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

By John Lothrop Motley | Go to book overview

dispelled the anarchy which seemed to reign supreme, William the Silent, having accepted the government of Flanders, which had again and again been urged upon him, now returned to Antwerp.1


CHAPTER III.

The Cologne conferences -- Intensions of the parties -- Preliminary attempt by government to purchase the Prince of Orange -- Offer and rejection of various articles among the plenipotentiaries -- Departure of the imperial commissioners -- Ultimatum of the States compared with that of the royal government -- Barren negotiations terminated -- Treason of De Bours, Governor of Mechlin -- Liberal theories concerning the nature of government -- Abjuration of Philip imminent -- Self-denial of Orange -- Attitude of Germany -- of England -- Marriage negotiations between Elizabeth and Anjou -- Orange favours the election of the Duke as sovereign -- Address and speeches of the Prince -- Parsimony and interprovincial jealousy rebuked. -- Secret correspondence of Count Renneberg with the royal government -- His treason at Groningen.

SINCE the beginning of May, the Cologne negotiations had been dragging their slow length along. Few persons believed that any good was likely to result from these stately and ponderous conferences; yet men were so weary of war, so desirous that a termination might be put to the atrophy under which the country was languishing, that many an eager glance was turned towards the place where the august assembly was holding its protracted session. Certainly, if wisdom were to be found in mitred heads -- if the power to heal angry passions and to settle the conflicting claims of prerogative and conscience were to be looked for among men of lofty station, then the Cologne conferences ought to have made the rough places smooth and the crooked paths straight throughout all Christendom. There was the Archbishop of Rossano, afterwards Pope Urban VII., as plenipotentiary from Rome; there was Charles of Aragon, Duke of Terranova, supported by five councillors, as ambassador from his Catholic Majesty; there were the Duke of Aerschot, the Abbot of Saint Gertrude, the Abbot of Marolles, Doctor Bucho Aytta, Caspar Schetz, Lord of Grobbendonck, that learned Frisian, Aggeus van Albada, with seven other wise men, as envoys from the states-general. There were their Serene Highnesses the Elector and Archbishops of Cologne and Treves, with the Bishop of Wurtzburg. There was also a numerous embassy from his imperial Majesty, with Count Otto de Schwartzenburg at its head.2

Here then were holiness, serenity, dignity, law, and learning in abundance. Here was a pope in posse, with archbishops, princes, dukes, jurisconsults, and doctors of divinity in esse, sufficient to remodel a world, if worlds were to be remodelled by such instruments. If protocols, replications, annotations, apostilles, could heal a bleeding country, here were the physicians to furnish those drugs in unlimited profusion. If reams of paper, scrawled over with barbarous technicalities, could smother and bury a quarrel which had its origin in the mutual antagonism of human elements, here were the men to scribble unflinchingly, till the reams were piled to a pyramid. If the same idea presented in many aspects could acquire additional life, here were the word-mongers who could clothe one shivering thought in a hundred thousand garments, till it attained all the majesty which decoration could impart. In truth, the envoys came from Spain, Rome, and Vienna, pro-

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1
Archives, vii. 60, and Meteren, ix. 163b, but the Prince says, in his Apologie, published eighteen months later ( Dec. 1580), that he had hitherto, although often urged to accept, refused the government of Flanders. -- Apologie, etc., 108, 109. It is probable that his acceptance was only conditional, as, indeed, Meteren observes.
2
Bor, xiii. 52. Meteren, ix. 155

-813-

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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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