William the Third

William the Third

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William the Third

William the Third

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Excerpt

Birth, ancestry, and early years--State of Dutch parties--William's boyhood--His character and ambitious--Hostility of De Witt and his partisans--Visit to England--Outbreak of the War of 1672.

WILLIAM HENRY, Prince of Orange and Count of Nassau, a ruler destined to play a greater part in shaping the destinies of modern England than any of her native sovereigns, was born at the Hague on the 4th of November 1650. By blood and ancestral tradition he was well fitted for the work to which he was to be called. The descendant of a line of statesmen and warriors, the scion of a house which more than a century before had been associated with the most heroic struggle for national freedom that history records, he could hardly have added stronger hereditary to the great personal qualifications for the enterprises reserved for him. His family was one of the most ancient in Europe--reaching back, indeed, for its origin into the regions of fable. "I will not take upon me," says an English biographer, writing shortly after his hero's death, "to extend the Antiquity of the House of Nassau as far as the time of . . .

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