William the Silent

William the Silent

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William the Silent

William the Silent

Read FREE!

Excerpt

"WHEN we study the foundation of the United Provinces," says a great French writer, "we learn how a State, from an origin almost unnoticed, rapidly rose into greatness, was formed without design, and in the end belied all human forecast. Those large and wealthy provinces of the mainland which began the revolution --Brabant, Flanders, and Hainault--failed to achieve their freedom. In the meantime, a small corner of Europe, which had been won from the sea by infinite labour, and had maintained itself by its herring-fishery, rose suddenly to be a formidable power, held its own against Philip II., despoiled his successors of almost all their possessions in the East Indies, and ended by taking under its protection the monarchy of Spain" (Voltaire, Essai sur les Mœurs , cap. 164).

The man who inspired, founded, and made possible this marvellous development was William, Count of Nassau, titular Prince of Orange, surnamed the Silent.

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