it 
nine tenths of the whole were Spaniards ; the other 
fifteen or sixteen being of various nations— Flemings, 
Burgundians, Italians, English, and Germans.^ Thus 
it is obvious how soon he disregarded his father's pre- 
cept and practice ^ in this respect, and began to lay the 
foundation of that renewed hatred to Spaniards which 
was soon to become so intense, exuberant, and fatal 
throughout every class of Netherlanders. He esteemed 

1 Badovaro MS. 2 Ibid. 

3 Ibid. Compare Suriano MS. : "Et veste con lanta po- 
litezza e con tanto giuditio che non si puo veder alcuna cosa piu 

* Vide, e. g., Archives et Correspondance de la M. d'O., ii. 447 
(note 1), 443, 448, 487. 

5 Badovaro MS. 6 i^id. 

' Apolog. d'Orange, 47, 48. 

1555] THE COUNCIL 183 

no nation but the Spanisli ; with Spaniards he consorted, 
with Spaniards he counseled, through Spaniards he 

His council consisted of five or six Spanish grandees : 
the famous Ruy Gomez, then Count of Melito, after- 
ward Prince of Eboh ; the Duke of Alva, the Count de 
Feria, the Duke of Francavilla, Don Antonio Toledo, 
and Don Juan Manrique de Lara. The " two columns," 
said Suriano, "which sustain this great machine are 
Ruy Gomez and Alva, and from their counsels depends 
the government of half the world." 2 The two were ever 
bitterly opposed to each other. Incessant were their 
bickerings, intense their mutual hate, desperate and 
difficult the situation of any man, whether foreigner or 
native, who had to transact business with the govern- 
ment. If he had secured the favor of Gomez, he had 
already earned the enmity of Alva. Was he protected 
by the duke, he was sure to be cast into outer darkness 
by the favorite.^ Alva represented the war party, Ruy 
Gomez the pacific polity more congenial to the heart of 
PhUip. The Bishop of Arras, who in the opinion of the 
envoys was worth them all for his capacity and his ex- 
perience, was then entirely in the background, rarely 
entering the council except when summoned to give ad- 
vice in affairs of extraordinary delicacj^ or gravity.* He 
was, however, to reappear most signally in course of the 
events already preparing. The Duke of Alva, also to 

1 Suriano MS. 

2 ". . . Queste sono le colonne con che si sustenta questa gran' 
macchina, et dal consiglio di questo dipende il governo di mezzo 
I'mondo," etc.— Ibid. 

3 Ibid. 

* "Ma non val tanto alcun degli altri ne tntti insieme qnanto 
Men"' d'Arraso solo,"— Ibid. 


play SO tremendous a part in tlie yet unborn history of 
the Netherlands, was not beloved by Philip.^ He was 
eclipsed at this period by the superior influence of the 
favorite, and his sword, moreover, became necessary in 
the Italian campaign which was impending. It is re- 
markable that it was a common opinion even at that 
day that the duke was naturally hesitating and timid.- 
One would have thought that his previous victories 
might have earned for him the reputation for courage 
and skill which he most unquestionably deserved. The 
future was to develop those other characteristics which 
were to make his name the terror and wonder of the 

The favorite, Ruy Gomez da Silva, Count de Melito, was 
the man upon whose shoulders the great burden of the 
state reposed. He was of a family which was originally 
Portuguese. He had been brought up with the king, 
although some eight years his senior, and their friend- 
ship dated from earliest youth. It was said that Ruy 
Gomez, when a boy, had been condemned to death for 
having struck Philip, who had come between him and 
another page with whom he was quarreling.^ The 
prince threw himself passionately at his father's feet, 
and implored forgiveness in behalf of the culprit with 
such energy that the emperor was graciously pleased to 
spare the life of the future prime minister.* The inci- 
dent was said to have laid the foundation of the re- 

1 Suriano MS. Badovaro MS. "II re intrmseeamente non 
amava il Duca."— Badovaro. 

2 "Nella guerra," says Badovaro, "mostra timidita et poca in- 
telligenza . . . e di puochissimo cuore.''— MS. "... troppo 
reservato et eauto et quasi timido nell imprese," says Suriano MS. 

3 Badovaro MS. * Ibid. 

1555] ETJY GOMEZ 185 

markable affection which was supposed to exist between 
the two, to an extent never witnessed before between 
king and subject. Ruy Gomez was famous for his tact 
and complacency, and omitted no opportunity of cement- 
ing the friendship thus auspiciously commenced. He 
was said to have particularly charmed his master, upon 
one occasion, by hypocritically throwing up his cards at 
a game of hazard played for a large stake, and permit- 
ting him to win the game with a far inferior hand.^ 
The king, learning afterward the true state of the case, 
was charmed by the grace and self-denial manifested 
by the young nobleman. The complacency which the 
favorite subsequently exhibited in regard to the connec- 
tion which existed so long and so publicly between his 
wife, the celebrated Princess Eboli, and Philip, placed 
his power upon an impregnable basis, and secured it till 
his death. 

At the present moment he occupied the three posts 
of valet, state councilor, and finance minister.^ He 
dressed and undressed his master, read or talked him to 
sleep, called him in the morning, admitted those who 
were to have private audiences, and superintended all 
the arrangements of the household.^ The rest of the 
day was devoted to the enormous correspondence and 
affairs of administration which devolved upon him as 
first minister of state and treasury. He was very igno- 
rant. He had no experience or acquirement in the arts 

1 BrantSme, art. Philippe II. 

2 "... ha tre carichi del somigliar di corpo, del consiglier di 
stato et di contatore maggiore."— Eadovaro MS. 

3 " Ha cura di vestire e spoliare sua M'" di dormir nella sua 
camera, di sopravedere alls cose di camra— et introduttione delle 
persone," etc.— Ibid. 


either of war or peace, and his early education had been 
limited.! Like his master, he spoke no tongue but 
Spanish, and he had no literature. He had prepossess- 
ing manners, a fluent tongue, a winning and benevolent 
disposition. His natural capacity for affairs was con- 
siderable, and his tact was so perfect that he could con- 
verse face to face with statesmen, doctors, and generals, 
upon campaigns, theology, or jurisprudence, without 
betraying any remarkable deficiency. He was very 
industrious, endeavoring to make up by hard study for 
his lack of general knowledge, and to sustain with credit 
the burden of his daily functions. At the same time, 
by the king's desire, he appeared constantly at the fre- 
quent banquets, masquerades, tourneys, and festivities 
for which Brussels at that epoch was remarkable. It 
was no wonder that his cheek was pale and that he 
seemed dying of overwork. He discharged his duties 
cheerfully, however, for in the service of Philip he knew 
no rest. "After God," said Badovaro, "he knows no 
object save the felicity of his master." ^ He was already, 
as a matter of course, very rich, having been endowed 
by Philip with property to the amount of twenty-six 
thousand dollars yearly, and the tide of his fortunes was 
stiU at the flood.^ 

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

The Queen of Hungary had resigned the office of 
regent of the Netherlands, as has been seen, on the 
occasion of the emperor's abdication. She was a woman 

1 Badovaro MS. 

2 " Perehfe dopo Iddio non ha altro oggetto die la felicitl. sua," 
2 Badovaro MS. Suriano MS. 


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

The new regent was to be the Duke of Savoy. This 
wandering and adventurous potentate had attached him- 

i "Regina Maria— donna di Valore— ma 6 odiata da popoli."— 
Badovaro MS. 

2 Papiers d'Etat du Cardinal Granvelle, iv. 476 : " Et peus 
afiirmer a V. M. et prendre Dieu en temoing que les gouvemer m'est 
taut aborrible que j'aymerois mieux gaigner ma vie que de m'y 

3 Ibid. 

< "Et il Re di Spagna odia lei, et lei lui."— Badovaro MS. 
5 Gachard, Retraite et Mort, etc., i. si. xli. 341, 357, 417. 


self to Philip's fortunes, and had been received by the 
king with as much favor as he had ever enjoyed at the 
hands of the emperor. Emanuel Philibert of Savoy, 
then about twenty-six or -seven years of age, was the son 
of the late unfortunate duke by Donna Beatrice of Por- 
tugal, sister of the empress. He was the nephew of 
Charles, and first cousin to Philip. The partiality of 
the emperor for his mother was well known, but the 
fidelity with which the famUy had followed the imperial 
cause had been productive of nothing but disaster to the 
duke. He had been ruined in fortune, stripped of all 
his dignities and possessions. His son's only inheri- 
tance was his sword. The young Prince of Piedmont, as 
he was commonly called in his youth, sought the camp 
of the emperor, and was received with distinguished 
favor. He rose rapidly in the military service. Acting 
always upon his favorite motto, " Spoliatis arma super- 
sunt," he had determined, if possible, to carve his way 
to glory, to wealth, and even to his hereditary estates, 
by his sword alone.^ War was not only his passion, 
but his trade. Every one of his campaigns was a specu- 
lation, and he had long derived a satisfactory income by 
purchasing distinguished prisoners of war at a low price 
from the soldiers who had captured them and were 
ignorant of their rank, and by ransoming them after- 
ward at an immense advance.^ This sort of traffic in 
men was frequent in that age, and was considered per- 
fectly honorable. Marshal Strozzi, Count Mansfeld, and 
other professional soldiers derived their main income 
from the system.^ They were naturally inclined, there- 
fore, to look impatiently upon a state of peace as an un- 

1 Brantfime, CEuvres, i. 351 sqq. 2 Ibid. 

' De Thou, iii. liv. xix. 162 sqq. 


natural condition of affairs which cut off all the profits 
of their particular branch of industry and condemned 
them both to idleness and poverty. The Duke of Savoy 
had become one of the most experienced and successful 
commanders of the age, and an especial favorite with 
the emperor. He had served with Alva in the cam- 
paigns against the Protestants of Germany, and in other 
important fields. War being his element, he considered 
peace as undesirable, although he could recognize its 
existence. A truce he held, however, to be a senseless 
paradox, unworthy of the slightest regard. An armis- 
tice, such as was concluded in the February following 
the abdication, was, in his opinion, only to be turned to 
account by dealing insidious and unsuspected blows at 
the enemy, some portion of whose population might 
repose confidence in the plighted faith of monarchs and 
plenipotentiaries. He had a show of reason for his 
political and military morality, for he only chose to exe- 
cute the evil which had been practised upon himself. 
His father had been beggared, his mother had died of 
spite and despair, he had himself been reduced from the 
rank of a sovereign to that of a mercenary soldier, by 
spoliations made in time of truce. He was reputed a 
man of very decided abilities, and was distinguished for 
headlong bravery. His rashness and personal daring 
were thought the only drawbacks to his high character 
as a commander. He had many accomplishments. He 
spoke Latin, French, Spanish, and Italian with equal 
fluency, was celebrated for his attachment to the fine 
arts, and wrote much and with great elegance.^ Such 

1 "Parla poeo, dice corse buone et e aecorte et sagace molto, 
tiene chiusi i suoi pensieri et ha fama di tener cosi quel che li sono 
detti segretanente."— Badovaro MS. 


had been Philibert of Savoy, the pauper nephew of the 
powerful emperor, the adventurous and vagrant cousin 
of the lofty Philip, a prince without a people, a duke 
without a dukedom ; with no hope but in warfare, with 
no revenue but rapine ; the image, in person, of a bold 
and manly soldier, small but graceful and athletic, mar- 
tial in bearing, " wearing his sword under his arm like a 
corporal," ^ because an internal malady made a belt in- 
convenient, and ready to turn to swift account every 
chance wliich a new series of campaigns might open to 
him. With his new salary as governor, his pensions, 
and the remains of his possessions in Nice and Piedmont, 
he had now the splendid annual income of one hundred 
thousand crowns, and was sure to spend it aU.^ 

It had been the desire of Charles to smooth the com- 
mencement of Philip's path. He had for this purpose 
made a vigorous effort to undo, as it were, the whole 
work of his reign, to suspend the operation of his whole 
political system. The emperor and conqueror, who had 
been warring aU his lifetime, had attempted, as the last 
act of his reign, to improvise a peace. But it was not so 
easy to arrange a pacification of Europe as dramati- 
cally as he desired, in order that he might gather his 
robes about him and allow the curtain to fall vipon his 
eventful history in a grand hush of decorum and quiet. 
During the autumn and winter of 1555, hostilities had 
been virtually suspended, and languid negotiations en- 
sued. For several months armies confronted each other 
without engaging, and diplomatists fenced among them- 
selves without any palpable result. At last the peace 
commissioners, who had been assembled at VauceUes 
since the beginning of the year 1556, signed a treaty of 
1 Brantome, i. 358. 2 Badovaro MS. 


truce, rather than of peace, upon the 5th of February.^ 
It was to be an armistice of five years, both by land and 
sea, for France, Spain, Flanders, and Italy, throughout 
all the dominions of the French and Spanish monarchs. 
The pope was expressly included in the truce, which 
was signed on the part of France by Admiral CoUgny 
and Sebastian L'Aubespine ; on that of Spain, by Count 
de Lalain, Philibert de BruxeUes, Simon Renard, and 
Jean Baptiste Sciceio, a jurisconsult of Cremona.^ Dur- 
ing the previous month of December, however, the pope 
had concluded with the French monarch a treaty by 
which this solemn armistice was rendered an egregious 
farce. While Henry's plenipotentiaries had been plight- 
ing their faith to those of Philip, it had been arranged 
that France should sustain, by subsidies and armies, the 
scheme upon which Paul was bent, to drive the Span- 
iards entirely out of the Itahan peninsula.^ The king 
was to aid the pontiff, and, in return, was to carve, 
thrones for his own younger children out of the confis- 
cated realms of Philip. When was France ever slow to 
sweep upon Italy with such a hope? How could the 
ever-glowing rivalry of Valois and Hapsburg fail to 
burst into a general conflagi-ation, while the venerable 
vicegerent of Christ stood thus beside them with his 
fan in his hand ? 

For a brief breathing-space, however, the news of the 
pacification occasioned much joy in the pro\'inces. 
They rejoiced even iu a temporary cessation of that long 
series of campaigns from which they could certainly 
derive no advantage, and in which their part was to 

1 De Thou, iii. 14 sqq. Meteren, i. 17. 

2 rbid. Ibid. 

3 De Thou, iii. xvii. Meteren, i. 17 sqq. 


furnish money, soldiers, and battle-fields, without pros- 
pect of benefit from any victory, however brilliant, or 
any treaty, however elaborate. Manufacturing, agricul- 
tural, and commercial provinces, filled to the full with 
industrial life, could not but be injured by being con- 
verted into perpetual camps. All was joy in the Nether- 
lands, while at Antwerp, the great commercial metropolis 
of the provinces and of Europe, the rapture was un- 
bounded. Oxen were roasted whole in the public squares ; 
the streets, soon to be empurpled with the best blood of 
her citizens, ran red with wine ; a hundred triumphal 
arches adorned the pathway of Philip as he came thither ; 
and a profusion of flowers, although it was February, 
were strewn before his feet.^ Such was his greeting in 
the light-hearted city, but the countenance was more 
than usually sullen with which the sovereign received 
these demonstrations of pleasure. It was thought by 
many that Philip had been really disappointed in the 
conclusion of the armistice, that he was inspired with a 
spark of that martial ambition for which his panegyrists 
gave him credit, and that, knowing full well the improb- 
ability of a long suspension of hostilities, he was even 
eager for the chance of conquest which their resumption 
would afford him. The secret treaty of the pope was of 
course not so secret but that the hollow intentions of the 
contracting parties to the truce of Vaucelles were thor- 
oughly suspected— intentions which certainly went far 
to justify the maxims and the practice of the new 
governor-general of the Netherlands upon the subject 
of armistices. Philip, understanding his position, was 
revolving renewed military projects while his subjects 
were ringing merry bells and lighting bonfires in the 

1 Meteren, i. 17 sqq. 


Netherlands. These schemes, which were to be carried 
out in the immediate future, caused, however, a tempo- 
rary delay in the great purpose to which he was to devote 
his life. 

The emperor had always desired to regard the Nether- 
lands as a whole, and he hated the antiquated charters 
and obstinate pri-vileges which interfered with his ideas 
of symmetry. Two great machines, the court of Mechlin 
and the Inquisition, would effectually simplify and as- 
similate all these irregular and heterogeneoiis rights. 
The civil tribunal was to annihilate all diversities in their 
laws by a general cassation of their constitutions, and 
the ecclesiastical court was to burn out all differences in 
their religious faith. Between two such millstones it 
was thought that the Netherlands might be crushed into 
uniformity. Philip succeeded to these traditions. The 
father had never sufficient leisure to carry out all his 
schemes, but it seemed probable that the son would be 
a worthy successor, at least in all which concerned the 
religious part of his system. One of the earliest measures 
of his reign was to reenact the dread edict of 1550. 
This he did by the express advice of the Bishop of Ai'ras, 
who represented to him the expediency of making use 
of the popularity of his father's name to sustain the 
horrible system resolved upon.i As Charles was the 
author of the edict, it could be always argued that 
nothing new was introduced; that burning, hanging, 
and drowning for rehgious differences constituted a 
part of the national institutions ; that they had received 
the sanction of the wise emperor and had been sus- 
tained by the sagacity of past generations. Nothing 
could have been more subtle, as the event proved, than 
1 Papiers d'Etat du Card. Granvelle, ix. 478, 479. 

VOL. I. — 13 


tMs advice. Innumerable were the appeals made in 
subsequent years, upon this subject, to the patriotism 
and the conservative sentiments of the Netherlanders. 
Repeatedly they were summoned to maintain the Inqui- 
sition, on the ground that it had been submitted to by 
their ancestors, and that no change had been made by 
Philip, who desired only to maintain church and crown 
in the authority which they had enjoyed in the days of 
his father "of very laudable memory." 

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

The joy, therefore, with which the pacification had 
been hailed by the people was far from an agreeable 
spectacle to the king. The provinces would expect that 
the forces which had been maintained at their expense 
during the war would be disbanded, whereas he had no 
intention of disbanding them. As the truce was sure 
to be temporary, he had no disposition to diminish his 
1 Bor, i. 12. 2 Ibid., i. 15. » Ibid., i. 15 sqq. 


available resources for a war which might be renewed 
at any moment. To maintain the existing military 
establishment in the Netherlands, a large sum of money 
was required, for the pay was very much in arrear. The 
king had made a statement to the provincial estates 
upon this subject, but the matter was kept secret during 
the negotiations with France. The way had thus been 
paved for the " Request," or " Bede," which he now made 
to the estates assembled at Brussels in the spring of 
1556. It was to consist of a tax of one per cent, (the 
hundredth penny) upon all real estate, and of two per 
cent, upon all merchandise, to be collected in three 
payments. The request, in so far as the imposition of 
the proposed tax was concerned, was refused by Flan- 
ders, Brabant, Holland, and all the other important 
provinces, but, as usual, a moderate, even a generous, 
commutation in money was offered by the estates. This 
was finally accepted by Philip, after he had become con- 
vinced that at this moment, when he was contemplating 
a war with France, it would be extremely impolitic to 
insist upon the tax. The publication of the truce in 
Italy had been long delayed, and the first infractions 
which it suffered were committed in that country. The 
arts of politicians, the schemes of individual ambition, 
united with the short-lived military ardor of Philip to 
place the monarch in an eminently false position, that of 
hostility to the pope. As was unavoidable, the secret 
treaty of December acted as an immediate dissolvent to 
the truce of February. 

Great was the indignation of Paul Caraffa when that 
truce was first communicated to him by the Cardinal de 
Tournon, on the part of the French government.^ Not- 

1 De Thou, iii. 16, Uv. xvii. Meteren. Bor. 


withstanding the protestations of France that the secret 
league was still binding, the pontiff complained that he 
was likely to be abandoned to his own resources, and to 
be left single-handed to contend with the vast power of 

Pope Paul IV., of the house of Caraflfa, was, in posi- 
tion, the weU-known counterpart of the Emperor Charles. 
At the very moment when the conqueror and autocrat 
was exchanging crown for cowl, and the proudest throne 
of the universe for a cell, this aged monk, as weary of 
scientific and religious seclusion as Charles of pomp and 
power, had abdicated his scholastic preeminence, and 
exchanged his rosary for the keys and sword. A pon- 
tifical Faustus, he had become disgusted with the results 
of a life of study and abnegation, and immediately upon 
his election appeared to be glowing with mundane pas- 
sions and inspired by the fiercest ambition of a warrior. 
He had rushed from the cloister as eagerly as Charles had 
sought it. He panted for the tempests of the great ex- 
ternal world as earnestly as the conqueror who had so 
long ridden upon the whirlwind of human affairs sighed 
for a haven of repose.^ None of his predecessors had 
been more despotic, more belligerent, more disposed to 
elevate and strengthen the temporal power of Rome. In 
the Inquisition he saw the grand machine by which this 
purpose could be accomplished,^ and yet found himself 

1 " Qu'alors et en ce meme temps il se fit d'estranges metamor- 
plioses plus qu'il ne s'en soit dans celles d'Ovide. Que le plus 
grand mondain et ambitieux guerrier se voua et se rendit religieux 
et le Papa Paul IV. Caraffe, qui avoit est6 le plus austere theatin, 
devot et religieux, se rendit ambitieux mondain et guerrier."— 
Brantome, art. Charles Quint, 

2 De Thou, iii. 19. 

1556] PAUL IV. 197 

for a period the antagonist of Philip ! The single cir- 
cumstance woxdd have been sufficient, had other proofs 
been wanting, to make manifest that the part which he 
had chosen to play was above his genius. Had his 
capacity been at all commensurate with his ambition, he 
might have deeply influenced the fate of the world ; but 
fortunately no wizard's charm came to the aid of Paul 
Caraffa, and the triple-crowned monk sat upon the pon- 
tifical throne, a fierce, peevish, querulous, and quarrel- 
some dotard, the prey and the tool of his vigorous 
enemies and his intriguing relations. His hatred of 
Spain and Spaniards was unbounded. He raved at 
them as "heretics, schismatics, accursed of God, the 
spawn of Jews and Moors, the very dregs of the earth." ^ 
To play upon such insane passions was not difficult, and 
a skilful artist stood ever ready to strike the chords thus 
vibrating with age and fury. The master spirit and 
principal mischief-maker of the papal court was the well- 
known Cardinal Caraffa, once a wild and dissolute sol- 
dier, nephew to the pope. He inflamed the anger of the 
pontiff by his representations that the rival house of 
Colonna, sustained by the Duke of Alva, now viceroy of 
Naples, and by the whole Spanish power, thus relieved 
from the fear of French hostilities, would be free to 
wreak its vengeance upon their family.^ It was deter- 
mined that the court of France should be held by the 
secret league. Moreover, the pope had been expressly 
included in the treaty of Vaucelles, although the troops 
of Spain had already assumed a hostde attitude in the 

1 "Heretiei, scismatici, et maladetti di Dio, seme d6 Giudei et de 
Marrani feocia del mondo.''— Navigero, Relazione MS. Bib. de 
Bourg.,No. 6079. 

2 De Thou, iii. 19 sqq. 


south of Italy. The cardinal was for immediately pro- 
ceeding to Paris, there to excite the sympathy of the 
French monarch for the situation of himself and his 
uncle. An immediate rupture between France and 
Spain, a rekindling of the war flames from one end of 
Europe to the other, were necessary to save the credit 
and the interests of the Caraffas. Cardinal de Tournon, 
not desirous of so sudden a termination to the pacific 
relations between his country and Spain, succeeded in 
detaining him a little longer in Rome.^ He remained, 
but not in idleness. The restless intriguer had already 
formed close relations with the most important personage 
in France, Diana of Poitiers.^ This venerable courtezan, 
to the enjoyment of whose charms Henry had succeeded, 
with the other regal possessions, on the death of his 
father, was won by the flatteries of the wily Caraffa 
and by the assiduities of the Guise family. The best 
and most sagacious statesmen, the constable, and the 
admiral were in favor of peace, for they knew the con- 
dition of the kingdom. The Duke of Guise and the 
Cai'dinal Lorraine were for a rupture, for they hoped to 
increase their family influence by war. Coligny had 
signed the treaty of Vaucelles, and wished to maintain 
it, but the influence of the Cathohc party was in the 
ascendant. The result was to embroil the Catholic king 
against the pope and against themselves. The queen 
was as favorably inclined as the mistress to listen to 
Caraffa, for Catherine de' Medici was desirous that her 
cousin. Marshal Strozzi, should have honorable and prof- 
itable employment in some fresh Italian campaigns. 

In the meantime an accident favored the designs of 
the papal court. An open quarrel with Spain resulted 
1 De Thou, iii, 19 sqq. ^ ibid., ubi sup. 


from an insignificant circumstance. The Spanish am- 
bassador at Rome was in the habit of leaving the city 
very often, at an early hour in the morning, upon shoot- 
ing excursions, and had long enjoyed the pri\alege of 
ordering the gates to be opened for him at his pleasure. 
By accident or design, he was refused permission upon 
one occasion to pass through the gate as usual. Un- 
willing to lose his day's sport, and enraged at what 
he considered an indignity, his Excellencj^, by the aid of 
his attendants, attacked and beat the guard, mastered 
them, made his way out of the city, and pursued his 
morning's amusement.^ The pope was furious. Caraffa 
artfully inflamed his anger. The envoy was refused an 
audience, which he desired, for the sake of offering 
explanatious, and the train being thus laid, it was 
thought that the right moment had arrived for applying 
the firebrand. The cardinal went to Paris post-haste. 
In his audience of the king, he represented that his 
Holiness had placed implicit reliance upon his secret 
treaty with his Majesty, that the recently concluded 
truce with Spain left the pontiff at the mercy of the 
Spaniards, that the Duke of Alva had already drawn 
the sword, that the pope had long since done himself 
the pleasure and the honor of appointing the French 
monarch protector of the papal chair in general and of 
the Caraffa famdy in particular, and that the moment 
had arrived for claiming the benefit of that protection. 
He assured him, moreover, as by full papal authority, 
that in respecting the recent truce with Spain his Maj- 
esty would violate both human and divine law. Reason 
and justice required him to defend the pontiff, now 
that the Spaniards were about to profit by the interval 

1 De Thou, iii. liv. xvii. 19 sqq. 


of truce to take measui'es for his detrimeiit. Moreover, 
as the pope was included in the truce of Vaucelles, he 
could not be abandoned without a violation of that 
treaty itself.^ The arts and arguments of the cardinal 
proved successful ; the war was resolved upon in favor 
of the pope.2 The cardinal, by virtue of powers re- 
ceived and brought with him from his Holiness, absolved 
the king from all obligation to keep his faith with 
Spain. He also gave him a dispensation from the duty 
of prefacing hostilities by a declaration of war. Strozzi 
was sent at once into Italy, with some hastily collected 
troops, while the Duke of Guise waited to organize a 
regular army. 

The mischief being thus fairly afoot, and war let loose 
again upon Europe, the cardinal made a public entry 
into Paris as legate of the pope. The populace crowded 
about his mule as he rode at the head of a stately pro- 
cession through the streets. All were anxious to receive 
a benediction from the holy man who had come so far 
to represent the successor of St. Peter and to enlist the 
efforts of all true behevers in his cause. He appeared 
to answer the entreaties of the superstitious rabble with 
fervent blessings, while the friends who were nearest 
him were aware that nothing but gibes and sarcasms 
were falling from his lips. "Let us fool these poor 
creatures to their heart's content, since they will be 
fools," he muttered, smiling the while upon them be- 
nignantly, as became his holy office.^ Such were the 
materials of this new combination; such was the fuel 
with which this new blaze was lighted and maintained. 
Thus were the great powers of the earth— Spain, France, 

1 De Thou, iii. 23-29. 2 Itid. Bor, i. 15. 

3 De Thou, iii. 29, xvii, 


England, and the papacy— embroiled, and the nations 
embattled against each other for several years. The 
preceding pages show how much national interests or 
principles were concerned in the struggle thus com- 
menced, in which thousands were to shed their life-blood, 
and millious to be reduced from peace and comfort to 
suffer all the misery which famine and rapine can inflict. 
It would no doubt have increased the hilarity of Caraffa, 
as he made his triumphant entry into Paris, could the 
idea have been suggested to his mind that the senti- 
ments or the weKare of the people throughout the great 
states now involved in his meshes could have any pos- 
sible bearing upon the question of peace or war. The 
world was governed by other influences. The wiles of a 
cardinal, the arts of a concubine, the snipe-shooting of 
an ambassador, the speculations of a soldier of fortune, 
the ill temper of a monk, the mutual venom of Italian 
houses, above all the perpetual rivalry of the two great 
historical families who owned the greater part of Europe 
between them as their private property — such were the 
wheels on which roUed the destiny of Christendom. 
Compared to these, what were great moral and political 
ideas, the plans of statesmen, the hopes of nations? 
Time was soon to show. Meanwhile government con- 
tinued to be administered exclusively for the benefit of 
the governors. Meanwhile a petty war for paltry mo- 
tives was to precede the gi-eat spectacle which was to 
prove to Europe that principles and peoples stUl existed, 
and that a phlegmatic nation of merchants and manu- 
facturers could defy the powers of the universe and risk 
all their blood and treasure, generation after generation, 
in a sacred cause. 

It does not belong to our purpose to narrate the de- 


tails of the campaign in Italy; neither is this war of 
politics and chicane of any great interest at the present 
day. To the military minds of their age, the scientific 
duel which now took place upon a large scale, between 
two such celebrated captains as the dukes of Guise 
and Alva, was no doubt esteemed the most important 
of spectacles ; but the progress of mankind in the art 
of slaughter has stripped so antiquated an exhibition of 
most of its interest, even in a technical point of view. 
Not much satisfaction could be derived from watching 
an old-fashioned game of war, in which the parties sat 
down before each other so tranquilly, and picked up 
piece after piece, castle after castle, city after city, with 
such scientific deliberation as to make it evident that, in 
the opinion of the commanders, war was the only serious 
business to be done in the world ; that it was not to be 
done in a hurry, nor contrary to rule, and that when a 
general had a good job upon his hands he ought to know 
his profession much too thoroughly to hasten through 
it before he saw his way clear to another. From the 
point of time, at the close of the year 1556, when that 
weU-trained but not very successful soldier, Strozzi, 
crossed the Alps, down to the autumn of the following 
year, when the Duke of Alva made his peace with the 
pope, there was hardly a pitched battle, and scarcely 
an event of striking interest. Alva, as usual, brought 
his dilatory policy to bear upon his adversary with great 
effect. He had no intention, he observed to a friend, to 
stake the whole kingdom of Naples against a brocaded 
coat of the Duke of Guise. i Moreover, he had been sent 
to the war, as Ruy Gomez informed the Venetian am- 

1 De la Rooa, Kesultas de la Vida del Duque de Alba, p. 66. 


bassador, "-with a bridle in his mouth." i Philip, sorely 
troubled in his mind at finding himself in so strange a 
position as this hostile attitude to the Church, had ear- 
nestly interrogated all the doctors and theologians with 
whom he habitually took counsel, whether this war with 
the pope would not work a forfeiture of his title of the 
Most Catholic King.^ The Bishop of Arras and the 
favorite both disapproved of the war, and encouraged 
with all their influence the pacific inclinations of the 
monarch.'' The doctors were, to be sure, of opinion that 
Philip, having acted in Italy only in seif-defense and 
for the protection of his states, ought not to be anxious 
as to his continued right to the title on which he valued 
himself so highly.* Nevertheless, such ponderings and 
misgivings could not but have the effect of hampering 
the actions of Alva. That general chafed inwardly at 
what he considered his own contemptible position. At 
the same time, he enraged the Duke of Guise still more 
deeply by the forced calmness of his proceedings. Por- 
tresses were reduced, towns taken, one after another, 
with the most provoking dehberation, while his dis- 
tracted adversary in vain strove to defy or to delude 
him into trjdng the chances of a stricken field.^ The 

1 ". . . et come mi disse il S' Buy Gomez non si maneherS, 
a tal fine di usare supplicationi humili k S. Santiti, mandandogli 
il Duca d'Alva coUa coreggia al collo per pacificarla."— Bado- 
varo MS. 

2 Miehele, Eelazione MS. 

3 Badovaro MS. : ". . . non fu d'opinione che si comineia la 
guerra col pontefice," etc. 

Compare Suriano MS.: "... non fu mai d'opinione che si 
movesse la guerra con il papa per non matter in perieolo le cose 
d'ltalia, " etc. 

< Miehele MS. ^ De Thou, iii. 119, liv. xviii. 


battle of St.-Quentin, the narrative of which belongs 
to our subject and will soon occupy our attention, at 
last decided the Italian operations. Egmout's brilliant 
triumph in Picardy rendered a victory in Italy super- 
fluous, and placed in Alva's hand the power of com- 
manding the issue of his own campaign.^ The Duke of 
Guise was recalled to defend the French frontier, which 
the bravery of the Flemish hero had imperiled, and the 
pope was left to make the best peace which he could. 
All was now prosperous and smiling, and the campaign 
closed with a highly original and entertaining exhibition. 
The pontiff's puerile ambition, sustained by the intrigues 
of his nephew, had involved the French monarch in a 
war which was contrary to his interests and inclination. 
Paid now found his ally too sorely beset to afford him 
that protection upon which he had relied when he com- 
menced, in his dotage, his career as a warrior. He was 
therefore only desirous of deserting his friend, and of 
relieving himself from his uncomfortable predicament 
by making a treaty with his Catholic Majesty upon the 
best terms which he could obtain. The King of France, 
who had gone to war only for the sake of his Holiness, 
was to be left to fight his own battles, whUe the pope 
was to make his peace with all the world. The result 
was a desirable one for Philip. Alva was accordingly 
instructed to afford the Holy Father a decorous and ap- 
propriate opportunity for carrying out his wishes. The 
victorious general was apprised that his master desired 
no fruit from his commanding attitude in Italy and the 
victory of St.-Quentin save a full pardon from the 
pope for maintaining even a defensive war against him.^ 

1 De Thou, iii. 125. 

2 De la Roca, Resultas, etc., p. 68. 


An amicable siege of Rome was accordingly commenced, 
in the course of whicli an assault, or camiciata, on the 
holy city was arranged for the night of the 26th August, 
1557. The pontiff agreed to be taken by surprise, while 
Alva, through what was to appear only a superabundance 
of his habitual discretion, was to draw off his troops at 
the very moment when the victorious assault was to be 
made.i The imminent danger to the holy city and to his 
own sacred person thus furnishing the pontiff with an 
excuse for abandoning his own cause as well as that of 
his ally, the Duke of Alva was allowed, in the name of 
his master and himself, to make submission to the Church 
and his peace with Rome.^ The Spanish general, with 
secret indignation and disgust, was compelled to humor 
the vanity of a peevish but imperious old man. Nego- 
tiations were commenced, and so skilfully had the duke 
played his game during the spring and summer that 
when he was admitted to kiss the pope's toe he was 
able to bring a hundred Italian towns in his hand, as a 
peace-offering to his Hohness.^ These he now restored, 
with apparent humility and inward curses, upon the 
condition that the fortifications should be razed and 
the French alliance absolutely renounced. Thus did 
the fanaticism of Philip reverse the relative position of 
himself and his antagonist. Thus was the vanquished 
pontiff allowed almost to dictate terms to the victorious 
general. The king who could thus humble himself to a 
dotard, while he made himself the scourge of his sub- 
jects, deserved that the buU of excommunication which 

1 De Thou, iii. 127-129, xviii. Cabrera, lib. iv. c. xi. 166-168. 
Compare Llorente, Hist. Critique de I'Inquisit., ii. 179-183; De 
la Roca, 68-72. 

2 De Thou. Cabrera, ubi sup. 3 J)q tJiou, iii. 128. 


had been prepared should have been fulminated. He, 
at least, was capable of feeling the scathing effects of 
such anathemas. 

The Duke of Guise, having been dismissed with the 
pontiff's assurance that he had done little for the inter- 
ests of his sovereign, less for the protection of the 
Church, and least of all for his own reputation, set 
forth with all speed for Civitavecchia, to do what he 
could upon the Flemish frontier to atone for his inglori- 
ous campaign in Italy. The treaty between the pope 
and the Duke of Alva was signed ^ on the 14th Septem- 
ber (1557), and the Spanish general retii"ed for the 
winter to Milan. Cardinal Caraffa was removed from 
the French court to that of Madrid, there to spin new 
schemes for the embroilment of nations and the advance- 
ment of his own family. Very little glory was gained 
by any of the combatants in this campaign. Spain, 
France, nor Paul IV., not one of them, came out of the 
Itahan contest in better condition than that in which 
they entered upon it. In fact, all were losers. France 
had made an inglorious retreat, the pope a ludicrous 
capitulation, and the only victorious party, the King of 
Spain, had, during the summer, conceded to Cosmo de' 
Medici the sovereignty of Siena. Had Venice shown 
more cordiality toward Philip and more disposition to 
sustain his policy, it is probable that the republic would 
have secured the prize which thus fell to the share of 
Cosmo.^ That astute and unprincipled potentate, who 
could throw his net so weU in troubled water, had suc- 
cessfully duped aU parties, Spain, France, and Rome. The 
man who had not only not participated in the contest, 
but who had kept all parties and aU warfare away from 
1 De Thou, iii. 128. 2 guriano MS. 


his borders, was the only individual in Italy who gained 
territorial advantage from the war. 

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

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

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

It happened that a certain banker of Lucca, an ancient 
gambler and debauchee, whom evil courses had reduced 
from affluence to penury, had taken up his abode upon 
a hill overlooking the city of Douai. Here he had built 


himself a hermit's cell. Clad in sackcloth, with a rosary 
at his waist, he was accustomed to beg his bread from 
door to door. His garb was all, however, which he 
possessed of sanctity, and he had passed his time in 
contemplating the weak points in the defenses of the 
city with much more minuteness than those in his own 
heart. Upon the breaking out of hostilities in Italy, the 
instincts of his old profession had suggested to him that 
a good speculation might be made in Flanders by turn- 
ing to account as a spy the obsei'vations which he had 
made in his character of a hermit.^ He sought an 
interview with Coligny, and laid his propositions before 
him. The noble admiral hesitated, for his sentiments 
were more elevated than those of many of his contem- 
poraries. He had, moreover, himseK negotiated and 
signed the truce with Spain, and he shrank from violat- 
ing it with his own hand before a declaration of war. 
Still, he was aware that a French army was on its way 
to attack the Spaniards in Italy ; he was under instruc- 
tions to take the earliest advantage which his position 
upon the frontier might offer him ; he knew that both 
theory and practice authorized a general, in that age, to 
break his fast, even in time of truce, if a tempting morsel 
should present itself ; ^ and, above all, he thoroughly 
understood the character of his nearest antagonist, the 
new governor of the Netherlands, Philibert of Savoy, 
whom he knew to be the most unscrupulous chieftain in 
Europe. These considerations decided him to take ad- 
vantage of the hermit-banker's communication. 

A day was accordingly fixed, at which, under the 

1 De Thou, iii. 78, liv. xviii. P. C. Hoofd, Nederl. Historien 
(Amsterdam, 1642), i. 7. 

2 Brantome, art. Due de Savoie. 


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

Hostilities having been thus fairly commenced, the 
French government was in some embarrassment. The 
Duke of Guise, ■«dth the most available forces of the 
kingdom, having crossed the Alps, it became necessary 
forthwith to collect another army. The place of ren- 
dezvous appointed was Pierrepont, where an army of 
eighteen thousand infantry and five thousand horse were 
assembled early in the spring.^ In the meantime, Philip, 
finding the war fairly afoot, had crossed to England for 
the purpose (exactly in contravention of all his marriage 
stipulations) of cajoling his wife and browbeating her 
ministers into a participation in his war with Prance. 

^ De Thou. Hoofd, ubi sup. 2 i^jd. i\,ii. 

' De Thou, iii. 148, liv. xviii. 
VOL. I.— U 


This was easily accomplished. The English nation 
found themselves accordingly engaged in a contest with 
which they had no concern, which, as the event proved, 
was very much against their interests, and in which the 
moving cause for their entanglement was the devotion 
of a weak, bad, ferocious woman for a hushand who 
hated her. A herald sent from England arrived in 
France, disguised, and was presented to King Henry at 
Rheims. Here, di'opping on one knee, he recited a list 
of complaints against his Majesty on behalf of the Eng- 
lish queen, aR of them fabricated or exaggerated for the 
occasion, and none of them furnishing even a decorous 
pretext for the war which was now formally declared in 
consequence.! ipjjg Pi-ench monarch expressed his re- 
gret and surprise that the firm and amicable relations 
secured by treaty between the two countries should thus, 
without sufficient cause, be violated. In accepting the 
wager of warfare thus forced upon him, he bade the 
herald, Norris, inform his mistress that her messenger 
was treated with courtesy only because he represented a 
lady, and that, had he come from a king, the language 
with which he would have been greeted would have 
befitted the perfidy manifested on the occasion. God 
would punish this shameless violation of faith and this 
wanton interruption to the friendship of two great na- 
tions. With this the herald was dismissed from the 
royal presence, but treated with great distinction, con- 
ducted to the hotel of the English ambassador, and 
presented, on the part of the French sovereign, with a 
chain of gold.^ 

Philip had despatched Euy Gomez to Spain for the 

1 Hoofd, i. 7. De Thou, iii. 144. 

2 De Thou. Hoofd, ubi sup. 


purpose of providing ways and means, wliHe lie was 
himseK occupied with the same task in Englaud.i He 
stayed there three months. During this time he "did 
more," says a Spanish contemporary, "than any one 
could have believed possible with that proud and in- 
domitable nation. He caused them to declare war 
against France with fire and sword, by sea and land." 2 
Hostilities having been thus chivalrously and formally 
established, the queen sent an army of eight thousand 
men, cavalry, infantry, and pioneers, who, " all clad in 
blue uniform," 3 commanded by Lords Pembroke and 
Clinton, with the three sons of the Earl of Northumber- 
land, and of&cered by many other scions of England's 
aristocracy, disembarked at Calais, and shortly after- 
ward joined the camp before St.-Quentin.* 

P hili p meantime had left England, and, with more 
bustle and activity than was usual with him, had given 
du'ections for organizing at once a considerable army. 
It was composed mainly of troops belonging to the Neth- 
erlands, with the addition of some German auxHiaries. 
Thirty-five thousand foot and twelve thousand horse 
had, by the middle of July, advanced through the prov- 
ince of Namur, and were assembled at Givet under the 
Duke of Savoy, who, as governor-general of the Nether- 
lands, held the chief command.^ AU the most eminent 
grandees of the provinces — Orange, Aerschot, Berlay- 
mont, Meghen, Brederode — were present with the troops, 
but the life and soul of the army upon this memorable 
occasion was the Count of Egmont. 

1 Dociimentos Ineditos para la Hist, de Espana, ix. 487. 

2 Ibid. s Meteren, i. 18. 
* Ibid., ubi sup. Hoofd, i. 8. 

5 Meteren. Hoofd, ubi sup. De Thou, iii. liv. xix. 


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

Upon the northwestern edge of the narrow peninsula 
of North Holland, washed by the stormy waters of the 
German Ocean, were the ancient castle, town, and lord- 

1 He was born in 1522. Levensb. ber. Nederl. Man. en Vr., v., 
art. Egmond. 

1557] COUNT EGMONT 213 

sMp whence Egmont derived Ms family name and the title 
by which he was most familiarly known. He was sup- 
posed to trace his descent, through a line of chivalrous 
champions and crusaders, up to the pagan kings of the 
most ancient of existing Teutonic races. The eighth-cen- 
tury names of the Frisian Radbold and Adgild^ among his 
ancestors were thought to denote the antiquity of a house 
whose luster had been increased in later times by the 
splendor of its alliances. His father, united to FranQoise 
de Luxembourg, Princess of Gavre, had acquired by this 
marriage, and transmitted to his posterity, many of the 
proudest titles and richest estates of Flanders. Of the 
three children who survived him, the only daughter was 
afterward united to the Count of Vaudemont, and be- 
came mother of Louise de Vaudemont, queen of the 
French monarch, Henry III. Of his two sons, Charles, 
the elder, had died young and unmarried, leaving all the 
estates and titles of the family to his brother. Lamoral, 
born in 1522, was in early youth a page of the emperor. 
When old enough to bear arms he demanded and ob- 
tained permission to follow the career of his adventurous 
sovereign. He served his apprenticeship as a soldier in 
the stormy expedition to Barbaiy, where, in his nine- 
teenth year, he commanded a troop of light horse, and 
distinguished himself under the emperor's eye for his 
courage and devotion, doing the duty not only of a gal- 
lant commander but of a hardy soldier.^ Returning, 

1 Levenslae. beroemd. Nederl., v. 1. 

2 " Pour avoir est6 nourry toute sa vie entre les armes, soubs 
oe grand guerrier Charles le Qmnt, n'estant eagfe que dix sept ans 
ou dix huit ans, quand il commenca son premier apprentissage au 
voyage de Thimis, conduisant una eampaignie de cavaillerie 
legere ou il fit I'office non seulement de capitaine mais aussy de 


unscatlied by the war, flood, or tempest of that memo- 
rable enterprise, he reached his country by the way of 
Corsica, Genoa, and Lorraine, and was three years after- 
ward united (in the year 1545) to Sabina of Bavaria, 
sister of Frederick, Elector Palatine. The nuptials had 
taken place at Speyer, and few royal weddings could 
have been more brilliant. The emperor, his brother 
Ferdinand, King of the Romans, with the Archduke 
Maximilian, all the imperial electors, and a concourse of 
the principal nobles of the empire, were present on the 

In the following year Charles invested him with the 
order of the Fleece at a chapter held at Utrecht. In 
1553 he had been at the emperor's side during the un- 
lucky siege of Metz; in 1554 he had been sent at the 
head of a splendid embassy to England, to solicit for 
Philip the hand of Mary Tudor, and had witnessed the 
marriage in Winchester Cathedral the same year. Al- 

tres hardy soldat."— De la Guerre Civile des Pay? Bas, par Pontua 
Payen, MS. 

We shall often have occasion to cite this manuscript in the 
course of this volume. It is remarkable that so valuable and 
interesting a fragment of contemporaneous history should have 
remained unpublished. Its author, Pontus Payen, Seigneur des 
Essarts, was of the royal party, and a very determined Catholic. 
He was in close relations with many important personages of the 
times which he describes, and his work contains many striking 
sketches, characteristic anecdotes, minute traits, which show the 
keen observer of men and things. More than any Netherlander of 
his day he possessed the dramatic power of setting before the 
eyes of his readers the men and scenes familiar to himself. His 
work is full of color and invaluable detail. There are several 
copies extant in the different libraries of the Netherlands. The 
one which I have used is that in the Eoyal Library of The Hague 
(Fonds Gerard, B. 103). 


though one branch of his house had, iu past times, ar- 
rived at the sovereignty of Guelders, and another had 
acquired the great estates and titles of Buren, which had 
recently passed, by intermarriage with the heiress, into 
the possession of the Prince of Orange, yet the Prince of 
Gavre, Count of Egmont, was the cliief of a race which 
yielded to none of the great Batavian or Flemish families 
in antiquity, wealth, or power. Personally he was dis- 
tinguished for his bravery, and although he was not yet 
the idol of the camp which he was destined to become, 
nor had yet commanded in chief on any important occa- 
sion, he was accounted one of the five principal generals 
in the Spanish service.^ Eager for general admiration, 
he was at the same time haughty and presumptuous, 
attempting to combine the characters of an arrogant 
magnate and a popular chieftain. Terrible and sudden 
in his wi'ath, he was yet of inordinate vanity, and was 
easily led by those who understood his weakness. With 
a limited education, and a slender capacity for all affairs" 
except those relating to the camp, he was destined to be 
as vacillating and incompetent as a statesman as he 
was prompt and fortunately audacious in the field. A 
splendid soldier, his evil stars had destined him to tread, 
as a politician, a dark and dangerous path, in which not 
even genius, caution, and integrity could insure success, 
but in which rashness alternating with hesitation, and 
credulity with violence, could not fail to bring ruin. 
Such was Coimt Egmont, as he took his place at the 
head of the king's cavalry in the summer of 1557. 
The early operations of the Duke of Savoy were at 

1 Suriano MS. 

2 " . . . peu vevsh slvlx lettres, grossier et ignorant en matiere 
d'Estat police civile," etc.— Pontus Payen MS. 


first intended to deceive tlie enemy. The army, after 
advancing as far into Picardy as the town of Vervins, 
which they burned and pillaged, made a demonstration 
with their whole force upon the city of Guise. This, 
however, was but a feint, by which attention was directed 
and forces drawn off from St.-Quentin, which was to 
be the real point of attack. In the meantime the Con- 
stable of France, Montmorency, arrived upon the 28th 
July (1557), to take command of the French troops. He 
was accompanied by the Mareehal de Saint Andre and 
by Admiral CoHgny. The most illustrious names of 
France, whether for station or valor, were in the officers' 
list of this select army. Nevers and Montpensier, En- 
ghien and Conde, Vend6me and Rochefoucauld, were 
already there, and now the constable and the admiral 
came to add the strength of their experience and lofty 
reputation to sustain the courage of the troops. The 
French were at Pierrepont, a post between Champagne 
and Picardy, and in its neighborhood. The Spanish 
army was at Vervins and threatening Guise. It had 
been the opinion in France that the enemy's intention 
was to invade Champagne, and the Due de Nevers, 
governor of that province, had made a disposition of 
his forces suitable for such a contingency. It was the 
conviction of Montmorency, however, that Picardy was 
to be the quarter really attacked,^ and that St.-Quentin, 
which was the most important point at which the enemy's 
progress, by that route, toward Paris could be arrested, 
was in imminent danger. The constable's opinion was 
soon confirmed by advices received by Coligny. The 
enemy's army, he was informed, after remaining three 

1 De Thou, iii. 149, xix. 

1557] CITY OF ST.-QUENTIN 217 

days before Giuse, had withdrawn from that point, and 
had invested St.-Quentin with their whole force. 

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

Teligny, son-in-law of the admiral, was in the city 
with a detachment of the Dauphin's regiment ; Captain 
Brueuil was commandant of the town. Both informed 
Coligny of the imminent peril in which they stood. 
They represented the urgent necessity of immediate 
reinforcements both of men and supplies. The city, as 
the admiral well knew, was in no condition to stand a 
siege by such an army, and dire were the consequences 
which would follow the downfall of so important a place. 

1 "Batalla de San Quintin. Copiada de un codice MS. de la 
Bib. del Escorial," Documentos Ineditos, ix. 490. 

The "maimscript thus published in the Madrid collection of 
documents is by an anonymous writer, but one who was present 
at the siege, which he has well described. His sketch is, however, 
entitled as above, "the Battle of St. -Quintin,'' and its most re- 
markable feature is that he does not once mention the name of 
Egmont as connected with that action. Certainly national rivalry 
could no further go. 

2 Documentos Ineditos, 491, 492. ^ ibid. 


It was still practicable, they wrote, to introduce succor, 
but every day diminished the possibility of affording 
effectual relief. Coligny was not the man to let the 
grass grow under his feet, after such an appeal in behalf 
of the principal place in his government. The safety of 
France was dependent upon that of St.-Quentin. The 
bulwark overthrown, Paris was within the next stride of 
an adventurous enemy. The admiral instantly set out, 
upon the 2d of August, with strong reinforcements. It 
was too late. The English auxiliaries, under Lords 
Pembroke, Clinton, and Grey, had, in the meantime, 
effected their junction with the Duke of Savoy, and 
appeared in the camp before St.-Quentin. The route 
by which it had been hoped that the much-needed succor 
could be introduced was thus occupied and rendered im- 
practicable. The admiral, however, in consequence of 
the urgent nature of the letters received from Brueuil 
and Tehgny, had outstripped, in his anxiety, the move- 
ments of his troops. He reached the city almost alone 
and unattended. Notwithstanding the remonstrances of 
his officers, he had listened to no voice save the desperate 
entreaties of the besieged garrison, and had flo'wn before 
his army. He now shut himself up in the city,^ deter- 
mined to effect its deliverance by means of his skUl and 
experience, or, at least, to share its fate. As the gates 
closed upon CoUgny, the road was blocked up for his 
advancing troops.^ 

A few days were passed in making ineffectual sorties, 
ordered by Coligny for the sake of reconnoitering the 
country and of discovering the most practicable means 
of introducing supplies. The constable, meantime, who 

1 De Thou, iii. 251, xix. Hoofd, i. 8. 

2 Ibid. Ibid. 


had advanced with his army to La F^re, was not idle. 
He kept up daily communications with the beleaguered 
admiral, and was determined, if possible, to relieve the 
city. There was, however, a constant succession of dis- 
appointments. Moreover, the brave but indiscreet 
Teligny, who commanded during a temporary illness of 
the admiral, saw fit, against express orders, to make an 
imprudent sortie. He paid the penalty of his rashness 
with his life. He was rescued by the admiral in person, 
who, at imminent hazard, brought back the unfortunate 
officer, covered with wounds, into the city, there to die 
at his father's feet, imploring forgiveness for his dis- 
obedience.^ Meantime the garrison was daily growing 
weaker. Coligny sent out of the cit}^ all useless con- 
sumers, quartered all the women in the cathedral and 
other churches, where they were locked in, lest their 
terror and their tears should weaken the courage of the 
garrison, and did aU in his power to strengthen the de- 
fenses of the city and sustain the resolution of the in- 
habitants. Affairs were growing desperate. It seemed 
plain that the important city must soon fall, and with it 
most probably Paris. One of the suburbs was already 
in the hands of the enemy. At last Coligny discovered 
a route by which he beheved it to be still possible to 
introduce reinforcements. He communicated the results 
of his observations to the constable. Upon one side of 
the city the lake, or morass, was traversed by a few 
difficult and narrow pathways, mostly iinder water, and 
by a rimning stream which could only be passed in boats. 
The constable, in consequence of this information re- 
ceived from Coligny, set out from La Fere upon the 8th 
of August, with four thousand infantry and two thou- 

1 De Thou, iii. 152. 


sand horse. Halting his troops at tlie village of Essigny, 
he advanced in person to the edge of the morass, in 
order to reconnoiter the ground and prepare his plans. 
The result was a determination to attempt the intro- 
duction of men and supphes into the town by the mode 
suggested. Leaving his troops drawn up in battle array, 
he returned to La F^re for the remainder of his army 
and to complete his preparations.^ Cohgny in the mean- 
time was to provide boats for crossing the stream. Upon 
the 10th August, which was the festival of St. Lawrence, 
the constable advanced with four pieces of heavy artil- 
lery, four eulverins, and four hghter pieces, and arrived 
at nine o'clock in the morning near the Faubourg d'Isle, 
which was already in possession of the Spanish troops. 
The whole army of the constable consisted of twelve 
thousand German, with fifteen companies of French 
infantry, making in all some sixteen thousand foot, 
with five thousand cavahy in addition. The Duke of 
Savoy's army lay upon the same side of the town, widely 
extended, and stretching beyond the river and the morass. 
Montmorency's project was to be executed in full view 
of the enemy. Fourteen companies of Spaniards were 
stationed in the faubourg. Two companies had been 
pushed forward as far as a water-mill, which lay in the 
pathway of the advancing constable. These soldiers 
stood their ground for a moment, but soon retreated, 
while a cannonade was suddenly opened by the French 
upon the quarters of the Duke of Savoy. The duke's 
tent was torn to pieces, and he had barely time to hurry 
on his cuirass and to take refugo with Count Egmont.^ 
The constable, hastening to turn this temporary advan- 

1 De Thou, iii. 154. Meteren, i. 18. 

2 Hoofd, i. 8. Meteren, i. 18. De Thou, iii. 157. 


tage to account at once, commenced the transportation 
of his troops across the morass. The enterprise was, 
however, not destined to be fortunate. The number of 
boats which had been provided was very inadequate ; 
moreover, they were very small, and each as it left the 
shore was consequently so crowded vnth soldiers that it 
was in danger of being swamped. Several were over- 
turned, and the men perished. It was found also that 
the opposite bank was steep and dangerous. Many who 
had crossed the river were unable to effect a landing, 
whUe those who escaped drowning in the water lost their 
way in the devious and impracticable paths, or perished 
miserably in the treacherous quagmires. Very few 
effected their entrance into the town, but among them 
was Andelot, brother of Coligny, with five hundred fol- 
lowers. Meantime a council of officers was held in 
Egmont's tent. Opinions were undecided as to the 
course to be pursued under the circumstances. Should 
an engagement be risked, or should the constable, who 
had but indifferently accomplished his project and had 
introduced but an insignificant number of troops into 
the city, be allowed to withdraw with the rest of his 
army? The fiery vehemence of Egmont carried all 
before it.^ Here was an opportunity to measure arms 
at advantage with the great captain of the age. To 
relinquish the prize which the fortune of war had now 
placed within reach of their valor was a thought not 
to be entertained. Here was the great Constable Mont- 
morency, attended by princes of the royal blood, the 
proudest of the nobility, the very crown and flower of 
the chivalry of Prance, and followed by an army of her 
bravest troops. On a desperate venture he had placed 
1 Hoofd, i. 8. Meteren, i. 18. 


himself within their grasp. Should he go thence alive 
and unmolested? The moral effect of destroying such 
an army would be greater than if it were twice its actual 
strength. It would be dealing a blow at the very heart 
of France, from which she could not recover. Was the 
opportunity to be resigned without a struggle of laying 
at the feet of Philip, in this his first campaign since his 
accession to his father's realms, a prize worthy of the 
proudest hour of the emperor's reign? The eloquence 
of the impetuous Batavian was irresistible, and it was 
determined to cut off the constable's retreat.^ 

Three miles from the Faubourg d'Isle, to which that 
general had now advanced, was a narrow pass or defile, 
between steep and closely hanging hills. While advan- 
cing through this ravine in the morning, the constable 
had observed that the enemy might have it in their 
power to intercept his return at that point. He had 
therefore left the Rhinegrave, with his company of 
mounted carbineers, to guard the passage. Being 
ready to commence his retreat, he now sent forward the 
Due de Nevers with four companies of cavalry to 
strengthen that important position, which he feared 
might be inadequately guarded. The act of caution 
came too late. This was the fatal point which the quick 
glance of Egmont had at once detected. As Nevers 
reached the spot, two thousand of the enemy's cavalry 
rode through and occupied the narrow passage. In- 
flamed by mortification and despair, Nevers would 
have at once charged those troops, although outnum- 
bering his own by nearly four to one. His officers 
restrained him with difficulty, recalling to his memory 
the peremptory orders which he had received from the 

1 Hoofd. Meteren, ubi sup. 

1557] THE BATTLE 223 

constable to guard the passage, but on no account to 
hazard an engagement until sustained by the body of 
the army. It was a case in which rashness would have 
been the best discretion. The headlong charge which 
the duke had been about to make might possibly have 
cleared the path and have extricated the army, provided 
the constable had followed up the movement by a rapid 
advance upon his part. As it was, the passage was soon 
blocked up by freshly advancing bodies of Spanish and 
Flemish cavalrj-, while Nevers slowly and reluctantly 
fell back upon the Prince of Conde, who was stationed 
with the light horse at the mill where the first skirmish 
had taken place. They" were soon joined by the con- 
stable, with the main body of the army. The whole 
French force now commenced its retrograde movement. 
It was, however, but too evident that they were enveloped. 
As they approached the fatal pass through which lay 
their only road to La Fere, and which was now in com- 
plete possession of the enemy, the signal of assault was 
given by Count Egmont. That general himself, at the 
head of two thousand hght horse, led the charge upon 
the left flank. The other side was assaulted by the 
Dukes Eric and Henry of Brunswick, each with a thou- 
sand heavy dragoons, sustained by Count Horn, at the 
head of a regiment of mounted gendarmerie. Mansfeld, 
Lalain, Hoogstraaten, and Vilain at the same time made 
a furious attack upon the front. The French cavalry 
wavered with the shock so vigorously given. The camp- 
followers, sutlers, and peddlers, panic-stricken, at once 
fled helter-skelter, and in their precipitate retreat carried 
confusion and dismay throughout all the ranks of the 
army. The rout was sudden and total. The onset and 
the victory were simultaneous. Nevers, riding through 


a hollow witli some companies of cavalry, in the hope of 
making a detour and presenting a new front to the 
enemy, was overwhelmed at once by the retreating French 
and their furious pursuers. The day was lost, retreat 
hardly possible ; yet, by a daring and desperate effort, 
the duke, accompanied by a handful of followers, cut 
his way through the enemy and effected his escape. The 
cavalry had been broken at the first onset and nearly 
destroyed. A portion of the infantry still held firm, and 
attempted to continue their retreat. Some pieces of 
artillery, however, now opened upon them, and before 
they reached Bssigny the whole army was completely 
annihilated. The defeat was absolute. Half the French 
troops actually engaged in the enterprise lost their 
lives upon the field. The remainder of the army was 
captured or utterly disorganized. When Nevers re- 
viewed, at Laon, the wreck of the constable's whole 
force, he found some thirteen hundred French and 
three hundred German cavalry, with four companies of 
French infantry remaining out of fifteen, and four thou- 
sand German foot remaining of twelve thousand. Of 
twenty-one or twenty-two thousand remarkably fine and 
well-appointed troops, all but six thousand had been killed 
or made prisoners within an hour. The constable him- 
self, with a wound in the groin, was a captive. The 
Duke of Enghien, after behaving with brilliant valor 
and many times rallying the troops, was shot through 
the body, and brought into the enemy's camp only to 
expire. The Due de Montpensier, the Marechal de Saint 
Andr6, the Due de Longueville, Prince Ludovic of 
Mantua, the Baron Gorton la Roche du Mayne, the 
Rhinegrave, the Counts de Rochefoucauld, d'Aubigne, de 
Rochefort, all were taken. The Due de NeverSj the 


Prince of Conde, with a few others, escaped ; although 
so absolute was the conviction that such an escape was 
impossible that it was not believed by the victorious 
army. When Nevers sent a trumpeter, after the battle, to 
the Duke of Savoy, for the purpose of negotiating con- 
cerning the prisoners, the trumpeter was pronounced an 
impostor, and the duke's letter a forgery ; nor was it till 
after the whole field had been diligently searched for 
his dead body without success that Nevers could persuade 
the conquerors that he was still in existence. ^ 

Of Philip's army but fifty lost their lives.^ Lewis of 
Brederodewas smothered in his armor, and the two counts 
Spiegelberg and Count Waldeck were also killed ; besides 
these, no officer of distinction fell. All the French stan- 
dards and aU their artillery but two pieces were taken 
and placed before the king, who the next day came into 
the camp before St.-Quentin. The prisoners of dis- 
tinction were likewise presented to him in long proces- 
sion. Rarely had a monarch of Spain enjoyed a more 
signal triumph than this which Philip now owed to the 
gallantry and promptness of Count Egmont.^ 

While the king stood reviewing the spoils of victory, 
a light-horseman of Don Henrico Manrique's regiment 
approached, and presented him with a sword. "I am 
the man, may it please youj' Majesty," said the trooper, 

1 De Thou, iii. 161, 162, sis. 2 j^i^. 

3 Hoofd, i. 8, 9. Meteren, i. 18 sqq. De Thou, iii. 157-160. Bor, 
i. 16. The Netherland accounts generally give at least four thousand 
killed of the French army. A contemporary proclamation for a 
thanksgiving issued by the government, fourteen days after the bat- 
tle, states, however, the number of killed, wounded, and prisoners 
on the French side at forty-eight " companies " of infantry and five 
thousand cavalry. Van Wyn, Byvoegsels en Anmerkingen op 
Wagenaer Vaderl. Hist. (Amst. 1792), vi. 13-15. 

VOL. I.— 16 


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

Such was the brilliant victory of St.-Quentin, worthy 

1 Batalla de San Quintin, Documentos Ineditos, ix. 496. 

2 ". . . escosa muy antiqua entre gente de guerra que el gen- 
eral es del general y el Rey del Rey : pero a quien le prende le dan 
10,000 dueados."— Ibid. 

3 Ibid., ix. 496, 497. 

1557] EGMONT'S EENOWN 227 

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

The fame and power of the constable faded, his 
misfortunes and captivity fell like a blight upon the 
ancient glory of the house of Montmorency, his enemies 
destroyed his influence and his popularity, while the 
degradation of the kingdom was simultaneous with the 
downfall of his illustrious name.^ On the other hand, 
the exultation of Philip was as keen as his cold and 
stony nature would permit. The magnificent palace- 
1 Hoofd, i. 9. 2 De Thou, iii. 160. 


convent of the Escurial, dedicated to the saint on whose 
festival the battle had been fonght, and built in the 
shape of the gridiron on which that martyr had suffered, 
was soon afterward erected in pious commemoration of 
the event. 1 Such was the celebration of the victory. 
The reward reserved for the victor was to be recorded 
on a later page of history. 

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

1 Hoofd, i. 9. 

2 De ThoTi, iii. 162. 

3 Brantome, i. ii. Hist, du Due d'Albe, ii. 140. The state- 
ment is, however, not corroborated by the contemporary letters of 
Charles. See Gachard, Retraite et Mort de Charles Quint, i. 169 
sqq. Compare Stirling, Cloister Life, 121, 122. 


yet a new one might be collected, perhaps, in time to 
embarrass the triumphant march to Paris. Out of his 
superabundant discretion, accordingly, Philip refused to 
advance till St.-Quentin should be reduced.^ 

Although nearly driven to despair by the total over- 
throw of the French in the recent action, Coligny still 
held bravely out, being well aware that every day by 
which the siege could be protracted was of advantage to 
his country. Again he made fresh attempts to introduce 
men into the city. A fisherman showed him a submerged 
path, covered several feet deep with water, through which 
he succeeded in bringing one hundred and fifty unarmed 
and half -drowned soldiers into the place. His garrison 
consisted barely of eight hundred men, but the siege was 
still sustained, mainly by his courage and sagacity, and 
by the spirit of his brother Andelot. The company of 
cavalry belonging to the Dauphin's regiment had be- 
haved badly, and even with cowardice, since the death 
of their commander Teligny. The citizens were natu- 
rally weary and impatient of the siege. Mining and 
countermining continued till the 21st August. A steady 
cannonade was then maintained until the 27th. Upon 
that day, eleven breaches having been made in the walls, 
a simultaneous assault was ordered at four of them. 
The citizens were stationed upon the walls, the soldiers 
in the breaches. There was a short but sanguinary 
contest, the garrison resisting with uncommon bravery. 
Suddenly an entrance was effected through a tower 
which had been thought sufficiently strong, and which 
had been left unguarded. Coligny, rushing to the spot, 
engaged the enemy almost single-handed. He was soon 
overpowered, being attended only by four men and a 

i De Thou, iii. 162. Hoofd, i. 9. 


page, was made a prisoner by a soldier named Francisco 
Diaz, and conducted througli one of the subterranean 
mines into the presence of the Duke of Savoy, from 
whom the captor received ten thousand ducats in ex- 
change for the admiral's sword. The fighting still 
continued with great determination in the streets, the 
brave Andelot resisting to the last. He was, however, 
at last overpowered and taken prisoner. Philip, who 
had, as usual, arrived in the trenches by noon, armed in 
complete harness, with a page carrying his hehnet, was 
met by the intelligence that the city of St.-Quentin was 
his own.^ 

To a horrible carnage succeeded a sack and a con- 
flagration still more horrible. In every house entered 
during the first day, every human being was butchered. 
The sack lasted all that day and the whole of the fol- 
lowing, till the night of the 28th._ There was not a 
soldier who did not obtain an ample share of plunder, 
and some individuals succeeded in getting possession of 
two, three, and even twelve thousand ducats each.^ The 
women were not generally outraged, but they were 
stripped almost entirely naked, lest they should conceal 
treasure which belonged to their conquerors, and they 
were slashed in the face with knives, partly in sport, 
partly as a punishment for not giving up property 
which was not in their possession. The soldiers even 
cut off the arms of many among these wretched women,^ 

1 De Thou, iii. 164-171. Hoofd, i. 10. Meteren, i. 18. Docu- 
mentos Ineditos, ix. 497-513. 

2 Ibid., ix. 513 sqq. 

5 "Y porque digesen donde tenian los dineros, las daban 
cuchillados por cara y cabeza y a muchas cortazon los brazos." 


and then turned them loose, maimed and naked, into the 
blazing streets ; for the town, on the 28th, was fired in 
a hundred places, and was now one general conflagration. 
The streets were already strewn with the corpses of 
the butchered garrison and citizens, while the survivors 
were now burned in their houses. Human heads, Umbs, 
and trunks were mingled among the bricks and rafters 
of the houses, which were falling on every side.^ The 
fire lasted day and night, without an attempt being- 
made to extinguish it, whde the soldiers dashed hke devils 
through flame and smoke in search of booty. Bearing 
lighted torches, they descended into every subterranean 
vault and receptacle, of which there were many in the 
town, and in every one of which they hoped to discover 
hidden treasure. ^ The work of killing, plundering, and 
burning lasted nearly three days and nights. The streets, 
meanwhile, were encumbered with heaps of corpses, not 
a single one of which had been buried since the capture 
of the town. The remains of nearly all the able-bodied 
male population, dismembered, gnawed by dogs,^ or 
blackened by fire, polluted the midsummer air. The 
women, meantime, had been again driven into the cathe- 
dral, where they had housed during the siege, and where 
they now crouched together in trembling expectation of 
their fate.* On the 29th August, at two o'clock in tlii 
afternoon, Philip issued an order that every woman, 

1 Documentos Lneditos, ix. 515 : " . . . quemarou en las casas 
gran cantitad de personas y muehas dellas se vieron despues de 
metado el fuego entre los ladrillos que de ellos son hechas todas 
las mejores easas, muehas eabezas de hombres quemados y huesos." 

2 Ibid., ix. 516. 

3 "... y en muchos faltaban los pedazos que los comian los 
perros de noche, y algunos olian mal," etc. Ibid. 

* Ibid., ix. 519 sqq. 


without an exception, should be driven out of the city 
into the French territory.^ St.-Quentin, which seventy 
years before had been a Flemish town, was to be rean- 
nexed, and not a single man, woman, or child who could 
speak the French language was to remain another hour 
in the place. The tongues of the men had been effectu- 
ally sUenced. The women, to the number of three 
thousand five hundred, were now compelled to leave the 
cathedral and the city.^ Some were in a starving condi- 
tion ; others had been desperately wounded ; all, as they 
passed through the ruinous streets of what had been 
their home, were compelled to tread upon the unburied 
remains of their fathers, husbands, or brethren. To 
none of these miserable creatures remained a living 
protector— hardly even a dead body which could be 
recognized; and thus the ghastly procession of more 
than three thousand women, many with gaping wounds 
in the face, many with their arms cut off and festering, 
of all ranks and ages, some numbering more than ninety 
years, bareheaded, with gray hair streaming upon their 
shoulders, others with nursing infants in their arms, ah. 
escorted by a company of heavy-armed troopers, left 
forever their native city. All made the dismal journey 
upon foot, save that carts were allowed to transport the 
children between the ages of two and six years.^ The 
desolation and depopulation were now complete. "I 

1 Doeumentos Ineditos, ix. 519 sqq. 2 Ibid. 

5 " Cierto a los piadosos hacia demasiada lastima vellas ir, ver 
3500 mugeres. Muchas dellas llevaban cortados los hrazos, y 
muches con cuchilladas. Y habia entre ellas mugeres de mas de 
noventa anos, sin cofias las cartas defuera, llenas de sangre. Las 
que daban a mamar llevaban sus criaturas en sus brazos," etc. 
—Ibid., ix. 516. 


wandered tkrough the place, gazing at all tMs," saj's 
a Spanish soldier who was present and kept a diary of 
all which occurred, "and it seemed to me that it was 
another destruction of Jerusalem. What most struck 
me was to find not a single denizen of the town left 
who was or who dared to call himself French. How 
vain and transitory, thought I, are the things of this 
world ! Six days ago what riches were in the city, and 
now remains not one stone upon another." i 

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

The most distinguished captives upon this occasion 
were, of course, Coligny and his brother. Andelot was, 

1 Doeumentos Ineditos, ix. 519. 

2 Ibid., ix. 52-i. 3 njid. 4 ibid. 


however, fortunate enough to make his escape that night 
under the edge of the tent in which he was confined. 
The admiral was taken to Antwerp. Here he lay for 
many weeks sick with a fever. Upon his recovery, hav- 
ing no better pastime, he fell to reading the Scriptures.^ 
The result was his conversion to Calvinism,^ and the 
world shudders yet at the fate in which that conversion 
involved him. 

St.-Quentin being thus reduced, Phihp was not 
more disposed to push his fortune. The time was now 
wasted in the siege of several comparatively unimportant 
places, so that the fruits of Egmont's valor were not yet 
allowed to ripen. Early in September Le Catelet was 
taken. On the 12th of the same month the citadel of 
Ham yielded, after receiving two thousand shots from 
Philip's artillery, while Nojon, Chanly, and some other 
places of less importance were burned to the ground. 
After all this smoke and fire upon the frontier, pro- 
ductive of but slender consequences, Philip disbanded 
his army and retired to Brussels. He reached that city 
on the 12th October. The English returned to their own 
country .3 The campaign of 1.557 was closed without a 
material result, and the victory of St.-Quentin remained 
for a season barren. 

In the meantime the French were not idle. The 
army of the constable had been destroyed ; but the 
Due de Guise, who had come post-haste from Italy 
after hearing the news of St.-Quentin, was very will- 
ing to organize another. He was burning with im- 
patience both to retrieve his own reputation, which had 
suffered some little damage by his recent Italian cam- 

1 Meteren, i. 18. 2 ibid., i. f. 18. 

3 Hoofd, i. 10. De Thou, iii. 171-174, xix. 


paign, and to profit by the captivity of his fallen rival 
the constable. During the time occupied by the languid 
and dilatory proceedings of Philip in the autumn, the 
duke had accordingly recruited in France and Germany 
a considerable army. In January (1558) he was ready 
to take the field. It had been determined in the 
French cabinet, however, not to attempt to win back 
the places which they had lost in Picardy, but to carry 
the war into the territory of the ally. It was fated that 
England should bear aU the losses, and Philip appropriate 
all the gain and glory, which resulted from their united 
exertions. It was the war of the queen's husband, with 
which the queen's people had no concern, but in which 
the last trophies of the Black Prince were to be forfeited. 
On the 1st January, 1558, the Due de Guise appeared 
before Calais. The Marshal Strozzi had previously made 
an expedition, in disguise, to examine the place. The 
result of his examination was that the garrison was 
weak, and that it relied too much upon the citadel. 
After a tremendous cannonade, which lasted a week 
and was heard in Antwerp, the city was taken by 
assault.^ Thus the key to the great Norman portal of 
France, the time-honored key which England had worn 
at her girdle since the eventful daj' of Crecj^, was at last 
taken from her. Calais had been originally won after a 
siege which had lasted a twelvemonth, had been held 
two hundred and ten years, and was now lost iu seven 
days. Seven days more, and ten thousand discharges 
from thirty-five great guns sufficed for the reduction of 
Guines.2 Thus the last vestige of English dominion, 

1 Meteren, i. 19. De Thou, iii. 202-209, xx. Hoofd, i. 11. 
Bor, i. 16. 

2 Meteren, De Thou, Hoofd, Bor, ubi sup. 


the last substantial pretest of the Englisli sovereign to 
wear the title and the lilies of France, was lost forever. 
King Henry visited Calais, which after two centuries of 
estrangement had now become a French town again, 
appointed Paul de Thermes governor of the place, and 
then returned to Paris to celebrate soon afterward the 
marriage of the Dauphin with the niece of the Guises, 
Mary, Queen of Scots.^ 

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

It was at this period that the memorable interview 
between the two ecclesiastics, the Bishop of Arras and 
the Cardinal de Lorraine, took place at Peronne. From 
this central point commenced the weaving of that wide- 
spread scheme in which the fate of millions was to be 
involved. The Duchess Christina de Lorraine, cousin 
of Philip, had accompanied him to St.-Quentin. Per- 
mission had been obtained by the Due de Guise and his 
brother, the cardinal, to visit her at Peronne. The 
duchess was accompanied by the Bishop of Arras, and 
the consequence was a full and secret negotiation be- 
tween the two priests.^ It may be supposed that Philip's 
short-lived mihtary ardor had already exhausted itself. 
He had mistaken his vocation, and already recognized 
the false position in which he was placed. He was con- 
tending against the monarch in whom he might find the 
1 De Thou, iii. 214. 2 Ibid., iii. 223. Hoofd, i. 12. 


surest ally against the arch-enemy of both kingdoms 
and of the world. The French monarch held heresy in 
horror, while, for himself, Philip had ah-eady decided 
upon his life's mission. 

The crafty bishop was more than a match for the vain 
and ambitions cardinal. That prelate was assured that 
Philip considered the captivity of Coligny and Mont- 
morency a special dispensation of Providence, while the 
tutelar genius of France, notwithstanding the reverses 
sustained by that kingdom, was still preserved. The 
cardinal and his brother, it was suggested, now held in 
their hands the destiny of the kingdom and of Europe. 
The interests of both nations, of religion, and of hu- 
manity, made it imperative upon them to pxit an end to 
this unnatural war, in order that the two monarchs 
might unite hand and heart for the extirpation of heresy. 
That hydra-headed monster had already extended its 
coils through France, while its pestilential breath was 
now wafted into Flanders from the German as well as the 
French border. Philip placed full reliance upon the 
wisdom and discretion of the cardinal. It was neces- 
sary that these negotiations should for the present 
remain a profound secret, but in the meantime a peace 
ought to be concluded with as little delay as possible— a 
result which, it was affirmed, was as heartily desired by 
PhUip as it could be by Henry. The bishop was soon 
aware of the impression which his artful suggestions 
had produced. The cardinal, inspired by the flattery 
thus freely administered, as well as by the promptings 
of his own ambition, lent a willing ear to the bishop's 
plans.i Thus was laid the foundation of a vast scheme, 
which time was to complete. A crusade with the whole 
1 De Thou, iii. 223-227, xx. 


strength of the French and Spanish crowns was resolved 
upon against their own subjects. The bishop's task 
was accomplished. The cardinal returned to France, 
determined to effect a peace with Spain. He was con- 
vinced that the glory of his house was to be infinitely- 
enhanced, and its power impregnably established, by 
a cordial cooperation with Philip in his dark schemes 
against religion and humanity. The negotiations were 
kept, however, profoundly secret. A new campaign and 
fresh humiliations were to precede the acceptance by 
France of the peace which was thus proffered. 

Hostile operations were renewed soon after the inter- 
view at Peronne. The Duke of Guise, who had procured 
five thousand cavalry and fourteen thousand infantry in 
Germany,^ now, at the desu-e of the king, undertook an 
enterprise against Thionville,^ a city of importance and 
great strength in Luxemburg, upon the river Moselle. It 
was defended by Peter de Quarebbe, a gentleman of Lou- 
vain, with a garrison of eighteen hundred men. On the 
5th June thirty-five pieces of artiUery commenced the 
work, the mining and countermining continuing seven- 
teen days ; on the 22d the assault was made, and the gar- 
rison capitulated immediately afterward.^ It was a 
siege conducted in a regular and businesslike way, but 
the details possess no interest. It was, however, sig- 
nalized by the death of one of the eminent adventurers 
of the age. Marshal Strozzi. This brave but always 
unlucky soldier was slain by a musket-ball while assist- 
ing the Duke of Guise—whose arm was, at that instant, 
resting upon his shoulder— to point a gun at the fortress.* 

1 Hoofd, i. 12. 2 De Thou, iii. 229. 

3 Ibid., iii. 229-235. Meteren, i. 19. Hoofd, i. 12, 13. 

* Meteren, i. 19. 


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

It had been the plan of the French cabinet that Mar- 
shal de Thermes, who, upon the capture of Calais, had 
been appointed governor of the city, should take advan- 
tage of his position as soon as possible. Having assem- 
bled an army of some eight thousand foot and fifteen 
hundred horse,^ partly Gascons and partly Germans, 
he was accordingly directed to ravage the neighboring 
coiintry, particularly the county of St.-Pol. In the 
meantime, the Due de Guise, having reduced the cities 
on the southern frontier, was to move in a northerly direc- 
tion, make a junction with the marshal, and thus extend 
a barrier along the whole frontier of the Netherlands. 

De Thermes set forth from Calais, in the beginning 
of June, with his newly organized army. Passing by 

1 Bor, i. 16. Meteren, i. 19. Compare Hoofd, i. 13 ; De Thou, 
iii. 238, liv. xx. 


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

Flushed with victoiy over defenseless peasants, laden 
with the spoils of sacked and burning towns, the army 
of De Thermes was already on its homeward march. It 
was the moment for a sudden and daring blow. Whose 
arm should deal it? What general in Philip's army 
possessed the requisite promptness and felicitous auda- 
city? who but the most brilliant of cavalry officers, the 
bold and rapid hero of St.-Quentin ? Egmont, in obedi- 
ence to the king's command, threw himself at once into 
the field. He hastily collected all the available forces in 
the neighborhood. These, with drafts from the Duke 
of Savoy's army, and with detachments under Marshal 
Bignicourt from the garrisons of St.-Omer, Bethune, 
Aire, and Bourbourg, soon amounted to ten thousand 
foot and two thousand horse.^ His numbers were stUl 

1 Meteren, i. 19. Compare De Thou, iii. 239, xx. ; Bor, i. 16 ; 
Hoofd, i. 14. 

Count Egmont. 


further swollen by large bands of peasantry, both men 
and women, maddened by their recent injviries, and 
thirsting for vengeance. With these troops the energetic 
chieftain took up his position directly in the path of the 
French army. Determined to destroy De Thermes with 
all his force or to sacrifice himself, he posted his army 
at Gravehnes, a small town lying near the sea-shore, and 
about midway between Calais and Dunkirk. The French 
general was putting the finishing touch to his expedition 
by completing the conflagration at Dunkirk, and was 
moving homeward, when he became aware of the lion in 
his path. Although suffering from severe sickness, he 
mounted his horse and personally conducted his army 
to Gravehnes. Here he found his progress completely 
arrested. On that night, which was the 12th July, he 
held a council of officers. It was determined to refuse 
the combat offered, and, if possible, to escape at low tide 
along the sands toward Calais. The next morning he 
crossed the river Aa, below Gravehnes. Egmont, who 
was not the man, on that occasion at least, to build a 
golden bridge for a flying enemy, crossed the same stream 
just above the town, and drew up his whole force in 
battle array. De Thermes could no longer avoid the 
confhct thus resolutely forced upon him. Courage was 
now his only counselor. Being not materially outnum- 
bered by his adversaries, he had at least an even chance 
of cutting his way through aU obstacles and of saving 
his army and his treasure. The sea was on his right 
hand, the Aa behind him, the enemy in front. He piled 
his baggage and wagons so as to form a barricade upon 
his left, and placed his artiUery, consisting of four cul- 
verins and three falconets, in front. Behind these he 
drew up his cavalry, supported at each side by the Gas- 

VOL. I. — 16 


eons, and placed his Frencli and Grerman infantry in the 

Egmont, on the other hand, divided his cavahy into 
five squadrons. Three of light horse were placed in 
advance for the fii-st assault— the center commanded by 
himself, the two wings by Count Pontenals and Hemico 
Henriquez. The black hussars of Lazarus Schwendi and 
the Flemish gendarmes came next. Behind these was 
the infantry, divided into three nations, Spanish, German, 
and Flemish, and respectively commanded by Carvajal, 
Monchausen, and Bignicourt. Egmont, having char- 
a.cteristically selected the post of danger in the very 
front of battle for himself, could no longer restrain his 
impatience. " The foe is ours already," he shouted ; 
" follow me, all who love their fatherland." With that 
he set spui-s to his horse, and having his own regiment 
well in hand, dashed upon the enemJ^ The Gascons 
received the charge with coolness, and— under cover of 
a murderous fire from the artillery in front, which 
mowed down the foremost ranks of their assailants- 
sustained the whole weight of the first onset without 
fhnching. Egmont's horse was shot under him at the 
commencement of the action. Mounting another, he 
again cheered his cavalry to the attack. The Gascons 
still maintained an unwavering front, and fought with 
characteristic ferocity. The courage of despair infiamed 
the French, the hope of a brilliant and conclusive vic- 
tory excited the Spaniards and Flemings. It was a wild, 
hand-to-hand conflict — general and soldier, cavalier and 
pikeman, lancer and musketeer, mingled together in one 
dark, confused, and struggling mass, foot to foot, breast 
to breast, horse to horse — a fierce, tumultuous battle on 
the sands, worthy the fitful pencil of the national painter 


Wouvermans. For a long time it was doubtful on which 
side victory was to inelirie, but at last ten English ves- 
sels unexpectedly appeared in the offing, and ranging 
up soon afterward as close to the shore as was possible, 
opened their fire upon the still unbroken lines of the 
French. The ships were too distant, the danger of in- 
juring friend as well as foe too imminent, to allow of 
their exerting any important influence upon the result. 
The spirit of the enemy was broken, however, by this 
attack upon their seaward side, which they had thought 
impregnable. At the same time, too, a detachment of 
German cavalry, which had been directed by Egmont to 
make their way under the downs to the southward, now 
succeeded in turning their left flank. Egmont, profiting 
by their confusion, charged them again with redoubled 
vigor. The fate of the day was decided. The French 
cavalry wavered, broke their ranks, and in their flight 
carried dismay throughout the whole army. The rout 
was total ; horse and foot, French, Gascon, and German 
fled from the field together. Fifteen hundred fell in the 
action, as many more were driven into the sea, while 
great numbers were torn to pieces by the exasperated 
peasants, who now eagerly washed out their recent in- 
juries in the blood of the dispersed, wandering, and 
wounded soldiers.^ The army of De Thermes was totally 
destroyed, and with it the last hope of France for an 
honorable and equal negotiation. She was now at 
Philip's feet. So that this brilliant cavalry action, al- 
though it has been surpassed in importance by many 
others in respect to the numbers of the combatants and 
the principles involved in the contest, was stUl, in regard 

1 Meteren, i. 19. Hoofd, i. 13, 14, 15. Bor, i. 16, 17. Com- 
pare Cabrera, iv. 21 ; De Tliou, iii. 231-241. 


to tlie extent both of its immediate and its permanent 
results, one of the most decisive and striking which have 
ever been fought. The French army engaged was anni- 
hilated. Marshal de Thermes with a wound in the head, 
Senarpont, Annibault, ViUefon, Morvilliers, Chanhs, 
and many others of high rank were prisoners. The 
French monarch had not much heart to set about the 
organization of another army,^ a task which he was now 
compelled to undertake. He was soon obliged to make the 
best terms which he could, and to consent to a treaty which 
was one of the most ruinous in the archives of France. 

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

Whatever might have been the faults of De Thermes 
or of Guise, there could be little doubt as to the merit 
of Egmont. Thus within eleven months of the battle of 
St.-Quentin had the Dutch hero gained another vic- 
tory so decisive as to settle the fate of the war and to 

1 De Thou, iii. 241, xx. 

2 Hoofd, i. 15. De Thou, ubi sup. 


elevate his sovereign to a position from which he might 
dictate the terms of a triumphant peace.^ The opening 
scenes of Philip's reign were rendered as brilliant as the 
proudest daj^s of the emperor's career, while the prov- 
inces were enraptured with the prospect of early peace. 
To whom, then, was the sacred debt of national and royal 
gratitude due but to Lamoral of Egmont ? His country- 
men gladly recognized the claim. He became the idol 
of the army, the familiar hero of ballad and story, the 
mirror of chivalry, and the god of popular worship. 
Throughout the Netherlands he was hailed as the right 
hand of the fatherland, the savior of Flanders from 
devastation and outrage, the protector of the nation, the 
pillar of the throne.^ 

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

1 Hoofd, De Thou, ubi sup. 2 Hoofd, i. 15. 

3 Meteren, i. 19. Bor, i. 17. Hoofd, i. 15. 

* " . . . et provenoit la ditte ennemitifi principalement a cause 


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

de la Bataille de Grevelinge, qu'il donna contra son advis et propos 
haultains et superbes qu'il [Egmont] lui tint estant de retour vic- 
torieux en la ville de Bruxelles en la presence du Roy," — Pontus 
Payen MS., 378, 379. 

1 Meteren, Bor, Hoofd, ubi sup. 


Secret negotiations for peace— Two fresh armies assembled, but 
inactive— Negotiations at Cercamp —Death of Mary Tudor— Treaty 
of Cateau-Cambr^sis- Death of Henry II. —Policy of Catherine de' 
Medici— Revelations by Henry II. to the Prince of Orange— Fu- 
neral of Charles V. in Brussels— Universal joy in the Netherlands 
at the restoration of peace — Organization of the government by 
Philip, and preparations for his departure— Appointment of Mar- 
garet of Parma as regent of the Netherlands— Three coimcDs — 
The consnlta- The stadholders of the different provinces— Dissat- 
isfaction caused by the foreign troops— Assembly of the estates 
at Ghent to receive the parting instructions and farewell of the 
king— Speech of the Bishop of Arras- Bequest for three milUons 
—Pierce denunciation of heresy on the part of Philip— Strenuous 
enforcement of the edicts commanded — Reply by the states of 
Artois — Unexpected conditions — Rage of the king— Similar con- 
duct on the part of the other provinces — Remonstrance in the name 
of the States-General against the foreign soldiery— Formal re- 
ply on the part of the crown — Departure of the king from the 
Netherlands — Autos da fe in Spain. 

The battle of Gravelines had decided the qnestion. 
The intrigues of the two cardinals at P6ronne having 
been sustained by Egmont's victory, all parties were 
ready for a peace. King Henry was weary of the losing 
game which he had so long been playing; Philip was 
anxious to relieve himself from his false position and to 
concentrate his whole mind and the strength of his king- 
dom upon his great enemy, the Netherlands heresy ; while 



the Duke of Savoy felt that the time had at last arrived 
when an adroit diplomacy might stand him in stead 
and place him in the enjoyment of those rights which 
the sword had taken from him, and which his own sword 
had done so much toward winning back. The sovereigns 
were inclined to peace, and as there had never been a 
national principle or instinct or interest involved in the 
dispute, it was very certain that peace would be popular 
everywhere, upon whatever terms it might be concluded. 

Montmorency and the Prince of Orange were respec- 
tively empowered to open secret negotiations.^ The 
constable entered upon the task with alacrity, because 
he felt that every day of his captivity was alike prej- 
udicial to his own welfare and the interests of his 
country.2 The Guises, who had quarreled with the 
Duchesse de Valentinois (Diane de Poitiers), were not 
yet powerful enough to resist the influence of the mis- 
tress ; while, rather to baffle them than from any loftier 
reasons, that interest was exerted in behalf of immediate 
peace. The Cardinal de Lorraine had by no means for- 
gotten the eloquent arguments used by the Bishop of 
Arras ; but his brother, the Due de Guise, may be sup- 
posed to have desii-ed some little opportunity of redeem- 
ing the credit of the kingdom, and to have delayed the 
negotiations until his valor could secure a less inglorious 
termination to the war. 

A fresh army had, in fact, been collected under his 
command, and was already organized at Pierrepont. 
At the same time Philip had assembled a large force, 
consisting of thirty thousand foot and fifteen thousand 
cavalry, with which he had himself taken the field, en- 

1 Apologie du P. d'Orange, 49. 

2 De Thou, iii. 246, xx. 


camping toward the middle of August upon the banks 
of the river Anthies, near the border of Picardy.i King 
Henry, on the other hand, had already arrived in the 
camp at Pierrepont, and had reviewed as imposing an 
army as had ever been at the disposal of a French mon- 
arch. When drawn up in battle array it covered a league 
and a half of ground, while three hours were required to 
make its circuit on horseback.^ All this martial display 
was only for effect. The two kings, at the head of their 
great armies, stood looking at each other while the nego- 
tiations for peace were proceeding. An imimportant 
skirmish or two at the outposts, unattended with loss 
of life, were the only military results of these great 
preparations. Early in the autumn all the troops were 
disbanded, while the commissioners of both crowns met 
in open congress at the abbey of Cercamp, near Cam- 
bray, by the middle of October. The envoys on the part 
of Philip were the Prince of Orange, the Duke of Alva, 
the Bishop of Arras, Ruy Gomez da SUva, the president 
Viglius ; on that of the French monarch, the constable, 
the Mar^chal de Saint Andre, the Cardinal de Lorraine; 
the Bishop of Orleans, and Claude L'Aubespine.^ There 
were also envoys sent by the Queen of England, but as 
the dispute concerning Calais was found to hamper the 
negotiations at Cercamp, the English question was left 
to be settled by another congress, and was kept entirely 
separate from the arrangements concluded between 
France and Spain.* 

The death of Queen Mai-y, on the 17th November,^ 

1 Bor, i. 17. Hoofd, i. 16. Meteren, i. 20. 

2 De Thou, iii. 244, xx. 

3 Bor, Hoofd, Meteren, \ibi sup. De Thou, iii. 250, xx. 
1 Ibid. 5 Ibid. Ibid. 


caused a temporary suspension of the proceedings. 
After the widower, however, had made a fruitless effort 
to obtain the hand of her successor, and had been un- 
equivocally repulsed,! i}^q commissioners again met in 
February, 1559, at Cateau-Cambresis. The English 
difficulty was now arranged by separate commissioners, 
and on the 3d of April a treaty between France and 
Spain was concluded.^ 

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

Most of the powers of Europe were included by both 
parties in this treaty: the pope, the emperor, aU the 

1 De Thou, iii. 254. 

2 Bor, Meteren, Hoofd, De Thou. 


electors, the republics of Venice, Genoa, and Switzerland, 
the kingdoms of England, Scotland, Poland, Denmark, 
Sweden, the duchies of Ferrara, Savoy, and Parma, be- 
sides other inferior principalities. Nearly all Christen- 
dom, in short, was embraced in this most amicable 
compact, as if Philip were determined that, henceforth 
and forever, Calvinists and Mohammedans, Turks and 
Flemings, should be his only enemies. 

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

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

Marshal Monluc wrote that a treaty so disgraceful and 
disastrous had never before been ratified by a French 
monarch.2 jt -^vould have been difficult to point to any 
one more unfortunate upon her previous annals — if anj' 
treaty can be called unfortunate by which justice is 
done and wrongs repaired, even under coercion. The 
accumulated plunder of years which was now disgorged 
by France was equal in value to one third of that king- 
dom. One hundred and ninety-eight fortified towns 
were surrendered, making, with other places of greater 
or less importance, a total estimated by some writers as 
high as four hundred.^ The principal gainer was the 

1 De Thou, iii. 350-355. Hoofd, i. 19, 20. Bor, i. 17, 18. Me- 
teren, i. 23. 

2 De Thou. Meursii Gulielmus Auriacus (Leyd. 1621), p. 6. 

3 Hoofd, i. 20. De Thou, iii. 20. Joan. Meursii Gul. Aur., p. 6. 


Duke of Savoy, who, after so many years of knight-er- 
rantry, had regained his duchy, and found himself the 
brother-in-law of his ancient enemy. 

The well-known tragedy by which the solemnities of 
this pacification were abruptly concluded in Paris bore 
with it an impressive moral. The monarch who, in 
violation of his plighted word and against the interests 
of his nation and the world, had entered precipitately 
into a causeless war, now lost his life in fictitious 
combat at the celebration of peace. On the 10th of 
July Henry II. died of the wound inflicted by Mont- 
gomery in the tournament held eleven days bef ore.^ Of 
this weak and worthless prince all that even his flatter- 
ers could favorably urge was his great fondness for war, 
as if a sanguinary propensity, even when unaccompanied 
by a spark of military talent, were of itself a virtue. 
Yet with his death the kingdom fell into even more 
pernicious hands, and the fate of Christendom grew 
darker than ever. The dynasty of Diane de Poitiers 
was succeeded by that of Catherine de' Medici; the 
courtezan gave place to the dowager ; and France— dur- 
ing the long and miserable period in which she lay 
bleeding in the grasp of the Italian she-wolf and her 
litter of cowardly and sanguinary princes— might even 
lament the days of Henry and his Diana. Charles IX., 
Henry III., Francis of AlenQon, last of the Valois race 
— how large a portion of the fearful debt which has not 
yet been discharged by half a century of revolution and 
massacre was of their accumulation ! 

The Duchess of Valentinois had quarreled latterly 
with the house of Guise, and was disposed to favor 
Montmorency. The king, who was but a tool in her 

1 De Thou, iu. 367. 

1559] DEATH OF HENRY U. 253 

hands, might possibly have been induced, had he lived, 
to regard Coligny and his friends with less aversion. 
This is, however, extremely problematical, for it was 
Henry II. who had concluded that memorable arrange- 
ment with his royal brother of Spain, to arrange for the 
Huguenot chiefs throughout both realms a "Sicilian 
"Vespers " upon the first favorable occasion. His death 
and the subsequent policy of the queen-regent deferred 
the execution of the great scheme till fourteen years 
later. Henry had lived long enough, however, after the 
conclusion of the secret agreement to reveal it to one 
whose life was to be employed in thwarting this foul 
conspiracy of monarchs against their subjects. "Wil- 
liam of Orange, then a hostage for the execution of the 
treaty of Cateau-Cambresis, was the man with whom 
the king had the unfortunate conception to confer on 
the subject of the plot.^ The prince, who had already 
gained the esteem of Charles V. by his habitual discre- 
tion, knew how to profit by the intelligence and to bide 
his time ; but his hostility to the policy of the French 
and Spanish courts was perhaps dated from that hour.^ 
Pending the peace negotiations, Philip had been called 
upon to mourn for his wife and father. He did not 
affect grief for the death of Mary Tudor, but he honored 
the emperor's departure with stately obsequies at Brus- 
sels. The ceremonies lasted two da}'s (the 29th and 30th 
December, 1558). In the grand and elaborate procession 
which swept through the streets upon the first day 
the most conspicuous object was a ship floating appa- 
rently upon the waves, and drawn by a band of Tritons 
who disported at the bows. The masts, shrouds, and 
sails of the vessel were black; it was covered with 
1 Apologie d'Orange, 53, 54. ^ ibid. 


lieraldic achievements, banners, and emblematic memen- 
tos of the emperoi-'s various expeditions, while the flags 
of Turks and Moors trailed from its sides in the waves 
below. Three allegorical personages composed the crew. 
Hope, " all clothyd in brown, with anker in hand," stood 
at the prow; Faith, with sacramental chalice and red 
cross, clad in white garment, with her face veiled " with 
white tiffany," sat on a "stool of estate" before the 
mi2;zenmast ; while Charity, " in red, holding in her hand 
a burning heart," was at the helm to navigate the vessel.^ 
Hope, Faith, and Love were thought the most appro- 
priate symbols for the man who had invented the edicts, 
introduced the Inquisition, and whose last words, in- 
scribed by a hand already trembling with death, had 
adjured his son, by his love, allegiance, and hope of sal- 
vation, to deal to all heretics the extreme rigor of the 
law, " without respect of persons and without regard to 
any plea in their favor." ^ 

The rest of the procession, in which marched the Duke 
of Alva, the Prince of Orange, and other great person- 
ages, carrying the sword, the globe, the scepter, and the 
"crown imperial," contained no emblems or imagery 
worthy of being recorded. The next day the king, 
dressed in mourning and attended by a solemn train 
of high officers and nobles, went again to the church. 
A contemporary letter mentions a somewhat singular 
incident as forming the concluding part of the ceremony. 
" And the service being done," wrote Sir Richard Clough 
to Sir Thomas Gresham, "there went a nobleman into 

1 Hoofd, i. 18. De Thou, iii. xs. Brantome, Oiuvres, i. 35-38. 
Sir Richard Clough's letter to Sir T. Grresham in Burgon's Life 
and Times, i. 247-254. 

2 StirUng, Cloister Life of Charles V. (Lond. 1853), 217. 


the herse (so far as I colde understande, it tvas the Prince 
of Orange), who, standing before the herse, struck with 
his hand upon the chest and sayd, 'He is ded.' Then 
standing styll awhile, he sayd, ' He shall remayn ded.' 
And then resting awhile, he struck again and sayd, ' He 
is ded, and there is another rysen up in his place greater 
than ever he was.' Whereupon the Kynge's hoode was 
taken off and the Kynge went home without his hoode." ^ 

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

But with this merry humor of his subjects the sover- 
eign had but little sympathy. There was nothing in 
his character or purposes which owed affinity with any 
mood of this jocund and energetic people. Philip had 
1 Burgon, i. 254. 2 Meteren, i. 23, 24. 


not made peace with all the world that the Netherlanders 
might climb on poles or ring bells or strew flowers in 
his path for a Httle holiday-time, and then return to their 
industrious avocations again. He had made peace with 
all the world that he might be free to combat heresy ; 
and this arch-enemy had taken up its stronghold in the 
provinces. The treaty of Cateau-Cambresis left him at 
liberty to devote himself to that great enterprise. He 
had never loved the Netherlands, a residence in these 
constitutional provinces was extremely irksome to him, 
and he was therefore anxious to return to Spain. From 
the depths of his cabinet he felt that he should be able 
to direct the enterprise he was resolved upon, and that 
his presence in the Netherlands would be superfluous 
and disagreeable. 

The early part of the year 1559 was spent by Philip 
in organizing the government of the provinces and in 
making the necessary preparations for his departure. 
The Duke of Savoy, being restored to his duchy, had, 
of course, no more leisure to act as regent of the Nether- 
lands, and it was necessary, therefore, to fix upon his 
successor in this important post at once. There were 
several candidates. The Duchess Christina of Lorraine 
had received many half-promises of the appointment, 
which she was most anxious to secure ; the emperor 
was even said to desire the nomination of the Archduke 
Maximilian, a step which woiild have certainly argued 
more magnanimity upon Philip's part than the world 
could give him credit for ; and besides these regal per- 
sonages the high nobles of the land, especially Orange 
and Egmont, had hopes of obtaining the dignity. The 
Prince of Orange, however, was too sagacious to deceive 
himself long, and became satisfied very soon that no 


Netherlander was likely to be selected for regent. He 
therefore threw his influence in favor of the Duchess 
Christina, whose daughter, at the suggestion of the Bish- 
op of Arras, he was desirous of obtaining in marriage. 
The king favored for a time, or pretended to favor, both 
the appointment of Madame de Lorraine and the mar- 
riage project of the prince.^ Afterward, however, and 
in a manner which was accounted both sudden and mys- 
terious, it appeared that the duchess and Orange had 
both been deceived, and that the king and bishop had 
decided in favor of another candidate, whose claims 
had not been considered before very prominent.- This 
was the Duchess Margaret of Parma, natural daughter of 
Charles V.^ A brief sketch of this important personage, 
so far as regards her previous career, is reserved for the 
following chapter. For the present it is sufficient to 
state the fact of the nomination. In order to afford a 
full view of Philip's political arrangements before his 
final departure from the Netherlands, we defer until the 
same chapter an account of the persons who composed 
the boards of council organized to assist the new regent 
in the government. These bodies themselves were three 
in number— a state and privy council and one of finance.* 
They were not new institutions, having been originally 
established by the emperor, and were now arranged by 
his successor upon the same nominal basis upon which 

1 Vide Bakhuyzen v. d. Brink, Het Huwelijk van "W. van 
Oranje, 7 sqq. Eeiilenberg, Correspondance de Marguerite d'Au- 
triclie (Bruxelles, 1842), p. 272. 

2 Bakhuyzen, p. 8. Compare Plor. Van der Haer de initiis tumul- 
tumn Belgicorum (Lovanii, 1640), i. p. 127; Strada de Bell. Belg., 
i. 34, 35^2 ; Meteren, i. 24. 

2 Strada, Van der Haer, Meteren, ubi sup. 
* Meteren, i. 24. Hoofd, i. 23. 

VOL. I. —17 


they had before existed. The finance council, which 
had superintendence of all matters relating to the royal 
domains and to the annual budgets of the government, 
was presided over by Baron Berlaymont.^ The privy 
council, of which Viglius was president, was composed 
of ten or twelve learned doctors, and was especially 
intrusted with the control of matters relating to law, 
pardons, and the general administration of justice. The 
state council, which was far the most important of the 
three boards, was to superintend all high affairs of gov- 
ernment, war, treaties, foreign intercourse, internal and 
interprovincial affairs. The members of this council 
were the Bishop of Arras, Viglius, Berlaymont, the 
Prince of Orange, Count Egmont, to which number 
were afterward added the Seigneur de Glayon, the 
Duke of Aerschot, and Count Horn.^ The last-named 
nobleman, who was admiral of the provinces, had, for 
the present, been appointed to accompany the king to 
Spain, there to be specially intrusted with the adminis- 
tration of affairs relating to the Netherlands.^ He was 
destined, however, to return at the expiration of two 

"With the object, as it was thought, of curbing the 
power of the great nobles, it had been arranged that the 
three councils should be entirely distinct from each 
other, that the members of the state council should have 
no participation in the affairs of the two other bodies, 
but, on the other hand, that the finance and privy 
councilors, as well as the Knights of the Fleece, should 
have access to the deliberations of the state council.* In 

1 Meteren, Hoofd, Van der Vynckt. 

2 Hoofd, i. 23. Meteren, i. 24. 

3 Van der Vynckt, i. 149. < Hoofd, Meteren, ubi sup. 


the course of events, however, it soon became evident 
that the real power of the government was exclusively 
in the hands of the consulta, a committee of three mem- 
bers of the state council, by whose deliberations the 
regent was secretly instructed to be guided on all im- 
portant occasions. The three, Viglius, Berlaymont, and 
Arras, who composed the secret conclave or cabinet, 
were in reality but one. The Bishop of Arras was in 
all three, and the three together constituted only the 
Bishop of Ai-ras. 

There was no especial governor or stadholder ap- 
pointed for the province of Brabant, where the regent 
was to reside and to exercise executive functions in 
person. The stadholders for the other provinces were, 
for Flanders and Artois, the Count of Egmont ; for Hol- 
land, Zealand, and Utrecht, the Prince of Orange ; for 
Gruelders and Ziitphen, the Count of Meghen ; for Fries- 
land, Groningen, and Overyssel, Count Aremberg; for 
Hainault, Valenciennes, and Cambray, the Marquis of 
Berghen ; for Tournay and Tournaisis, Baron Montigny ; 
for Namur, Baron Berlaymont ; for Luxemburg, Count 
Mansf eld ; for Ryssel, Douai, and Orchies, the Baron 
Coureires.^ All these stadholders were commanders-in- 
chief of the military forces in their respective provinces. 
With the single exception of Count Egmont, in whose 
province of Flanders the stadholders were excluded 
from the administration of justice,^ all were likewise 
supreme judges in the civil and criminal tribunals.-* The 
military force of the Netherlands in time of peace was 
small, for the provinces were jealous of the presence of 
soldiery. The only standing army which then legally 

1 Meteren, i. 24. Hoofd, i. 22. 

2 Ibid., i. 22. 3 Meteren, i. 24. 


existed in the Netherlands were the Bandes d'Ordon- 
nance, a body of mounted gendarmerie, amounting in 
all to three thousand men, which ranked among the 
most accomplished and best-disciplined cavalry of Eu- 
rope.^ They were divided into fourteen squadrons, each 
under the command of a stadholder or of a distinguished 
noble. Besides these troops, however, there still re- 
mained in the provinces a foreign force amounting in 
the aggregate to four thousand men.^ These soldiers 
were the remainder of those large bodies which year 
after year had been quartered upon the Netherlands 
during the constant warfare to which they had been 
exposed. Living upon the substance of the country, 
paid out of its treasury, and as offensive by their licen- 
tious and ribald habits of life as were the enemies against 
whom they were enrolled, these troops had become an 
intolerable burden to the people. They were now dis- 
posed in different garrisons, nominally to protect the 
frontier. As a firm peace, however, had now been con- 
cluded between Spain and France, and as there was no 
pretext for compelling the pro\'inces to accept this pro- 
tection, the presence of a foreign soldiery strengthened 
a suspicion that they were to be used in the onslaught 
which was preparing against the religious freedom and 
the political privileges of the country. They were to 
be the nucleus of a larger army, it was believed, by which 
the land was to be reduced to a state of servile subjec- 
tion to Spain. A low, constant, but generally unheeded 
murmur of dissatisfaction and distrust upon this subject 
was already perceptible throughout the Netherlands,' 
a warning presage of the coming storm. 

1 Meteren, i. 24. 

2 Bor, i. 19. Meteren. 3 Ibid. Ibid., i. 24. 


All the provinces were now convoked for the 7th of 
August (1559) at Ghent, there to receive the parting 
communication and farewell of the king.^ Previously 
to this day, however, Philip appeared in person upon 
several solemn occasions, to impress upon the country 
the necessity of attending to the great subject with 
which his mind was exclusively occupied.^ He came 
before the Great CouncU of Mechlin,^ in order to ad- 
dress that body with his own lips upon the necessity of 
supporting the edicts to the letter, and of trampling out 
every vestige of heresy, wherever it should appear, by 
the immediate immolation of all heretics, whoever they 
might be. 

He likewise caused the estates of Flanders to be pri- 
vately assembled, that he might harangue them upon 
the same great topic. In the latter part of July he pro- 
ceeded to Ghent, where a great concourse of nobles, 
citizens, and strangers had already assembled. Here, in 
the last week of the month, the twenty-third chapter of 
the Golden Fleece was held with much pomp, and with 
festivities which lasted three days. The fourteen vacan- 
cies which existed were filled with the names of various 
distinguished personages. With this last celebration 
the public history of Philip the Good's ostentatious and 
ambitious order of knighthood was closed. The subse- 
quent nominations were made ex induUu apostolico, and 
without the assembling of a chapter.* 

1 Meteren, i. 24. 

2 Joaeh. Hopperus, Recueil et Mtoorial des Troubles des Pays 
Bas (apud Ho3Tickt, ii.), p. 20. 

3 Ibid. Compare Gachard, Collection des Documents In^dits 
concernant I'Histoire de la Belgique (Brux. 1833), i. 313-337. 

4 Van der Vynckt, i. 135. 


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

Upon the king's accession to the sovereignty he had 
arranged a truce of five years, which had been broken 
through by the faithlessness of France. He had there- 
fore been obliged, notwithstanding his anxiety to return 
to a country where his presence was so much needed, to 
remain in the provinces till he had conducted the new 
war to a triumphant close. In doing this he had been 
solely governed by his intense love for the Netherlands 
and by his regard for their interests. AH the money 
which he had raised from their coffers had been spent 
for their protection. Upon this account his Majesty 
expressed his confidence that the estates would pay an 
earnest attention to the "Request" which had been laid 
before them, the more so as its amount, three millions 
of gold florins, would all be expended for the good of 
the provinces. After his return to Spain he hoped to be 
able to make a remittance. The Duke of Savoy, he con- 
tinued, being obliged, in consequence of the fortunate 


change in his affairs, to resign the government of the 
Netherlands, and his own son, Don Carlos, not yet being 
sufQciently advanced in years to succeed to that impor- 
tant post, his Majesty had selected his sister, the Duch- 
ess Margaret of Parma, daughter of the emperor, as the 
most proper person for regent. As she had been born 
in the Netherlands and had always entertained a pro- 
found affection for the provinces, he felt a firm con- 
fidence that she would prove faithful both to their 
interests and his own. As at this moment many coun- 
tries, and particularly the lands in the immediate 
neighborhood, were greatly infested by various "new, 
reprobate, and damnable sects " ; as these sects, proceed- 
ing from the foul fiend, father of discord, had not failed 
to keep those kingdoms in perpetual dissension and 
misery, to the manifest displeasure of God Almighty ; 
as his Majesty was desirous to avert such terrible evils 
from his own realms, according to his duty to the Lord 
God, who would demand reckoning from him hereafter 
for the well-being of the pro\-inces; as all experience 
proved that change of rehgion ever brought desolation 
and confusion to the commonweal; as low persons, 
beggars and vagabonds, under color of religion, were 
accustomed to traverse the land for the purpose of 
plunder and disturbance ; as his Majesty was most de- 
sirous of following in the footsteps of his lord and father ; 
as it would be well remembered what the emperor had 
said to him upon the memorable occasion of his abdi- 
cation, therefore his Majesty had commanded the regent 
Margaret of Parma, for the sake of religion and the 
glory of God, accurately and exactly to cause to be enforced 
the edicts and decrees made by Ms imperial Majesty, and 
renetved by his present Majesty, for the extirpation of all 


sects and heresies. All governors, councilors, and others 
having authority were also instructed to do theii* utmost 
to accomplish this great end.^ 

The great object of the discourse was thus announced 
in the most impressive manner, and with all that con- 
ventional rhetoric of which the Bishop of Arras was 
considered a consummate master. Not a word was said 
on the subject which was nearest the hearts of the Nether- 
landers— the withdrawal of the Spanish troops.^ Not a 
hint was held out that a reduction of the taxation un- 
der which the provinces had so long been groaning was 
likely to take place ; but, on the contrary, the king had 
demanded a new levy of considerable amount. A few 
well-turned paragraphs were added on the subject of the 
administration of justice— "without which the republic 
was a dead body without a soid "—in the bishop's most 
approved style, and the discourse concluded with a fer- 
vent exhortation to the provinces to trample heresy and 
heretics out of existence, and with the hope that the 

1 See the speech in Bor, i. 19, 20, 21. Compare Grachard, Docum. 
Iii6d., i. 313-322. 

2 Bentivoglio, Guerra di Fiandra, i. 9 (Opere, Parigi, 1648), 
gives a different report, which ends with a distinct promise on the 
part of the king to dismiss the troops as soon as possible : "... in 
segno di ohe spetialmente havrebbe quanto prima, e fatti uscire 
i presidij stranieri daUe fortezze e levata ogn' insolita contribu- 
tione al paese." It is almost superfluous to state that the cardinal 
is no authority for speeches, except, indeed, for those which were 
never made. Long orations by generals upon the battle-field, by 
royal personages in their cabinets, by conspirators in secret con- 
clave, are reported by him with much minuteness, and none can 
gainsay the accuracy with which these harangues, which never had 
any existence except in the author's imagination, are placed before 
the reader. Bentivoglio's stately and graceful style, elegant de- 
scriptions, and general acquaintance with his subject will always 


Lord God, in such ease, would bestow upon the Nether- 
lands health and happiness. ^ 

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

The address first read was that of the estates of 
Artois.* The chairman of the deputies from that prov- 
ince read a series of resolutions, drawn up, says a con- 
temporary, " with that elegance which characterized all 
the public acts of the Artesians, bearing witness to the 
vivacity of their wits." ^ The deputies spoke of the ex- 
treme affection which their province had always borne 
to his Majesty and to the emperor. They had proved 
it by the constancy with which they had endm-ed the 
calamities of war so long, and they now cheerfully con- 
sented to the request, so far as theii- contingent went. 
They were willing to place at his Majesty's disposal not 

make his works attractive, but the classic and conventional system 
of inventing long speeches for historical characters has fortmiately 
gone out of fashion. It is very interesting to know what an impor- 
tant personage really did say or write upon remarkable occasions ; 
but it is less instructive to be told what the historian thinks might 
have been a good speech or epistle for him to utter or indite. 

1 Bor, ubi sup, 

2 Pontus Payen MS., 14-18. 

3 Ibid. 1 Ibid. 

5 " . . .en termes fort elegans comme sont ordinairement les 
actes et depeches qui se font smx assemblees desdicts Etats rendans 
bon tesmoignage de la vivacity des esprits d'Artois."— Ibid. 


only the remains of their property, but even the last drop 
of their blood. 

As the eloquent chairman reached this point in his 
discourse, Philip, who was standing with his arm rest- 
ing upon Egmont's shoulder, listening eagerly to the 
Artesian address, looked upon the deputies of the prov- 
ince with a smiling face,i expressing by the unwonted 
benignity of his countenance the satisfaction which he 
received from these loyal expressions of affection and 
this dutiful compliance with his request.^ 

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

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

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

1 Pontus Payen MS., 14r-18. 2 Iljid. 

3 Ibid. * Ibid. 


The king did not affect to conceal his rage at these 
conditions, exclaiming bitterly to Count Egmont and 
other seigniors near the throne that it was very easy to 
estimate by these proceedings the value of the protes- 
tations made by the provinces of their loyalty and affec- 

Besides, however, the answers thus addressed by the 
separate states to the royal address, a formal remon- 
strance had also been drawn up in the name of the States- 
General, and signed by the Prince of Orange, Count Eg- 
mont, and many of the leading patricians of the Nether- 
lands. This document, which was formally presented to 
the king before the adjournment of the assembly, repre- 
sented the infamous " pUlaging, insults, and disorders " 
daily exercised by the foreign soldiery ; stating that the 
burden had become intolerable, and that the inhabitants 
of Marienburg and of many other large towns and vil- 
lages had absolixtely abandoned their homes rather than 
remain any longer exposed to such insolence and op- 

The king, already enraged, was furious at the presen- 
tation of this petition. He arose from his seat and 
rushed impetuously from the assembly, demanding of 
the members, as he went, whether he too, as a Spaniard, 
was expected immediately to leave the land and to 
resign all authority over it.^ The Duke of Savoy made 

1 Pontus Payen MS. Compare Van der Haer, i. 108, 109, 110 ; 
Wagenaer, Vaderl. Hist., vi. 52. 

2 Meteren, i. 24. Bor, i. 22. Wagenaer, vi. 48-52. " Remon- 
tranoe addressee au roy par les etats generaulx pour le renvoi des 
troupes etrangeres et pour que les affaires fussent administr^es de 
I'avis des Seigneurs."— Gachard, Documents Ini5dits, i. 323-325. 

3 Wagenaer, vi. 52. Compare Van der Haer, "Subiratum de 
sede Regem sur rexisse et eo digresso," etc.— ■s'iii. 110. 


use of tMs last occasion in which he appeared in public 
as regent violently to rebuke the estates for the indignity 
thus offered to their sovereign.^ 

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

This burst of iU temper on the part of the monarch 
was, however, succeeded by a different humor. It was 
still thought advisable to dissemble, and to return rather 
an expostulatory than a peremptory answer to the re- 
monstrance of the States-General. Accordingly, a paper 
of a singular tone was, after the delay of a few days, sent 
in to the assembly. In this message it was stated that 
the king was not desirous of placing strangers in the gov- 
ernment—a fact which was proved by the appointment 
of the Duchess Margaret ; that the Spanish infantry was 
necessary to protect the land from invasion ; that the 
remnant of foreign troops only amounted to three or 
four thousand men, who claimed considerable arrears of 
pay, but that the amount due would be forwarded to 
them immediately after his Majesty's return to Spain. 
It was suggested that the troops would serve as an escort 
for Don Carlos when he should arrive in the Netherlands, 

1 Van der Haer, ubi sup. 


although the king would have been glad to carry them 
to Spain in his fleet, had he known the wishes of the 
estates in time. He would, however, pay for their sup- 
port himself, although they were to act solely for the 
good of the provinces. He observed, moreover, that he 
had selected two seigniors of the pro\dnces, the Prince of 
Orange and Count Egmont, to take command of these 
foreign troops, and he promised faithfully that, in the 
course of three or four months at furthest, they should 
all be withdi-awn.^ 

On the same day in which the estates had assembled 
at Ghent, Philip had addressed an elaborate letter to the 
Grand Council of Mechlin, the Supreme Court of the prov- 
inces, and to the various provincial councUs and tribunals 
of the whole country.^ The object of the communication 
was to give his final orders on the subject of the edicts, 
and for the execution of all heretics in the most uni- 
versal and summary manner. He gave stringent and 
unequivocal instructions that these decrees for burn- 
ing, strangling, and burying alive should be fulfilled to 
the letter. He ordered all judicial officers and magis- 
trates " to be curious to inquire on all sides as to the 
execution of the placards," stating his intention that 
"the utmost rigor should be employed without any 
respect of persons," and that not only " the transgres- 
sors should be proceeded against, but also the judges 
who should prove remiss in their prosecution of heretics."^ 

1 "Reponse du Roy h. la Remontrance," etc.— Documents In- 
6dits, i. 326-329. 

2 "Lettre de PMl. H. au grand conseil de Malines par laquelle il 
lui fait connaitre son intention sur le fait de la religion et de I'extir- 
pation des heresies, 8 Aout, 1559."-Ibid., i. 332-339. 

' " . . . que vous soyez curieulx pour vous enquerir si &. tous 


He alluded to a false opinion which had gained currency 
that the edicts were only intended against Anabaptists. 
Correcting this error, he stated that they were to be 
" enforced against all sectaries, without any distinction 
or mercy, who might be spotted merely with the en-ors 
introduced by Luther." ^ 

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

Philip, soon after the adjournment of the assembly, 
had completed the preparations for his departure. At 
Middelburg he was met by the agreeable intelligence 
that the pope had consented to issue a bull for the crea- 
tion of the new bishoprics which he desired for the 
Netherlands.^ This important subject will be resumed 
in another chapter ; for the present we accompany the 
king to Flushing, whence the fleet was to set sail for 
Spain. He was escorted thither by the duchess regent, 
the Duke of Savoy, and by many of the most eminent 
personages of the provinces.^ Among others, William 

costelz I'exeoution se fera centre ceulx qui y centre viendront la- 
quelle execution nous entendons et voulons se face avec toute 
rigueur et sans y respecter personne qui que ce soit, et de proceder 
non seullement centre les transgresseurs mais aussi centre les juges 
qui vouldroient user de dissimulation et connivance," etc.— Docu- 
ments In^dits, i. 355. 

1 " . . . centre ceulx qui pourroient estre seullement entachez 
des articles et erreurs introduitz et seustenus par le diet Luthere." 
—Ibid., 337. 2 Hopper, Ree. et Mem., p. 21, c. ii, 

' Van der Vynckt, i. 140. 


of Orange was in attendance to witness the final depar- 
ture of the king and to pay him his farewell respects. As 
Philip was proceeding on board the ship which was to 
bear him forever from the Netherlands, his eyes lighted 
upon the prince. His displeasure could no longer be 
restrained. With angry face he turned upon him, and 
bitterly reproached him for having thwarted aU his plans 
by means of his secret intrigues. William replied with. 
humility that everything which had taken place had 
been done through the regular and natural movements 
of the states. Upon this the king, boihng with rage, 
seized the prince by the wrist, and shaking it violently, 
exclaimed in Spanish, "No los estados, mas vos, vos, vos ! " 
("Not the estates, but you, you, you ! "), repeating thrice 
the word vos, which is as disrespectful and uncourteous 
in Spanish as toi in Trench.! 

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

1 M^moires de I'Aubery du Maurier (Maurier, 1680), p. 9, Trho 
relates the anecdote upon the authority of his father, who had it 
from a gentleman present at the scene, a friend of the Prince of 
Orange. Ibid. 


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

Early in January of this year the king, being per- 
suaded that it was necessary everywhere to use addi- 
tional means to check the alarming spread of Lutheran 
opinions, had written to the pope for authority to in- 
crease, if that were possible, the stringency of the 
Spanish Inquisition. The pontiff, nothing loath, had 

1 Meteren, i. 25. 2 Ibid. 

3 Ibid. Hoofd, i. 27. Compare Cabrera, v. 235. 

< Bor, i. 22. 


accordingly issued a bull directed to the inquisitor- 
general, Valdez, by -which he was instructed to consign 
to the flames all prisoners whatever, even those who 
were not accused of having "relapsed."^ Great prep- 
arations had been made to strike terror into the hearts 
of heretics by a series of horrible exhibitions, in the 
course of which the numerous victims, many of them 
persons of high rank, distinguished learning, and ex- 
emplary lives, who had long been languishing in the 
dungeons of the Holy Office, were to be consigned to the 
flames.^ The first auto da fe had been consummated at 
Valladohd on the 21st May (1559), in the absence of the 
king, of course, but in the presence of the royal family 
and the principal notabilities, civil, ecclesiastical, and 
military. The princess regent, seated on her throne, 
close to the scaffold, had held on high the holy sword. 
The Archbishop of Seville, followed by the ministers of 
the Inquisition and by the victims, had arrived in solemn 
procession at the cadahalso, where, after the usual ser- 
mon in praise of the Holy Office and in denunciation of 
heresy, he had administered the oath to the Infante, who 
had duly sworn upon the crucifix to maintain forever 
the sacred Inquisition and the apostolic decrees. The 
archbishop had then cried aloud, " So may God prosper 
your Highnesses and your estates," ^ after which the men 
and women who formed the object of the show had been 
cast into the flames.* It being afterward ascertained 
that the king himself would soon be enabled to return 

1 "Had the king and the inquisitor never committed any other 
evil," says Llorente, "this alone ■wonld be sufficient to consign 
tlieir names to eternal infamy.'' 

2 Cabrera, v. 235 sqq. Llorente, Hist. Crit. de I'lnquis., ii. xviii. 

3 Cabrera, iv. 209. * Ibid. 

VOL. I.— 18 


to Spain, the next festival was reserved as a fitting 
celebration for his arrival. Upon the 8th October, 
accordingly, another auto da f e took place at VaUadolid. 
The king, with his sister and his son, the high officers of 
state, the foreign ministers, and aU the nobility of the 
kingdom, were present, together with an immense con- 
course of soldiery, clergy, and populace. The sermon was 
preached by the Bishop of Cuenca. When it was finished, 
Inquisitor-General Valdez cried with a loud voice, " 
God, make speed to help us ! " ^ The king then drew his 
sword. Valdez, advancing to the platform upon which 
Philip was seated, proceeded to read the protestation: 
" Tour Majesty swears by the cross of the sword, whereon 
your royal hand reposes, that you wiU give all necessary 
favor to the Holy Office of the Inquisition against here- 
tics, apostates, and those who favor them, and will 
denounce and inform against aU those who, to your 
royal knowledge, shall act or speak against the faith." 2 
The king answered aloud, " I swear it," and signed the 
paper. The oath was read to the whole assembly by an 
officer of the Inquisition. Thirteen distinguished victims 
were then burned before the monarch's eyes, besides one 
body which a friendly death had snatched from the hands 
of the Holy Office, and the effigy of another person who 
had been condemned, although not yet tried or even 
apprehended. Among the sufferers was Carlos de Sessa, 
a young noble of distinguished character and abilities, 
who said to the king as he passed by the throne to the 
stake, " How can you thus look on and permit me to be 
burned ? " Philip then made the memorable reply, care- 
fully recorded by his historiographer and panegyrist: 

i "Domine, adjuva nos.''— Cabrera, v. 235. 
2 Ibid. 


"I would carry the wood to burn my own son withal, 
were he as wicked as you." ^ 

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

Such were the religious ceremonies with which Philip 
celebrated his escape from shipwreck, and his marriage 
with Isabella of France, immediately afterward solem- 
nized. These human victims, chained and burning at 
the stake, were the blazing torches which hghted the 
monarch to his nuptial couch.^ 

1 " Yo traer^ lena para quemar a mi hijo si f uere tan malo oomo 
vos."— Cabrera, v. 236. 

2 Hoofd, i. 27. Meteren, i. 25. Bor, i. 23. De Thou, iii. 410- 
413, xxiii. Cabrera, iv. 209, v. 235 sqq. Compare Llorente (Hist. 
Crit. de I'lnquis., ii. x\'ii. xx. and xxi.), who has corrected many 
errors made by preceding historians. 





Biographical sketch and portrait of Margaret of Parma— The state 
council— Berlaymont—Viglius— Sketch of William the Silent- 
Portrait of Anthony Pen-enot, afterward Cardinal Granvelle — 
General view of the political, social, and religious condition of the 
Netherlands— Habits of the aristocracy— Emulation in extrava- 
gance—Pecuniary embarrassments— Sympathy for the Reforma- 
tion, steadily increasing among the people, the true cause of the 
impending revolt— Measures of the government — Edict of 1550 
described— Papal bulls granted to Philip for increasing the num- 
ber of bishops in the Netherlands— Necessity for retaining the 
Spanish troops to enforce the policy of persecution. 

JIargaret op Parma, newly appointed regent of the 
Netherlands, was the natural daughter of Charles V., and 
his eldest-born child. Her mother, of a respectable family- 
called Van der G-enst, in Oudenarde, had been adopted 
and brought up by the distinguished house of Hoog- 
straaten. Peculiar circumstances, not necessary to relate 
at length, had palliated the fault to which Margaret owed 
her imperial origin, and gave the child almost a legiti- 
mate claim upon its fathei-'s protection. The claim was 
honorably acknowledged. Margaret was in her infancy 
placed by the emperor in the charge of his paternal 
aunt, Margaret of Savoy, then regent of the provinces. 
Upon the death of that princess, the child was intrusted 
to the care of the emperor's sister, Mary, Queen Dowa^ 
ger of Hungary, who had succeeded to the government, 



and who occupied it until the abdication. The huntress- 
queen communicated her tastes to her youthful niece, 
and Margaret soon outrivaled her instructress. The 
ardor with which she pursued the stag, and the coura- 
geous horsemanship which she always displayed, proved 
her, too, no degenerate descendant of Mary of Burgundy. 
Her education for the distinguished position in which 
she had somewhat suiTeptitiously been placed was at 
least not neglected in this particular. When, soon 
after the memorable sack of Rome, the pope and the 
emperor had been reconciled, and it had been decided 
that the Medici family should be elevated upon the ruins 
of Florentine liberty, Margaret's hand was conferred in 
marriage upon the pontiff's nephew Alexander. The 
wi'etched profligate who was thus selected to mate with 
the emperor's eldest-born child and to appropriate the 
fair demesnes of the Tuscan republic was nominally the 
offspring of Lorenzo de' Medici by a Moorish slave, al- 
though generally reputed a bastard of the pope himself. 
The nuptials were celebrated with great pomp at Naples, 
where the emperor rode at the tournament in the guise 
of a Moorish wai'rior. At Florence splendid festivities 
had also been held, which were troubled with omens 
believed to be highly unfavorable. It hardly needed, 
however, preternatural appearances in heaven or on 
earth to proclaim the marriage iU-starred which united 
a child of twelve years with a worn-out debauchee of 
twenty-seven. Fortunately for Margaret, the funereal 
portents proved true. Her husband, within the first 
year of their wedded life, fell a victim to his own prof- 
ligacy, and was assassinated by his kinsman, Lorenzino 
de' Medici. Cosmo, his successor in the tyranny of 
Florence, was desirous of succeeding to the hand of 


Margaret ; but the politic emperor, thinking that he had 
already done enough to conciliate that house, was in- 
clined to bind to his interests the family which now 
occupied the papal throne. Margaret was accordingly a 
few years afterward united to Ottavio Farnese, nephew 
of Paul III. It was still her fate to be unequally 
matched. Having while still a child been wedded to a 
man of more than twice her years, she was now, at the 
age of twenty, united to an immature youth of thirteen. 
She conceived so strong an aversion to her new husband 
that it became impossible for them to hve together in 
peace. Otta^'io accordingly went to the wars, and in 1541 
accompanied the emperor in his memorable expedition 
to Barbary. 

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


was too apt to exercise even upon her husband, the mar- 
riage would have been sufficiently fortunate.^ 

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

She was about thirty-seven years of age when she 
arrived in the Netherlands, with the reputation of pos- 
sessing high talents and a proud and energetic char- 
acter.2 She was an enthusiastic Catholic, and had sat 
at the feet of Loyola, who had been her confessor and 
spiritual guide. She felt a greater horror for heretics 
than for any other species of malefactors, and looked up 
to her father's bloody edicts as if they had been special 
revelations from on high. She was most strenuous in 
1 Strada, i. 35-44. ^ Ibid., i. 42. 


her observance of Roman rites, and was accustomed to 
wash the feet of twelve virgins every Holy Week, and to 
endow them in marriage afterward. ^ Her acquirements, 
save that of the art of horsemanship, were not remark- 

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

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

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

The first was, likewise, chief of the finance depart- 
ment. Most of the Catholic writers described him as a 
noble of loyal and highly honorable character. Those 

1 Strada, i. 42. 

2 "Nec deerat aliqua mento superiorique labello Isarbula, ex 
qua virilis ei non magis species quam auctoritas conciliabatur."— 
Ibid. ' Ibid. 


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

Viglius van Aytta van Zuichem was a learned Frisian, 
born, according to some writers, of " boors' degree, but 
having no inclination for boorish work." i According 
to other authorities, which the president himself favored, 
he was of noble origin ; but, whatever his race, it is cer- 
tain that, whether gentle or simple, it derived its first and 
only historical illustration from his remarkable talents 
and acquirements. These in early youth were so great 
as to acquire the commendation of Erasmus. He had 
studied in Louvain, Paris, and Padua, had refused the 
tutorship of Philip when that prince was still a child, 
and had afterward filled a professorship at Ingolstadt. 
After rejecting several offers of promotion from the 
emperor, he had at last accepted, in 1542, a seat in the 
council of Mechlin, of which body he had become presi- 
dent in 154.5. He had been one of the peace commis- 
sioners to France in 1558, and was now president of the 
privy council, a member of the state council, and of 
the inner and secret committee of that board, called the 
1 Levensbesch. Nederl. Man. en Vrouwen, iv. 75. 


consulta. Much odium was attached to his name for 
his share in the composition of the famous edict of 1550. 
The rough draft was usually attributed to his pen, 
but he complained bitterly, in letters written at this time, 
of injustice done him in this respect, and maintained 
that he had endeavored, without success, to induce the 
emperor to mitigate the severity of the edict. One 
does not feel very strongly inclined to accept his excuses, 
however, when his general opinions on the subject of 
religion are remembered. He was most bigoted in pre- 
cept and practice. Religious liberty he regarded as the 
most detestable and baleful of doctrines ; heresy he de- 
nounced as the most unpardonable of crimes. 

From no man's mouth flowed more bitter or more 
elegant commonplaces than from that of the learned 
president against those blackest of malefactors, the men 
who claimed within their own walls the right to worship 
God according to theii- own consciences. For a common 
person, not learned in law or divinity, to enter into his 
closet, to shut the door, and to pray to Him who seeth 
in secret, was, in his opinion, to open wide the gate of 
destruction for all the land, and to bring in the father 
of evil at once to fly away with the whole popidation, 
body and soul. " If every man," said he to Hopper, " is 
to believe what he likes in his own house, we shall have 
hearth'gods and tutelar divinities ^ again, the country will 
swarm with a thousand errors and sects, and very few 
there will be, I fear, who wiU allow themselves to be 
inclosed in the sheepfold of Christ. I have ever con- 
sidered this opinion," continued the president, " the most 
pernicious of all. They who hold it have a contempt for 
all religion, and are neither more nor less than atheists. 
1 ". . . lares leiauresque," etc.— Ep. ad Hopp., 421. 


This vague, fireside liberty should be by every possible 
means extirpated; therefore did Christ institute shep- 
herds to drive his wandering sheep back into the fold 
of the true church; thus only can we guard the lambs 
against the ravening wolves, and prevent their being 
carried away from the flock of Christ to the flock of 
BeKal. Liberty of religion, or of conscience, as they call 
it, ought never to be tolerated." ^ 

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

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

The Nassau family first emerges into distinct existence 
in the middle of the eleventh century. It divides itself 
almost as soon as known into two great branches. The 
elder remained in Germany, ascended the imperial throne 

1 Viglii Epist. ad Joach. Hoppenim, pp. 421, 422. Compare Vit. 
Viglii ab ipso Viglio Script, (apud Hoynok, i. ), 1-33 ; Viglii Epist. 
Select, ad Di versos, cxlviii. ; Levensb. Nederl. Man. en Vrouw., iv. 
75-82 ; Van der Vynckt, i. 127. 


in the thirteenth century in the person of Adolph of 
Nassau, and gave to the country many electors, bishops, 
and generals. The younger and more illustrious branch 
retained the modest property and petty sovereignty of 
Nassau-Dillenburg, but at the same time transplanted 
itself to the Netherlands, where it attained at an early 
period to great power and large possessions. The an- 
cestors of William, as dukes of Gruelders, had begun to 
exercise sovereignty in the provinces four centuries before 
the advent of the house of BurgTindy.^ That over- 
shadowing family afterward numbered the Netherland 
Nassaus among its most stanch and powerful adherents. 
Engelbert II. was distingmshed in the turbulent councils 
and in the battle-l:elds of Charles the Bold, and was 
afterward the unwavering supporter of Maximilian in 
coui't and camp. Djdng childless, he was succeeded by 
his brother John, whose two sons, Henry and William 
of Nassau, divided the great inheritance after their 
father's death. William succeeded to the German 
estates, became a convert to Protestantism, and intro- 
duced the Reformation into his dominions. Henry, the 
eldest son, received the famdy possessions and titles in 
Luxemburg, Brabant, Flanders, and Holland, and dis- 
tinguished himself as much as his uncle Engelbert in 
the service of the Bui-gundo-Austrian house. The con- 
fidential friend of Charles V., whose governor he had 
been in that emperor's boyhood, he was ever his most 
efficient and reliable adherent. It was he whose influ- 
ence placed the imperial crown upon the head of Charles.^ 

i Apologia d'Orange, 42. 

2 " . . . o'est lui qui a mis la courorme imperiale sur la teste de 
I'Empereur . . . il persuada les electeurs de preferer I'Empereiir 
au Eoi de France. . . . Et comme il est notoire k un chacun que 


In 1515 he espoused Claudia de Chalons, sister of Prince 
Philibert of Orange, " in order," as he wrote to his father, 
"to be obedient to his imperial Majesty, to please the 
King of France, and more particularly for the sa];e of Ms 
oivn honor and profit." ^ His son Rene de Nassau-Chalons 
succeeded Philibert. The little principality of Orange, 
so pleasantly situated between Provence and Dauphiny, 
but in such dangerous proximity to the seat of the " Baby- 
lonian captivity" of the popes at Avignon, thus passed 
to the family of Nassau. The title was of high antiqiiity. 
Already in the reign of Charlemagne, GuiUaume au 
Coart-Nez, or "WiUiam with the Short Nose," had de- 
fended the little town of Orange against the assaults of 
the Saracens. The interest and authority acquired in 
the demesnes thus preserved by his valor became exten- 
sive, and in process of time hereditary in his race. The 
principality became an absolute and free sovereignty,^ 
and had already descended, in defiance of the Salic law, 
through the three distinct famiUes of Orange, Baux, and 

In 1544 Prince Rene died at the emperor's feet in the 
trenches of St.-Di^ier. Having no legitimate children, 
he left all his titles and estates to his cousin german, 
William of Nassau, son of his father's brother William, 

ceste couTonne imperiale a est6 le pont qui par apres a faict pas- 
sage h TEmpereur pour tant de conquestes," etc.— Apologie, 23. 

1 " . . . om geeoirsam te zyn der Keis. Maj. ende ooc om te 
wille te zyn den Conic van Vrancryk ende sonderling om myner 
eeren en de proufiyts wille."— Arnoldi, Hist. Denk., p. 187. Groen 
V. Prinsterer, Archives, etc., i. 64*, note 2. 

2 " . . . et moins m'a il (I'Empereur) pen favoriser en men 
prineipault6 d'Orange, ou il n'avoit rieu a veoir ni lui ni prince 
quelconque, le tenant en souverainet6 nue et absolue, ce que peu 
d'autres seigneurs pourront dire."— Apologie, 15. 


who tlius at the age of eleven years became Williain IX. 
of Orange. For this child, whom the future was to 
summon to such high destinies and such heroic sacrifices, 
the past and present seemed to have gathered riches and 
power together from many som-ces. He was the descen- 
dant of the Othos, the Engelberts, and the Henrys of 
the Netherlands ; the representative of the Phihberts and 
the Renes of France ; the chief of a house humbler in 
resources and position in Germany, but still of high 
rank, and which had already done good ser^dce to h\\- 
manity by being among the first to embrace the great 
principles of the Reformation. 

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

VOL. 1.— 19 


At the age of eleven years,William, having tlius unex- 
pectedly succeeded to such great possessions, was sent 
from his father's roof to be educated in Brussels. No 
destiny seemed to lie before the young prince but an 
education at the emperor's court, to be followed by mili- 
tary adventures, embassies, viceroyalties, and a life of 
luxury and magnificence. At a very early age he came, 
accordingly, as a page into the emperor's family. 
Charles recognized with his customary quickness the 
remarkable character of the boy. At fifteen WiUiam 
was the intimate, almost confidential friend of the em- 
peror, who prided himself, above all other gifts, on his 
power of reading and of using men. The youth was so 
constant an attendant upon his imperial chief that even 
when interviews with the highest personages, and upon 
the gravest affairs, were taking place, Charles would 
never suffer him to be considered superfluous or intru- 
sive. There seemed to be no secrets which the emperor 
held too high for the comprehension or discretion of his 
page. His perceptive and reflective faculties, naturally 
of remarkable keenness and depth, thus acquired a pre- 
cocious and extraordinary development. He was brought 
up behind the curtain of that great stage where the 
world's dramas were daily enacted. The machinery and 
the masks which produced the grand delusions of history 
had no deceptions for him. Carefully to observe men's 
actions, and silently to ponder upon their motives, was 
the favorite occupation of the prince during his appren- 
ticeship at court. As he advanced to man's estate, he 
was selected by the emperor for the highest duties. 
Charles, whose only merit, so far as the provinces were 
concerned, was in having been born in Ghent, and that 
by an ignoble accident, was glad to employ this repre- 


sentative of so many great Netherland houses in the 
defense of the land. Before the prince was twenty-one 
he was appointed general-in-chief of the army on the 
French frontier, in the absence of the Duke of Savoy. 
The post was coveted by many most distinguished sol- 
diers—the Counts of Buren, Bossu, Lalain, Aremberg, 
Meghen, and particularly by Count Egmont ; ^ yet 
Charles showed his extraordinary confidence in the 
Prince of Orange by selecting him for the station, al- 
though he had hardly reached maturity, and was, more- 
over, absent in France. The j'oung prince acquitted 
himself of his high command in a manner which justi- 
fied his appointment. 

It was the prince's shoulder upon which the emperor 
leaned at the abdication, the prince's hand which bore 
the imperial insignia of the discrowned monarch to 
Ferdinand at Augsburg. With these duties his relar 
tions with Charles were ended and those with Philip 
begun. He was with the army during the hostilities 
which were soon after resumed in Picardy ; he was the 
secret negotiator of the preliminary arrangement with 
France, soon afterward confirmed by the triumphant 
treaty of April, 1559. He had conducted these initiatory 
conferences with the Constable Montmorency and Mare- 
chal de Saint Andre with great sagacity, although hardly 
a man in years, and by so doing he had laid Philip under 
deep obligations. The king was so inexpressibly anxious 
for peace that he would have been capable of conducting 
a treaty upon almost any terms. He assured the prince 
that "the greatest service he could render him in this 
world was to make peace, and that he desired to have 
it at any price whatever, so eager was he to return to 

1 Apologie, 29. 


Spain." 1 To the envoy Snriano, Philip had held the 
same language. "Oh, ambassador," said he, "I wish 
peace on any terms, and if the King of France had not 
sued for it, I would have begged for it myself." ^ 

"With such impatience on the part of the sovereign 
it certainly manifested diplomatic abilities of a high 
character in the prince that the treaty negotiated by 
him amounted to a capitulation by France. He was 
one of the hostages selected by Henry for the due exe- 
cution of the treaty, and while in France made that 
remarkable discovery which was to color his life. While 
hunting with the king in the forest of Vincennes, the 
prince and Henry found themselves alone together, and 
separated from the rest of the company. The French 
monarch's mind was full of the great scheme which had 
just secretly been formed by Philip and himself, to ex- 
tirpate Protestantism by a general extirpation of Prot- 
estants. Philip had been most anxious to conclude the 
public treaty with France, that he might be the sooner 
able to negotiate that secret convention by which he and 
his Most Christian Majesty were solemnly to bind them- 
selves to massacre all the converts to the new religion 
in France and the Netherlands. This conspiracy of the 
two kings against their subjects was the matter nearest 
the hearts of both. The Duke of Alva, a fellow-hostage 
with William of Orange, was the plenipotentiary to con- 
duct this more important arrangement. The French 

1 Apologie d'Orange, 49. 

2 " . . . Se ben era oosi poco honorevole fu gran eosa quella ch' 
io serissi al Settembre passato clie mi disse S. M'^, nell' esereito 
con quests parole 5 simili ; o Imbasoiatore, io voglio pace in ogni 
modo e s'il Ee di Francia no I'havesse domandata, la domanderei 
io."— Suriano MS. 


monarch, somewhat imprudently imagining that the 
prince was also a party to the plot, opened the whole 
subject to him without reserve. He complained of the 
constantly increasing numbers of sectaries in his king- 
dom, and protested that his conscience would never be 
easy, nor his state secure, until his realm shoidd be de- 
livered of "that accursed vermin." A civil revolution, 
under pretext of a religious reformation, was his con- 
stant apprehension, particularly since so many notable 
personages in the realm, and even princes of the blood, 
were already tainted with heresy. Nevertheless, with 
the favor of Heaven and the assistance of his son and his 
brother Philip, he hoped soon to be master of the rebels. 
The king then proceeded, with cjniical minuteness, to 
lay before his discreet companion the particulars of the 
royal plot, and the manner in which all heretics, whether 
high or humble, were to be discovered and massacred at 
the most convenient season. For the furtherance of the 
scheme in the Netherlands it was understood that the 
Spanish regiments would be exceedingly efficient. The 
prince, although horror-struck and indignant at the royal 
revelations, held his peace and kept his countenance. 
The king was not aware that, in opening this delicate 
negotiation to Alva's colleague and Phdip's plenipoten- 
tiary, he had given a warning of inestimable value to 
the man who had been born to resist the machinations 
of Philip and of Alva. WiUiam of Orange earned the 
surname of "the Silent" from the manner in which he 
received these communications of Henry without reveal- 
ing to the monarch, by word or look, the enormous 
blunder which he had committed. His purpose was 
fixed from that hour. A few days afterward he ob- 
tained permission to visit the Netherlands, where he 


took measures to excite, with all his influence, the strong- 
est and most general opposition to the continued presence 
of the Spanish troops,^ of which forces, much against 
his will, he had been, in conjunction with Egmont, ap- 
pointed chief. He ah-eady felt, in his own language, 
that " an inquisition for the Netherlands had been re- 
solved upon more cruel than that of Spain, since it 
would need but to look askance at an image to be cast 
into the flames." ^ Although having as yet no spark of 
religious sympathy for the reformers, he could not, he 
said, "but feel compassion for so many virtuous men 
and women thus devoted to massacre," ^ and he deter- 
mined to save them if he could. At the departure of 
Philip he had received instructions, both patent and 
secret, for his guidance as stadholder of Holland, Fries- 
land, and Utrecht. He was ordered " most expressly to 
correct and extirpate the sects reprobated by our Holy 
Mother Church; to execute the edicts of his imperial 
Majesty, renewed by the king, with absolute rigor. He 
was to see that the judges carried out the edicts ivitJiout 
infraction, alteration, or moderation, since they were there 
to enforce, not to make or to discuss, the law." In his 
secret instructions he was informed that the execution 
of the edicts was to be with all rigor, and without any 
respect of persons. He was also reminded that, whereas 
some persons had imagined the severity of the law "to 
be only intended against Anabaptists, on the contrary, 
the edicts were to be enforced on Lutherans and aU other 
sectaries without distinction." ^ Moreover, in one of his 
last interviews with Philip the king had given him the 

1 Pontus Payen MS., 8-13. 

2 Apologie, 54. 3 Ibid., 53. 

* Archives et Correspondance, i. 41, 42. 


names of several "excellent persons suspected of the 
new religion," and had commanded him to have them 
put to death. This, however, he not only omitted to do, 
but, on the contrary, gave them warning, so that they 
might effect their escape, "thinking it more necessary 
to obey God than man." ^ 

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

1 Apologie, 80. 

2 Archives et Correspondanoe, i. 1-29. 

3 Wilhelnis von Oranien Ehe mit Anna v. Saohsen, von Dr. 
K. W. Bottiger (Leipzig, 1836). 

* For the history of William of Orange up to the period of 
Philip's departure from the Netherlands, see Groen v. Prinsterer, 
1-30, 54* ; Gachard, Corresp. de Guillaume le Taeiturne (Bra- 


Yet we are not to regard William of Orange, thus on 
the threshold of his great career, by the light diffused 
from a somewhat later period. In no historical charac- 
ter more remarkably than in his is the law of constant 
development and progress illustrated. At twenty-six 
he is not the pater patrice, the great man struggling 
upward and onward against a host of enemies and ob- 
stacles almost beyond human strength, and along the 
dark and dangerous path leading through conflict, priva- 
tion, and ceaseless labor to no repose but death. On 
the contrary, his foot was hardly on the first step of that 
difficult ascent which was to rise before him all his hfe- 
time. He was sthl among the primrose paths. He was 
rich, powerful, of sovereign rank. He had only the germs 
within him of what was thereafter to expand into moral 
and intellectual greatness. He had small sympathy for 
the religious reformation of which he was to be one of 
the most distinguished champions. He was a Catholic, 
nominally and in outward observance. With doctrines 
he troubled himself but little. He had given orders to 
enforce conformity to the ancient Church, not with 
bloodshed, yet with comparative strictness, in his prin- 
cipality of Orange.^ Beyond the compliance with rites 
and forms thought indispensable in those days to a 
personage of such high degree, he did not occupy him- 
self with theology. He was a Catholic, as Egmont and 
Horn, Berlaymont and Mansfeld, Montigny and even 
Brederode, were Catholic. It was only tanners, dyers, 

xelles), tome i. ; Apologie d'Orange, 1-54 ; Van der Haer, cap. xv. 
183 sqq. Compare Strada, ii. 75-84 ; Bentivoglio, Guerra di 
Fiandra, i. 5, 6 ; Hoofd, i. 22 ; Joa. Meui'sii Gul. Aur., 1-7 ; Le- 
vensb. Nederl. Man. et Vr., ^-i. 172-179. 
1 AreMves et Corresp., i. 203*. 


and apostate priests who were Protestants at that day in 
the Netherlands. His determination to protect a multi- 
tude of his harmless inferiors from horrible deaths did 
not proceed from sympathy with their religious senti- 
ments, but merely from a generous and manly detesta- 
tion of murder. He carefully averted his mind from 
sacred matters. If, indeed, the seed implanted by his 
pious parents were really the germ of his future conver- 
sion to Protestantism, it must be confessed that it lay 
dormant a long time. But his mind was in other pur- 
suits. He was disposed for an easy, joyous, luxurious, 
princely life. Banquets, masquerades, tom-uaments, the 
chase, interspersed with the routine of official duties, 
civil and military, seemed likely to fill out his life. His 
hospitahty, like his fortune, was almost regal. While 
the king and the foreign envoys were still in the Nether- 
lands, his house, tlie splendid Nassau palace of Brussels, 
was ever open. He entertained for the monarch, who 
was, or who imagined himself to be, too poor to dis- 
charge his own duties in this respect, but he entertained 
at his own expense.^ This splendid household was still 
continued. Twenty-four noblemen and eighteen pages 
of gentle bii'th officiated regularly in his family. His 
establishment was on so extensive a scale that upon one 
day twenty-eight master cooks were dismissed for the 
purpose of diminishing the family expenses, and there 
was hardly a princely house in Germany which did not 
send cooks to learn their business in so magnificent a 
kitchen." The reputation of his table remained undi- 
minished for years. We find at a later period that 
Philip, in the coui'se of one of the nominal reconciliations 
which took place several times between the monarch 
1 Apologie, 26, 27. 2 Van der Haer, 182. 


and William of Orange, wrote that, his head cook being 
dead, he begged the prince to " make him a present of 
his chief cook, Master Herman, who was understood to 
be very skilf iil." ^ 

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

1 Corresp. de Guill. le Tacit., ii. 89. 

2 Van der Haer, 182. 

3 "A la v6rit6 c'estoit un personage d'une merveilleuse vivacity 
d'esprit, lequel sur tons autres tenoit table magnifique, oii les petits 
eompagnons estoyent autant bienvenus que les grands."— Pontus 
Payen MS. 

* Ibid. 


stant intercourse, almost from his cradle, with mankind 
of all ranks. 

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

His debts already amounted, according to GrranveUe's 
statement, to eight or nine hundred thousand florins.* 
He had embarrassed himself not only through his 
splendid extravagance, hy which all the world about 
him were made to partake of his wealth, but by accept- 
ing the high offices to which he had been appoiuted. 
When general-in-chief on the frontier, his salary was 
three hundred florins monthly ; " not enough," as he 
said, " to pay the servants in his tent," ^ his necessary 
expenses being twenty-five hundred florins, as appears 

1 Letter to Count Louis de Nassau, Archives, etc., i. 179. 

2 Archives et Correspondance, i. 196. * Ibid. 
♦ Papiers d'Etat, vii. 51. Archives, etc., i. 38. 

5 Apologie, 27. 


by a letter to Ms wif e.^ His embassy to carry the crown 
to Ferdinand, and his subsequent residence as a hostage 
for the treaty in Paris, were also very onerous, and he 
received no salary, according to the economical system 
in this respect pursued by Charles and Philip. In these 
two embassies or missions alone, together with the enter- 
tainments offered by him to the court and to foreigners 
after the peace at Brussels, the prince spent, according 
to his own estimate, one mUlion five hundred thousand 
florins.^ He was, however, although deeply, not desper- 
ately involved, and had already taken active measures 
to regulate and reduce his establishment. His revenues 
were vast, both in his own right and in that of his 
deceased wife. He had large claims upon the royal 
treasury for service and expenditure. He had besides 
ample sums to receive from the ransoms of the prisoners 
of St.-Quentin and Gravelines, having served in both 
campaigns The amount to be received by individuals 
from this source may be estimated from the fact that 
Count Horn, by no means one of the most favored in 
the victorious armies, had received from L6onor d'Or- 
leans, Due de Longueville, a ransom of eighty thousand 
crowns.^ The sum due, if payment were enforced, from 
the prisoners assigned to Egmont, Orange, and others, 
must have been very large. Granvelle estimated the 
whole amount at two millions; adding, characteristi- 

1 AreUves et Correspondanee, i. 16. 

2 Apologie, 27. 

3 " . . . de Kan^ons des prisonniers franfois, prisonniers prins 
aux batailles de St.-Quintin et Gravelinges qui porterent S, une in- 
finite des deniers, entre lesquels Messire Lienor d'Orl^ans Due de 
Longueville paia oomptant an Compte de Homes quatre-vingt mil 
Escus— pensez maintenant si le Compte d'Egmont avoit eu moyen 
de faire ses besoignes," etc.— Pontus Payen MS. 


cally, that "this kind of speculation was a practice" 
which our good old fathers, lovers of virtue, would not 
have found laudable.^ In this the churchman was right, 
but he might have added that the " lovers of virtue ' 
would have found it as little " laudable " for ecclesiastics 
to dispose of the sacred offices in their gift for carpets, 
tapestry, and annual payments of certain percentages 
upon the cure of souls.^ If the profits respectively 
gained by military and clerical speculators in that da}- 
should be compared, the disadvantage woidd hardly be 
found to lie with those of the long robe. 

Such, then, at the beginning of 1560, was WUliam 
of Orange— a generous, stately, magnificent, powerful 
grandee. As a military commander, he had acquitted 
himself very creditably of highly important functions at 
an early age. Nevertheless, it was the opinion of many 
persons that he was of a timid temperament.* He was 
even accused of having manifested an unseemly panic at 
Philippeville, and of having only been restrained by the 
expostulations of his officers from abandoning both 
that fortress and Charlemont to Admiral CoUgny, who 
had made his appearance in the neighborhood merely 
at the head of a reconnoitering party.** If the story were 
true, it would be chiefly important as indicating that the 
Prince of Orange was one of the many historical char- 
acters, originally of an excitable and even timorous 

1 ". . . chose a la v6rit6 mal s^ant4, et que noz bons vieux 
pferes, amateurs de la vertu, n'eussent trouv6 louable." — Archives 
et Correspondance, i. 38. 

2 V. Gaehard, Correspondance de Philippe II. sur les affaires des 
Pays-Bas (Brux. 1848), i. 318-320. 

3 ". . . d'un naturel oraintif, comme il avoit souventes fois 
monstr6 durant la guerre de France.''— Pontus Payen MS. 



physical organization, whom moral courage and a strong 
will have afterward converted into dauntless heroes. 
Certain it is that he was destined to confront open 
danger in every form, that his path was to lead through 
perpetual ambush, yet that his cheerful confidence and 
tranquil courage were to become not only unquestionable 
but proverbial.^ It may be safely asserted, however, that 
the story was an invention to be classed with those fic- 
tions which made him the murderer of his first wife, a 
common conspirator against Philip's crown and person, 
and a crafty malefactor in general, without a single 
virtue. It must be remembered that even the terrible 
Alva, who lived in harness almost from the cradle to 
the grave, was, so late as at this period, censured for 
timidity, and had been accused in youth of flat cowar- 
dice.^ He despised the insinuation, which for him had 
no meaning. There is no doubt, too, that caution was a 
predominant characteristic of the prince. It was one 
of the chief sources of his greatness. At that period, per- 
haps at any period, he would have been incapable of 
such brilliant and dashing exploits as had made the 
name of Egmont so famous. It had even become a 
proverb, " the counsel j)f Orange, the execution of Eg- 
mont " ; ^ yet we shall have occasion to see how far this 
physical promptness which had been so felicitous upon 
the battle-field was likely to avail the hero of St.-Quentin 
in the great political combat which was approaching. 

As to the talents of the prince, there was no differ- 
ence of opinion. His enemies never contested the sub- 

1 "Soevis tranquillus in imdis," was the motto often engraved 
upon the medals struck at different periods in his honor. 

2 Badovaro MS. Suriano MS. 
* Pontus Payen MS. 


tlety and breadth of his intellect, his adroitness and 
capacity in conducting state affairs, his knowledge of 
human nature, and the profoundness of his \dews. In 
many respects it must be confessed that his surname of 
"the Silent," like many similar appellations, was a mis- 
nomer. William of Orange was neither "silent" nor 
" taciturn," yet these are the epithets which will be for- 
ever associated with the name of a man who, in private, 
was the most affable, cheerful, and delightful of com- 
panions, and who on a thousand great public occasions 
was to prove himself, both by pen and by speech, the 
most eloquent man of his age. His mental accomplish- 
ments were considerable. He had studied histoiy with 
attention, and he spoke and wrote with facility Latin, 
French, German, Flemish, and Spanish. 

The man, however, in whose hands the administration 
of the Netherlands was in reality placed was Anthony 
Perrenot, then Bishop of Arras, soon to be known by 
the more celebrated title of Cardinal Granvelle. He 
was the chief of the consulta, or secret council of three, 
by whose deliberations the duchess regent was to be 
governed. His father, Nicholas Perrenot, of an obscure 
family in Burgundy, had been long the favorite minister 
and man of business to the Emperor Charles. Anthony, 
the eldest of thirteen children, was born in 1517. He 
was early distinguished for his talents. He studied at 
Dole, Padua, Paris, and Louvain. At the age of twenty 
he spoke seven languages with perfect facility, while his 
acquaintance with civil and ecclesiastical laws was con- 
sidered prodigious. At the age of twenty-three he be- 
came a canon of Liege Cathedral. The necessary eight 
quarters of gentility produced upon that occasion have 
accordingly been displayed by his panegyrists in tri- 


utnphant refutation of that theory which gave him a 
blacksmith for his grandfather.^ At the same period, 
although he had not reached the requisite age, the rich 
bishopric of Arras had already been prepared for him by 
his father's care. Three years afterward, in 1543, he 
distinguished himself by a most learned and brilliant 
harangue before the Council of Trent, by which display 
he so much charmed the emperor that he created him 
councilor of state. A few years afterward he rendered 
the unscrupulous Charles still more valuable proofs of 
devotion and dexterity by the part he played in the 
memorable imprisonment of the Landgrave of Hesse and 
the Saxon dukes. He was thereafter constantly em- 
ployed in embassies and other offices of trust and profit. 
There was no doubt as to his profound and varied 
learning, nor as to his natural quickness and dexterity. 
He was ready-witted, smooth and fluent of tongue, fer- 
tile in expedients, courageous, resolute. He thoroughly 
understood the art of managing men, particularly his 
superiors. He knew how to govern under the appear- 
ance of obeying. He possessed exquisite tact in appre- 
ciating the characters of those far above him in rank 
and beneath him in intellect. He could accommodate 
himself with great readiness to the idiosyncrasies of 
sovereigns. He was a chameleon to the hand which 
fed him. In his intercourse "with the king he colored 
himself, as it were, with the king's character. He was 
not himself, but Philip ; not the sullen, hesitating, con- 
fused Philip, however, but Philip endowed with elo- 
quence, readiness, facility. The king ever found himself 
anticipated with the most delicate obsequiousness, beheld 

1 Dom I'Evesque, M^moires poiir servir k I'Histoire du Cardinal 
Granvelle (Paris, 1753), ii. 146-293. Compare Strada, ii. 60. 


bis struggling ideas change into winged words without 
ceasing to be his own. No flattery could be more adroit. 
The bishop accommodated himself to the king's episto- 
lary habits. The silver-tongued and ready debater sub- 
stituted protocols for conversations, in deference to a 
monarch who could not speak. He corresponded with 
Philip, with Margaret of Parma, with every one. He 
wrote folios to the duchess when they were in the same 
palace. He would write letters forty pages long to the 
king, and send ofE another courier on the same day 
with two or three additional despatches of identical date. 
Such prolixity enchanted the king, whose greediness for 
business epistles was insatiable. The painstaking mon- 
arch toiled, pen in hand, after his wonderful minister in 
vain. Philip was only fit to be the bishop's clerk, yet 
he imagined himself to be the directing and governing 
power. He scrawled apostils in the margins to prove 
tliat he had read with attention, and persuaded himself 
that he suggested when he scarcely even comprehended. 
The bishop gave advice and issued instructions when he 
seemed to be only receiving them. He was the substance 
while he affected to be the shadow. These tactics were 
comparatively easy and likely to be triumphant so long 
as he had only to deal with inferior intellects like those 
of Philip and Margaret. When he should be matched 
against political genius and loftj' character combined, 
it was possible that his resoiu'ces might not prove so all- 

His political principles were sharply defined in reality, 
but smoothed over by a conventional and decorous be- 
nevolence of language, which deceived vulgar minds. He 
was a strict absolutist. His deference to arbitrary 
power was profound and slavish. God and " the master," 

VOL. I. —20 


as he always called Philip, he professed to serve with 
equal humility. " It seems to me," said he, in a letter of 
this epoch, " that I shall never be able to fulfil the obU- 
gation of slave which I owe to your Majesty, to whom I 
am bound by so firm a chain ; at any rate, I shall never 
fail to struggle for that end with sincerity." ^ 

As a matter of course, he was a firm opponent of the 
national rights of the Netherlands, however artfully he 
disguised the sharp sword of violent absolutism under 
a garland of flourishing phraseology. He had strenu- 
ously warned Philip against assembling the States- 
General before his departure for the sake of asking them 
for supplies. He earnestly deprecated allowing the 
constitutional authorities any control over the expendi- 
tures of the government, and averred that this practice 
under the Regent Mary had been the cause of endless 
trouble.^ It may easily be supposed that other rights 
were as little to his taste as the claim to vote the sub- 
sidies, a privilege which was in reality indisputable- 
Men who stood forth in defense of the provincial con- 
stitutions were, in his opinion, mere demagogues and 
hypocrites, their only motive being to curry favor with 
the populace. Yet these charters were, after all, sufii- 
ciently limited. The natural rights of man were topics 
which had never been broached. Man had only natural 
wrongs. None ventured to doubt that sovereignty was 
heaven-born, anointed of God. The rights of the Nether- 

^ " Y jamas me parecera que bastaria para que yo puedo cum- 
plir con la obligacion de esclavo en que me ha puesto V. M. atando 
me con tan firme catena ; k lo menos s6 que no me falta ny me fal- 
tari—de acertar en las cosas del 6ervicio . . . con limpieza j 
amor," etc.— Papiers d'Etat, vi. 96. 

2 Ibid., vi. 27. 


lands were special, not general ; plural, not singular ; 
liberties, not liberty ; " privileges," not maxims. They 
were practical, not theoretical ; historical, not philosoph- 
ical. Still, such as they were, they were facts, acquisi- 
tions. They had been purchased by the blood and toil 
of brave ancestors; they amounted — however open to 
criticism upon broad humanitarian grounds, of which 
few at that day had ever dreamed— to a solid, substantial 
dike against the arbitrary power which was ever chafing 
and fretting to destroy its barriers. No men were more 
subtle or more diligent in corroding the foundation of 
these bulwarks than the disciples of GranveUe. Yet one 
would have thought it possible to tolerate an amount 
of practical freedom so different from the wild social 
speculations which, in later days, have made both tyrants 
and reasonable lovers of our race tremble with appre- 
hension. The Netherlanders claimed, mainly, the right 
to vote the money which was demanded in such enor- 
mous profusion from their painfully acquired wealth; 
they were also unwilling to be burned alive if they ob- 
jected to transubstantiation. GranveUe was most dis- 
tinctly of an opposite opinion upon both topics. He 
strenuously deprecated the interference of the states 
with the subsidies, and it was by his advice that the 
remorseless edict of 1550, the emperor's ordinance of 
blood and fire, was reenacted as the very first measure 
of Philip's reign.^ Such were his sentiments as to na- 
tional and popular rights by representation. For the 
people itself— "that vile and mischievous animal called 
the people,"- as he expressed it— he entertained a cheer- 
ful contempt. 

1 Papiers d'Etat, ix. 478, 479. 

3 ". . . tan ruin animal como es el pueblo."— Ibid., vii. 367. 


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

He was already rich. His income from his see and 
other livings was estimated, in 1557, at ten thousand 
dollars; his property in ready money, "furniture, tapes- 
try, and the Uke," at two hundred and fifty thousand 
dollars.! When it is considered that, as compared with 
oui- times, these sums represent a revenue of a hundred 
thousand, and a capital of two millions and a half in 
addition, it may be safely asserted that the prelate had 
at least made a good beginning. Besides his regular 
income, moreover, he had handsome receipts from that 
simony which was reduced to a system, and which gave 
him a liberal profit, generally in the shape of an annuity, 
upon every benefice which he conferred. He was, how- 
ever, by no means satisfied. His appetite was as bound- 
less as the sea ; he was still a shameless mendicant of 
pecuniary favors and lucrative offices. Already, in 1552, 
the emperor had roundly rebuked his greediness. " As 
to what you say of getting no merced nor aijuda de 

1 "Vive honoratamente— la puo fare, havendo tra I'entrata 
temporale chi se ritrova nelle Borgogna e quelle del vescovado et 
altri benefitij piu di ^ seudi di entrata, e tra gioje, argento, tap- 
pezzerie con altri mobili e denari oontanti piu di -a^-g scudi, et e 
opinione dh giuditiosi che riuscira Cardinale," etc.— Badovaro MS. 

1559] HIS RICHES 309 

costu,'" said he, '"t is merced and ayuda de costa quite 
sufficient when one has fat benefices, pensions, and 
salaries, with which a man might manage to support 
himself." ^ The bishop, however, was not easily abashed, 
and he was, at the epoch which now occupies us, ear- 
nestly and successfully soliciting from Philip the lucra- 
tive abbey of St. Armand. Not that he would have ac- 
cepted this preferment " could the abbey have been 
annexed to any of the new bishoprics";^ on the con- 
trary, he assured the king that "to carry out so holy a 
work as the erection of those new sees, he would will- 
ingly have contributed even out of his own miserable 
pittance. "-' It not being considered expedient to con- 
fiscate the abbey to any particular bishop, Philip accord- 
ingly presented it to the prelate of Arras, together with 
a handsome sum of money in the shape of an ayuda 
de costa besides. The thriftj' bishop, who foresaw the 
advent of troublous times in the Netherlands, however, 
took care, in the letters by which he sent his thanks, to 
instruct the king to secure the money upon crown prop- 
erty in Aragon, Naples, and Sicily, as matters in the 
proviiaces were beginning to look very precarious.* 

Such, at the commencement of the Duchess Margaret's 
administration, were the characters and the previous 
histories of the persons into whose hands the Netherlands 
were intrusted. None of them have been prejudged. 
We have contented ourselves with stating the facts with 
regard to all, up to the period at which we have arrived. 

1 Groen v. Prinsterer, Archives, etc., i. 189*. 

2 Papiers d'Etat, vi. 31. 

3 " . . . mas que de la miseria que yo tengo holgaria que se to- 
masse para cumplimento de tan sanota obra."— Ibid. 

< Ibid. 


Their characters have been sketched, not according to 
subsequent developments, but as they appeared at the 
opening of this important epoch. 

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

The aristocracy of the Netherlands was excessively 
extravagant, dissipated, and already considerably em- 
barrassed in circumstances. It had been the policy of 
the emperor and of Philip to confer high offices, civil, 
military, and diplomatic, upon the leading nobles, by 
which enormous expenses were entailed upon them, 
without any corresponding salaries. The case of Orange 
has been already alluded to, and there were many other 
nobles less able to afford the expense who had been 
indulged with these ruinous honors. During the war 
there had been, however, many chances of bettering 
broken fortunes. Victory broiight immense prizes to 
the leading officers. The ransoms of so many illustrious 
prisoners as had graced the triumphs of St.-Quentin 
and Gravelines had been extremely profitable. These 
sources of wealth had now been cut off; yet, on the 
departure of the king from the Netherlands, the luxury 
increased instead of diminishing. "Instead of one 
court," said a contemporary, " you would said that 
there were fifty." ^ Nothing could be more sumptuous 
than the modes of life in Brussels. The household of 
Orange has been already painted. That of Egmont was 
almost as magnificent. A rivalry in hospitality and in 
display began among the highest nobles, and extended 
to those less able to maintain themselves in the contest. 
During the war there had been the valiant emulation of 

1 Pontus Payen MS. 


the battle-field ; gentlemen had vied with each other how 
best to illustrate an ancient name with deeds of desperate 
valor, to repair the fortunes of a ruined house with the 
spoils of war. They now sought to surpass each other 
in splendid extravagance. It was an eager competition 
who should build the stateliest palaces, have the greatest 
number of noble pages and gentlemen in waiting, the 
most gorgeous liveries, the most hospitable tables, the 
most scientific cooks. There was, also, much depravity 
as well as extravagance. The morals of high society 
were loose. Gaming was practised to a frightful extent. 
Drunkenness was a prevailing characteristic of the 
higher classes. Even the Prince of Orange himself, at 
this period, although never addicted to habitual excess, 
was extremely convivial in his tastes, tolerating scenes 
and companions not likely at a later day to find much 
favor in his sight. " We kept St. Martin's joyously," 
he wrote, at about this period, to his brother, " and in 
the most jovial company. Brederode was one daj' in 
such a state that I thought he would certainly die, but 
he has now got over it." ^ Count Brederode, soon after- 
ward to become so conspicuous in the early scenes of 
the revolt, was, in truth, most notorious for his per- 
formances in these banqueting scenes. He appeared to 
have vowed as uncompromising hostility to cold water 
as to the Inquisition, and always denounced both with 
the same fierce and ludicrous vehemence. Their con- 
stant connection with Germany at that period did not 
improve the sobriety of the Netherlands nobles. The 
aristocracy of that country, as is well known, were most 
" potent at potting." " When the German finds himself 
sober," said the bitter Badovaro, " he believes himself to 
1 Archives et Correspondance, i. 185. 


be ill." Gladly, since the peace, they had welcomed the 
opportunities afforded for many a deep caronse with 
their Netherlands coiisins. The approaching marriage 
of the Prince of Orange with the Saxon princess— an 
episode which will soon engage our attention— gave rise 
to tremendous orgies. Count Schwarzburg, the prince's 
brother-in-law, and one of the negotiators of the mar- 
riage, found many occasions to strengthen the bonds of 
harmony between the countries by indulgence of these 
common tastes. " I have had many princes and counts 
at my table," he wrote to Orange, " where a good deal 
more was drimk than eaten. The Rhinegrave's brother 
fell down dead after drinking too much malmsey; but 
we have had him balsamed and sent home to his family." i 

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

If these were the characteristics of the most distin- 
guished society, it may be supposed that they were 
reproduced with more or less intensity throughout all 
the more remote but concentric circles of life, as far as 
the seductive splendor of the court could radiate. The 
lesser nobles emulated the gi-andees, and vied with each 
other in splendid establishments, banquets, masquerades, 
and equipages. The natui-al consequences of such ex- 
travagance followed. Their estates were mortgaged, 

^ Archives et Correspondance, i. 93. 

2 " . . . ma nel bere s'imbriacouo ogni giomo, et le donne an- 
cora, ma molto meno degli nomini," etc. 


deeply and more deeply ; then, after a few years, sold 
to the merchants, or rich advocates and other gentlemen 
of the robe, to whom they had been pledged. The more 
closely ruin stared the victims in the face, the more 
heedlessly did they phmge into excesses. " Such were 
the circumstances," moralizes a Cathohc writer, "to 
which, at an earlier period, the affairs of Catiline, 
Cethegus, Lentulus, and others of that faction had been 
reduced, when they undertook to overthrow the Roman 
republic." ^ Many of the nobles being thus embarrassed, 
and some even desperate, in their condition, it was 
thought that they were desirous of creating disturb- 
ances in the commonwealth, that the payment of just 
debts might be avoided, that their mortgaged lands 
might be wrested by main force from the low-born indi- 
viduals who had become possessed of them, that, in 
particular, the rich abbey lands held by idle priests might 
be appropriated to the use of impoverished gentlemen 
who could turn them to so much better account.- It is 
quite probable that interested motives such as these 
were not entirely inactive among a comparatively small 
class of gentlemen. The religious reformation in every 
laud of Europe derived a portion of its strength from the 
opportunity it afforded to potentates and great nobles 
for helping themselves to church property. No doubt 
many Netherlanders thought that their fortunes might be 
improved at the expense of the monks, and for the bene- 
fit of religion. Even without apostasy from the mother 
Church, they looked with longing eyes on the wealth of 
her favored and indolent children. They thought that 
the king would do well to carve a round number of 
handsome military eommanderies out of the abbey 
1 Pontiis Payen MS. - Ibid. 


lands, whose possessors should be bound to military 
service after the ancient manner of fiefs, so that a splen- 
did cavalry, headed by the gentlemen of the country, 
should be ever ready to mount and ride at the royal 
pleasure, in place of a horde of lazy epicureans, telling 
beads and indulging themselves in luxurious vice.^ 

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

For the state of the people was very different from 
the condition of the aristocracy. The period of martyr- 

l " . . . ne tenoient autres propos h, table que de refoi-mer I'es- 
tat, ecclesiastique, signamnient les riches abbayes, scavoir voub 
convient, leur ostant lea grands biens qui estoyent cause, si qu'ils 
disoyent, de leur mauvaise vie et les eriger en eroisades que I'on 
poldroit conferer k une mfiiiit6 des pauvres gentilhommes, qui 


dom had lasted long, and was to last longer ; but there 
were symptoms that it might one day be succeeded by 
a more active stage of popular disease. The tumults of 
the Netherlands were long in ripening ; when the final 
outbreak came it would have been more philosophical 
to inquire, not why it had occurred, but how it could 
have been so long postponed. During the reign of 
Charles the sixteenth century had been advancing 
steadily in strength as the once omnipotent emperor 
lapsed into decrepitude. That extraordinary century 
had not dawned upon the earth only to increase the 
strength of absolutism and superstition. The new 
world had not been discovered, the ancient world recon- 
quered, the printing-press perfected, only that the In- 
quisition might reign undisturbed over the fairest 
portions of the earth, and chartered hypocrisy fatten 
upon its richest lands. It was impossible that the most 
energetic and quick-witted people of Europe should not 
feel sympathy with the great effort made by Christendom 
to shake off the incubus which had so long paralyzed 
her hands and brain. In the Netherlands, where the 
attachment to Rome had never been intense, where in 
the old times the bishops of Utrecht had been rather 
Ghibelline than Guelf, where all the earlier sects of 
dissenters — Waldenses, Lollards, Hussites— had found 
numerous converts and thousands of martyrs, it was 
inevitable that there should be a response from the 
popular heart to the deeper agitation which now reached 
to the very core of Christendom. In those provinces, so 

seraient tenus de faire service . . . au lieu d'ung tas de faiceans 
vivans k I'epieurienne, I'on auroit toujours une belle cavallerie k 
la main . . . au proflict du Eoy et eoulagement du pays," etc. — 
Pontus Payeu MS. 


industrious and energetic, the disgust was likely to be 
most easily awakened for a system under which so many 
friars battened in luxury upon the toils of others, con- 
tributing nothing to the taxation nor to the military 
defense of the countiy, exei'cisiug no productive avoca- 
tion except their trade in indulgences, and squandering 
in taverns and brothels the annual sums derived from 
their traf&c in licenses to commit mui-der, incest, and 
every other crime known to humanity. 

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


pest wliich lurked in every bale of merchandise and was 
wafted on every breeze from east and west. 

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

Thus the people of the Netherlands were already 
pervaded, throughout the whole extent of the country, 
with the expanding spirit of religious reformation. It 


was inevitable that sooner or later an explosion was to 
arrive. They were placed between two great countries 
where the new principles had already taken root. The 
Liitheranism of Germauj' and the Calvinism of France 
had each its share in producing the Netherland revolt, 
but a mistake is perhaps often made in estimating the 
relative proportion of these several influences. The Eef- 
ormation fii-st entered the provinces, not throiigh the 
Augsburg, but the Hiiguenot gate. The fiery field- 
preachers from the south of France first inflamed the 
excitable hearts of the kindred population of the south- 
western Netherlands. The Walloons were the first to 
rebel against and the first to reconcile themselves with 
papal Rome, exactly as their Celtic ancestors, fifteen 
centuries earlier, had been foremost in the revolt 
against imperial Rome, and precipitate in their sub- 
mission to her overshadowing power. The Batavians, 
slower to be moved, but more steadfast, retained the 
impulse which they received from the same source 
which was already agitating their "Welsh" compa- 
triots. There were already French preachers at Valen- 
ciennes and Tournay, to be followed, as we shall have 
occasion to see, by many others. Without undervaluing 
the influence of the German churches, and particularly 
of the garrison-preaching of the German military chap- 
lains in the Netherlands, it may be safely asserted that 
the early reformers of the provinces were mainly Hugue- 
nots in their belief. The Dutch Church became, accord- 
ingly, not Lutheran, but Calvinistic, and the founder of 
the commonwealth hardly ceased to be a nominal Cath- 
olic before he became an adherent to the same creed. 

In the meantime, it is more natural to regard the 
great movement, psychologically speaking, as a whole, 


■whether it revealed itself in France, Germany, the 
Netherlands, England, or Scotland. The policy of 
governments, national character, individual interests, 
and other collateral circumstances, modified the result ; 
but the great cause was the same ; the source of all the 
movements was elemental, natural, and single. The 
Reformation in Germany had been adjourned for half a 
eentury by the Augsburg religious peace, just concluded. 
It was held in suspense in France through the Mach- 
iavellian policy which Catherine de' Medici had just 
adopted, and was for several years to prosecute, of 
balancing one party against the other, so as to neutralize 
all power but her own. The great contest was accord- 
ingly transferred to the Netherlands, to be fought out 
for the rest of the century, while the whole of Christen- 
dom were to look anxiously for the result. From the 
east and from the west the clouds rolled away, leaving 
a comparativelj'^ bright and peaceful atmosphere, only 
that they might concentrate themselves with portentous 
blackness over the devoted soil of the Netherlands. In 
Germany, the princes, not the people, had conquered 
Rome, and to the princes, not the people, were secured 
the benefits of the victory— the spoils of chxirches, and 
the right to worship according to conscience. The 
people had the right to conform to their ruler's creed, 
or to depart from his land. StUl, as a matter of fact, 
many of the princes being reformers, a large mass of 
the population had acqxiired the privilege for their own 
generation and that of their children to practise that 
religion which they actually approved. This was a fact, 
and a more comfortable one than the necessity of choos- 
ing between what they considered wicked idolatry and 
the stake— the only election left to their Netherland 


brethren. In Prance the accidental splinter from Mont- 
gomeiy's lance had deferred the Huguenot massacre for 
a dozen years. During the period in which the queen 
regent was resolved to plaj' her fast-and-loose policy, 
all the persuasions of Philip and the arts of Alva were 
powerless to induce her to carry out the scheme which 
Henry had revealed to Orange in the forest of Vincennes. 
When the crime came at last, it was as blundering as it 
was bloody ; at once premeditated and accidental ; the 
isolated execution of an interregal conspiracy, existing 
for half a generation, yet exploding without concert ; a 
wholesale massacre, but a piecemeal plot. 

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

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

"No one," said the edict,i "shall print, write, copj^, 

keep, conceal, sell, buy, or give, in churches, streets, or 

other places, any book or writing made by Martin Luther, 

John Ecolampadius, Ulrich Zuinglius, Martin Bucer, 

1 The text of the edict is given by Bor, i. 7-12. 

1559] EDICT OF 1550 321 

John Calvin, or other heretics reprobated by the Holy 
Chm-ch ; . . . nor break or otherwise injure the images 
of the Holy Virgin or canonized saints ; . . . nor in his 
house hold conventicles or illegal gatherings, or be 
present at any such in which the adherents of the above- 
mentioned heretics teach, baptize, and form conspiracies 
against the Holy Church and the general welfare. . . . 
Moreover, we forbid," continues the edict, in the name 
of the sovereign, "all lay persons to converse or dispute 
concerning the Holy Scriptures, openly or secretly, espe- 
cially on any doubtful or difficult matters, or to read, 
teach, or expound the Scriptures, unless they have diily 
studied theology and been approved by some renowned 
university; . . . or to preach secretly or openly, or to 
entertain any of tlie opinions of the above-mentioned here- 
tics ; ... on pain, should any one be found to have 
contravened any of the points above mentioned, as per- 
turbators of our state and of the general quiet, to be 
punished in the following manner." And how were they 
to be punished ? What was the penalty iniiicted upon 
the man or woman who owned a hymn-book, or who 
hazarded the opinion in private that Luther was not 
quite wrong in doubting the power of a monk to sell for 
money the license to commit murder or incest ; or upon 
the parent, not being a Roman Catholic doctor of divin- 
ity, who should read Christ's Sermon on the Mount to 
his children in his own parlor or shop? How were 
crimes like these to be visited upon the transgressor? 
"Was it by reprimand, fine, imprisonment, banishment, 
or by branding on the forehead, by the cropping of the 
ears or the slitting of nostrils, as was practised upon 
the Puritan fathers of New England for their noncon- 
formity ? It was by a sharper chastisement than any of 

VOL. I.— 21 


these methods. The Puritan fathers of the Dutch Re- 
pubHc had to struggle against a darker doom. The 
edict went on to provide : 

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

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

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

The edict went on to pro\dde "that if any person, 
being not convicted of heresy or error, but greatly sus- 
pected thereof, and therefore condemned by the spiritual 
judge to abjure such heresy, or by the secular magistrate 
to make public fine and reparation, shall again become 
suspected or tainted with heresy, although it should not 
appear that he has contravened or violated any one of our 
above-mentioned commands, nevertheless, we do will and 
ordain that such person shall be considered as relapsed, 
and, as such, be punished with loss of life and property, 
tvithout amj hope of moderation or mitigation of the 
above-mentioned penalties." 


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

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

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

In order that neither the good people of the Nether- 
lands nor the judges and inquisitors should delude 
themselves with the notion that these fanatic decrees 
were only intended to inspire terror, not for practical 
execution, the sovereign continued to ordain— "to the 
end that the judges and officers may have no reason, 


under pretext that the penalties are too great and heavy 
and only devised to terrify delinquents, to punish them 
less severely than they deserve— that the culprits be 
really punished by the penalties above declared ; forbid- 
ding aU judges to alter or moderate the penalties in any 
manner ; forUdding any one, of whatsoever condition, to 
ash of us, or of any one having authority, to grant ])ardoti, 
or to present any petition in favor of such heretics, 
exiles, or fugitives, on penalty of being declared forever 
incapable of civil and military of&ce, and of being arbi- 
trarily punished besides." 

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

The edict had been reenacted by the express advice of 

1 Viglii Bpist. ad diversos, cxlviii. Brandt, Historie der Ke- 
fonnatie in en omtrent de Nederlanden (Amst. 1677), i. 163, b. iii. 
Grotii Ann., i. 17. 

2 Brandt, Reformatie, ubi sup. Bor, i. 7-12. 


the Bisliop of AiTas, immediately on tlie accession of 
Philip. The prelate knew the value of the emperor's 
name; he may have thought, also, that it would be 
difficult to increase the sharpness of the ordinances. " I 
advised the king," says Granvelle, in a letter written a 
few years later, " to make no change in the placards, biit 
to proclaim the text drawn up by the emperor, repub- 
lishing the whole as the king's edict, with express inser- 
tion of the phrase, ' Carolus,' etc. I recommended this 
lest men should calumniate his Majesty as wishing to 
introduce novelties in the matter of religion." i 

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

During the period of the French and papal war it 
has been seen that the execution of these edicts had 
been permitted to slacken. It was now resumed with 
redoubled fury. Moreover, a new measure had in- 
creased the disaffection and dismay of the people, already 
sufficiently filled with apprehension. As an additional 

1 Papiers d'Etat, ix. 478, 479. 

2 Groen v. Prinst., Arcldves, etc., ix. 46. 
' Archives, etc., i. 187*. 


security for the supremacy of the ancient religion, it 
had been thought desirable that the number of bishops 
shoiild be increased. There were but four sees in the 
Netherlands, those of Arras, Cambray, Tournay, and 
Utrecht. That of Utrecht was within the archiepiscopate 
of Cologne ; the other three were within that of Rheims.^ 
It seemed proper that the prelates of the Netherlands 
should owe no extraprovincial allegiance. It was like- 
wise thought that three millions of souls required more 
than four spiritual superintendents. At any rate, what- 
ever might be the interest of the flocks, it was certain 
that those broad and fertile pastures would sustain more 
than the present number of shepherds. The wealth of 
the religious houses in the provinces was very great. 
The abbey of AfBighem alone had a revenue of fifty thou- 
sand florins, and there were many others scarcely inferior 
in wealth.2 But these institutions were comparatively 
independent both of king and pope. Electing their own 
superiors from time to time, in no wise desirous of any 
change by which their ease might be disturbed and their 
riches endangered, the honest friars were not likely to 
engage in any very vigorous crusade against heresy, nor, 
for the sake of introducing or strengthening Spanish 
institutions, which they knew to be abominated by the 
people, to take the risk of driving all their disciples into 
revolt and apostasy. Comforting themselves with an 
Erasmian philosophy, which they thought best suited to 
the times, they were as little likely as the sage of Rot- 
terdam himself would have been to make martyrs of 
themselves for the sake of extirpating Calvinism. The 
abbots and monks were, in pohtieal matters, very much 
under the influence of the great nobles, in whose com- 

1 Wagenaer, vi. 62, 63. s Bor, i. 23. 


pany they occupied the benches of the upper house of the 

Dr. Francis Sonnius had been sent on a mission to 
the pope for the purpose of representing the necessity 
of an increase in the episcopal force of the Netherlands. 
Just as the king was taking his departure, the commis- 
sioner arrived, bringing with liim the bull of Paul IV., 
dated May 18, 1559. This was afterward confirmed by 
that of Pius IV., in January of the following year.^ The 
document stated - that " Paul TV., slave of slaves, wishing 
to provide for the welfare of the provinces and the eter- 
nal salvation of their inhabitants, had determined to 
plant in that fruitful field several new bishoprics. The 
enemy of mankind being abroad," said the bull, " in so 
many forms at that particular time, and the Netherlands, 
then under the sway of that beloved son of his Hohness, 
Philip the Catholic, being compassed about with heretic 
and schismatic nations, it was believed that the eternal 
welfare of the land was in great danger. At the period 
of the original establishment of cathedral churches, the 
provinces had been sparsely peopled ; they had now be- 
come filled to overflowing, so that the original ecclesi- 
astical arrangement did not suffice. The harvest tvas 
plentiful, hit the laborers iverefew." 

In consideration of these and other reasons, three 
archbishoprics were accordingly appointed. That of 
Mechlin was to be principal, under which were consti- 
tuted six bishoprics, those, namely, of Antwerp, Bois-le- 
Duc, Roermond, Ghent, Bruges, and Ypres. That of 
Cambray was second, with the four subordinate dio- 
ceses of Tournay, Arras, St.-Omer, and Namur. The 

1 Bor, i. 24 sqq, 

2 See the document in Bor, i. 24-26. 


third archbishopric was that of Utrecht, -with the five 
sees of Haarlem, Middelburg, Leeuwarden, Groningen, 
and Deventer.i 

The nomination to these important offices was granted 
to the king, subject to confirmation by the pope. More- 
over, it was ordained by the bull that "each bishop 
should appoint nitie additional prebendaries, who were to 
assist him in the matter of the Inquisition throughout 
his bishopric, ttvo ofwJiom were themselves to be inquisitors." 

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

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

1 Bor, i. 24-26. Bentivoglio, i. 10. 

2 Pontus Payen MS. 


Agitation in the Netherlands— The ancient charters resorted to as 
barriers against the measures of government — " Joyous entrance " 
of Brabant— Constitution of Holland — Growing unpopularity of 
Anthony Perrenot, Archbishop of Mechlin— Opposition to the new- 
bishoprics by Orange, Egmont, and other influential nobles— 
Fiiry of the people at the continued presence of the foreign sol- 
diery—Orange resigns the command of the legion— The troops 
recalled— Philip's personal attention to the details of persecution 
— Perrenot becomes Cardinal de Granvelle — All the power of 
government in his hands— His increasing unpopularity— Ani- 
mosity and violence of Egmont toward the cardinal — Relations 
between Orange and Granvelle — Ancient friendship gradually 
changing to enmity— Renewal of the magistracy at Antwerp- 
Quarrel between the prince and cardinal— Joint letter of Orange 
and Egmont to the king— Answer of the king— Indignation of 
Philip against Count Horn— Secret correspondence between the 
king and cardinal— Remonstrances against the new bishoprics- 
Philip's private financial statements— Penury of the exchequer in 
Spain and in the provinces— Plan for debasing the coin— Marriage 
of William the Silent with the Princess of Lorraine circumvented 
— Negotiations for his matrimonial alliance with Princess Anna of 
Saxony— Correspondence between Granvelle and Philip upon the 
subject— Opposition of Landgrave Philip and of Philip H.— Char- 
acter and conduct of Elector Augustus— Mission of Count Schwarz- 
burg — Communications of Orange to the king and to Duchess 
Margaret — Characteristic letter of Philip — Artful conduct of Gran- 
velle and of the regent— Visit of Orange to Dresden— Proposed 
"note" of Elector Augustus— Refusal of the prince— Protest of 
the landgrave against the marriage— Preparations for the wedding 
at Leipsic— Notarial instrument drawn up on the marriage day— 



Wedding ceremonies and festivities— Entrance of Granvelle into 
Mechlin as arohlDishop— Compromise in. Brabant between the ab- 
beys and bishops. 

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

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

Of these constitutions, that of Brabant, known by 
the title of the joyeuse entrSe, Hyde inkomst, or bhthe en- 
trance, furnished the most decisive barrier against the 
present wholesale tyranny. First and foremost, the 
"joyous entry" provided "that the prince of the land 
should not elevate the clerical state higher than of old 
has been customary and by former princes settled ; un- 
less by consent of the other two estates, the nobility and 
the cities." ^ 

Again, " the prince can prosecute no one of his sub- 
jects, nor any foreign resident, civilly or criminally, 

1 Die Blyde Inkomste dem Hertochdom v. Brabant, bij Philippus, 
Conink v. Hispanien solennlick geschworen. Gedruckt tot Cuelen, 
1564. Compare Bor, i. 19 ; Meteren, i. 28. 


except in the ordinary and open courts of justice in the 
province, where the accused may answer and defend 
himself with the help of advocates." ^ 

Further, " the prince shaU appoint no foreigners to 
office in Brabant." - 

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

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

These provisions from the Brabant and Holland 
charters are only cited as illustrative of the general 
spirit of the provincial constitutions. Nearly all the 
provinces possessed pri\aleges equally ample, duly 

1 See note on p. 330. 2 Ibid, 

s Ibid. Compare Apologie d'Orange, 69, 70. 
♦ Bor, ubi sup. Meteren, i. 28, 29. 
6 Ibid. Ibid. 


signed and sealed. So far as ink and sealing-wax could 
defend a land against sword and fire, the Netherlands 
were impregnable against the edicts and the renewed 
episcopal Inquisition. Unfortunately, all history shows 
how feeble are barriers of paper or lambskin, even when 
hallowed with a monarch's oath, against the torrent of 
regal and ecclesiastical absolutism. It was on the re- 
ception in the provinces of the new and confirmatory 
bull concerning the bishoprics, issued in January, 1560, 
that the measure became known and the dissatisfaction 
manifest. The discontent was inevitable and universal. 
The ecclesiastical establishment, which was not to be 
enlarged or elevated but by consent of the estates, was 
suddenly expanded into three archiepiscopates and fifteen 
bishoprics. The administration of justice, which was 
only allowed in free and local courts, distinct for each 
province, was to be placed, so far as regarded the 
most important of human interests, in the hands of 
bishops and their creatures, many of them foreigners 
and most of them monks. The lives and property of 
the whole population were to be at the mercy of these 
utterly irresponsible conclaves. All classes were out- 
raged. The nobles were offended because ecclesiastics, 
perhaps foreign ecclesiastics, were to be empowered to 
sit in the provincial estates and to control their proceed- 
ings in place of easy, indolent, ignorant abbots and friars, 
who had generally accepted the influence of the great 
seigniors.^ The priests were enraged because the reli- 
gious houses were thus taken out of their control and 
confiscated to a bench of bishops, usurping the places of 
those superiors who had formally been elected by and 
among themselves. The people were alarmed because 
1 Papiers d'Etat, v. 309. 


the monasteries, although not respected nor popular, 
were at least charitable 1 and without ambition to exer- 
cise ecclesiastical cruelty ; while, on the other hand, by 
the new episcopal arrangements, a force of thirty new 
inquisitors was added to the apparatus for enforcing 
orthodoxy already established. The odium of the mea- 
sure was placed upon the head of that churchman 
already appointed Archbishop of Mechlin, and soon to 
be known as Cardinal Granvelle. From this time forth, 
this prelate began to be regarded ■with a daily increasing 
aversion. He was looked upon as the incarnation of all 
the odious measures which had been devised ; as the 
source of that policy of absolutism which revealed itself 
more and more rapidly after the king's departure from 
the country. It was for this reason that so much stress 
was laid by popular clamor upon the clause prohibiting 
foreigners from oflice. Granvelle was a Burgundian ; 
his father had passed most of his active life in Spain, 
while both he and his more distinguished son were 
identified in the general mind with Spanish politics. 
To this prelate, then, were ascribed the edicts, the new 
bishoprics, and the continued presence of the foreign 
troops. The people were right as regarded the first 
accusation. They were mistaken as to the other charges. 
The king had not consulted Anthony Perrenot with 
regard to the creation of the new bishoprics. The mea- 
sure, which had been successively contemplated by 
Philip the Good, by Charles the Bold, and by the 
Emperor Charles, had now been carried out by Philip 
II., without the knowledge of the new Archbishop of 
Mechlin. The king had for once been able to deceive 
the astuteness of the prelate, and had concealed from 
1 Hoofd, i. 29, 30. Bor, i. 19. Meteren, i. 28. 


him the intended arrangement until the arrival of Son- 
nius with the bulls. Grranvelle gave the reasons for this 
mystery with much simplicity. "His Majesty knew," 
he said, " that I should oppose it, as it was more honor- 
able and lucrative to be one of four than one of eigh- 
teen." 1 In fact, according to his own statement, he lost 
money by becoming Archbishop of Mechlin and ceasing 
to be Bishop of Arras.^ For these reasons he declined, 
more than once, the proffered dignity, and at last only 
accepted it from fear of giving offense to the king, and 
after having secured compensation for his alleged losses. 
In the same letter (of 29th May, 1560) in which he 
thanked Philip for conferring upon him the rich abbey 
of St. Armand, which he had solicited, in addition to 
the merced in ready money, concerning the safe in- 
vestment of which he had already sent directions, he 
observed that he was now willing to accept the arch- 
bishopric of Mechlin. Notwithstanding the odium at- 
tached to the measure, notwithstanding his feeble 
powers, and notwithstanding that, during the life of 
the Bishop of Tournay, who was then «i rude health, he 
could only receive three thousand ducats of the revenue, 
giving up Arras and gaining nothing in Mechlin — not- 
withstanding aU this, and a thousand other things 

1 " . . . et I'on a voulu persuader ancuns que je fusse auteur 
de eeste nouvellit6 . . . et par sa lettre sa M. me dit que I'on me 
faisoit grand tort, confessant que en ceste negotiation elle s'estoit 
eachfe de moy . . . d'aultant que les aultres et trois evesques que 
nous estions lors et moy le contredisions, comme il estoit vray- 
semblable, pour que il est plus honorable estre un de quatre que 
ung de dix-sept."— Memoir of Granvelle in Groen v. Prinst., Ar- 
chives, etc., i. 76. See also Archives, etc., viii. 54. 

2 ". . . et quant au prouffit je feroy apparoir qu'an revenu que 
je y ay reeeu perte notable."— Ibid, 


besides, he assured his Majesty that, " since the royal 
desire was so strong that he should accept, he would 
consider nothing so difficult that he would not at least 
attempt it." ^ Having made up his mind to take the 
see and support the new arrangements, he was resolved 
that his profits should be as large as possible. We have 
seen how he had already been enabled to indemnify 
himself. We shall find him soon afterward importuning 
the king for the abbey of AfBlighem, the enormous rev- 
enue of which the prelate thought would make another 
handsome addition to the rewards of his sacrifices. At 
the same time, he was most anxious that the people, and 
particularly the great nobles, should not ascribe the new 
establishment to him, as they persisted in doing. " They 
say that the episcopates were devised to gratify my am- 
bition," he wrote to Philip two years later; "whereas 
your ]\Iajesty knows how steadily I refused the see of 
Mechlin, and that I only accepted it in order not to hve 
in idleness, doing nothing for God and your Majesty." ^ 
He therefore instructed Philip, on several occasions, to 
make it known to the government of the regent, to the 
seigniors, and to the country generally, that the measure 
had been arranged without his knowledge ; that the 
Marquis Berghen had known of it fii-st, and that the 
prelate had, in truth, been kept in the dark on the sub- 
ject until the arrival of Sonnius with the buUs. The 
king, always docile to his minister, accordingly wrote to 
the diichess the statements required, in almost the exact 
phraseology suggested, taking pains to repeat the dec- 
larations on several occasions, both by letter and by 
word of mouth, to many influential persons.^ 

1 Papiers-d'Etat, vi. 96-98. 2 Papiers d'Etat, vi. 552-562. 

3 Correspondance de Phil. II., t. i. 207. 


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

Foremost in resistance was the Prince of Orange. 
Although a Catholic, he had no relish for the horrible 
persecution which had been determined upon. The new 
bishoprics he characterized afterward as parts " of one 
grand scheme for establishing the cruel Inquisition of 
Spain ; the said bishops to serve as inquisitors, burners 
of bodies, and tyrants of conscience, two prebendaries 
in each see being actually constituted inquisitors."* 
For this reason he omitted no remonstrance on the sub- 
ject to the duchess, to Granvelle, and by direct letters to 
the king. His efforts were seconded by Egmont, Berg- 
hen, and other influential nobles. Even Berlaymont 
was at first disposed to side with the opposition, but 
upon the argument used by the duchess, that the bishop- 

1 "Tan saneta obra."— Papiers d'Etat, vi. 3. 
^ Correspondance de Philippe II., i. 189. 

5 Papiers d'Etat, vi. 341. "... plugiera h Dios que jamas se 
huviera pensado en esta erection destas yglesias. Amen ! Amen ! " 
^ Apologie, 92, 93. 


rics and prebends would furnish excellent places for his 
sons and other members of the aristocracy, he began 
warmly to support the measure.^ Most of the labor, 
however, and all the odium of the business fell upon 
the bishop's shoulders. There was still a large fund of 
loyalty left in the popular mind, which not even forty 
years of the emperoi-'s dominion had consumed, and 
which Philip was destined to draw upon as prodigally 
as if the treasure had been inexhaustible. For these 
reasons it still seemed most decorous to load aU the 
hatred upon the minister's back, and to retain the con- 
solatory formula that Phdip was a prince " clement, 
benign, and debonair." 

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

1 Papiers d'Etat, vi. 332. 

2 Correspondance de Philippe II., i. 200. 

VOL. I.— 22 


was clear that the bishop was an ordinary inquisitor; but 
it was necessary to expunge words that gave offense.^ 

It was difficult, however, with all the bishop's elo- 
quence and dexteritj', to construct an agreeable inquisi- 
tion. The people did not like it in any shape, and 
there were indications, not to be mistaken, that one day 
there would be a storm which it would be beyond human 
power to assuage. At present the people directed their 
indignation only upon a part of the machinery devised 
for their oppression. The Spanish troops were con- 
sidered as a portion of the apparatus by which the new 
bishoprics and the edicts were to be forced into execu- 
tion. Moreover, men were weary of the insolence and 
the pillage which these mercenaries had so long exer- 
cised in the land. When the king had been first re- 
quested to withdraw them, we have seen that he had 
burst into a violent passion. He had afterward dis- 
sembled. Promising, at last, that they should all be 
sent from the country within three or foiir months 
after his departure, he had determined to use every 
artifice to detain them in the provinces. He had suc- 
ceeded, by various subterfuges, in keeping them there 
fourteen months ; but it was at last evident that their 
presence would no longer be tolerated. Toward the 
close of 1560 they were quartered in Walcheren and 
Brill. The Zealanders, however, had become so exas- 
perated by their presence that they resolutely refused 
to lay a single hand upon the dikes, which, as usual at 
that season, required great repairs.^ Rather than see 

1 "Pues aunque no se diga, olaro es que el obispo es inquisidor 
ordinario, sino que es menester quitar las pala'bras que ofenden."— 
Correspondance de Philippe II., i. 200. 

2 Bor, i. 18-22. Strada, iii. 87. 


their native soil profaned any longer by these hated 
foreign mercenaries, they would see it sunk forever in 
the ocean. They swore to perish — men, women, and 
children together — in the waves rather than endure 
longer the outrages which the soldiery daily inflicted. 
Such was the temper of the Zealanders that it was not 
thought wise to trifle with their irritation. The bishop 
felt that it was no longer practicable to detain the troops, 
and that aU the pretexts devised by Philip and his gov- 
ernment had become ineffectual. In a session of the 
state council, held on the 25th October, 1560,^ he repre- 
sented in the strongest terms to the regent the necessity 
for the final departure of the troops. Viglius, who knew 
the character of his countrymen, strenuously seconded 
the proposal. Orange briefly but firmly expressed the 
same opinion, declining any longer to serve as com- 
mander of the legion, an office which, in conjunction 
with Egmont, he had accepted provisionally, with the 
best of motives, and on the pledge of Philip that the 
soldiers should be withdrawn. The duchess urged that 
the order should at least be deferred until the arrival of 
Count Egmont, then in Spain, but the proposition was 
unanimously negatived. - 

Letters were accordingly written, in the name of the 
regent, to the king. It was stated that the measure 
could no longer be delayed, that the provinces all agreed 
in this point ; that so long as the foreigners remained not 
a stiver should be paid into the treasury ; that if they 
had once set sail, the necessary amount for their arrears 
would be furnished to the government ; but that if they 
should return it was probable that they would be resisted 

1 See a prods verbal of this session in Gachard, Documents In- 
«dit8, i. 330, 331. ^ ibid. 


by the inhabitants Math main force, and that they would 
only be allowed to enter the cities through a breach in 
their wall.i It was urged, moreover, that three or four 
thousand Spaniards would not be sufficient to coerce 
all the provinces, and that there was not money enough 
in the royal exchequer to pay the wages of a single com- 
pany of the troops.^ " It cuts me to the heart," wrote 
the bishop to PhUip, " to see the Spanish infantry leave 
us ; but go they must. Would to God that we could de- 
vise any pretext, as your Majesty desires, under which 
to keep them here ! We have tried all means humanly 
possible for retaining them, but I see no way to do it 
without putting the provinces in manifest danger of 
sudden revolt." '■^ 

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

' Archives et Correspondanc-e, i. 62. 

2 Meteren, i. 24. Bor, i. 18-22. Strada, iii. 87-89. 

3 " En el alma siento ver partir la inf anteria Espanola." — Papiers 
d'Etat, vi. 25. 

" Confer! con su Alt. sobre el negoeio de la quedada aqui de los 
Espanoles, y se han intendado todas las vias Iiumanamente possi- 
biles, mas enfin no veo forma ny camiuo que, sin poner estos estados 
en manifiesto peligro de subita rebuelta, se puede diferir la execu- 
cion de su yda, si el tiempo lo eonsiente."— Groen v. Prinst., Ar- 
chives, etc., i. 61. 

< Meteren, i. 24. Bor, i. 18-22. Strada, iii. 87-89. 


The growing unpopularity of the royal government, 
still typified, however, in the increasing hatred enter- 
tained for the bishop, was not materially diminished by 
the departure of the Spaniards. The edicts and the 
bishoprics were still there, even if the soldiers were 
gone. The churchman worked faithfully to accomplish 
his master's business. Philip, on his side, was indus- 
trious to bring about the consummation of his measures. 
Ever occupied with details, the monarch, from his palace 
in Spain, sent frequent informations against the humblest 
individuals in the Netherlands. It is curious to observe 
the minute reticulations of tyranny which he had begun 
already to spin about a whole people, while, cold, venom- 
ous, and patient, he watched his victims from the center 
of his web. He forwarded particular details to the duchess 
and cardinal concerning a variety of men and women, 
sending their names, ages, personal appearance, occu- 
pations, and residence, together with directions for their 
immediate immolation. ^ Even the inquisitors of Seville 
were set to work to increase, by means of their branches 
or agencies in the provinces, the royal information on 
this all-important subject. " There are but few of us 
left in the world," he moralized in a letter to the bishop, 

' Strada, iv. 142 : " . gubernatrioem doeeret rationem 

hieretieos intercipiendi ; eorum tanquam vestigia et eubilia 
monstraret : etiam indices (qiios habeo reyiis Utteris incliisos) ea dili- 
gentia confectos, ita cujusque conditione, vicinia, cetate, statura ad 
unguem expUcatis." The Jesuit can hardly find words strong enough 
to express his admiration for the dihgenee thus displayed by the 
king: " ut miro profecto .sit," he continues, "prineipem in tarn 
multas distractum diversumque Regnorum ouras, "hxda v6i quasi yer 
otium vacasse: inquirendisque liominiius plerumq. ohscuris, solliei- 
tudine etiam in prirato cive admiranda eogitationem manumque 
flexisse.'' Compare Hoofd, i. .38. 


" who care for religion. 'T is necessary, therefore, for us 
to take the greater heed for Christianity. We must lose 
oui' all, if need be, in order to do our duty ; in fine," 
added he, with his usual tautology, "it is right that a 
man should do his dut}^" ^ 

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

The popularity of the churchman, not increased by 
these desperate exertions to force an inhuman policy 
upon an unfortunate nation, received likewise no addi- 

1 "... y quan pocos ay ya en el mundo que curen della reli- 
gion y assi los pocos que quedamos es menester que teugamos mas 
cuydado de la Christiandad y si f uere menester lo perdamos todo por 
hazer en esto lo que devemos ; pero en fin es bien que hombre haga 
lo que deve."— Papiers d'Etat, vi. 149. 

'- Ibid., xi. 208-210. 

3 Ibid. 

^ "Con alegar a eada passo su joyeuse entree."— Ibid. 

Cardinal Granvelle . 


tion from his new elevation in rank. During the latter 
part of the year 1560, Margaret of Parma, who still en- 
tertained a profound admiration of the prelate, and had 
not yet begun to chafe under his smooth but imperious 
dominion, had been busy in preparing for him a delight- 
ful surprise. Without either his knowledge or that of 
the king, she had corresponded with the pope, and suc- 
ceeded in obtaining, as a personal favor to herself, the 
cardinal's hat for Anthony Perrenot.^ In February, 
1561, Cardinal Borromeo wrote to announce that the 
coveted dignity had been bestowed.^ The duchess has- 
tened, with jo3'ous alacrity, to communicate the intelli- 
gence to the bishop, but was extremely hurt to find that 
he steadily refused to assume his new dignity until he 
had written to the king to announce the appointment, 
and to ask his permission to accept the honor.-^ The 
duchess, justly wounded at his refusal to accept from 
her hands the favor which she, and she only, had ob- 
tained for him, endeavored in vain to overcome his 
pertinacity. She represented that although Philip was 
not aware of the application or the appointment, he 
was certain to regard it as an agreeable surprise.* She 
urged, moreover, that his temporary refusal would be 
misconstriied at Rome, where it would certainly excite 
ridicule, and very possibly give offense in the highest 
quarter.5 The bishop was inexorable. He feared, says 
his panegyrist, that he might one day be on worse terms 
than at present with the duchess, and that then she 

1 Strada, iii. 92. Dom I'Evesque, M^moires, i. 256-264. 

2 Papiers d'Etat, vi. 296, 297. 

3 Strada, iii. 93. Dom I'Evesque, i. 258. 
* Ibid., ibid., ubi sup. 

» Dom I'Evesque, i. 258. 


might reproacli him with her former benefits.^ He 
feared also that the king might, in consequence of the 
step, not look with satisfaction upon him at some future 
period, when he might stand in need of his favors.^ 
He wrote, accordingly, a most characteristic letter to 
Philip, in which he informed him that he had been 
honored with the cardinal's hat. He observed that many- 
persons were already congratulating him, but that, be- 
fore he made any demonstration of accepting or refusing, 
he waited for his Majesty's orders: upon his will he 
wished ever to depend. He also had the coolness, under 
the circumstances, to express his conviction that " it wa^ 
his Majesty who had secretly procured this favor from his 
Holiness." ^ 

The king received the information very graciousl}', 
observing in reply that although he had never made 
any suggestion of the kind, he had " often thought upon 
the subject."* The royal command was of course at 
once transmitted that the dignity should be accepted. 
By special favor, moreover, the pope dispensed the new 
cardinal from the dutj^ of going to Rome in person, and 
despatched his chamberlain, Theophilus Friso, to Brussels 
with the red hat and tabard." 

The prelate, having thus reached the dignity to which 
he had long aspired, did not grow more humble in his 
deportment, or less zealous in the work through which 
he had already gained so much wealth and preferment. 
His conduct with regard to the edicts and bishoprics 
had already brought him into relations which were far 

1 Dom I'Evesque, i. 258. 2 njjd. 

3 Papiers d'Etat, vi. 296, 297. 

4 Dom I'Evesque, i. 256-264. Papiers d'Etat, vi. 302, 303. 
* Dom I'Evesque. 


from amicable with his colleagues in the council. More 
and more he began to take the control of affairs into 
his own hand. The consulta, or secret committee of the 
state council, constituted the real government of the 
country. Here the most important affairs were decided 
upon without the concurrence of the other seigniors, 
Orange, Egmont, and Glayon, who, at the same time, 
were held responsible for the action of government. 
The cai'dinal was smooth in manner, plausible of speech, 
generally even-tempered, but he was overbearing and 
blandly insolent. Accustomed to control royal person- 
ages under the garb of extreme obsequiousness, he be- 
gan, in his intercourse with those of less exalted rank, 
to omit a portion of the subserviency while claiming a 
still more undisguised authority. To nobles like Eg- 
mont and Orange, who looked down upon the son of 
Nicholas Perrenot and Nichola Bonvalot as a person 
immeasurably lieueath themselves in the social hier- 
archy-, this conduct was suiSciently irritating. The 
cardinal, placed as far above Philip, and even Mar- 
garet, in mental power as he was beneath them in 
worldly station, found it comparatively easy to deal with 
them amicably. With such a man as Egmont it was 
impossible for the ehui-chman to maintain friendly rela- 
tions. The count, who, notwithstanding his romantic 
appearance, his brilliant exploits, and his interesting 
destiny, was but a commonplace character, soon con- 
ceived a mortal aversion to Granvelle. A rude soldier, 
entertaining no respect for science or letters, ignorant 
and overbearing, he was not the man to submit to the 
airs of superiority which pierced daily more and more 
decidedly through the conventional exterior of the car- 
dinal. Granvelle, on the other hand, entertained a 


gentle contempt for Egmont, which manifested itself in 
all his private letters to the king, and was sufficiently 
obvious in his deportment. There had also been distinct 
causes of animosity between them. The governorship 
of Hesdin having become vacant, Egmont, backed by 
Orange and other nobles, had demanded it for the Count 
de Roeulx, a gentleman of the Croy family, who, as 
well as his father, had rendered many important services 
to the crown.i The appointment was, however, be- 
stowed, through Granvelle's influence, upon the Seigneur 
d'Helfault,^ a gentleman of mediocre station and char- 
acter, who was thought to possess no claims whatever 
to the office. Egmont, moreover, desired the abbey of 
Trulle for a poor relation of his own ; but the cardinal, 
to whom nothing in this way ever came amiss, had 
already obtained the king's permission to appropriate 
the abbey to himself.^ Egmont was now furious against 
the prelate, and omitted no opportunity of expressing 
his aversion, both in his presence and behind his back. 
On one occasion, at least, his wrath exploded in some- 
thing more than words. Exasperated by Granvelle's 
polished insolence in reply to his own violent language, 
he drew his dagger upon him in the presence of the 
regent herself, " and," says a contemporary, " would 
certainly have sent the cardinal into the next world had 
he not been forcibly restrained by the Prince of Orange 
and other persons present, who warmly represented to 
him that such griefs were to be settled by deliberate 
advice, not by clioler." * At the same time, while scenes 

1 Pontus Payen MS. 2 Ibid. 

' Dom I'Evesque, M^moires, i. 231. 

* Pontus Payen MS. Van der Haer alludes to but discredits a 
similar story, according to wliioli Egmont gave the cardinal pub- 


like these were occurring in the very bosom of the state 
council, Granvelle, in his confidential letters to Secretary- 
Perez, asserted warmly that all reports of a want of 
harmony between himself and the other seigniors and 
councilors were false, and that the best relations existed 
among them all. It was not his intention, before it 
should be necessary, to let the king doubt his ability to 
govern the coi^ncil according to the secret commission 
with which he had been invested. 

His relations with Orange were longer in changing 
from friendship to open hostility. In the prince the 
cardinal met his match. He found himself confronted 
by an intellect as subtle, an experience as fertile in 
expedients, a temper as even, and a disposition some- 
times as haughty as his own. He never affected to 
undervalue the mind of Orange. " 'T is a man of pro- 
found genius, vast ambition — dangerous, acute, politic," 
he wrote to the king at a very early period. The original 
relations between himself and the prince had been very 
amicable. It hardly needed the prelate's great pene- 
tration to be aware that the friendship of so exalted a 
pei'sonage as the youthfid heir to the principality of 
Orange and to the vast possessions of the Chalons- 
Nassau house in Burgundy and the Netherlands would 
be advantageous to the ambitious son of the Burguudiau 
councilor Granvelle. The young man was the favorite 
of the emperor fi-om boyhood; his high rank and his 
remarkable talents marked him indispiitably for one of 
the foremost men of the coming reign. Therefore it 
was politic in Perreuot to seize every opportunity of 

licly a box on the ear : " ut viilgi sermonibus diu f ama valuerit, quae 
Cardinalem ab Egmondaue alapa percussum mentiretur."— i. 180, 
181 , De Initiis Turn, Belg. 


making himself useful to the prince. He busied him- 
self with securing, so far as it might be necessary to 
secure, the succession of William to his cousin's prin- 
cipality. It seems somewhat ludicrous for a merit to be 
made, not only for Granvelle but for the emperor, that 
the prince should have been allowed to take an inheri- 
tance which the will of Eene de Nassau most unequivocally 
conferred, and which no living creature disputed.^ Yet, 
because some of the crown lawyers had propounded the 
dogma that " the son of a heretic ought not to succeed," 
it was gravely stated as an immense act of clemency 
upon the part of Charles V. that he had not confiscated 
the whole of the young prince's heritage. In return 
Granvelle's brother Jerome had obtained the governor- 
ship of the youth, upon whose majority he had received 
an honorable military appointment from his attached 
pupil. The prelate had afterward recommended the 
marriage with the Count de Buren's heiress, and had 
used his influence with the emperor to overcome certain 
objections entertained by Charles that the prince, by 
this great accession of wealth, might be growing too 
powerful.^ On the other hand, there were always many 
poor relations and dependents of Granvelle, eager to 
be benefited by Orange's patronage, who lived in the 
prince's household or received handsome appointments 
from his generosity.^ Thus there had been great inti- 
macy, founded upon various benefits mutually conferred ; 

1 Apologie d'Orange, 1.5-20. 

2 Pontus Payen MS. 

3 " . . vous eussiez veu lors a sa maison un Abb^ de Saverney 
frere dudt. Cardinal le servir de maistre d'hotel, un Box'det son 
cousin, son grand eeuyer autre une infinite de communications 
secretes et familieres." — Ibid. 


for it could hardly be asserted that the debt of friend- 
ship was whoUy upon one side. 

When Orange arrived in Brussels from a journey, lie 
would go to the bishop's before alighting at his own 
house. 1 When the churchman visited the prince, he 
entered his bedchamber without ceremony before he 
had risen ; for it was William's custom through life to 
receive intimate acquaintances, and even to attend to 
important negotiations of state, while still in bed. 

The show of this intimacy had lasted longer than its 
substance. Granvelle was the most politic of men, and 
the prince had not served his apprenticeship at the court 
of Charles V. to lay himself bare prematurely to the 
criticism or the animosity of the cardinal with the reck- 
lessness of Horn and Egmont. An explosion came at 
last, however, and very soon after an exceedingly ami- 
cable correspondence between the two upon the subject 
of an edict of religious amnesty which Orange was 
preparing for his principahty, and which Granvelle had 
recommended him not to make too lenient.- A few 
weeks after this, the Antwerp magistracy was to be 
renewed. The prince, as hereditary burgrave of that 
city, was entitled to a large share of the appointing 
power in these political arrangements, which at the 
moment were of great importance. The citizens of 
Antwerp were in a state of excitement on the subject 
of the new bishops. They openly and in the event 
successfully resisted the installation of the new prelate 
for whom their city had been constituted a diocese. 
The prince was known to be opposed to the measure, 
and to the whole system of ecclesiastical persecution. 

1 Hoofd, i. 21, 22. 

2 Correspondance de Guill. le Tacit., ii. 15-22. 


When the nominations for the new magistracy came 
before the regent, she disposed of the whole matter in 
the secret consulta, without the knowledge and in a 
manner opposed to the views of Orange. He was then 
furnished with a hst of the new magistrates, and was 
informed that he had been selected as commissioner 
along with Count Aremberg to see that the appoint- 
ments were carried into effect. The indignation of the 
prince was extreme. He had already taken offense at 
some insolent expressions upon this topic which the 
cardinal had permitted himself. He now sent back 
the commission to the duchess, adding, it was said, that 
he was not her lackey, and that she might send some one 
else with her errands. The words were repeated in the 
state council. There was a violent altercation, Orange 
vehemently resenting his appointment merely to carry 
out decisions in which he claimed an original voice. 
His ancestors, he said, had often changed the whole of 
the Antwerp magistracy by their own authority. It 
was a httle too much that this matter, as well as every 
other state affair, should be controlled by the secret 
committee of which the cardinal was the chief. Gran- 
velle, on his side, was also in a rage. He flung from the 
council-chamber, summoned the chancellor of Brabant, 
and demanded, amid bitter execrations against Orange, 
what common and obscure gentleman there might be 
whom he could appoint to execute the commission thus 
refused by the prince and by Aremberg. He vowed 
that in all important matters he would, on future occa- 
sions, make use of nobles less inflated by pride and 
more tractable than such grand seigniors. The chan- 
cellor tried in vain to appease the churchman's wrath, 
representing that the city of Antwerp would be highly 


offended at the turn things were taking, and offering 
his services to induce the withdrawal, ou the part of the 
prince, of the language which had given so much offense. 
The cardinal was inexorable and peremptory. ' 1 
will have nothing to do with the prince, Master Chan- 
cellor," said he, "and these are matters which concern 
you not." Thus the conversation ended, and thus began 
the open state of hostilities between the great nobles 
and the cardinal which had been brooding so long.^ 

On the 23d July, 1561, a few weeks after the scenes 
lately described, the Count of Egmont and the Prince of 
Orange addressed a joint letter to the king. They re- 
minded him in this despatch that they had originally 
been reluctant to take office in the state council, on 
account of their previous experience of the manner in 
which business had been conducted during the adminis- 
tration of the Duke of Savoj\ They had feared that 
important matters of state might be transacted without 
their concurrence. The king had, however, assured 
them, when in Zealand, that all affairs would be uniformly 
treated in full council. If the contrary should ever 
prove the case, he had desired them to give him infor- 
mation to that effect, that he might instantly apply the 
remedy. They accordingly now gave him that infor- 
mation. They were consulted upon small matters ; mo- 
mentous affairs were decided upon in their absence. Still, 
they would not even now have complained had not Car- 
dinal Granvelle declared that all the members of the 
state council were to be held responsible for its measures, 
whether they were present at its decisions or not. Not 
liking such responsibility, they requested the king either 

' Bakh. V. d. Brink, "Het Huwelijk van W. v. Oranje,'' etc., 
pp. 47, 48. 


to accept their resignation or to give orders that all 
affairs should be communicated to the whole board and 
deliberated upon by all the councilors. ^ 

In a private letter, written some weeks later (August 
15), Egmont begged Secretary Erasso to assure the king 
that their joint letter had not been dictated by passion, 
but by zeal for his service. It was impossible, he said, 
to imagine the insolence of the cardinal, or to form an 
idea of the absolute authority which he arrogated.^ 

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

As to Count Horn, Granvelle had already prejudiced 

1 Correspondance de Phil. U., i. 195, 196. « Ibid. 

3 Bakhuyzen, 44, 45. 

■• Correspondance de Philippe 11. , i. 197. 


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

1 La deduction de I'innocence du Comte de Home. 

2 Papiers d'Etat, vi. 332. 

3 "Quoi, malheureux ! Vous vous plaignez tous de cat homme, 

VOL. I.— 23 


Witli this the royal wrath boiled over in such unequivocal 
terms that the admiral changed color, and was so con- 
fused with indignation and astonishment that he was 
scarcely able to find his way out of the room.^ 

This was the commencement of Granvelle's long mor- 
tal combat with Egmont, Horn, and Orange. This was 
the first answer which the seigniors were to receive to 
their remonstrances against the churchman's arrogance. 
Philip was enraged that any opposition should be made 
to his coercive measures, particularly to the new bish- 
oprics, the "holy work" which the cardinal was ready 
to "consecrate his fortune and his blood" to advance. 
GranveUe fed his master's anger by constant communi- 
cations as to the efforts made by distinguished individ- 
uals to delay the execution of the scheme. AssonviUe 
had informed him, he wrote, that much complaint had 
been made on the subject by several gentlemen, at a 
supper of Count Egmont's. It was said that the king 
ought to have consulted them all, and the state coun- 
cilors especially. The present nominees to the new 
episcopates were good enough, but it would be found, 
they said, that very improper personages would be after- 
ward appointed. The estates ought not to permit the 
execution of the scheme. In short, continued GranveUe, 
" there is the same hind of talk tvhich brought about the recall 
of the Spanish troops." ^ A few months later, he wrote to 
inform Philip that a petition against the new bishoprics 
was about to be drawn up by "the two lords." They 
had two motives, according to the cardinal, for this step : 

et n'y a peraonne quoy que je demande qui m'en saiche dire la 
cause." — Papiers d'Etat, viii. 443. 

1 Ibid. 

2 Ibid., vi. 261. 


fii'st, to let the king know that he could do nothing 
without their permission ; secondly, because in the states' 
assembly they were then the cof:l<s of the ivaJ];} They did 
not choose, therefore, that in the clerical branch of the 
estates any body should be above the abbots, whom they 
could frighten into doing whatever they chose.^ At the 
end of the year Granvelle again wi-ote to instruct his 
sovereign how to reply to the letter which was about to 
be addressed to him by the Prince of Orange and the 
Marquis Berghen on the subject of the bishoprics. They 
would tell him, he said, that the incorporation of the 
Brabant abbeys into the new bishoprics was contrary to 
the constitution of the "joyful entrance." Philip was, 
however, to make answer that he had consulted the uni- 
versities and those learned in the laws, and had satis- 
fied himself that it was entirely constitutional. He was 
therefore advised to send his command that the prince 
and marquis should use all their influence to promote 
the success of the measure.'' Thus fortified, the king was 
enabled not only to deal with the petition of the nobles, 
but also with the deputies from the estates of Brabant, 
who arrived about this time at Madrid. To these envoys, 
who asked for the appointment of royal commissioners, 
with whom they might treat on the siibject of the bish- 
oprics, the abbeys, and the " joyful entrance," the king 
answered proudly that " in matters which concerned the 
service of God he was his own commissioner."* He 

1 "Como son los gallos de los estados." — Papiers d'Etat, vi. 307. 

2 "No querrian que en el primer brajo que es el de los prelados 
huviesse quien entendiesse y las osasse eontradecir, que hazen de 
los abades frayles lo que quieren, poniendo les miedo." — Ibid. 

3 Ibid., vi. 463, 464. 

* " Yo les mandS responder que por ser del servicio de Dios, lo 
queria yo mesmo." — Ibid., vi. 504. 


afterward, accordingly, recited to them, with great 
accuracy, the lesson which he had privately received 
from the ubiquitous cardinal. 

Philip was determined that no remonstrance from 
great nobles or from private citizens should interfere 
with the thorough execution of the grand scheme on 
which he was resolved, and of which the new bishopries 
formed an important part. Opposition irritated him 
more and more, till his hatred of the opponents became 
deadly ; but it at the same time confirmed him in his 
pui'pose. " 'T is no time to temporize," he wrote to Gran- 
velle ; "we must inflict chastisement with full rigor 
and severity. These rascals can only be made to do 
right through fear, and not always even by that 
means." i 

At the same time, the royal finances did not admit of 
any very active measui-es, at the moment, to enforce 
obedience to a policy which was already so bitterly op- 
posed. A rough estimate, made in the king's own hand- 
writing, of the resources and obligations of his exchequer, 
a kind of balance-sheet for the years 1560 and 1561, 
drawn up much in the same manner as that in which a 
simple individual would make a note of his income and 
expenditure, gave but a dismal picture of his pecuniary 
condition. It served to show how intelligent a financier 
is despotism, and how little available are the resources 
of a mighty empire when regarded merely as private 
property, particularly when the owner chances to have 
the vanity of attending to all details himself. " Twenty 

1 "... en las de la religion no se yufre temporizar sino oasti- 
garlos con todo rigor y serenidad, que estos vellaeos sino es por 
miedo no hazen cosa buena y aun con el, no todas vezes." — Papiers 
d'Etat, vi. 421. 


millions of ducats," began the memorandum, ^ "will be 
requii-ed to disengage my revenues. But of this," added 
the king, with whimsical pathos for an account-book, 
" we will not speak at present, as the matter is so entii-elj' 
impossible." ^ He then , proceeded to enter the various 
items of expense which were to be met during the two 
years ; such as so many millions due to the Fuggers (the 
Rothschilds of the sixteenth century), so many to mer- 
chants in Flanders, Se^olle, and other places, so much 
for Prince Doria's galleys, so much for three years' pay 
due to his guards, so much for his household expendi- 
ture, so much for the tuition of Don Carlos and Don 
Juan d' Austria, so much for salaries of ambassador's and 
councilors— mixing personal and state expenses, petty 
items and great loans, in one singular jumble, but ar- 
riving at a total demand upon his purse of ten million 
nine hundred and ninety thousand ducats. 

To meet this expenditure he painfully enumerated the 
funds upon which he could reckon for the two years. 
His ordinary rents and taxes being all deeply pledged, 
he could only calculate from that source upon two hun- 
dred thousand ducats. The Indian revenue, so called, 
was nearly spent ; still, it might yield him four hundred 
and twenty thousand ducats. The quicksilver-mines 
would produce something, but so little as hardlj- to re- 
quire mentioning. As to the other mines, they were 
equally unworthy of notice, being so very uncertain, and 
not doing as well as they were wont. The licenses ac- 

1 The document is in the Papiers d'Etat de Granvelle (vi. 156- 
165), and is entitled "Memorial de las Finan^as de Espaiia en los 
anos 1560 et 1561." 

2 " . . pero desto non se tracta agora como de cosa tan im- 
possibile. " — Ibid. 


corded by the crown to carry slaves to America were 
put down at fifty thousand ducats for the two years. 
The product of the crozada and cuarta, or money 
paid to him in small sums by individuals, with the per- 
mission of his Holiness, for the liberty of abstaining 
from the church fasts, was estimated at five hundred 
thousand ducats. These and a few more meager items 
only sufficed to stretch his income to a total of one mil- 
lion three hundred and thirty thousand for the two years, 
against an expenditure calculated at near eleven millions. 
" Thus there are nine millions, less three thousand du- 
cats, deficient," he concluded ruefully {and tnaMng a 
mistake in his figures in Ms own favor of six hundred and 
sixty-three thousand besides), "which I may look for in 
the sky, or try to raise by inventions already ex- 

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

1 " Que se ban de busoar del ayre y de invenoiones que estan ya 
tan buscadas como aMh." — Papier.s d'fitat, vi. 156-165. 


men on paper, enrolled and paid for, only one, according 
to the average, was brought into the field. ^ 

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

It was probably at this time that the plan for debasing 
the coin, suggested to Philip some time before by a skil- 
ful chemist named Malen, and always much approved of 

1 Simon Styl, De Opkomst en Bloei der Vereenigde Neder- 
landen (Amst. 1778), p. 119. Compare Reidani Belgarum Annales 
(Lugd. Bat. 1633), lib. ii. 

2 Papiers d'Etat, vi. 180. 

3 " . . . y es tambien muy ruin cosa le authoridad que ban 
tomado y la osada de dezir lo que se les antoja y de proponer cou- 
diciones tan desaforadas a que se los va oponiendo quanto se 
puede," etc.— Ibid., vi. 178-180. 


both by himself and Ruy Gomez, recurred to his mind. 
"Another and an extraordinary source of revenue, 
although perhaps not a very honorable one," wi'ote 
Suriano, " has hitherto been kept secret, and on account 
of differences of opinion between the king and his con- 
fessor has been discontinued." This source of revenue, 
it seemed, was found in " a certain powder, of which one 
ounce mixed with six ounces of quicksilver would make 
six ounces of silver." The composition was said to stand 
the test of the hammer, but not of the fire. Partly in 
consequence of theological scruples and partly on ac- 
count of opposition from the states, a project formed by 
the king to pay his army with this kind of silver was 
reluctantly abandoned. The invention, however, was so 
very agreeable to the king, and the inventor had received 
such liberal rewards, that it was supposed, according to 
the envoy, that in time of scarcity his Majesty would 
make use of such coin without reluctance. i 

It is necessary, before concluding this chapter, which 
relates the events of the years 1560 and 1561, to allude 

1 " . . . n'e un altra straordinaria laqual perioehe e poco hono- 
revole ha pero tenuta secreta— quest e ima industria che fu priu- 
cipiata gia due anni et piu con titolo di zeoca ben conosciuta 
d'alcuni di questa citta ma non fu continuata essendo occorsi certi 
dispareri fra lui (Phil" 2°) et il eonfessore per le mani del quale 
passo tutto questa prattica. Si trovi poi per un Tedesco Malines che 
le messe in opera et con nn oncia di certa sua polvere et sei d'ar- 
gento vivo fa sei oncie d'argeuto che sta al tocco et al martello ma 
non al fuoco et fa qualche opinione di valersene di quella sorte 
d'argento in pagar I'essercito : ma li stati non hanno voluto eon- 
sentire perche con quest occasions tutto il buono oro si saria por- 
tato in altri paesi . . . ma quest inventione e molto grata al Re et 
a Ruy Gomez, viene presentato largamente quelle eh' 1' ha rittrovato, 
si puo credere ch' in tempo di qualche stretteza, sua M** se ne Va- 
leria senza rispetto." — Suriano MS. 


to an important affair which occupied much attention 
during the whole of this period. This is the celebrated 
marriage of the Prince of Orange with the Princess 
Anna of Saxony. By many superficial writers a mov- 
ing cause of the great Netherland revolt was found in 
the connection of the great chieftain with this distin- 
guished Lutheran house. One must have studied the 
characters and the times to very little purpose, however, 
to believe it possible that much influence could be exerted 
on the mind of William of Orange by such natures as 
those of Anna of Saxony, or of her uncle, the Elector 
Augustus, surnamed " the Pious." 

The prince had become a widower in 1558, at the age 
of twenty-five. Granvelle, who was said to have been 
influential in arranging his fii'st marriage, now proposed 
to him, after the year of mourning had expired, an alli- 
ance with Mademoiselle Renee,' daughter of the Duch- 
ess de Lorraine, and granddaughter of Christian III. of 
Denmark and his wife Isabella, sister of the Emperor 
Charles V. Such a connection, not only with the royal 
house of Spain but with that of France,— for the young 
Duke of Lorraine, brother of the lady, had espoused 
the daughter of Henry II.,— was considered highly de- 
sirable by the prince. Philip and the Duchess Margaret 
of Parma both approved, or pretended to approve, the 
match. At the same time the Dowager Duchess of Lor- 
raine, mother of the intended bride, was a candidate, and 
a very urgent one, for the regency of the Netherlands. 
Being a woman of restless ambition and intriguing char- 
acter, she naturally saw in a man of William's station 
and talents a most desirable ally in her present and 
future schemes. On the other hand, Philip— who had 
' Pontiis Payen MS. 


made open protestation of his desire to connect the 
prince thus closely with his own blood,i and had warmly 
recommended the match to the young lady's mother- 
soon afterward, while walking one day with the prince 
in the park at Brussels, ^ announced to him that the 
Duchess of Lorraine had declined his proposals.* Such 
a result astonished the prince, who was on the best of 
terms with the mother, and had been urging her ap- 
pointment to the regency with all his influence, having 
entirely withdrawn his own claims to that office. No 
satisfactorj'- explanation was ever given of this singular 
conclusion to a courtship begun with the apparent con- 
sent of all parties. It was hinted that the young lady did 
not fancy the prince ;* but, as it was not known that 
a word had ever been exchanged between them, as the 
prince, in appearance and reputation, was one of the 
most brilliant cavaliers of the age, and as the approval 
of the bride was not usually a matter of primary conse- 
quence in such marriages of state, the mystery seemed 
to require a further solution. The prince suspected 
Granvelle and the king, who were believed to have held 
mature and secret deliberation together, of insincerity. 
The bishop was said to have expressed the opinion that 
although the friendship he bore the prince would induce 

1 " . . . que V. M''= m'eust esoript, par ses lettres, le desir que 
icelle avoit toujours eu de sa grandeur . . . et que, d6sirant I'alUer 
plus prfes de son sang, icelle avoit instance, telle qu'il scavoit, pour 
procurer son mariage aveo la fille ainSe de M'^™= de Lorraine, comme 
il se pouvoit souvenir.'' — Letter of Margaret of Parma in Reiffen- 
berg, Correspondance de Margts d'Autriche, pp. 271, 272. 

2 Relflfenberg, pp. 273, 274. 3 ibid. 

* " . . . mais comme I'affaire trainait en longueur et comme 
auoims disent qu'il n'estoit a la bonne grace de la demoiselle." — 
Pontus Payen MS. 


Lim to urge the maiTiage, yet Ids duty to his master 
made him think it questionable whether it were right to 
advance a personage already placed so high by birth, 
wealth, and popularity, still higher by so near an alliance 
with his Majesty's family.^ The king, in consequence, 
secretly instructed the Duchess of Lorraine to decline 
the proposal, while at the same time he continued openly 
to advocate the connection. ^ The prince is said to have 
discovered this doable dealing, and to have found in it 
the only reasonable explanation of the whole transaction.^ 
Moreover, the Diichess of Lorraine, finding herself 
equally duped, and her own ambitious scheme equally 
foiled by her unscrupulous cousin,— who now, to the 
surprise of every one, appointed Margaret of Parma to 
be regent, with the bishop for her prime minister,— had 
as little reason to be satisfied with the combinations of 
royal and ecclesiastical intrigue as the Prince of Orange 
himself. Soon after this unsatisfactory mj^stification 
William turned his attentions to Germany. Anna of 
Saxony, daughter of the celebrated Elector Maurice, 
lived at the court of her uncle, the Elector Augustus. 
A musket-ball, perhaps a traitorous one, in an obscm-e 

1 " Granvelle antwoordde, dat de vriendschap de hy den Prinse 
di'oegh, hem dryven zoude, om het aan te raaden indien de trouw, 
die hy zynen meester sehiddigh Tvas, niet bedenkelyk vond een per- 
soonadje, ondersteunt von oovergroote aehbaarheit, en gunst der 
Landtzaaten, door 't behuwen van zoo naa een bloedt verwandt- 
schap zyner Majesteit, in top te trekken." — Hoofd, i. 35. This was 
precisely the same argument used by the Emperor Charles against 
the marriage with Mademoiselle do Buren, and successfully com- 
bated by Granvelle. 2 ibid. 

3 Ibid. Compare Bakhuyzen v. d. Brink, Het Huwelijk, etc., 
8, 9, 10, to whose publication on this most intricate subject every 
candid historical student must feel the deepest sense of obligation. 


action with Albert of Brandenburg, had closed the ad- 
venturous career of her father seven years before.^ The 
yoang lady, who was thought to have inherited much 
of his restless, stormy character, was sixteen years of 
age. She was far from handsome, was somewhat de- 
formed, and Kmped.^ Her marriage portion was deemed, 
for the times, an ample one ; she had seventy thousand 
rix-doUars in hand, and the reversion of thirty thousand 
on the death of John Frederick II., who had married her 
mother after the death of Maurice.^ Her rank was 
accounted far higher in Germany than that of William 
of Nassau, and in this respect, rather than for pecuni- 
ary considerations, the marriage seemed a desirable one 
for him. The man who held the great Nassau-Chalons 
property, together with the heritage of Count Maximilian 
de Buren, could hardly have been tempted by one hun- 
dred thousand thalers. His own provision for the chil- 
dren who might spring from the proposed marriage was 
to be a settlement of seventy thousand florins annually.* 
The fortune which permitted of such liberality was not 
one to be very materiallj'' increased by a dowry which 
might seem enormous to many of the pauper princes of 
Germany. " The bride's portion," says a contemporary, 
"after all, scarcely paid for the banquets and magnifi- 
cent festivals which celebrated the marriage. When the 
wedding was paid for, there was not a thaler remaining 
of the whole sum."^ Nothing, then, could be more 

1 Pfeilschmidt, p. 64. July 9-11, 1553. 

2 " . . . imgcsehickten Leibes, walirscheinlieh etwas hinkend." 
— Bbttiger, p. xl. 

3 Ibid., p. 8G. 

* Ibid., p. 93. Compare Bakhuyzen, p. 15. 

' " Ceste Allemande qui ne luy avoit port6 en mariage que cent 


puerile than to accuse tlie prince of mercenary motives 
iu seeking this alliance — an accusation, however, which 
did not fail to be brought. 

There were difficulties on both sides to be arranged 
before this marriage could take place. The bride was 
a Lutheran, the prince was a Catholic. With regard to 
the religion of Orange not the slightest doubt existed, 
nor was any deception attempted. Granvelle himself 
gave the most entire attestation of the prince's orthodoxy. 
" This proposed marriage gives me great pain," he wrote 
to Philip, " but I have never had reason to suspect his 
principles." ^ In another letter he observed that he 
wished the marriage could be broken off, but that he 
hoped so much from the virtue of the prince that nothing 
could suffice to separate him from the true religion. - 
On the other side there was as little doubt as to his 
creed. Old Landgrave Philip of Hesse, grandfather of 
the young lady, was bitterly opposed to the match. 
" 'T is a papist," said he, " who goes to mass, and eats 
no meat on fast-days."-^ He had no great objection to 
his character, but insurmountable ones to his religion. 
"Old Count William," said he, "was an evangelical 
lord to his dying day. This man is a papist." * The 

a six vingt mille daldres, qui a grande peine avoit eu peu suffir 
pour payer les banquets, festins et magnificences de ces nopces 
pay(5s lui estoit reste boni pas un dalder tant seulement du dot ot 
portement de sa femme.'' — Pontus Payen MS. 

1 Green v. Prinst., Archives, etc., i. 52. 

- Arcliives, etc., i. 70: "Yo todavia espero de la bondad y 
virtud del principe que no bastara todo esto para apartarle de la 
verdadera reUgion." 

3 Bakliuyzen, 34. 

■• V. Rommel, Pliilipp der Grosmiithige, iii. 319 sqq. ; cited by 
Groen van Prinsterer, i. 59. 


marriage, then, was to be a mixed marriage. It is neces- 
sarjr, however, to beware of anachronisms upon the 
subject. Lutherans were not yet formally denounced 
as heretics. On the contrary, it was exactly at this 
epoch that the pope was inviting the Protestant princes 
of Germany to the Trent Council, where the schism was 
to be closed, and all the erring lambs to be received 
again into the bosom of the fold. So far from mani- 
festing an outward hostility, the papal demeanor was 
conciliating. The letters of invitation from the pope 
to the princes were sent by a legate, each commencing 
with the exordium, " To my beloved son," and were all 
sent back to his Holiness, contemptuously, with the 
coarse jest for answer, "We believe our mothers to 
have been honest women, and hope that we had better 
fathers." ^ The great council had not yet given its 
decisions. Marriages were of continual occurrence, espe- 
cially among princes and potentates, between the ad- 
herents of Rome and of the new religion. Even Philip 
had been most anxious to marry the Protestant Eliza- 
beth, whom, had she been a peasant, he would unques- 
tionably have burned, if in his power. Throughout 
Germany, also, especially in high places, there was a 
disposition to cover up the religious controversy,^ to 
abstain from disturbing the ashes where devastation still 
glowed and was one day to rekindle itself. It was ex- 
ceedingly difficult for any man, from the Archduke 
Maximilian down, to deiine his creed. A marriage, 
therefore, between a man and woman of discordant 
views upon this topic was not startling, although in 
general not considered desirable. 

1 Groen v. Prinst., Archives, etc., i. 92. 

2 Bakhuyzen, 26-28. 


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

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

The Elector Augustus, however, uncle and guardian 
to the bride, was not only well disposed but eager for 
the marriage, and determined to overcome all obstacles, 
including the opposition of the landgrave, without 
whose consent he was long pledged not to bestow the 
hand of Anna. For this there was more than one rea- 


son. Augustus, who, in the words of one of the most 
acute historical critics of our day, was "a Byzantine 
emperor of the lowest class, reappearing in electoral 
hat and mantle," ^ was not firm in his rights to the 
dignity he held. He had inherited from his brother, 
but his brother had dispossessed John Frederick. Mau- 
rice, when turning against the emperor, who had placed 
him in his cousin's seat, had not thought it expedient to 
restore to the rightful owner the rank which he himself 
owed to the violence of Charles. Those claims might be 
revindicated, and Augustus be degraded in his turn, by 
a possible marriage of the Princess Anna with some 
turbulent or intriguing German potentate. Out of the 
land she was less likely to give trouble. The alliance, 
if not particularly desirable on the score of rank, was, 
in other worldly respects, a most brilhant one for his 
niece. As for the religious point, if he could overcome 
or circumvent the scruples of the landgrave, he foresaw 
little difficulty in conquering his own conscience. 

The Prince of Orange, it is evident, was placed in 
such a position that it would be difficult for him to 
satisfy all parties. He intended that the marriage, like 
all marriages among persons in high places at that day, 
should be upon the uti possidetis principle, which was 
the foundation of the religious peace of Germany. His 
wife, after marriage and removal to the Netherlands, 
would "live CatholicaUy " ; she would be considered as 
belonging to the same church with her husband, was to 
give no offense to the government, and bring no suspi- 
cion upon himself, by violating any of the religious 
decencies. Further than this, William, who at that day 
was an easy, indifferent Catholic, avei-se to papal perse- 
1 Bakhuyzen, Het Huwelijk, etc., p. 14. 


cutions, but almost equally averse to long, puritanical 
prayers and faces, taking far more pleasure in worldly 
matters than in ecclesiastical controversies, was not 
disposed to advance in this thorny path. Having a 
stern bigot to deal with in Madrid, and another in Cas- 
sel, he soon convinced himself that he was not likely 
entirely to satisfy either, and thought it wiser simply to 
satisfy himself. 

Early in 1560, Count Gunther de Schwarzburg, be- 
trothed to the prince's sister Catherine, together with 
Colonel George von HoU, were despatched to Germany 
to open the marriage negotiations. They found the 
Elector Augustus already ripe and anxious for the con- 
nection. It was easy for the envoys to satisfy all his 
requii-ements on the religious question. If, as the 
elector afterward stated to the landgrave, they really 
promised that the young lady shoiild be allowed to have 
an evangelical preacher in her own apartments, together 
with the befitting sacraments,^ it is very certain that 
they traveled a good way out of their instrtictions, for 
such concessions were steadily refused by William- in 
person. It is, however, more probable that Augustus, 
whose slippery feet were disposed to slide smoothly and 
swiftly over this dangerous ground, had represented the 
prince's communications under a favorable gloss of his 
own . At any rate, nothing in the subsequent proceedings 
justified the conclusions thus hastily formed. 

The Landgrave Philip, from the beginning, manifested 
his repugnance to the match. As soon as the proposition 
had been received by Augustus, that potentate despatched 
Hans von Carlowitz to the grandfather at Cassel. The 

1 Groen v. Prinst., Archives, etc., 82, 83. 

2 Ibid. 

VOL. I.— 2-i 


Prince of Orange, it was represented, was young, hand- 
some, wealthy, a favorite of the Spanish monarch ; the 
Princess Anna, on the other hand, said her uncle, was 
not likely to grow straighter or better proportioned in 
body, nor was her crooked and perverse character likely 
to improve with years. It was therefore desirable to 
find a settlement for her as soon as possible.^ The 
elector, however, would decide upon nothing without 
the landgrave's consent. 

To this frank and not very flattering statement, so 
far as the young lady was concerned, the landgrave 
answered stoutly and characteristically. The prince 
was a Spanish subject, he said, and would not be able 
to protect Anna in her belief, who would sooner or 
later become a fugitive ; he was but a count in Germany, 
and no fitting match for an elector's daughter;- more- 
over, the lady herself ought to be consulted, who had 
not even seen the prince. If she were crooked in body, 
as the elector stated, it was a shame to expose her ; to 
conceal it, however, was questionable, as the prince 
might complain afterward that a straight princess had 
been promised, and a crooked one fraudulently substi- 
tuted;^ and so on, through a good deal more of such 

^ "Hans von Karlowitz sollte vorstellen dasz die Prinzessin in 
ihrem Alter sohwerlieli an geradem Wuchse und Proportion des 
Leities zimehmen werde, dabei von einer seltsamen Gemiithsart 
und hartem Sinne sei, und man daher billig auf ihre Versorgung 
bedaoht sein miisse." — Bbttiger, 93. 

2 Ibid., 94. 

5 " Da nun aber der Kui-fiir-st melde, dasz sie elnen ungesohiokten 
Leib hatte, so ware es sehimpflich, ihm solches sehen zu lassen, 
zu verbergen aber um deswillen bedenklich, weil er alsdann sagen 
diirfte, dasz man ihm eine wohlgebildete Prinzessin angeriihmt, eine 
ungescbickte aber listigerweise angehangt hatte,'' etc. — Ibid. 


quaint casuistry, in which the landgrave was accom- 
plished. The amount of his answer, however, to the 
marriage proposal was an unequivocal negative, from 
which he never wavered. 

In consequence of this opposition, the negotiations 
were for a time suspended. Augustus implored the 
prince not to abandon the project, promising that every 
effort should be made to gain over the landgrave, hint- 
ing that the old man might " go to his long rest soon," 
and even suggesting that, if the worst came to the worst, 
he had bound himself to do nothing without the hioiv- 
ledge of the landgrave, but was not obhged to wait for 
his consent.^ 

On the other hand, the prince had communicated to 
the King of Spain the fact of the proposed marriage. 
He had also held many long conversations with the 
regent and with Granvelle. In all these interviews he 
had uniformly used one language : his future wife was 
to "live as a Catholic," ^ and if that point were not 
conceded, he would break off the negotiations. He did 
not pretend that she was to abjure her Protestant faith. 
The duchess, in describing to Philip the conditions as 
sketched to her by the prince, stated expressly that 
Augustus of Saxony was to consent that his niece 
" should live CatholicaUy after the marriage," -^ but that 

1 " . . dan im vortragk stunde nichts anders dan ohne vor- 
wissen, nnd nieht ohne vorwilligung, derwegen die vorwilligung bei 
ihr Ch. Gu. allein stunde," etc. — Archives et Correspondance, i. 88. 

"Ce raisonnement," observes M. Green van Prinsterer, very 
judiciously, "a I'air d'un subterfuge peu honorable.'' — Ibid. 

2 "De sorte que le prince fust asseur6 d'eulx qu'elle vivroit 
eatholicquement, se mariant aveo lui." — Letter of Marg''^ of Parma, 
Beiffenb., 261. 

3 Ibid. 


it was quite improbable that "before the nuptials she 
would be permitted to abjure her errors and receive 
necessary absolution, according to the rules of the 
Church." 1 The duchess, while stating her full confi- 
dence in the orthodoxy of the prince, expressed at the 
same time her fears that attempts might be made in the 
future by his new connections " to pervert him to their 
depraved opinions." ^ 

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

Nothing coulc" be more helpless and more characteristic 
than the letter which Philip sent, thus pushed for a de- 
cision. "You wrote me," said he, "that j'ou had hopes 
that this matter of the prince's marriage would go no 
further, and seeing that you did not write oftener on 
the subject, I thought certainly that it had been termi- 
nated. This pleased me not a little, because it was the 
best thing that could be done. Likewise," continued 
the most tautological of monarchs, " I was much pleased 
that it should be done. Nevertheless," he added, " if the 
marriage is to be proceeded with, I really don't know what 

1 Beiffenberg, 264. ^ Ibid., 265. 

3 Papiers d'Etat, vi. 169, 170. 


to say dboxit it, except to refer it to my sister, inasmuch 
as a person being upon the spot can see better what can 
be done with regard to it ; whether it be possible to pre- 
vent it, or whether it be best, if there be no remedy, to 
give permission. But if there be a remedy, it would be 
lietter to take it, because," concluded the king, patheti- 
cally, " I don't see how the prince could think of marrying 
with the daughter of the man who did to his Majesty, 
now in glory, that which Duke Mam-ice did." ^ 

Armed with this luminous epistle, which, if it meant 
anything, meant a reluctant affirmation to the demand 
of the prince for the royal consent, the regent and 
Granvelle proceeded to summon William of Orange, and 
to catechize him in a manner most gaUing to the pride, 
and with a latitude not at all justified by an}' reasonable 
interpretation of the royal instructions. ^ They even 
informed him that his Majesty had assembled " certain 
persons learned in cases of conscience and versed in 
theology," according to whose advice a final decision, 
not yet possible, would be given at some future period.'^ 
This assembly of learned conscience-keepers and theo- 

1 " Vos me scrivistes que teniades esperan^a que no passaria 
adelante la platiea del casamiento del Principe d'Orange, y con ver 
que no se me scrivia mas della, yo pensS cierto que havia cessado, 
de que no holgava poco por que fuera lo mejor y lo que yo holgaria 
harto que se hiziesse : mas si todavia passa adelante no se que me 
dezir en ello, sino remitirlo a mi hermana, pues como quien esta 
sobre el uegocio, vera mejor lo que se podra hazer en el, o si se 
podra estorvar, y quando no huviere otro remedio, dar la licencia : 
mas quando le huviesse, seria lo mejor tomar le porque no s6 como 
pueda pareeer casarse el principe con liija del que hize con su ma- 
jestad, que lia3'a gloria, lo que el Duque Mam-icio. "• — Papiers d'Etat, 
Ti. 175, 176. 

- Bakhuyzen, 41, 42. ^ Ibid. 


logians had no existence save in the imaginations of 
Grranvelle and Margaret. The king's letter, blind and 
blundering as it was, gave the duchess the right to decide 
in the aifirmative on her own responsibility ; yet fictions 
like these formed a part of the " dissimulation " which 
was accounted profound statesmanship by the disciples 
of MaehiaveUi. The prince, however irritated, main- 
tained his steadiness, assured the regent that the nego- 
tiations had advanced too far to be abandoned, and 
repeated his assurance that the future Princess of Orange 
was to "live as a Catholic." 

In December, 1560, William made a visit to Dresden, 
where he was received by the elector with great cor- 
diality. This visit was conclusive as to the marriage. 
The appearance and accomplishments of the distin- 
guished suitor made a profound impression upon the 
lady. Her heart was carried by storm. Finding or 
fancying herself very desperately enamoured of the pro- 
posed bridejTOom, she soon manifested as much eager- 
ness for the marriage as did her uncle, and expressed 
herself frequently with the violence which belonged to 
her character. " What God had decreed," she said, " the 
devil should not hinder." ^ 

The prince was said to have exhibited much diligence 
in his attention to the services of the Protestant Church 
during his visit at Dresden.^ As that visit lasted, how- 
ever, but ten or eleven days, there was no great oppor- 
tunity for showing much zeal.^ 

At the same period one William Knuttel was des- 
patched by Orange on the forlorn hope of gaining the 

1 "Was Gott ausersehen werde der Teufel nioht wehren." — Bot- 
tiger, 101. 

^ Ibid., 95. 8 Bakhuyzen, 62. 


old landgrave's consent without making any vital con- 
cessions. " Will the prince," asked the landgrave, " per- 
mit my granddaughter to have an evangelical preachei- 
in the house 1 " " No," answered Knuttel. " May she at 
least receive the sacrament of the Lord's Supper in her 
own chamber, according to the Lutheran form ? " " No," 
answered Knuttel, " neither in Breda, nor anywhere else 
in the Netherlands. If she imperatively requires such 
sacraments, she must go over the border for them, to 
the nearest Protestant sovereign." ^ 

Upon the 14th April, 1561, the elector, returning to 
the charge, caused a little note to be drawn up on the 
rehgious point, which he forwarded, in the hope that the 
prince would copy and sign it. He added a promise that 
the memorandum should never be made public to the 
signer's disadvantage.- At the same time he observed 
to Count Louis, verbally, that "he had been satisfied 
with the declarations made by the prince, when in Dres- 
den, upon all points except that concerning religion. He 
therefore felt obliged to beg for a little agreement in 
writing." ^ " By no means ! by no means ! " interrupted 
Louis, promptly, at the very first word ; " the prince can 
give your Electoral Highness no such assurance. 'T would 
be risking life, honor, and fortune to do so, as your Grace 
is well aware.'" * The elector protested that the declara- 
tion, if signed, should never come into the Spanish mon- 

1 Bakhuyzen, 63. 

- Archives et Correspondance, i. 98. 

3 " So viel die piincten belangt do sich der Printz gegen mich 
erkleret hat allhie zu Dresden, bin ich mit im gar wol zu friden und 
lasz es auch darbey bleiben ausgenovimen so viel die religion be- 
langet, so musz ich eine kleine verschreibimg von im haben.'' — 
Archives, etc., i. 100, Letter of Loids de Nassau. 

* Archives et Correspondance, i. 100, 101. 


arch's hands, and insisted upon sending it to the prince.^ 
Louis, in a letter to his brother, characterized the docu- 
ment as " singular, prolix, and artful," and strongly 
advised the prince to have nothing to do with it." 

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

Even if executed, this celebrated memorandum would 
hardly have been at variance with the declarations made 
by the prince to the Spanish government. He had never 
pretended that his bride was to become a Catholic, but 
only to live as a Catholic. All that he had promised, or 

1 Archives et Correspondance, i. 100, 101. 

2 Ibid. 

3 The note has been often published : Y., e. ;/., Groen v. Prinst., 
Archives et Correspondance, i. 102, 103 ; Baldiuyzen, Het Huwe- 
lijk, etc., 75, 76. 


was expected to promise, was that his wife should con- 
form to the law in the Netherlands. The paper, in a 
general way, recognized that law. In case of absolute 
necessity, however, it was stipulated that the princess 
sliould have the advantage of private sacraments. This 
certainly would have been a mortal offense in a Calvinist 
or Anabaptist, but for Lutherans the practice had never 
been so strict. Moreover, the prince already repudiated 
the doctrines of the edicts, and rebelled against the com- 
mand to administer them within his government. A 
general promise, therefore, made by him privately, in 
the sense of the memorandum di'awn up by the elector, 
would have been neither hypocritical nor deceitful, but 
worthy the man who looked over such groveling heads 
as Granvelle and Philip on the one side, or Augustus of 
Saxony on the other, and estimated their religious pre- 
tenses at exactly what they were worth. A formal docu- 
ment, however, technically according all these demands 
made by the elector, would certainly be regarded by 
the Spanish government as a very culpable instrument. 
The prince never signed the note,i but, as we shall have 

' This has always been a disputed question. The opinion morf 
generally entertained, particularly by the enemies of William, is 
that he did sign it. M. Bakhuyzen (82 sqq.), almost alone, main- 
tains the contrary, against many distinguished publicists ; and, 
after a strong chain of circumstantial evidence to make his position 
as firm as a negative usually can be made, arrives at the conclu- 
sion that a signed and sealed document to that effect never will be 
found (p. 86). I am fortunately able to attest the accuracy of his 
a priori argument, and to prove the negative by positive and indis- 
putable evidence. I subjoin in the appendix to this volume the 
text of the notarial instrument by which, on the 24th of August, 
1561, between 4 and 5 p. M., just before the marriage ceremony, the 
elector testified that the prince never would and never did consent 
to make such an holographic, signed and sealed instrument as the 


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

one in question. Whatever may Ije the opinion formed as to the 
general nature of the transaction, no one henceforth can pretend 
that the Prince of Orange executed the document in the manner in 
which he was requested to execute it. V. Postea, pp. 314, 315. 
1 Extracts from this letter (of Landgrave William, son of Philip) 


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

So great was the excitement at the little court of 
Cassel that many Protestant princes and nobles declared 
that "they woiUd sooner give their daughters to a boor 
or a swineherd than to a papist." ^ The landgrave was 
equally vigorous in his protest, drawn up in due form 
on the 26th April, 1501. He was not used, he said, " to 
flatter or to tickle with a foxtail." ^ He was sorry if his 

have been published by Bottiger and others. I quote from the 
original in the Royal Archives at Dresden, partly in the handwrit- 
ing of the landgrave : " Was er nun darauff E. L. Gemahlin geant- 
wortett das ist beydenn E. L. bewusst, nemblich, das er sie rait 
den melaneolischen Dingen nicht bemuben wollte, sondern das sie 
ann statt der heyligen sehrift Amadis de Gaule und dergleichen 
Kurzweilige Biicher, die de Amore traotirten lesenn, und an statt 
strickens undt nahenns ein Galliarde tantzenn lernen solte und 
dergleiehen curtoisie, wie solehe etwa der Landt preuchlich undt 
wol stendig." 

1 MS., Dresden Archives: "Nunn haben B. L. zueraehten, 
wann der Aptt vrerSfel tregtt, das dem convent das spieleun er- 
leubtt." The landgrave was always as full of homely proverbs as 
Saneho Panza. 

2 V. Rommel in Bottiger, 102. 

^ "Wir nit gewondt sein zue fuchsschwentzen oder zue schmei- 
cheln." — Bottiger, 104. 


language gave offense ; nevertheless, " the marriage was 
odious, and that was enough." ^ He had no especial 
objection to the prince, "who before the world was a 
brave and honorable man." He conceded that his estates 
were large, although he hinted that his debts also were 
ample; allowed that he lived in magnificent style, had 
even heard " of one of his banquets, where all the table- 
cloths, plates, and everything else were made of sugar," - 
but thought he might be even a little too extravagant ; 
concluding, after a good deal of skimble-scamble of this 
nature, with " protesting before God, the world, and ah 
pious Christians, that he was not responsible for the 
marriage, but only the Elector Augustus and others, who 
therefore would one day have to render account thereof 
to the Lord." 3 

Meantime the wedding had been fixed to take place 
on Sunday, the 24th August, 1561. This was St. Bar- 
tholomew's, a nuptial day which was not destined to be 
a happy one in the sixteenth century. The landgrave 
and his family decLined to be present at the wedding, 
but a large and brilliant company were invited. The 
King of Spain sent a bill of exchange to the regent, that 
she might purchase a ring worth three thousand crowns, 
as a present on his part to the bride.* Besides this hberal 
evidence that his opposition to the marriage was with- 
drawn, he avithorized his sister to appoint envoys from 
among the most distinguished nobles to represent him 
on the occasion. The Baron de Montigny, accordingly, 
with a brilliant company of gentlemen, was deputed by 

1 " Es ist aber Odiosum, darumb woUen wirs dissmals bleiben 
lassen." — Bottiger, 104. 

2 Ibid. 3 Ibid., 106. 
* Correspondauce de Marguerite d'Autriche, 184. 


the duchess, although she declined sending all the gov- 
ernors of the provinces, according to the request of the 
prince.^ The marriage was to take place at Leipsic. A 
slight picture of the wedding festivities, derived entirely 
from unpublished sources, may give some insight into 
the manners and customs of high life in Germany and 
the Netherlands at this epoch.- 

The kings of Spain and Denmark were invited, and 
were represented by special ambassadors. The dukes of 
Brunswick, Lauenburg, Mecklenburg, the Elector and 
margraves of Brandenburg, the Archbishop of Cologne, 
the Duke of Cleves, the bishops of Naumburg, Merse- 
bui-g, Meissen, with many other potentates, accepted the 
invitations, and came generally in person, a few only 
being represented by envoys. The town councils of 
Erfurt, Leipsic, Magdeburg, and other cities were also 
bidden. The bridegroom was personallj' accompanied 
by his brothers John, Adolphus, and Louis ; by the 
Burens, the Leuchtenbergs, and various other distin- 
guished personages. 

As the electoral residence at Leipsic was not com- 
pletely finished, separate dwellings were arranged for 
each of the sovereign families invited, in private houses, 
mostly on the market-place. Here they were to be fur- 
nished with provisions by the elector's officials, but they 
were to cook for themselves. For this purpose all the 
princes had been requested to bring their own cooks 

1 Correspondanee de Marguerite d'Autriche, 288. 

- There are many papers aud documents in the Royal Archives 
of Dresden relating to this celebrated marriage. The collection 
which I have principally consulted for the following account is 
entitled "Acta des Printzen tzu Oranien und Frawlein Ann en 
tzu Saxen Beylager, 1561." It is entirely unpublished. 


and butlers, together with their plate and kitchen 
utensils. The sovereigns themselves were to dine daily 
with the elector at the town house, but the attendants 
and suite were to take their meals in their own lodgings. 
A brilliant collection of gentlemen and pages, appointed 
by the elector to wait at his table, were ordered to 
assemble at Leipsic on the 22d, the guests having been 
all invited for the 23d. Many regulations were given to 
these noble youths, that they might discharge theii' duties 
with befitting decorum. Among other orders, they re- 
ceived particular injunctions that they were to abstain 
from all drinking among themselves, and from aU riotous 
conduct whatever, while the sovereigns and potentates 
should be at dinner. "It would be a shameful indecency," 
it was urged, "if the great people sitting at table should 
be unable to hear themselves talk on account of the 
screaming of the attendants." ' This provision did not 
seem unreasonable. They were also instructed that if 
invited to drink by any personage at the great tables 
they were respectfully to decline the challenge, and to 
explain the cause after the repast. 

Particular arrangements were also made for the safety 
of the city. Besides the regular guard of Leipsic, two 
hundred and twenty harquebusiers, spearmen, and hal- 
berdmen were ordered from the neighboring towns. 
These were to be all dressed in uniform ; one arm, side, 

1 "Dasz dieselben in dem Essgemache auf dem Rathhause des 
Zutrinkens und alien Gesehrei -wahrend der ordentlichen Mahlzeiten 
sich enthalten sollten, indem dies nicht allein Uuordmmg und 
Mangel in der Aiifwartung verursache, sondern aiich es ein schitnpf- 
licher Uibelstand sei, wenn die fremden Herrschaften an der Tafel 
vor dem Geschrei der Umstehenden ilir eignes wort nicht horen konn- 
ten," etc. — MS., Dresden Archives, ubi sup. 


and leg in black, and the other in yellow, according to 
a painting distributed beforehand to the various authori- 
ties. As a mounted patrol, Leipsie had a regular force 
of two men. These were now increased to ten, and re- 
ceived orders to ride with their lanterns up and down all 
the streets and lanes, to accost all persons whom they 
might find abroad without lights in their hands, to ask 
them their business in courteous language, and at the 
same time to see generally to the peace and safety of 
the town.i Fifty harquebusiers were appointed to protect 
the town house, and a burgher watch of six hundred was 
distributed in different quarters, especially to guard 
against fire. 

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

It was at this point, between 4 and 5 p. M., that the 

* " Als Reuterwaehe hatte der Rath zu Leipzig zwei Mann, diese 
wiirden bis auf zehen mann gebracht, um mit ihren Leuchten die 
eine Gasse auf die andere ab zn reiten und die sich anf den Gassen 
ohne Licht treffeu lassen mit ylimpflichen ITorten :u Eede zu stdloi, 
dabei aueh auf das Feuer gute Acht zu haben." — MS., Dresden 
Archives, ubi sup. 

The regulations have a remarkable resemblance to Dogberry's 
instructions for his watch. 


elector and electress, with the bride and bridegroom, 
accompanied also by the Dame Sophia von Miltitz and 
the councilors Hans von Ponika and Ulrich Wolters- 
dorff upon one side, and by Count John of Nassau and 
Heinrich von Wiltberg upon the other, as witnesses, 
appeared before Wolf Seidel, notary, in a corner room 
of the upper story of the town house. One of the coun- 
cilors, on the part of the elector, then addressed the 
bridegroom. He observed that his Highness woidd re- 
member, no doubt, the contents of a memorandum or 
billet sent by the elector on the 14th April of that year, 
by the terms of which the prince was to agree that he 
would neither by threat nor persuasion prevent his fu- 
ture wife from continuing in the Augsburg Confession ; 
that he would allow her to go to places where she might 
receive the Augsburg sacraments ; that in case of ex- 
treme need she should receive them in her chamber ; and 
that the children who might spring from the marriage 
should be instructed as to the Augsburg doctrines. As, 
however, continued the councilor, his Highness the 
Prince of Orange has, for various reasons, declined giving 
any such agreement in writing, as therefore it had been 
arranged that before the marriage ceremony the prince 
should, in the presence of the bride and of the other 
witnesses, make a verbal promise on the subject, and as 
the parties were now to be immediately united in mar- 
riage, therefore the elector had no doubt that the prince 
would make no objection in presence of those witnesses 
to give his consent to maintain the agreements comprised 
in the memorandum or note. The note was then read. 
Thereupon the prince answered verbally : " Gracious 
Elector : I remember the writing which you sent me on 
the 14th April. All the points just narrated by the 


doctor were contained in it. I now state to your High- 
ness that I will keep it all as becomes a prince, and con- 
form to it." Thereupon he gave the elector his hand.i 

What now was the amount and meaning of this prom- 
ise on the part of the prince ? Almost nothing. He would 
conform to the demands of the elector, exactly as he had 
hitherto said he would conform to them. Taken in con- 
nection with his steady objections to sign and seal any 
instrument on the subject, with his distinct refusal to 
the landgrave (through Knuttel) to allow the princess 
an evangelical preacher or to receive the sacraments in 
the Netherlands, with the vehement, formal, and public 
protest, on the part of the landgrave, against the mar- 
riage, with the prince's declarations to the elector at 
Dresden, which were satisfactory on all points save the 
religious point, what meaning could this verbal promise 
have save that the prince would do exactly as much 
with regard to the religious question as he had always 
promised, and no more ? This was precisely what did 
happen. There was no pretense on the part of the 
elector, afterward, that any other arrangement had 
been contemplated. The princess lived catholically from 
the moment of her marriage, exactly as Orange had 
stated to the Duchess Margaret, and as the elector knew 
would be the case. The first and the following childi-en 
born of the marriage were baptized by Catholic priests, 
with very elaborate CathoUc ceremonies, and this with 

1 "Gnediger chiirfurst, ich kann mioh des schreibens das mir, 
e. g., dieser saohen halben under obebemeltem dato gaben freundt- 
lich und wol erinnern, das alle die punct so der her Doctor itzuut 
erzelt dorinne begi-iffen, -mid thu, e.g., hiemit zue sagenndas ieh solehs 
alles furstlich wil halden und dem nach kommen, und hat solehs 
hierauf S. Ch. G. mit hand gebenden treu bemlligtt und zugesagt." 

VOL. I.— 25 


the full consent of the elector, who sent deputies and 
officiated as sponsor on one remarkable occasion. 

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

After the delay occasioned by these private formalities, 
the bridal procession, headed by the court musicians, 
followed by the court marshals, councilors, great officers 
of state, and the electoral family, entered the grand hall 
of the town house. The nuptial ceremony was then per- 
formed by "the superintendent. Dr. Pfeffinger." Im- 
mediately afterward, and in the same haU, the bride 
and bridegroom were placed publicly upon the splendid, 
gilded bed, with gold-embroidered cm-tains, the princess 
being conducted thither by the elector and eleetress. 
Confects and spiced drinks were then served to them 
and to the assembled company. After this ceremony 
they were conducted to their separate chambers, to dress 
for dinner. Before they left the hall, however. Mar- 
grave Hans of Brandenburg, on part of the Elector of 


Saxony, solemnly recommended the bride to her hus- 
band, exhorting him to cherish her with faith and affec- 
tion, and " to leave her undisturbed in the recognized 
truth of the holy gospel and the right use of the sacra- 
ments." 1 

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

The wedding, according to the Lutheran custom of 
the epoch, had thus taken place, not in a church, ^ but in 
a private dwelling, the hall of the town house repre- 
senting, on this occasion, the elector's own saloons. On 
the following morning, however, a procession was formed 
at seven o'clock to conduct the newly married couple to 

1 " . . . sie bei der erkannten Wahrheit des heiligen Evangelic 
und dem rechten Brauch tind Genuss der hochwiirdigen Sacramente 
unverliindei'lioh bleiben lassen wolle." — MS., Dresden Archives, 
Acta des P. z,. Oranien iind Frawlein Annan tzu Saxen Beylager, 

i Ibid. 


the Church of St. Nicholas, there to receive an additional 
exhortation and benediction. ^ Two separate companies 
of gentlemen, attended by a great number of "lifers, 
drummers, and trumpeters," escorted the bride and the 
bridegroom ; " twelve counts, wearing each a scarf of the 
Princess Anna's colors, with golden garlands on their 
heads and lighted torches in their hands," preceding her 
to the choir, where seats had been provided for the more 
illustrious portion of the company. The church had 
been magnificently decked in tapestry, and, as the com- 
pany entered, a full orchestra performed several fine 
mottettos. After listening to a long address from Dr. 
Pfefiinger, and receiving a blessing before the altar, the 
Prince and Princess of Orange returned, with their 
attendant processions, to the town house. 

After dinner, upon the same and the three foUowiug 
days, a toui-nament was held. The lists were on the 
market-place, on the side nearest the town house, the 
electress and the other ladies looking down from bal- 
cony and window to "rain influence and adjudge the 
prize." The chief hero of these justs, according to 
the accounts in the archives, was the Elector of Sax- 
ony. He " comported himself with such especial chiv- 
alry" that his far-famed namesake and remote suc- 
cessor, Augustus the Strong, could hardly have evinced 

1 Bottiger, in his instructive and able work, has fallen into an 
error upon this point in stating that the marriage (TrauiDig) took 
place in the Nicholas Church upon the 25th of August. The mar- 
riage, as we have seen, was in the city hall, upon the preceding 
day. The bridal pair went upon the Monday following to the 
church, for the benediction. That day was called the " hochzeit- 
liche Ehrentag," the day in honor of the wedding. — MS., Dresden 
Archives, Acta des P. z. Oranien, etc., Beylager, 1561. Compare 
Bottiger, 109. 


more knightly prowess. On the first day he encoun- 
tered George von Wiedebach, and unhorsed him so 
handsomely that the discomfited cavalier's shoulder was 
dislocated. On the follo^\ang day he tilted with Michael 
von Denstedt, and was again victorious, hitting his ad- 
versary full in the target, and "bearing him off over 
his horse's tail so neatly that the knight came down 
heels over head upon the earth." ^ 

On Wednesday there was what was called the pallia- 
tourney.^ The Prince of Orange, at the head of six 
bands, amounting in all to twenty-nine men ; the Mar- 
grave George of Brandenburg, with seven bands, com- 
prising thirty-four men, and the Elector Augustus, 
with one hand of four men, besides himself, all entered 
the lists. Lots were drawn for the ''gate of honor," 
and gained by the margrave, who accordingly defended 
it with his band. Twenty courses were then run between 
these champions and the Prince of Orange mth his 
men. The Brandenburgs broke seven lances, the prince's 
party only six, so that Orange was obliged to leave the 
lists discomfited. The ever-victorious Augustus then 
took the field, and ran twenty courses against the de- 
fenders, breaking fourteen spears to the Brandenburgs' 
ten. The margrave, thus defeated, surrendered the 
gate of honor to the elector, who maintained it the 
rest of the day against all comers. It is fair to suppose, 
although the fact is not recorded, that the electoi-'s 
original band had received some reinforcement. Other- 
wise it would be difficult to account for these constant 

1 " . . . und ilin so gesehwind ledig hintera Sohwantz herab- 
gerannt das er eber mit dem Ropfe als mit dem Euessen zur Erde 
gekommen ist." — MS., Dresde Ai'chives, ubi sup. 

2 "Pallia Rennen."— Ibid. 


victories, except by ascribing more than mortal strength, 
as well as valor, to Augustus and his four champions. 
His party broke one hundred and fifty-six lances, of 
vrhich number the elector himself broke thirty-eight and 
a half. He received the fii'st prize, but declined other 
guerdons adjudged to him. The reward for the hardest 
hitting was conferred on Wolf von Schonberg, "who 
thrust Kurt von Arnim clean out of the saddle, so that 
he fell against the barriers." '■ 

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

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

> MS., Dresden Archives, ubi sup. 


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

The remonstrance offered by the three estates of 
Brabant against the scheme had not iniiuenced Philip. 
He had replied in a peremptory tone. He had assured 
them that he had no intention of receding, and that the 
province of Brabant ought to feel itself indebted to him 
for having given them prelates instead of abbots to take 
care of their eternal interests, and for having erected 
their religious houses into episcopates.* The abbeys 
made what resistance they could, but were soon fain to 
come to a compromise with the bishops, who, according 
to the arrangement thus made, were to receive a certain 
portion of the abbey revenues, while the remainder was 

i Papiers d'Etat, vi. 332. 

2 Hopper, Rec. et Mem., ciii. 24. 

3 Papiers d'Etat, vi. 332 : " Si no hablaran tanto los sefiores, no 
hablartl hombre del pueblo nada." 

* Bor, i. 28. 


to belong to the institutions, togetlier with a continu- 
ance of their right to elect their own chiefs, subordinate, 
however, to the approbation of the respective prelates 
of the diocese.^ Thus was the episcopal matter settled 
in Brabant. In many of the other bishoprics the new 
dignitaries were treated with disrespect as they made 
their entrance into their cities, while they experienced 
endless opposition and annoyance on attempting to take 
possession of the revenue assigned to them. 

1 Hoofd, i. 37. Bor. Hopper, 29. 


The Inquisition' tlie great cause of the revolt — The three varieties 
of the institution — The Spanish Inquisition described — The epis- 
copal Inquisition in the Netherlands — The papal Inquisition estab- 
lished in the provinces by Charles V. — flis instructions to the 
inquisitors — They are renewed by Philip — Inquisitor Titelmann 
— Instances of his manner of proceeding — Spanish and Nether- 
land inqiiisitions compared — Conduct of Granvelle — Faveau and 
Mallart condemned at Valenciennes — "Journ6e des maubrul^s" 
— Severe measures at Valenciennes — Attack of the rhetoric clubs 
upon Granvelle — Granvelle's insinuations against Egmont and 
Simon Renard — Timidity of Viglius — Universal hatred toward the 
cardinal — Buffoonery of Brederode and Lumey — Corn-age of Gran- 
velle — Philip taxes the Netherlands for the suppression of the 
Huguenots in France — Meeting of the Knights of the Fleece — 
Assembly at the house of Orange — Demand upon the estates for 
supplies — Moutigny appointed envoy to Spain — Open and deter- 
mined opposition to Granvelle — Secret representations by the 
cardinal to Philip concerning Egmont and other seigniors — Line 
of conduct traced out for the king — Montigny's representations in 
Spain — Unsatisfactory result of his mission. 

The great cause of the revolt wliich, "nitliin a few 
years, was to break forth throughotit the Netherlands 
was the luquisition. It is almost puerile to look further 
or deeper when such a source of convulsion lies at the 
very outset of any investigation. During the war there 
had been, for reasons already indicated, an occasional 
pause in the religious persecution. Philip had now 



returned to Spain, having arranged with great preci- 
sion a comprehensive scheme for exterminating that 
religious belief which was already accepted by a very 
large portion of his Netherland subjects. From afar 
there rose upon the provinces the prophetic vision of a 
coming evil still more terrible than any which had yet 
oppressed them. As across the bright plains of Sicily, 
when the sun is rising, the vast pyramidal shadow of 
Mount Etna is definitely and visibly projected, — the 
phantom of that ever-present enemy which holds fire 
and devastation in its bosom, — so, in the morning hour 
of Philip's reign, the shadow of the Inquisition was cast 
from afar across those warm and smiling provinces— a 
specter menacing fiercer flames and wider desolation 
than those which mere physical agencies could ever 

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

The Spanish Inquisition, strictly so called, that is to 
say, the modern or later institution established by Pope 
Alexander VI. and Ferdinand the Catholic, was doubt- 
less invested with a more complete apparatus for inflict- 
ing human misery and for appalling human imagination 
than any of the other less artfully arranged inquisitions, 
whether papal or episcopal. It had been originally 
devised for Jews or Moors, whom the Christianity of 


the age did not regard as human beings, but who could 
not be banished without depopulating certain districts. 
It was soon, however, extended from pagans to heretics. 
The Dominican Torquemada was the first Moloch to be 
placed upon this pedestal of blood and fire, and from 
that day forward the " Holy Ofiice " was almost exclu- 
sively in the hands of that band of brothers. In the 
eighteen years of Torquemada's administration, ten thou- 
sand two hundred and twenty individuals were bm-ned 
alive, and ninety-seven thousand three hundred and 
twenty-one punished with infamy, confiscation of prop- 
erty, or perpetual imprisonment, so that the total number 
of families destroyed by this one friar alone amounted 
to one hundred and fourteen thousand four hundred 
and one.^ In course of time the jurisdiction of the office 
was extended. It taught the savages of India and 
America to shudder at the name of Christianity. The 
fear of its introduction froze the earlier heretics of Italy, 
France, and Germany into orthodoxy. It was a court 
owning allegiance to no temporal authority, superior to 
all other tribimals. It was a bench of monks without 
appeal, having its familiars in every house, diving into 
the secrets of every fireside, judging and executing its 
horrible decrees without responsibility. It condemned 
not deeds, but thoughts. It affected to descend into 
individual conscience, and to punish the crimes which it 
pretended to discover. Its process was reduced to a 
horrible simplicity. It arrested on suspicion, tortured 
till confession, and then punished by fire. Two wit- 
nesses, and those to separate facts, were sufficient to 
consign the victim to a loathsome dungeon. Here he 
was sparingly supplied with food, forbidden to speak, 

1 Llorente, i. 280. 


or even to sing,— to which pastime it could hardly be 
thought he would feel much inclination, — and then left 
to himself till famine and misery should break his 
spirit. When that time was supposed to have arrived 
he was examined. Did he confess and forswear his 
heresy, whether actually innocent or not, he miglit then 
assume the sacred shirt, and escape with confiscation of 
all his property. Did he persist in the avowal of his 
innocence, two witnesses sent him to the stake, one wit- 
ness to the rack. He was informed of the testimony 
against him, but never confronted with the witness. 
That accuser might be his son, father, or the wife of his 
bosom ; for all were enjoined, under the death-penalty, 
to inform the inquisitors of every suspicious word which 
might faU from their nearest relatives. The indictment 
being thus supported, the prisoner was tried by torture. 
The rack was the court of justice; the criminal's only 
advocate was his fortitude— for the nominal counselor, 
who was permitted no communication with the prisoner 
and was furnished neither with documents nor with 
power to procure evidence, was a puppet, aggravating 
the lawlessness of the proceedings by the mockery of 
legal forms. The torture took place at midnight, in a 
gloomy dungeon, dimly lighted by torches. The victim— 
whether man, matron, or tender virgin— was stripped 
naked, and stretched upon the wooden bench. Water, 
weights, fires, puUeys, screws— all the apparatus by 
which the sinews could be strained without cracking, 
the bones crushed without breaking, and the body 
racked exquisitely without giving up its ghost, was now 
put into operation. The executioner, enveloped in a 
black robe from head to foot, with his eyes glaring at 
his victim through holes cut in the hood which muffled 

1561] AUTOS DA FE 397 

his face, practised successively all the forms of torture 
■which the devihsh ingenuity of the monks had invented. 
The imagination sickens when striving to keep pace 
with these dreadful realities. Those who wish to in- 
dulge their curiosity concerning the details of the system 
may easily satisfy themselves at the present day. The 
flood of light which has been poured upon the subject 
more than justifies the horror and the rebellion of the 

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

Execution followed confession, but the number of 
condemned prisoners was allowed to accumulate, that a 
multitude of victims might grace each great gala-day. 
The auto da fe was a solemn festival. The monarch, the 
high functionaries of the land, the reverend clergy, the 
populace, regarded it as an inspiring and delightful 
recreation. When the appointed morning arrived, the 
victim was taken from his dungeon. He was then attired 
in a 3'ellow robe without sleeves, like a herald's coat, 
embroidered all over with black figures of devils. A 
large conical paper miter was placed upon his head, 
upon which was represented a human being in the midst 
of flames, surrounded by imps. His tongue was then 
painfully gagged, so that he could neither open nor shut 
his mouth. After he Avas thus accoutred, and just as he 
was leaving his cell, a breakfast, consisting of every 
delicacy, was placed before him, and he was urged, with 
ironical politeness, to satisfy his hunger. He was then 


led forth into the public square. The procession was 
formed with great pomp. It was headed by the little 
school-children, who were immediately followed by the 
band of prisoners, each attired in the horrible yet ludi- 
crous manner described. Then came the magistrates 
and nobUity, the prelates and other dignitaries of the 
Church. The holy inquisitors, with their officials and 
familiars, followed, all on horseback, with the blood-red 
flag of the " Sacred Office " waving above them, blazoned 
upon either side with the portraits of Alexander and 
of Ferdinand, the pair of brothers who had established 
the institution. After the procession came the rabble. 
When all had reached the neighborhood of the scaffold, 
and had been arranged in order, a sermon was preached 
to the assembled multitude. It was filled with laiida- 
tions of the Inquisition, and with blasphemous revilings 
against the condemned prisoners. Then the sentences 
were read to the individual victims. Then the clergy 
chanted the Fifty-first Psalm, the whole vast throng 
uniting in one tremendous miserere. If a priest hap- 
pened to be among the culprits, he was now stripped of 
the canonicals which he had hitherto worn, while his 
hands, Hps, and shaven crown were scraped with a bit 
of glass, by which process the oil of his consecration 
was supposed to be removed. He was then thrown 
into the common herd. Those of the prisoners who 
were reconciled, and those whose execution was not yet 
appointed, were now separated from the others. The 
rest were compelled to mount a scaffold, where the exe- 
cutioner stood ready to conduct them to the fire. The 
inquisitors then delivered them into his hands, with an 
ironical request that he woidd deal with them tenderly, 
and without blood-letting or injury. Those who re- 


mained steadfast to the last were then burned at the 
stake ; they who in the last extremity renounced their 
faith were strangled before being thrown into the flames. 
Such was the Spanish Inquisition, technically so called. 
It was, according to the biographer of Philiji II., a 
" heavenly remedy, a guardian angel of paradise, a lions' 
den in which Daniel and other just men could sustain 
no injury, but in which perverse sinners were torn to 
pieces." ^ It was a tribunal superior to all human law, 
without appeal, and certainly owing no allegiance to 
the powers of earth or heaven. No rank, high or hum- 
ble, was safe from its jurisdiction. The royal family were 
not sacred, nor the paupei''s hovel. Even death afforded 
no protection. The Holy Office invaded the prince in 
his palace and the beggar in his shroud. The corpses 
of dead heretics were mutilated and burned. The in- 
quisitors preyed upon carcasses and rifled gi-aves. A 
gorgeous festival of the Holy Office had, as we have 
seen, welcomed Philip to his native land. The news of 
these tremendous autos da fe, in which so many illustri- 
ous victims had been sacrificed before their sovereign's 
eyes, had reached the Netherlands almost simultaneously 
with the bulls creating the new bishoprics in the prov- 
inces. It was not likely that the measure would be ren- 
dered more palatable by this intelligence of the royal 

1 "Lago de los leoues de Daniel que a los justos no hazen mal, 
si despeda^an los obstinados impenitentes pecadores, remcdio del 
cieloi Angel de la ffuarda del Paraiso," etc.— Cabrera, v. 236. 

2 Bor, iii. 113-119, who had used the -svorks of his contempora- 
ries, Gonsalvo Montano and Giorgio Nigrino. Hoofd, i. 30-34. 
Compare Llorente, Hist. Crit. de I'lnquis., particularly i. c. S 
and 9, and iv. o. 46 ; Van der Vynekt, i. 200-238 ; Hopper, p. ii. 
c. 9; Grot. Ann., i. 14, 15. 


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


Previously to the accession of Charles V. it cannot 
be said that an inquisition had ever been established in 
the provinces. Isolated instances to the contrary, ad- 
duced by the canonists who gave their advice to Mar- 
garet of Parma, rather proved the absence than the 
existence of the sj'stem.i In the reign of Philip the 
Good, the vicar of the inquisitor-general gave sentence 
against some heretics, who were burned in Lille (1448). 
In 1459, Pierre Troussart, a Jacobin monk, condemned 
many Waldenses, together with some leading citizens of 
Artois, accused of sorcery and heresy. He did this, 
however, as inquisitor for the Bishop of Ai-ras, so that 
it was an act of episcopal and not papal inquisition.^ 
In general, when inquisitors were wanted in the prov- 

1 Histoire des causes de la disunion, r^voltes et alterations des 
Pays-Bas depuis I'abdication de Charles Qiiint en 1555 jusqu'i la 
mort du Prince de Parme en 1592. Par Messire Renom de France, 
Chevalier, Seigneur de Noyelles, President d' Artois. MS., Bibl. de 
Bourgogne, i. chap. 5 et 7. 

This important historical work, by a noble of the Walloon prov- 
inces, and a contemporary of the events he describes, has never 
been published. The distinguished M. Dumortier, of the Com- 
mission Royale d'Histoire, has long promised an edition, which 
cannot fail to be as satisfactory as learning and experience can 
make it. The work is of considerable length, in five manuscript 
folio volumes. It was written mainly from the papers of Councilor 
d'Assonleville. The almost complete revelation of state secrets in 
the inestimable publications of the Simancas Correspondence, by 
M. Gachard, has deprived the work, however, of a large portion of 
its value. On the subject of national politics and the general con- 
dition of the country, the writer cannot for a moment be compared 
to Bor in erudition, patience, or fullness of detail. He is a warm 
Catholic, but his style has not a tithe of the vividly descriptive and 
almost dramatic power of Pontus Payen, another contemporary 
Catholic historian, who well deserves publication. 
2 Renom de France MS., ubi sup. 
VOL. I.— 26 


inces, it was necessary to borrow tliem from France or 
Grermany. The exigencies of persecution making a 
domestic staff desirable, Charles V., in the year 1522, 
applied to his ancient tutor, whom he had placed on the 
papal throne.i 

Charles had, however, already in the previous year 
appointed Francis van der Hulst to be inquisitor-general 
for the Netherlands.^ This man, whom Erasmus called 
a "wonderful enemy to learning," was also provided 
with a coadjutor, Nicholas of Egmond by name, a 
Carmehte monk, who was characterized by the same 
authority as " a madman armed with a sword." The 
inquisitor-general received full powers to cite, arrest, 
imprison, torture heretics without observing the ordinary 
forms of law, and to cause his sentences to be executed 
without appeal.^ He was, however, in pronouncing def- 
inite judgments, to take the advice of Laurens, president 
of the Grand Coimcil of Mechlin, a coarse, cruel, and 
ignorant man, who "hated leai-ning with a more than 
deadly hatred," * and who might certainly be relied upon 
to sustain the severest judgments which the inquisitor 
might fulminate. Adrian, accordingly, commissioned 
Van der Hulst to be universal and general inquisitor for 
all the Netherlands.^ At the same time it was expressly 
stated that his functions were not to supersede those 
exercised by the bishops as inquisitors in their own sees. 

1 Eenom de France MS., ubi sup. Introduetion to Gaohard, 
Correspondance de Philippe II., vol. i. 

2 By oommission, April 23, 1522. Gaohard, Introduction, Phi- 
lippe II., cix. 

3 Ibid. 

* Expression of Erasmus. Brandt, Reformatie, i. 93. 

5 By brief, June, 1523. Gacbard, Introd., Phil. II., i. cxi. 


Thus the papal Inquisition was established in the prov- 
inces. A^'an der Hulst, a person of infamous character, 
was not the man to render the institution less odious 
than it was by its nature. Before he had fulfilled his 
duties two years, however, he was degraded from his 
office by the emperor for having forged a document.^ 
In 1525, Biiedens, Houseau, and Coppin were confirmed 
by Clement VII. as inquisitors in the room of Van der 
Hulst. In 1537 Ruard Tapper aud Michael Drutius 
were appointed by Paul III., on the decease of Coppin, 
the other two remaining in ofiice. The powers of the 
papal inquisitors had been gradually extended, and 
they were, by 1545, not only entirely independent of the 
episcopal Inquisition, but had acquired right of jurisdic- 
tion over bishops and archbishops, whom they were 
empowered to arrest and imprison. They had also re- 
ceived and exercised the privilege of appointing dele- 
gates, or subinquisitors, on their own authority. Much 
of the work was, indeed, performed by these ofi&cials, 
the most notorious of whom were Barbier, De Monte, 
Titelmann, Fabry, Campo de Zon, and Stryen.^ In 1545, 
and again in 1550, a stringent set of instructions were 
drawn up by the emperor for the giddance of these papal 
inquisitors. A glance at their contest shows that the 
establishment was not intended to be an empty form. 

They were empowered to inquire, proceed against, 
and chastise all heretics, all persons suspected of heresy, 
and their protectors.^ Accompanied by a notary, they 
were to collect written information concerning everj' 
person in the provinces "infected or vehemently sus- 

1 Gaehard, Introd., Phil. II., i. cxi. 

2 Ibid., i. cxiv. 

* See the instructions in Van der Haer, i. 161-175. 


pected." They were authorized to summon all subjects 
of his Majesty, whatever their rank, quality, or station, 
and to compel them to give evidence or to communicate 
suspicions. They were to punish all who pertinaciously 
refused such depositions with death. The emperor com- 
manded his presidents, judges, sheriffs, and all other 
judicial and executive officers to render all " assistance 
to the inquisitors and their familiars in their holy and 
pious Inquisition, whenever required so to do," on pain 
of being punished as encouragers of heresy, that is to 
say, with death. Whenever the inquisitors should be 
satisfied as to the heresy of any individual, they were 
to order his arrest and detention by the judge of the 
place, or by others arbitrarily to be selected by them. 
The judges or persons thus chosen were enjoined to 
f uLfil the order, on pain of being punished as protectors 
of heresy, that is to say, with death, by sword or fire. 
If the prisoner were an ecclesiastic, the inquisitor was 
to deal summarily with the case, " without noise or form 
in the process, selecting an imperial councilor to render 
the sentence of absolution or condemnation." ^ If the 
prisoner were a lay person, the inquisitor was to order 
his punishment, according to the edicts, by the councU 
of the province. In case of lay persons suspected but 
not convicted of heresy, the inquisitor was to proceed 
to their chastisement, "with the advice of a counselor 
or some other expert." In conclusion, the emperor 
ordered the "inquisitors to make it known that they 
were not doing their own work, but that of Christ, and 
to persuade all persons of this fact."^ This clause of 

1 " Summatim et de piano sine figura et strepitu. judicii et pro- 
cessu instructo," etc. — Van der Haer, 168. 

2 " In lioc prsecipue laborabunt dieti inquisitores . . . ut omni- 


their instructions seemed difficult of aceomplisliment, 
for no reasonable person could doubt that Clu-ist, had 
he reappeared in human form, would have been instantly 
crucified again or biirned alive in any place within the 
dominions of Charles or Philip. The blasphemy with 
which the name of Jesus was used by such men to sanc- 
tify all these nameless horrors is certainly not the least 
of their crimes. 

In addition to these instructions, a special edict had 
been issued on the 26th April, 1550, according to which 
all judicial officers, at the requisition of the inquisitors, 
were to render them all assistance in the execution of 
their office, by arresting and detaining aU persons sus- 
pected of heresy, according to the instructions issued to 
said inquisitors, and this notiathstanding any privileges 
or cliarters to ihe contrary} In short, the inquisitors 
were not subject to the civil authority, but the civil au- 
thority to them. The imperial edict empowered them 
" to chastise, degrade, denounce, and deliver over heretics 
to the secular jiidges for punishment; to make use of 
jails, and to make arrests, without ordinary warrant, 
but merely with notice given to a single coimselor, %vlio 
teas oMiged to give sentence according to tlieir desire, without 
application to the ordinarj^ judge." - 

These instructions to the inquisitors had been renewed 
and confirmed by Philip in the very first month of his 
reign ^ (November 28, 1555). As in the case of the edicts, 
it had been thought desirable by Granvelle to make use 

bus persuadeant, se non qufe sua sunt, sed qute sunt Christi quserere, 
hoc solum conartes." — Van der Haer, 173. 

i Brandt, Hist. Reformatie, i. 158. 

2 Meteren, ii. 37. 

' Van der Haer, 175. 


of the supposed magic of the emperor's name to hallow 
the whole machinery of persecution. The action of the 
system during the greater part of the imperial period 
had been terrible. Suffered for a time to languish dur- 
ing the French war, it had lately been renewed with 
additional vigor. Among all the inquisitors the name 
of Peter Titelmann was now preeminent. He executed 
his infamous functions throughout Flanders, Douai, 
and Tournay, the most thriving and populous portions 
of the Netherlands, with a swiftness, precision, and even 
with a jocularity which hardly seemed human. There 
was a kind of grim humor about the man. The woman 
who, according to Lear's fool, was wont to thrust her 
live eels into the hot paste, "rapping them o' the cox- 
combs with a stick and crying reproachfully, "Wantons, 
lie down ! " had the spirit of a true inquisitor. Even so 
dealt Titelmann with his heretics writhing on the rack 
or in the flames. Contemporary chronicles give a picture 
of him as of some grotesque yet terrible goblin, career- 
ing through the country by night or day, alone, on 
horseback, smiting the trembling peasants on the head 
with a great club, spreading dismay far and wide, drag- 
ging suspected persons from their firesides or their beds, 
and thrusting them into dungeons, arresting, tortm-ing, 
strangling, burning, with hardly the shadow of warrant, 
infoi-mation, or process.^ 

The secular sheriff, familiarly called Red Rod, from 
the color of his wand of office, meeting this inquisitor 
Titelmann one day upon the highroad, thus wonderingly 

1 Brandt, i. 228, 168 et passim. Kok, Vaderl. Woordenboek, 
art. Titelmann. Compai'e the brilliantly written episode of Pro- 
fessor Altmeyer: "Une succnrsale du tribunal de sang" (Bras. 
1853), pp. 37, 38. 


addressed him : " How can you venture to go about alone, 
or at most ^vith an attendant or two, arresting people on 
every side, while I dare not attempt to execute my office 
except at the head of a strong force armed in proof, 
and then only at the peril of my life ? " 

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

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

He was the most active of aU the agents in the reli- 
gious persecution at the epoch of which we are now 
treating, but he had been inquisitor for many j^ears. 
The martyrology of the provinces reeks with his mur- 
ders. He burned men for idle words or suspected 
thoughts ; he rarely waited, according to his frank con- 
fession, for deeds. Hearing once that a certain school- 
master, named Gelej'n de Muler, of Oudenarde, "ivas 
addicted to reading the BiNe," he summoned the culprit 
before him and accused him of heresy. The school- 
master claimed, if he were guilty of any crime, to be 
tried before the judges of his town. "You are my 
prisoner," said Titelmann, "and are to answer me and 
none other." The inquisitor proceeded accordingly to 
catechize him, and soon satisfied himself of the school- 
mastei-'s heresy. He commanded him to make immedi- 
ate recantation. The schoolmaster refused. "Do you 
1 Brandt, Hist, der Eeformatie, i. 228. 


not love your wife and children ? " asked the demoniac 
Titelmann. " God knows," answered the heretic, " that 
if the whole world were of gold, and my own, I would 
give it all only to have them with me, even had I to live 
on bread and water and in bondage." " You have then," 
answered the inquisitor, " only to renounce the error of 
your opinions." " Neither for wife, children, nor all the 
world can I renounce my God and religious truth," 
answered the prisoner. Thereupon Titelmann sen- 
tenced him to the stake. He was strangled and then 
thrown into the flames.^ 

At about the same time, Thomas Calberg, tapestry- 
weaver, of Tournay, within the jurisdiction of this same 
inquisitor, was convicted of having copied some hymns 
from a book printed in Geneva. He was burned alive.^ 
Another man, whose name has perished, was hacked to 
death with seven blows of a rusty sword, in presence of 
his wife, who was so horror-stricken that she died on 
the spot before her husband.^ His crime, to be sure, 
was Anabaptism, the most deadly offense in the calendar. 
In the same j^ear one Walter Kapell was burned at the 
stake for heretical opinions.* He was a man of some 
property, and beloved by the poor people of Dixmude, 
in Flanders, where he resided, for his many charities. 
A poor idiot, who had been often fed by his bounty, 
called out to the inquisitor's subalterns, as they bound 
his patron to the stake, " Ye are bloody murderers ; that 
man has done no wrong, but has given me bread to 
eat." With these words, he cast himself headlong into 

1 Hist, des Martyrs, f . 227, clxvii. ; apud Brandt, i. 168. 

2 Brandt, i. 169. 

3 Hist, der Doopsg. Mart., p. 229; apud Brandt, i. 167. 

4 Ibid. 

1561] WALTER KAPELL 409 

the flames to perish with his protector, but was with 
difficulty rescued by the officers.^ A day or two after- 
ward he made his way to the stake, where the half- 
bui'nt skeleton of Walter Kapell still remained, took the 
body upon his shoulders, and earned it through the 
streets to the house of the chief burgomaster, where 
several other magistrates happened then to be in session. 
Forcing his way into their presence, he laid his burden 
at their feet, crying, " There, murderers ! ye have eaten 
his flesh, now eat his bones ! " ^ It has not been re- 
corded whether Titelmann sent him to keep company 
with his friend in the next world. The fate of so obscure 
a victim could hardly find room on the crowded pages 
of the Netherland martyrdom. 

This kind of work, which went on daily, did not in- 
crease the love of the people for the Inqiiisition or the 
edicts. It terrified many, but it inspired more with that 
noble resistance to oppression, particularly to religious 
oppression, which is the subhmest instinct of human 
nature. Men confronted the terrible inquisitors with a 
courage equal to their cruelty. At Tom-nay, one of the 
chief cities of Titelmann's district, and almost before 
his eyes, one Bertrand Le Bias, a velvet-manufacturer, 
committed what was held an almost incredible crime. 
Having begged his wife and children to pray for a 
blessing upon what he was about to undertake, he 
went on Christmas day to the cathedral of Tournay 
and stationed himself near the altar. Having awaited 
the moment in which the priest held on high the 
consecrated host, Le Bias then forced his way through 
the crowd, snatched the wafer from the hands of the 

1 Hist, der Doopsg. Mart., 229, ii. 8-t9 ; apud Brandt, i. 167. 

2 Ibid. 


astonished ecclesiastic, and broke it into bits, crying 
aloud, as he did so, "Misguided men, do ye take this 
thing to be Jesus Christ, your Lord and Saviour?" 
With these words, he threw the fragments on the 
ground and trampled them with his feet.^ The 
amazement and horror were so universal at such an 
appalling offense that not a finger was raised to arrest 
the criminal. Priests and congregation were alike 
paralyzed, so that he would have found no difficulty in 
making his escape. He did not stir, however ; he had 
come to the church determined to execute what he con- 
sidered a sacred duty, and to abide the consequences. 
After a time he was apprehended. The inquisitor 
demanded if he repented of what he had done. He 
protested, on the contrary, that he gloried in the deed, 
and that he would die a hundred deaths to rescue from 
such daily profanation the name of his Redeemer, Christ. 
He was then put thrice to the torture, that he might be 
forced to reveal his accomplices. It did not seem in 
human power for one man to accomplish such a deed 
of darkness without confederates. Bertrand had none, 

1 Histoire des Martyrs, f. 356, cxcv. ; apud Brandt, i. 171, 172. 
It may be well supposed that this -would be regarded as a crime of 
almost inconceivable magnitude. It was death even to refuse to 
kneel in the streets when the wafer was carried by. Thus, for ex- 
ample, a poor huckster named Simon, at Bergen-op-Zoom, who 
neglected to prostrate himself before his booth at the passage of 
the host, was immediately burned. Instances of the same punish- 
ment for that offense might be multiplied. In this particular case 
it is recorded that the sheriff who was present at the execution was 
so much affected by the courage and fervor of the simple-minded 
victim that he went home, took to his bed, became delirious, cry- 
ing constantly, "Ah, Simon! Simon!" and died miserably, "not- 
withstanding all that the monks could do to console him." — Hist, 
der Doopsg. Mart., ii. 849, coxxx. ; apud Brandt, i. 167. 


however, and could denounce none. A frantic sentence 
was then debased as a feeble punishment for so much 
wickedness. He was dragged on a hurdle, with his 
mouth closed with an iron gag, to the market-place. 
Here his right hand and foot were burned and twisted 
off between two red-hot irons. His tongue was then torn 
out by the roots, and because he still endeavored to call 
upon the name of God, the ii'on gag was again applied. 
With his arms and legs fastened together behind his 
back, he was then hooked by the middle of his body to 
an iron chain, and made to swing to and fro over a slow 
fire till he was entirely roasted. His life lasted almost 
to the end of these ingenious tortures, but his fortitude 
lasted as long as his life.^ 

In the next year Titelnaann caused one Robert Ogier 
of Ryssel, in Flanders, to be arrested, together with his 
wife and two sons. Theii- crime consisted in not going 
to mass, and in practising private worship at home. 
They confessed the offense, for they protested that they 
could not endure to see the profanation of their Saviour's 
name in the idolatrous sacraments. They were asked 
what rites they practised in their own house. One of 
the sons, a mere boy, answered : "We fall on our knees, 
and pray to God that he may enlighten our hearts and 
forgive our sins. We pray for our sovereign, that his 
reign may be prosperous and his life peaceful. We 
also pray for the magistrates and others in authority, 
that God may protect and preserve them all." The 
boy's simple eloquence drew tears even from the eyes 
of some of his judges ; for the inquisitor had placed the 

1 Hist, des Martyrs, 356, cxev. ; apud Brandt, i. 171, 172. De 
la Barre, Kecueil des actes et choses plus notables qm sont adve- 
nues 63 Pays-Bas, MS. in the Brussels Archives, f. 16, 


case before the civil tribunal. The father and eldest son 
were, however, condemned to the flames. "O God," 
prayed the youth at the stake, "Eternal Father, accept 
the sacrifice of our lives, in the name of thy beloved 
Son." " Thou liest, scoundrel ! " fiercely interrupted a 
monk, who was lighting the fire ; " Grod is not your 
father ; ye are the devil's children." As the flames rose 
about them, the boy cried out once more: "Look, my 
father, all heaven is opening, and I see ten hundred 
thousand angels rejoicing over us. Let us be glad, for 
we are dying for the truth." " Thou liest ! thou liest ! " 
again screamed the monk ; " all hell is opening, and you 
see ten thousand devils thrusting you into eternal fire." 
Eight days afterward the wife of Ogier and his other 
son were burned, so that there was an end of that 
family. 1 

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

i Hist, des Martyrs, 385, 233, 387, 388; apud Brandt, i. 193- 

2 Jacobus Kok, Vaderlandsche Woordenboek, t. 27, art. Titel- 


them of reading the Bihle and of praying in theu- own 
doors, and had them all immediately bui'ned.^ 

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

1 Brandt, i. 259. 

2 Papiers d'Etat, vii. 51 : "Deven todos el alma." 


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

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

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

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

This was the treatment to which thousands and tens 
of thousands had been subjected in the provinces. Men, 
women, and children were burned, and their "cinders" 
thrown away, for idle words against Rome, spoken years 

1 Gachard, Rapport concernant les ArcMves de Lille, 87. 

2 Ibid. 


before/ for praying alone in their closets, for not kneel- 
ing to a wafer when they met it in the streets,^ for 
thoughts to which they had never given utterance, but 
which, on inquiry, they were too honest to denj'. Cer- 
tainly with this work going on year after year in every 
city in the Netherlands, and now set into renewed and 
vigorous action by a man who wore a crown only that 
he might the better torture his fellow-creatures, it was 
time that the very stones in the streets should be moved 
to mutiny. 

Thus it may be seen of how much value were the prot- 
estations of Philip and of Gran veil e, on which much 
stress has latterly been laid, that it was not their in- 
tention to introduce the Spanish Inquisition. With the 
edicts and the Netherland Inquisition, such as we have 
described them, the step was hardly necessary. 

In fact, the main difference between the two institu- 
tions consisted in the greater efficiency of the Spanish 
in discovering such of its victims as were disposed to 
deny their faith. Devised originally for more timorous 
and less conscientious infidels, who were often disposed 
to skulk in obscui-e places and to renounce without really 
abandoning their errors, it was provided with a set of 
venomous familiars who ghded through every chamber 
and coiled themselves at every fireside. The secret 
details of each household in the realm being therefore 
known to the Holy Office and to the monarch, no infidel 
or heretic could escape discovery. This invisible ma- 
chinery was less requisite for the Netherlands. There 
was comparatively little difficulty in ferreting out the 
"vermin," 3— to use the expression of a Walloon his- 

1 Brandt, i. 243. - Ibid., i. passim. 

3 Benom de France, i. 13, MS. 


torian of that age,— so that it was only necessary to 
maintain in good working order the apparatus for de- 
stroying the noxious creatures when unearthed. The 
heretics of the provinces assembled at each other's 
houses to practise those rites described in such simple 
language by Baldwin Ogier, and denounced under such 
horrible penalties by the edicts. The inquisitorial 
system of Spain was hardly necessary for men who had 
but little prudence in concealing, and no inclination to 
disavow, their creed. " It is quite a laughable matter," 
wrote GranveUe, who occasionally took a comic view of 
the Inquisition, "that the king should send us deposi- 
tions made in Spain by which we are to hunt for heretics 
here, as if we did not know of thousands already. Would 
that I had as many doubloons of annual income," he 
added, " as there are public and professed heretics in the 
provinces." ^ No doubt the Inquisition was in such eyes 
a most desirable establishment. "To speak without 
passion," says the Walloon, "the Inquisition well ad- 
ministered is a laudable institution, and not less 
necessary than aU the other offices of spirituality and 
temporality belonging both to the bishops and to the 
commissioners of the Roman see."^ The papal and 
episcopal establishments, in cooperation with the edicts, 
were enough, if thoroughly exercised and completely 
extended. The edicts alone were sufficient. "The 
edicts and the Inquisition are one and the same thing," ^ 

1 " Si lo osasse dezir, es cosa de risa embiarnos deposiciones que 
se hazen ay delaute, etc. . . . y ttiuiesse yo tantos doblones de h 
10 de renta eomo los hay publicos hereges," etc. — Papiers d'Etat, 
vii. 105-107. 

2 Renom de France, i. 8, MS. 

3 Groen v. P., Archives et Correspondance, iii. 29. 

1562] A PITHY QUERY 4I7 

said the Prince of Orange. The circumstance that 
the ci\il authorities were not as entirely superseded by 
the Netherland as by the Spanish system was rather a 
difference of form than of fact. We have seen that the 
secular officers of justice were at the command of the 
inquisitors. Sheriff, jailer, judge, and hangman were 
all required, under the most terrible penalties, to do 
their bidding. The reader knows what the edicts were. 
He knows also the instructions to the corps of papal 
inquisitors delivered by Charles and PhiUp. He knows 
that Philip, both in person and by letter, had done his 
utmost to sharpen those instructions during the latter 
portion of his sojourn in the Netherlands. Fourteen 
new bishops, each with two special inquisitors under 
him, had also been appointed to carry out the great 
work to which the sovereign had consecrated his exis- 
tence. The manner in which the hunters of heretics 
performed their office has been exemplified by slightly 
sketching the career of a single one of the subinquisi- 
tors, Peter Titelmaun. The monarch and his minister 
scarcely needed, therefore, to transplant the Peninsular 
exotic. Why shoiild they do so 1 Philip, who did not 
often say a great deal in a few words, once expressed 
the whole truth of the matter in a single sentence. 
"Wherefore introduce the Spanish Inciuisition ? " said 
he ; " the Inquisition of the Netherlands is much more piti- 
less than that of Spain." ^ 

Such was the system of religious persecution com- 
menced by Charles and perfected by Philip. The king 
could not claim the merit of the invention, which justly 

1 "D'ailleiirs I'mquisition des Pays-Bas est plus impitoyaljle que 
celle d'Espagne." — Letter to Margaret of Parma, Correspondance 
de Philippe II., i. 207. 

VOL. I. —27 


belonged to the emperor. At the same time, his respon- 
sibility for the unutterable woe caused by the continu- 
ance of the scheme is not a jot diminished. There was 
a time when the whole system had fallen into compara- 
tive desuetude. It was utterly abhorrent to the institu- 
tions and the manners of the Netherlanders. Even a 
great nujtnber of the Catholics in the provinces were 
averse to it. Many of the leading grandees, every one 
of whom was Catholic, were foremost in denouncing its 
continuance. In short, the Inquisition had been par- 
tially endured, but never accepted. Moreover, it had 
never been introduced into Luxembui'g or Groningen.^ 
In G-elderland it had been prohibited by the treaty^ 
through which that province had been annexed to the 
emperor's dominions, and it had been uniformly and 
successfully resisted in Brabant. Therefore, although 
Philip, taking the artful advice of G-ranvelle, had shel- 
tered himself under the emperor's name by reenacting, 
word for word, his decrees and reissuing his instruc- 
tions, he cannot be allowed any such protection at the 
bar of history. Such a defense for crimes so enormous 
is worse than futile. In truth, both father and son 
recognized instinctively the intimate connection between 
ideas of religious and of civil freedom. " The authority 
of God and the supremacy of his Majesty " was the for- 
mula used with perpetual iteration to sanction the con- 
stant recourse to scaffold and funeral pile. Philip, 
bigoted in rehgion and fanatical in his creed of the 
absolute power of kings, identified himself willingly with 
the Deity, that he might more easily punish crimes 
against his own sacred person. GranveHe carefully 

1 Gachard, Introduction to Philippe H., i, 123, iv. 

2 Ibid. 


sustained him in these convictions, and fed his suspi- 
cions as to the motives of those who opposed his mea- 
sures. The minister constantly represented the great 
seigniors as influenced by ambition and pride. They 
had only disapproved of the new bishoprics, he insinu- 
ated, because they were angry that his Majesty should 
dare to do anything without their concurrence, and 
because their own influence in the states would be 
diminished. It was their object, he said, to keep the 
king " in tutelage," to make him " a shadow and a 
cipher," while they shoidd themselves exercise all au- 
thority in the provinces. It is impossible to exaggerate 
the effect of such suggestions upon the dull and gloomy 
mind to which they were addressed. It is easy, how- 
ever, to see that a minister with such views was likely 
to be as congenial to his master as he was odious to the 
people. For already, in the beginning of 1562, GranveUe 
was extremely unpopular. " The cardinal is hated of 
all men," wi'ote Sir Thomas Gresham.i The great 
struggle between him and the leading nobles had 
already commenced. The people justly identified him 
with the whole infamous machinery of persecution, 
which he had either originated or warmly made his own. 
Vighus and Berlaymont were his creatures. With the 
other members of the state council, according to their 
solemn statement, already recorded, he did not deign to 
consult, while he affected to hold them responsible for 
the measures of the administration. Even the regent 
herself complained that the cardinal took affairs quite 
out of her hands, and that he decided upon many im- 
portant matters without her cognizance.^ She already 

1 BuTgon, ii. 267. 

2 Papiers d'fitat, vi. 543-545. 


began to feel herself the puppet which it had been in- 
tended she should become ; she already felt a diminution 
of the respectful attachment for the ecclesiastic which 
had inspired her when she procured his red hat. 

Granvelle was, however, most resolute in carrying out 
the intentions of his master. We have seen how vigor- 
ously he had already set himself to the inauguration of 
the new bishoprics, despite of opposition and obloquy. 
He was now encouraging or rebuking the inquisitors in 
their " pious office " throughout all the provinces. Not- 
withstanding his exertions, however, heresy continued 
to spread. In the Walloon provinces the infection was 
most prevalent, while judges and execiitioners were 
appalled by the mutinous demonstrations which each 
successive sacrifice provoked. The victims were cheered 
on their way to the scaffold. The hymns of Marot were 
sung in the very faces of the inquisitors. Two ministers, 
Faveau and Mallart, were particularly conspicuous at 
this moment at Valenciennes. The governor of the 
province, Marquis Berghen, was constantly absent, for 
he hated with his whole soul the system of persecution. 
For this negligence Granvelle denounced him secretly 
and perpetually to Philip. i " The marquis says openly," 
said the cardinal, " that 't is not right to shed blood for 
matters of faith. With stich men to aid us, your Maj- 
esty can judge how much progress we can make." ^ It 
was, however, important, in GranveUe's opinion, that 
these two ministers at Valenciennes should be at once 
put to death. They were avowed heretics, and they 
preached to their disciples, although they certainly were 
not doctors of divinity. Moreover, they were accused, 

1 Dom TEvesque, M^moires, i. 302-308. 

2 Papiers d'Etat, vii. 75. 


most absurdlj', no doubt, of pretending to work miracles. 
It was said that, in presence of several witnesses, they 
had undertaken to cast out devils; and thej' had been 
apprehended on an accusation of this natmx'.^ Their 
offense really consisted in reading the Bible to a few of 
tlieir friends. Granvelle sent Philibert de Bruxelles to 
Valenciennes to procure their immediate condemnation 
and execution. 2 He rebuked the judges and inquisitors, 
he sent express orders to Marquis Berghen to rei^air 
at once to the scene of his duties. The prisoners were 
condemned in the autumn of 1561. The magistrates 
were, however, afraid to carry the sentence into effect.^ 
Granvelle did not cease to censure them for their pusil- 
lanimity, and wrote almost daily letters accusing the 
magistrates of being themselves the cause of the tumults 
by which they were appalled. The popular commotion 
was, however, not lightly to be braved. Six or seven 
months long the culprits remained in confinement, while 
daily and nightly the people crowded the streets, hurling 
thi-eats and defiance at the authorities, or pressed about 

1 "Histoire des ehoses les plus memorables qui se sont pass^es 
en la ville et Compt6 de Valenciennes depuis le commencement des 
troubles des Pays-Bas sous le r^gne de Phil. II., jusqu'a I'ann^e 
1621," MS. (Collect. Gerard). 

This is a contemporary manuscript belonging to the Gerard 
collection in the Koyal Library at The Hague. Its author was a 
citizen of Valenciennes, and a personal witness of most of the 
events which he describes. He appears to have attained to a great 
age, as he minutely relates, from personal observation, many 
scenes which occurred before 1566, and his work is continued till 
the year 1621. It is a mere sketch, without much literary merit, 
but containing many local anecdotes of interest. Its anonymous 
author was a very sincere Catholic. 

3 Dom I'Evesque, i. 302-308. 

3 Ibid. Valenciennes MS. 


the prison windows, encouraging their beloved ministers, 
and promising to rescue them in case the attempt should 
be made to fulfil the sentence. ^ At last G-ranveUe sent 
down a peremptory order to execute the culprits by 
fire. On the 27th of April, 1562, Faveau and Mallart 
were accordingly taken from their jail and carried to 
the market-place, where arrangements had been made 
for burning them. Simon Faveau, as the executioner 
was binding him to the stake, uttered the invocation, 
" O Eternal Father ! " ^ A woman in the crowd, at the 
same instant, took off her shoe and threw it at the 
funeral piLe.^ This was a preconcerted signal. A 
movement was at once visible in the crowd. Men in 
great numbers dashed upon the barriers which had been 
erected in the square around the place of execution. 
Some seized the fagots, which had been already lighted, 
and scattered them in every direction; some tore up 
the pavements ; others broke in pieces the barriers. The 
executioners were prevented from carrying out the 
sentence, but the guard were enabled, with great celerity 
and determination, to bring off the culprits and to place 
them in their dungeon again. The authorities were in 
doubt and dismay. The inquisitors were for putting 
the ministers to death in prison, and hurling their heads 
upon the street. Evening approached while the officials 
were still pondering. The people who had been chant- 
ing the psalms of David through the town, without 
having decided what should be their course of action, 
at last determined to rescue the victims. A vast throng, 
after much hesitation, accordingly directed their steps 
to the prison. "You should have seen this vile popu- 

1 Dom I'Evesque, i. 302-308. Valenciennes MS. 

2 Ibid. 3 Ibid. 


lace," says an eye-witness,^ "moving, pausing, recoiling, 
sweeping forward, swaying to and fro like the waves of 
the sea when it is agitated by contending winds." The 
attack was vigorous, the defense was weak ; for the 
authorities had expected no such fierce demonstration, 
notwithstanding the menacing language which had been 
so often uttered. The prisoners were rescued, and suc- 
ceeded in making their escape from the city. The day 
in which the execution had been thus prevented was 
called, thenceforward, the "day of the ill-burned "^ 
{journee des mau-hruJez). One of the ministers, how- 
ever, Simon Faveau, not discouraged by this near ap- 
proach to martyrdom, persisted in his heretical labors, 
and was a few years afterward again apprehended. 
"He was then," says the chronicler, cheerfully, "burned 
well and finally" in the same place whence he had 
formerly been rescued.^ 

This desperate resistance to tyi-anny was for a moment 
successful, because, notwithstanding the murmurs and 
menaces by which the storm had been preceded, the 
authorities had not believed the people capable of pro- 
ceeding to such lengths. Had not the heretics — in the 
words of Inquisitor Titelmann — allowed themselves, 
year after year, to be taken and slaughtered like lambs 1 
The consternation of the magistrates was soon succeeded 
by anger. The government at Brussels was in a frenzy 
of rage when informed of the occurrence. A bloody 
vengeance was instantly prepared, to vindicate the insult 
to the Inquisition. On the 29th of April, detachments 

1 Valenciennes MS. ^ It>id. 

3 "Le 28 Mars, 1568. Simon Faveau qui avait est6 un des 

' mau-brulcz,' a,j&-n.t est6 rattrapp6 fust brulS Uen et beaukYalen- 
tiennes." — Ibid. 


of Bossu's and of Berghen's " Bande d'Ordonnance " were 
sent into Valenciennes, together with a company of the 
Duke of Aerschot's regiment. The prisons were Di- 
stantly filled to overflowing with men and women 
arrested for actual or suspected participation in the 
tumult. Orders had been sent down from the capital 
to make a short process and a sharp execution for all 
the criminals. On the 16th of May the slaughter com- 
menced. Some were burned at the stake, some were 
beheaded : the number of victims was frightful. " No- 
thing was left undone by the magistrates," says an eye- 
witness, with great approbation, "which could serve for 
the correction and amendment of the poor people." ^ It 
was long before the judges and hangmen rested from 
their labors. When at last the havoc was complete, it 
might be supposed that a sufficient vengeance had been 
taken for the " day of the ill-burned," and an adequate 
amount of "amendment" provided for the "poor 

Such scenes as these did not tend to increase the 
loyalty of the nation nor the popularity of the govern- 
ment. On Granvelle's head was poured a daily increas- 
ing torrent of hatred. He was looked upon in the 
provinces as the impersonation of that religious oppres- 
sion which became every moment more intolerable. The 
king and the regent escaped much of the odium which 
belonged to them, because the people chose to bestow 
all their maledictions upon the cardinal. There was, 
however, no great injustice in this embodiment. Gran- 
velle was the government. As the people of that day 
were extremely reverent to royalty, they vented all their 
rage upon the minister, while maintaining stiU a con- 

1 Valenciennes MS. 


ventional respect for the sovereign. The prelate had 
ali-eady become the constant butt of the "rhetoric 
chambers." These popular clubs for the manufacture 
of homespun poetry and street farces out of the raw 
material of public sentiment occi^pied the place which 
has been more effectively filled in succeeding ages and 
in free countries by the daily press. Before the inven- 
tion of that most tremendous weapon, which liberty 
has ever wielded against tjTanny, these humble but 
influential associations shared with the pulpit the only 
power which existed of moving the passions or direct- 
ing the opinions of the people. They were eminently 
liberal in their tendencies. The authors and the actors 
of their comedies, poems, and pasquils were mostly 
artisans or tradesmen, belonging to the class out of 
which proceeded the early victims and the later soldiers 
of the Reformation. Their bold farces and truculent 
satire had already effected much in spreading among 
the people a detestation of church abuses. They 
were particiUarly severe upon monastic licentiousness. 
" These corrupt comedians, called rhetoricians," says 
the Walloon contemporary already cited, "afforded 
much amusement to the peoiile. Always some poor 
little nuns or honest monks were made a part of the 
farce. It seemed as if the people could take no pleasure 
except in ridiculing God and the Church." i The people, 
however, persisted in the opinion that the ideas of a 
monk and of God were not inseparable. Certainly the 
piety of the early reformers was sufficiently fervent, 
and had been proved by the steadiness with which they 
confronted torture and death ; but they knew no measure 
in the ridicule which they heaped upon the men by 
1 Renom de France MS., i. c. 5. 


whom they were daily murdered in droves. The rhet- 
oric comedies were not admirable in an esthetic point 
of view, hut they were wrathful and sincere. Therefore 
they cost many thousand lives, but they sowed the seed 
of resistance to reUgious tyranny, to spring up one day 
in a hundredfold harvest. It was natural that the 
authorities should have long sought to suppress these 
perambulating dramas. " There was at that tyme," 
wrote honest Richard Clough to Sii' Thomas Gresham, 
" syche playes (of Reteryke) played thet hath cost many 
a 1000 man's lyves, for in these plays was the Word of 
God first opened in thys country. Weclie playes were 
and are forbidden moche more strictly than any of the 
bookes of Martin Luther." ^ 

These rhetoricians were now particulai-ly inflamed 
against Granvelle. They were personally excited against 
him, because he had procured the suppression of their 
religious dramas. " These rhetoricians who make farces 
and street plays," wrote the cardinal to Philip, "are 
particularly angry with me, because two years ago I 
prevented them from ridiculing the Holy Scriptures." ^ 
Nevertheless, these institutions continued to pursue 
their opposition to the course of the government. Their 
uncouth gambols, their awkward but stunning blows, 
rendered daily service to the cause of religious freedom. 
Upon the newly appointed bishops^ they poured out an 
endless succession of rhymes and rebuses, epigrams, 
caricatures, and extravaganzas. Poems were pasted 
upon the walls of every house, and passed from hand 
to hand. Farces were enacted in every street, the 
odious ecclesiastics figuring as the principal buffoons. 

1 Burgon, i. 377-391. 

2 Papiers d'Etat, vi. 552-562. 3 Hoofd, i. 38. 


These representations gave so much offense that re- 
newed edicts were issued to suppress them.i The pro- 
hibition was resisted and even ridiculed in many- 
provinces, particularly in Holland.^ The tyranny which 
was able to drown a nation in blood and tears was 
powerless to prevent them from laughing most bitterly 
at their oppressors. The tanner Cleon was never be- 
labored more soundly by the wits of Athens than the 
prelate by these Flemish "rhetoricians." With in- 
finitely less Attic salt, but with as much heartiness as 
Aristophanes could have done, the popidar rhymers 
gave the minister ample opportunity to understand 
the position which he occupied in the Netherlands. One 
day a petitioner placed a paper in his hand and vanished. 
It contained some scurrilous verses upon himself, to- 
gether with a caricature of his person. In this he was 
represented as a hen seated upon a pile of eggs, out of 
which he was hatching a brood of bishops. Some of 
these were clipping the shell, some thrusting forth an 
arm, some a leg, while others were running about with 
miters on their heads, all bearing whimsical resemblance 
to various prelates who had been newly appointed. 
Above the cardinal's head the devil was represented 
hovering, with these words issuing from his mouth: 
" This is my beloved son ; listen to him, my people." ^ 

There was another lampoon of a similar nature, which 
was so weU executed that it especially excited Gran- 
velle's anger. It was a rhymed satire of a general 
nature, like the rest, but so delicate and so stinging 
that the cardinal ascribed it to his old friend and 

1 Repert. der Plakaten, Bl. 96. Wagenaer, vi. 76. 

2 Wagenaer, vi. 76 sqq. 

3 "Hio est filius meus, illuin audite," etc. — Hoofd, ii. 42. 


present enemy, Simon Renard. This man, a Bur- 
gundiau by birth and college associate of Granvelle, 
had been befriended both by himself and his father.^ 
Aided by their patronage and his own abilities, he 
had arrived at distinguished posts, having been Span- 
ish envoy both in France and England, and one of the 
negotiators of the truce of Vaucelles. He had latterly 
been disappointed in his ambition to become a councilor 
of state, and had vowed vengeance upon the cardinal, 
to whom he attributed his ill success. He was certainly 
guilty of much ingratitude, for he had been under early 
obligations to the man in whose side he now became 
a perpetual thorn.^ It must be confessed, on the other 
hand, that Granvelle repaid the enmity of his old 
associate with a malevolence equal to his own, and if 
Renard did not , lose his head as well as his political 
station, it was not for want of sufficient insinuation on 
the part of the minister.^ Especially did Granvelle 
denounce him to "the master" as the perverter of Eg- 
mont, while he usually described that nobleman him- 
self as weak, vain, " a friend of smoke," * easily mis- 
guided, but in the main well intentioned and loyal. At 
the same time, with all these vague commendations, he 
never omitted to supply the suspicious king with an 
account of every fact or every rumor to the count's dis- 
credit. In the case of this particular satire, he informed 
Philip that he could swear it came from the pen of 
Renard, although, for the sake of deception, the rhetoric 

1 Groen v. Prinsterer, Archives et Correspondance, i. 177* sqq. 
Dom I'Evesque, M6moires, etc., i. 97 sqq. 

2 Dom I'Evesque, ubi sup. 

s Papiers d'fitat, vi. 568, 569, 552-562. 
* "Es aniigo de humo.'' — Ibid., vii. 115. 


comedians had been employed.^ He described the pro- 
duction as tilled with " false, abominable, and infernal 
things," - and as treating not only himself, but the pope 
and the whole ecclesiastical order, with as much con- 
tumely as could be showed in Germany. He then pro- 
ceeded to insinuate, in the subtle manner which was 
peculiarly his own, that Egmont was a party to the 
publication of the pasquil. Renard visited at that 
house, he said, and was received there on a much more 
intimate footing than was becoming. Eight days before 
the satire was circulated there had been a conversation 
in Egmont's house of a nature exactly similar to the 
substance of the pamphlet. The man in whose hands 
it was first seen, continued Granvelle, was a sword- 
cutler, a godson of the couut.^ This person said that 
he had torn it from the gate of the city haU, but God 
grant, prayed the cardinal, tliat it was not he who had 
first posted it up there. 'T is said that Egmont and 
Mansfeld, he added, have sent many times to the cutler 
to procui-e copies of the satii'e, all which augments the 
suspicion against them.* 

With the nobles he was on no better terms than with 
the people. The great seigniors. Orange, Egmont, 
Horn, and others, openly avowed their hostility to him, 
and had alreadj^ given their reasons to the king. Mans- 
feld and his son at that time were both with the oppo- 
sition. Aerschot and Aremberg kept aloof from the 
league which was forming against the prelate, but had 
small sj^mpathy for his person. Even Berlaymont began 

1 Papiers d'Etat, vi. 552-562. 

2 "Cosas falsas, abominables y infernales." — Ibid. 

3 "Un espadero ahijado de M. d'Egmont," etc. — Ibid. 
* Ibid. 


to listen to overtures from the leading nobles, who, 
among other inducements, promised to supply his 
children with bishoprics. There were none truly faith- 
fid and submissive to the cardinal but such men as the 
Prevot Morillon, who had received much advancement 
from him. This distinguished pluralist was popularly 
called "double a-b-c," to indicate that he had twice as 
many benefices as there were letters in the alphabet.^ 
He had, however, no objection to more, and was faith- 
ful to the dispensing power. The same course was 
pursued by Secretary Bave, Esquire Bordey, and other 
expectants and dependents. Viglius, always remarkable 
for his pusillanimity, was at this period already anxious 
to retire. The erudite and opulent Frisian preferred a 
less tempestuous career. He was in favor of the edicts, 
but he trembled at the uproar which their literal execu- 
tion was daily exciting, for he knew the temper of his 
coiintrymen. On the other hand, he was too sagacious 
not to know the inevitable consequence of opposition to 
the wUl of Phnip. He was therefore most eager to 
escape the dilemma. He was a scholar, and could find 
more agreeable employment among his books. He had 
accumulated vast wealth, and was desirous to retain it 
as long as possible. He had a learned head, and was 
anxious to keep it upon his shoulders. These simple 
objects could be better attained in a life of privacy. 
The post of president of the privy council and member 
of the consulta was a dangerous one. He knew that 
the king was sincere in his purposes. He foresaw that 
the people would one day be terribly in earnest. Of 
ancient Frisian blood himself, he knew that the spirit 

1 Letter of Ducliess of Parma to Philip, Correspondance de 
Philippe n., i. 318-320. 


of the ancient Batavians and Frisians had not wholly 
deserted theii' descendants. He knew that they were 
not easily roused, that they were patient, but that they 
would strike at last and would endure. He urgently 
solicited the king to release him, and pleaded his in- 
firmities of body in excuse. ^ Philip, however, would 
not listen to his retirement, and made use of the most 
convincing arguments to induce him to remain. Four 
hundred and fifty annual florins, secured by good re- 
claimed swamps in Friesland, two thousand more in 
hand, with a promise of still larger emoluments when 
the king should come to the Netherlands, were reasons 
which the learned doctor honestly confessed himself 
unable to resist.^ Fortified by these arguments, he re- 
mained at his post, continued the avowed friend and 
adherent of Granvelle, and sustained with magnanimity 
the invectives of nobles and people. To do him justice, 
he did what he could to conciliate antagonists and to 
compromise principles. If it had ever been possible to 
find the exact path between right and wrong, the presi- 
dent would have found it, and walked in it with respec- 
tability and complacency. 

In the council, however, the cardinal continued to 
carry it with a high hand, turning his back on Orange 
and Egmont, and retiring with the duchess and the presi- 
dent to consult after every session. Proud and im- 
portant personages, like the prince and the count, could 
ill brook such insolence ; moreover, they suspected the 
cardinal of prejudicing the mind of their sovereign 
against them. A report was very current, and obtained 
almost universal belief, that GranveUe had expressly 
advised his Majesty to take oflF the heads of at least half 
1 Vit. Viglii, Ixxvi. p. 36. ^ ibid. 


a dozen of the principal nobles in the land. This was 
an error. " These two seigniors," wrote the cardinal to 
Philip, " have been informed that I have written to your 
Majesty that you will never be master of these prov- 
inces without taking off at least half a dozen heads, 
and that because it would be difficult, on account of the 
probable tumults which such a course would occasion, 
to do it here, your Majesty means to call them to Spain 
and do it there. Your Majesty can judge whether such 
a thing has ever entered my thoughts. I have laughed 
at it as a ridiculous invention. This gross forgery is 
one of Renard's." ^ The cardinal further stated to his 
Majesty that he had been informed by these same nobles 
that the Duke of Alva, when a hostage for the treaty of 
Cateau-Cambresis, had negotiated an alliance between 
the crowns of France and Spain for the extirpation of 
heresy by the sword. He added that he intended to 
deal with the nobles with all gentleness, and that he 
should do his best to please them. The only thing 
which he could not yield was the authority of his 
Majesty ; to sustain that, he would sacrifice his life, if 
necessary.2 At the same time Granvelle carefully im- 
pressed upon the king the necessity of contradicting 
the report alluded to, a request which he took care 
should also be made through the regent in person.^ 
He had already, both in his own person and in that of 
the duchess, begged for a formal denial, on the king's 
part, that there was any intention of introducing the 
Spanish Inquisition into the Netherlands, and that 

1 Papiers d'Etat, vi. 568, 5C9. Compare Correspondanoe de 
Philippe H., i. 202, 203. 

2 Correspondanoe de Philippe II., i. 204, 205. 

3 Ibid., i. 202, 203. 


the cardinal had counseled, originally, the bishoprics.^ 
Thus instructed, the king accordinglj^ wi-ote to Mar- 
garet of Parma to furnish the required contradictions. 
In so doing, he made a pithy remark. " The cardinal 
had not counseled the cutting off the half a dozen 
heads," said the monarch, "but perhaps it would not be 
so bad to do it! " '- Time was to show whether Phihp 
was likely to profit by the hint conveyed in the cardinal's 
disclaimer, and whether the factor " half-dozen " were 
to be used or not as a simple multiplier in the terrible 
account preparing. 

The contradictions, however sincere, were not believed 
by the persons most interested. Nearly all the nobles 
continued to regard the cardinal with suspicion and 
aversion. Many of the ruder and more reckless class 
vied with the rhetoricians and popular caricaturists in 
the practical jests which they pla3'ed off almost daily 
against the common foe. Especially Count Brederode, 
" a madman, if there ever were one," ^ as a contemporary 
expressed himself, was most untiring in his efforts to 
make G-ranveUe ridiculous. He went almost nightly to 
masquerades, dressed as a cardinal or a monk;* and as 
he was rarely known to be sober on these or any other 
occasions, the wildness of his demonstrations may easily 
be imagined. He Avas seconded on aU these occasions 
by his cousin Eobert de la Marck, Seigneur de Lumey, 
a worthy descendant of the famous "Wild Boar of 
Ardennes"— a man brave to temerity, but utterly de- 

1 Correspondanee de Philippe II., i. 202, 207. 

2 "Aunque qiiiza no seria mal hazello." — Correspondanee de 
Philippe II., i. 207. 

3 " Personage esoervell6 si oncques en fnt." — Pontus Payen MS. 
i Ibid. 

VOL. I.— 28 


praved, licentious, and sanguinary. These two men, 
botli to be widely notorious from their prominence in 
many of the most striking scenes by which the great 
revolt was ushered in, had vowed the most determined 
animosity to the cardinal, which was manifested in the 
reckless, buffooning way which belonged to their char- 
acters. Besides the ecclesiastical costumes in which 
they always attired themselves at their frequent festiv- 
ities, they also wore foxtails in their hats instead of 
plumes.^ They decked their servants also with the 
same ornaments, openly stating that by these symbols 
they meant to signify that the old fox GranveUe, and 
his cubs, Vighus, Berlaymont, and the rest, should soon 
be hunted down by them, and the brush placed in their 
hats as a trophy.^ 

■ Moreover, there is no doubt that frequent threats 
of personal violence were made against the cardinal. 
GranveUe informed the king that his life was continually 
menaced by the nobles, but that he feared them little, 
for he believed them too prudent to attempt anything 
of the kind.3 There is no doubt, when his position with 
regard to the upper and lower classes in the country 
is considered, that there was enough to alarm a timid 
man; but GranveUe was constitutionally brave. He 
was accused of wearing a secret shirt of mad,* of living 
in perpetual trepidation, of having gone on his knees to 
Egmont and Orange,^ of having sent Richardot, Bishop 
of Arras, to intercede for him in the same humiliating 
manner with Egmont.® AH these stories were fables. 

1 Pontus Payen MS. 2 Ibid. 

3 Papiers d'Etat, vi. 552-562. * Ibid., vii. 426. 

5 Ev. Reydani Ann., i. 4. 

" Papiers d'Etat, vii. 449, 450. 


Bold as he was arrogant, lie affected at this time to look 
down with a forgiving contempt on the animosity of the 
nobles. He passed much of his time alone, writing his 
eternal despatches to the king. He had a country house, 
called La Fontaine, surrounded by beautiful gardens, 
a little way outside the gates of Brussels, where he 
generally resided, and whence, notwithstanding the re- 
monstrances of his friends, he often returned to town, 
after sunset, alone, or with but a few attendants.^ He 
avowed that he feared no attempts at assassination, for, 
if the seigniors took his life, they would destroy the 
best friend they ever had. This viUa, where most of 
his plans were matured and his state papers drawn up, 
was called by the people, in derision of his supposed 
ancestry, " The Smithy." ^ Here, as they beheved, was 
the anvil upon which the chains of their slavery were 
forging ; here, mostly deserted by those who had been 
his earlier associates, he assumed a philosophical de- 
meanor which exasperated, without deceiving, his adver- 
saries. Over the great gate of his house he had placed 
the marble statue of a female. It held an empty wine- 
cup in one hand, and an urn of flowing water in the 
other.^ The single word "Durate" was engi-aved upon 
the pedestal.^ By the motto, which was his habitual 
device, he was supposed, in this application, to signify 
that his power would outlast that of the nobles, and 

1 Pontus Payen MS. 

2 " Eespondit constamment avecq ime face joieuse, a quel propos 
voul6s voTis que je me garde des seigneui-s, il n'y a pas un d'entre 
eux a qui je n'ay fait plaisir et service. S'ils me tuent, au nom de 
Dieu, je serai quicte de vivre, et eux d'lm tres bon amy, qu'ils 
regretteront un jour lamentablement." — Ibid. 

3 Van der Vynckt, i. 164. 

* Hoofd, i. 39. 5 Ibid. 


that, perennial and pure as living water, it would flow 
tranquilly on, long after the wine of their life had 
been drunk to the lees. The fiery extravagance of his 
adversaries, and the calm and limpid moderation of his 
own character, thus symbolized, were supposed to convey 
a moral lesson to the world. The hierogtyphics, thus 
interpreted, were not relished by the nobles ; aU avoided 
his society and declined his invitations. He consoled 
himself with the company of the lesser gentrj^,i a class 
which he now began to patronize, and which he urgently 
recommended to the favor of the king,^ hinting that 
military and civil offices bestowed upon their inferiors 
would be a means of lowering the pride of the grandees.^ 
He also affected to surround himself with even humbler 
individuals. " It makes me laugh," he wrote to Philip, 
" to see the great seigniors absenting themselves from 
my dinners; nevertheless, I can always get plenty of 
guests at my table, gentlemen and councilors. I some- 
times invite even citizens, in order to gain then- good 
wlU." * 

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

1 Papiers d'Etat, u"bi sup. 

2 Dom I'Evesque, ii. 53. s Ibid. 

* "Y aun burgeses que yo Uamo per ganarles la voluntad." — 
Papiers d'Etat, vi. 552-562. 

5 Strada, iii. 116, 117. « ibi^. 


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

Both nobles and people were at this moment irritated 
by another circumstance. The civil war having again 
broken out in France, Philip, according to the promise 
made by him to Catherine de' Medici when he took her 
daughter in marriage, was called upon to assist the 
Catholic party with auxiliaries. He sent three thousand 
infantry, accordingly, which he had levied in Italy, as 
many more collected in Spain, and gave immediate 
orders that the Duchess of Parma should despatch at 
least two thousand cavalry from the Netherlands.^ 
Great was the indignation in the council when the com- 
mands were pi'oduced. Sore was the dismay of Margaret. 
It was impos-sible to obey the king. The idea of send- 
ing the famous mounted gendarmerie of the provinces 
to fight against the French Huguenots could not be 
tolerated for an instant. The "Bandes d'Ordonnance " 
were very few in number, and were to guard the 
frontier. They were purely for domestic purposes. It 
formed no part of their duty to go upon crusades in 
foreign lands ; still less to take a share in a religious 

1 Strada, iii. 116, 117. 

2 Ibid. Compare Groen v. Prinsterer, Archives, i. 117, 118. 

3 Strada, iii. 102, 103. 


quarrel, and least of all to assist a monarch against a 
nation. These views were so cogently presented to the 
duchess in council that she saw the impossibility of 
complying with her brother's commands. She wrote to 
Philip to that effect. Meantime another letter arrived 
out of Spain, chiding her delay, and impatiently calling 
upon her to furnish the required cavalry at once.i The 
duchess was in a dilemma. She feared to provoke 
another storm in the council, for there was already 
sufficient wrangling there upon domestic subjects. She 
knew it was impossible to obtain the consent even of 
Berlaymont and Viglius to such an odious measure as 
the one proposed. She was, however, in great trepida- 
tion at the peremptory tone of the king's despatch. 
Under the advice of Granvelle, she had recourse to a 
trick. A private and confidential letter of PhUip was 
read to the council, but with alterations suggested and 
interpolated by the cardinal. The king was represented 
as being furious at the delay, but as willing that a sum 
of money should be furnished instead of the cavalry, as 
originally required. ^ This compromise, after consider- 
able opposition, was accepted. The duchess wrote to 
Philip, explaining and apologizing for the transaction. 
The king received the substitution with as good a grace 
as coiild have been expected, and sent fifteen hundred 
troopers from Spain to his Medicean mother-in-law, 
drawing upon the Duchess of Parma for the money to 
paj'^ their expenses. Thus was the industrj^ of the Neth- 
erlands taxed that the French might be persecuted by 
their own monarch.^ 

The regent had been forbidden by her brother to 
convoke the States-General, a body which the Prince of 
1 Strada, iii. 104. 2 Ibid. » Ibid. 


Orange, sustained by Berghen, Montignj^, and other 
nobles, was desirous of having assembled. It may be 
easily understood that Granvelle would take the best 
care that the royal prohibition should be enforced. 
The duchess, however, who, as already hinted, was 
beginning to feel somewhat uncomfortable under the 
cardinal's dominion, was desirous of consulting some 
larger council than that with which she held her daily 
deliberations. A meeting of the Knights of the Fleece 
was accordingly summoned. They assembled in Brussels 
in the month of May, 1562.^ The learned Viglius ad- 
dressed them In a long and eloquent speech, in which 
he discussed the troubled and dangerous condition of 
the provinces, alluded to some of its causes, and sug- 
gested various remedies. It may be easily conceived, 
however, that the Inquisition was not stated among the 
causes, nor its suppression included among the remedies. 
A discourse in which the fundamental topic was thus 
conscientiously omitted was not likely, with all its con- 
cinnities, to make much impression upon the disaffected 
knights, or to exert a soothing influence upon the people. 
The orator was, however, delighted with his own per- 
formance. He informs us, moreover, that the duchess 
was equally charmed, and that she protested she had 
never in her whole life heard anything " more delicate, 
more suitable, or more eloquent." ^ The Prince of 
Orange, however, did not sympathize with her admira- 
tion. The president's elegant periods produced but 
little effect upon his mind. The meeting adjourned 
after a few additional words from the duchess, in which 
she begged the knights to ponder weU the causes of the 

1 Strada, iii. 118. Vit. Viglii, 36. 

2 D)id. 


increasing discontent, and to meet her again, prepared 
to announce what, in their opinion, would be the course 
best adapted to maintain the honor of the king, the 
safety of the provinces, and the glory of God.^ 

Soon after the separation of the assembly, the Prince 
of Orange issued invitations to most of the knights to 
meet at his house for the purpose of private delibera- 
tion.^ The president and cardinal were not included 
in these invitations. The meeting was, in fact, what 
we should call a caucus, rather than a general gathering. 
Nevertheless, there were many of the government party 
present — men who differed from the prince and were 
inclined to support GranveUe. The meeting was a 
stormy one. Two subjects were discussed. The first 
was the proposition of the duchess to investigate the 
general causes of the popular dissatisfaction ; the second 
was an inquiry how it could be rendered practicable to 
discuss political matters in future— a proceeding now 
impossible, in consequence of the perverseness and 
arrogance of certain functionaries, and one which, 
whenever attempted, always led to the same inevitable 
result. This direct assault upon the cardinal produced 
a furious debate. His enemies were delighted with the 
opportunity of venting their long-suppressed spleen. 
They indiilged in savage invectives against the man 
whom they so sincerely hated. His adherents, on the 
other hand, — Bossu, Berlaymont, Coureires,— were as 
warm in his defense. They replied by indignant denials 
of the charge against him, and by bitter insinuations 
against the Prince of Orange. They charged him with 
nourishing the desire of being appointed governor of 

1 Hopper, Rec. et Mdm., iv. 25. 

2 Hoofd, i. 40. Vit. Viglii, Hopper, ubi sup. 


Brabant, an office considered inseparable from the general 
stadholderate of aU tbe provinces.^ They protested for 
themselves that they were actuated by no ambitious 
designs— that they were satisfied with their own posi- 
tion, and not inspired by jealousy of personages more 
powerful than themselves.^ It is obvious that such 
charges and recriminations could excite no healing 
result, and that the line between cardinalists and 
their opponents would be defined in consequence more 
sharply than ever. The adjourned meeting of the 
Chevaliers of the Fleece took place a few days after- 
ward.^ The duchess exerted herself as much as pos- 
sible to reconcile the contending factions, without being 
able, however, to apply the only remedy which could 
be effective. The man who was already fast becoming 
the great statesman of the country knew that the evil 
was beyond healing, unless by a change of purpose on 
the part of the government. The regent, on the other 
hand, who, it must be confessed, never exhilnted any 
remarkable proof of intellectual ability during the 
period of her residence in the Netherlands, was often 
inspired by a feeble and indefinite hope that the matter 
might be arranged by a compromise between the views 
of conflicting parties. Unfortunately, the Inquisition 
was not a fit subject for a compromise. 

Nothing of radical importance was accomplished by 
the assembly of the Fleece. It was decided that an 
application should be made to the different states for a 
grant of money,* and that, furthermore, a special envoy 

1 Groen v. Prinst., i. 147 sqq. Strada. 

2 Hoofd, i. 40, 41. Hopper, Vit. Viglii, ubi sup. 

3 Hopper, Vit. Viglii, ubi sup. 
« Ibid., 36. 


should be despatched to Spain. It was supposed by the 
duchess and her advisers that more satisfactory infor- 
mation concerning the provinces could be conveyed to 
Philip by word of mouth than by the most elaborate 
epistles.^ The meeting was dissolved after these two 
measures had been agreed upon. Dr. Viglius, upon 
whom devolved the duty of making the report and 
petition to the states, proceeded to draw up the neces- 
sary application. This he did with his customary 
elegance, and, as usual, very much to his own satisfac- 
tion.2 On returning to his house, however, after having 
discharged this duty, he was very much troubled at 
finding that a large mulberry-tree which stood in his 
garden had been torn up by the roots in a violent hur- 
ricane. The disaster was considered ominous by the 
president, and he was accordingly less surprised than 
mortified when he found, subsequently, that his demand 
iipon the orders had remained as fruitless as his ruined 
tree.^ The tempest which had swept his garden he con- 
sidered typical of the storm which was soon to rage 
through the land, and he felt increased anxiety to reach 
a haven while it was yet comparatively calm. 

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

1 Strada, iii. 119. 

2 Vit. Viglii, ubi sup. 3 Ibid. 


had contracted the habit of meddling with financial 

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

Thus it has been shown that there was an open, 
avowed hostility on the part of the grand seigniors and 
most of the lesser nobility to the cardinal and his 
measures. The people fully and enthusiastically sus- 
tained the Prince of Orange in his course. There was 
nothing underhand in the opposition made to the govern- 
ment. The Netherlands did not constitute an absolute 
monarchy. They did not even constitute a monarchy. 
There was no king in the provinces. Philip was King 

1 Papiers d'Etat, yi. 543-545 and 27. 

2 Correspondance de Philippe II., i. 202, 203 (note). 


of Spain, Naples, Jerusalem, but he was only Duke of 
Brabant, Count of Flanders, Lord of Friesland, hered- 
itary chief, in short, under various titles, of seventeen 
states, each one of which, although not republican, pos- 
sessed constitutions as sacred as, and much more ancient 
than, the crown.^ The resistance to the absolutism of 
Granvelle and Philip was, therefore, logical, legal, con- 
stitutional. It was no cabal, no secret league, as the 
cardinal had the effrontery to term it, but a legitimate 
exercise of powers which belonged of old to those who 
wielded them, and which only an unrighteous innova- 
tion could destroy. 

Granvelle's course was secret and subtle. During the 
whole course of the proceedings which have just been 
described, he was in daily confidential correspondence 
with the king, besides being the actual author of the 
multitudinous despatches which were sent with the sig- 
natiire of the duchess. He openly assei-ted his right to 
monopolize all the powers of the government; he did 
his utmost to force upon the reluctant and almost 
rebellious people the odious measures which the king 
had resolved upon, while in his secret letters he uni- 
formly represented the nobles who opposed him as be- 
ing influenced, not by an honest hatred of oppression 
and attachment to ancient rights, but by resentment, 
and jealousy of their own importance. He assumed, 
in his letters to his master, that the absolutism already 

1 "On respondra qu'il est Roi : et je dis au contraire que ce nom 
de Roi m'est incognu. Qu'il le soit en Castille ou Arragon, &. 
Naples, aux Indes et par tout ou il commande a plaisir : qu'il le 
soit s'U veult en Jerusalem, paisible Dominateur en Asie et Afrique, 
tant y a que je ne eognoi en ce pais qu'un Due et un Compte, du- 
quel la puissance est limitee selon nos privileges lesquels il a jur6 
k la joieuse entree," etc. — Apologia d'Orange, 39, 40. 


existed of right and in fact wliieh. it was the intention 
of Philip to establish. While he was depriving the 
nobles, the states, and the nation of their privileges, and 
even of their natural rights (a slender heritage in those 
days), he assured the king that there was an evident 
determination to reduce his authority to a cipher. 

The estates, he wrote, had iisurped the whole adminis- 
tration of the finances,^ and had farmed it out to An- 
thony van Stralen and others, who were making enor- 
mous profits in the business.- " The seigniors," he said, 
"declare at their dinner-parties that I wish to make 
them subject to the absolute despotism of j'our Majesty. 
In point of fact, however, they really exercise a great 
deal more power than the governors of particular 
provinces ever did before ; and it lacks but httle that 
Madame and your Majesty should become mere ciphers, 
while the grandees monopolize the whole power.^ This," 
he continued, "is the principal motive of their opposi- 
tion to the new bishoprics. They were angry that your 
Majesty should have dared to solicit such an arrangement 
at Rome tvithout first ohtaining their consent.'^ They 
wish to reduce your Majesty's authority to so low a point 
that you ran do nothing tmless they desire it. Their object 
is the destruction of the royal authority and of the ad- 
ministration of justice, in order to avoid the payment 
of their delfts, telling their creditors constantly that 
they have spent their all in your Majesty's service, and 

1 " Por haver usurpado los de los estados la administraoion de 
los dineros." — Papiers d'Etat, vi. 543-545. 

2 Ibid. 

3 "Y no nos faltaria otra cosa sine q Madama y aimque V. M., 
estuviesseu aqui por cifra, j que ellos hizi^sen todo." — Ibid., 
vi. 552-562. * Ibid. 


that they have never received recompense or salary. 
This they do to mahe your Majesty odious." ^ 

As a matter of course, he attributed the resistance on 
the part of the great nobles, every man of whom was 
Catholic, to base motives. They were mere demagogues, 
who refused to bui-n their fellow-creatures, not from 
any natural repugnance to the task, but in order to gain 
fiavor with the populace. " This talk about the Inquisi- 
tion," said he, "is all a pretext. 'T is only to throw dust 
in the eyes of the vulgar and to persuade them into 
tumultuous demonstrations, while the real reason is that 
they choose that your Majesty should do nothing with- 
out their permission and through their hands." ^ 

He assumed sometimes, however, a tone of indulgence 
toward the seigniors— who formed the main topics of 
his letters— an affectation which might, perhaps, have 
offended them almost as much as more open and sincere 
denunciation. He could forgive offenses against him- 
self. It was for Philip to decide as to their merits or 
crimes so far as the crown was concerned. His language 
often was befitting a wise man who was speaking of 
very little childi-en. " Assonleville has told me, as com- 
ing from Egmont," he wrote, " that many of the nobles 
are dissatisfied with me, hearing from Spain that I am 
endeavoring to prejudice your Majesty against them." 
Certainly the tone of the cardinal's daily letters would 
have justified such suspicion, could the nobles have seen 

1 Papiers d'Etat, vi. 552-562. 

2 "No es Sino color para el vulgo h, quien persuaden estar cosas 
para procurar alboroto, pero la verdadera causa de los que pre- 
sumen entender mas es, que arriTja digo y no querer que "V. M. 
pueda nada sino con su participacion y por su mano." — Ibid., 
vi. 569, 570. 


them. Granvelle begged the king, however, to disabuse 
them upon this point. " "Would to G-od," said he, piously, 
" that they all woidd decide to sustain the authority of 
your Majesty, and to procure such measures as tend to 
the service of God and the secui'ity of the states. May 
I cease to exist if I do not desire to render good service 
to the very least of these gentlemen. Your Majesty 
knows that, when they do anything for the benefit of 
your service, I am never silent. Nevertheless, thus they 
are constituted. I hope, however, that this flurry will 
blow over, and that when your Majesty comes they will 
all be found to deserve rewards of merit." ^ 

Of Egmont, especially, he often spoke in terms of 
vague but somewhat condescending commendation. 
He never manifested resentment in his letters, although, 
as already stated, the count had occasionally indulged 
not only in words, but in deeds of extreme violence 
against him. But the cardinal was too forgiving a 
Christian or too keen a politician not to pass by such 
offenses, so long as there was a chance of so great a 
noble's remahiing or becoming his friend. He, accord- 
ingly, described him, in general, as a man whose prin- 
ciples, in the main, were good, but who was easily led 
by his own vanity and the perverse counsels of others. 
He represented him as having been originally a warm 
supporter of the new bishopries, and as having expressed 
satisfaction that two of them, those of Bruges and 
Ypres, should have been within his own stadholderate.^ 
He regretted, however, to inform the king that the 
count was latterly growing lukewarm, perhaps from 
fear of finding himself separated from the other nobles.^ 
On the whole, he was tractable enough, said the car- 
1 Papiers d'Etat, vi. 535. 2 n,id., 533. 3 Ibid. 


dinal, if lie were not easily persuaded by tlie vile ; but 
one day, perhaps, he might open his eyes again. ^ Not- 
withstanding these vague expressions of approbation 
which Granvelle permitted himself in his letters to 
Philip, he never faded to transmit to the monarch every 
fact, every rumor, every innuendo which might prejudice 
the royal mind against that nobleman or against any 
of the noblemen, whose characters he at the same time 
protested he was most unwilling to injure. It is true 
that he dealt mainly by insinuation, wliUe he was apt 
to conclude his statements with disclaimers upon his 
own part, and with hopes of improvement in the con- 
duct of the seigniors. At this particular point of time 
he furnished Philip with a long and most circumstantial 
account of a treasonable correspondence which was 
thought to be going on between the leading nobles and 
the future emperor, Maximilian.'- The narrative was a 
good specimen of the masterly style of innuendo in 
which the cardinal excelled, and by which he was often 
enabled to convince his master of the truth of certain 
statements while affecting to discredit them. He had 
heard a story, he said, which he felt bound to communi- 
cate to his Majesty, although he did not himself implicitly 
believe it. He felt himself the more bound to speak 
upon the subject because it tallied exactly ivith intelligence 
which he had received from another source. The story 
was^ that one of these seigniors (the cardinal did not 
Mow which, for he had not yet thought proper to inves- 
tigate the matter) had said that rather than consent that 
the king shoiUd act in this matter of the bishoprics 
against the privileges of Brabant, the nobles would elect 

1 Papiers d'fitat, vii. 45, 46. 

2 Ibid., vi. 535 sqq. ^ ibid. 


for tlieir sovereign some other prince of the Nood. This, 
said the cardinal, was perhaps a fantasy rather than an 
actual determination. Count Egmont, to be sure, he 
said, was constantly exchanging letters with the King 
of Bohemia (Maximilian), and it was supposed, therefore, 
that he was the prince of the blood who was to be 
elected to govern the provinces. It was determined 
that he should be chosen King of the Romans, by fair 
means or by force, that he should assemble an army to 
attack the Netherlands, that a corresponding movement 
should be made within the states, and that the people 
should be made to rise by giving them the reins in the 
matter of religion. The cardinal, after recounting aU 
the particulars of this fiction with great minuteness, 
added, with apparent frankness, that the correspondence 
between Egmont and Maximilian did not astonish him, 
because there had been much intimacy between them 
in the time of the late emperor. He did not feel con- 
vinced, therefore, from the frequency of the letters ex- 
changed, that there was a scheme to raise an army to 
attack the provinces and to have him elected by force. 
On the contrary, Maximilian could never accomphsh 
such a scheme without the assistance of his imperial 
father the emperor, who, Granvelle was convincedj 
would rather die than be mixed up with such villainy 
against Philip.^ Moreover, unless the people should 
become still more corrupted by the bad counsels con- 
stantly given them, the cardinal did not believe that 
any of the great nobles had the power to dispose in this 
way of the provinces at their pleasure. Therefore he 
concluded that the story was to be rejected as improb- 

1 " Y antes eUgeria S. M. C" el morir que intentar tanta vella- 
queria contra V. M." — Papiers d'Etat, vi. 535 sqq. 
VOL. I.— 29 


able, although it had come to him directly from the 
house of the said Couut Egmont.^ It is remarkable 
that, at the commencement of his narrative, the cardinal 
had expressed his ignorance of the name of the seignior 
who was hatching all this treason, while at the end of 
it he gave a local habitation to the plot in the palace of 
Egmont. It is also quite characteristic that he should 
add that, after all, he considered that nobleman one of 
the most honest of aU, if appearances did not deceive.'^ 

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

Notwithstanding the conspiracy which, according to 
Granvelle's letters, had been formed against him, not- 
withstanding that his life was daily threatened, he did 
not advise the king at this period to avenge him by any 
public explosion of wrath. He remembered, he piously 
observed, that vengeance belonged to God, and that he 
would repay .^ Therefore he passed over insults meekly, 
because that comported best with his Majesty's service. 
Therefore, too, he instructed Philip to make no demon- 
stration at that time, in order not to damage his own 
affairs. He advised him to dissemble, and to pretend 
not to know what was going on in the provinces.* 

1 " . . . aimque me dezian que salia de la easa propria del dicho 
conde." — Papiers d'Etat, vi. 535 sqq. 

2 "Por uno de los mas claros j de quien pudiesse V. M. mas 
conflar si las aiiarencias no me engarian." — Ibid. 

3 Ibid., vi. 552-562. * Ibid. 


Knowing that his master looked to him daily for instruc- 
tions, always obeyed them with entire docility, and, in 
fact, could not move a step in Netherland matters with- 
out them, he proceeded to dictate to him the terms in 
which he was to write to the nobles, and especially laid 
down rules for his guidance in his coming interviews 
with the Seigneur de Montigny.i Phihp, whose only 
talent consisted in the capacity to learn such lessons 
with laborious effort, was at this juncture particularly 
in need of tuition. The cardinal instructed him, ac- 
cordingly, that he was to disabuse all men of the im- 
pression that the Spanish Inquisition was to be intro- 
duced into the provinces. He was to write to the 
seigniors, promising to pay them their arrears of salary ; 
he was to exhort them to do all in their power for the 
advancement of rehgion and maintenance of the royal 
authority ; and he was to suggest to them that, by his 
answer to the Antwerp deputation, it was proved that 
there was no intention of establishing the Inquisition of 
Spain under pretext of the new bishoprics.^ The king 
was, furthermore, to signify his desire that all the nobles 
should exert themselves to efface this false impression 
from the popular mind. He was also to express himself 
to the same effect concerning the Spanish Inquisition, 
the bishoprics, and the religious question, in the ^jmSZic 
letters to Madame de Parma, which were to be read 
in full council.^ The cardinal also renewed his instruc- 
tions to the king as to the manner in which the Ant- 
werp deputies were to be answered, by giving them, 
namely, assurances that to transplant the Spanish Inqui- 
sition into the provinces would be as hopeless as to at- 

1 Papiers d'fitat, vi. 552-562. Correspondance de Pkilippe II., 
i. 219. 2 Ibid. 3 Ibid. 


tempt its establishment in Naples.^ He renewed his de- 
sire that Philip should contradict the story about the 
half-dozen heads,^ and he especially directed him to in- 
form Montigny that Berghen had known of the new 
bishoprics before the cardinal. This, urged GranveUe, 
was particularly necessary, because the seigniors were 
irritated that so important a matter should have been 
decided upon without their advice, and because the 
Marquis Berghen was now the " cock of the opposition." ^ 
At about the same time, it was decided by GranveUe 
and the regent, in conjunction with the king, to sow 
distrust and jealousy among the nobles by giving 
greater mercedes to some than to others, although 
large sums were really due to aU. In particular, the 
attempt was made in this paltry manner to humiliate 
WUliam of Orange.* A considerable sum was paid to 
Egmont, and a trifling one to the prince, in considera- 
tion of theii- large claims upon the treasury. Moreover, 
the Duke of Aerschot was selected as envoy to the 
Frankfort Diet, where the King of the Romans was 
to be elected, with the express intention, as Margaret 
wrote to Philip, of creating divisions among the nobles, 
as he had suggested.^ The duchess at the same time in- 
formed her brother that, according to Berlaymont, the 

1 Papiers d'Etat, vi. 564. 

2 " . . . que yo haya escripto a V. M. que no cortando les las 
cabejas y a otros hasta media dozena no sera senor destos estados 
. . . y V. M. pueda juzgar si jamas tel cosa me deve haver pasado 
por el pensamiento." — Ibid., vi. 568, 569. 

3 Correspondanee de Philippe II., i. 219. 

* Strada, iii. 121. Dom I'Evesque, ii. 41-45. 
5 Dom I'Evesque, Strada, ubi sup. Correspondanee de Philippe 
n., 1. 225. 


Prince of Orange was revolving some great design 
prejudicial to Ins Majestj^'s service. ^ 

Philip, who already began to suspect that a man who 
thought so much must be dangerous, was eager to find 
out the scheme over which William the Silent was sup- 
posed to be brooding, and wrote for fresh intelligence 
to the duchess. Neither Margaret nor the cardinal, 
however, could discover anything against the prince— 
who, meantime, although disappointed of the mission 
to Frankfort, had gone to that city in his private capa- 
city—saving that he had been heard to say, "One day 
we shall be the stronger." ^ Granvelle and Madame de 
Parma both communicated this report upon the same 
day, but this was all that they were able to discover of 
the latent plot.^ 

In the aiitumn of this year (1562) Montigny made his 
visit to Spain as confidential envoy from the regent. 
The king, being fully prepared as to the manner in 
which he was to deal with him, received the ambassador 
with great cordiality. He informed him in the course 
of their interviews that Granvelle had never attempted 
to create prejudice against the nobles, that he was in- 
capable of the malice attributed to him, and that even 
were it otherwise, his evil representations against other 
public servants would produce no effect.* The king 
furthermore protested that he had no intention of in- 
troducing the Spanish Inquisition into the Netherlands, 
and that the new bishops were not intended as agents 

1 Dom I'Evesque, Strada, ubi sup. Correspondance de PMlippe 
II., i. 225. 

^ "Que algun dia serian los mas fuertes.'' — Papiers d'Etat, vii. 
5. Correspondance de Philippe II., i. 241, 242. 

3 Ibid. Ibid. 

* Correspondance de Philippe U., i. 230. Strada, ii. 122, 123. 


for such a design, but had been appointed solely with a 
view of smoothing religious difficulties in the provinces 
and of leading his people back into the fold of the 
faithful. He added that, as long ago as his visit to 
England for the purpose of espousing Queen Mary, he 
had entertained the project of the new episcopates, as 
the Marquis Berghen, with whom he had conversed 
freely upon the subject, could bear witness.^ With 
regard to the connection of Granvelle with the scheme, 
he assured Montigny that the cardinal had not been 
previously consulted, but had first learned the plan after 
the mission of Sonnius.^ 

Such was the purport of the king's communications 
to the envoy, as appears from memoranda in the royal 
handwriting and from the correspondence of Margaret 
of Parma. Philip's exactness in conforming to his 
instructions is sufficiently apparent on comparing his 
statements with the letters previously received from 
the omnipresent cardinal. Beyond the limits of those 
directions the king hardly hazarded a syllable. He was 
merely the plenipotentiary of the cardinal, as Montigny 
was of the regent. So long as Granvelle's power lasted, 
he was absolute and infallible. Such, then, was the 
amount of satisfaction derived from the mission of 
Montigny. There was to be no diminution of the re- 
ligious persecution, but the people were assured upon 
royal authority that the Inquisition by which they were 
daily burned and beheaded could not be logically de- 
nominated the Spanish Inquisition. In addition to the 
comfort, whatever it might be, which the nation could 
derive from this statement, they were also consoled with 

1 Correspondance de Philippe II., i. 230. Strada, ii. 122, 123. 

2 Ibid. 


the information that Granvelle was not the inventor of 
the bishoprics. Although he had violently supported 
the measure as soon as published, secretly denouncing 
as traitors and demagogues all those who lifted their 
voices against it, although he was the originator of the 
renewed edicts, although he took, daily, personal pains 
that this Netherland Inquisition, " more pitiless than the 
Spanish," should be enforced in its rigor, and although 
he, at the last, opposed the slightest mitigation of its 
horrors, he was to be represented to the nobles and the 
people as a man of mild and unprejudiced character, 
incapable of injuring even his enemies. "I will deal 
with the seigniors most blandly,'' the cardinal had 
written to Pliilip, " and will do them pleasure, even if 
they do not wish it, for the sake of God and your Maj- 
esty." ^ It was in this light, accordingly, that Philip 
drew the picture of his favorite minister to the envoy. 
Montigny, although somewhat influenced by the king's 
hypocritical assurances of the benignity with which he 
regarded the Netherlands, was, nevertheless, not to be 
deceived by this flattering portraiture of a man whom 
he^ knew so well and detested so cordially as he did 
GranveUe. Solicited by the king, at their parting in- 
terview, to express his candid opinion as to the causes 
of the dissatisfaction in the provinces, Montigny very 
frankly and most imprudently gave vent to his private 
animosity toward the cardinal. He spoke of his hcen- 
tiousness, greediness, ostentation, despotism, and assured 
the monarch that nearly aU the inhabitants of the Nether- 
lands entertained the same opinion concerning him. He 

1 " Yo usaxh con ellos toda blandura, y lea harfe plazer en quanto 
pudiere atmque no qnieran para servicio de Dies h de V. M." — 
Papiers d'Etat, vi. 573. 


then dilated upon the general horror inspired by the 
Inquisition and the great repugnance felt to the estab- 
lishment of the new episcopates. These three evils,— 
Granvelle, the Inquisition, and the bishopries,— he main- 
tained, were the real and sufficient causes of the increas- 
ing popular discontent.^ Time was to reveal whether 
the open-hearted envoy was to escape punishment for 
his frankness, and whether vengeance for these crimes 
against Granvelle and Philip were to be left wholly, as 
the cardinal had lately suggested, in the hands of the 

Montigny returned late in December.^ His report 
concerning the results of his mission was made in the 
state council, and was received with great indignation.' 
The professions of benevolent intentions on the part 
of the sovereign made no impression on the mind of 
Orange, who was already in the habit of receiving secret 
information from Spain with regard to the intentions of 
the government. He knew very well that the plot re- 
vealed to him by Henry II. in the wood of Vincennes 
was stUl the royal program, so far as the Spanish mon- 
arch was concerned. Moreover, his anger was height- 
ened by information received from Montigny that the 
names of Orange, Egmont, and their adherents were 
cited to him, as he passed through France, as the avowed 
defenders of the Huguenots in poUtics and religion.* 
The prince, who was stiU a sincere Catholic, while he 
hated the persecutions of the Inquisition, was furious 
at the statement. A violent scene occurred in the coun- 
cil. Orauge openly denounced the report as a new 
slander of Granvelle, while Margaret defended the 

1 Strada, iii. 122, 123. Correspondance de Philippe 11., i. 232. 

2 Strada, iii. 123. 3 ibid. i Ibid. 


cardinal and denied the accusation, but at the same 
time endeavored Tvith the utmost earnestness to rec- 
oncile the conflicting parties.^ 

It had now become certain, however, that the govern- 
ment could no longer be continued on its present foot- 
ing. Either Granvelle or the seigniors must succumb. 
The Prince of Orange was resolved that the cardinal 
should fall or that he would himself withdraw from aU 
participation in the affairs of goA^ernment. In this de- 
cision he was sustained by Egmont, Horn, Montigny, 
Berghen, and the other leading nobles. 

1 Strada, iii. 123. 




Jm nahmen der heyligen vntzurteilten Dreifaltigkeit, Gottes 
Vaters, Gottes Sones vnnd Gottes hcyligen Geistes Amen. Naeh 
der Geburt vnsers ainigen Heylandes vnd Seligmaehers Jesu 
Christi. Jm funfftzehenhmidert vnd ain vnd seehtzigsten Jare, 
der virden Bomer tzinstzal, zu latein Jndiction gnant, Bey Regir- 
ung des aller durchlauchtigsten grosmeohtigsten fursten vnd her- 
ren hern Ferdinanden erwelten Romischen Kaisers, zcu alien zeiten 
mehrern des Reiohs, Jn Germanien zu Vngern Behem Dalmaoien 
Croacien vnd Sclavonien Konigk vnd Infant zu Hispanien, Ertz- 
liertzog ezu Osterreich Hertzog czu Burgundt zcu Steier Kernteu 
Kraiu vnnd Wirttenbergk Graffen czu Tiroll vnd vnsers allergnedig- 
sten Herren, seiner Kay. Mt. Regirung der Romisclien, 31. vnd 
der andernn jm 35., Sonntags am tage Bartholomei Apostoli, wel- 
eher war der 24. monatstag Augusti, naeh besoliehnem Stadtliehem 
einzoug, vff das furstliche beylager zwuschen den durchlauchtigen 
hochgebornen fm-sten vnd fiirstin, Hern WUhelmen Printzen czu 
Vranien Graffen zw Nassau Katzenelnbogen Vianden vnd Titz Hern 
zu Bredau Gubernator in Bm-gundie Hollandt, Selandt vnd Vtrioht, 
als des Breutigams, vnd freulein Anna, Geborne Herzogin czu 
Sachsen vnd Churfurst Moritz hochloblicher gedechtnus einigen 
tochter, als der Braut. Seint zu Leiptzig vfm Eathaus vffm Ober- 
sten Sal in einer Erker Stuben zwuschen vier vnd funff horen 
naeh Mittag in meiner offenbaren Notarien, vnd zu ende benanten 
geczeugen Kegenwart ersohienen Die obbemelten zwee furstUchen 
personen, Als der Breutigam vnd Braut, vnd doneben die Dm'ch- 



lauehtigsten Hochgebornen Fursten vnd Furstin, Her Augustus 
Hertzog czu Sachsen, des heiligen Ro. Reiohs Ertz Marsdialh vnd 
Churfurst Landtgrafi jn Duringen Marggraff czu Meissen vnd 
BurggrafE czu Magdeburgk sampt Frauen Annen gebornen aus 
koniglichem Stam czu Denmarken Hertzogin vnd Churfurstin zcu 
Sachsen vnd Vnnd hat aldo Hoehgedaohter Churfurst, Hoohgedach- 
tem printzen als dem Breutigam diese muentliehe anzceigung thun 
lassen. Sein Fm-stliche gnad wurden sich freuntlioh wissen zu 
erjnnern, Das in vorlauffener Heui'adtshandlung zwuschen S. F. gl. 
hochermett Fraiilein als derselbigen kunftigen ehegemahl bey dem 
reinen lantern wort Gottes, auch dem braueh der hochwirdigen 
Sacrament Jnhalts der heiligen Apostolischen schrifft vnd jn sun- 
derheit wie solche Christliche lehr in der Augspurgischen Confes- 
sion vorfasset, [dorinne auch jre f . g. ertzogen, vnd durch vorleihung 
des Almeohtigen bestendiglioh zuvorharren gedenkt.] jder zceit 
vnvorhindert soUen bleiben lassen, vnd von soleher jrer Cristliohen 
Relligion der Augspurgischen Confession, weder mit gewalt be- 
drauung noch beredung abfuren oder wendig machen, Jrer F. G. 
auch vorstatten vnd freuutlich nachlasse das sie zu jrer selbst not- 
durfft vnd gelegenheit, die Biioher dorinne solehe Christliche Relli- 
gion der Augspurgischen Confession vorfasset vngescheucht lesen 
zung vnsers Seligmachers des Hern Cristi gebrauchen wollen, das 
s. f. g. so offte solohs jm jare begert wtirde, jre F. G. an die ortte 
brengen wollen lassen do sie das Sacrament des leibs vnd bluts 
vnsers Hern Cristi naeh desselben einsetzung, vnd also vnder bolder 
gestallt sieher vnnd one gefahr gebrauchen vnd entpfahen kijnne. 
Vnnd do jre F. G. mit leibs schwacheit befiele, oder kindesnoten 
were, das s. f. g., vff denselben fall, einen Evangelischen predi- 
eanten zu jren F. G. wollen forden lassen, der jre F. G. mit Gotes 
wort trostet vnd das heilig Sacrament, wie obgemelt, jn jrem zimer 
reiche, Auch die kinder so s. f. gl., mit hochermeltem Fraulein, 
zceugen wurden, jn soleher Lahr der Augspurgischen Confession 
treulioh sollen vnderwiesen werdemx Alles ferners Jnnhalts einer 
Nottel So. s. c. f. gl. vnder dem Date Dresden den virtzehenden 
Aprilis dieses lauf endenn ein vnnd seehtzigsten jares dem Herren 
printzen zugeschickt. Weil aber s. f. g., aus etzlichen vorgewan- 
tenn vrsaehenn bedenken gehapt, Solchs in SchrifEten vorfassen 
zcu lassen, unnd es entlich dohin vorglichen, das s. f. g. solchs 
Alles also festiglich zu halden Hoohgedaohtem Churfursten czu 
Sachsen vnd als des Fraiileins nechst bluts vorwantem Vettern 


vnnd Vater vor der vortrewTiimg vnd beysetzung, jn kegenwearti- 
keit des Frauleins vnd anderer beiderseits jrer Chur vnnd Purst- 
lichen gnaden Eedten vnd dienere zcusageu solten. Deme allem 
nach, vnd well es dui-ch gnedige Sehikunge des Almechtigen so 
weit khommen, das hochgemelt Fraiilein jtzunt hoehgedaohtem 
Printzeu offentlich Ehelich vorti-auet vnd beygesetzt sol werden 
als stellet Hoehgedaohter Churfm-st in keinen zweiffel S. P. G. 
werden solche zeusage [nemlich das sie das Prauleiu von der waren 
Christliclien Relligion, wie dieselbige in der Augspurgisehen Con- 
fession vorfasset vnd dorinne jre P. G. erzoogen vnd vnderwiesen 
wiii'den, wider mit bedrauung nooh berhedung, abhalten, sundern 
bey derselbenn vnvorhindert bleiben, aueli die biioker dorinnen 
solche Cristliche Relligion vorfasset, vngescheucht zcu lesen vor- 
statten desgleichen so offte es jre P. G. begem an die orte bringen 
wollen lassen do sie das hochwirdige Sacrament, naeh der einsetz- 
ung des Seligmachers vnsers Hern Jesu Christi, entpfahen moge, 
vnd do sie mit leibs schwacheit befiele J. P. G. einen Evange- 
lischen predicanten vorschaffen wollen, der sie mit gotes wort, vnd 
reichung des Sacraments, nach des Hern Cristi einsetzung troste. 
Das auch s. f. g. die kindere, so sie nach dem willen des almech- 
tigen mit dem Freulein erzeugen werden jn solcher Christliehen 
Relligion der Augspurgisehen Confession treulich wollen vnder- 
weisen lassen.] jtzundt allhier jn beisein des freuleins vnd der 
Churfurstin Hoffmeisterin Frauen Soffien von Miltitz witwen, auch 
beiderseits Redte, als nemlich auf des Churfui'sten teil Hans von 
Ponika vff Pomsen, Her Vlrich Mordeisen vfE Woltersdorff der 
Rechtenn Doctor vnd .Ordinarius zu Leiptzigk, und vff des Hern 
Printzen seite der "Wolgeborne Her Johann Graff zu Nassaw vnd 
Heinrich von Wiltperg Hoffmeister, sein ohm-furstliohen Gnaden, 
mit hand vnd munde zcu thun vnbeschwert sein vnnd demselbigen 
auch f iirstlich vnd treulich nachsetzen. Solohs gereicht zu forderst 
dem. Almechtigen Got zu Ehren, vnnd S. P. G. thun doran derselb- 
ten vortrantem' hochgedachtem Freulein Anna, ein freuntlich 
angenhemes gefallen. Vnd Sein Chvirf . Ge. weren es hinwider umb 
S. P. G. freuntlich zubeschuldenn gantz geneigt vnnd willigk. 
VfE solch beschehen muntlich vorhalten hat hochgedacter Printz 
sich mit diesen worten vnd antwort vornehmen lassen vnd selbst 
milntlich also geredt Gnediger Churfurst Ich kann mieh des schreib- 
ens das mir o. g. diesersaohen halben %'nder obebemeltem dato 
getan freurstlich vnd wol erjnnern, das alle die punct so der her 


doctor itzunt erzelt dorinne 'begrifEen, vnd tliu eiir. g. hirmit zcu 
sagenn das ioh. solchs alles furstlieh wil halden vnd dem naoh 
khommen, vnd hat solohs hirauf S. Ch. G. mit hant gebenden 
treuen bewilligt vnd zugesagt. 

Hiraufl s. ch. g. mich Wolffen Seideln als- 
balde Amptswegen requiriren lassen, vnd 
gnedig gesonnen, das ich hiriiber eins oder 
mehr offene Jnstrumenta vorf ertigen solle, 
hirumb ich dan die edlen ernuesten vnd 
hochgelartl Hansen von ponika vff pomsen 
vnd hern Vlriohen Mordeissen vfl v^oltersdorf der Reehten 
doctor vnd Ordinarien zu Leiptzig, beide hochermelts Churfur- 
sten geheimpte Camerredte zu gezeugen requirit vnd erbetten. 
Geschehensein diese ding alle, Jm Jar Monat tag stunde vnd 
Stella wie oben vormeldet. Vnd ich Wolif Seidell von Sanct 
Annaberge Meisnisohen Bischtums Clerieus von beiden gewal- 
ten offenbar Schreiber erkunde das ich bey solchem vortragen 
vnd dorauf ervolgter antwort vnd beschener zusage, zwnsehenn 
obgemelten chur vnd furstlichen personen selbst personlioh 
gewest vnd solchs also gesehen vnd angehort hirumb ioh dan 
dis offen Jnstrument zum Zeugnus der 'warheit vorfertiget vnnd 
mit meiner eigenen hant geschriben, Auch mit vnderschreibung 
meines namens vnd zunhamens, vnd meines gewonlichen No- 
tariatzeichens auotorisirt vnd becreftiget. Zcu dem aUem ich 
iu Sunderheit requirirt wurden. 

This instrument, duly stamped and authenticated, is engrossed 
upon a large sheet of parchment, nearly three feet square.