The Rise of the Dutch Republic: A History - Vol. 3

By John Lothrop Motley | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX.

Position of Orange -- The interview at Dendermonde -- The supposititious letters of Alava -- Views of Egmont -- Isolation of Orange -- Conduct of Egmont and of Horn -- Confederacy of the nobles dissolved -- Weak behaviour of prominent personages -- Watchfulness of Orange -- Convocation of States-General demanded -- Pamphlet of Orange -- City of Valenciennes refuses a garrison -- Influence of La Grange and De Bray -- City declared in a state of siege -- Invested by Noircarmes -- Movements to relieve the place -- Calvinists defeated at Lannoy and at Waterlots -- Elation of the Government -- The siege pressed more closely -- Cruelties practised upon the country people -- Courage of the inhabitants -- Remonstrance to the Knights of the Fleece -- Conduct of Brederode -- Orange at Amsterdam -- New oath demanded by Government -- Orange refuses -- He offers his resignation of all offices -- Meeting at Breda -- New "Request" of Brederode -- He creates disturbances and levies troops in Antwerp -- Conduct of Hoogstraaten -- Plans of Brederode -- Supposed connivance of Orange -- Alarm at Brussels -- Tholouse at Ostrawell -- Brederode in Holland -- De Beauvoir defeats Tholouse -- Excitement at Antwerp -- Determined conduct of Orange -- Three days' tumult at Antwerp suppressed by the wisdom and courage of Orange.

IT is necessary to allude to certain important events contemporaneous with those recorded in the last chapter, that the reader may thoroughly understand the position of the leading personages in this great drama at the close of the year 1566.

The Prince of Orange had, as we have seen, been exerting all his energies faithfully to accomplish the pacification of the commercial metropolis, upon the basis assented to beforehand by the Duchess. He had established a temporary religious peace, by which alone at that crisis the gathering tempest could be averted; but he had permitted the law to take its course upon certain rioters, who had been regularly condemned by courts of justice. He had worked day and night -- notwithstanding immense obstacles, calumnious misstatements, and conflicting opinions -- to restore order out of chaos; he had freely imperilled his own life -- dashing into a tumultuous mob on one occasion, wounding several with a halberd which he snatched from one of his guard,1 and dispersing almost with his single arm a dangerous and threatening insurrection -- and he had remained in Antwerp, at the pressing solicitations of the magistracy, who represented that the lives of not a single ecclesiastic would be safe as soon as his back was turned, and that all the merchants would forthwith depart from the city.2 It was nevertheless necessary that he should make a personal visit to his government of Holland, where similar disorders had been prevailing, and where men of all ranks and parties were clamouring for their stadholder.

Notwithstanding all his exertions, however, he was thoroughly aware of the position in which he stood towards the government. The sugared phrases of Margaret, the deliberate commendation of the "benign and debonair" Philip, produced no effect upon this statesman, who was accustomed to look through and through men's actions to the core of their hearts. In the hearts of Philip and Margaret he already saw treachery and revenge indelibly imprinted. He had been especially indignant at the insult which the Duchess Regent had put upon him, by sending Duke Eric of Brunswick with an armed force into Holland in order to protect Gouda, Woerden, and other places within the Prince's own government.3 He was thoroughly conversant with the general tone in which the other seigniors and himself were described to their sovereign. He was already convinced that the country was to be conquered by foreign mercenaries, and that his own life, with those of many other nobles was to be sacrificed.4 The moment had arrived in which he was justified

____________________
1
Antwerpsch Chronykje, p. 96; cited by Groen van Prinsterer, ii. 310.
2
Correspondance de Guillaume le Tacit., ii. 239.
3
Groen van Prinsterer, Archives, ii. 322- 326.
4
Correspondance de Guillaume le Tacit., ii. 391-397.

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The Rise of the Dutch Republic: A History - Vol. 3
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • The Rise of the Dutch Republic 1
  • Part I - Philip the Second in the Netherlands 50
  • Chapter I 50
  • Chapter II 70
  • Chapter III 104
  • Part II - Administration of the Duchess Margaret. 1559-1567 116
  • Chapter I 116
  • Chapter II 137
  • Chapter III 164
  • Chapter IV 191
  • Chapter V 215
  • Chapter VI 242
  • Chapter VII 273
  • Chapter VIII 286
  • Chapter IX 300
  • Chapter X 322
  • Part III - Alva. 1567-1573 335
  • Chapter I 335
  • Chapter II 361
  • Chapter III 393
  • Chapter IV 406
  • Chapter V 424
  • Chapter VI 447
  • Chapter VII 470
  • Chapter VIII 494
  • Chapter IX 518
  • Note 543
  • Part IV - Administration of the Grand Commander 545
  • Chapter I 545
  • Chapter II 566
  • Chapter III 582
  • Chapter IV 608
  • Chapter V 623
  • Part V - Don John of Austria 648
  • Chapter I 648
  • Chapter II 675
  • Chapter III 696
  • Chapter IV 717
  • Chapter V 746
  • Part VI - Alexander of Parma 769
  • Chapter I 769
  • Chapter II 795
  • Chapter III 813
  • Chapter IV 827
  • Chapter V 848
  • Chapter VI 866
  • Chapter VII 887
  • Index 905
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