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Title: Life and Death of John of Barneveld, Advocate of Holland : with a view of the primary causes and movements of the Thirty Years' War — Complete (1614-23)
Author: Motley, John Lothrop, 1814-1877
Language: English
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By John Lothrop Motley, D.C.L., LL.D.

Life and Death of John of Barneveld, Complete, 1614-23

Life and Death of John of Barneveld, v7, 1614-17


   The Advocate sounds the Alarm in Germany--His Instructions to
   Langerac and his Forethought--The Prince--Palatine and his Forces
   take Aachen, Mulheim, and other Towns--Supineness of the
   Protestants--Increased Activity of Austria and the League--Barneveld
   strives to obtain Help from England--Neuburg departs for Germany--
   Barneveld the Prime Minister of Protestantism--Ernest Mansfield
   takes service under Charles Emmanuel--Count John of Nassau goes to
   Savoy--Slippery Conduct of King James in regard to the New Treaty
   proposed--Barneveld's Influence greater in France than in England--
   Sequestration feared--The Elector of Brandenburg cited to appear
   before the Emperor at Prague--Murder of John van Wely--Uytenbogaert
   incurs Maurice's Displeasure--Marriage of the King of France with
   Anne of Austria--Conference between King James and Caron concerning
   Piracy, Cloth Trade and Treaty of Xanten--Barneveld's Survey of the
   Condition of Europe--His Efforts to avert the impending general War.

I have thus purposely sketched the leading features of a couple of
momentous, although not eventful, years--so far as the foreign policy of
the Republic is concerned--in order that the reader may better understand
the bearings and the value of the Advocate's actions and writings at that
period. This work aims at being a political study. I would attempt to
exemplify the influence of individual humours and passions--some of them
among the highest and others certainly the basest that agitate
humanity-upon the march of great events, upon general historical results
at certain epochs, and upon the destiny of eminent personages. It may
also be not uninteresting to venture a glance into the internal structure
and workings of a republican and federal system of government, then for
the first time reproduced almost spontaneously upon an extended scale.

Perhaps the revelation of some of its defects, in spite of the faculty
and vitality struggling against them, may not be without value for our
own country and epoch. The system of Switzerland was too limited and
homely, that of Venice too purely oligarchical, to have much moral for us
now, or to render a study of their pathological phenomena especially
instructive. The lessons taught us by the history of the Netherland
confederacy may have more permanent meaning.

Moreover, the character of a very considerable statesman at an
all-important epoch, and in a position of vast responsibility, is always
an historical possession of value to mankind. That of him who furnishes
the chief theme for these pages has been either overlooked and neglected
or perhaps misunderstood by posterity. History has not too many really
important and emblematic men on its records to dispense with the memory
of Barneveld, and the writer therefore makes no apology for dilating
somewhat fully upon his lifework by means of much of his entirely
unpublished and long forgotten utterances.

The Advocate had ceaselessly been sounding the alarm in Germany. For the
Protestant Union, fascinated, as it were, by the threatening look of the
Catholic League, seemed relapsing into a drowse.

"I believe," he said to one of his agents in that country, "that the
Evangelical electors and princes and the other estates are not alive to
the danger. I am sure that it is not apprehended in Great Britain. France
is threatened with troubles. These are the means to subjugate the
religion, the laws and liberties of Germany. Without an army the troops
now on foot in Italy cannot be kept out of Germany. Yet we do not hear
that the Evangelicals are making provision of troops, money, or any other
necessaries. In this country we have about one hundred places occupied
with our troops, among whom are many who could destroy a whole army. But
the maintenance of these places prevents our being very strong in the
field, especially outside our frontiers. But if in all Germany there be
many places held by the Evangelicals which would disperse a great army is
very doubtful. Keep a watchful eye. Economy is a good thing, but the
protection of a country and its inhabitants must be laid to heart. Watch
well if against these Provinces, and against Bohemia, Austria, and other
as it is pretended rebellious states, these plans are not directed. Look
out for the movements of the Italian and Bavarian troops against Germany.
You see how they are nursing the troubles and misunderstandings in
France, and turning them to account."

He instructed the new ambassador in Paris to urge upon the French
government the absolute necessity of punctuality in furnishing the
payment of their contingent in the Netherlands according to convention.
The States of Holland themselves had advanced the money during three
years' past, but this anticipation was becoming very onerous. It was
necessary to pay the troops every month regularly, but the funds from
Paris were always in arrear. England contributed about one-half as much
in subsidy, but these moneys went in paying the garrisons of Brielle,
Flushing, and Rammekens, fortresses pledged to that crown. The Ambassador
was shrewdly told not to enlarge on the special employment of the English
funds while holding up to the Queen's government that she was not the
only potentate who helped bear burthens for the Provinces, and insisted
on a continuation of this aid. "Remember and let them remember," said the
Advocate, "that the reforms which they are pretending to make there by
relieving the subjects of contributions tends to enervate the royal
authority and dignity both within and without, to diminish its lustre and
reputation, and in sum to make the King unable to gratify and assist his
subjects, friends, and allies. Make them understand that the taxation in
these Provinces is ten times higher than there, and that My Lords the
States hitherto by the grace of God and good administration have
contrived to maintain it in order to be useful to themselves and their
friends. Take great pains to have it well understood that this is even
more honourable and more necessary for a king of France, especially in
his minority, than for a republic 'hoc turbato seculo.' We all see
clearly how some potentates in Europe are keeping at all time under one
pretext or another strong forces well armed on a war footing. It
therefore behoves his Majesty to be likewise provided with troops, and at
least with a good exchequer and all the requirements of war, as well for
the security of his own state as for the maintenance of the grandeur and
laudable reputation left to him by the deceased king."

Truly here was sound and substantial advice, never and nowhere more
needed than in France. It was given too with such good effect as to bear
fruit even upon stoniest ground, and it is a refreshing spectacle to see
this plain Advocate of a republic, so lately sprung into existence out of
the depths of oppression and rebellion, calmly summoning great kings as
it were before him and instructing them in those vital duties of
government in discharge of which the country he administered already
furnished a model. Had England and France each possessed a Barneveld at
that epoch, they might well have given in exchange for him a wilderness
of Epernons and Sillerys, Bouillons and Conde's; of Winwoods, Lakes,
Carrs, and Villierses. But Elizabeth with her counsellors was gone, and
Henry was gone, and Richelieu had not come; while in England James and
his minions were diligently opening an abyss between government and
people which in less than half a lifetime more should engulph the

Two months later he informed the States' ambassador of the communications
made by the Prince of Conde and the Dukes of Nevers and Bouillon to the
government at the Hague now that they had effected a kind of
reconciliation with the Queen. Langerac was especially instructed to do
his best to assist in bringing about cordial relations, if that were
possible, between the crown and the rebels, and meantime he was
especially directed to defend du Maurier against the calumnious
accusations brought against him, of which Aerssens had been the secret

"You will do your best to manage," he said, "that no special ambassador
be sent hither, and that M. du Maurier may remain with us, he being a
very intelligent and moderate person now well instructed as to the state
of our affairs, a professor of the Reformed religion, and having many
other good qualities serviceable to their Majesties and to us.

"You will visit the Prince, and other princes and officers of the crown
who are coming to court again, and do all good offices as well for the
court as for M. du Maurier, in order that through evil plots and
slanderous reports no harm may come to him.

"Take great pains to find out all you can there as to the designs of the
King of Spain, the Archdukes, and the Emperor, in the affair of Julich.
You are also to let it be known that the change of religion on the part
of the Prince-Palatine of Neuburg will not change our good will and
affection for him, so far as his legal claims are concerned."

So long as it was possible for the States to retain their hold on both
the claimants, the Advocate, pursuant to his uniform policy of
moderation, was not disposed to help throw the Palatine into the hands of
the Spanish party. He was well aware, however, that Neuburg by his
marriage and his conversion was inevitably to become the instrument of
the League and to be made use of in the duchies at its pleasure, and that
he especially would be the first to submit with docility to the decree of
the Emperor. The right to issue such decree the States under guidance of
Barneveld were resolved to resist at all hazards.

"Work diligently, nevertheless," said he, "that they permit nothing there
directly or indirectly that may tend to the furtherance of the League, as
too prejudicial to us and to all our fellow religionists. Tell them too
that the late king, the King of Great Britain, the united electors and
princes of Germany, and ourselves, have always been resolutely opposed to
making the dispute about the succession in the duchies depend on the will
of the Emperor and his court. All our movements in the year 1610 against
the attempted sequestration under Leopold were to carry out that purpose.
Hold it for certain that our present proceedings for strengthening and
maintaining the city and fortress of Julich are considered serviceable
and indispensable by the British king and the German electors and
princes. Use your best efforts to induce the French government to pursue
the same policy--if it be not possible openly, then at least secretly. My
conviction is that, unless the Prince-Palatine is supported by, and his
whole designs founded upon, the general league against all our brethren
of the religion, affairs may be appeased."

The Envoy was likewise instructed to do his best to further the
matrimonial alliance which had begun to be discussed between the Prince
of Wales and the second daughter of France. Had it been possible at that
moment to bring the insane dream of James for a Spanish alliance to
naught, the States would have breathed more freely. He was also to urge
payment of the money for the French regiments, always in arrears since
Henry's death and Sully's dismissal, and always supplied by the exchequer
of Holland. He was informed that the Republic had been sending some war
ships to the Levant, to watch the armada recently sent thither by Spain,
and other armed vessels into the Baltic, to pursue the corsairs with whom
every sea was infested. In one year alone he estimated the loss to Dutch
merchants by these pirates at 800,000 florins. "We have just captured two
of the rovers, but the rascally scum is increasing," he said.

Again alluding to the resistance to be made by the States to the Imperial
pretensions, he observed, "The Emperor is about sending us a herald in
the Julich matter, but we know how to stand up to him."

And notwithstanding the bare possibility which he had admitted, that the
Prince of Neuburg might not yet have wholly sold himself, body and soul,
to the Papists, he gave warning a day or two afterwards in France that
all should be prepared for the worst.

"The Archdukes and the Prince of Neuburg appear to be taking the war
earnestly in hand," he said. "We believe that the Papistical League is
about to make a great effort against all the co-religionists. We are
watching closely their movements. Aachen is first threatened, and the
Elector-Palatine likewise. France surely, for reasons of state, cannot
permit that they should be attacked. She did, and helped us to do, too
much in the Julich campaign to suffer the Spaniards to make themselves
masters there now."

It has been seen that the part played by France in the memorable campaign
of 1610 was that of admiring auxiliary to the States' forces; Marshal de
la Chatre having in all things admitted the superiority of their army and
the magnificent generalship of Prince Maurice. But the government of the
Dowager had been committed by that enterprise to carry out the life-long
policy of Henry, and to maintain his firm alliance with the Republic.
Whether any of the great king's acuteness and vigour in countermining and
shattering the plans of the House of Austria was left in the French
court, time was to show. Meantime Barneveld was crying himself hoarse
with warnings into the dull ears of England and France.

A few weeks later the Prince of Neuburg had thrown off the mask. Twelve
thousand foot and 1500 horse had been raised in great haste, so the
Advocate informed the French court, by Spain and the Archdukes, for the
use of that pretender. Five or six thousand Spaniards were coming by sea
to Flanders, and as many Italians were crossing the mountains, besides a
great number mustering for the same purpose in Germany and Lorraine.
Barneveld was constantly receiving most important intelligence of
military plans and movements from Prague, which he placed daily before
the eyes of governments wilfully blind.

"I ponder well at this crisis," he said to his friend Caron, "the
intelligence I received some months back from Ratisbon, out of the
cabinet of the Jesuits, that the design of the Catholic or Roman League
is to bring this year a great army into the field, in order to make
Neuburg, who was even then said to be of the Roman profession and League,
master of Julich and the duchies; to execute the Imperial decree against
Aachen and Mulheim, preventing any aid from being sent into Germany by
these Provinces, or by Great Britain, and placing the Archduke and
Marquis Spinola in command of the forces; to put another army on the
frontiers of Austria, in order to prevent any succour coming from
Hungary, Bohemia, Austria, Moravia, and Silesia into Germany; to keep all
these disputed territories in subjection and devotion to the Emperor, and
to place the general conduct of all these affairs in the hands of
Archduke Leopold and other princes of the House of Austria. A third army
is to be brought into the Upper Palatinate, under command of the Duke of
Bavaria and others of the League, destined to thoroughly carry out its
designs against the Elector-Palatine, and the other electors, princes,
and estates belonging to the religion."

This intelligence, plucked by Barneveld out of the cabinet of the
Jesuits, had been duly communicated by him months before to those whom it
most concerned, and as usual it seemed to deepen the lethargy of the
destined victims and their friends. Not only the whole Spanish campaign
of the present year had thus been duly mapped out by the Advocate, long
before it occurred, but this long buried and forgotten correspondence of
the statesman seems rather like a chronicle of transactions already past,
so closely did the actual record, which posterity came to know too well,
resemble that which he saw, and was destined only to see, in prophetic

Could this political seer have cast his horoscope of the Thirty Years'
War at this hour of its nativity for the instruction of such men as
Walsingham or Burleigh, Henry of Navarre or Sully, Richelieu or Gustavus
Adolphus, would the course of events have been modified? These very
idlest of questions are precisely those which inevitably occur as one
ponders the seeming barrenness of an epoch in reality so pregnant.

"One would think," said Barneveld, comparing what was then the future
with the real past, "that these plans in Prague against the
Elector-Palatine are too gross for belief; but when I reflect on the
intense bitterness of these people, when I remember what was done within
living men's memory to the good elector Hans Frederic of Saxony for
exactly the same reasons, to wit, hatred of our religion, and
determination to establish Imperial authority, I have great apprehension.
I believe that the Roman League will use the present occasion to carry
out her great design; holding France incapable of opposition to her,
Germany in too great division, and imagining to themselves that neither
the King of Great Britain nor these States are willing or able to offer
effectual and forcible resistance. Yet his Majesty of Great Britain ought
to be able to imagine how greatly the religious matter in general
concerns himself and the electoral house of the Palatine, as principal
heads of the religion, and that these vast designs should be resisted
betimes, and with all possible means and might. My Lords the States have
good will, but not sufficient strength, to oppose these great forces
single-handed. One must not believe that without great and prompt
assistance in force from his Majesty and other fellow religionists My
Lords the States can undertake so vast an affair. Do your uttermost duty
there, in order that, ere it be too late, this matter be taken to heart
by his Majesty, and that his authority and credit be earnestly used with
other kings, electors, princes, and republics, that they do likewise. The
promptest energy, good will, and affection may be reckoned on from us."

Alas! it was easy for his Majesty to take to heart the matter of Conrad
Vorstius, to spend reams of diplomatic correspondence, to dictate whole
volumes for orations brimming over with theological wrath, for the
edification of the States-General, against that doctor of divinity. But
what were the special interests of his son-in-law, what the danger to all
the other Protestant electors and kings, princes and republics, what the
imperilled condition of the United Provinces, and, by necessary
consequence, the storm gathering over his own throne, what the whole fate
of Protestantism, from Friesland to Hungary, threatened by the
insatiable, all-devouring might of the double house of Austria, the
ancient church, and the Papistical League, what were hundred thousands of
men marching towards Bohemia, the Netherlands, and the duchies, with the
drum beating for mercenary recruits in half the villages of Spain, Italy,
and Catholic Germany, compared with the danger to Christendom from an
Arminian clergyman being appointed to the theological professorship at

The world was in a blaze, kings and princes were arming, and all the time
that the monarch of the powerful, adventurous, and heroic people of Great
Britain could spare from slobbering over his minions, and wasting the
treasures of the realm to supply their insatiate greed, was devoted to
polemical divinity, in which he displayed his learning, indeed, but
changed his positions and contradicted himself day by day. The magnitude
of this wonderful sovereign's littleness oppresses the imagination.

Moreover, should he listen to the adjurations of the States and his
fellow religionists, should he allow himself to be impressed by the
eloquence of Barneveld and take a manly and royal decision in the great
emergency, it would be indispensable for him to come before that odious
body, the Parliament of Great Britain, and ask for money. It would be
perhaps necessary for him to take them into his confidence, to degrade
himself by speaking to them of the national affairs. They might not be
satisfied with the honour of voting the supplies at his demand, but were
capable of asking questions as to their appropriation. On the whole it
was more king-like and statesman-like to remain quiet, and give advice.
Of that, although always a spendthrift, he had an inexhaustible supply.

Barneveld had just hopes from the Commons of Great Britain, if the King
could be brought to appeal to Parliament. Once more he sounded the bugle
of alarm. "Day by day the Archdukes are making greater and greater
enrolments of riders and infantry in ever increasing mass," he cried,
"and therewith vast provision of artillery and all munitions of war.
Within ten or twelve days they will be before Julich in force. We are
sending great convoys to reinforce our army there. The Prince of Neuburg
is enrolling more and more troops every day. He will soon be master of
Mulheim. If the King of Great Britain will lay this matter earnestly to
heart for the preservation of the princes, electors, and estates of the
religion, I cannot doubt that Parliament would cooperate well with his
Majesty, and this occasion should be made use of to redress the whole
state of affairs."

It was not the Parliament nor the people of Great Britain that would be
in fault when the question arose of paying in money and in blood for the
defence of civil and religious liberty. But if James should venture
openly to oppose Spain, what would the Count of Gondemar say, and what
would become of the Infanta and the two millions of dowry?

It was not for want of some glimmering consciousness in the mind of James
of the impending dangers to Northern Europe and to Protestantism from the
insatiable ambition of Spain, and the unrelenting grasp of the Papacy
upon those portions of Christendom which were slipping from its control,
that his apathy to those perils was so marked. We have seen his leading
motives for inaction, and the world was long to feel its effects.

"His Majesty firmly believes," wrote Secretary Winwood, "that the
Papistical League is brewing great and dangerous plots. To obviate them
in everything that may depend upon him, My Lords the States will find him
prompt. The source of all these entanglements comes from Spain. We do not
think that the Archduke will attack Julich this year, but rather fear for
Mulheim and Aix-la-Chapelle."

But the Secretary of State, thus acknowledging the peril, chose to be
blind to its extent, while at the same time undervaluing the powers by
which it might be resisted. "To oppose the violence of the enemy," he
said, "if he does resort to violence, is entirely impossible. It would be
furious madness on our part to induce him to fall upon the
Elector-Palatine, for this would be attacking Great Britain and all her
friends and allies. Germany is a delicate morsel, but too much for the
throat of Spain to swallow all at once. Behold the evil which troubles
the conscience of the Papistical League. The Emperor and his brothers are
all on the brink of their sepulchre, and the Infants of Spain are too
young to succeed to the Empire. The Pope would more willingly permit its
dissolution than its falling into the hands of a prince not of his
profession. All that we have to do in this conjuncture is to attend the
best we can to our own affairs, and afterwards to strengthen the good
alliance existing among us, and not to let ourselves be separated by the
tricks and sleights of hand of our adversaries. The common cause can
reckon firmly upon the King of Great Britain, and will not find itself

Excellent commonplaces, but not very safe ones. Unluckily for the allies,
to attend each to his own affairs when the enemy was upon them, and to
reckon firmly upon a king who thought it furious madness to resist the
enemy, was hardly the way to avert the danger. A fortnight later, the man
who thought it possible to resist, and time to resist, before the net was
over every head, replied to the Secretary by a picture of the Spaniards'

"Since your letter," he said, "you have seen the course of Spinola with
the army of the King and the Archdukes. You have seen the Prince-Palatine
of Neuburg with his forces maintained by the Pope and other members of
the Papistical League. On the 29th of August they forced Aachen, where
the magistrates and those of the Reformed religion have been extremely
maltreated. Twelve hundred soldiers are lodged in the houses there of
those who profess our religion. Mulheim is taken and dismantled, and the
very houses about to be torn down. Duren, Castre, Grevenborg, Orsoy,
Duisburg, Ruhrort, and many other towns, obliged to receive Spanish
garrisons. On the 4th of September they invested Wesel. On the 6th it was
held certain that the cities of Cleve, Emmerich, Rees, and others in that
quarter, had consented to be occupied. The States have put one hundred
and thirty-five companies of foot (about 14,000 men) and 4000 horse and a
good train of artillery in the field, and sent out some ships of war.
Prince Maurice left the Hague on the 4th of September to assist Wesel,
succour the Prince of Brandenburg, and oppose the hostile proceedings of
Spinola and the Palatine of Neuburg . . . . Consider, I pray you, this
state of things, and think how much heed they have paid to the demands of
the Kings of Great Britain and France to abstain from hostilities. Be
sure that without our strong garrison in Julich they would have snapped
up every city in Julich, Cleve, and Berg. But they will now try to make
use of their slippery tricks, their progress having been arrested by our
army. The Prince of Neuburg is sending his chancellor here 'cum mediis
componendae pacis,' in appearance good and reasonable, in reality
deceptive . . . . If their Majesties, My Lords the States, and the
princes of the Union, do not take an energetic resolution for making head
against their designs, behold their League in full vigour and ours
without soul. Neither the strength nor the wealth of the States are
sufficient of themselves to withstand their ambitious and dangerous
designs. We see the possessory princes treated as enemies upon their own
estates, and many thousand souls of the Reformed religion cruelly
oppressed by the Papistical League. For myself I am confirmed in my
apprehensions and believe that neither our religion nor our Union can
endure such indignities. The enemy is making use of the minority in
France and the divisions among the princes of Germany to their great
advantage . . . . I believe that the singular wisdom of his Majesty will
enable him to apply promptly the suitable remedies, and that your
Parliament will make no difficulty in acquitting itself well in repairing
those disorders."

The year dragged on to its close. The supineness of the Protestants
deepened in direct proportion to the feverish increase of activity on the
part of Austria and the League. The mockery of negotiation in which
nothing could be negotiated, the parade of conciliation when war of
extermination was intended, continued on the part of Spain and Austria.
Barneveld was doing his best to settle all minor differences between the
States and Great Britain, that these two bulwarks of Protestantism might
stand firmly together against the rising tide. He instructed the
Ambassador to exhaust every pacific means of arrangement in regard to the
Greenland fishery disputes, the dyed cloth question, and like causes of
ill feeling. He held it more than necessary, he said, that the
inhabitants of the two countries should now be on the very best terms
with each other. Above all, he implored the King through the Ambassador
to summon Parliament in order that the kingdom might be placed in
position to face the gathering danger.

"I am amazed and distressed," he said, "that the statesmen of England do
not comprehend the perils with which their fellow religionists are
everywhere threatened, especially in Germany and in these States. To
assist us with bare advice and sometimes with traducing our actions,
while leaving us to bear alone the burthens, costs, and dangers, is not
serviceable to us." Referring to the information and advice which he had
sent to England and to France fifteen months before, he now gave
assurance that the Prince of Neuburg and Spinola were now in such force,
both foot and cavalry, with all necessary munitions, as to hold these
most important territories as a perpetual "sedem bedli," out of which to
attack Germany at their pleasure and to cut off all possibility of aid
from England and the States. He informed the court of St. James that
besides the forces of the Emperor and the House of Austria, the Duke of
Bavaria and Spanish Italy, there were now several thousand horse and foot
under the Bishop of Wurzburg, 8000 or 9000 under the Bishop-Elector of
Mayence, and strong bodies of cavalry under Count Vaudemont in Lorraine,
all mustering for the war. The pretext seems merely to reduce Frankfurt
to obedience, even as Donauworth had previously been used as a colour for
vast designs. The real purpose was to bring the Elector-Palatine and the
whole Protestant party in Germany to submission. "His Majesty," said the
Advocate, "has now a very great and good subject upon which to convoke
Parliament and ask for a large grant. This would be doubtless consented
to if Parliament receives the assurance that the money thus accorded
shall be applied to so wholesome a purpose. You will do your best to
further this great end. We are waiting daily to hear if the Xanten
negotiation is broken off or not. I hope and I fear. Meantime we bear as
heavy burthens as if we were actually at war."

He added once more the warning, which it would seem superfluous to repeat
even to schoolboys in diplomacy, that this Xanten treaty, as proposed by
the enemy, was a mere trap.

Spinola and Neuburg, in case of the mutual disbanding, stood ready at an
instant's warning to re-enlist for the League not only all the troops
that the Catholic army should nominally discharge, but those which would
be let loose from the States' army and that of Brandenburg as well. They
would hold Rheinberg, Groll, Lingen, Oldenzaal, Wachtendonk, Maestricht,
Aachen, and Mulheim with a permanent force of more than 20,000 men. And
they could do all this in four days' time.

A week or two later all his prophesies had been fulfilled. "The Prince of
Neuburg," he said, "and Marquis Spinola have made game of us most
impudently in the matter of the treaty. This is an indignity for us,
their Majesties, and the electors and princes. We regard it as
intolerable. A despatch came from Spain forbidding a further step in the
negotiation without express order from the King. The Prince and Spinola
are gone to Brussels, the ambassadors have returned to the Hague, the
armies are established in winter-quarters. The cavalry are ravaging the
debateable land and living upon the inhabitants at their discretion. M.
de Refuge is gone to complain to the Archdukes of the insult thus put
upon his sovereign. Sir Henry Wotton is still here. We have been plunged
into an immensity of extraordinary expense, and are amazed that at this
very moment England should demand money from us when we ought to be
assisted by a large subsidy by her. We hope that now at least his Majesty
will take a vigorous resolution and not suffer his grandeur and dignity
to be vilipended longer. If the Spaniard is successful in this step, he
is ready for greater ones, and will believe that mankind is ready to bear
and submit to everything. His Majesty is the first king of the religion.
He bears the title of Defender of the Faith. His religion, his only
daughter, his son-in-law, his grandson are all especially interested
besides his own dignity, besides the common weal."

He then adverted to the large subsidies from Queen Elizabeth many years
before, guaranteed, it was true, by the cautionary towns, and to the
gallant English regiments, sent by that great sovereign, which had been
fighting so long and so splendidly in the Netherlands for the common
cause of Protestantism and liberty. Yet England was far weaker then, for
she had always her northern frontier to defend against Scotland, ever
ready to strike her in the back. "But now his Majesty," said Barneveld,
"is King of England and Scotland both. His frontier is free. Ireland is
at peace. He possesses quietly twice as much as the Queen ever did. He is
a king. Her Majesty was a woman. The King has children and heirs. His
nearest blood is engaged in this issue. His grandeur and dignity have
been wronged. Each one of these considerations demands of itself a manly
resolution. You will do your best to further it."

The almost ubiquitous power of Spain, gaining after its exhaustion new
life through the strongly developed organization of the League, and the
energy breathed into that mighty conspiracy against human liberty by the
infinite genius of the "cabinet of Jesuits," was not content with
overshadowing Germany, the Netherlands, and England, but was threatening
Savoy with 40,000 men, determined to bring Charles Emmanuel either to
perdition or submission.

Like England, France was spell-bound by the prospect of Spanish
marriages, which for her at least were not a chimera, and looked on
composedly while Savoy was on point of being sacrificed by the common
invader of independent nationality whether Protestant or Catholic.
Nothing ever showed more strikingly the force residing in singleness of
purpose with breadth and unity of design than all these primary movements
of the great war now beginning. The chances superficially considered were
vastly in favour of the Protestant cause. In the chief lands, under the
sceptre of the younger branch of Austria, the Protestants outnumbered the
Catholics by nearly ten to one. Bohemia, the Austrias, Moravia, Silesia,
Hungary were filled full of the spirit of Huss, of Luther, and even of
Calvin. If Spain was a unit, now that the Moors and Jews had been
expelled, and the heretics of Castille and Aragon burnt into submission,
she had a most lukewarm ally in Venice, whose policy was never controlled
by the Church, and a dangerous neighbour in the warlike, restless, and
adventurous House of Savoy, to whom geographical considerations were ever
more vital than religious scruples. A sincere alliance of France, the
very flower of whose nobility and people inclined to the Reformed
religion, was impossible, even if there had been fifty infantes to
espouse fifty daughters of France. Great Britain, the Netherlands, and
the united princes of Germany seemed a solid and serried phalanx of
Protestantism, to break through which should be hopeless. Yet at that
moment, so pregnant with a monstrous future, there was hardly a sound
Protestant policy anywhere but in Holland. How long would that policy
remain sound and united? How long would the Republic speak through the
imperial voice of Barneveld? Time was to show and to teach many lessons.
The united princes of Germany were walking, talking, quarrelling in their
sleep; England and France distracted and bedrugged, while Maximilian of
Bavaria and Ferdinand of Gratz, the cabinets of Madrid and the Vatican,
were moving forward to their aims slowly, steadily, relentlessly as Fate.
And Spain was more powerful than she had been since the Truce began. In
five years she had become much more capable of aggression. She had
strengthened her positions in the Mediterranean by the acquisition and
enlargement of considerable fortresses in Barbary and along a large sweep
of the African coast, so as to be almost supreme in Africa. It was
necessary for the States, the only power save Turkey that could face her
in those waters, to maintain a perpetual squadron of war ships there to
defend their commerce against attack from the Spaniard and from the
corsairs, both Mahometan and Christian, who infested every sea. Spain was
redoubtable everywhere, and the Turk, engaged in Persian campaigns, was
offering no diversion against Hungary and Vienna.

"Reasons of state worthy of his Majesty's consideration and wisdom," said
Barneveld, "forbid the King of Great Britain from permitting the Spaniard
to give the law in Italy. He is about to extort obedience and humiliation
from the Duke of Savoy, or else with 40,000 men to mortify and ruin him,
while entirely assuring himself of France by the double marriages. Then
comes the attack on these Provinces, on Protestant Germany, and all other
states and realms of the religion."

With the turn of the year, affairs were growing darker and darker. The
League was rolling up its forces in all directions; its chiefs proposed
absurd conditions of pacification, while war was already raging, and yet
scarcely any government but that of the Netherlands paid heed to the
rising storm. James, fatuous as ever, listened to Gondemar, and wrote
admonitory letters to the Archduke. It was still gravely proposed by the
Catholic party that there should be mutual disbanding in the duchies,
with a guarantee from Marquis Spinola that there should be no more
invasion of those territories. But powers and pledges from the King of
Spain were what he needed.

To suppose that the Republic and her allies would wait quietly, and not
lift a finger until blows were actually struck against the Protestant
electors or cities of Germany, was expecting too much ingenuousness on
the part of statesmen who had the interests of Protestantism at heart.
What they wanted was the signed, sealed, ratified treaty faithfully
carried out. Then if the King of Spain and the Archdukes were willing to
contract with the States never to make an attempt against the Holy German
Empire, but to leave everything to take its course according to the
constitutions, liberties, and traditions and laws of that empire, under
guidance of its electors, princes, estates, and cities, the United
Provinces were ready, under mediation of the two kings, their allies and
friends, to join in such an arrangement. Thus there might still be peace
in Germany, and religious equality as guaranteed by the "Majesty-Letter,"
and the "Compromise" between the two great churches, Roman and Reformed,
be maintained. To bring about this result was the sincere endeavour of
Barneveld, hoping against hope. For he knew that all was hollowness and
sham on the part of the great enemy. Even as Walsingham almost alone had
suspected and denounced the delusive negotiations by which Spain
continued to deceive Elizabeth and her diplomatists until the Armada was
upon her coasts, and denounced them to ears that were deafened and souls
that were stupified by the frauds practised upon them, so did Barneveld,
who had witnessed all that stupendous trickery of a generation before,
now utter his cries of warning that Germany might escape in time from her
impending doom.

"Nothing but deceit is lurking in the Spanish proposals," he said. "Every
man here wonders that the English government does not comprehend these
malversations. Truly the affair is not to be made straight by new
propositions, but by a vigorous resolution of his Majesty. It is in the
highest degree necessary to the salvation of Christendom, to the
conservation of his Majesty's dignity and greatness, to the service of
the princes and provinces, and of all Germany, nor can this vigorous
resolution be longer delayed without enormous disaster to the common weal
. . . . . I have the deepest affection for the cause of the Duke of
Savoy, but I cannot further it so long as I cannot tell what his Majesty
specifically is resolved to do, and what hope is held out from Venice,
Germany, and other quarters. Our taxes are prodigious, the ordinary and
extraordinary, and we have a Spanish army at our front door."

The armaments, already so great, had been enlarged during the last month
of the year. Vaudemont was at the head of a further force of 2000 cavalry
and 8000 foot, paid for by Spain and the Pope; 24,000 additional
soldiers, riders and infantry together, had been gathered by Maximilian
of Bavaria at the expense of the League. Even if the reports were
exaggerated, the Advocate thought it better to be too credulous than as
apathetic as the rest of the Protestants.

"We receive advices every day," he wrote to Caron, "that the Spaniards
and the Roman League are going forward with their design. They are trying
to amuse the British king and to gain time, in order to be able to deal
the heavier blows. Do all possible duty to procure a timely and vigorous
resolution there. To wait again until we are anticipated will be fatal to
the cause of the Evangelical electors and princes of Germany and
especially of his Electoral Highness of Brandenburg. We likewise should
almost certainly suffer irreparable damage, and should again bear our
cross, as men said last year in regard to Aachen, Wesel, and so many
other places. The Spaniard is sly, and has had a long time to contrive
how he can throw the net over the heads of all our religious allies.
Remember all the warnings sent from here last year, and how they were all
tossed to the winds, to the ruin of so many of our co-religionists. If it
is now intended over there to keep the Spaniards in check merely by
speeches or letters, it would be better to say so clearly to our friends.
So long as Parliament is not convoked in order to obtain consents and
subsidies for this most necessary purpose, so long I fail to believe that
this great common cause of Christendom, and especially of Germany, is
taken to heart by England."

He adverted with respectfully subdued scorn to King James's proposition
that Spinola should give a guarantee. "I doubt if he accepts the
suggestion," said Barneveld, "unless as a notorious trick, and if he did,
what good would the promise of Spinola do us? We consider Spinola a great
commander having the purses and forces of the Spaniards and the Leaguers
in his control; but should they come into other hands, he would not be a
very considerable personage for us. And that may happen any day. They
don't seem in England to understand the difference between Prince Maurice
in his relations to our state and that of Marquis Spinola to his
superiors. Try to make them comprehend it. A promise from the Emperor,
King of Spain, and the princes of the League, such as his Majesty in his
wisdom has proposed to Spinola, would be most tranquillizing for all the
Protestant princes and estates of the Empire, especially for the Elector
and Electress Palatine, and for ourselves. In such a case no difficulty
would be made on our side."

After expressing his mind thus freely in regard to James and his policy,
he then gave the Ambassador a word of caution in characteristic fashion.
"Cogita," he said, "but beware of censuring his Majesty's projects. I do
not myself mean to censure them, nor are they publicly laughed at here,
but look closely at everything that comes from Brussels, and let me know
with diligence."

And even as the Advocate was endeavouring with every effort of his skill
and reason to stir the sluggish James into vigorous resolution in behalf
of his own children, as well as of the great cause of Protestantism and
national liberty, so was he striving to bear up on his strenuous
shoulders the youthful king of France, and save him from the swollen
tides of court intrigue and Jesuitical influence fast sweeping him to

He had denounced the recent and paltry proposition made on the part of
the League, and originally suggested by James, as a most open and
transparent trap, into which none but the blind would thrust themselves.
The Treaty of Xanten, carried out as it had been signed and guaranteed by
the great Catholic powers, would have brought peace to Christendom. To
accept in place of such guarantee the pledge of a simple soldier, who
to-morrow might be nothing, was almost too ridiculous a proposal to be
answered gravely. Yet Barneveld through the machinations of the Catholic
party was denounced both at the English and French courts as an obstacle
to peace, when in reality his powerful mind and his immense industry were
steadily directed to the noblest possible end--to bring about a solemn
engagement on the part of Spain, the Emperor, and the princes of the
League, to attack none of the Protestant powers of Germany, especially
the Elector-Palatine, but to leave the laws, liberties, and privileges of
the States within the Empire in their original condition. And among those
laws were the great statutes of 1609 and 1610, the "Majesty-Letter" and
the "Compromise," granting full right of religious worship to the
Protestants of the Kingdom of Bohemia. If ever a policy deserved to be
called truly liberal and truly conservative, it was the policy thus
steadily maintained by Barneveld.

Adverting to the subterfuge by which the Catholic party had sought to set
aside the treaty of Xanten, he instructed Langerac, the States'
ambassador in Paris, and his own pupils to make it clear to the French
government that it was impossible that in such arrangements the Spanish
armies would not be back again in the duchies at a moment's notice. It
could not be imagined even that they were acting sincerely.

"If their upright intention," he said, "is that no actual, hostile,
violent attack shall be made upon the duchies, or upon any of the
princes, estates, or cities of the Holy Empire, as is required for the
peace and tranquillity of Christendom, and if all the powers interested
therein will come into a good and solid convention to that effect. My
Lords the States will gladly join in such undertaking and bind themselves
as firmly as the other powers. If no infraction of the laws and liberties
of the Holy Empire be attempted, there will be peace for Germany and its
neighbours. But the present extravagant proposition can only lead to
chicane and quarrels. To press such a measure is merely to inflict a
disgrace upon us. It is an attempt to prevent us from helping the
Elector-Palatine and the other Protestant princes of Germany and
coreligionists everywhere against hostile violence. For the
Elector-Palatine can receive aid from us and from Great Britain through
the duchies only. It is plainly the object of the enemy to seclude us
from the Palatine and the rest of Protestant Germany. It is very
suspicious that the proposition of Prince Maurice, supported by the two
kings and the united princes of Germany, has been rejected."

The Advocate knew well enough that the religious franchises granted by
the House of Habsburg at the very moment in which Spain signed her peace
with the Netherlands, and exactly as the mad duke of Cleve was
expiring--with a dozen princes, Catholic and Protestant, to dispute his
inheritance--would be valuable just so long as they could be maintained
by the united forces of Protestantism and of national independence and no
longer. What had been extorted from the Catholic powers by force would be
retracted by force whenever that force could be concentrated. It had been
necessary for the Republic to accept a twelve years' truce with Spain in
default of a peace, while the death of John of Cleve, and subsequently of
Henry IV., had made the acquisition of a permanent pacification between
Catholicism and Protestantism, between the League and the Union, more
difficult than ever. The so-called Thirty Years' War--rather to be called
the concluding portion of the Eighty Years' War--had opened in the
debateable duchies exactly at the moment when its forerunner, the forty
years' war of the Netherlands, had been temporarily and nominally
suspended. Barneveld was perpetually baffled in his efforts to obtain a
favourable peace for Protestant Europe, less by the open diplomacy and
military force of the avowed enemies of Protestantism than by the secret
intrigues and faintheartedness of its nominal friends. He was unwearied
in his efforts simultaneously to arouse the courts of England and France
to the danger to Europe from the overshadowing power of the House of
Austria and the League, and he had less difficulty in dealing with the
Catholic Lewis and his mother than with Protestant James. At the present
moment his great designs were not yet openly traversed by a strong
Protestant party within the very republic which he administered.

"Look to it with earnestness and grave deliberation," he said to
Langerac, "that they do not pursue us there with vain importunity to
accept something so notoriously inadmissible and detrimental to the
common weal. We know that from the enemy's side every kind of unseemly
trick is employed, with the single object of bringing about
misunderstanding between us and the King of France. A prompt and vigorous
resolution on the part of his Majesty, to see the treaty which we made
duly executed, would be to help the cause. Otherwise, not. We cannot here
believe that his Majesty, in this first year of his majority, will submit
to such a notorious and flagrant affront, or that he will tolerate the
oppression of the Duke of Savoy. Such an affair in the beginning of his
Majesty's reign cannot but have very great and prejudicial consequences,
nor can it be left to linger on in uncertainty and delay. Let him be
prompt in this. Let him also take a most Christian--kingly, vigorous
resolution against the great affront put upon him in the failure to carry
out the treaty. Such a resolve on the part of the two kings would restore
all things to tranquillity and bring the Spaniard and his adherents 'in
terminos modestiae. But so long as France is keeping a suspicious eye
upon England, and England upon France, everything will run to combustion,
detrimental to their Majesties and to us, and ruinous to all the good

To the Treaty of Xanten faithfully executed he held as to an anchor in
the tempest until it was torn away, not by violence from without, but by
insidious mutiny within. At last the government of James proposed that
the pledges on leaving the territory should be made to the two allied
kings as mediators and umpires. This was better than the naked promises
originally suggested, but even in this there was neither heartiness nor
sincerity. Meantime the Prince of Neuburg, negotiations being broken off,
departed for Germany, a step which the Advocate considered ominous. Soon
afterwards that prince received a yearly pension of 24,000 crowns from
Spain, and for this stipend his claims on the sovereignty of the duchies
were supposed to be surrendered.

"If this be true," said Barneveld, "we have been served with covered

The King of England wrote spirited and learned letters to the
Elector-Palatine, assuring him of his father-in-law's assistance in case
he should be attacked by the League. Sir Henry Wotton, then on special
mission at the Hague, showed these epistles to Barneveld.

"When I hear that Parliament has been assembled and has granted great
subsidies," was the Advocate's comment, "I shall believe that effects may
possibly follow from all these assurances."

It was wearisome for the Advocate thus ever to be foiled; by the
pettinesses and jealousies of those occupying the highest earthly places,
in his efforts to stem the rising tide of Spanish and Catholic
aggression, and to avert the outbreak of a devastating war to which he
saw Europe doomed. It may be wearisome to read the record. Yet it is the
chronicle of Christendom during one of the most important and fateful
epochs of modern history. No man can thoroughly understand the
complication and precession of phenomena attending the disastrous dawn of
the renewed war, on an even more awful scale than the original conflict
in the Netherlands, without studying the correspondence of Barneveld. The
history of Europe is there. The fate of Christendom is there. The
conflict of elements, the crash of contending forms of religion and of
nationalities, is pictured there in vivid if homely colours. The
Advocate, while acting only in the name of a slender confederacy, was in
truth, so long as he held his place, the prime minister of European
Protestantism. There was none other to rival him, few to comprehend him,
fewer still to sustain him. As Prince Maurice was at that moment the
great soldier of Protestantism without clearly scanning the grandeur of
the field in which he was a chief actor, or foreseeing the vastness of
its future, so the Advocate was its statesman and its prophet. Could the
two have worked together as harmoniously as they had done at an earlier
day, it would have been a blessing for the common weal of Europe. But,
alas! the evil genius of jealousy, which so often forbids cordial
relations between soldier and statesman, already stood shrouded in the
distance, darkly menacing the strenuous patriot, who was wearing his life
out in exertions for what he deemed the true cause of progress and

Nor can the fate of the man himself, his genuine character, and the
extraordinary personal events towards which he was slowly advancing, be
accurately unfolded without an attempt by means of his letters to lay
bare his inmost thoughts. Especially it will be seen at a later moment
how much value was attached to this secret correspondence with the
ambassadors in London and Paris.

The Advocate trusted to the support of France, Papal and Medicean as the
court of the young king was, because the Protestant party throughout the
kingdom was too powerful, warlike, and numerous to be trifled with, and
because geographical considerations alone rendered a cordial alliance
between Spain and France very difficult. Notwithstanding the Spanish
marriages, which he opposed so long as opposition was possible, he knew
that so long as a statesman remained in the kingdom, or a bone for one
existed, the international policy of Henry, of Sully, and of Jeannin
could not be wholly abandoned.

He relied much on Villeroy, a political hack certainly, an ancient
Leaguer, and a Papist, but a man too cool, experienced, and wily to be
ignorant of the very hornbook of diplomacy, or open to the shallow
stratagems by which Spain found it so easy to purchase or to deceive. So
long as he had a voice in the council, it was certain that the Netherland
alliance would not be abandoned, nor the Duke of Savoy crushed. The old
secretary of state was not especially in favour at that moment, but
Barneveld could not doubt his permanent place in French affairs until
some man of real power should arise there. It was a dreary period of
barrenness and disintegration in that kingdom while France was mourning
Henry and waiting for Richelieu.

The Dutch ambassador at Paris was instructed accordingly to maintain.
good relations with Villeroy, who in Barneveld's opinion had been a
constant and sincere friend to the Netherlands. "Don't forget to caress
the old gentleman you wot of," said the Advocate frequently, but
suppressing his name, "without troubling yourself with the reasons
mentioned in your letter. I am firmly convinced that he will overcome all
difficulties. Don't believe either that France will let the Duke of Savoy
be ruined. It is against every reason of State." Yet there were few to
help Charles Emmanuel in this Montferrat war, which was destined to drag
feebly on, with certain interludes of negotiations, for two years longer.
The already notorious condottiere Ernest Mansfeld, natural son of old
prince Peter Ernest, who played so long and so high a part in command of
the Spanish armies in the Netherlands, had, to be sure, taken service
under the Duke. Thenceforth he was to be a leader and a master in that
wild business of plunder, burning, blackmailing, and murder, which was
opening upon Europe, and was to afford occupation for many thousands of
adventurers of high and low degree.

Mansfeld, reckless and profligate, had already changed his banner more
than once. Commanding a company under Leopold in the duchies, he had been
captured by the forces of the Union, and, after waiting in vain to be
ransomed by the Archduke, had gone secretly over to the enemy. Thus
recovering his liberty, he had enlisted a regiment under Leopold's name
to fight the Union, and had then, according to contract, transferred
himself and most of his adventurers to the flag of the Union. The
military operations fading away in the duchies without being succeeded by
permanent peace, the Count, as he was called, with no particular claim to
such title, had accepted a thousand florins a year as retainer from the
Union and had found occupation under Charles Emmanuel. Here the Spanish
soldier of a year or two before found much satisfaction and some profit
in fighting Spanish soldiers. He was destined to reappear in the
Netherlands, in France, in Bohemia, in many places where there were
villages to be burned, churches to be plundered, cities to be sacked,
nuns and other women to be outraged, dangerous political intrigues to be
managed. A man in the prime of his age, fair-haired, prematurely
wrinkled, battered, and hideous of visage, with a hare-lip and a
humpback; slovenly of dress, and always wearing an old grey hat without a
band to it; audacious, cruel, crafty, and licentious--such was Ernest
Mansfeld, whom some of his contemporaries spoke of as Ulysses Germanicus,
others as the new Attila, all as a scourge to the human race. The
cockneys of Paris called him "Machefer," and nurses long kept children
quiet by threatening them with that word. He was now enrolled on the
Protestant side, although at the moment serving Savoy against Spain in a
question purely personal. His armies, whether in Italy or in Germany,
were a miscellaneous collection of adventurers of high and low degree, of
all religions, of all countries, unfrocked priests and students, ruined
nobles, bankrupt citizens, street vagabonds--earliest type perhaps of the
horrible military vermin which were destined to feed so many years long
on the unfortunate dismembered carcass of Germany.

Many demands had been made upon the States for assistance to Savoy,--as
if they and they alone were to bear the brunt and pay the expense of all
the initiatory campaigns against Spain.

"We are much importuned," said the Advocate, "to do something for the
help of Savoy . . . . We wish and we implore that France, Great Britain,
the German princes, the Venetians, and the Swiss would join us in some
scheme of effective assistance. But we have enough on our shoulders at
this moment."

They had hardly money enough in their exchequer, admirably ordered as it
was, for enterprises so far from home when great Spanish armies were
permanently encamped on their border.

Partly to humour King James and partly from love of adventure, Count John
of Nassau had gone to Savoy at the head of a small well disciplined body
of troops furnished by the States.

"Make use of this piece of news," said Barneveld, communicating the fact
to Langerac, "opportunely and with discretion. Besides the wish to give
some contentment to the King of Great Britain, we consider it
inconsistent with good conscience and reasons of state to refuse help to
a great prince against oppression by those who mean to give the law to
everybody; especially as we have been so earnestly and frequently
importuned to do so."

And still the Spaniards and the League kept their hold on the duchies,
while their forces, their munitions, their accumulation of funds waged
hourly. The war of chicane was even more deadly than an actual campaign,
for when there was no positive fighting the whole world seemed against
the Republic. And the chicane was colossal.

"We cannot understand," said Barneveld, "why M. de Prevaulx is coming
here on special mission. When a treaty is signed and sealed, it only
remains to execute it. The Archduke says he is himself not known in the
treaty, and that nothing can be demanded of him in relation to it. This
he says in his letters to the King of Great Britain. M. de Refuge knows
best whether or not Marquis Spinola, Ottavio Visconti, Chancellor
Pecquius, and others, were employed in the negotiation by the Archduke.
We know very well here that the whole business was conducted by them. The
Archduke is willing to give a clean and sincere promise not to re-occupy,
and asks the same from the States. If he were empowered by the Emperor,
the King of Spain, and the League, and acted in such quality, something
might be done for the tranquillity of Germany. But he promises for
himself only, and Emperor, King, or League, may send any general to do
what they like to-morrow. What is to prevent it?

"And so My Lords the States, the Elector of Brandenburg, and others
interested are cheated and made fools of. And we are as much troubled by
these tricks as by armed force. Yes, more; for we know that great
enterprises are preparing this year against Germany and ourselves, that
all Neuburg's troops have been disbanded and re-enlisted under the
Spanish commanders, and that forces are levying not only in Italy and
Spain, but in Germany, Lorraine, Luxemburg, and Upper Burgundy, and that
Wesel has been stuffed full of gunpowder and other munitions, and very
strongly fortified."

For the States to agree to a treaty by which the disputed duchies should
be held jointly by the Princes of Neuburg and of Brandenburg, and the
territory be evacuated by all foreign troops; to look quietly on while
Neuburg converted himself to Catholicism, espoused the sister of
Maximilian of Bavaria, took a pension from Spain, resigned his claims in
favour of Spain, and transferred his army to Spain; and to expect that
Brandenburg and all interested in Brandenburg, that is to say, every
Protestant in Europe, should feel perfectly easy under such arrangement
and perfectly protected by the simple promise of a soldier of fortune
against Catholic aggression, was a fantastic folly hardly worthy of a
child. Yet the States were asked to accept this position, Brandenburg and
all Protestant Germany were asked to accept it, and Barneveld was howled
at by his allies as a marplot and mischief-maker, and denounced and
insulted by diplomatists daily, because he mercilessly tore away the
sophistries of the League and of the League's secret friend, James

The King of Spain had more than 100,000 men under arms, and was enlisting
more soldiers everywhere and every day, had just deposited 4,000,000
crowns with his Antwerp bankers for a secret purpose, and all the time
was exuberant in his assurances of peace. One would have thought that
there had never been negotiations in Bourbourg, that the Spanish Armada
had never sailed from Coruna.

"You are wise and prudent in France," said the Advocate, "but we are used
to Spanish proceedings, and from much disaster sustained are filled with
distrust. The King of England seems now to wish that the Archduke should
draw up a document according to his good pleasure, and that the States
should make an explanatory deed, which the King should sign also and ask
the King of France to do the same. But this is very hazardous.

"We do not mean to receive laws from the King of Spain, nor the Archduke
. . . . The Spanish proceedings do not indicate peace but war. One must
not take it ill of us that we think these matters of grave importance to
our friends and ourselves. Affairs have changed very much in the last
four months. The murder of the first vizier of the Turkish emperor and
his designs against Persia leave the Spanish king and the Emperor free
from attack in that quarter, and their armaments are far greater than
last year . . . . I cannot understand why the treaty of Xanten, formerly
so highly applauded, should now be so much disapproved. . . . The King of
Spain and the Emperor with their party have a vast design to give the law
to all Christendom, to choose a Roman king according to their will, to
reduce the Evangelical electors, princes, and estates of Germany to
obedience, to subject all Italy, and, having accomplished this, to
proceed to triumph over us and our allies, and by necessary consequence
over France and England. They say they have established the Emperor's
authority by means of Aachen and Mulheim, will soon have driven us out of
Julich, and have thus arranged matters entirely to their heart's content.
They can then, in name of the Emperor, the League, the Prince of Neuburg,
or any one else, make themselves in eight days masters of the places
which they are now imaginarily to leave as well as of those which we are
actually to surrender, and by possession of which we could hold out a
long time against all their power."

Those very places held by the States--Julich, Emmerich, and others--had
recently been fortified at much expense, under the superintendence of
Prince Maurice, and by advice of the Advocate. It would certainly be an
act of madness to surrender them on the terms proposed. These warnings
and forebodings of Barneveld sound in our ears like recorded history, yet
they were far earlier than the actual facts. And now to please the
English king, the States had listened to his suggestion that his name and
that of the King of France should be signed as mediators to a new
arrangement proposed in lieu of the Xanten treaty. James had suggested
this, Lewis had agreed to it. Yet before the ink had dried in James's
pen, he was proposing that the names of the mediating sovereigns should
be omitted from the document? And why? Because Gondemar was again
whispering in his ear. "They are renewing the negotiations in England,"
said the Advocate, "about the alliance between the Prince of Wales and
the second daughter of Spain; and the King of Great Britain is seriously
importuning us that the Archdukes and My Lords the States should make
their pledges 'impersonaliter' and not to the kings." James was also
willing that the name of the Emperor should appear upon it. To prevent
this, Barneveld would have had himself burned at the stake. It would be
an ignominious and unconditional surrender of the whole cause.

"The Archduke will never be contented," said the Advocate, "unless his
Majesty of Great Britain takes a royal resolution to bring him to reason.
That he tries to lay the fault on us is pure malice. We have been ready
and are still ready to execute the treaty of Xanten. The Archduke is the
cause of the dispute concerning the act. We approved the formularies of
their Majesties, and have changed them three times to suit the King of
Great Britain. Our Provincial States have been notified in the matter, so
that we can no longer digest the Spanish impudence, and are amazed that
his Majesty can listen any more to the Spanish ministers. We fear that
those ministers are working through many hands, in order by one means or
another to excite quarrels between his Majesty, us, and the respective
inhabitants of the two countries . . . . . Take every precaution that no
attempt be made there to bring the name of the Emperor into the act. This
would be contrary to their Majesties' first resolution, very prejudicial
to the Elector of Brandenburg, to the duchies, and to ourselves. And it
is indispensable that the promise be made to the two kings as mediators,
as much for their reputation and dignity as for the interests of the
Elector, the territories, and ourselves. Otherwise too the Spaniards will
triumph over us as if they had driven us by force of arms into this

The seat of war, at the opening of the apparently inevitable conflict
between the Catholic League and the Protestant Union, would be those
debateable duchies, those border provinces, the possession of which was
of such vital importance to each of the great contending parties, and the
populations of which, although much divided, were on the whole more
inclined to the League than to the Union. It was natural enough that the
Dutch statesman should chafe at the possibility of their being lost to
the Union through the adroitness of the Catholic managers and the
supineness of the great allies of the Republic.

Three weeks later than these last utterances of the Advocate, he was
given to understand that King James was preparing to slide away from the
position which had been three times changed to make it suitable for him.
His indignation was hot.

"Sir Henry Wotton," he said, "has communicated to me his last despatches
from Newmarket. I am in the highest degree amazed that after all our
efforts at accommodation, with so much sacrifice to the electors, the
provinces, and ourselves, they are trying to urge us there to consent
that the promise be not made to the Kings of France and Great Britain as
mediators, although the proposition came from the Spanish side. After we
had renounced, by desire of his Majesty, the right to refer the promise
to the Treaty of Xanten, it was judged by both kings to be needful and
substantial that the promise be made to their Majesties. To change this
now would be prejudicial to the kings, to the electors, the duchies, and
to our commonwealth; to do us a wrong and to leave us naked. France
maintains her position as becoming and necessary. That Great Britain
should swerve from it is not to be digested here. You will do your utmost
according to my previous instructions to prevent any pressure to this
end. You will also see that the name of the Emperor is mentioned neither
in the preamble nor the articles of the treaty. It would be contrary to
all our policy since 1610. You may be firmly convinced that malice is
lurking under the Emperor's name, and that he and the King of Spain and
their adherents, now as before, are attempting a sequestration. This is
simply a pretext to bring those principalities and provinces into the
hands of the Spaniards, for which they have been labouring these thirty
years. We are constantly cheated by these Spanish tricks. Their intention
is to hold Wesel and all the other places until the conclusion of the
Italian affair, and then to strike a great blow."

Certainly were never words more full of sound statesmanship, and of
prophecy too soon to be fulfilled, than these simple but pregnant
warnings. They awakened but little response from the English government
save cavils and teasing reminders that Wesel had been the cradle of
German Calvinism, the Rhenish Geneva, and that it was sinful to leave it
longer in the hands of Spain. As if the Advocate had not proved to
demonstration that to stock hands for a new deal at that moment was to
give up the game altogether.

His influence in France was always greater than in England, and this had
likewise been the case with William the Silent. And even now that the
Spanish matrimonial alliance was almost a settled matter at the French
court, while with the English king it was but a perpetual will-o'the-wisp
conducting to quagmires ineffable, the government at Paris sustained the
policy of the Advocate with tolerable fidelity, while it was constantly
and most capriciously traversed by James.

Barneveld sighed over these approaching nuptials, but did not yet
despair. "We hope that the Spanish-French marriages," he said, "may be
broken up of themselves; but we fear that if we should attempt to delay
or prevent them authoritatively, or in conjunction with others, the
effort would have the contrary effect."

In this certainly he was doomed to disappointment.

He had already notified the French court of the absolute necessity of the
great points to be insisted upon in the treaty, and there he found more
docility than in London or Newmarket.

All summer he was occupied with this most important matter, uttering
Cassandra-like warnings into ears wilfully deaf. The States had gone as
far as possible in concession. To go farther would be to wreck the great
cause upon the very quicksands which he had so ceaselessly pointed out.
"We hope that nothing further will be asked of us, no scruples be felt as
to our good intentions," he said, "and that if Spain and the Archdukes
are not ready now to fulfil the treaty, their Majesties will know how to
resent this trifling with their authority and dignity, and how to set
matters to rights with their own hands in the duchies. A new treaty,
still less a sequestration, is not to be thought of for a moment."

Yet the month of August came and still the names of the mediating kings
were not on the treaty, and still the spectre of sequestration had not
been laid. On the contrary, the peace of Asti, huddled up between Spain
and Savoy, to be soon broken again, had caused new and painful
apprehensions of an attempt at sequestration, for it was established by
several articles in that treaty that all questions between Savoy and
Mantua should be referred to the Emperor's decision. This precedent was
sure to be followed in the duchies if not resisted by force, as it had
been so successfully resisted five years before by the armies of the
States associated with those of France. Moreover the first step at
sequestration had been actually taken. The Emperor had peremptorily
summoned the Elector of Brandenburg and all other parties interested to
appear before him on the 1st of August in Prague. There could be but one
object in this citation, to drive Brandenburg and the States out of the
duchies until the Imperial decision as to the legitimate sovereignty
should be given. Neuburg being already disposed of and his claims ceded
to the Emperor, what possibility was there in such circumstances of
saving one scrap of the territory from the clutch of the League? None
certainly if the Republic faltered in its determination, and yielded to
the cowardly advice of James. "To comply with the summons," said
Barneveld, "and submit to its consequences will be an irreparable injury
to the electoral house of Brandenburg, to the duchies, and to our
co-religionists everywhere, and a very great disgrace to both their
Majesties and to us."

He continued, through the ambassador in London, to hold up to the King,
in respectful but plain language, the shamelessness of his conduct in
dispensing the enemy from his pledge to the mediators, when the Republic
expressly, in deference to James, had given up the ampler guarantees of
the treaty. The arrangement had been solemnly made, and consented to by
all the provinces, acting in their separate and sovereign capacity. Such
a radical change, even if it were otherwise permissible, could not be
made without long debates, consultations, and votes by the several
states. What could be more fatal at such a crisis than this childish and
causeless delay. There could be no doubt in any statesman's eyes that the
Spanish party meant war and a preparatory hoodwinking. And it was even
worse for the government of the Republic to be outwitted in diplomacy
than beaten in the field.

"Every man here," said the Advocate, "has more apprehension of fraud than
of force. According to the constitution of our state, to be overcome by
superior power must be endured, but to be overreached by trickery is a
reproach to the government."

The summer passed away. The States maintained their positions in the
duchies, notwithstanding the objurgations of James, and Barneveld
remained on his watch-tower observing every movement of the
fast-approaching war, and refusing at the price of the whole territory in
dispute to rescue Wesel and Aix-la-Chapelle from the grasp of the League.

Caron came to the Hague to have personal consultations with the
States-General, the Advocate, and Prince Maurice, and returned before the
close of the year. He had an audience of the King at the palace of
Whitehall early in November, and found him as immovable as ever in his
apathetic attitude in regard to the affairs of Germany. The murder of Sir
Thomas Overbury and the obscene scandals concerning the King's beloved
Carr and his notorious bride were then occupying the whole attention of
the monarch, so that he had not even time for theological lucubrations,
still less for affairs of state on which the peace of Christendom and the
fate of his own children were hanging.

The Ambassador found him sulky and dictatorial, but insisted on
expressing once more to him the apprehensions felt by the States-General
in regard to the trickery of the Spanish party in the matter of Cleve and
Julich. He assured his Majesty that they had no intention of maintaining
the Treaty of Xanten, and respectfully requested that the King would no
longer urge the States to surrender the places held by them. It was a
matter of vital importance to retain them, he said.

"Sir Henry Wotton told me," replied James, "that the States at his
arrival were assembled to deliberate on this matter, and he had no doubt
that they would take a resolution in conformity with my intention. Now I
see very well that you don't mean to give up the places. If I had known
that before, I should not have warned the Archduke so many times, which I
did at the desire of the States themselves. And now that the Archdukes
are ready to restore their cities, you insist on holding yours. That is
the dish you set before me."

And upon this James swore a mighty oath, and beat himself upon the

"Now and nevermore will I trouble myself about the States' affairs, come
what come will," he continued. "I have always been upright in my words
and my deeds, and I am not going to embark myself in a wicked war because
the States have plunged themselves into one so entirely unjust. Next
summer the Spaniard means to divide himself into two or three armies in
order to begin his enterprises in Germany."

Caron respectfully intimated that these enterprises would be most
conveniently carried on from the very advantageous positions which he
occupied in the duchies. "No," said the King, "he must restore them on
the same day on which you make your surrender, and he will hardly come
back in a hurry."

"Quite the contrary," said the Ambassador, "they will be back again in a
twinkling, and before we have the slightest warning of their intention."

But it signified not the least what Caron said. The King continued to
vociferate that the States had never had any intention of restoring the

"You mean to keep them for yourselves," he cried, "which is the greatest
injustice that could be perpetrated. You have no right to them, and they
belong to other people."

The Ambassador reminded him that the Elector of Brandenburg was well
satisfied that they should be occupied by the States for his greater
security and until the dispute should be concluded.

"And that will never be," said James; "never, never. The States are
powerful enough to carry on the war all alone and against all the world."

And so he went on, furiously reiterating the words with which he had
begun the conversation, "without accepting any reasons whatever in
payment," as poor Caron observed.

"It makes me very sad," said the Ambassador, "to find your Majesty so
impatient and so resolved. If the names of the kings are to be omitted
from the document, the Treaty of Xanten should at least be modified

"Nothing of the kind," said James; "I don't understand it so at all. I
speak plainly and without equivocation. It must be enough for the States
that I promise them, in case the enemy is cheating or is trying to play
any trick whatever, or is seeking to break the Treaty of Xanten in a
single point, to come to their assistance in person."

And again the warlike James swore a big oath and smote his breast,
affirming that he meant everything sincerely; that he cheated no one, but
always spoke his thoughts right on, clearly and uprightly.

It was certainly not a cheerful prospect for the States. Their chief ally
was determined that they should disarm, should strip themselves naked,
when the mightiest conspiracy against the religious freedom and
international independence of Europe ever imagined was perfecting itself
before their eyes, and when hostile armies, more numerous than ever
before known, were at their very door. To wait until the enemy was at
their throat, and then to rely upon a king who trembled at the sight of a
drawn sword, was hardly the highest statesmanship. Even if it had been
the chivalrous Henry instead of the pacific James that had held out the
promise of help, they would have been mad to follow such counsel.

The conversation lasted more than an hour. It was in vain that Caron
painted in dark colours the cruel deeds done by the Spaniards in Mulheim
and Aachen, and the proceedings of the Archbishop of Cologne in Rees. The
King was besotted, and no impression could be made upon him.

"At any rate," said the Envoy, "the arrangement cannot be concluded
without the King of France."

"What excuse is that?" said James. "Now that the King is entirely
Spanish, you are trying to excuse your delays by referring to him. You
have deferred rescuing the poor city of Wesel from the hands of the
Spaniard long enough. I am amazed to have heard never a word from you on
that subject since your departure. I had expressed my wish to you clearly
enough that you should inform the States of my intention to give them any
assurance they chose to demand."

Caron was much disappointed at the humour of his Majesty. Coming freshly
as he did from the council of the States, and almost from the seat of
war, he had hoped to convince and content him. But the King was very
angry with the States for putting him so completely in the wrong. He had
also been much annoyed at their having failed to notify him of their
military demonstration in the Electorate of Cologne to avenge the
cruelties practised upon the Protestants there. He asked Caron if he was
instructed to give him information regarding it. Being answered in the
negative, he said he had thought himself of sufficient importance to the
States and enough in their confidence to be apprised of their military
movements. It was for this, he said, that his ambassador sat in their
council. Caron expressed the opinion that warlike enterprises of the kind
should be kept as secret as possible in order to be successful. This the
King disputed, and loudly declared his vexation at being left in
ignorance of the matter. The Ambassador excused himself as well as he
could, on the ground that he had been in Zealand when the troops were
marching, but told the King his impression that they had been sent to
chastise the people of Cologne for their cruelty in burning and utterly
destroying the city of Mulheim.

"That is none of your affair," said the King.

"Pardon me, your Majesty," replied Caron, "they are our fellow
religionists, and some one at least ought to resent the cruelty practised
upon them."

The King admitted that the destruction of the city had been an
unheard--of cruelty, and then passed on to speak of the quarrel between
the Duke and City of Brunswick, and other matters. The interview ended,
and the Ambassador, very downhearted, went to confer with the Secretary
of State Sir Ralph Winwood, and Sir Henry Wotton.

He assured these gentlemen that without fully consulting the French
government these radical changes in the negotiations would never be
consented to by the States. Winwood promised to confer at once with the
French ambassador, admitting it to be impossible for the King to take up
this matter alone. He would also talk with the Archduke's ambassador next
day noon at dinner, who was about leaving for Brussels, and "he would put
something into his hand that he might take home with him."

"When he is fairly gone," said Caron, "it is to be hoped that the King's
head will no longer be so muddled about these things. I wish it with all
my heart."

It was a dismal prospect for the States. The one ally on whom they had a
right to depend, the ex-Calvinist and royal Defender of the Faith, in
this mortal combat of Protestantism with the League, was slipping out of
their grasp with distracting lubricity. On the other hand, the Most
Christian King, a boy of fourteen years, was still in the control of a
mother heart and soul with the League--so far as she had heart or
soul--was betrothed to the daughter of Spain, and saw his kingdom torn to
pieces and almost literally divided among themselves by rebellious
princes, who made use of the Spanish marriages as a pretext for unceasing
civil war.

The Queen-Mother was at that moment at Bordeaux, and an emissary from the
princes was in London. James had sent to offer his mediation between them
and the Queen. He was fond of mediation. He considered it his special
mission in the world to mediate. He imagined himself as looked up to by
the nations as the great arbitrator of Christendom, and was wont to issue
his decrees as if binding in force and infallible by nature. He had
protested vigorously against the Spanish-French marriages, and declared
that the princes were justified in formalizing an opposition to them, at
least until affairs in France were restored to something like order. He
warned the Queen against throwing the kingdom "into the combustion of war
without necessity," and declared that, if she would trust to his
guidance, she might make use of him as if her affairs were his own. An
indispensable condition for much assistance, however, would be that the
marriages should be put off.

As James was himself pursuing a Spanish marriage for his son as the chief
end and aim of his existence, there was something almost humorous in this
protest to the Queen-Dowager and in his encouragement of mutiny in France
in order to prevent a catastrophe there which he desired at home.

The same agent of the princes, de Monbaran by name, was also privately
accredited by them to the States with instructions to borrow 200,000
crowns of them if he could. But so long as the policy of the Republic was
directed by Barneveld, it was not very probable that, while maintaining
friendly and even intimate relations with the legitimate government, she
would enter into negotiations with rebels against it, whether princes or
plebeians, and oblige them with loans. "He will call on me soon, no
doubt," said Caron, "but being so well instructed as to your Mightinesses
intentions in this matter, I hope I shall keep him away from you."
Monbaran was accordingly kept away, but a few weeks later another
emissary of Conde and Bouillon made his appearance at the Hague, de
Valigny by name. He asked for money and for soldiers to reinforce
Bouillon's city of Sedan, but he was refused an audience of the
States-General. Even the martial ardour of Maurice and his sympathy for
his relatives were cooled by this direct assault on his pocket. "The
Prince," wrote the French ambassador, du Maurier, "will not furnish him
or his adherents a thousand crowns, not if they had death between their
teeth. Those who think it do not know how he loves his money."

In the very last days of the year (1615) Caron had another interview with
the King in which James was very benignant. He told the Ambassador that
he should wish the States to send him some special commissioners to make
a new treaty with him, and to treat of all unsettled affairs which were
daily arising between the inhabitants of the respective countries. He
wished to make a firmer union and accord between Great Britain and the
Netherlands. He was very desirous of this, "because," said he, "if we can
unite with and understand each other, we have under God no one what ever
to fear, however mighty they may be."

Caron duly notified Barneveld of these enthusiastic expressions of his
Majesty. The Advocate too was most desirous of settling the troublesome
questions about the cloth trade, the piracies, and other matters, and was
in favour of the special commission. In regard to a new treaty of
alliance thus loosely and vaguely suggested, he was not so sanguine
however. He had too much difficulty in enforcing the interests of
Protestantism in the duchies against the infatuation of James in regard
to Spain, and he was too well aware of the Spanish marriage delusion,
which was the key to the King's whole policy, to put much faith in these
casual outbursts of eternal friendship with the States. He contented
himself therefore with cautioning Caron to pause before committing
himself to any such projects. He had frequently instructed him, however,
to bring the disputed questions to his Majesty's notice as often as
possible with a view to amicable arrangement.

This preventive policy in regard to France was highly approved by
Barneveld, who was willing to share in the blame profusely heaped upon
such sincere patriots and devoted Protestants as Duplessis-Mornay and
others, who saw small advantage to the great cause from a mutiny against
established government, bad as it was, led by such intriguers as Conde
and Bouillon. Men who had recently been in the pay of Spain, and one of
whom had been cognizant of Biron's plot against the throne and life of
Henry IV., to whom sedition was native atmosphere and daily bread, were
not likely to establish a much more wholesome administration than that of
Mary de' Medici. Prince Maurice sympathized with his relatives by
marriage, who were leading the civil commotions in France and
endeavouring to obtain funds in the Netherlands. It is needless to say
that Francis Aerssens was deep in their intrigues, and feeding full the
grudge which the Stadholder already bore the Advocate for his policy on
this occasion.

The Advocate thought it best to wait until the young king should himself
rise in mutiny against his mother and her minions. Perhaps the downfall
of the Concini's and their dowager and the escape of Lewis from thraldom
might not be so distant as it seemed. Meantime this was the legal
government, bound to the States by treaties of friendship and alliance,
and it would be a poor return for the many favours and the constant aid
bestowed by Henry IV. on the Republic, and an imbecile mode of avenging
his murder to help throw his kingdom into bloodshed and confusion before
his son was able to act for himself. At the same time he did his best to
cultivate amicable relations with the princes, while scrupulously
abstaining from any sympathy with their movements. "If the Prince and the
other gentlemen come to court," he wrote to Langerac, "you will treat
them with all possible caresses so far as can be done without disrespect
to the government."

While the British court was occupied with the foul details of the
Overbury murder and its consequences, a crime of a more commonplace
nature, but perhaps not entirely without influence on great political
events, had startled the citizens of the Hague. It was committed in the
apartments of the Stadholder and almost under his very eyes. A jeweller
of Amsterdam, one John van Wely, had come to the court of Maurice to lay
before him a choice collection of rare jewellery. In his caskets were
rubies and diamonds to the value of more than 100,000 florins, which
would be the equivalent of perhaps ten times as much to-day. In the
Prince's absence the merchant was received by a confidential groom of the
chambers, John of Paris by name, and by him, with the aid of a third
John, a soldier of his Excellency's guard, called Jean de la Vigne,
murdered on the spot. The deed was done in the Prince's private study.
The unfortunate jeweller was shot, and to make sure was strangled with
the blue riband of the Order of the Garter recently conferred upon
Maurice, and which happened to be lying conspicuously in the room.

The ruffians had barely time to take possession of the booty, to thrust
the body behind the tapestry of the chamber, and to remove the more
startling evidences of the crime, when the Prince arrived. He supped soon
afterwards in the same room, the murdered jeweller still lying behind the
arras. In the night the valet and soldier carried the corpse away from
the room, down the stairs, and through the great courtyard, where,
strange to say, no sentinels were on duty, and threw it into an ashpit.

A deed so bloody, audacious, and stupid was of course soon discovered and
the murderers arrested and executed. Nothing would remove the incident
from the catalogue of vulgar crimes, or even entitle it to a place in
history save a single circumstance. The celebrated divine John
Uytenbogaert, leader among the Arminians, devoted friend of Barneveld,
and up to that moment the favorite preacher of Maurice, stigmatized
indeed, as we have seen, by the orthodox as "Court Trumpeter," was
requested by the Prince to prepare the chief criminal for death. He did
so, and from that day forth the Stadholder ceased to be his friend,
although regularly listening to his preaching in the French chapel of the
court for more than a year longer. Some time afterwards the Advocate
informed Uytenbogaert that the Prince was very much embittered against
him. "I knew it well," says the clergyman in his memoirs, "but not the
reasons for it, nor do I exactly comprehend them to this day. Truly I
have some ideas relating to certain things which I was obliged to do in
discharge of my official duty, but I will not insist upon them, nor will
I reveal them to any man."

These were mysterious words, and the mystery is said to have been
explained; for it would seem that the eminent preacher was not so
entirely reticent among his confidential friends as before the public.
Uytenbogaert--so ran the tale--in the course of his conversation with the
condemned murderer, John of Paris, expressed a natural surprise that
there should have been no soldiers on guard in the court on the evening
when the crime was committed and the body subsequently removed. The valet
informed him that he had for a long time been empowered by the Prince to
withdraw the sentinels from that station, and that they had been
instructed to obey his orders--Maurice not caring that they should be
witnesses to the equivocal kind of female society that John of Paris was
in the habit of introducing of an evening to his master's apartments. The
valet had made use of this privilege on the night in question to rid
himself of the soldiers who would have been otherwise on guard.

The preacher felt it his duty to communicate these statements to the
Prince, and to make perhaps a somewhat severe comment upon them. Maurice
received the information sullenly, and, as soon as Uytenbogaert was gone,
fell into a violent passion, throwing his hat upon the floor, stamping
upon it, refusing to eat his supper, and allowing no one to speak to him.
Next day some courtiers asked the clergyman what in the world he had been
saying to the Stadholder.

From that time forth his former partiality for the divine, on whose
preaching he had been a regular attendant, was changed to hatred; a
sentiment which lent a lurid colour to subsequent events.

The attempts of the Spanish party by chicane or by force to get
possession of the coveted territories continued year after year, and were
steadily thwarted by the watchfulness of the States under guidance of
Barneveld. The martial stadholder was more than ever for open war, in
which he was opposed by the Advocate, whose object was to postpone and,
if possible, to avert altogether the dread catastrophe which he foresaw
impending over Europe. The Xanten arrangement seemed hopelessly thrown to
the winds, nor was it destined to be carried out; the whole question of
sovereignty and of mastership in those territories being swept
subsequently into the general whirlpool of the Thirty Years' War. So long
as there was a possibility of settlement upon that basis, the Advocate
was in favour of settlement, but to give up the guarantees and play into
the hands of the Catholic League was in his mind to make the Republic one
of the conspirators against the liberties of Christendom.

"Spain, the Emperor and the rest of them," said he, "make all three modes
of pacification--the treaty, the guarantee by the mediating kings, the
administration divided between the possessory princes--alike impossible.
They mean, under pretext of sequestration, to make themselves absolute
masters there. I have no doubt that Villeroy means sincerely, and
understands the matter, but meantime we sit by the fire and burn. If the
conflagration is neglected, all the world will throw the blame on us."

Thus the Spaniards continued to amuse the British king with assurances of
their frank desire to leave those fortresses and territories which they
really meant to hold till the crack of doom. And while Gondemar was
making these ingenuous assertions in London, his colleagues at Paris and
at Brussels distinctly and openly declared that there was no authority
whatever for them, that the Ambassador had received no such instructions,
and that there was no thought of giving up Wesel or any other of the
Protestant strongholds captured, whether in the duchies or out of them.
And Gondemar, still more to keep that monarch in subjection, had been
unusually flattering in regard to the Spanish marriage. "We are in great
alarm here," said the Advocate, "at the tidings that the projected
alliance of the Prince of Wales with the daughter of Spain is to be
renewed; from which nothing good for his Majesty's person, his kingdom,
nor for our state can be presaged. We live in hope that it will never

But the other marriage was made. Despite the protest of James, the
forebodings of Barneveld, and the mutiny of the princes, the youthful
king of France had espoused Anne of Austria early in the year 1616. The
British king did his best to keep on terms with France and Spain, and by
no means renounced his own hopes. At the same time, while fixed as ever
in his approbation of the policy pursued by the Emperor and the League,
and as deeply convinced of their artlessness in regard to the duchies,
the Protestant princes of Germany, and the Republic, he manifested more
cordiality than usual in his relations with the States. Minor questions
between the countries he was desirous of arranging--so far as matters of
state could be arranged by orations--and among the most pressing of these
affairs were the systematic piracy existing and encouraged in English
ports, to the great damage of all seafaring nations and to the Hollanders
most of all, and the quarrel about the exportation of undyed cloths,
which had almost caused a total cessation of the woollen trade between
the two countries. The English, to encourage their own artisans, had
forbidden the export of undyed cloths, and the Dutch had retorted by
prohibiting the import of dyed ones.

The King had good sense enough to see the absurdity of this condition of
things, and it will be remembered that Barneveld had frequently urged
upon the Dutch ambassador to bring his Majesty's attention to these
dangerous disputes. Now that the recovery of the cautionary towns had
been so dexterously and amicably accomplished, and at so cheap a rate, it
seemed a propitious moment to proceed to a general extinction of what
would now be called "burning questions."

James was desirous that new high commissioners might be sent from the
States to confer with himself and his ministers upon the subjects just
indicated, as well as upon the fishery questions as regarded both
Greenland and Scotland, and upon the general affairs of India.

He was convinced, he said to Caron, that the sea had become more and more
unsafe and so full of freebooters that the like was never seen or heard
of before. It will be remembered that the Advocate had recently called
his attention to the fact that the Dutch merchants had lost in two months
800,000 florins' worth of goods by English pirates.

The King now assured the Ambassador of his intention of equipping a fleet
out of hand and to send it forth as speedily as possible under command of
a distinguished nobleman, who would put his honour and credit in a
successful expedition, without any connivance or dissimulation whatever.
In order thoroughly to scour these pirates from the seas, he expressed
the hope that their Mightinesses the States would do the same either
jointly or separately as they thought most advisable. Caron bluntly
replied that the States had already ten or twelve war-ships at sea for
this purpose, but that unfortunately, instead of finding any help from
the English in this regard, they had always found the pirates favoured in
his Majesty's ports, especially in Ireland and Wales.

"Thus they have so increased in numbers," continued the Ambassador, "that
I quite believe what your Majesty says, that not a ship can pass with
safety over the seas. More over, your Majesty has been graciously pleased
to pardon several of these corsairs, in consequence of which they have
become so impudent as to swarm everywhere, even in the river Thames,
where they are perpetually pillaging honest merchantmen."

"I confess," said the King, "to having pardoned a certain Manning, but
this was for the sake of his old father, and I never did anything so
unwillingly in my life. But I swear that if it were the best nobleman in
England, I would never grant one of them a pardon again."

Caron expressed his joy at hearing such good intentions on the part of
his Majesty, and assured him that the States-General would be equally

In the course of the summer the Dutch ambassador had many opportunities
of seeing the King very confidentially, James having given him the use of
the royal park at Bayscot, so that during the royal visits to that place
Caron was lodged under his roof.

On the whole, James had much regard and respect for Noel de Caron. He
knew him to be able, although he thought him tiresome. It is amusing to
observe the King and Ambassador in their utterances to confidential
friends each frequently making the charge of tediousness against the
other. "Caron's general education," said James on one occasion to Cecil,
"cannot amend his native German prolixity, for had I not interrupted him,
it had been tomorrow morning before I had begun to speak. God preserve me
from hearing a cause debated between Don Diego and him! . . . But in
truth it is good dealing with so wise and honest a man, although he be
somewhat longsome."

Subsequently James came to Whitehall for a time, and then stopped at
Theobalds for a few days on his way to Newmarket, where he stayed until
Christmas. At Theobalds he sent again for the Ambassador, saying that at
Whitehall he was so broken down with affairs that it would be impossible
to live if he stayed there.

He asked if the States were soon to send the commissioners, according to
his request, to confer in regard to the cloth-trade. Without interference
of the two governments, he said, the matter would never be settled. The
merchants of the two countries would never agree except under higher

"I have heard both parties," he said, "the new and the old companies, two
or three times in full council, and tried to bring them to an agreement,
but it won't do. I have heard that My Lords the States have been hearing
both sides, English and the Hollanders, over and over again, and that the
States have passed a provisional resolution, which however does not suit
us. Now it is not reasonable, as we are allies, that our merchants should
be obliged to send their cloths roundabout, not being allowed either to
sell them in the United Provinces or to pass them through your
territories. I wish I could talk with them myself, for I am certain, if
they would send some one here, we could make an agreement. It is not
necessary that one should take everything from them, or that one should
refuse everything to us. I am sure there are people of sense in your
assembly who will justify me in favouring my own people so far as I
reasonably can, and I know very well that My Lords the States must stand
up for their own citizens. If we have been driving this matter to an
extreme and see that we are ruining each other, we must take it up again
in other fashion, for Yesterday is the preceptor of To-morrow. Let the
commissioners come as soon as possible. I know they have complaints to
make, and I have my complaints also. Therefore we must listen to each
other, for I protest before God that I consider the community of your
state with mine to be so entire that, if one goes to perdition, the other
must quickly follow it."

Thus spoke James, like a wise and thoughtful sovereign interested in the
welfare of his subjects and allies, with enlightened ideas for the time
upon public economy. It is difficult, in the man conversing thus amicably
and sensibly with the Dutch ambassador, to realise the shrill pedant
shrieking against Vorstius, the crapulous comrade of Carrs and Steenies,
the fawning solicitor of Spanish marriages, the "pepperer" and hangman of
Puritans, the butt and dupe of Gondemar and Spinola.

"I protest," he said further, "that I seek nothing in your state but all
possible friendship and good fellowship. My own subjects complain
sometimes that your people follow too closely on their heels, and confess
that your industry goes far above their own. If this be so, it is a lean
kind of reproach; for the English should rather study to follow you.
Nevertheless, when industry is directed by malice, each may easily be
attempting to snap an advantage from the other. I have sometimes
complained of many other things in which my subjects suffered great
injustice from you, but all that is excusable. I will willingly listen to
your people and grant them to be in the right when they are so. But I
will never allow them to be in the right when they mistrust me. If I had
been like many other princes, I should never have let the advantage of
the cautionary towns slip out of my fingers, but rather by means of them
attempted to get even a stronger hold on your country. I have had plenty
of warnings from great statesmen in France, Germany, and other nations
that I ought to give them up nevermore. Yet you know how frankly and
sincerely I acquitted myself in that matter without ever making
pretensions upon your state than the pretensions I still make to your
friendship and co-operation."

James, after this allusion to an important transaction to be explained in
the next chapter, then made an observation or two on a subject which was
rapidly overtopping all others in importance to the States, and his
expressions were singularly at variance with his last utterances in that
regard. "I tell you," he said, "that you have no right to mistrust me in
anything, not even in the matter of religion. I grieve indeed to hear
that your religious troubles continue. You know that in the beginning I
occupied myself with this affair, but fearing that my course might be
misunderstood, and that it might be supposed that I was seeking to
exercise authority in your republic, I gave it up, and I will never
interfere with the matter again, but will ever pray God that he may give
you a happy issue out of these troubles."

Alas! if the King had always kept himself on that height of amiable
neutrality, if he had been able to govern himself in the future by these
simplest principles of reason and justice, there might have been perhaps
a happier issue from the troubles than time was like to reveal.

Once more James referred to the crisis pending in German affairs, and as
usual spoke of the Clove and Julich question as if it were a simple
matter to be settled by a few strokes of the pen and a pennyworth of
sealing-wax, instead of being the opening act in a vast tragedy, of which
neither he, nor Carom nor Barneveld, nor Prince Maurice, nor the youthful
king of France, nor Philip, nor Matthias, nor any of the men now foremost
in the conduct of affairs, was destined to see the end.

The King informed Caron that he had just received most satisfactory
assurances from the Spanish ambassador in his last audience at Whitehall.

"He has announced to me on the part of the King his master with great
compliments that his Majesty seeks to please me and satisfy me in
everything that I could possibly desire of him," said James, rolling over
with satisfaction these unctuous phrases as if they really had any
meaning whatever.

"His Majesty says further," added the King, "that as he has been at
various times admonished by me, and is daily admonished by other princes,
that he ought to execute the treaty of Xanten by surrendering the city of
Wesel and all other places occupied by Spinola, he now declares himself
ready to carry out that treaty in every point. He will accordingly
instruct the Archduke to do this, provided the Margrave of Brandenburg
and the States will do the same in regard to their captured places. As he
understands however that the States have been fortifying Julich even as
he might fortify Wesel, he would be glad that no innovation be made
before the end of the coming month of March. When this term shall have
expired, he will no longer be bound by these offers, but will proceed to
fortify Wesel and the other places, and to hold them as he best may for
himself. Respect for me has alone induced his Majesty to make this

We have already seen that the Spanish ambassador in Paris was at this
very time loudly declaring that his colleague in London had no commission
whatever to make these propositions. Nor when they were in the slightest
degree analysed, did they appear after all to be much better than
threats. Not a word was said of guarantees. The names of the two kings
were not mentioned. It was nothing but Albert and Spinola then as always,
and a recommendation that Brandenburg and the States and all the
Protestant princes of Germany should trust to the candour of the Catholic
League. Caron pointed out to the King that in these proposals there were
no guarantees nor even promises that the fortresses would not be
reoccupied at convenience of the Spaniards. He engaged however to report
the whole statement to his masters. A few weeks afterwards the Advocate
replied in his usual vein, reminding the King through the Ambassador that
the Republic feared fraud on the part of the League much more than force.
He also laid stress on the affairs of Italy, considering the fate of
Savoy and the conflicts in which Venice was engaged as components of a
general scheme. The States had been much solicited, as we have seen, to
render assistance to the Duke of Savoy, the temporary peace of Asti being
already broken, and Barneveld had been unceasing in his efforts to arouse
France as well as England to the danger to themselves and to all
Christendom should Savoy be crushed. We shall have occasion to see the
prominent part reserved to Savoy in the fast opening debate in Germany.
Meantime the States had sent one Count of Nassau with a couple of
companies to Charles Emmanuel, while another (Ernest) had just gone to
Venice at the head of more than three thousand adventurers. With so many
powerful armies at their throats, as Barneveld had more than once
observed, it was not easy for them to despatch large forces to the other
end of Europe, but he justly reminded his allies that the States were now
rendering more effective help to the common cause by holding great
Spanish armies in check on their own frontier than if they assumed a more
aggressive line in the south. The Advocate, like every statesman worthy
of the name, was accustomed to sweep the whole horizon in his
consideration of public policy, and it will be observed that he always
regarded various and apparently distinct and isolated movements in
different parts of Europe as parts of one great whole. It is easy enough
for us, centuries after the record has been made up, to observe the
gradual and, as it were, harmonious manner in which the great Catholic
conspiracy against the liberties of Europe was unfolded in an ever
widening sphere. But to the eyes of contemporaries all was then misty and
chaotic, and it required the keen vision of a sage and a prophet to
discern the awful shape which the future might assume. Absorbed in the
contemplation of these portentous phenomena, it was not unnatural that
the Advocate should attach less significance to perturbations nearer
home. Devoted as was his life to save the great European cause of
Protestantism, in which he considered political and religious liberty
bound up, from the absolute extinction with which it was menaced, he
neglected too much the furious hatreds growing up among Protestants
within the narrow limits of his own province. He was destined one day to
be rudely awakened. Meantime he was occupied with organizing a general
defence of Italy, Germany, France, and England, as well as the
Netherlands, against the designs of Spain and the League.

"We wish to know," he said in answer to the affectionate messages and
fine promises of the King of Spain to James as reported by Caron, "what
his Majesty of Great Britain has done, is doing, and is resolved to do
for the Duke of Savoy and the Republic of Venice. If they ask you what we
are doing, answer that we with our forces and vigour are keeping off from
the throats of Savoy and Venice 2000 riders and 10,000 infantry, with
which forces, let alone their experience, more would be accomplished than
with four times the number of new troops brought to the field in Italy.
This is our succour, a great one and a very costly one, for the expense
of maintaining our armies to hold the enemy in check here is very great."

He alluded with his usual respectful and quiet scorn to the arrangements
by which James so wilfully allowed himself to be deceived.

"If the Spaniard really leaves the duchies," he said, "it is a grave
matter to decide whether on the one side he is not resolved by that means
to win more over us and the Elector of Brandenburg in the debateable land
in a few days than he could gain by force in many years, or on the other
whether by it he does not intend despatching 1200 or 1500 cavalry and
5000 or 6000 foot, all his most experienced soldiers, from the
Netherlands to Italy, in order to give the law at his pleasure to the
Duke of Savoy and the Republic of Venice, reserving his attack upon
Germany and ourselves to the last. The Spaniards, standing under a
monarchical government, can in one hour resolve to seize to-morrow all
that they and we may abandon to-day. And they can carry such a resolution
into effect at once. Our form of government does not permit this, so that
our republic must be conserved by distrust and good garrisons."

Thus during this long period of half hostilities Barneveld, while
sincerely seeking to preserve the peace in Europe, was determined, if
possible, that the Republic should maintain the strongest defensive
position when the war which he foreboded should actually begin. Maurice
and the war party had blamed him for the obstacles which he interposed to
the outbreak of hostilities, while the British court, as we have seen,
was perpetually urging him to abate from his demands and abandon both the
well strengthened fortresses in the duchies and that strong citadel of
distrust which in his often repeated language he was determined never to
surrender. Spinola and the military party of Spain, while preaching
peace, had been in truth most anxious for fighting. "The only honour I
desire henceforth," said that great commander, "is to give battle to
Prince Maurice." The generals were more anxious than the governments to
make use of the splendid armies arrayed against each other in such
proximity that, the signal for conflict not having been given, it was not
uncommon for the soldiers of the respective camps to aid each other in
unloading munition waggons, exchanging provisions and other articles of
necessity, and performing other small acts of mutual service.

But heavy thunder clouds hanging over the earth so long and so closely
might burst into explosion at any moment. Had it not been for the
distracted condition of France, the infatuation of the English king, and
the astounding inertness of the princes of the German Union, great
advantages might have been gained by the Protestant party before the
storm should break. But, as the French ambassador at the Hague well
observed, "the great Protestant Union of Germany sat with folded arms
while Hannibal was at their gate, the princes of which it was composed
amusing themselves with staring at each other. It was verifying," he
continued, bitterly, "the saying of the Duke of Alva, 'Germany is an old
dog which still can bark, but has lost its teeth to bite with.'"

To such imbecility had that noble and gifted people--which had never been
organized into a nation since it crushed the Roman empire and established
a new civilization on its ruins, and was to wait centuries longer until
it should reconstruct itself into a whole--been reduced by subdivision,
disintegration, the perpetual dissolvent of religious dispute, and the
selfish policy of infinitesimal dynasties.


   James still presses for the Payment of the Dutch Republic's Debt to
   him--A Compromise effected, with Restitution of the Cautionary
   Towns--Treaty of Loudun--James's Dream of a Spanish Marriage
   revives--James visits Scotland--The States-General agree to furnish
   Money and Troops in fulfilment of the Treaty of 1609--Death of
   Concini--Villeroy returns to Power.

Besides matters of predestination there were other subjects political and
personal which increased the King's jealousy and hatred. The debt of the
Republic to the British crown, secured by mortgage of the important
sea-ports and fortified towns of Flushing, Brielle, Rammekens, and other
strong places, still existed. The possession of those places by England
was a constant danger and irritation to the States. It was an axe
perpetually held over their heads. It threatened their sovereignty, their
very existence. On more than one occasion, in foreign courts, the
representatives of the Netherlands had been exposed to the taunt that the
Republic was after all not an independent power, but a British province.
The gibe had always been repelled in a manner becoming the envoys of a
proud commonwealth; yet it was sufficiently galling that English
garrisons should continue to hold Dutch towns; one of them among the most
valuable seaports of the Republic,--the other the very cradle of its
independence, the seizure of which in Alva's days had always been
reckoned a splendid achievement. Moreover, by the fifth article of the
treaty of peace between James and Philip III., although the King had
declared himself bound by the treaties made by Elizabeth to deliver up
the cautionary towns to no one but the United States, he promised Spain
to allow those States a reasonable time to make peace with the Archdukes
on satisfactory conditions. Should they refuse to do so, he held himself
bound by no obligations to them, and would deal with the cities as he
thought proper, and as the Archdukes themselves might deem just.

The King had always been furious at "the huge sum of money to be
advanced, nay, given, to the States," as he phrased it. "It is so far out
of all square," he had said, "as on my conscience I cannot think that
ever they craved it 'animo obtinendi,' but only by that objection to
discourage me from any thought of getting any repayment of my debts from
them when they shall be in peace. . . . Should I ruin myself for
maintaining them? Should I bestow as much on them as cometh to the value
of my whole yearly rent?" He had proceeded to say very plainly that, if
the States did not make great speed to pay him all his debt so soon as
peace was established, he should treat their pretence at independence
with contempt, and propose dividing their territory between himself and
the King of France.

"If they be so weak as they cannot subsist either in peace or war," he
said, "without I ruin myself for upholding them, in that case surely
'minus malunv est eligendum,' the nearest harm is first to be eschewed, a
man will leap out of a burning ship and drown himself in the sea; and it
is doubtless a farther off harm for me to suffer them to fall again in
the hands of Spain, and let God provide for the danger that may with time
fall upon me or my posterity than presently to starve myself and mine
with putting the meat in their mouth. Nay, rather if they be so weak as
they can neither sustain themselves in peace nor war, let them leave this
vainglorious thirsting for the title of a free state (which no people are
worthy or able to enjoy that cannot stand by themselves like
substantives), and 'dividantur inter nos;' I mean, let their countries be
divided between France and me, otherwise the King of Spain shall be sure
to consume us."

Such were the eyes with which James had always regarded the great
commonwealth of which he affected to be the ally, while secretly aspiring
to be its sovereign, and such was his capacity to calculate political
forces and comprehend coming events.

Certainly the sword was hanging by a thread. The States had made no peace
either with the Archdukes or with Spain. They had made a truce, half the
term of which had already run by. At any moment the keys of their very
house-door might be placed in the hands of their arch enemy. Treacherous
and base as the deed would be, it might be defended by the letter of a
treaty in which the Republic had no part; and was there anything too
treacherous or too base to be dreaded from James Stuart?

But the States owed the crown of England eight millions of florins,
equivalent to about L750,000. Where was this vast sum to be found? It was
clearly impossible for the States to beg or to borrow it, although they
were nearly as rich as any of the leading powers at that day.

It was the merit of Barneveld, not only that he saw the chance for a good
bargain, but that he fully comprehended a great danger. Years long James
had pursued the phantom of a Spanish marriage for his son. To achieve
this mighty object, he had perverted the whole policy of the realm; he
had grovelled to those who despised him, had repaid attempts at wholesale
assassination with boundless sycophancy. It is difficult to imagine
anything more abject than the attitude of James towards Philip. Prince
Henry was dead, but Charles had now become Prince of Wales in his turn,
and there was a younger infanta whose hand was not yet disposed of.

So long as the possible prize of a Most Catholic princess was dangling
before the eyes of the royal champion of Protestantism, so long there was
danger that the Netherlanders might wake up some fine morning and see the
flag of Spain waving over the walls of Flushing, Brielle, and Rammekens.

It was in the interest of Spain too that the envoys of James at the Hague
were perpetually goading Barneveld to cause the States' troops to be
withdrawn from the duchies and the illusory treaty of Xanten to be
executed. Instead of an eighth province added to the free Netherlands,
the result of such a procedure would have been to place that territory
enveloping them in the hands of the enemy; to strengthen and sharpen the
claws, as the Advocate had called them, by which Spain was seeking to
clutch and to destroy the Republic.

The Advocate steadily refused to countenance such policy in the duchies,
and he resolved on a sudden stroke to relieve the Commonwealth from the
incubus of the English mortgage.

James was desperately pushed for money. His minions, as insatiable in
their demands on English wealth as the parasites who fed on the
Queen-Regent were exhaustive of the French exchequer, were greedier than
ever now that James, who feared to face a parliament disgusted with the
meanness of his policy and depravity of his life, could not be relied
upon to minister to their wants.

The Advocate judiciously contrived that the proposal of a compromise
should come from the English government. Noel de Caron, the veteran
ambassador of the States in London, after receiving certain proposals,
offered, under instructions' from Barneveld, to pay L250,000 in full of
all demands. It was made to appear that the additional L250,000 was in
reality in advance of his instructions. The mouths of the minions watered
at the mention of so magnificent a sum of money in one lump.

The bargain was struck. On the 11th June 1616, Sir Robert Sidney, who had
become Lord Lisle, gave over the city of Flushing to the States,
represented by the Seignior van Maldere, while Sir Horace Vere placed the
important town of Brielle in the hands of the Seignior van Mathenesse.
According to the terms of the bargain, the English garrisons were
converted into two regiments, respectively to be commanded by Lord
Lisle's son, now Sir Robert Sidney, and by Sir Horace Vere, and were to
serve the States. Lisle, who had been in the Netherlands since the days
of his uncle Leicester and his brother Sir Philip Sidney, now took his
final departure for England.

Thus this ancient burthen had been taken off the Republic by the masterly
policy of the Advocate. A great source of dread for foreign complication
was closed for ever.

The French-Spanish marriages had been made. Henry IV. had not been
murdered in vain. Conde and his confederates had issued their manifesto.
A crisis came to the States, for Maurice, always inclined to take part
for the princes, and urged on by Aerssens, who was inspired by a deadly
hatred for the French government ever since they had insisted on his
dismissal from his post, and who fed the Stadholder's growing jealousy of
the Advocate to the full, was at times almost ready for joining in the
conflict. It was most difficult for the States-General, led by Barneveld,
to maintain relations of amity with a government controlled by Spain,
governed by the Concini's, and wafted to and fro by every wind that blew.
Still it was the government, and the States might soon be called upon, in
virtue of their treaties with Henry, confirmed by Mary de' Medici, not
only to prevent the daily desertion of officers and soldiers of the
French regiments to the rebellious party, but to send the regiments
themselves to the assistance of the King and Queen.

There could be no doubt that the alliance of the French Huguenots at
Grenoble with the princes made the position of the States very critical.
Bouillon was loud in his demands upon Maurice and the States for money
and reinforcements, but the Prince fortunately understood the character
of the Duke and of Conde, and comprehended the nature of French politics
too clearly to be led into extremities by passion or by pique. He said
loudly to any one that chose to listen:

"It is not necessary to ruin the son in order to avenge the death of the
father. That should be left to the son, who alone has legitimate
authority to do it." Nothing could be more sensible, and the remark
almost indicated a belief on the Prince's part in Mary's complicity in
the murder of her husband. Duplessis-Mornay was in despair, and, like all
true patriots and men of earnest character, felt it almost an
impossibility to choose between the two ignoble parties contending for
the possession of France, and both secretly encouraged by France's deadly

The Treaty of Loudun followed, a treaty which, said du Maurier, had about
as many negotiators as there were individuals interested in the
arrangements. The rebels were forgiven, Conde sold himself out for a
million and a half livres and the presidency of the council, came to
court, and paraded himself in greater pomp and appearance of power than
ever. Four months afterwards he was arrested and imprisoned. He submitted
like a lamb, and offered to betray his confederates.

King James, faithful to his self-imposed part of mediator-general, which
he thought so well became him, had been busy in bringing about this
pacification, and had considered it eminently successful. He was now
angry at this unexpected result. He admitted that Conde had indulged in
certain follies and extravagancies, but these in his opinion all came out
of the quiver of the Spaniard, "who was the head of the whole intrigue."
He determined to recall Lord Hayes from Madrid and even Sir Thomas
Edmonds from Paris, so great was his indignation. But his wrath was
likely to cool under the soothing communications of Gondemar, and the
rumour of the marriage of the second infanta with the Prince of Wales
soon afterwards started into new life. "We hope," wrote Barneveld, "that
the alliance of his Highness the Prince of Wales with the daughter of the
Spanish king will make no further progress, as it will place us in the
deepest embarrassment and pain."

For the reports had been so rife at the English court in regard to this
dangerous scheme that Caron had stoutly gone to the King and asked him
what he was to think about it. "The King told me," said the Ambassador,
"that there was nothing at all in it, nor any appearance that anything
ever would come of it. It was true, he said, that on the overtures made
to him by the Spanish ambassador he had ordered his minister in Spain to
listen to what they had to say, and not to bear himself as if the
overtures would be rejected."

The coyness thus affected by James could hardly impose on so astute a
diplomatist as Noel de Caron, and the effect produced upon the policy of
one of the Republic's chief allies by the Spanish marriages naturally
made her statesmen shudder at the prospect of their other powerful friend
coming thus under the malign influence of Spain.

"He assured me, however," said the Envoy, "that the Spaniard is not
sincere in the matter, and that he has himself become so far alienated
from the scheme that we may sleep quietly upon it." And James appeared at
that moment so vexed at the turn affairs were taking in France, so
wounded in his self-love, and so bewildered by the ubiquitous nature of
nets and pitfalls spreading over Europe by Spain, that he really seemed
waking from his delusion. Even Caron was staggered? "In all his talk he
appears so far estranged from the Spaniard," said he, "that it would seem
impossible that he should consider this marriage as good for his state. I
have also had other advices on the subject which in the highest degree
comfort me. Now your Mightinesses may think whatever you like about it."

The mood of the King was not likely to last long in so comfortable a
state. Meantime he took the part of Conde and the other princes,
justified their proceedings to the special envoy sent over by Mary de'
Medici, and wished the States to join with him in appealing to that Queen
to let the affair, for his sake, pass over once more.

"And now I will tell your Mightinesses," said Caron, reverting once more
to the dreaded marriage which occupies so conspicuous a place in the
strangely mingled and party-coloured tissue of the history of those days,
"what the King has again been telling me about the alliance between his
son and the Infanta. He hears from Carleton that you are in very great
alarm lest this event may take place. He understands that the special
French envoy at the Hague, M. de la None, has been representing to you
that the King of Great Britain is following after and begging for the
daughter of Spain for his son. He says it is untrue. But it is true that
he has been sought and solicited thereto, and that in consequence there
have been talks and propositions and rejoinders, but nothing of any
moment. As he had already told me not to be alarmed until he should
himself give me cause for it, he expressed his amazement that I had not
informed your Mightinesses accordingly. He assured me again that he
should not proceed further in the business without communicating it to
his good friends and neighbours, that he considered My Lords the States
as his best friends and allies, who ought therefore to conceive no
jealousy in the matter."

This certainly was cold comfort. Caron knew well enough, not a clerk in
his office but knew well enough, that James had been pursuing this prize
for years. For the King to represent himself as persecuted by Spain to
give his son to the Infanta was about as ridiculous as it would have been
to pretend that Emperor Matthias was persuading him to let his son-in-law
accept the crown of Bohemia. It was admitted that negotiations for the
marriage were going on, and the assertion that the Spanish court was more
eager for it than the English government was not especially calculated to
allay the necessary alarm of the States at such a disaster. Nor was it
much more tranquillizing for them to be assured, not that the marriage
was off, but that, when it was settled, they, as the King's good friends
and neighbours, should have early information of it.

"I told him," said the Ambassador, "that undoubtedly this matter was of
the highest 'importance to your Mightinesses, for it was not good for us
to sit between two kingdoms both so nearly allied with the Spanish
monarch, considering the pretensions he still maintained to sovereignty
over us. Although his Majesty might not now be willing to treat to our
prejudice, yet the affair itself in the sequence of time must of
necessity injure our commonwealth. We hoped therefore that it would never
come to pass."

Caron added that Ambassador Digby was just going to Spain on
extraordinary mission in regard to this affair, and that eight or ten
gentlemen of the council had been deputed to confer with his Majesty
about it. He was still inclined to believe that the whole negotiation
would blow over, the King continuing to exhort him not to be alarmed, and
assuring him that there were many occasions moving princes to treat of
great affairs although often without any effective issue.

At that moment too the King was in a state of vehement wrath with the
Spanish Netherlands on account of a stinging libel against himself, "an
infamous and wonderfully scandalous pamphlet," as he termed it, called
'Corona Regis', recently published at Louvain. He had sent Sir John
Bennet as special ambassador to the Archdukes to demand from them justice
and condign and public chastisement on the author of the work--a rector
Putianus as he believed, successor of Justus Lipsius in his professorship
at Louvain--and upon the printer, one Flaminius. Delays and excuses
having followed instead of the punishment originally demanded, James had
now instructed his special envoy in case of further delay or evasion to
repudiate all further friendship or intercourse with the Archduke, to
ratify the recall of his minister-resident Trumbull, and in effect to
announce formal hostilities.

"The King takes the thing wonderfully to heart," said Caron.

James in effect hated to be made ridiculous, and we shall have occasion
to see how important a part other publications which he deemed
detrimental to the divinity of his person were to play in these affairs.

Meantime it was characteristic of this sovereign that--while ready to
talk of war with Philip's brother-in-law for a pamphlet, while seeking
the hand of Philip's daughter for his son--he was determined at the very
moment when the world was on fire to take himself, the heaven-born
extinguisher of all political conflagrations, away from affairs and to
seek the solace of along holiday in Scotland. His counsellors
persistently and vehemently implored him to defer that journey until the
following year at least, all the neighbouring nations being now in a
state of war and civil commotion. But it was in vain. He refused to
listen to them for a moment, and started for Scotland before the middle
of March.

Conde, who had kept France in a turmoil, had sought aid alternately from
the Calvinists at Grenoble and the Jesuits in Rome, from Spain and from
the Netherlands, from the Pope and from Maurice of Nassau, had thus been
caged at last. But there was little gained. There was one troublesome but
incompetent rebel the less, but there was no king in the land. He who
doubts the influence of the individual upon the fate of a country and
upon his times through long passages of history may explain the
difference between France of 1609, with a martial king aided by great
statesmen at its head, with an exchequer overflowing with revenue hoarded
for a great cause--and that cause an attempt at least to pacificate
Christendom and avert a universal and almost infinite conflict now
already opening--and the France of 1617, with its treasures already
squandered among ignoble and ruffianly favourites, with every office in
state, church, court, and magistracy sold to the highest bidder, with a
queen governed by an Italian adventurer who was governed by Spain, and
with a little king who had but lately expressed triumph at his
confirmation because now he should no longer be whipped, and who was just
married to a daughter of the hereditary and inevitable foe of France.

To contemplate this dreary interlude in the history of a powerful state
is to shiver at the depths of inanity and crime to which mankind can at
once descend. What need to pursue the barren, vulgar, and often repeated
chronicle? France pulled at by scarcely concealed strings and made to
perform fantastic tricks according as its various puppets were swerved
this way or that by supple bands at Madrid and Rome is not a refreshing
spectacle. The States-General at last, after an agitated discussion,
agreed in fulfilment of the treaty of 1609 to send 4000 men, 2000 being
French, to help the King against the princes still in rebellion. But the
contest was a most bitter one, and the Advocate had a difficult part to
play between a government and a rebellion, each more despicable than the
other. Still Louis XIII. and his mother were the legitimate government
even if ruled by Concini. The words of the treaty made with Henry IV.
were plain, and the ambassadors of his son had summoned the States to
fulfil it. But many impediments were placed in the path of obvious duty
by the party led by Francis Aerssens.

"I know very well," said the Advocate to ex-Burgomaster Hooft of
Amsterdam, father of the great historian, sending him confidentially a
copy of the proposals made by the French ambassadors, "that many in this
country are striving hard to make us refuse to the King the aid demanded,
notwithstanding that we are bound to do it by the pledges given not only
by the States-General but by each province in particular. By this no one
will profit but the Spaniard, who unquestionably will offer much, aye,
very much, to bring about dissensions between France and us, from which I
foresee great damage, inconvenience, and difficulties for the whole
commonwealth and for Holland especially. This province has already
advanced 1,000,000 florins to the general government on the money still
due from France, which will all be lost in case the subsidy should be
withheld, besides other evils which cannot be trusted to the pen."

On the same day on which it had been decided at the Hague to send the
troops, a captain of guards came to the aid of the poor little king and
shot Concini dead one fine spring morning on the bridge of the Louvre.
"By order of the King," said Vitry. His body was burned before the statue
of Henry IV. by the people delirious with joy. "L'hanno ammazzato" was
shouted to his wife, Eleanora Galigai, the supposed sorceress. They were
the words in which Concini had communicated to the Queen the murder of
her husband seven years before. Eleanora, too, was burned after having
been beheaded. Thus the Marshal d'Ancre and wife ceased to reign in

The officers of the French regiments at the Hague danced for joy on the
Vyverberg when the news arrived there. The States were relieved from an
immense embarrassment, and the Advocate was rewarded for having pursued
what was after all the only practicable policy. "Do your best," said he
to Langerac, "to accommodate differences so far as consistent with the
conservation of the King's authority. We hope the princes will submit
themselves now that the 'lapis offensionis,' according to their pretence,
is got rid of. We received a letter from them to-day sealed with the
King's arms, with the circumscription 'Periclitante Regno, Regis vita et
Regia familia."

The shooting of Concini seemed almost to convert the little king into a
hero. Everyone in the Netherlands, without distinction of party, was
delighted with the achievement. "I cannot represent to the King," wrote
du Maurier to Villeroy, "one thousandth part of the joy of all these
people who are exalting him to heaven for having delivered the earth from
this miserable burthen. I can't tell you in what execration this public
pest was held. His Majesty has not less won the hearts of this state than
if he had gained a great victory over the Spaniards. You would not
believe it, and yet it is true, that never were the name and reputation
of the late king in greater reverence than those of our reigning king at
this moment."

Truly here was glory cheaply earned. The fame of Henry the Great, after a
long career of brilliant deeds of arms, high statesmanship, and twenty
years of bountiful friendship for the States, was already equalled by
that of Louis XIII., who had tremblingly acquiesced in the summary
execution of an odious adventurer--his own possible father--and who never
had done anything else but feed his canary birds.

As for Villeroy himself, the Ambassador wrote that he could not find
portraits enough of him to furnish those who were asking for them since
his return to power.

Barneveld had been right in so often instructing Langerac to "caress the
old gentleman."


     And give advice. Of that, although always a spendthrift
     Casual outbursts of eternal friendship
     Changed his positions and contradicted himself day by day
     Conciliation when war of extermination was intended
     Considered it his special mission in the world to mediate
     Denoungced as an obstacle to peace
     France was mourning Henry and waiting for Richelieu
     Hardly a sound Protestant policy anywhere but in Holland
     History has not too many really important and emblematic men
     I hope and I fear
     King who thought it furious madness to resist the enemy
     Mockery of negotiation in which nothing could be negotiated
     More apprehension of fraud than of force
     Opening an abyss between government and people
     Successful in this step, he is ready for greater ones
     That he tries to lay the fault on us is pure malice
     The magnitude of this wonderful sovereign's littleness
     This wonderful sovereign's littleness oppresses the imagination
     Wise and honest a man, although he be somewhat longsome
     Yesterday is the preceptor of To-morrow



By John Lothrop Motley, D.C.L., LL.D.

Life and Death of John of Barneveld, v8, 1617


   Ferdinand of Gratz crowned King of Bohemia--His Enmity to
   Protestants--Slawata and Martinitz thrown from the Windows of the
   Hradschin--Real Beginning of the Thirty Years' War--The Elector-
   Palatine's Intrigues in Opposition to the House of Austria--He
   supports the Duke of Savoy--The Emperor Matthias visits Dresden--
   Jubilee for the Hundredth Anniversary of the Reformation.

When the forlorn emperor Rudolph had signed the permission for his
brother Matthias to take the last crown but one from his head, he bit the
pen in a paroxysm of helpless rage. Then rushing to the window of his
apartment, he looked down on one of the most stately prospects that the
palaces of the earth can offer. From the long monotonous architectural
lines of the Hradschin, imposing from its massiveness and its imperial
situation, and with the dome and minarets of the cathedral clustering
behind them, the eye swept across the fertile valley, through which the
rapid, yellow Moldau courses, to the opposite line of cliffs crested with
the half imaginary fortress-palaces of the Wyscherad. There, in the
mythical legendary past of Bohemia had dwelt the shadowy Libuscha,
daughter of Krok, wife of King Premysl, foundress of Prague, who, when
wearied of her lovers, was accustomed to toss them from those heights
into the river. Between these picturesque precipices lay the two Pragues,
twin-born and quarrelsome, fighting each other for centuries, and growing
up side by side into a double, bellicose, stormy, and most splendid city,
bristling with steeples and spires, and united by the ancient
many-statued bridge with its blackened mediaeval entrance towers.

But it was not to enjoy the prospect that the aged, discrowned, solitary
emperor, almost as dim a figure among sovereigns as the mystic Libuscha
herself, was gazing from the window upon the imperial city.

"Ungrateful Prague," he cried, "through me thou hast become thus
magnificent, and now thou hast turned upon and driven away thy
benefactor. May the vengeance of God descend upon thee; may my curse come
upon thee and upon all Bohemia."

History has failed to record the special benefits of the Emperor through
which the city had derived its magnificence and deserved this
malediction. But surely if ever an old man's curse was destined to be
literally fulfilled, it seemed to be this solemn imprecation of Rudolph.
Meantime the coronation of Matthias had gone on with pomp and popular
gratulations, while Rudolph had withdrawn into his apartments to pass the
little that was left to him of life in solitude and in a state of
hopeless pique with Matthias, with the rest of his brethren, with all the

And now that five years had passed since his death, Matthias, who had
usurped so much power prematurely, found himself almost in the same
condition as that to which he had reduced Rudolph.

Ferdinand of Styria, his cousin, trod closely upon his heels. He was the
presumptive successor to all his crowns, had not approved of the
movements of Matthias in the lifetime of his brother, and hated the
Vienna Protestant baker's son, Cardinal Clesel, by whom all those
movements had been directed. Professor Taubmann, of Wittenberg,
ponderously quibbling on the name of that prelate, had said that he was
of "one hundred and fifty ass power." Whether that was a fair measure of
his capacity may be doubted, but it certainly was not destined to be
sufficient to elude the vengeance of Ferdinand, and Ferdinand would soon
have him in his power.

Matthias, weary of ambitious intrigue, infirm of purpose, and shattered
in health, had withdrawn from affairs to devote himself to his gout and
to his fair young wife, Archduchess Anna of Tyrol, whom at the age of
fifty-four he had espoused.

On the 29th June 1617, Ferdinand of Gratz was crowned King of Bohemia.
The event was a shock and a menace to the Protestant cause all over the
world. The sombre figure of the Archduke had for years appeared in the
background, foreshadowing as it were the wrath to come, while throughout
Bohemia and the neighbouring countries of Moravia, Silesia, and the
Austrias, the cause of Protestantism had been making such rapid progress.
The Emperor Maximilian II. had left five stalwart sons, so that there had
seemed little probability that the younger line, the sons of his brother,
would succeed. But all the five were childless, and now the son of
Archduke Charles, who had died in 1590, had become the natural heir after
the death of Matthias to the immense family honours--his cousins
Maximilian and Albert having resigned their claims in his favour.

Ferdinand, twelve years old at his father's death, had been placed under
the care of his maternal uncle, Duke William of Bavaria. By him the boy
was placed at the high school of Ingolstadt, to be brought up by the
Jesuits, in company with Duke William's own son Maximilian, five years
his senior. Between these youths, besides the tie of cousinship, there
grew up the most intimate union founded on perfect sympathy in religion
and politics.

When Ferdinand entered upon the government of his paternal estates of
Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola, he found that the new religion, at which
the Jesuits had taught him to shudder as at a curse and a crime, had been
widely spreading. His father had fought against heresy with all his
might, and had died disappointed and broken-hearted at its progress. His
uncle of Bavaria, in letters to his son and nephew, had stamped into
their minds with the enthusiasm of perfect conviction that all happiness
and blessing for governments depended on the restoration and maintenance
of the unity of the Catholic faith. All the evils in times past and
present resulting from religious differences had been held up to the two
youths by the Jesuits in the most glaring colours. The first duty of a
prince, they had inculcated, was to extirpate all false religions, to
give the opponents of the true church no quarter, and to think no
sacrifice too great by which the salvation of human society, brought
almost to perdition by the new doctrines, could be effected.

Never had Jesuits an apter scholar than Ferdinand. After leaving school,
he made a pilgrimage to Loretto to make his vows to the Virgin Mary of
extirpation of heresy, and went to Rome to obtain the blessing of Pope
Clement VIII.

Then, returning to the government of his inheritance, he seized that
terrible two-edged weapon of which the Protestants of Germany had taught
him the use.

"Cujus regio ejus religio;" to the prince the choice of religion, to the
subject conformity with the prince, as if that formula of shallow and
selfish princelings, that insult to the dignity of mankind, were the
grand result of a movement which was to go on centuries after they had
all been forgotten in their tombs. For the time however it was a valid
and mischievous maxim. In Saxony Catholics and Calvinists were
proscribed; in Heidelberg Catholics and Lutherans. Why should either
Calvinists or Lutherans be tolerated in Styria? Why, indeed? No logic
could be more inexorable, and the pupil of the Ingolstadt Jesuits
hesitated not an instant to carry out their teaching with the very
instrument forged for him by the Reformation. Gallows were erected in the
streets of all his cities, but there was no hanging. The sight of them
proved enough to extort obedience to his edict, that every man, woman,
and child not belonging to the ancient church should leave his dominions.
They were driven out in hordes in broad daylight from Gratz and other
cities. Rather reign over a wilderness than over heretics was the device
of the Archduke, in imitation of his great relative, Philip II. of Spain.
In short space of time his duchies were as empty of Protestants as the
Palatinate of Lutherans, or Saxony of Calvinists, or both of Papists.
Even the churchyards were rifled of dead Lutherans and Utraquists, their
carcasses thrown where they could no longer pollute the true believers
mouldering by their side.

It was not strange that the coronation as King of Bohemia of a man of
such decided purposes--a country numbering ten Protestants to one
Catholic--should cause a thrill and a flutter. Could it be doubted that
the great elemental conflict so steadily prophesied by Barneveld and
instinctively dreaded by all capable of feeling the signs of the time
would now begin? It had begun. Of what avail would be Majesty-Letters and
Compromises extorted by force from trembling or indolent emperors, now
that a man who knew his own mind, and felt it to be a crime not to
extirpate all religions but the one orthodox religion, had mounted the
throne? It is true that he had sworn at his coronation to maintain the
laws of Bohemia, and that the Majesty-Letter and the Compromise were part
of the laws.

But when were doctors ever wanting to prove the unlawfulness of law which
interferes with the purposes of a despot and the convictions of the

"Novus rex, nova lex," muttered the Catholics, lifting up their heads and
hearts once more out of the oppression and insults which they had
unquestionably suffered at the hands of the triumphant Reformers. "There
are many empty poppy-heads now flaunting high that shall be snipped off,"
said others. "That accursed German Count Thurn and his fellows, whom the
devil has sent from hell to Bohemia for his own purposes, shall be
disposed of now," was the general cry.

It was plain that heresy could no longer be maintained except by the
sword. That which had been extorted by force would be plucked back by
force. The succession of Ferdinand was in brief a warshout to be echoed
by all the Catholics of Europe. Before the end of the year the Protestant
churches of Brunnau were sealed up. Those at Klostergrab were demolished
in three days by command of the Archbishop of Prague. These dumb walls
preached in their destruction more stirring sermons than perhaps would
ever have been heard within them had they stood. This tearing in pieces
of the Imperial patent granting liberty of Protestant worship, this
summary execution done upon senseless bricks and mortar, was an act of
defiance to the Reformed religion everywhere. Protestantism was struck in
the face, spat upon, defied.

The effect was instantaneous. Thurn and the other defenders of the
Protestant faith were as prompt in action as the Catholics had been in
words. A few months passed away. The Emperor was in Vienna, but his ten
stadholders were in Prague. The fateful 23rd of May 1618 arrived.

Slawata, a Bohemian Protestant, who had converted himself to the Roman
Church in order to marry a rich widow, and who converted his peasants by
hunting them to mass with his hounds, and Martinitz, the two stadholders
who at Ferdinand's coronation had endeavoured to prevent him from
including the Majesty-Letter among the privileges he was swearing to
support, and who were considered the real authors of the royal letters
revoking all religious rights of Protestants, were the most obnoxious of
all. They were hurled from the council-chamber window of the Hradschin.
The unfortunate secretary Fabricius was tossed out after them.
Twenty-eight ells deep they fell, and all escaped unhurt by the fall;
Fabricius being subsequently ennobled by a grateful emperor with the
well-won title of Baron Summerset.

The Thirty Years' War, which in reality had been going on for several
years already, is dated from that day. A provisional government was
established in Prague by the Estates under Protestant guidance, a college
of thirty directors managing affairs.

The Window-Tumble, as the event has always been called in history,
excited a sensation in Europe. Especially the young king of France, whose
political position should bring him rather into alliance with the rebels
than the Emperor, was disgusted and appalled. He was used to rebellion.
Since he was ten years old there had been a rebellion against himself
every year. There was rebellion now. But his ministers had never been
thrown out of window. Perhaps one might take some day to tossing out
kings as well. He disapproved the process entirely.

Thus the great conflict of Christendom, so long impending, seemed at last
to have broken forth in full fury on a comparatively insignificant
incident. Thus reasoned the superficial public, as if the throwing out of
window of twenty stadholders could have created a general war in Europe
had not the causes of war lain deep and deadly in the whole framework of

The succession of Ferdinand to the throne of the holy Wenzel, in which
his election to the German Imperial crown was meant to be involved, was a
matter which concerned almost every household in Christendom. Liberty of
religion, civil franchise, political charters, contract between
government and subject, right to think, speak, or act, these were the
human rights everywhere in peril. A compromise between the two religious
parties had existed for half a dozen years in Germany, a feeble
compromise by which men had hardly been kept from each others' throats.
That compromise had now been thrown to the winds. The vast conspiracy of
Spain, Rome, the House of Austria, against human liberty had found a
chief in the docile, gloomy pupil of the Jesuits now enthroned in
Bohemia, and soon perhaps to wield the sceptre of the Holy Roman Empire.
There was no state in Europe that had not cause to put hand on
sword-hilt. "Distrust and good garrisons," in the prophetic words of
Barneveld, would now be the necessary resource for all intending to hold
what had been gained through long years of toil, martyrdom, and hard

The succession of Ferdinand excited especial dismay and indignation in
the Palatinate. The young elector had looked upon the prize as his own.
The marked advance of Protestant sentiment throughout the kingdom and its
neighbour provinces had seemed to render the succession of an extreme
Papist impossible. When Frederic had sued for and won the hand of the
fair Elizabeth, daughter of the King of Great Britain, it was understood
that the alliance would be more brilliant for her than it seemed. James
with his usual vanity spoke of his son-in-law as a future king.

It was a golden dream for the Elector and for the general cause of the
Reformed religion. Heidelberg enthroned in the ancient capital of the
Wenzels, Maximilians, and Rudolphs, the Catechism and Confession enrolled
among the great statutes of the land, this was progress far beyond flimsy
Majesty-Letters and Compromises, made only to be torn to pieces.

Through the dim vista of futurity and in ecstatic vision no doubt even
the Imperial crown might seem suspended over the Palatine's head. But
this would be merely a midsummer's dream. Events did not whirl so rapidly
as they might learn to do centuries later, and--the time for a Protestant
to grasp at the crown of Germany could then hardly be imagined as

But what the Calvinist branch of the House of Wittelsbach had indeed long
been pursuing was to interrupt the succession of the House of Austria to
the German throne. That a Catholic prince must for the immediate future
continue to occupy it was conceded even by Frederic, but the electoral
votes might surely be now so manipulated as to prevent a slave of Spain
and a tool of the Jesuits from wielding any longer the sceptre of

On the other hand the purpose of the House of Austria was to do away with
the elective principle and the prescriptive rights of the Estates in
Bohemia first, and afterwards perhaps to send the Golden Bull itself to
the limbo of wornout constitutional devices. At present however their
object was to secure their hereditary sovereignty in Prague first, and
then to make sure of the next Imperial election at Frankfurt. Time
afterwards might fight still more in their favour, and fix them in
hereditary possession of the German throne.

The Elector-Palatine had lost no time. His counsellors even before the
coronation of Ferdinand at Prague had done their best to excite alarm
throughout Germany at the document by which Archdukes Maximilian and
Albert had resigned all their hereditary claims in favour of Ferdinand
and his male children. Should there be no such issue, the King of Spain
claimed the succession for his own sons as great-grandchildren of Emperor
Maximilian, considering himself nearer in the line than the Styrian
branch, but being willing to waive his own rights in favour of so ardent
a Catholic as Ferdinand. There was even a secret negotiation going on a
long time between the new king of Bohemia and Philip to arrange for the
precedence of the Spanish males over the Styrian females to the
hereditary Austrian states, and to cede the province of Alsace to Spain.

It was not wonderful that Protestant Germany should be alarmed. After a
century of Protestantism, that Spain should by any possibility come to be
enthroned again over Germany was enough to raise both Luther and Calvin
from their graves. It was certainly enough to set the lively young
palatine in motion. So soon as the election of Frederic was proclaimed,
he had taken up the business in person. Fond of amusement, young, married
to a beautiful bride of the royal house of England, he had hitherto left
politics to his counsellors.

Finding himself frustrated in his ambition by the election of another to
the seat he had fondly deemed his own, he resolved to unseat him if he
could, and, at any rate, to prevent the ulterior consequences of his
elevation. He made a pilgrimage to Sedan, to confer with that
irrepressible intriguer and Huguenot chieftain, the Duc de Bouillon. He
felt sure of the countenance of the States-General, and, of course, of
his near relative the great stadholder. He was resolved to invite the
Duke of Lorraine to head the anti-Austrian party, and to stand for the
kingship of the Romans and the Empire in opposition to Ferdinand. An
emissary sent to Nancy came back with a discouraging reply. The Duke not
only flatly refused the candidacy, but warned the Palatine that if it
really came to a struggle he could reckon on small support anywhere, not
even from those who now seemed warmest for the scheme. Then Frederic
resolved to try his cousin, the great Maximilian of Bavaria, to whom all
Catholics looked with veneration and whom all German Protestants
respected. Had the two branches of the illustrious house of Wittelsbach
been combined in one purpose, the opposition to the House of Austria
might indeed have been formidable. But what were ties of blood compared
to the iron bands of religious love and hatred? How could Maximilian,
sternest of Papists, and Frederick V., flightiest of Calvinists, act
harmoniously in an Imperial election? Moreover, Maximilian was united by
ties of youthful and tender friendship as well as by kindred and perfect
religious sympathy to his other cousin, King Ferdinand himself. The case
seemed hopeless, but the Elector went to Munich, and held conferences
with his cousin. Not willing to take No for an answer so long as it was
veiled under evasive or ornamental phraseology, he continued to negotiate
with Maximilian through his envoys Camerarius and Secretary Neu, who held
long debates with the Duke's chief councillor, Doctor Jocher. Camerarius
assured Jocher that his master was the Hercules to untie the Gordian
knot, and the lion of the tribe of Judah. How either the lion of Judah or
Hercules were to untie the knot which was popularly supposed to have been
cut by the sword of Alexander did not appear, but Maximilian at any rate
was moved neither by entreaties nor tropes. Being entirely averse from
entering himself for the German crown, he grew weary at last of the
importunity with which the scheme was urged. So he wrote a short billet
to his councillor, to be shown to Secretary Neu.

"Dear Jocher," he said, "I am convinced one must let these people
understand the matter in a little plainer German. I am once for all
determined not to let myself into any misunderstanding or even
amplifications with the House of Austria in regard to the succession. I
think also that it would rather be harmful than useful to my house to
take upon myself so heavy a burthen as the German crown."

This time the German was plain enough and produced its effect. Maximilian
was too able a statesman and too conscientious a friend to wish to
exchange his own proud position as chief of the League, acknowledged head
of the great Catholic party, for the slippery, comfortless, and unmeaning
throne of the Holy Empire, which he considered Ferdinand's right.

The chiefs of the anti-Austrian party, especially the Prince of Anhalt
and the Margrave of Anspach, in unison with the Heidelberg cabinet, were
forced to look for another candidate. Accordingly the Margrave and the
Elector-Palatine solemnly agreed that it was indispensable to choose an
emperor who should not be of the House of Austria nor a slave of Spain.
It was, to be sure, not possible to think of a Protestant prince. Bavaria
would not oppose Austria, would also allow too much influence to the
Jesuits. So there remained no one but the Duke of Savoy. He was a prince
of the Empire. He was of German descent, of Saxon race, a great general,
father of his soldiers, who would protect Europe against a Turkish
invasion better than the bastions of Vienna could do. He would be
agreeable to the Catholics, while the Protestants could live under him
without anxiety because the Jesuits would be powerless with him. It would
be a master-stroke if the princes would unite upon him. The King of
France would necessarily be pleased with it, the King of Great Britain

At last the model candidate had been found. The Duke of Savoy having just
finished for a second time his chronic war with Spain, in which the
United Provinces, notwithstanding the heavy drain on their resources, had
allowed him 50,000 florins a month besides the soldiers under Count
Ernest of Nassau, had sent Mansfeld with 4000 men to aid the revolted
estates in Bohemia. Geographically, hereditarily, necessarily the deadly
enemy of the House of Austria, he listened favourably to the overtures
made to him by the princes of the Union, expressed undying hatred for the
Imperial race, and thought the Bohemian revolt a priceless occasion for
expelling them from power. He was informed by the first envoy sent to
him, Christopher van Dohna, that the object of the great movement now
contemplated was to raise him to the Imperial throne at the next
election, to assist the Bohemian estates, to secure the crown of Bohemia
for the Elector-Palatine, to protect the Protestants of Germany, and to
break down the overweening power of the Austrian house.

The Duke displayed no eagerness for the crown of Germany, while approving
the election of Frederic, but expressed entire sympathy with the
enterprise. It was indispensable however to form a general federation in
Europe of England, the Netherlands, Venice, together with Protestant
Germany and himself, before undertaking so mighty a task. While the
negotiations were going on, both Anspach and Anhalt were in great
spirits. The Margrave cried out exultingly, "In a short time the means
will be in our hands for turning the world upside down." He urged the
Prince of Anhalt to be expeditious in his decisions and actions. "He who
wishes to trade," he said, "must come to market early."

There was some disappointment at Heidelberg when the first news from
Turin arrived, the materials for this vast scheme for an overwhelming and
universal European war not seeming to be at their disposition. By and by
the Duke's plans seem to deepen and broaden. He told Mansfeld, who,
accompanied by Secretary Neu, was glad at a pause in his fighting and
brandschatzing in Bohemia to be employed on diplomatic business, that on
the whole he should require the crown of Bohemia for himself. He also
proposed to accept the Imperial crown, and as for Frederic, he would
leave him the crown of Hungary, and would recommend him to round himself
out by adding to his hereditary dominions the province of Alsace, besides
Upper Austria and other territories in convenient proximity to the

Venice, it had been hoped, would aid in the great scheme and might in her
turn round herself out with Friuli and Istria and other tempting
possessions of Ferdinand, in reward for the men and money she was
expected to furnish. That republic had however just concluded a war with
Ferdinand, caused mainly by the depredations of the piratical Uscoques,
in which, as we have seen, she had received the assistance of 4000
Hollanders under command of Count John of Nassau. The Venetians had
achieved many successes, had taken the city of Gortz, and almost reduced
the city of Gradiska. A certain colonel Albert Waldstein however, of whom
more might one day be heard in the history of the war now begun, had
beaten the Venetians and opened a pathway through their ranks for succour
to the beleaguered city. Soon afterwards peace was made on an undertaking
that the Uscoques should be driven from their haunts, their castles
dismantled, and their ships destroyed.

Venice declined an engagement to begin a fresh war.

She hated Ferdinand and Matthias and the whole Imperial brood, but, as
old Barbarigo declared in the Senate, the Republic could not afford to
set her house on fire in order to give Austria the inconvenience of the

Meantime, although the Elector-Palatine had magnanimously agreed to use
his influence in Bohemia in favour of Charles Emmanuel, the Duke seems at
last to have declined proposing himself for that throne. He knew, he
said, that King James wished that station for his son-in-law. The
Imperial crown belonged to no one as yet after the death of Matthias, and
was open therefore to his competition.

Anhalt demanded of Savoy 15,000 men for the maintenance of the good
cause, asserting that "it would be better to have the Turk or the devil
himself on the German throne than leave it to Ferdinand."

The triumvirate ruling at Prague-Thurn, Ruppa, and Hohenlohe--were
anxious for a decision from Frederic. That simple-hearted and ingenuous
young elector had long been troubled both with fears lest after all he
might lose the crown of Bohemia and with qualms of conscience as to the
propriety of taking it even if he could get it. He wrestled much in
prayer and devout meditation whether as anointed prince himself he were
justified in meddling with the anointment of other princes. Ferdinand had
been accepted, proclaimed, crowned. He artlessly sent to Prague to
consult the Estates whether they possessed the right to rebel, to set
aside the reigning dynasty, and to choose a new king. At the same time,
with an eye to business, he stipulated that on account of the great
expense and trouble devolving upon him the crown must be made hereditary
in his family. The impression made upon the grim Thurn and his colleagues
by the simplicity of these questions may be imagined. The splendour and
width of the Savoyard's conceptions fascinated the leaders of the Union.
It seemed to Anspach and Anhalt that it was as well that Frederic should
reign in Hungary as in Bohemia, and the Elector was docile. All had
relied however on the powerful assistance of the great defender of the
Protestant faith, the father-in-law of the Elector, the King of Great
Britain. But James had nothing but cold water and Virgilian quotations
for his son's ardour. He was more under the influence of Gondemar than
ever before, more eagerly hankering for the Infanta, more completely the
slave of Spain. He pledged himself to that government that if the
Protestants in Bohemia continued rebellious, he would do his best to
frustrate their designs, and would induce his son-in-law to have no
further connection with them. And Spain delighted his heart not by
immediately sending over the Infanta, but by proposing that he should
mediate between the contending parties. It would be difficult to imagine
a greater farce. All central Europe was now in arms. The deepest and
gravest questions about which men can fight: the right to worship God
according to their conscience and to maintain civil franchises which have
been earned by the people with the blood and treasure of centuries, were
now to be solved by the sword, and the pupil of Buchanan and the friend
of Buckingham was to step between hundreds of thousands of men in arms
with a classical oration. But James was very proud of the proposal and
accepted it with alacrity.

"You know, my dear son," he wrote to Frederic, "that we are the only king
in Europe that is sought for by friend and foe for his mediation. It
would be for this our lofty part very unbecoming if we were capable of
favouring one of the parties. Your suggestion that we might secretly
support the Bohemians we must totally reject, as it is not our way to do
anything that we would not willingly confess to the whole world."

And to do James justice, he had never fed Frederic with false hopes,
never given a penny for his great enterprise, nor promised him a penny.
He had contented himself with suggesting from time to time that he might
borrow money of the States-General. His daughter Elizabeth must take care
of herself, else what would become of her brother's marriage to the
daughter of Spain.

And now it was war to the knife, in which it was impossible that Holland,
as well as all the other great powers should not soon be involved. It was
disheartening to the cause of freedom and progress, not only that the
great kingdom on which the world, had learned to rely in all movements
upward and onward should be neutralized by the sycophancy of its monarch
to the general oppressor, but that the great republic which so long had
taken the lead in maintaining the liberties of Europe should now be torn
by religious discord within itself, and be turning against the great
statesman who had so wisely guided her councils and so accurately
foretold the catastrophe which was now upon the world.

Meantime the Emperor Matthias, not less forlorn than through his
intrigues and rebellions his brother Rudolph had been made, passed his
days in almost as utter retirement as if he had formally abdicated.
Ferdinand treated him as if in his dotage. His fair young wife too had
died of hard eating in the beginning of the winter to his inexpressible
grief, so that there was nothing left to solace him now but the
Rudolphian Museum.

He had made but one public appearance since the coronation of Ferdinand
in Prague. Attended by his brother Maximilian, by King Ferdinand, and by
Cardinal Khlesl, he had towards the end of the year 1617 paid a visit to
the Elector John George at Dresden. The Imperial party had been received
with much enthusiasm by the great leader of Lutheranism. The Cardinal had
seriously objected to accompanying the Emperor on this occasion. Since
the Reformation no cardinal had been seen at the court of Saxony. He
cared not personally for the pomps and glories of his rank, but still as
prince of the Church he had settled right of precedence over electors. To
waive it would be disrespectful to the Pope, to claim it would lead to
squabbles. But Ferdinand had need of his skill to secure the vote of
Saxony at the next Imperial election. The Cardinal was afraid of
Ferdinand with good reason, and complied. By an agreeable fiction he was
received at court not as cardinal but as minister, and accommodated with
an humble place at table. Many looking on with astonishment thought he
would have preferred to dine by himself in retirement. But this was not
the bitterest of the mortifications that the pastor and guide of Matthias
was to suffer at the hands of Ferdinand before his career should be
closed. The visit at Dresden was successful, however. John George, being
a claimant, as we have seen, for the Duchies of Cleve and Julich, had
need of the Emperor. The King had need of John George's vote. There was a
series of splendid balls, hunting parties, carousings.

The Emperor was an invalid, the King was abstemious, but the Elector was
a mighty drinker. It was not his custom nor that of his councillors to go
to bed. They were usually carried there. But it was the wish of Ferdinand
to be conciliatory, and he bore himself as well as he could at the
banquet. The Elector was also a mighty hunter. Neither of his Imperial
guests cared for field sports, but they looked out contentedly from the
window of a hunting-lodge, before which for their entertainment the
Elector and his courtiers slaughtered eight bears, ten stags, ten pigs,
and eleven badgers, besides a goodly number of other game; John George
shooting also three martens from a pole erected for that purpose in the
courtyard. It seemed proper for him thus to exhibit a specimen of the
skill for which he was justly famed. The Elector before his life closed,
so says the chronicle, had killed 28,000 wild boars, 208 bears, 3543
wolves, 200 badgers, 18,967 foxes, besides stags and roedeer in still
greater number, making a grand total of 113,629 beasts. The leader of the
Lutheran party of Germany had not lived in vain.

Thus the great chiefs of Catholicism and of Protestantism amicably
disported themselves in the last days of the year, while their respective
forces were marshalling for mortal combat all over Christendom. The
Elector certainly loved neither Matthias nor Ferdinand, but he hated the
Palatine. The chief of the German Calvinists disputed that Protestant
hegemony which John George claimed by right. Indeed the immense advantage
enjoyed by the Catholics at the outbreak of the religious war from the
mutual animosities between the two great divisions of the Reformed Church
was already terribly manifest. What an additional power would it derive
from the increased weakness of the foe, should there be still other and
deeper and more deadly schisms within one great division itself!

"The Calvinists and Lutherans," cried the Jesuit Scioppius, "are so
furiously attacking each other with calumnies and cursings and are
persecuting each other to such extent as to give good hope that the
devilish weight and burthen of them will go to perdition and shame of
itself, and the heretics all do bloody execution upon each other.
Certainly if ever a golden time existed for exterminating the heretics,
it is the present time."

The Imperial party took their leave of Dresden, believing themselves to
have secured the electoral vote of Saxony; the Elector hoping for
protection to his interests in the duchies through that sequestration to
which Barneveld had opposed such vigorous resistance. There had been much
slavish cringing before these Catholic potentates by the courtiers of
Dresden, somewhat amazing to the ruder churls of Saxony, the common
people, who really believed in the religion which their prince had
selected for them and himself.

And to complete the glaring contrast, Ferdinand and Matthias had scarcely
turned their backs before tremendous fulminations upon the ancient church
came from the Elector and from all the doctors of theology in Saxony.

For the jubilee of the hundredth anniversary of the Reformation was
celebrated all over Germany in the autumn of this very year, and nearly
at the exact moment of all this dancing, and fuddling, and pig shooting
at Dresden in honour of emperors and cardinals. And Pope Paul V. had
likewise ordained a jubilee for true believers at almost the same time.

The Elector did not mince matters in his proclamation from any regard to
the feelings of his late guests. He called on all Protestants to rejoice,
"because the light of the Holy Gospel had now shone brightly in the
electoral dominions for a hundred years, the Omnipotent keeping it
burning notwithstanding the raging and roaring of the hellish enemy and
all his scaly servants."

The doctors of divinity were still more emphatic in their phraseology.
They called on all professors and teachers of the true Evangelical
churches, not only in Germany but throughout Christendom, to keep the
great jubilee. They did this in terms not calculated certainly to smother
the flames of religious and party hatred, even if it had been possible at
that moment to suppress the fire. "The great God of Heaven," they said,
"had caused the undertaking of His holy instrument Mr. Doctor Martin
Luther to prosper. Through His unspeakable mercy he has driven away the
Papal darkness and caused the sun of righteousness once more to beam upon
the world. The old idolatries, blasphemies, errors, and horrors of the
benighted Popedom have been exterminated in many kingdoms and countries.
Innumerable sheep of the Lord Christ have been fed on the wholesome
pasture of the Divine Word in spite of those monstrous, tearing, ravenous
wolves, the Pope and his followers. The enemy of God and man, the ancient
serpent, may hiss and rage. Yes, the Roman antichrist in his frantic
blusterings may bite off his own tongue, may fulminate all kinds of
evils, bans, excommunications, wars, desolations, and burnings, as long
and as much as he likes. But if we take refuge with the Lord God, what
can this inane, worn-out man and water-bubble do to us?" With more in the
same taste.

The Pope's bull for the Catholic jubilee was far more decorous and lofty
in tone, for it bewailed the general sin in Christendom, and called on
all believers to flee from the wrath about to descend upon the earth, in
terms that were almost prophetic. He ordered all to pray that the Lord
might lift up His Church, protect it from the wiles of the enemy,
extirpate heresies, grant peace and true unity among Christian princes,
and mercifully avert disasters already coming near.

But if the language of Paul V. was measured and decent, the swarm of
Jesuit pamphleteers that forthwith began to buzz and to sting all over
Christendom were sufficiently venomous. Scioppius, in his Alarm Trumpet
to the Holy War, and a hundred others declared that all heresies and
heretics were now to be extirpated, the one true church to be united and
re-established, and that the only road to such a consummation was a path
of blood.

The Lutheran preachers, on the other hand, obedient to the summons from
Dresden, vied with each other in every town and village in heaping
denunciations, foul names, and odious imputations on the Catholics; while
the Calvinists, not to be behindhand with their fellow Reformers,
celebrated the jubilee, especially at Heidelberg, by excluding Papists
from hope of salvation, and bewailing the fate of all churches sighing
under the yoke of Rome.

And not only were the Papists and the Reformers exchanging these blasts
and counterblasts of hatred, not less deadly in their effects than the
artillery of many armies, but as if to make a thorough exhibition of
human fatuity when drunk with religious passion, the Lutherans were
making fierce paper and pulpit war upon the Calvinists. Especially Hoe,
court preacher of John George, ceaselessly hurled savage libels against
them. In the name of the theological faculty of Wittenberg, he addressed
a "truehearted warning to all Lutheran Christians in Bohemia, Moravia,
Silesia, and other provinces, to beware of the erroneous Calvinistic
religion." He wrote a letter to Count Schlick, foremost leader in the
Bohemian movement, asking whether "the unquiet Calvinist spirit, should
it gain ascendency, would be any more endurable than the Papists. Oh what
woe, what infinite woe," he cried, "for those noble countries if they
should all be thrust into the jaws of Calvinism!"

Did not preacher Hoe's master aspire to the crown of Bohemia himself? Was
he not furious at the start which Heidelberg had got of him in the race
for that golden prize? Was he not mad with jealousy of the Palatine, of
the Palatine's religion, and of the Palatine's claim to "hegemony" in

Thus embittered and bloodthirsty towards each other were the two great
sections of the Reformed religion on the first centennial jubilee of the
Reformation. Such was the divided front which the anti-Catholic party
presented at the outbreak of the war with Catholicism.

Ferdinand, on the other hand, was at the head of a comparatively united
party. He could hardly hope for more than benevolent neutrality from the
French government, which, in spite of the Spanish marriages, dared not
wholly desert the Netherlands and throw itself into the hands of Spain;
but Spanish diplomacy had enslaved the British king, and converted what
should have been an active and most powerful enemy into an efficient if
concealed ally. The Spanish and archiducal armies were enveloping the
Dutch republic, from whence the most powerful support could be expected
for the Protestant cause. Had it not been for the steadiness of
Barneveld, Spain would have been at that moment established in full
panoply over the whole surface of those inestimable positions, the
disputed duchies. Venice was lukewarm, if not frigid; and Savoy, although
deeply pledged by passion and interest to the downfall of the House of
Austria, was too dangerously situated herself, too distant, too poor, and
too Catholic to be very formidable.

Ferdinand was safe from the Turkish side. A twenty years' peace,
renewable by agreement, between the Holy Empire and the Sultan had been
negotiated by those two sons of bakers, Cardinal Khlesl and the Vizier
Etmekdschifade. It was destined to endure through all the horrors of the
great war, a stronger protection to Vienna than all the fortifications
which the engineering art could invent. He was safe too from Poland, King
Sigmund being not only a devoted Catholic but doubly his brother-in-law.

Spain, therefore, the Spanish Netherlands, the Pope, and the German
League headed by Maximilian of Bavaria, the ablest prince on the
continent of Europe, presented a square, magnificent phalanx on which
Ferdinand might rely. The States-General, on the other hand, were a most
dangerous foe. With a centennial hatred of Spain, splendidly disciplined
armies and foremost navy of the world, with an admirable financial system
and vast commercial resources, with a great stadholder, first captain of
the age, thirsting for war, and allied in blood as well as religion to
the standard-bearer of the Bohemian revolt; with councils directed by the
wisest and most experienced of living statesman, and with the very life
blood of her being derived from the fountain of civil and religious
liberty, the great Republic of the United Netherlands--her Truce with the
hereditary foe just expiring was, if indeed united, strong enough at the
head of the Protestant forces of Europe to dictate to a world in arms.

Alas! was it united?

As regarded internal affairs of most pressing interest, the electoral
vote at the next election at Frankfurt had been calculated as being
likely to yield a majority of one for the opposition candidate, should
the Savoyard or any other opposition candidate be found. But the
calculation was a close one and might easily be fallacious. Supposing the
Palatine elected King of Bohemia by the rebellious estates, as was
probable, he could of course give the vote of that electorate and his own
against Ferdinand, and the vote of Brandenburg at that time seemed safe.
But Ferdinand by his visit to Dresden had secured the vote of Saxony,
while of the three ecclesiastical electors, Cologne and Mayence were sure
for him. Thus it would be three and three, and the seventh and decisive
vote would be that of the Elector-Bishop of Treves. The sanguine Frederic
thought that with French influence and a round sum of money this
ecclesiastic might be got to vote for the opposition candidate. The
ingenious combination was not destined to be successful, and as there has
been no intention in the present volume to do more than slightly indicate
the most prominent movements and mainsprings of the great struggle so far
as Germany is concerned, without entering into detail, it may be as well
to remind the reader that it proved wonderfully wrong. Matthias died on
the 20th March, 1619, the election of a new emperor took place at
Frankfurt On the 28th of the following August, and not only did Saxony
and all three ecclesiastical electors vote for Ferdinand, but Brandenburg
likewise, as well as the Elector-Palatine himself, while Ferdinand,
personally present in the assembly as Elector of Bohemia, might according
to the Golden Bull have given the seventh vote for himself had he chosen
to do so. Thus the election was unanimous.

Strange to say, as the electors proceeded through the crowd from the hall
of election to accompany the new emperor to the church where he was to
receive the popular acclaim, the news reached them from Prague that the
Elector-Palatine had been elected King of Bohemia.

Thus Frederic, by voting for Ferdinand, had made himself voluntarily a
rebel should he accept the crown now offered him. Had the news arrived
sooner, a different result and even a different history might have been


Barneveld connected with the East India Company, but opposed to the West
India Company--Carleton comes from Venice inimical to Barneveld--Maurice
openly the Chieftain of the Contra-Remonstrants--Tumults about the
Churches--"Orange or Spain" the Cry of Prince Maurice and his Party--They
take possession of the Cloister Church--"The Sharp Resolve"--Carleton's
Orations before the States-General.

King James never forgave Barneveld for drawing from him those famous
letters to the States in which he was made to approve the Five Points and
to admit the possibility of salvation under them. These epistles had
brought much ridicule upon James, who was not amused by finding his
theological discussions a laughing-stock. He was still more incensed by
the biting criticisms made upon the cheap surrender of the cautionary
towns, and he hated more than ever the statesman who, as he believed, had
twice outwitted him.

On the other hand, Maurice, inspired by his brother-in-law the Duke of
Bouillon and by the infuriated Francis Aerssens, abhorred Barneveld's
French policy, which was freely denounced by the French Calvinists and by
the whole orthodox church. In Holland he was still warmly sustained
except in the Contra-Remonstrant Amsterdam and a few other cities of less
importance. But there were perhaps deeper reasons for the Advocate's
unpopularity in the great commercial metropolis than theological
pretexts. Barneveld's name and interests were identified with the great
East India Company, which was now powerful and prosperous beyond anything
ever dreamt of before in the annals of commerce. That trading company had
already founded an empire in the East. Fifty ships of war, fortresses
guarded by 4000 pieces of artillery and 10,000 soldiers and sailors,
obeyed the orders of a dozen private gentlemen at home seated in a back
parlour around a green table. The profits of each trading voyage were
enormous, and the shareholders were growing rich beyond their wildest
imaginings. To no individual so much as to Holland's Advocate was this
unexampled success to be ascribed. The vast prosperity of the East India
Company had inspired others with the ambition to found a similar
enterprise in the West. But to the West India Company then projected and
especially favoured in Amsterdam, Barneveld was firmly opposed. He
considered it as bound up with the spirit of military adventure and
conquest, and as likely to bring on prematurely and unwisely a renewed
conflict with Spain. The same reasons which had caused him to urge the
Truce now influenced his position in regard to the West India Company.

Thus the clouds were gathering every day more darkly over the head of the
Advocate. The powerful mercantile interest in the great seat of traffic
in the Republic, the personal animosity of the Stadholder, the
execrations of the orthodox party in France, England, and all the
Netherlands, the anger of the French princes and all those of the old
Huguenot party who had been foolish enough to act with the princes in
their purely selfish schemes against the government, and the overflowing
hatred of King James, whose darling schemes of Spanish marriages and a
Spanish alliance had been foiled by the Advocate's masterly policy in
France and in the duchies, and whose resentment at having been so
completely worsted and disarmed in the predestination matter and in the
redemption of the great mortgage had deepened into as terrible wrath as
outraged bigotry and vanity could engender; all these elements made up a
stormy atmosphere in which the strongest heart might have quailed. But
Barneveld did not quail. Doubtless he loved power, and the more danger he
found on every side the less inclined he was to succumb. But he honestly
believed that the safety and prosperity of the country he had so long and
faithfully served were identified with the policy which he was pursuing.
Arrogant, overbearing, self-concentrated, accustomed to lead senates and
to guide the councils and share the secrets of kings, familiar with and
almost an actor in every event in the political history not only of his
own country but of every important state in Christendom during nearly two
generations of mankind, of unmatched industry, full of years and
experience, yet feeling within him the youthful strength of a thousand
intellects compared to most of those by which he was calumniated,
confronted, and harassed; he accepted the great fight which was forced
upon him. Irascible, courageous, austere, contemptuous, he looked around
and saw the Republic whose cradle he had rocked grown to be one of the
most powerful and prosperous among the states of the world, and could
with difficulty imagine that in this supreme hour of her strength and her
felicity she was ready to turn and rend the man whom she was bound by
every tie of duty to cherish and to revere.

Sir Dudley Carleton, the new English ambassador to the States, had
arrived during the past year red-hot from Venice. There he had perhaps
not learned especially to love the new republic which had arisen among
the northern lagunes, and whose admission among the nations had been at
last accorded by the proud Queen of the Adriatic, notwithstanding the
objections and the intrigues both of French and English representatives.
He had come charged to the brim with the political spite of James against
the Advocate, and provided too with more than seven vials of theological
wrath. Such was the King's revenge for Barneveld's recent successes. The
supporters in the Netherlands of the civil authority over the Church were
moreover to be instructed by the political head of the English Church
that such supremacy, although highly proper for a king, was "thoroughly
unsuitable for a many-headed republic." So much for church government. As
for doctrine, Arminianism and Vorstianism were to be blasted with one
thunderstroke from the British throne.

"In Holland," said James to his envoy, "there have been violent and sharp
contestations amongst the towns in the cause of religion . . . . . If
they shall be unhappily revived during your time, you shall not forget
that you are the minister of that master whom God hath made the sole
protector of His religion."

There was to be no misunderstanding in future as to the dogmas which the
royal pope of Great Britain meant to prescribe to his Netherland
subjects. Three years before, at the dictation of the Advocate, he had
informed the States that he was convinced of their ability to settle the
deplorable dissensions as to religion according to their wisdom and the
power which belonged to them over churches and church servants. He had
informed them of his having learned by experience that such questions
could hardly be decided by the wranglings of theological professors, and
that it was better to settle them by public authority and to forbid their
being brought into the pulpit or among common people. He had recommended
mutual toleration of religious difference until otherwise ordained by the
public civil authority, and had declared that neither of the two opinions
in regard to predestination was in his opinion far from the truth or
inconsistent with Christian faith or the salvation of souls.

It was no wonder that these utterances were quite after the Advocate's
heart, as James had faithfully copied them from the Advocate's draft.

But now in the exercise of his infallibility the King issued other
decrees. His minister was instructed to support the extreme views of the
orthodox both as to government and dogma, and to urge the National Synod,
as it were, at push of pike. "Besides the assistance," said he to
Carleton, "which we would have you give to the true professors of the
Gospel in your discourse and conferences, you may let fall how hateful
the maintenance of these erroneous opinions is to the majesty of God, how
displeasing unto us their dearest friends, and how disgraceful to the
honour and government of that state."

And faithfully did the Ambassador act up to his instructions. Most
sympathetically did he embody the hatred of the King. An able,
experienced, highly accomplished diplomatist and scholar, ready with
tongue and pen, caustic, censorious, prejudiced, and partial, he was soon
foremost among the foes of the Advocate in the little court of the Hague,
and prepared at any moment to flourish the political and theological goad
when his master gave the word.

Nothing in diplomatic history is more eccentric than the long sermons
upon abstruse points of divinity and ecclesiastical history which the
English ambassador delivered from time to time before the States-General
in accordance with elaborate instructions drawn up by his sovereign with
his own hand. Rarely has a king been more tedious, and he bestowed all
his tediousness upon My Lords the States-General. Nothing could be more
dismal than these discourses, except perhaps the contemporaneous and
interminable orations of Grotius to the states of Holland, to the
magistrates of Amsterdam, to the states of Utrecht; yet Carleton was a
man of the world, a good debater, a ready writer, while Hugo Grotius was
one of the great lights of that age and which shone for all time.

Among the diplomatic controversies of history, rarely refreshing at best,
few have been more drouthy than those once famous disquisitions, and they
shall be left to shrivel into the nothingness of the past, so far as is
consistent with the absolute necessities of this narrative.

The contest to which the Advocate was called had become mainly a personal
and a political one, although the weapons with which it was fought were
taken from ecclesiastical arsenals. It was now an unequal contest.

For the great captain of the country and of his time, the son of William
the Silent, the martial stadholder, in the fulness of his fame and vigour
of his years, had now openly taken his place as the chieftain of the
Contra-Remonstrants. The conflict between the civil and the military
element for supremacy in a free commonwealth has never been more vividly
typified than in this death-grapple between Maurice and Barneveld.

The aged but still vigorous statesman, ripe with half a century of
political lore, and the high-born, brilliant, and scientific soldier,
with the laurels of Turnhout and Nieuwpoort and of a hundred famous
sieges upon his helmet, reformer of military science, and no mean
proficient in the art of politics and government, were the
representatives and leaders of the two great parties into which the
Commonwealth had now unhappily divided itself. But all history shows that
the brilliant soldier of a republic is apt to have the advantage, in a
struggle for popular affection and popular applause, over the statesman,
however consummate. The general imagination is more excited by the
triumphs of the field than by those of the tribune, and the man who has
passed many years of life in commanding multitudes with necessarily
despotic sway is often supposed to have gained in the process the
attributes likely to render him most valuable as chief citizen of a flee
commonwealth. Yet national enthusiasm is so universally excited by
splendid military service as to forbid a doubt that the sentiment is
rooted deeply in our nature, while both in antiquity and in modern times
there are noble although rare examples of the successful soldier
converting himself into a valuable and exemplary magistrate.

In the rivalry of Maurice and Barneveld however for the national
affection the chances were singularly against the Advocate. The great
battles and sieges of the Prince had been on a world's theatre, had
enchained the attention of Christendom, and on their issue had frequently
depended, or seemed to depend, the very existence of the nation. The
labours of the statesman, on the contrary, had been comparatively secret.
His noble orations and arguments had been spoken with closed doors to
assemblies of colleagues--rather envoys than senators--were never printed
or even reported, and could be judged of only by their effects; while his
vast labours in directing both the internal administration and especially
the foreign affairs of the Commonwealth had been by their very nature as
secret as they were perpetual and enormous.

Moreover, there was little of what we now understand as the democratic
sentiment in the Netherlands. There was deep and sturdy attachment to
ancient traditions, privileges, special constitutions extorted from a
power acknowledged to be superior to the people. When partly to save
those chartered rights, and partly to overthrow the horrible
ecclesiastical tyranny of the sixteenth century, the people had
accomplished a successful revolt, they never dreamt of popular
sovereignty, but allowed the municipal corporations, by which their local
affairs had been for centuries transacted, to unite in offering to
foreign princes, one after another, the crown which they had torn from
the head of the Spanish king. When none was found to accept the dangerous
honour, they had acquiesced in the practical sovereignty of the States;
but whether the States-General or the States-Provincial were the supreme
authority had certainly not been definitely and categorically settled. So
long as the States of Holland, led by the Advocate, had controlled in
great matters the political action of the States-General, while the
Stadholder stood without a rival at the head of their military affairs,
and so long as there were no fierce disputes as to government and dogma
within the bosom of the Reformed Church, the questions which were now
inflaming the whole population had been allowed to slumber.

The termination of the war and the rise of Arminianism were almost
contemporaneous. The Stadholder, who so unwillingly had seen the
occupation in which he had won so much glory taken from him by the Truce,
might perhaps find less congenial but sufficiently engrossing business as
champion of the Church and of the Union.

The new church--not freedom of worship for different denominations of
Christians, but supremacy of the Church of Heidelberg and Geneva--seemed
likely to be the result of the overthrow of the ancient church. It is the
essence of the Catholic Church to claim supremacy over and immunity from
the civil authority, and to this claim for the Reformed Church, by which
that of Rome had been supplanted, Barneveld was strenuously opposed.

The Stadholder was backed, therefore, by the Church in its purity, by the
majority of the humbler classes--who found in membership of the oligarchy
of Heaven a substitute for those democratic aspirations on earth which
were effectually suppressed between the two millstones of burgher
aristocracy and military discipline--and by the States-General, a
majority of which were Contra-Remonstrant in their faith.

If the sword is usually an overmatch for the long robe in political
struggles, the cassock has often proved superior to both combined. But in
the case now occupying our attention the cassock was in alliance with the
sword. Clearly the contest was becoming a desperate one for the

And while the controversy between the chiefs waged hotter and hotter, the
tumults around the churches on Sundays in every town and village grew
more and more furious, ending generally in open fights with knives,
bludgeons, and brickbats; preachers and magistrates being often too glad
to escape with a whole skin. One can hardly be ingenuous enough to
consider all this dirking, battering, and fisticuffing as the legitimate
and healthy outcome of a difference as to the knotty point whether all
men might or might not be saved by repentance and faith in Christ.

The Greens and Blues of the Byzantine circus had not been more typical of
fierce party warfare in the Lower Empire than the greens and blues of
predestination in the rising commonwealth, according to the real or
imagined epigram of Prince Maurice.

"Your divisions in religion," wrote Secretary Lake to Carleton, "have, I
doubt not, a deeper root than is discerned by every one, and I doubt not
that the Prince Maurice's carriage doth make a jealousy of affecting a
party under the pretence of supporting one side, and that the States fear
his ends and aims, knowing his power with the men of war; and that
howsoever all be shadowed under the name of religion there is on either
part a civil end, of the one seeking a step of higher authority, of the
other a preservation of liberty."

And in addition to other advantages the Contra-Remonstrants had now got a
good cry--an inestimable privilege in party contests.

"There are two factions in the land," said Maurice, "that of Orange and
that of Spain, and the two chiefs of the Spanish faction are those
political and priestly Arminians, Uytenbogaert and Oldenbarneveld."

Orange and Spain! the one name associated with all that was most
venerated and beloved throughout the country, for William the Silent
since his death was almost a god; the other ineradicably entwined at that
moment with, everything execrated throughout the land. The Prince of
Orange's claim to be head of the Orange faction could hardly be disputed,
but it was a master stroke of political malice to fix the stigma of
Spanish partisanship on the Advocate. If the venerable patriot who had
been fighting Spain, sometimes on the battle-field and always in the
council, ever since he came to man's estate, could be imagined even in a
dream capable of being bought with Spanish gold to betray his country,
who in the ranks of the Remonstrant party could be safe from such
accusations? Each party accused the other of designs for altering or
subverting the government. Maurice was suspected of what were called
Leicestrian projects, "Leycestrana consilia"--for the Earl's plots to
gain possession of Leyden and Utrecht had never been forgotten--while the
Prince and those who acted with him asserted distinctly that it was the
purpose of Barneveld to pave the way for restoring the Spanish
sovereignty and the Popish religion so soon as the Truce had reached its

Spain and Orange. Nothing for a faction fight could be neater. Moreover
the two words rhyme in Netherlandish, which is the case in no other
language, "Spanje-Oranje." The sword was drawn and the banner unfurled.

The "Mud Beggars" of the Hague, tired of tramping to Ryswyk of a Sunday
to listen to Henry Rosaeus, determined on a private conventicle in the
capital. The first barn selected was sealed up by the authorities, but
Epoch Much, book-keeper of Prince Maurice, then lent them his house. The
Prince declared that sooner than they should want a place of assembling
he would give them his own. But he meant that they should have a public
church to themselves, and that very soon. King James thoroughly approved
of all these proceedings. At that very instant such of his own subjects
as had seceded from the Established Church to hold conventicles in barns
and breweries and backshops in London were hunted by him with bishops'
pursuivants and other beagles like vilest criminals, thrown into prison
to rot, or suffered to escape from their Fatherland into the
trans-Atlantic wilderness, there to battle with wild beasts and savages,
and to die without knowing themselves the fathers of a more powerful
United States than the Dutch Republic, where they were fain to seek in
passing a temporary shelter. He none the less instructed his envoy at the
Hague to preach the selfsame doctrines for which the New England Puritans
were persecuted, and importunately and dictatorially to plead the cause
of those Hollanders who, like Bradford and Robinson, Winthrop and Cotton,
maintained the independence of the Church over the State.

Logic is rarely the quality on which kings pride themselves, and
Puritanism in the Netherlands, although under temporary disadvantage at
the Hague, was evidently the party destined to triumph throughout the
country. James could safely sympathize therefore in Holland with what he
most loathed in England, and could at the same time feed fat the grudge
he owed the Advocate. The calculations of Barneveld as to the respective
political forces of the Commonwealth seem to have been to a certain
extent defective.

He allowed probably too much weight to the Catholic party as a motive
power at that moment, and he was anxious both from that consideration and
from his honest natural instinct for general toleration; his own broad
and unbigoted views in religious matters, not to force that party into a
rebellious attitude dangerous to the state. We have seen how nearly a
mutiny in the important city of Utrecht, set on foot by certain Romanist
conspirators in the years immediately succeeding the Truce, had subverted
the government, had excited much anxiety amongst the firmest allies of
the Republic, and had been suppressed only by the decision of the
Advocate and a show of military force.

He had informed Carleton not long after his arrival that in the United
Provinces, and in Holland in particular, were many sects and religions of
which, according to his expression, "the healthiest and the richest part
were the Papists, while the Protestants did not make up one-third part of
the inhabitants."

Certainly, if these statistics were correct or nearly correct, there
could be nothing more stupid from a purely political point of view than
to exasperate so influential a portion of the community to madness and
rebellion by refusing them all rights of public worship. Yet because the
Advocate had uniformly recommended indulgence, he had incurred more odium
at home than from any other cause. Of course he was a Papist in disguise,
ready to sell his country to Spain, because he was willing that more than
half the population of the country should be allowed to worship God
according to their conscience. Surely it would be wrong to judge the
condition of things at that epoch by the lights of to-day, and perhaps in
the Netherlands there had before been no conspicuous personage, save
William the Silent alone, who had risen to the height of toleration on
which the Advocate essayed to stand. Other leading politicians considered
that the national liberties could be preserved only by retaining the
Catholics in complete subjection.

At any rate the Advocate was profoundly convinced of the necessity of
maintaining harmony and mutual toleration among the Protestants
themselves, who, as he said, made up but one-third of the whole people.
In conversing with the English ambassador he divided them into "Puritans
and double Puritans," as they would be called, he said, in England. If
these should be at variance with each other, he argued, the Papists would
be the strongest of all. "To prevent this inconvenience," he said, "the
States were endeavouring to settle some certain form of government in the
Church; which being composed of divers persecuted churches such as in the
beginning of the wars had their refuge here, that which during the wars
could not be so well done they now thought seasonable for a time of
truce; and therefore would show their authority in preventing the schism
of the Church which would follow the separation of those they call
Remonstrants and Contra-Remonstrants."

There being no word so offensive to Carleton's sovereign as the word
Puritan, the Ambassador did his best to persuade the Advocate that a
Puritan in Holland was a very different thing from a Puritan in England.
In England he was a noxious vermin, to be hunted with dogs. In the
Netherlands he was the governing power. But his arguments were vapourous
enough and made little impression on Barneveld. "He would no ways yield,"
said Sir Dudley.

Meantime the Contra-Remonstrants of the Hague, not finding sufficient
accommodation in Enoch Much's house, clamoured loudly for the use of a
church. It was answered by the city magistrates that two of their
persuasion, La Motte and La Faille, preached regularly in the Great
Church, and that Rosaeus had been silenced only because he refused to
hold communion with Uytenbogaert. Maurice insisted that a separate church
should be assigned them. "But this is open schism," said Uytenbogaert.

Early in the year there was a meeting of the Holland delegation to the
States-General, of the state council, and of the magistracy of the Hague,
of deputies from the tribunals, and of all the nobles resident in the
capital. They sent for Maurice and asked his opinion as to the alarming
situation of affairs. He called for the register-books of the States of
Holland, and turning back to the pages on which was recorded his
accession to the stadholderate soon after his father's murder, ordered
the oath then exchanged between himself and the States to be read aloud.

That oath bound them mutually to support the Reformed religion till the
last drop of blood in their veins.

"That oath I mean to keep," said the Stadholder, "so long as I live."

No one disputed the obligation of all parties to maintain the Reformed
religion. But the question was whether the Five Points were inconsistent
with the Reformed religion. The contrary was clamorously maintained by
most of those present: In the year 1586 this difference in dogma had not
arisen, and as the large majority of the people at the Hague, including
nearly all those of rank and substance, were of the Remonstrant
persuasion, they naturally found it not agreeable to be sent out of the
church by a small minority. But Maurice chose to settle the question very
summarily. His father had been raised to power by the strict Calvinists,
and he meant to stand by those who had always sustained William the
Silent. "For this religion my father lost his life, and this religion
will I defend," said he.

"You hold then," said Barneveld, "that the Almighty has created one child
for damnation and another for salvation, and you wish this doctrine to be
publicly preached."

"Did you ever hear any one preach that?" replied the Prince.

"If they don't preach it, it is their inmost conviction," said the other.
And he proceeded to prove his position by copious citations.

"And suppose our ministers do preach this doctrine, is there anything
strange in it, any reason why they should not do so?"

The Advocate expressed his amazement and horror at the idea.

"But does not God know from all eternity who is to be saved and who to be
damned; and does He create men for any other end than that to which He
from eternity knows they will come?"

And so they enclosed themselves in the eternal circle out of which it was
not probable that either the soldier or the statesman would soon find an

"I am no theologian," said Barneveld at last, breaking off the

"Neither am I," said the Stadholder. "So let the parsons come together.
Let the Synod assemble and decide the question. Thus we shall get out of
all this."

Next day a deputation of the secessionists waited by appointment on
Prince Maurice. They found him in the ancient mediaeval hall of the
sovereign counts of Holland, and seated on their old chair of state. He
recommended them to use caution and moderation for the present, and to go
next Sunday once more to Ryswyk. Afterwards he pledged himself that they
should have a church at the Hague, and, if necessary, the Great Church

But the Great Church, although a very considerable Catholic cathedral
before the Reformation, was not big enough now to hold both Henry Rosaeus
and John Uytenbogaert. Those two eloquent, learned, and most pugnacious
divines were the respective champions in the pulpit of the opposing
parties, as were the Advocate and the Stadholder in the council. And
there was as bitter personal rivalry between the two as between the
soldier and statesman.

"The factions begin to divide themselves," said Carleton, "betwixt his
Excellency and Monsieur Barneveld as heads who join to this present
difference their ancient quarrels. And the schism rests actually between
Uytenbogaert and Rosaeus, whose private emulation and envy (both being
much applauded and followed) doth no good towards the public
pacification." Uytenbogaert repeatedly offered, however, to resign his
functions and to leave the Hague. "He was always ready to play the
Jonah," he said.

A temporary arrangement was made soon afterwards by which Rosaeus and his
congregation should have the use of what was called the Gasthuis Kerk,
then appropriated to the English embassy.

Carleton of course gave his consent most willingly. The Prince declared
that the States of Holland and the city magistracy had personally
affronted him by the obstacles they had interposed to the public worship
of the Contra-Remonstrants. With their cause he had now thoroughly
identified himself.

The hostility between the representatives of the civil and military
authority waxed fiercer every hour. The tumults were more terrible than
ever. Plainly there was no room in the Commonwealth for the Advocate and
the Stadholder. Some impartial persons believed that there would be no
peace until both were got rid of. "There are many words among this
free-spoken people," said Carleton, "that to end these differences they
must follow the example of France in Marshal d'Ancre's case, and take off
the heads of both chiefs."

But these decided persons were in a small minority. Meantime the States
of Holland met in full assembly; sixty delegates being present.

It was proposed to invite his Excellency to take part in the
deliberations. A committee which had waited upon him the day before had
reported him as in favour of moderate rather than harsh measures in the
church affair, while maintaining his plighted word to the seceders.

Barneveld stoutly opposed the motion.

"What need had the sovereign states of Holland of advice from a
stadholder, from their servant, their functionary?" he cried.

But the majority for once thought otherwise. The Prince was invited to
come. The deliberations were moderate but inconclusive. He appeared again
at an adjourned meeting when the councils were not so harmonious.

Barneveld, Grotius, and other eloquent speakers endeavoured to point out
that the refusal of the seceders to hold communion with the Remonstrant
preachers and to insist on a separation was fast driving the state to
perdition. They warmly recommended mutual toleration and harmony. Grotius
exhausted learning and rhetoric to prove that the Five Points were not
inconsistent with salvation nor with the constitution of the United

The Stadholder grew impatient at last and clapped his hand on his rapier.

"No need here," he said, "of flowery orations and learned arguments. With
this good sword I will defend the religion which my father planted in
these Provinces, and I should like to see the man who is going to prevent

The words had an heroic ring in the ears of such as are ever ready to
applaud brute force, especially when wielded by a prince. The argumentum
ad ensem, however, was the last plea that William the Silent would have
been likely to employ on such an occasion, nor would it have been easy to
prove that the Reformed religion had been "planted" by one who had drawn
the sword against the foreign tyrant, and had made vast sacrifices for
his country's independence years before abjuring communion with the Roman
Catholic Church.

When swords are handled by the executive in presence of civil assemblies
there is usually but one issue to be expected.

Moreover, three whales had recently been stranded at Scheveningen, one of
them more than sixty feet long, and men wagged their beards gravely as
they spoke of the event, deeming it a certain presage of civil
commotions. It was remembered that at the outbreak of the great war two
whales had been washed ashore in the Scheldt. Although some free-thinking
people were inclined to ascribe the phenomenon to a prevalence of strong
westerly gales, while others found proof in it of a superabundance of
those creatures in the Polar seas, which should rather give encouragement
to the Dutch and Zealand fisheries, it is probable that quite as dark
forebodings of coming disaster were caused by this accident as by the
trumpet-like defiance which the Stadholder had just delivered to the
States of Holland.

Meantime the seceding congregation of the Hague had become wearied of the
English or Gasthuis Church, and another and larger one had been promised
them. This was an ancient convent on one of the principal streets of the
town, now used as a cannon-foundry. The Prince personally superintended
the preparations for getting ready this place of worship, which was
thenceforth called the Cloister Church. But delays were, as the
Contra-Remonstrants believed, purposely interposed, so that it was nearly
Midsummer before there were any signs of the church being fit for use.

They hastened accordingly to carry it, as it were, by assault. Not
wishing peaceably to accept as a boon from the civil authority what they
claimed as an indefeasible right, they suddenly took possession one
Sunday night of the Cloister Church.

It was in a state of utter confusion--part monastery, part foundry, part
conventicle. There were few seats, no altar, no communion-table, hardly
any sacramental furniture, but a pulpit was extemporized. Rosaeus
preached in triumph to an enthusiastic congregation, and three children
were baptized with the significant names of William, Maurice, and Henry.

On the following Monday there was a striking scene on the Voorhout. This
most beautiful street of a beautiful city was a broad avenue, shaded by a
quadruple row of limetrees, reaching out into the thick forest of secular
oaks and beeches--swarming with fallow-deer and alive with the notes of
singing birds--by which the Hague, almost from time immemorial, has been
embowered. The ancient cloisterhouse and church now reconverted to
religious uses--was a plain, rather insipid structure of red brick picked
out with white stone, presenting three symmetrical gables to the street,
with a slender belfry and spire rising in the rear.

Nearly adjoining it on the north-western side was the elegant and
commodious mansion of Barneveld, purchased by him from the
representatives of the Arenberg family, surrounded by shrubberies and
flower-gardens; not a palace, but a dignified and becoming abode for the
first citizen of a powerful republic.

On that midsummer's morning it might well seem that, in rescuing the old
cloister from the military purposes to which it had for years been
devoted, men had given an even more belligerent aspect to the scene than
if it had been left as a foundry. The miscellaneous pieces of artillery
and other fire-arms lying about, with piles of cannon-ball which there
had not been time to remove, were hardly less belligerent and threatening
of aspect than the stern faces of the crowd occupied in thoroughly
preparing the house for its solemn destination. It was determined that
there should be accommodation on the next Sunday for all who came to the
service. An army of carpenters, joiners, glaziers, and other
workmen-assisted by a mob of citizens of all ranks and ages, men and
women, gentle and simple were busily engaged in bringing planks and
benches; working with plane, adze, hammer and saw, trowel and shovel, to
complete the work.

On the next Sunday the Prince attended public worship for the last time
at the Great Church under the ministration of Uytenbogaert. He was
infuriated with the sermon, in which the bold Remonstrant bitterly
inveighed against the proposition for a National Synod. To oppose that
measure publicly in the very face of the Stadholder, who now considered
himself as the Synod personified, seemed to him flat blasphemy. Coming
out of the church with his step-mother, the widowed Louise de Coligny,
Princess of Orange, he denounced the man in unmeasured terms. "He is the
enemy of God," said Maurice. At least from that time forth, and indeed
for a year before, Maurice was the enemy of the preacher.

On the following Sunday, July 23, Maurice went in solemn state to the
divine service at the Cloister Church now thoroughly organized. He was
accompanied by his cousin, the famous Count William Lewis of Nassau,
Stadholder of Friesland, who had never concealed his warm sympathy with
the Contra-Remonstrants, and by all the chief officers of his household
and members of his staff. It was an imposing demonstration and meant for
one. As the martial stadholder at the head of his brilliant cavalcade
rode forth across the drawbridge from the Inner Court of the old moated
palace--where the ancient sovereign Dirks and Florences of Holland had so
long ruled their stout little principality--along the shady and stately
Kneuterdyk and so through the Voorhout, an immense crowd thronged around
his path and accompanied him to the church. It was as if the great
soldier were marching to siege or battle-field where fresher glories than
those of Sluys or Geertruidenberg were awaiting him.

The train passed by Barneveld's house and entered the cloister. More than
four thousand persons were present at the service or crowded around the
doors vainly attempting to gain admission into the overflowing aisles;
while the Great Church was left comparatively empty, a few hundred only
worshipping there. The Cloister Church was thenceforth called the
Prince's Church, and a great revolution was beginning even in the Hague.

The Advocate was wroth as he saw the procession graced by the two
stadholders and their military attendants. He knew that he was now to bow
his head to the Church thus championed by the chief personage and
captain-general of the state, to renounce his dreams of religious
toleration, to sink from his post of supreme civic ruler, or to accept an
unequal struggle in which he might utterly succumb. But his iron nature
would break sooner than bend. In the first transports of his indignation
he is said to have vowed vengeance against the immediate instruments by
which the Cloister Church had, as he conceived, been surreptitiously and
feloniously seized. He meant to strike a blow which should startle the
whole population of the Hague, send a thrill of horror through the
country, and teach men to beware how they trifled with the sovereign
states of Holland, whose authority had so long been undisputed, and with
him their chief functionary.

He resolved--so ran the tale of the preacher Trigland, who told it to
Prince Maurice, and has preserved it in his chronicle--to cause to be
seized at midnight from their beds four men whom he considered the
ringleaders in this mutiny, to have them taken to the place of execution
on the square in the midst of the city, to have their heads cut off at
once by warrant from the chief tribunal without any previous warning, and
then to summon all the citizens at dawn of day, by ringing of bells and
firing of cannon, to gaze on the ghastly spectacle, and teach them to
what fate this pestilential schism and revolt against authority had
brought its humble tools. The victims were to be Enoch Much, the Prince's
book-keeper, and three others, an attorney, an engraver, and an
apothecary, all of course of the Contra-Remonstrant persuasion. It was
necessary, said the Advocate, to make once for all an example, and show
that there was a government in the land.

He had reckoned on a ready adhesion to this measure and a sentence from
the tribunal through the influence of his son-in-law, the Seignior van
Veenhuyzen, who was president of the chief court. His attempt was foiled
however by the stern opposition of two Zealand members of the court, who
managed to bring up from a bed of sickness, where he had long been lying,
a Holland councillor whom they knew to be likewise opposed to the fierce
measure, and thus defeated it by a majority of one.

Such is the story as told by contemporaries and repeated from that day to
this. It is hardly necessary to say that Barneveld calmly denied having
conceived or even heard of the scheme. That men could go about looking
each other in the face and rehearsing such gibberish would seem
sufficiently dispiriting did we not know to what depths of credulity men
in all ages can sink when possessed by the demon of party malice.

If it had been narrated on the Exchange at Amsterdam or Flushing during
that portentous midsummer that Barneveld had not only beheaded but
roasted alive, and fed the dogs and cats upon the attorney, the
apothecary, and the engraver, there would have been citizens in plenty to
devour the news with avidity.

But although the Advocate had never imagined such extravagances as these,
it is certain that he had now resolved upon very bold measures, and that
too without an instant's delay. He suspected the Prince of aiming at
sovereignty not only over Holland but over all the provinces and to be
using the Synod as a principal part of his machinery. The gauntlet was
thrown down by the Stadholder, and the Advocate lifted it at once. The
issue of the struggle would depend upon the political colour of the town
magistracies. Barneveld instinctively felt that Maurice, being now
resolved that the Synod should be held, would lose no time in making a
revolution in all the towns through the power he held or could plausibly
usurp. Such a course would, in his opinion, lead directly to an
unconstitutional and violent subversion of the sovereign rights of each
province, to the advantage of the central government. A religious creed
would be forced upon Holland and perhaps upon two other provinces which
was repugnant to a considerable majority of the people. And this would be
done by a majority vote of the States-General, on a matter over which, by
the 13th Article of the fundamental compact--the Union of Utrecht--the
States-General had no control, each province having reserved the
disposition of religious affairs to itself. For let it never be forgotten
that the Union of the Netherlands was a compact, a treaty, an agreement
between sovereign states. There was no pretence that it was an
incorporation, that the people had laid down a constitution, an organic
law. The people were never consulted, did not exist, had not for
political purposes been invented. It was the great primal defect of their
institutions, but the Netherlanders would have been centuries before
their age had they been able to remedy that defect. Yet the Netherlanders
would have been much behind even that age of bigotry had they admitted
the possibility in a free commonwealth, of that most sacred and important
of all subjects that concern humanity, religious creed--the relation of
man to his Maker--to be regulated by the party vote of a political board.

It was with no thought of treason in his heart or his head therefore that
the Advocate now resolved that the States of Holland and the cities of
which that college was composed should protect their liberties and
privileges, the sum of which in his opinion made up the sovereignty of
the province he served, and that they should protect them, if necessary,
by force. Force was apprehended. It should be met by force. To be
forewarned was to be forearmed. Barneveld forewarned the States of

On the 4th August 1617, he proposed to that assembly a resolution which
was destined to become famous. A majority accepted it after brief debate.
It was to this effect.

The States having seen what had befallen in many cities, and especially
in the Hague, against the order, liberties, and laws of the land, and
having in vain attempted to bring into harmony with the States certain
cities which refused to co-operate with the majority, had at last
resolved to refuse the National Synod, as conflicting with the
sovereignty and laws of Holland. They had thought good to set forth in
public print their views as to religious worship, and to take measures to
prevent all deeds of violence against persons and property. To this end
the regents of cities were authorized in case of need, until otherwise
ordained, to enrol men-at-arms for their security and prevention of
violence. Furthermore, every one that might complain of what the regents
of cities by strength of this resolution might do was ordered to have
recourse to no one else than the States of Holland, as no account would
be made of anything that might be done or undertaken by the tribunals.

Finally, it was resolved to send a deputation to Prince Maurice, the
Princess-Widow, and Prince Henry, requesting them to aid in carrying out
this resolution.

Thus the deed was done. The sword was drawn. It was drawn in self-defence
and in deliberate answer to the Stadholder's defiance when he rapped his
sword hilt in face of the assembly, but still it was drawn. The States of
Holland were declared sovereign and supreme. The National Synod was
peremptorily rejected. Any decision of the supreme courts of the Union in
regard to the subject of this resolution was nullified in advance.
Thenceforth this measure of the 4th August was called the "Sharp
Resolve." It might prove perhaps to be double-edged.

It was a stroke of grim sarcasm on the part of the Advocate thus solemnly
to invite the Stadholder's aid in carrying out a law which was aimed
directly at his head; to request his help for those who meant to defeat
with the armed hand that National Synod which he had pledged himself to
bring about.

The question now arose what sort of men-at-arms it would be well for the
city governments to enlist. The officers of the regular garrisons had
received distinct orders from Prince Maurice as their military superior
to refuse any summons to act in matters proceeding from the religious
question. The Prince, who had chief authority over all the regular
troops, had given notice that he would permit nothing to be done against
"those of the Reformed religion," by which he meant the
Contra-Remonstrants and them only.

In some cities there were no garrisons, but only train-bands. But the
train bands (Schutters) could not be relied on to carry out the Sharp
Resolve, for they were almost to a man Contra-Remonstrants. It was
therefore determined to enlist what were called "Waartgelders;" soldiers,
inhabitants of the place, who held themselves ready to serve in time of
need in consideration of a certain wage; mercenaries in short.

This resolution was followed as a matter of course by a solemn protest
from Amsterdam and the five cities who acted with her.

On the same day Maurice was duly notified of the passage of the law. His
wrath was great. High words passed between him and the deputies. It could
hardly have been otherwise expected. Next-day he came before the Assembly
to express his sentiments, to complain of the rudeness with which the
resolution of 4th August had been communicated to him, and to demand
further explanations. Forthwith the Advocate proceeded to set forth the
intentions of the States, and demanded that the Prince should assist the
magistrates in carrying out the policy decided upon. Reinier Pauw,
burgomaster of Amsterdam, fiercely interrupted the oration of Barneveld,
saying that although these might be his views, they were not to be held
by his Excellency as the opinions of all. The Advocate, angry at the
interruption, answered him sternly, and a violent altercation, not
unmixed with personalities, arose. Maurice, who kept his temper admirably
on this occasion, interfered between the two and had much difficulty in
quieting the dispute. He then observed that when he took the oath as
stadholder these unfortunate differences had not arisen, but all had been
good friends together. This was perfectly true, but he could have added
that they might all continue good friends unless the plan of imposing a
religious creed upon the minority by a clerical decision were persisted
in. He concluded that for love of one of the two great parties he would
not violate the oath he had taken to maintain the Reformed religion to
the last drop of his blood. Still, with the same 'petitio principii' that
the Reformed religion and the dogmas of the Contra-Remonstrants were one
and the same thing, he assured the Assembly that the authority of the
magistrates would be sustained by him so long as it did not lead to the
subversion of religion.

Clearly the time for argument had passed. As Dudley Carleton observed,
men had been disputing 'pro aris' long enough. They would soon be
fighting 'pro focis.'

In pursuance of the policy laid down by the Sharp Resolution, the States
proceeded to assure themselves of the various cities of the province by
means of Waartgelders. They sent to the important seaport of Brielle and
demanded a new oath from the garrison. It was intimated that the Prince
would be soon coming there in person to make himself master of the place,
and advice was given to the magistrates to be beforehand with him. These
statements angered Maurice, and angered him the more because they
happened to be true. It was also charged that he was pursuing his
Leicestrian designs and meant to make himself, by such steps, sovereign
of the country. The name of Leicester being a byword of reproach ever
since that baffled noble had a generation before left the Provinces in
disgrace, it was a matter of course that such comparisons were
excessively exasperating. It was fresh enough too in men's memory that
the Earl in his Netherland career had affected sympathy with the
strictest denomination of religious reformers, and that the profligate
worldling and arrogant self-seeker had used the mask of religion to cover
flagitious ends. As it had indeed been the object of the party at the
head of which the Advocate had all his life acted to raise the youthful
Maurice to the stadholderate expressly to foil the plots of Leicester, it
could hardly fail to be unpalatable to Maurice to be now accused of
acting the part of Leicester.

He inveighed bitterly on the subject before the state council: The state
council, in a body, followed him to a meeting of the States-General. Here
the Stadholder made a vehement speech and demanded that the States of
Holland should rescind the "Sharp Resolution," and should desist from the
new oaths required from the soldiery. Barneveld, firm as a rock, met
these bitter denunciations. Speaking in the name of Holland, he repelled
the idea that the sovereign States of that province were responsible to
the state council or to the States-General either. He regretted, as all
regretted, the calumnies uttered against the Prince, but in times of such
intense excitement every conspicuous man was the mark of calumny.

The Stadholder warmly repudiated Leicestrian designs, and declared that
he had been always influenced by a desire to serve his country and
maintain the Reformed religion. If he had made mistakes, he desired to be
permitted to improve in the future.

Thus having spoken, the soldier retired from the Assembly with the state
council at his heels.

The Advocate lost no time in directing the military occupation of the
principal towns of Holland, such as Leyden, Gouda, Rotterdam,
Schoonhoven, Hoorn, and other cities.

At Leyden especially, where a strong Orange party was with difficulty
kept in obedience by the Remonstrant magistracy, it was found necessary
to erect a stockade about the town-hall and to plant caltrops and other
obstructions in the squares and streets.

The broad space in front; of the beautiful medieval seat of the municipal
government, once so sacred for the sublime and pathetic scenes enacted
there during the famous siege and in the magistracy of Peter van der
Werff, was accordingly enclosed by a solid palisade of oaken planks,
strengthened by rows of iron bars with barbed prongs: The entrenchment
was called by the populace the Arminian Fort, and the iron spear heads
were baptized Barneveld's teeth. Cannon were planted at intervals along
the works, and a company or two of the Waartgelders, armed from head to
foot, with snaphances on their shoulders, stood ever ready to issue forth
to quell any disturbances. Occasionally a life or two was lost of citizen
or soldier, and many doughty blows were interchanged.

It was a melancholy spectacle. No commonwealth could be more fortunate
than this republic in possessing two such great leading minds. No two men
could be more patriotic than both Stadholder and Advocate. No two men
could be prouder, more overbearing, less conciliatory.

"I know Mons. Barneveld well," said Sir Ralph Winwood, "and know that he
hath great powers and abilities, and malice itself must confess that man
never hath done more faithful and powerful service to his country than
he. But 'finis coronat opus' and 'il di lodi lacera; oportet imperatorem
stantem mori.'"

The cities of Holland were now thoroughly "waartgeldered," and Barneveld
having sufficiently shown his "teeth" in that province departed for
change of air to Utrecht. His failing health was assigned as the pretext
for the visit, although the atmosphere of that city has never been
considered especially salubrious in the dog-days.

Meantime the Stadholder remained quiet, but biding his time. He did not
choose to provoke a premature conflict in the strongholds of the
Arminians as he called them, but with a true military instinct preferred
making sure of the ports. Amsterdam, Enkhuyzen, Flushing, being without
any effort of his own within his control, he quietly slipped down the
river Meuse on the night of the 29th September, accompanied by his
brother Frederic Henrys and before six o'clock next morning had
introduced a couple of companies of trustworthy troops into Brielle, had
summoned the magistrates before him, and compelled them to desist from
all further intention of levying mercenaries. Thus all the fortresses
which Barneveld had so recently and in such masterly fashion rescued from
the grasp of England were now quietly reposing in the hands of the

Maurice thought it not worth his while for the present to quell the
mutiny--as he considered it the legal and constitutional defence of
vested right--as great jurists like Barneveld and Hugo Grotius accounted
the movement--at its "fountain head Leyden or its chief stream Utrecht;"
to use the expression of Carleton. There had already been bloodshed in
Leyden, a burgher or two having been shot and a soldier stoned to death
in the streets, but the Stadholder deemed it unwise to precipitate
matters. Feeling himself, with his surpassing military knowledge and with
a large majority of the nation at his back, so completely master of the
situation, he preferred waiting on events. And there is no doubt that he
was proving himself a consummate politician and a perfect master of
fence. "He is much beloved and followed both of soldiers and people,"
said the English ambassador, "he is a man 'innoxiae popularitatis' so as
this jealousy cannot well be fastened upon him; and in this cause of
religion he stirred not until within these few months he saw he must
declare himself or suffer the better party to be overborne."

The chief tribunal-high council so called-of the country soon gave
evidence that the "Sharp Resolution" had judged rightly in reckoning on
its hostility and in nullifying its decisions in advance.

They decided by a majority vote that the Resolution ought not to be
obeyed, but set aside. Amsterdam, and the three or four cities usually
acting with her, refused to enlist troops.

Rombout Hoogerbeets, a member of the tribunal, informed Prince Maurice
that he "would no longer be present on a bench where men disputed the
authority of the States of Holland, which he held to be the supreme
sovereignty over him."

This was plain speaking; a distinct enunciation of what the States' right
party deemed to be constitutional law.

And what said Maurice in reply?

"I, too, recognize the States of Holland as sovereign; but we might at
least listen to each other occasionally."

Hoogerbeets, however, deeming that listening had been carried far enough,
decided to leave the tribunal altogether, and to resume the post which he
had formerly occupied as Pensionary or chief magistrate of Leyden.

Here he was soon to find himself in the thick of the conflict. Meantime
the States-General, in full assembly, on 11th November 1617, voted that
the National Synod should be held in the course of the following year.
The measure was carried by a strict party vote and by a majority of one.
The representatives of each province voting as one, there were four in
favour of to three against the Synod. The minority, consisting of
Holland, Utrecht, and Overyssel, protested against the vote as an
outrageous invasion of the rights of each province, as an act of flagrant
tyranny and usurpation.

The minority in the States of Holland, the five cities often named,
protested against the protest.

The defective part of the Netherland constitutions could not be better
illustrated. The minority of the States of Holland refused to be bound by
a majority of the provincial assembly. The minority of the States-General
refused to be bound by the majority of the united assembly.

This was reducing politics to an absurdity and making all government
impossible. It is however quite certain that in the municipal governments
a majority had always governed, and that a majority vote in the
provincial assemblies had always prevailed. The present innovation was to
govern the States-General by a majority.

Yet viewed by the light of experience and of common sense, it would be
difficult to conceive of a more preposterous proceeding than thus to cram
a religious creed down the throats of half the population of a country by
the vote of a political assembly. But it was the seventeenth and not the
nineteenth century.

Moreover, if there were any meaning in words, the 13th Article of Union,
reserving especially the disposition over religious matters to each
province, had been wisely intended to prevent the possibility of such

When the letters of invitation to the separate states and to others were
drawing up in the general assembly, the representatives of the three
states left the chamber. A solitary individual from Holland remained
however, a burgomaster of Amsterdam.

Uytenbogaert, conversing with Barneveld directly afterwards, advised him
to accept the vote. Yielding to the decision of the majority, it would be
possible, so thought the clergyman, for the great statesman so to handle
matters as to mould the Synod to his will, even as he had so long
controlled the States-Provincial and the States-General.

"If you are willing to give away the rights of the land," said the
Advocate very sharply, "I am not."

Probably the priest's tactics might have proved more adroit than the
stony opposition on which Barneveld was resolved.

But it was with the aged statesman a matter of principle, not of policy.
His character and his personal pride, the dignity of opinion and office,
his respect for constitutional law, were all at stake.

Shallow observers considered the struggle now taking place as a personal
one. Lovers of personal government chose to look upon the Advocate's
party as a faction inspired with an envious resolve to clip the wings of
the Stadholder, who was at last flying above their heads.

There could be no doubt of the bitter animosity between the two men.
There could be no doubt that jealousy was playing the part which that
master passion will ever play in all the affairs of life. But there could
be no doubt either that a difference of principle as wide as the world
separated the two antagonists.

Even so keen an observer as Dudley Carleton, while admitting the man's
intellectual power and unequalled services, could see nothing in the
Advocate's present course but prejudice, obstinacy, and the insanity of
pride. "He doth no whit spare himself in pains nor faint in his
resolution," said the Envoy, "wherein notwithstanding he will in all
appearance succumb ere afore long, having the disadvantages of a weak
body, a weak party, and a weak cause." But Carleton hated Barneveld, and
considered it the chief object of his mission to destroy him, if he
could. In so doing he would best carry out the wishes of his sovereign.

The King of Britain had addressed a somewhat equivocal letter to the
States-General on the subject of religion in the spring of 1617. It
certainly was far from being as satisfactory as, the epistles of 1613
prepared under the Advocate's instructions, had been, while the exuberant
commentary upon the royal text, delivered in full assembly by his
ambassador soon after the reception of the letter, was more than usually
didactic, offensive, and ignorant. Sir Dudley never omitted an
opportunity of imparting instruction to the States-General as to the
nature of their constitution and the essential dogmas on which their
Church was founded. It is true that the great lawyers and the great
theologians of the country were apt to hold very different opinions from
his upon those important subjects, but this was so much the worse for the
lawyers and theologians, as time perhaps might prove.

The King in this last missive had proceeded to unsay the advice which he
had formerly bestowed upon the States, by complaining that his earlier
letters had been misinterpreted. They had been made use of, he said, to
authorize the very error against which they had been directed. They had
been held to intend the very contrary of what they did mean. He felt
himself bound in conscience therefore, finding these differences ready to
be "hatched into schisms," to warn the States once more against pests so

Although the royal language was somewhat vague so far as enunciation of
doctrine, a point on which he had once confessed himself fallible, was
concerned, there was nothing vague in his recommendation of a National
Synod. To this the opposition of Barneveld was determined not upon
religious but upon constitutional grounds. The confederacy did not
constitute a nation, and therefore there could not be a national synod
nor a national religion.

Carleton came before the States-General soon afterwards with a prepared
oration, wearisome as a fast-day sermon after the third turn of the
hour-glass, pragmatical as a schoolmaster's harangue to fractious little

He divided his lecture into two heads--the peace of the Church, and the
peace of the Provinces--starting with the first. "A Jove principium," he
said, "I will begin with that which is both beginning and end. It is the
truth of God's word and its maintenance that is the bond of our common
cause. Reasons of state invite us as friends and neighbours by the
preservation of our lives and property, but the interest of religion
binds us as Christians and brethren to the mutual defence of the liberty
of our consciences."

He then proceeded to point out the only means by which liberty of
conscience could be preserved. It was by suppressing all forms of
religion but one, and by silencing all religious discussion. Peter
Titelman and Philip II. could not have devised a more pithy formula. All
that was wanting was the axe and faggot to reduce uniformity to practice.
Then liberty of conscience would be complete.

"One must distinguish," said the Ambassador, "between just liberty and
unbridled license, and conclude that there is but one truth single and
unique. Those who go about turning their brains into limbecks for
distilling new notions in religious matters only distract the union of
the Church which makes profession of this unique truth. If it be
permitted to one man to publish the writings and fantasies of a sick
spirit and for another moved by Christian zeal to reduce this wanderer
'ad sanam mentem;' why then 'patet locus adversus utrumque,' and the
common enemy (the Devil) slips into the fortress." He then proceeded to
illustrate this theory on liberty of conscience by allusions to Conrad

This infamous sectary had in fact reached such a pitch of audacity, said
the Ambassador, as not only to inveigh against the eternal power of God
but to indulge in irony against the honour of his Majesty King James.

And in what way had he scandalized the government of the Republic? He had
dared to say that within its borders there was religious toleration. He
had distinctly averred that in the United Provinces heretics were not
punished with death or with corporal chastisement.

"He declares openly," said Carleton, "that contra haereticos etiam vere
dictos (ne dum falso et calumniose sic traductos) there is neither
sentence of death nor other corporal punishment, so that in order to
attract to himself a great following of birds of the name feather he
publishes to all the world that here in this country one can live and die
a heretic, unpunished, without being arrested and without danger."

In order to suppress this reproach upon the Republic at which the
Ambassador stood aghast, and to prevent the Vorstian doctrines of
religious toleration and impunity of heresy from spreading among "the
common people, so subject by their natures to embrace new opinions," he
advised of course that "the serpent be sent back to the nest where he was
born before the venom had spread through the whole body of the Republic."

A week afterwards a long reply was delivered on part of the
States-General to the Ambassador's oration. It is needless to say that it
was the work of the Advocate, and that it was in conformity with the
opinions so often exhibited in the letters to Caron and others of which
the reader has seen many samples.

That religious matters were under the control of the civil government,
and that supreme civil authority belonged to each one of the seven
sovereign provinces, each recognizing no superior within its own sphere,
were maxims of state always enforced in the Netherlands and on which the
whole religious controversy turned.

"The States-General have always cherished the true Christian Apostolic
religion," they said, "and wished it to be taught under the authority and
protection of the legal government of these Provinces in all purity, and
in conformity with the Holy Scriptures, to the good people of these
Provinces. And My Lords the States and magistrates of the respective
provinces, each within their own limits, desire the same."

They had therefore given express orders to the preachers "to keep the
peace by mutual and benign toleration of the different opinions on the
one side and the other at least until with full knowledge of the subject
the States might otherwise ordain. They had been the more moved to this
because his Majesty having carefully examined the opinions of the learned
hereon each side had found both consistent with Christian belief and the
salvation of souls."

It was certainly not the highest expression of religious toleration for
the civil authority to forbid the clergymen of the country from
discussing in their pulpits the knottiest and most mysterious points of
the schoolmen lest the "common people" should be puzzled. Nevertheless,
where the close union of Church and State and the necessity of one church
were deemed matters of course, it was much to secure subordination of the
priesthood to the magistracy, while to enjoin on preachers abstention
from a single exciting cause of quarrel, on the ground that there was
more than one path to salvation, and that mutual toleration was better
than mutual persecution, was; in that age, a stride towards religious
equality. It was at least an advance on Carleton's dogma, that there was
but one unique and solitary truth, and that to declare heretics not
punishable with death was an insult to the government of the Republic.

The States-General answered the Ambassador's plea, made in the name of
his master, for immediate and unguaranteed evacuation of the debatable
land by the arguments already so often stated in the Advocate's
instructions to Caron. They had been put to great trouble and expense
already in their campaigning and subsequent fortification of important
places in the duchies. They had seen the bitter spirit manifested by the
Spaniards in the demolition of the churches and houses of Mulheim and
other places. "While the affair remained in its present terms of utter
uncertainty their Mightinesses," said the States-General, "find it most
objectionable to forsake the places which they have been fortifying and
to leave the duchies and all their fellow-religionists, besides the
rights of the possessory princes a prey to those who have been hankering
for the territories for long years, and who would unquestionably be able
to make themselves absolute masters of all within a very few days."

A few months later Carleton came before the States-General again and
delivered another elaborate oration, duly furnished to him by the King,
upon the necessity of the National Synod, the comparative merits of
Arminianism and Contra-Remonstrantism, together with a full exposition of
the constitutions of the Netherlands.

It might be supposed that Barneveld and Grotius and Hoogerbeets knew
something of the law and history of their country.

But James knew much better, and so his envoy endeavoured to convince his

He received on the spot a temperate but conclusive reply from the
delegates of Holland. They informed him that the war with Spain--the
cause of the Utrecht Union--was not begun about religion but on account
of the violation of liberties, chartered rights and privileges, not the
least of which rights was that of each province to regulate religious
matters within its borders.

A little later a more vehement reply was published anonymously in the
shape of a pamphlet called 'The Balance,' which much angered the
Ambassador and goaded his master almost to frenzy. It was deemed so
blasphemous, so insulting to the Majesty of England, so entirely
seditious, that James, not satisfied with inditing a rejoinder, insisted
through Carleton that a reward should be offered by the States for the
detection of the author, in order that he might be condignly punished.
This was done by a majority vote, 1000 florins being offered for the
discovery of the author and 600 for that of the printer.

Naturally the step was opposed in the States-General; two deputies in
particular making themselves conspicuous. One of them was an audacious
old gentleman named Brinius of Gelderland, "much corrupted with
Arminianism," so Carleton informed his sovereign. He appears to have
inherited his audacity through his pedigree, descending, as it was
ludicrously enough asserted he did, from a chief of the Caninefates, the
ancient inhabitants of Gelderland, called Brinio. And Brinio the
Caninefat had been as famous for his stolid audacity as for his
illustrious birth; "Erat in Caninefatibus stolidae audaciae Brinio
claritate natalium insigni."

The patronizing manner in which the Ambassador alluded to the other
member of the States-General who opposed the decree was still more
diverting. It was "Grotius, the Pensioner of Rotterdam, a young petulant
brain, not unknown to your Majesty," said Carleton.

Two centuries and a half have rolled away, and there are few majesties,
few nations, and few individuals to whom the name of that petulant youth
is unknown; but how many are familiar with the achievements of the able
representative of King James?

Nothing came of the measure, however, and the offer of course helped the
circulation of the pamphlet.

It is amusing to see the ferocity thus exhibited by the royal pamphleteer
against a rival; especially when one can find no crime in 'The Balance'
save a stinging and well-merited criticism of a very stupid oration.

Gillis van Ledenberg was generally supposed to be the author of it.
Carleton inclined, however, to suspect Grotius, "because," said he,
"having always before been a stranger to my house, he has made me the day
before the publication thereof a complimentary visit, although it was
Sunday and church time; whereby the Italian proverb, 'Chi ti caresse piu
che suole,' &c.,' is added to other likelihoods."

It was subsequently understood however that the pamphlet was written by a
Remonstrant preacher of Utrecht, named Jacobus Taurinus; one of those who
had been doomed to death by the mutinous government in that city seven
years before.

It was now sufficiently obvious that either the governments in the three
opposition provinces must be changed or that the National Synod must be
imposed by a strict majority vote in the teeth of the constitution and of
vigorous and eloquent protests drawn up by the best lawyers in the
country. The Advocate and Grotius recommended a provincial synod first
and, should that not succeed in adjusting the differences of church
government, then the convocation of a general or oecumenical synod. They
resisted the National Synod because, in their view, the Provinces were
not a nation. A league of seven sovereign and independent Mates was all
that legally existed in the Netherlands. It was accordingly determined
that the governments should be changed, and the Stadholder set himself to
prepare the way for a thorough and, if possible, a bloodless revolution.
He departed on the 27th November for a tour through the chief cities, and
before leaving the Hague addressed an earnest circular letter to the
various municipalities of Holland.

A more truly dignified, reasonable, right royal letter, from the
Stadholder's point of view, could not have been indited. The Imperial
"we" breathing like a morning breeze through the whole of it blew away
all legal and historical mistiness.

But the clouds returned again nevertheless. Unfortunately for Maurice it
could not be argued by the pen, however it might be proved by the sword,
that the Netherlands constituted a nation, and that a convocation of
doctors of divinity summoned by a body of envoys had the right to dictate
a creed to seven republics.

All parties were agreed on one point. There must be unity of divine
worship. The territory of the Netherlands was not big enough to hold two
systems of religion, two forms of Christianity, two sects of
Protestantism. It was big enough to hold seven independent and sovereign
states, but would be split into fragments--resolved into chaos--should
there be more than one Church or if once a schism were permitted in that
Church. Grotius was as much convinced of this as Gomarus. And yet the
13th Article of the Union stared them all in the face, forbidding the
hideous assumptions now made by the general government. Perhaps no man
living fully felt its import save Barneveld alone. For groping however
dimly and hesitatingly towards the idea of religious liberty, of general
toleration, he was denounced as a Papist, an atheist, a traitor, a
miscreant, by the fanatics for the sacerdotal and personal power. Yet it
was a pity that he could never contemplate the possibility of his
country's throwing off the swaddling clothes of provincialism which had
wrapped its infancy. Doubtless history, law, tradition, and usage pointed
to the independent sovereignty of each province. Yet the period of the
Truce was precisely the time when a more generous constitution, a
national incorporation might have been constructed to take the place of
the loose confederacy by which the gigantic war had been fought out.
After all, foreign powers had no connection with the States, and knew
only the Union with which and with which alone they made treaties, and
the reality of sovereignty in each province was as ridiculous as in
theory it was impregnable. But Barneveld, under the modest title of
Advocate of one province, had been in reality president and prime
minister of the whole commonwealth. He had himself been the union and the
sovereignty. It was not wonderful that so imperious a nature objected to
transfer its powers to the Church, to the States-General, or to Maurice.

Moreover, when nationality assumed the unlovely form of rigid religious
uniformity; when Union meant an exclusive self-governed Church enthroned
above the State, responsible to no civic authority and no human law, the
boldest patriot might shiver at emerging from provincialism.


   The Commonwealth bent on Self-destruction--Evils of a Confederate
   System of Government--Rem Bischop's House sacked--Aerssens'
   unceasing Efforts against Barneveld--The Advocate's Interview with
   Maurice--The States of Utrecht raise the Troops--The Advocate at
   Utrecht--Barneveld urges mutual Toleration--Barneveld accused of
   being Partisan of Spain--Carleton takes his Departure.

It is not cheerful after widely contemplating the aspect of Christendom
in the year of supreme preparation to examine with the minuteness
absolutely necessary the narrow theatre to which the political affairs of
the great republic had been reduced.

That powerful commonwealth, to which the great party of the Reformation
naturally looked for guidance in the coming conflict, seemed bent on
self-destruction. The microcosm of the Netherlands now represented, alas!
the war of elements going on without on a world-wide scale. As the
Calvinists and Lutherans of Germany were hotly attacking each other even
in sight of the embattled front of Spain and the League, so the Gomarites
and the Arminians by their mutual rancour were tearing the political
power of the Dutch Republic to shreds and preventing her from assuming a
great part in the crisis. The consummate soldier, the unrivalled
statesman, each superior in his sphere to any contemporary rival, each
supplementing the other, and making up together, could they have been
harmonized, a double head such as no political organism then existing
could boast, were now in hopeless antagonism to each other. A mass of
hatred had been accumulated against the Advocate with which he found it
daily more and more difficult to struggle. The imperious, rugged, and
suspicious nature of the Stadholder had been steadily wrought upon by the
almost devilish acts of Francis Aerssens until he had come to look upon
his father's most faithful adherent, his own early preceptor in
statesmanship and political supporter, as an antagonist, a conspirator,
and a tyrant.

The soldier whose unrivalled ability, experience, and courage in the
field should have placed him at the very head of the great European army
of defence against the general crusade upon Protestantism, so constantly
foretold by Barneveld, was now to be engaged in making bloodless but
mischievous warfare against an imaginary conspiracy and a patriot foe.

The Advocate, keeping steadily in view the great principles by which his
political life had been guided, the supremacy of the civil authority in
any properly organized commonwealth over the sacerdotal and military,
found himself gradually forced into mortal combat with both. To the
individual sovereignty of each province he held with the tenacity of a
lawyer and historian. In that he found the only clue through the
labyrinth which ecclesiastical and political affairs presented. So close
was the tangle, so confused the medley, that without this slender guide
all hope of legal issue seemed lost.

No doubt the difficulty of the doctrine of individual sovereignty was
great, some of the provinces being such slender morsels of territory,
with resources so trivial, as to make the name of sovereignty ludicrous.
Yet there could be as little doubt that no other theory was tenable. If
so powerful a mind as that of the Advocate was inclined to strain the
theory to its extreme limits, it was because in the overshadowing
superiority of the one province Holland had been found the practical
remedy for the imbecility otherwise sure to result from such provincial
and meagre federalism.

Moreover, to obtain Union by stretching all the ancient historical
privileges and liberties of the separate provinces upon the Procrustean
bed of a single dogma, to look for nationality only in common subjection
to an infallible priesthood, to accept a Catechism as the palladium upon
which the safety of the State was to depend for all time, and beyond
which there was to be no further message from Heaven--such was not
healthy constitutionalism in the eyes of a great statesman. No doubt that
without the fervent spirit of Calvinism it would have been difficult to
wage war with such immortal hate as the Netherlands had waged it, no
doubt the spirit of republican and even democratic liberty lay hidden
within that rigid husk, but it was dishonour to the martyrs who had died
by thousands at the stake and on the battle field for the rights of
conscience if the only result of their mighty warfare against wrong had
been to substitute a new dogma for an old one, to stifle for ever the
right of free enquiry, theological criticism, and the hope of further
light from on high, and to proclaim it a libel on the Republic that
within its borders all heretics, whether Arminian or Papist, were safe
from the death penalty or even from bodily punishment. A theological
union instead of a national one and obtained too at the sacrifice of
written law and immemorial tradition, a congress in which clerical
deputations from all the provinces and from foreign nations should
prescribe to all Netherlanders an immutable creed and a shadowy
constitution, were not the true remedies for the evils of confederacy,
nor, if they had been, was the time an appropriate one for their

It was far too early in the world's history to hope for such
redistribution of powers and such a modification of the social compact as
would place in separate spheres the Church and the State, double the
sanctions and the consolations of religion by removing it from the
pollutions of political warfare, and give freedom to individual
conscience by securing it from the interference of government.

It is melancholy to see the Republic thus perversely occupying its
energies. It is melancholy to see the great soldier becoming gradually
more ardent for battle with Barneveld and Uytenbogaert than with Spinola
and Bucquoy, against whom he had won so many imperishable laurels. It is
still sadder to see the man who had been selected by Henry IV. as the one
statesman of Europe to whom he could confide his great projects for the
pacification of Christendom, and on whom he could depend for counsel and
support in schemes which, however fantastic in some of their details, had
for their object to prevent the very European war of religion against
which Barneveld had been struggling, now reduced to defend himself
against suspicion hourly darkening and hatred growing daily more insane.

The eagle glance and restless wing, which had swept the whole political
atmosphere, now caged within the stifling limits of theological casuistry
and personal rivalry were afflicting to contemplate.

The evils resulting from a confederate system of government, from a
league of petty sovereignties which dared not become a nation, were as
woefully exemplified in the United Provinces as they were destined to be
more than a century and a half later, and in another hemisphere, before
that most fortunate and sagacious of written political instruments, the
American Constitution of 1787, came to remedy the weakness of the old
articles of Union.

Meantime the Netherlands were a confederacy, not a nation. Their general
government was but a committee.

It could ask of, but not command, the separate provinces. It had no
dealings with nor power over the inhabitants of the country; it could say
"Thou shalt" neither to state nor citizen; it could consult only with
corporations--fictitious and many-headed personages--itself incorporate.
There was no first magistrate, no supreme court, no commander-in-chief,
no exclusive mint nor power of credit, no national taxation, no central
house of representation and legislation, no senate. Unfortunately it had
one church, and out of this single matrix of centralism was born more
discord than had been produced by all the centrifugal forces of
provincialism combined.

There had been working substitutes found, as we well know, for the
deficiencies of this constitution, but the Advocate felt himself bound to
obey and enforce obedience to the laws and privileges of his country so
long as they remained without authorized change. His country was the
Province of Holland, to which his allegiance was due and whose servant he
was. That there was but one church paid and sanctioned by law, he
admitted, but his efforts were directed to prevent discord within that
church, by counselling moderation, conciliation, mutual forbearance, and
abstention from irritating discussion of dogmas deemed by many thinkers
and better theologians than himself not essential to salvation. In this
he was much behind his age or before it. He certainly was not with the

And thus, while the election of Ferdinand had given the signal of war all
over Christendom, while from the demolished churches in Bohemia the
tocsin was still sounding, whose vibrations were destined to be heard a
generation long through the world, there was less sympathy felt with the
call within the territory of the great republic of Protestantism than
would have seemed imaginable a few short years before. The capture of the
Cloister Church at the Hague in the summer of 1617 seemed to minds
excited by personal rivalries and minute theological controversy a more
momentous event than the destruction of the churches in the Klostergrab
in the following December. The triumph of Gomarism in a single Dutch city
inspired more enthusiasm for the moment than the deadly buffet to
European Protestantism could inspire dismay.

The church had been carried and occupied, as it were, by force, as if an
enemy's citadel. It seemed necessary to associate the idea of practical
warfare with a movement which might have been a pacific clerical success.
Barneveld and those who acted with him, while deploring the intolerance
out of which the schism had now grown to maturity, had still hoped for
possible accommodation of the quarrel. They dreaded popular tumults
leading to oppression of the magistracy by the mob or the soldiery and
ending in civil war. But what was wanted by the extreme partisans on
either side was not accommodation but victory.

"Religious differences are causing much trouble and discontents in many
cities," he said. "At Amsterdam there were in the past week two
assemblages of boys and rabble which did not disperse without violence,
crime, and robbery. The brother of Professor Episcopius (Rem Bischop) was
damaged to the amount of several thousands. We are still hoping that some
better means of accommodation may be found."

The calmness with which the Advocate spoke of these exciting and painful
events is remarkable. It was exactly a week before the date of his letter
that this riot had taken place at Amsterdam; very significant in its
nature and nearly tragical in its results. There were no Remonstrant
preachers left in the city, and the people of that persuasion were
excluded from the Communion service. On Sunday morning, 17th February
(1617), a furious mob set upon the house of Rem Bischop, a highly
respectable and wealthy citizen, brother of the Remonstrant professor
Episcopius, of Leyden. The house, an elegant mansion in one of the
principal streets, was besieged and after an hour's resistance carried by
storm. The pretext of the assault was that Arminian preaching was going
on within its walls, which was not the fact. The mistress of the house,
half clad, attempted to make her escape by the rear of the building, was
pursued by the rabble with sticks and stones, and shrieks of "Kill the
Arminian harlot, strike her dead," until she fortunately found refuge in
the house of a neighbouring carpenter. There the hunted creature fell
insensible on the ground, the master of the house refusing to give her
up, though the maddened mob surged around it, swearing that if the
"Arminian harlot"--as respectable a matron as lived in the city--were not
delivered over to them, they would tear the house to pieces. The hope of
plunder and of killing Rem Bischop himself drew them at last back to his
mansion. It was thoroughly sacked; every portable article of value,
linen, plate, money, furniture, was carried off, the pictures and objects
of art destroyed, the house gutted from top to bottom. A thousand
spectators were looking on placidly at the work of destruction as they
returned from church, many of them with Bible and Psalm-book in their
hands. The master effected his escape over the roof into an adjoining
building. One of the ringleaders, a carpenter by trade, was arrested
carrying an armful of valuable plunder. He was asked by the magistrate
why he had entered the house. "Out of good zeal," he replied; "to help
beat and kill the Arminians who were holding conventicle there." He was
further asked why he hated the Arminians so much. "Are we to suffer such
folk here," he replied, "who preach the vile doctrine that God has
created one man for damnation and another for salvation?"--thus ascribing
the doctrine of the church of which he supposed himself a member to the
Arminians whom he had been plundering and wished to kill.

Rem Bischop received no compensation for the damage and danger; the
general cry in the town being that the money he was receiving from
Barneveld and the King of Spain would make him good even if not a stone
of the house had been left standing. On the following Thursday two elders
of the church council waited upon and informed him that he must in future
abstain from the Communion service.

It may well be supposed that the virtual head of the government liked not
the triumph of mob law, in the name of religion, over the civil
authority. The Advocate was neither democrat nor demagogue. A lawyer, a
magistrate, and a noble, he had but little sympathy with the humbler
classes, which he was far too much in the habit of designating as rabble
and populace. Yet his anger was less against them than against the
priests, the foreigners, the military and diplomatic mischief-makers, by
whom they were set upon to dangerous demonstrations. The old patrician
scorned the arts by which highborn demagogues in that as in every age
affect adulation for inferiors whom they despise. It was his instinct to
protect, and guide the people, in whom he recognized no chartered nor
inherent right to govern. It was his resolve, so long as breath was in
him, to prevent them from destroying life and property and subverting the
government under the leadership of an inflamed priesthood.

It was with this intention, as we have just seen, and in order to avoid
bloodshed, anarchy, and civil war in the streets of every town and
village, that a decisive but in the Advocate's opinion a perfectly legal
step had been taken by the States of Holland. It had become necessary to
empower the magistracies of towns to defend themselves by enrolled troops
against mob violence and against an enforced synod considered by great
lawyers as unconstitutional.

Aerssens resided in Zealand, and the efforts of that ex-ambassador were
unceasing to excite popular animosity against the man he hated and to
trouble the political waters in which no man knew better than he how to
cast the net.

"The States of Zealand," said the Advocate to the ambassador in London,
"have a deputation here about the religious differences, urging the
holding of a National Synod according to the King's letters, to which
some other provinces and some of the cities of Holland incline. The
questions have not yet been defined by a common synod, so that a national
one could make no definition, while the particular synods and clerical
personages are so filled with prejudices and so bound by mutual
engagements of long date as to make one fear an unfruitful issue. We are
occupied upon this point in our assembly of Holland to devise some
compromise and to discover by what means these difficulties may be
brought into a state of tranquillity."

It will be observed that in all these most private and confidential
utterances of the Advocate a tone of extreme moderation, an anxious wish
to save the Provinces from dissensions, dangers, and bloodshed, is
distinctly visible. Never is he betrayed into vindictive, ambitious, or
self-seeking expressions, while sometimes, although rarely, despondent in
mind. Nor was his opposition to a general synod absolute. He was probably
persuaded however, as we have just seen, that it should of necessity be
preceded by provincial ones, both in due regard to the laws of the land
and to the true definition of the points to be submitted to its decision.
He had small hope of a successful result from it.

The British king gave him infinite distress. As towards France so towards
England the Advocate kept steadily before him the necessity of deferring
to powerful sovereigns whose friendship was necessary to the republic he
served, however misguided, perverse, or incompetent those monarchs might

"I had always hoped," he said, "that his Majesty would have adhered to
his original written advice, that such questions as these ought to be
quietly settled by authority of law and not by ecclesiastical persons,
and I still hope that his Majesty's intention is really to that effect,
although he speaks of synods."

A month later he felt even more encouraged. "The last letter of his
Majesty concerning our religious questions," he said, "has given rise to
various constructions, but the best advised, who have peace and unity at
heart, understand the King's intention to be to conserve the state of
these Provinces and the religion in its purity. My hope is that his
Majesty's good opinion will be followed and adopted according to the most
appropriate methods."

Can it be believed that the statesman whose upright patriotism,
moderation, and nobleness of purpose thus breathed through every word
spoken by him in public or whispered to friends was already held up by a
herd of ravening slanderers to obloquy as a traitor and a tyrant?

He was growing old and had suffered much from illness during this
eventful summer, but his anxiety for the Commonwealth, caused by these
distressing and superfluous squabbles, were wearing into him more deeply
than years or disease could do.

"Owing to my weakness and old age I can't go up-stairs as well as I
used," he said,--[Barneveld to Caron 31 July and 21 Aug. 1617. (H. Arch.
MS.)]--"and these religious dissensions cause me sometimes such
disturbance of mind as will ere long become intolerable, because of my
indisposition and because of the cry of my heart at the course people are
pursuing here. I reflect that at the time of Duke Casimir and the Prince
of Chimay exactly such a course was held in Flanders and in Lord
Leicester's time in the city of Utrecht, as is best known to yourself. My
hope is fixed on the Lord God Almighty, and that He will make those well
ashamed who are laying anything to heart save his honour and glory and
the welfare of our country with maintenance of its freedom and laws. I
mean unchangeably to live and die for them . . . . Believe firmly that
all representations to the contrary are vile calumnies."

Before leaving for Vianen in the middle of August of this year (1617) the
Advocate had an interview with the Prince. There had been no open rupture
between them, and Barneveld was most anxious to avoid a quarrel with one
to whose interests and honour he had always been devoted. He did not
cling to power nor office. On the contrary, he had repeatedly importuned
the States to accept his resignation, hoping that perhaps these unhappy
dissensions might be quieted by his removal from the scene. He now told
the Prince that the misunderstanding between them arising from these
religious disputes was so painful to his heart that he would make and had
made every possible effort towards conciliation and amicable settlement
of the controversy. He saw no means now, he said, of bringing about
unity, unless his Excellency were willing to make some proposition for
arrangement. This he earnestly implored the Prince to do, assuring him of
his sincere and upright affection for him and his wish to support such
measures to the best of his ability and to do everything for the
furtherance of his reputation and necessary authority. He was so desirous
of this result, he said, that he would propose now as he did at the time
of the Truce negotiations to lay down all his offices, leaving his
Excellency to guide the whole course of affairs according to his best
judgment. He had already taken a resolution, if no means of accommodation
were possible, to retire to his Gunterstein estate and there remain till
the next meeting of the assembly; when he would ask leave to retire for
at least a year; in order to occupy himself with a revision and collation
of the charters, laws, and other state papers of the country which were
in his keeping, and which it was needful to bring into an orderly
condition. Meantime some scheme might be found for arranging the
religious differences, more effective than any he had been able to

His appeal seems to have glanced powerlessly upon the iron reticence of
Maurice, and the Advocate took his departure disheartened. Later in the
autumn, so warm a remonstrance was made to him by the leading nobles and
deputies of Holland against his contemplated withdrawal from his post
that it seemed a dereliction of duty on his part to retire. He remained
to battle with the storm and to see "with anguish of heart," as he
expressed it, the course religious affairs were taking.

The States of Utrecht on the 26th August resolved that on account of the
gathering of large masses of troops in the countries immediately
adjoining their borders, especially in the Episcopate of Cologne, by aid
of Spanish money, it was expedient for them to enlist a protective force
of six companies of regular soldiers in order to save the city from
sudden and overwhelming attack by foreign troops.

Even if the danger from without were magnified in this preamble, which is
by no means certain, there seemed to be no doubt on the subject in the
minds of the magistrates. They believed that they had the right to
protect and that they were bound to protect their ancient city from
sudden assault, whether by Spanish soldiers or by organized mobs
attempting, as had been done in Rotterdam, Oudewater, and other towns, to
overawe the civil authority in the interest of the Contra-Remonstrants.

Six nobles of Utrecht were accordingly commissioned to raise the troops.
A week later they had been enlisted, sworn to obey in all things the
States of Utrecht, and to take orders from no one else. Three days later
the States of Utrecht addressed a letter to their Mightinesses the
States-General and to his Excellency the Prince, notifying them that for
the reasons stated in the resolution cited the six companies had been
levied. There seemed in these proceedings to be no thought of mutiny or
rebellion, the province considering itself as acting within its
unquestionable rights as a sovereign state and without any exaggeration
of the imperious circumstances of the case.

Nor did the States-General and the Stadholder at that moment affect to
dispute the rights of Utrecht, nor raise a doubt as to the legality of
the proceedings. The committee sent thither by the States-General, the
Prince, and the council of state in their written answer to the letter of
the Utrecht government declared the reasons given for the enrolment of
the six companies to be insufficient and the measure itself highly
dangerous. They complained, but in very courteous language, that the
soldiers had been levied without giving the least notice thereof to the
general government, without asking its advice, or waiting for any
communication from it, and they reminded the States of Utrecht that they
might always rely upon the States-General and his Excellency, who were
still ready, as they had been seven years before (1610), to protect them
against every enemy and any danger.

The conflict between a single province of the confederacy and the
authority of the general government had thus been brought to a direct
issue; to the test of arms. For, notwithstanding the preamble to the
resolution of the Utrecht Assembly just cited, there could be little
question that the resolve itself was a natural corollary of the famous
"Sharp Resolution," passed by the States of Holland three weeks before.
Utrecht was in arms to prevent, among other things at least, the forcing
upon them by a majority of the States-General of the National Synod to
which they were opposed, the seizure of churches by the
Contra-Remonstrants, and the destruction of life and property by inflamed

There is no doubt that Barneveld deeply deplored the issue, but that he
felt himself bound to accept it. The innate absurdity of a constitutional
system under which each of the seven members was sovereign and
independent and the head was at the mercy of the members could not be
more flagrantly illustrated. In the bloody battles which seemed impending
in the streets of Utrecht and in all the principal cities of the
Netherlands between the soldiers of sovereign states and soldiers of a
general government which was not sovereign, the letter of the law and the
records of history were unquestionably on the aide of the provincial and
against the general authority. Yet to nullify the authority of the
States-General by force of arms at this supreme moment was to stultify
all government whatever. It was an awful dilemma, and it is difficult
here fully to sympathize with the Advocate, for he it was who inspired,
without dictating, the course of the Utrecht proceedings.

With him patriotism seemed at this moment to dwindle into provincialism,
the statesman to shrink into the lawyer.

Certainly there was no guilt in the proceedings. There was no crime in
the heart of the Advocate. He had exhausted himself with appeals in
favour of moderation, conciliation, compromise. He had worked night and
day with all the energy of a pure soul and a great mind to assuage
religious hatreds and avert civil dissensions. He was overpowered. He had
frequently desired to be released from all his functions, but as dangers
thickened over the Provinces, he felt it his duty so long as he remained
at his post to abide by the law as the only anchor in the storm. Not
rising in his mind to the height of a national idea, and especially
averse from it when embodied in the repulsive form of religious
uniformity, he did not shrink from a contest which he had not provoked,
but had done his utmost to avert. But even then he did not anticipate
civil war. The enrolling of the Waartgelders was an armed protest, a
symbol of legal conviction rather than a serious effort to resist the
general government. And this is the chief justification of his course
from a political point of view. It was ridiculous to suppose that with a
few hundred soldiers hastily enlisted--and there were less than 1800
Waartgelders levied throughout the Provinces and under the orders of
civil magistrates--a serious contest was intended against a splendidly
disciplined army of veteran troops, commanded by the first general of the

From a legal point of view Barneveld considered his position impregnable.

The controversy is curious, especially for Americans, and for all who are
interested in the analysis of federal institutions and of republican
principles, whether aristocratic or democratic. The States of Utrecht
replied in decorous but firm language to the committee of the
States-General that they had raised the six companies in accordance with
their sovereign right so to do, and that they were resolved to maintain
them. They could not wait as they had been obliged to do in the time of
the Earl of Leicester and more recently in 1610 until they had been
surprised and overwhelmed by the enemy before the States-General and his
Excellency the Prince could come to their rescue. They could not suffer
all the evils of tumults, conspiracies, and foreign invasion, without
defending themselves.

Making use, they said, of the right of sovereignty which in their
province belonged to them alone, they thought it better to prevent in
time and by convenient means such fire and mischief than to look on while
it kindled and spread into a conflagration, and to go about imploring aid
from their fellow confederates who, God better it, had enough in these
times to do at home. This would only be to bring them as well as this
province into trouble, disquiet, and expense. "My Lords the States of
Utrecht have conserved and continually exercised this right of
sovereignty in its entireness ever since renouncing the King of Spain.
Every contract, ordinance, and instruction of the States-General has been
in conformity with it, and the States of Utrecht are convinced that the
States of not one of their confederate provinces would yield an atom of
its sovereignty."

They reminded the general government that by the 1st article of the
"Closer Union" of Utrecht, on which that assembly was founded, it was
bound to support the States of the respective provinces and strengthen
them with counsel, treasure, and blood if their respective rights, more
especially their individual sovereignty, the most precious of all, should
be assailed. To refrain from so doing would be to violate a solemn
contract. They further reminded the council of state that by its
institution the States-Provincial had not abdicated their respective
sovereignties, but had reserved it in all matters not specifically
mentioned in the original instruction by which it was created.

Two days afterwards Arnold van Randwyck and three other commissioners
were instructed by the general government to confer with the States of
Utrecht, to tell them that their reply was deemed unsatisfactory, that
their reasons for levying soldiers in times when all good people should
be seeking to restore harmony and mitigate dissension were insufficient,
and to request them to disband those levies without prejudice in so doing
to the laws and liberties of the province and city of Utrecht.

Here was perhaps an opening for a compromise, the instruction being not
without ingenuity, and the word sovereignty in regard either to the
general government or the separate provinces being carefully omitted.
Soon afterwards, too, the States-General went many steps farther in the
path of concession, for they made another appeal to the government of
Utrecht to disband the Waartgelders on the ground of expediency, and in
so doing almost expressly admitted the doctrine of provincial
sovereignty. It is important in regard to subsequent events to observe
this virtual admission.

"Your Honours lay especial stress upon the right of sovereignty as
belonging to you alone in your province," they said, "and dispute
therefore at great length upon the power and authority of the Generality,
of his Excellency, and of the state council. But you will please to
consider that there is here no question of this, as our commissioners had
no instructions to bring this into dispute in the least, and most
certainly have not done so. We have only in effect questioned whether
that which one has an undoubted right to do can at all times be
appropriately and becomingly done, whether it was fitting that your
Honours, contrary to custom, should undertake these new levies upon a
special oath and commission, and effectively complete the measure without
giving the slightest notice thereof to the Generality."

It may fairly be said that the question in debate was entirely conceded
in this remarkable paper, which was addressed by the States-General, the
Prince-Stadholder, and the council of state to the government of Utrecht.
It should be observed, too, that while distinctly repudiating the
intention of disputing the sovereignty of that province, they carefully
abstain from using the word in relation to themselves, speaking only of
the might and authority of the Generality, the Prince, and the council.

There was now a pause in the public discussion. The soldiers were not
disbanded, as the States of Utrecht were less occupied with establishing
the soundness of their theory than with securing its practical results.
They knew very well, and the Advocate knew very well, that the intention
to force a national synod by a majority vote of the Assembly of the
States-General existed more strongly than ever, and they meant to resist
it to the last. The attempt was in their opinion an audacious violation
of the fundamental pact on which the Confederacy was founded. Its success
would be to establish the sacerdotal power in triumph over the civil

During this period the Advocate was resident in Utrecht. For change of
air, ostensibly at least, he had absented himself from the seat of
government, and was during several weeks under the hands of his old
friend and physician Dr. Saul. He was strictly advised to abstain
altogether from political business, but he might as well have attempted
to abstain from food and drink. Gillis van Ledenberg, secretary of the
States of Utrecht, visited him frequently. The proposition to enlist the
Waartgelders had been originally made in the Assembly by its president,
and warmly seconded by van Ledenberg, who doubtless conferred afterwards
with Barneveld in person, but informally and at his lodgings.

It was almost inevitable that this should be the case, nor did the
Advocate make much mystery as to the course of action which he deemed
indispensable at this period. Believing it possible that some sudden and
desperate attempt might be made by evil disposed people, he agreed with
the States of Utrecht in the propriety of taking measures of precaution.
They were resolved not to look quietly on while soldiers and rabble under
guidance perhaps of violent Contra-Remonstrant preachers took possession
of the churches and even of the city itself, as had already been done in
several towns.

The chief practical object of enlisting the six companies was that the
city might be armed against popular tumults, and they feared that the
ordinary military force might be withdrawn.

When Captain Hartvelt, in his own name and that of the other officers of
those companies, said that they were all resolved never to use their
weapons against the Stadholder or the States-General, he was answered
that they would never be required to do so. They, however, made oath to
serve against those who should seek to trouble the peace of the Province
of Utrecht in ecclesiastical or political matters, and further against
all enemies of the common country. At the same time it was deemed
expedient to guard against a surprise of any kind and to keep watch and

"I cannot quite believe in the French companies," said the Advocate in a
private billet to Ledenberg. "It would be extremely well that not only
good watch should be kept at the city gates, but also that one might from
above and below the river Lek be assuredly advised from the nearest
cities if any soldiers are coming up or down, and that the same might be
done in regard to Amersfoort." At the bottom of this letter, which was
destined to become historical and will be afterwards referred to, the
Advocate wrote, as he not unfrequently did, upon his private notes, "When
read, burn, and send me back the two enclosed letters."

The letter lies in the Archives unburned to this day, but, harmless as it
looked, it was to serve as a nail in more than one coffin.

In his confidential letters to trusted friends he complained of "great
physical debility growing out of heavy sorrow," and described himself as
entering upon his seventy-first year and no longer fit for hard political
labour. The sincere grief, profound love of country, and desire that some
remedy might be found for impending disaster, is stamped upon all his
utterances whether official or secret.

"The troubles growing out of the religious differences," he said, "are
running into all sorts of extremities. It is feared that an attempt will
be made against the laws of the land through extraordinary ways, and by
popular tumults to take from the supreme authority of the respective
provinces the right to govern clerical persons and regulate clerical
disputes, and to place it at the disposition of ecclesiastics and of a
National Synod.

"It is thought too that the soldiers will be forbidden to assist the
civil supreme power and the government of cities in defending themselves
from acts of violence which under pretext of religion will be attempted
against the law and the commands of the magistrates.

"This seems to conflict with the common law of the respective provinces,
each of which from all times had right of sovereignty and supreme
authority within its territory and specifically reserved it in all
treaties and especially in that of the Nearer Union . . . . The provinces
have always regulated clerical matters each for itself. The Province of
Utrecht, which under the pretext of religion is now most troubled, made
stipulations to this effect, when it took his Excellency for governor,
even more stringent than any others. As for Holland, she never imagined
that one could ever raise a question on the subject . . . . All good men
ought to do their best to prevent the enemies to the welfare of these
Provinces from making profit out of our troubles."

The whole matter he regarded as a struggle between the clergy and the
civil power for mastery over the state, as an attempt to subject
provincial autonomy to the central government purely in the interest of
the priesthood of a particular sect. The remedy he fondly hoped for was
moderation and union within the Church itself. He could never imagine the
necessity for this ferocious animosity not only between Christians but
between two branches of the Reformed Church. He could never be made to
believe that the Five Points of the Remonstrance had dug an abyss too
deep and wide ever to be bridged between brethren lately of one faith as
of one fatherland. He was unceasing in his prayers and appeals for
"mutual toleration on the subject of predestination." Perhaps the
bitterness, almost amounting to frenzy, with which abstruse points of
casuistry were then debated, and which converted differences of opinion
upon metaphysical divinity into deadly hatred and thirst for blood, is
already obsolete or on the road to become so. If so, then was Barneveld
in advance of his age, and it would have been better for the peace of the
world and the progress of Christianity if more of his contemporaries had
placed themselves on his level.

He was no theologian, but he believed himself to be a Christian, and he
certainly was a thoughtful and a humble one. He had not the arrogance to
pierce behind the veil and assume to read the inscrutable thoughts of the
Omnipotent. It was a cruel fate that his humility upon subjects which he
believed to be beyond the scope of human reason should have been tortured
by his enemies into a crime, and that because he hoped for religious
toleration he should be accused of treason to the Commonwealth.

"Believe and cause others to believe," he said, "that I am and with the
grace of God hope to continue an upright patriot as I have proved myself
to be in these last forty-two years spent in the public service. In the
matter of differential religious points I remain of the opinions which I
have held for more than fifty years, and in which I hope to live and die,
to wit, that a good Christian man ought to believe that he is predestined
to eternal salvation through God's grace, giving for reasons that he
through God's grace has a firm belief that his salvation is founded
purely on God's grace and the expiation of our sins through our Saviour
Jesus Christ, and that if he should fall into any sins his firm trust is
that God will not let him perish in them, but mercifully turn him to
repentance, so that he may continue in the same belief to the last."

These expressions were contained in a letter to Caron with the intention
doubtless that they should be communicated to the King of Great Britain,
and it is a curious illustration of the spirit of the age, this picture
of the leading statesman of a great republic unfolding his religious
convictions for private inspection by the monarch of an allied nation.
More than anything else it exemplifies the close commixture of theology,
politics, and diplomacy in that age, and especially in those two

Formerly, as we have seen, the King considered a too curious fathoming of
divine mysteries as highly reprehensible, particularly for the common
people. Although he knew more about them than any one else, he avowed
that even his knowledge in this respect was not perfect. It was matter of
deep regret with the Advocate that his Majesty had not held to his former
positions, and that he had disowned his original letters.

"I believe my sentiments thus expressed," he said, "to be in accordance
with Scripture, and I have always held to them without teasing my brains
with the precise decrees of reprobation, foreknowledge, or the like, as
matters above my comprehension. I have always counselled Christian
moderation. The States of Holland have followed the spirit of his
Majesty's letters, but our antagonists have rejected them and with
seditious talk, sermons, and the spreading of infamous libels have
brought matters to their present condition. There have been excesses on
the other side as well."

He then made a slight, somewhat shadowy allusion to schemes known to be
afloat for conferring the sovereignty upon Maurice. We have seen that at
former periods he had entertained this subject and discussed it privately
with those who were not only friendly but devoted to the Stadholder, and
that he had arrived at the conclusion that it would not be for the
interest of the Prince to encourage the project. Above all he was sternly
opposed to the idea of attempting to compass it by secret intrigue.
Should such an arrangement be publicly discussed and legally completed,
it would not meet with his unconditional opposition.

"The Lord God knows," he said, "whether underneath all these movements
does not lie the design of the year 1600, well known to you. As for me,
believe that I am and by God's grace hope to remain, what I always was,
an upright patriot, a defender of the true Christian religion, of the
public authority, and of all the power that has been and in future may be
legally conferred upon his Excellency. Believe that all things said,
written, or spread to the contrary are falsehoods and calumnies."

He was still in Utrecht, but about to leave for the Hague, with health
somewhat improved and in better spirits in regard to public matters.

"Although I have entered my seventy-first year," he said, "I trust still
to be of some service to the Commonwealth and to my friends . . . . Don't
consider an arrangement of our affairs desperate. I hope for better

Soon after his return he was waited upon one Sunday evening, late in
October--being obliged to keep his house on account of continued
indisposition--by a certain solicitor named Nordlingen and informed that
the Prince was about to make a sudden visit to Leyden at four o'clock
next morning.

Barneveld knew that the burgomasters and regents were holding a great
banquet that night, and that many of them would probably have been
indulging in potations too deep to leave them fit for serious business.
The agitation of people's minds at that moment made the visit seem rather
a critical one, as there would probably be a mob collected to see the
Stadholder, and he was anxious both in the interest of the Prince and the
regents and of both religious denominations that no painful incidents
should occur if it was in his power to prevent them.

He was aware that his son-in-law, Cornelis van der Myle, had been invited
to the banquet, and that he was wont to carry his wine discreetly. He
therefore requested Nordlingen to proceed to Leyden that night and seek
an interview with van der Myle without delay. By thus communicating the
intelligence of the expected visit to one who, he felt sure, would do his
best to provide for a respectful and suitable reception of the Prince,
notwithstanding the exhilarated condition in which the magistrates would
probably find themselves, the Advocate hoped to prevent any riot or
tumultuous demonstration of any kind. At least he would act conformably
to his duty and keep his conscience clear should disasters ensue.

Later in the night he learned that Maurice was going not to Leyden but to
Delft, and he accordingly despatched a special messenger to arrive before
dawn at Leyden in order to inform van der Myle of this change in the
Prince's movements. Nothing seemed simpler or more judicious than these
precautions on the part of Barneveld. They could not fail, however, to be
tortured into sedition, conspiracy, and treason.

Towards the end of the year a meeting of the nobles and knights of
Holland under the leadership of Barneveld was held to discuss the famous
Sharp Resolution of 4th August and the letters and arguments advanced
against it by the Stadholder and the council of state. It was unanimously
resolved by this body, in which they were subsequently followed by a
large majority of the States of Holland, to maintain that resolution and
its consequences and to oppose the National Synod. They further resolved
that a legal provincial synod should be convoked by the States of Holland
and under their authority and supervision. The object of such synod
should be to devise "some means of accommodation, mutual toleration, and
Christian settlement of differences in regard to the Five Points in

In case such compromise should unfortunately not be arranged, then it was
resolved to invite to the assembly two or three persons from France, as
many from England, from Germany, and from Switzerland, to aid in the
consultations. Should a method of reconciliation and mutual toleration
still remain undiscovered, then, in consideration that the whole
Christian world was interested in composing these dissensions, it was
proposed that a "synodal assembly of all Christendom," a Protestant
oecumenical council, should in some solemn manner be convoked.

These resolutions and propositions were all brought forward by the
Advocate, and the draughts of them in his handwriting remain. They are
the unimpeachable evidences of his earnest desire to put an end to these
unhappy disputes and disorders in the only way which he considered

Before the close of the year the States of Holland, in accordance with
the foregoing advice of the nobles, passed a resolution, the minutes of
which were drawn up by the hand of the Advocate, and in which they
persisted in their opposition to the National Synod. They declared by a
large majority of votes that the Assembly of the States-General without
the unanimous consent of the Provincial States were not competent
according to the Union of Utrecht--the fundamental law of the General
Assembly--to regulate religious affairs, but that this right belonged to
the separate provinces, each within its own domain.

They further resolved that as they were bound by solemn oath to maintain
the laws and liberties of Holland, they could not surrender this right to
the Generality, nor allow it to be usurped by any one, but in order to
settle the question of the Five Points, the only cause known to them of
the present disturbances, they were content under: their own authority to
convoke a provincial synod within three months, at their own cost, and to
invite the respective provinces, as many of them as thought good, to send
to this meeting a certain number of pious and learned theologians.

It is difficult to see why the course thus unanimously proposed by the
nobles of Holland, under guidance of Barneveld, and subsequently by a
majority of the States of that province, would not have been as expedient
as it was legal. But we are less concerned with that point now than with
the illustrations afforded by these long buried documents of the
patriotism and sagacity of a man than whom no human creature was ever
more foully slandered.

It will be constantly borne in mind that he regarded this religious
controversy purely from a political, legal, and constitutional--and not
from a theological-point of view. He believed that grave danger to the
Fatherland was lurking under this attempt, by the general government, to
usurp the power of dictating the religious creed of all the provinces.
Especially he deplored the evil influence exerted by the King of England
since his abandonment of the principles announced in his famous letter to
the States in the year 1613. All that the Advocate struggled for was
moderation and mutual toleration within the Reformed Church. He felt that
a wider scheme of forbearance was impracticable. If a dream of general
religious equality had ever floated before him or before any one in that
age, he would have felt it to be a dream which would be a reality nowhere
until centuries should have passed away. Yet that moderation, patience,
tolerance, and respect for written law paved the road to that wider and
loftier region can scarcely be doubted.

Carleton, subservient to every changing theological whim of his master,
was as vehement and as insolent now in enforcing the intolerant views of
James as he had previously been in supporting the counsels to tolerance
contained in the original letters of that monarch.

The Ambassador was often at the Advocate's bed-side during his illness
that summer, enforcing, instructing, denouncing, contradicting. He was
never weary of fulfilling his duties of tuition, but the patient
Barneveld; haughty and overbearing as he was often described to be,
rarely used a harsh or vindictive word regarding him in his letters.

"The ambassador of France," he said, "has been heard before the Assembly
of the States-General, and has made warm appeals in favour of union and
mutual toleration as his Majesty of Great Britain so wisely did in his
letters of 1613 . . . . If his Majesty could only be induced to write
fresh letters in similar tone, I should venture to hope better fruits
from them than from this attempt to thrust a national synod upon our
necks, which many of us hold to be contrary to law, reason, and the Act
of Union."

So long as it was possible to hope that the action of the States of
Holland would prevent such a catastrophe, he worked hard to direct them
in what he deemed the right course.

"Our political and religious differences," he said, "stand between hope
and fear."

The hope was in the acceptance of the Provincial Synod--the fear lest the
National Synod should be carried by a minority of the cities of Holland
combining with a majority of the other Provincial States.

"This would be in violation," he said, "of the so-called Religious Peace,
the Act of Union, the treaty with the Duke of Anjou, the negotiations of
the States of Utrecht, and with Prince Maurice in 1590 with cognizance of
the States-General and those of Holland for, the governorship of that
province, the custom of the Generality for the last thirty years
according to which religious matters have always been left to the
disposition of the States of each province . . . . Carleton is
strenuously urging this course in his Majesty's name, and I fear that in
the present state of our humours great troubles will be the result."

The expulsion by an armed mob, in the past year, of a Remonstrant
preacher at Oudewater, the overpowering of the magistracy and the forcing
on of illegal elections in that and other cities, had given him and all
earnest patriots grave cause for apprehension. They were dreading, said
Barneveld, a course of crimes similar to those which under the Earl of
Leicester's government had afflicted Leyden and Utrecht.

"Efforts are incessant to make the Remonstrants hateful," he said to
Caron, "but go forward resolutely and firmly in the conviction that our
friends here are as animated in their opposition to the Spanish dominion
now and by God's grace will so remain as they have ever proved themselves
to be, not only by words, but works. I fear that Mr. Carleton gives too
much belief to the enviers of our peace and tranquillity under pretext of
religion, but it is more from ignorance than malice."

Those who have followed the course of the Advocate's correspondence,
conversation, and actions, as thus far detailed, can judge of the
gigantic nature of the calumny by which he was now assailed. That this
man, into every fibre of whose nature was woven undying hostility to
Spain, as the great foe to national independence and religious liberty
throughout the continent of Europe, whose every effort, as we have seen,
during all these years of nominal peace had been to organize a system of
general European defence against the war now actually begun upon
Protestantism, should be accused of being a partisan of Spain, a creature
of Spain, a pensioner of Spain, was enough to make honest men pray that
the earth might be swallowed up. If such idiotic calumnies could be
believed, what patriot in the world could not be doubted? Yet they were
believed. Barneveld was bought by Spanish gold. He had received whole
boxes full of Spanish pistoles, straight from Brussels! For his part in
the truce negotiations he had received 120,000 ducats in one lump.

"It was plain," said the greatest man in the country to another great
man, "that Barneveld and his party are on the road to Spain."

"Then it were well to have proof of it," said the great man.

"Not yet time," was the reply. "We must flatten out a few of them first."

Prince Maurice had told the Princess-Dowager the winter before (8th
December 1616) that those dissensions would never be decided except by
use of weapons; and he now mentioned to her that he had received
information from Brussels, which he in part believed, that the Advocate
was a stipendiary of Spain. Yet he had once said, to the same Princess
Louise, of this stipendiary that "the services which the Advocate had
rendered to the House of Nassau were so great that all the members of
that house might well look upon him not as their friend but their
father." Councillor van Maldere, President of the States of Zealand, and
a confidential friend of Maurice, was going about the Hague saying that
"one must string up seven or eight Remonstrants on the gallows; then
there might be some improvement."

As for Arminius and Uytenbogaert, people had long told each other and
firmly believed it, and were amazed when any incredulity was expressed in
regard to it, that they were in regular and intimate correspondence with
the Jesuits, that they had received large sums from Rome, and that both
had been promised cardinals' hats. That Barneveld and his friend
Uytenbogaert were regular pensioners of Spain admitted of no dispute
whatever. "It was as true as the Holy Evangel." The ludicrous chatter had
been passed over with absolute disdain by the persons attacked, but
calumny is often a stronger and more lasting power than disdain. It
proved to be in these cases.

"You have the plague mark on your flesh, oh pope, oh pensioner," said one
libeller. "There are letters safely preserved to make your process for
you. Look out for your head. Many have sworn your death, for it is more
than time that you were out of the world. We shall prove, oh great bribed
one, that you had the 120,000 little ducats." The preacher Uytenbogaert
was also said to have had 80,000 ducats for his share. "Go to Brussels,"
said the pamphleteer; "it all stands clearly written out on the register
with the names and surnames of all you great bribe-takers."

These were choice morsels from the lampoon of the notary Danckaerts.

"We are tortured more and more with religious differences," wrote
Barneveld; "with acts of popular violence growing out of them the more
continuously as they remain unpunished, and with ever increasing
jealousies and suspicions. The factious libels become daily more numerous
and more impudent, and no man comes undamaged from the field. I, as a
reward for all my troubles, labours, and sorrows, have three double
portions of them. I hope however to overcome all by God's grace and to
defend my actions with all honourable men so long as right and reason
have place in the world, as to which many begin to doubt. If his Majesty
had been pleased to stick to the letters of 1613, we should never have
got into these difficulties . . . . It were better in my opinion that
Carleton should be instructed to negotiate in the spirit of those
epistles rather than to torment us with the National Synod, which will do
more harm than good."

It is impossible not to notice the simplicity and patience with which the
Advocate, in the discharge of his duty as minister of foreign affairs,
kept the leading envoys of the Republic privately informed of events
which were becoming day by day more dangerous to the public interests and
his own safety. If ever a perfectly quiet conscience was revealed in the
correspondence of a statesman, it was to be found in these letters.

Calmly writing to thank Caron for some very satisfactory English beer
which the Ambassador had been sending him from London, he proceeded to
speak again of the religious dissensions and their consequences. He sent
him the letter and remonstrance which he had felt himself obliged to
make, and which he had been urged by his ever warm and constant friend
the widow of William the Silent to make on the subject of "the seditious
libels, full of lies and calumnies got up by conspiracy against him."
These letters were never published, however, until years after he had
been in his grave.

"I know that you are displeased with the injustice done me," he said,
"but I see no improvement. People are determined to force through the
National Synod. The two last ones did much harm. This will do ten times
more, so intensely embittered are men's tempers against each other."
Again he deplored the King's departure from his letters of 1613, by
adherence to which almost all the troubles would have been spared.

It is curious too to observe the contrast between public opinion in Great
Britain, including its government, in regard to the constitution of the
United Provinces at that period of domestic dissensions and incipient
civil war and the general impressions manifested in the same nation two
centuries and a half later, on the outbreak of the slavery rebellion, as
to the constitution of the United States.

The States in arms against the general government on the other side of
the Atlantic were strangely but not disingenuously assumed to be
sovereign and independent, and many statesmen and a leading portion of
the public justified them in their attempt to shake off the central
government as if it were but a board of agency established by treaty and
terminable at pleasure of any one of among sovereigns and terminable at
pleasure of any one of them.

Yet even a superficial glance at the written constitution of the Republic
showed that its main object was to convert what had been a confederacy
into an Incorporation; and that the very essence of its renewed political
existence was an organic law laid down by a whole people in their
primitive capacity in place of a league banding together a group of
independent little corporations. The chief attributes of sovereignty--the
rights of war and peace, of coinage, of holding armies and navies, of
issuing bills of credit, of foreign relations, of regulating and taxing
foreign commerce--having been taken from the separate States by the
united people thereof and bestowed upon a government provided with a
single executive head, with a supreme tribunal, with a popular house of
representatives and a senate, and with power to deal directly with the
life and property of every individual in the land, it was strange indeed
that the feudal, and in America utterly unmeaning, word Sovereign should
have been thought an appropriate term for the different States which had
fused themselves three-quarters of a century before into a Union.

When it is remembered too that the only dissolvent of this Union was the
intention to perpetuate human slavery, the logic seemed somewhat perverse
by which the separate sovereignty of the States was deduced from the
constitution of 1787.

On the other hand, the Union of Utrecht of 1579 was a league of petty
sovereignties; a compact less binding and more fragile than the Articles
of Union made almost exactly two hundred years later in America, and the
worthlessness of which, after the strain of war was over, had been
demonstrated in the dreary years immediately following the peace of 1783.
One after another certain Netherland provinces had abjured their
allegiance to Spain, some of them afterwards relapsing under it, some
having been conquered by the others, while one of them, Holland, had for
a long time borne the greater part of the expense and burthen of the war.

"Holland," said the Advocate, "has brought almost all the provinces to
their liberty. To receive laws from them or from their clerical people
now is what our State cannot endure. It is against her laws and customs,
in the enjoyment of which the other provinces and his Excellency as
Governor of Holland are bound to protect us."

And as the preservation of chattel slavery in the one case seemed a
legitimate ground for destroying a government which had as definite an
existence as any government known to mankind, so the resolve to impose a
single religious creed upon many millions of individuals was held by the
King and government of Great Britain to be a substantial reason for
imagining a central sovereignty which had never existed at all. This was
still more surprising as the right to dispose of ecclesiastical affairs
and persons had been expressly reserved by the separate provinces in
perfectly plain language in the Treaty of Union.

"If the King were better informed," said Barneveld, "of our system and
laws, we should have better hope than now. But one supposes through
notorious error in foreign countries that the sovereignty stands with the
States-General which is not the case, except in things which by the
Articles of Closer Union have been made common to all the provinces,
while in other matters, as religion, justice, and polity, the sovereignty
remains with each province, which foreigners seem unable to comprehend."

Early in June, Carleton took his departure for England on leave of
absence. He received a present from the States of 3000 florins, and went
over in very ill-humour with Barneveld. "Mr. Ambassador is much offended
and prejudiced," said the Advocate, "but I know that he will religiously
carry out the orders of his Majesty. I trust that his Majesty can admit
different sentiments on predestination and its consequences, and that in
a kingdom where the supreme civil authority defends religion the system
of the Puritans will have no foothold."

Certainly James could not be accused of allowing the system of the
Puritans much foothold in England, but he had made the ingenious
discovery that Puritanism in Holland was a very different thing from
Puritanism in the Netherlands.


     Acts of violence which under pretext of religion
     Adulation for inferiors whom they despise
     Calumny is often a stronger and more lasting power than disdain
     Created one child for damnation and another for salvation
     Depths of credulity men in all ages can sink
     Devote himself to his gout and to his fair young wife
     Furious mob set upon the house of Rem Bischop
     Highborn demagogues in that as in every age affect adulation
     In this he was much behind his age or before it
     Logic is rarely the quality on which kings pride themselves
     Necessity of deferring to powerful sovereigns
     Not his custom nor that of his councillors to go to bed
     Partisans wanted not accommodation but victory
     Puritanism in Holland was a very different thing from England
     Seemed bent on self-destruction
     Stand between hope and fear
     The evils resulting from a confederate system of government
     To stifle for ever the right of free enquiry



By John Lothrop Motley, D.C.L., LL.D.

Life and Death of John of Barneveld, v9, 1618


   Maurice revolutionizes the Provinces--Danckaert's libellous Pamphlet
   --Barneveld's Appeal to the Prince--Barneveld'a Remonstrance to the
   States--The Stadholder at Amsterdam--The Treaty of Truce nearly
   expired--King of Spain and Archduke Albert--Scheme for recovering
   the Provinces--Secret Plot to make Maurice Sovereign.

Early in the year (1618) Maurice set himself about revolutionizing the
provinces on which he could not yet thoroughly rely. The town of Nymegen
since its recovery from the Spaniards near the close of the preceding
century had held its municipal government, as it were, at the option of
the Prince. During the war he had been, by the terms of surrender,
empowered to appoint and to change its magistracy at will. No change had
occurred for many years, but as the government had of late fallen into
the hands of the Barneveldians, and as Maurice considered the Truce to be
a continuance of the war, he appeared suddenly, in the city at the head
of a body of troops and surrounded by his lifeguard. Summoning the whole
board of magistrates into the townhouse, he gave them all notice to quit,
disbanding them like a company of mutinous soldiery, and immediately
afterwards appointed a fresh list of functionaries in their stead.

This done, he proceeded to Arnhem, where the States of Gelderland were in
session, appeared before that body, and made a brief announcement of the
revolution which he had so succinctly effected in the most considerable
town of their province. The Assembly, which seems, like many other
assemblies at precisely this epoch, to have had an extraordinary capacity
for yielding to gentle violence, made but little resistance to the
extreme measures now undertaken by the Stadholder, and not only highly
applauded the subjugation of Nymegen, but listened with sympathy to his
arguments against the Waartgelders and in favour of the Synod.

Having accomplished so much by a very brief visit to Gelderland, the
Prince proceeded, to Overyssel, and had as little difficulty in bringing
over the wavering minds of that province into orthodoxy and obedience.
Thus there remained but two provinces out of seven that were still
"waartgeldered" and refused to be "synodized."

It was rebellion against rebellion. Maurice and his adherents accused the
States' right party of mutiny against himself and the States-General. The
States' right party accused the Contra-Remonstrants in the cities of
mutiny against the lawful sovereignty of each province.

The oath of the soldiery, since the foundation of the Republic, had been
to maintain obedience and fidelity to the States-General, the Stadholder,
and the province in which they were garrisoned, and at whose expense they
were paid. It was impossible to harmonize such conflicting duties and
doctrines. Theory had done its best and its worst. The time was fast
approaching, as it always must approach, when fact with its violent besom
would brush away the fine-spun cobwebs which had been so long

"I will grind the Advocate and all his party into fine meal," said the
Prince on one occasion.

A clever caricature of the time represented a pair of scales hung up in a
great hall. In the one was a heap of parchments, gold chains, and
magisterial robes; the whole bundle being marked the "holy right of each
city." In the other lay a big square, solid, ironclasped volume, marked
"Institutes of Calvin." Each scale was respectively watched by Gomarus
and by Arminius. The judges, gowned, furred, and ruffed, were looking
decorously on, when suddenly the Stadholder, in full military attire, was
seen rushing into the apartment and flinging his sword into the scale
with the Institutes.

The civic and legal trumpery was of course made to kick the beam.

Maurice had organized his campaign this year against the Advocate and his
party as deliberately as he had ever arranged the details of a series of
battles and sieges against the Spaniard. And he was proving himself as
consummate master in political strife as in the great science of war.

He no longer made any secret of his conviction that Barneveld was a
traitor to his country, bought with Spanish gold. There was not the
slightest proof for these suspicions, but he asserted them roundly. "The
Advocate is travelling straight to Spain," he said to Count Cuylenborg.
"But we will see who has got the longest purse."

And as if it had been a part of the campaign, a prearranged diversion to
the more direct and general assault on the entrenchments of the States'
right party, a horrible personal onslaught was now made from many
quarters upon the Advocate. It was an age of pamphleteering, of venomous,
virulent, unscrupulous libels. And never even in that age had there been
anything to equal the savage attacks upon this great statesman. It moves
the gall of an honest man, even after the lapse of two centuries and a
half, to turn over those long forgotten pages and mark the depths to
which political and theological party spirit could descend. That human
creatures can assimilate themselves so closely to the reptile, and to the
subtle devil within the reptile, when a party end is to be gained is
enough to make the very name of man a term of reproach.

Day by day appeared pamphlets, each one more poisonous than its
predecessor. There was hardly a crime that was not laid at the door of
Barneveld and all his kindred. The man who had borne a matchlock in early
youth against the foreign tyrant in days when unsuccessful rebellion
meant martyrdom and torture; who had successfully guided the councils of
the infant commonwealth at a period when most of his accusers were in
their cradles, and when mistake was ruin to the republic; he on whose
strong arm the father of his country had leaned for support; the man who
had organized a political system out of chaos; who had laid down the
internal laws, negotiated the great indispensable alliances, directed the
complicated foreign policy, established the system of national defence,
presided over the successful financial administration of a state
struggling out of mutiny into national existence; who had rocked the
Republic in its cradle and ever borne her in his heart; who had made her
name beloved at home and honoured and dreaded abroad; who had been the
first, when the great Taciturn had at last fallen a victim to the
murderous tyrant of Spain, to place the youthful Maurice in his father's
place, and to inspire the whole country with sublime courage to persist
rather than falter in purpose after so deadly a blow; who was as truly
the founder of the Republic as William had been the author of its
independence,--was now denounced as a traitor, a pope, a tyrant, a venal
hucksterer of his country's liberties. His family name, which had long
been an ancient and knightly one, was defiled and its nobility disputed;
his father and mother, sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, accused
of every imaginable and unimaginable crime, of murder, incest, robbery,
bastardy, fraud, forgery, blasphemy. He had received waggon-loads of
Spanish pistoles; he had been paid 120,000 ducats by Spain for
negotiating the Truce; he was in secret treaty with Archduke Albert to
bring 18,000 Spanish mercenaries across the border to defeat the
machinations of Prince Maurice, destroy his life, or drive him from the
country; all these foul and bitter charges and a thousand similar ones
were rained almost daily upon that grey head.

One day the loose sheets of a more than commonly libellous pamphlet were
picked up in the streets of the Hague and placed in the Advocate's hands.
It was the work of the drunken notary Danckaerts already mentioned, then
resident in Amsterdam, and among the papers thus found was a list of
wealthy merchants of that city who had contributed to the expense of its
publication. The opposition of Barneveld to the West India Corporation
could never be forgiven. The Advocate was notified in this production
that he was soon to be summoned to answer for his crimes. The country was
weary of him, he was told, and his life was forfeited.

Stung at last beyond endurance by the persistent malice of his enemies,
he came before the States of Holland for redress. Upon his remonstrance
the author of this vile libel was summoned to answer before the upper
tribunal at the Hague for his crime. The city of Amsterdam covered him
with the shield 'de non evocando,' which had so often in cases of less
consequence proved of no protective value, and the notary was never
punished, but on the contrary after a brief lapse of time rewarded as for
a meritorious action.

Meantime, the States of Holland, by formal act, took the name and honour
of Barneveld under their immediate protection as a treasure belonging
specially to themselves. Heavy penalties were denounced upon the authors
and printers of these libellous attacks, and large rewards offered for
their detection. Nothing came, however, of such measures.

On the 24th April the Advocate addressed a frank, dignified, and
conciliatory letter to the Prince. The rapid progress of calumny against
him had at last alarmed even his steadfast soul, and he thought it best
to make a last appeal to the justice and to the clear intellect of
William the Silent's son.

"Gracious Prince," he said, "I observe to my greatest sorrow an entire
estrangement of your Excellency from me, and I fear lest what was said
six months since by certain clerical persons and afterwards by some
politicians concerning your dissatisfaction with me, which until now I
have not been able to believe, must be true. I declare nevertheless with
a sincere heart to have never willingly given cause for any such feeling;
having always been your very faithful servant and with God's help hoping
as such to die. Ten years ago during the negotiations for the Truce I
clearly observed the beginning of this estrangement, but your Excellency
will be graciously pleased to remember that I declared to you at that
time my upright and sincere intention in these negotiations to promote
the service of the country and the interests of your Excellency, and that
I nevertheless offered at the time not only to resign all my functions
but to leave the country rather than remain in office and in the country
to the dissatisfaction of your Excellency."

He then rapidly reviewed the causes which had produced the alienation of
which he complained and the melancholy divisions caused by the want of
mutual religious toleration in the Provinces; spoke of his efforts to
foster a spirit of conciliation on the dread subject of predestination,
and referred to the letter of the King of Great Britain deprecating
discussion and schism on this subject, and urging that those favourable
to the views of the Remonstrants ought not to be persecuted. Referring to
the intimate relations which Uytenbogaert had so long enjoyed with the
Prince, the Advocate alluded to the difficulty he had in believing that
his Excellency intended to act in opposition to the efforts of the States
of Holland in the cause of mutual toleration, to the manifest detriment
of the country and of many of its best and truest patriots and the
greater number of the magistrates in all the cities.

He reminded the Prince that all attempts to accommodate these fearful
quarrels had been frustrated, and that on his departure the previous year
to Utrecht on account of his health he had again offered to resign all
his offices and to leave Holland altogether rather than find himself in
perpetual opposition to his Excellency.

"I begged you in such case," he said, "to lend your hand to the procuring
for me an honourable discharge from My Lords the States, but your
Excellency declared that you could in no wise approve such a step and
gave me hope that some means of accommodating the dissensions would yet
be proposed."

"I went then to Vianen, being much indisposed; thence I repaired to
Utrecht to consult my old friend Doctor Saulo Saul, in whose hands I
remained six weeks, not being able, as I hoped, to pass my seventieth
birthday on the 24th September last in my birthplace, the city of
Amersfoort. All this time I heard not one single word or proposal of
accommodation. On the contrary it was determined that by a majority vote,
a thing never heard of before, it was intended against the solemn
resolves of the States of Holland, of Utrecht, and of Overyssel to bring
these religious differences before the Assembly of My Lords the
States-General, a proceeding directly in the teeth of the Act of Union
and other treaties, and before a Synod which people called National, and
that meantime every effort was making to discredit all those who stood up
for the laws of these Provinces and to make them odious and despicable in
the eyes of the common people.

"Especially it was I that was thus made the object of hatred and contempt
in their eyes. Hundreds of lies and calumnies, circulated in the form of
libels, seditious pamphlets, and lampoons, compelled me to return from
Utrecht to the Hague. Since that time I have repeatedly offered my
services to your Excellency for the promotion of mutual accommodation and
reconciliation of differences, but without success."

He then alluded to the publication with which the country was ringing,
'The Necessary and Living Discourse of a Spanish Counsellor', and which
was attributed to his former confidential friend, now become his
deadliest foe, ex-Ambassador Francis Aerssens, and warned the Prince that
if he chose, which God forbid, to follow the advice of that seditious
libel, nothing but ruin to the beloved Fatherland and its lovers, to the
princely house of Orange-Nassau and to the Christian religion could be
the issue. "The Spanish government could desire no better counsel," he
said, "than this which these fellows give you; to encourage distrust and
estrangement between your Excellency and the nobles, the cities, and the
magistrates of the land and to propose high and haughty imaginings which
are easy enough to write, but most difficult to practise, and which can
only enure to the advantage of Spain. Therefore most respectfully I beg
your Excellency not to believe these fellows, but to reject their
counsels . . . . Among them are many malignant hypocrites and ambitious
men who are seeking their own profit in these changes of government--many
utterly ragged and beggarly fellows and many infamous traitors coming
from the provinces which have remained under the dominion of the
Spaniard, and who are filled with revenge, envy, and jealousy at the
greater prosperity and bloom of these independent States than they find
at home.

"I fear," he said in conclusion, "that I have troubled your Excellency
too long, but to the fulfilment of my duty and discharge of my conscience
I could not be more brief. It saddens me deeply that in recompense for my
long and manifold services I am attacked by so many calumnious, lying,
seditious, and fraudulent libels, and that these indecencies find their
pretext and their food in the evil disposition of your Excellency towards
me. And although for one-and-thirty years long I have been able to live
down such things with silence, well-doing, and truth, still do I now find
myself compelled in this my advanced old age and infirmity to make some
utterances in defence of myself and those belonging to me, however much
against my heart and inclinations."

He ended by enclosing a copy of the solemn state paper which he was about
to lay before the States of Holland in defence of his honour, and
subscribed himself the lifelong and faithful servant of the Prince.

The Remonstrance to the States contained a summary review of the
political events of his life, which was indeed nothing more nor less than
the history of his country and almost of Europe itself during that
period, broadly and vividly sketched with the hand of a master. It was
published at once and strengthened the affection of his friends and the
wrath of his enemies. It is not necessary to our purpose to reproduce or
even analyse the document, the main facts and opinions contained in it
being already familiar to the reader. The frankness however with which,
in reply to the charges so profusely brought against him of having grown
rich by extortion, treason, and corruption, of having gorged himself with
plunder at home and bribery from the enemy, of being the great pensioner
of Europe and the Marshal d'Ancre of the Netherlands--he alluded to the
exact condition of his private affairs and the growth and sources of his
revenue, giving, as it were, a kind of schedule of his property, has in
it something half humorous, half touching in its simplicity.

He set forth the very slender salaries attached to his high offices of
Advocate of Holland, Keeper of the Seals, and other functions. He
answered the charge that he always had at his disposition 120,000 florins
to bribe foreign agents withal by saying that his whole allowance for
extraordinary expenses and trouble in maintaining his diplomatic and
internal correspondence was exactly 500 florins yearly. He alluded to the
slanders circulated as to his wealth and its sources by those who envied
him for his position and hated him for his services.

"But I beg you to believe, My Lords," he continued, "that my property is
neither so great nor so small as some people represent it to be.

"In the year '75 I married my wife," he said. "I was pleased with her
person. I was likewise pleased with the dowry which was promptly paid
over to me, with firm expectation of increase and betterment . . . . I ac
knowledge that forty-three years ago my wife and myself had got together
so much of real and personal property that we could live honourably upon
it. I had at that time as good pay and practice as any advocate in the
courts which brought me in a good 4000 florins a year; there being but
eight advocates practising at the time, of whom I was certainly not the
one least employed. In the beginning of the year '77 I came into the
service of the city of Rotterdam as 'Pensionary. Upon my salary from that
town I was enabled to support my family, having then but two children.
Now I can clearly prove that between the years 1577 and 1616 inclusive I
have inherited in my own right or that of my wife, from our relatives,
for ourselves and our children by lawful succession, more than 400
Holland morgens of land (about 800 acres), more than 2000 florins yearly
of redeemable rents, a good house in the city of Delft, some houses in
the open country, and several thousand florins in ready money. I have
likewise reclaimed in the course of the past forty years out of the water
and swamps by dyking more than an equal number of acres to those
inherited, and have bought and sold property during the same period to
the value of 800,000 florins; having sometimes bought 100,000 florins'
worth and sold 60,000 of it for 160,000, and so on."

It was evident that the thrifty Advocate during his long life had
understood how to turn over his money, and it was not necessary to
imagine "waggon-loads of Spanish pistoles" and bribes on a gigantic scale
from the hereditary enemy in order to account for a reasonable opulence
on his part.

"I have had nothing to do with trade," he continued, "it having been the
custom of my ancestors to risk no money except where the plough goes. In
the great East India Company however, which with four years of hard work,
public and private, I have helped establish, in order to inflict damage
on the Spaniards and Portuguese, I have adventured somewhat more than
5000 florins . . . . Now even if my condition be reasonably good, I think
no one has reason to envy me. Nevertheless I have said it in your
Lordships' Assembly, and I repeat it solemnly on this occasion, that I
have pondered the state of my affairs during my recent illness and found
that in order to leave my children unencumbered estates I must sell
property to the value of 60,000 or 70,000 florins. This I would rather do
than leave the charge to my children. That I should have got thus
behindhand through bad management, I beg your Highnesses not to believe.
But I have inherited, with the succession of four persons whose only heir
I was and with that of others to whom I was co-heir, many burthens as
well. I have bought property with encumbrances, and I have dyked and
bettered several estates with borrowed money. Now should it please your
Lordships to institute a census and valuation of the property of your
subjects, I for one should be very well pleased. For I know full well
that those who in the estimates of capital in the year 1599 rated
themselves at 50,000 or 60,000 florins now may boast of having twice as
much property as I have. Yet in that year out of patriotism I placed
myself on the list of those liable for the very highest contributions,
being assessed on a property of 200,000 florins."

The Advocate alluded with haughty contempt to the notorious lies
circulated by his libellers in regard to his lineage, as if the vast
services and unquestioned abilities of such a statesman would not have
illustrated the obscurest origin. But as he happened to be of ancient and
honourable descent, he chose to vindicate his position in that regard.

"I was born in the city of Amersfoort," he said, "by the father's side an
Oldenbarneveld; an old and noble race, from generation to generation
steadfast and true; who have been duly summoned for many hundred years to
the assembly of the nobles of their province as they are to this day. By
my mother's side I am sprung from the ancient and knightly family of
Amersfoort, which for three or four hundred years has been known as
foremost among the nobles of Utrecht in all state affairs and as landed

It is only for the sake of opening these domestic and private lights upon
an historical character whose life was so pre-eminently and almost
exclusively a public one that we have drawn some attention to this
stately defence made by the Advocate of his birth, life, and services to
the State. The public portions of the state paper belong exclusively to
history, and have already been sufficiently detailed.

The letter to Prince Maurice was delivered into his hands by Cornelis van
der Myle, son-in-law of Barneveld.

No reply to it was ever sent, but several days afterwards the Stadholder
called from his open window to van der Myle, who happened to be passing
by. He then informed him that he neither admitted the premises nor the
conclusion of the Advocate's letter, saying that many things set down in
it were false. He furthermore told him a story of a certain old man who,
having in his youth invented many things and told them often for truth,
believed them when he came to old age to be actually true and was ever
ready to stake his salvation upon them. Whereupon he shut the window and
left van der Myle to make such application of the parable as he thought
proper, vouchsafing no further answer to Barneveld's communication.

Dudley Carleton related the anecdote to his government with much glee,
but it may be doubted whether this bold way of giving the lie to a
venerable statesman through his son-in-law would have been accounted as
triumphant argumentation anywhere out of a barrack.

As for the Remonstrance to the States of Holland, although most
respectfully received in that assembly except by the five opposition
cities, its immediate effect on the public was to bring down a fresh
"snow storm"--to use the expression of a contemporary--of pamphlets,
libels, caricatures, and broadsheets upon the head of the Advocate. In
every bookseller's and print shop window in all the cities of the
country, the fallen statesman was represented in all possible ludicrous,
contemptible, and hateful shapes, while hags and blind beggars about the
streets screeched filthy and cursing ballads against him, even at his
very doors.

The effect of energetic, uncompromising calumny has rarely been more
strikingly illustrated than in the case of this statesman. Blackened
daily all over by a thousand trowels, the purest and noblest character
must have been defiled, and it is no wonder that the incrustation upon
the Advocate's fame should have lasted for two centuries and a half. It
may perhaps endure for as many more: Not even the vile Marshal d'Ancre,
who had so recently perished, was more the mark of obloquy in a country
which he had dishonoured, flouted, and picked to the bone than was
Barneveld in a commonwealth which he had almost created and had served
faithfully from youth to old age. It was even the fashion to compare him
with Concini in order to heighten the wrath of the public, as if any
parallel between the ignoble, foreign paramour of a stupid and sensual
queen, and the great statesman, patriot, and jurist of whom civilization
will be always proud, could ever enter any but an idiot's brain.

Meantime the Stadholder, who had so successfully handled the Assembly of
Gelderland and Overyssel, now sailed across the Zuiderzee from Kampen to
Amsterdam. On his approach to the stately northern Venice, standing full
of life and commercial bustle upon its vast submerged forest of Norwegian
pines, he was met by a fleet of yachts and escorted through the water
gates of the into the city.

Here an immense assemblage of vessels of every class, from the humble
gondola to the bulky East Indianian and the first-rate ship of war, gaily
bannered with the Orange colours and thronged from deck to topmast by
enthusiastic multitudes, was waiting to receive their beloved stadholder.
A deafening cannonade saluted him on his approach. The Prince was
escorted to the Square or Dam, where on a high scaffolding covered with
blue velvet in front of the stately mediaeval town-hall the burgomasters
and board of magistrates in their robes of office were waiting to receive
him. The strains of that most inspiriting and suggestive of national
melodies, the 'Wilhelmus van Nassouwen,' rang through the air, and when
they were silent, the chief magistrate poured forth a very eloquent and
tedious oration, and concluded by presenting him with a large orange in
solid gold; Maurice having succeeded to the principality a few months
before on the death of his half-brother Philip William.

The "Blooming in Love," as one of the Chambers of "Rhetoric" in which
the hard-handed but half-artistic mechanics and shopkeepers of the
Netherlands loved to disport themselves was called, then exhibited upon
an opposite scaffold a magnificent representation of Jupiter astride upon
an eagle and banding down to the Stadholder as if from the clouds that
same principality. Nothing could be neater or more mythological.

The Prince and his escort, sitting in the windows of the town-hall, the
square beneath being covered with 3000 or 4000 burgher militia in full
uniform, with orange plumes in their hats and orange scarves on their
breasts, saw still other sights. A gorgeous procession set forth by the
"Netherlandish Academy," another chamber of rhetoric, and filled with
those emblematic impersonations so dear to the hearts of Netherlanders,
had been sweeping through all the canals and along the splendid quays of
the city. The Maid of Holland, twenty feet high, led the van, followed by
the counterfeit presentment of each of her six sisters. An orange tree
full of flowers and fruit was conspicuous in one barge, while in another,
strangely and lugubriously enough, lay the murdered William the Silent in
the arms of his wife and surrounded by his weeping sons and daughters all
attired in white satin.

In the evening the Netherland Academy, to improve the general hilarity,
and as if believing exhibitions of murder the most appropriate means of
welcoming the Prince, invited him to a scenic representation of the
assassination of Count Florence V. of Holland by Gerrit van Velsen and
other nobles. There seemed no especial reason for the selection, unless
perhaps the local one; one of the perpetrators of this crime against an
ancient predecessor of William the Silent in the sovereignty of Holland
having been a former lord proprietor of Amsterdam and the adjacent
territories, Gysbrecht van Amatel.

Maurice returned to the Hague. Five of the seven provinces were entirely
his own. Utrecht too was already wavering, while there could be no doubt
of the warm allegiance to himself of the important commercial metropolis
of Holland, the only province in which Barneveld's influence was still

Owing to the watchfulness and distrust of Barneveld, which had never
faltered, Spain had not secured the entire control of the disputed
duchies, but she had at least secured the head of a venerated saint. "The
bargain is completed for the head of the glorious Saint Lawrence, which
you know I so much desire," wrote Philip triumphantly to the Archduke
Albert. He had, however, not got it for nothing.

The Abbot of Glamart in Julich, then in possession of that treasure, had
stipulated before delivering it that if at any time the heretics or other
enemies should destroy the monastery his Majesty would establish them in
Spanish Flanders and give them the same revenues as they now enjoyed in
Julich. Count Herman van den Berg was to give a guarantee to that effect.

Meantime the long controversy in the duchies having tacitly come to a
standstill upon the basis of 'uti possidetis,' the Spanish government had
leisure in the midst of their preparation for the general crusade upon
European heresy to observe and enjoy the internal religious dissensions
in their revolted provinces. Although they had concluded the convention
with them as with countries over which they had no pretensions, they had
never at heart allowed more virtue to the conjunction "as," which really
contained the essence of the treaty, than grammatically belonged to it.
Spain still chose to regard the independence of the Seven Provinces as a
pleasant fiction to be dispelled when, the truce having expired by its
own limitation, she should resume, as she fully meant to do, her
sovereignty over all the seventeen Netherlands, the United as well as the
obedient. Thus at any rate the question of state rights or central
sovereignty would be settled by a very summary process. The Spanish
ambassador was wroth, as may well be supposed, when the agent of the
rebel provinces received in London the rank, title, and recognition of
ambassador. Gondemar at least refused to acknowledge Noel de Caron as his
diplomatic equal or even as his colleague, and was vehement in his
protestations on the subject. But James, much as he dreaded the Spanish
envoy and fawned upon his master, was not besotted enough to comply with
these demands at the expense of his most powerful ally, the Republic of
the Netherlands. The Spanish king however declared his ambassador's
proceedings to be in exact accordance with his instructions. He was
sorry, he said, if the affair had caused discontent to the King of Great
Britain; he intended in all respects to maintain the Treaty of Truce of
which his Majesty had been one of the guarantors, but as that treaty had
but a few more years to run, after which he should be reinstated in his
former right of sovereignty over all the Netherlands, he entirely
justified the conduct of Count Gondemar.

It may well be conceived that, as the years passed by, as the period of
the Truce grew nearer and the religious disputes became every day more
envenomed, the government at Madrid should look on the tumultuous scene
with saturnine satisfaction. There was little doubt now, they thought,
that the Provinces, sick of their rebellion and that fancied independence
which had led them into a whirlpool of political and religious misery,
and convinced of their incompetence to govern themselves, would be only
too happy to seek the forgiving arms of their lawful sovereign. Above all
they must have learned that their great heresy had carried its
chastisement with it, that within something they called a Reformed Church
other heresies had been developed which demanded condign punishment at
the hands of that new Church, and that there could be neither rest for
them in this world nor salvation in the next except by returning to the
bosom of their ancient mother.

Now was the time, so it was thought, to throw forward a strong force of
Jesuits as skirmishers into the Provinces by whom the way would be opened
for the reconquest of the whole territory.

"By the advices coming to us continually from thence," wrote the King of
Spain to Archduke Albert, "we understand that the disquiets and
differences continue in Holland on matters relating to their sects, and
that from this has resulted the conversion of many to the Catholic
religion. So it has been taken into consideration whether it would not be
expedient that some fathers of the company of Jesuits be sent secretly
from Rome to Holland, who should negotiate concerning the conversion of
that people. Before taking a resolution, I have thought best to give an
account of this matter to your Highness. I should be glad if you would
inform me what priests are going to Holland, what fruits they yield, and
what can be done for the continuance of their labours. Please to advise
me very particularly together with any suggestions that may occur to you
in this matter."

The Archduke, who was nearer the scene, was not so sure that the old
religion was making such progress as his royal nephew or those who spoke
in his name believed. At any rate, if it were not rapidly gaining ground,
it would be neither for want of discord among the Protestants nor for
lack of Jesuits to profit by it.

"I do not understand," said he in reply, "nor is it generally considered
certain that from the differences and disturbances that the Hollanders
are having among themselves there has resulted the conversion of any of
them to our blessed Catholic faith, because their disputes are of certain
points concerning which there are different opinions within their sect.
There has always been a goodly number of priests here, the greater part
of whom belong to the Company. They are very diligent and fervent, and
the Catholics derive much comfort from them. To send more of them would
do more harm than good. It might be found out, and then they would
perhaps be driven out of Holland or even chastised. So it seems better to
leave things as they are for the present."

The Spanish government was not discouraged however, but was pricking up
its ears anew at strange communications it was receiving from the very
bosom of the council of state in the Netherlands. This body, as will be
remembered, had been much opposed to Barneveld and to the policy pursued
under his leadership by the States of Holland. Some of its members were
secretly Catholic and still more secretly disposed to effect a revolution
in the government, the object of which should be to fuse the United
Provinces with the obedient Netherlands in a single independent monarchy
to be placed under the sceptre of the son of Philip III.

A paper containing the outlines of this scheme had been sent to Spain,
and the King at once forwarded it in cipher to the Archduke at Brussels
for his opinion and co-operation.

"You will see," he said, "the plan which a certain person zealous for the
public good has proposed for reducing the Netherlanders to my obedience.
. . . . You will please advise with Count Frederic van den Berg and let
me know with much particularity and profound secrecy what is thought,
what is occurring, and the form in which this matter ought to be
negotiated, and the proper way to make it march."

Unquestionably the paper was of grave importance. It informed the King of
Spain that some principal personages in the United Netherlands, members
of the council of state, were of opinion that if his Majesty or Archduke
Albert should propose peace, it could be accomplished at that moment more
easily than ever before. They had arrived at the conviction that no
assistance was to be obtained from the King of France, who was too much
weakened by tumults and sedition at home, while nothing good could be
expected from the King of England. The greater part of the Province of
Gelderland, they said, with all Friesland, Utrecht, Groningen, and
Overyssel were inclined to a permanent peace. Being all of them frontier
provinces, they were constantly exposed to the brunt of hostilities.
Besides this, the war expenses alone would now be more than 3,000,000
florins a year. Thus the people were kept perpetually harassed, and
although evil-intentioned persons approved these burthens under the
pretence that such heavy taxation served to free them from the tyranny of
Spain, those of sense and quality reproved them and knew the contrary to
be true. "Many here know," continued these traitors in the heart of the
state council, "how good it would be for the people of the Netherlands to
have a prince, and those having this desire being on the frontier are
determined to accept the son of your Majesty for their ruler." The
conditions of the proposed arrangement were to be that the Prince with
his successors who were thus to possess all the Netherlands were to be
independent sovereigns not subject in any way to the crown of Spain, and
that the great governments and dignities of the country were to remain in
the hands then holding them.

This last condition was obviously inserted in the plan for the special
benefit of Prince Maurice and Count Lewis, although there is not an atom
of evidence that they had ever heard of the intrigue or doubt that, if
they had, they would have signally chastised its guilty authors.

It was further stated that the Catholics having in each town a church and
free exercise of their religion would soon be in a great majority. Thus
the political and religious counter-revolution would be triumphantly

It was proposed that the management of the business should be entrusted
to some gentleman of the country possessing property there who "under
pretext of the public good should make people comprehend what a great
thing it would be if they could obtain this favour from the Spanish King,
thus extricating themselves from so many calamities and miseries, and
obtaining free traffic and a prince of their own." It would be necessary
for the King and Archduke to write many letters and promise great rewards
to persons who might otherwise embarrass the good work.

The plot was an ingenious one. There seemed in the opinion of these
conspirators in the state council but one great obstacle to its success.
It should be kept absolutely concealed from the States of Holland. The
great stipendiary of Spain, John of Barneveld, whose coffers were filled
with Spanish pistoles, whose name and surname might be read by all men in
the account-books at Brussels heading the register of mighty
bribe-takers, the man who was howled at in a thousand lampoons as a
traitor ever ready to sell his country, whom even Prince Maurice "partly
believed" to be the pensionary of Philip, must not hear a whisper of this
scheme to restore the Republic to Spanish control and place it under the
sceptre of a Spanish prince.

The States of Holland at that moment and so long as he was a member of
the body were Barneveld and Barneveld only; thinking his thoughts,
speaking with his tongue, writing with his pen. Of this neither friend
nor foe ever expressed a doubt. Indeed it was one of the staple
accusations against him.

Yet this paper in which the Spanish king in confidential cipher and
profound secrecy communicated to Archduke Albert his hopes and his
schemes for recovering the revolted provinces as a kingdom for his son
contained these words of caution.

"The States of Holland and Zealand will be opposed to the plan," it said.
"If the treaty come to the knowledge of the States and Council of Holland
before it has been acted upon by the five frontier provinces the whole
plan will be demolished."

Such was the opinion entertained by Philip himself of the man who was
supposed to be his stipendiary. I am not aware that this paper has ever
been alluded to in any document or treatise private or public from the
day of its date to this hour. It certainly has never been published, but
it lies deciphered in the Archives of the Kingdom at Brussels, and is
alone sufficient to put to shame the slanderers of the Advocate's

Yet let it be remembered that in this very summer exactly at the moment
when these intrigues were going on between the King of Spain and the
class of men most opposed to Barneveld, the accusations against his
fidelity were loudest and rifest.

Before the Stadholder had so suddenly slipped down to Brielle in order to
secure that important stronghold for the Contra-Remonstrant party,
reports had been carefully strewn among the people that the Advocate was
about to deliver that place and other fortresses to Spain.

Brielle, Flushing, Rammekens, the very cautionary towns and keys to the
country which he had so recently and in such masterly manner delivered
from the grasp of the hereditary ally he was now about to surrender to
the ancient enemy.

The Spaniards were already on the sea, it was said. Had it not been for
his Excellency's watchfulness and promptitude, they would already under
guidance of Barneveld and his crew have mastered the city of Brielle.
Flushing too through Barneveld's advice and connivance was open at a
particular point, in order that the Spaniards, who had their eye upon it,
might conveniently enter and take possession of the place. The air was
full of wild rumours to this effect, and already the humbler classes who
sided with the Stadholder saw in him the saviour of the country from the
treason of the Advocate and the renewed tyranny of Spain.

The Prince made no such pretence, but simply took possession of the
fortress in order to be beforehand with the Waartgelders. The
Contra-Remonstrants in Brielle had desired that "men should see who had
the hardest fists," and it would certainly have been difficult to find
harder ones than those of the hero of Nieuwpoort.

Besides the Jesuits coming in so skilfully to triumph over the warring
sects of Calvinists, there were other engineers on whom the Spanish
government relied to effect the reconquest of the Netherlands. Especially
it was an object to wreak vengeance on Holland, that head and front of
the revolt, both for its persistence in rebellion and for the immense
prosperity and progress by which that rebellion had been rewarded.
Holland had grown fat and strong, while the obedient Netherlands were
withered to the marrow of their bones. But there was a practical person
then resident in Spain to whom the Netherlands were well known, to whom
indeed everything was well known, who had laid before the King a
magnificent scheme for destroying the commerce and with it the very
existence of Holland to the great advantage of the Spanish finances and
of the Spanish Netherlands. Philip of course laid it before the Archduke
as usual, that he might ponder it well and afterwards, if approved,
direct its execution.

The practical person set forth in an elaborate memoir that the Hollanders
were making rapid progress in commerce, arts, and manufactures, while the
obedient provinces were sinking as swiftly into decay. The Spanish
Netherlands were almost entirely shut off from the sea, the rivers
Scheldt and Meuse being hardly navigable for them on account of the
control of those waters by Holland. The Dutch were attracting to their
dominions all artisans, navigators, and traders. Despising all other
nations and giving them the law, they had ruined the obedient provinces.
Ostend, Nieuwpoort, Dunkerk were wasting away, and ought to be restored.

"I have profoundly studied forty years long the subjects of commerce and
navigation," said the practical person, "and I have succeeded in
penetrating the secrets and acquiring, as it were, universal
knowledge--let me not be suspected of boasting--of the whole discovered
world and of the ocean. I have been assisted by study of the best works
of geography and history, by my own labours, and by those of my late
father, a man of illustrious genius and heroical conceptions and very
zealous in the Catholic faith."

The modest and practical son of an illustrious but anonymous father, then
coming to the point, said it would be the easiest thing in the world to
direct the course of the Scheldt into an entirely new channel through
Spanish Flanders to the sea. Thus the Dutch ports and forts which had
been constructed with such magnificence and at such vast expense would be
left high and dry; the Spaniards would build new ones in Flanders, and
thus control the whole navigation and deprive the Hollanders of that
empire of the sea which they now so proudly arrogated. This scheme was
much simpler to carry out than the vulgar might suppose, and, when
accomplished, it would destroy the commerce, navigation, and fisheries of
the Hollanders, throwing it all into the hands of the Archdukes. This
would cause such ruin, poverty, and tumults everywhere that all would be
changed. The Republic of the United States would annihilate itself and
fall to pieces; the religious dissensions, the war of one sect with
another, and the jealousy of the House of Nassau, suspected of plans
hostile to popular liberties, finishing the work of destruction. "Then
the Republic," said the man of universal science, warming at sight of the
picture he was painting, "laden with debt and steeped in poverty, will
fall to the ground of its own weight, and thus debilitated will crawl
humbly to place itself in the paternal hands of the illustrious house of

It would be better, he thought, to set about the work, before the
expiration of the Truce. At any rate, the preparation for it, or the mere
threat of it, would ensure a renewal of that treaty on juster terms. It
was most important too to begin at once the construction of a port on the
coast of Flanders, looking to the north.

There was a position, he said, without naming it, in which whole navies
could ride in safety, secure from all tempests, beyond the reach of the
Hollanders, open at all times to traffic to and from England, France,
Spain, Norway, Sweden, Russia--a perfectly free commerce, beyond the
reach of any rights or duties claimed or levied by the insolent republic.
In this port would assemble all the navigators of the country, and it
would become in time of war a terror to the Hollanders, English, and all
northern peoples. In order to attract, protect, and preserve these
navigators and this commerce, many great public edifices must be built,
together with splendid streets of houses and impregnable fortifications.
It should be a walled and stately city, and its name should be
Philipopolis. If these simple projects, so easy of execution, pleased his
Majesty, the practical person was ready to explain them in all their

His Majesty was enchanted with the glowing picture, but before quite
deciding on carrying the scheme into execution thought it best to consult
the Archduke.

The reply of Albert has not been preserved. It was probably not
enthusiastic, and the man who without boasting had declared himself to
know everything was never commissioned to convert his schemes into
realities. That magnificent walled city, Philipopolis, with its gorgeous
streets and bristling fortresses, remained unbuilt, the Scheldt has
placidly flowed through its old channel to the sea from that day to this,
and the Republic remained in possession of the unexampled foreign trade
with which rebellion had enriched it.

These various intrigues and projects show plainly enough however the
encouragement given to the enemies of the United Provinces and of
Protestantism everywhere by these disastrous internal dissensions. But
yesterday and the Republic led by Barneveld in council and Maurice of
Nassau in the field stood at the head of the great army of resistance to
the general crusade organized by Spain and Rome against all unbelievers.
And now that the war was absolutely beginning in Bohemia, the Republic
was falling upon its own sword instead of smiting with it the universal

It was not the King of Spain alone that cast longing eyes on the fair
territory of that commonwealth which the unparalleled tyranny of his
father had driven to renounce his sceptre. Both in the Netherlands and
France, among the extreme orthodox party, there were secret schemes, to
which Maurice was not privy, to raise Maurice to the sovereignty of the
Provinces. Other conspirators with a wider scope and more treasonable
design were disposed to surrender their country to the dominion of
France, stipulating of course large rewards and offices for themselves
and the vice-royalty of what should then be the French Netherlands to

The schemes were wild enough perhaps, but their very existence, which is
undoubted, is another proof, if more proof were wanted, of the lamentable
tendency, in times of civil and religious dissension, of political
passion to burn out the very first principles of patriotism.

It is also important, on account of the direct influence exerted by these
intrigues upon subsequent events of the gravest character, to throw a
beam of light on matters which were thought to have been shrouded for
ever in impenetrable darkness.

Langerac, the States' Ambassador in Paris, was the very reverse of his
predecessor, the wily, unscrupulous, and accomplished Francis Aerssens.
The envoys of the Republic were rarely dull, but Langerac was a
simpleton. They were renowned for political experience, skill,
familiarity with foreign languages, knowledge of literature, history, and
public law; but he was ignorant, spoke French very imperfectly, at a
court where not a human being could address him in his own tongue, had
never been employed in diplomacy or in high office of any kind, and could
carry but small personal weight at a post where of all others the
representative of the great republic should have commanded deference both
for his own qualities and for the majesty of his government. At a period
when France was left without a master or a guide the Dutch ambassador,
under a becoming show of profound respect, might really have governed the
country so far as regarded at least the all important relations which
bound the two nations together. But Langerac was a mere picker-up of
trifles, a newsmonger who wrote a despatch to-day with information which
a despatch was written on the morrow to contradict, while in itself
conveying additional intelligence absolutely certain to be falsified soon
afterwards. The Emperor of Germany had gone mad; Prince Maurice had been
assassinated in the Hague, a fact which his correspondents, the
States-General, might be supposed already to know, if it were one; there
had been a revolution in the royal bed-chamber; the Spanish cook of the
young queen had arrived from Madrid; the Duke of Nevers was behaving very
oddly at Vienna; such communications, and others equally startling, were
the staple of his correspondence.

Still he was honest enough, very mild, perfectly docile to Barneveld,
dependent upon his guidance, and fervently attached to that statesman so
long as his wheel was going up the hill. Moreover, his industry in
obtaining information and his passion for imparting it made it probable
that nothing very momentous would be neglected should it be laid before
him, but that his masters, and especially the Advocate, would be enabled
to judge for themselves as to the attention due to it.

"With this you will be apprised of some very high and weighty matters,"
he wrote privately and in cipher to Barneveld, "which you will make use
of according to your great wisdom and forethought for the country's

He requested that the matter might also be confided to M. van der Myle,
that he might assist his father-in-law, so overburdened with business, in
the task of deciphering the communication. He then stated that he had
been "very earnestly informed three days before by M. du Agean"--member
of the privy council of France--"that it had recently come to the King's
ears, and his Majesty knew it to be authentic, that there was a secret
and very dangerous conspiracy in Holland of persons belonging to the
Reformed religion in which others were also mixed. This party held very
earnest and very secret correspondence with the factious portion of the
Contra-Remonstrants both in the Netherlands and France, seeking under
pretext of the religious dissensions or by means of them to confer the
sovereignty upon Prince Maurice by general consent of the
Contra-Remonstrants. Their object was also to strengthen and augment the
force of the same religious party in France, to which end the Duc de
Bouillon and M. de Chatillon were very earnestly co-operating. Langerac
had already been informed by Chatillon that the Contra-Remonstrants had
determined to make a public declaration against the Remonstrants, and
come to an open separation from them.

"Others propose however," said the Ambassador, "that the King himself
should use the occasion to seize the sovereignty of the United Provinces
for himself and to appoint Prince Maurice viceroy, giving him in marriage
Madame Henriette of France." The object of this movement would be to
frustrate the plots of the Contra-Remonstrants, who were known to be
passionately hostile to the King and to France, and who had been
constantly traversing the negotiations of M. du Maurier. There was a
disposition to send a special and solemn embassy to the States, but it
was feared that the British king would at once do the same, to the
immense disadvantage of the Remonstrants. "M. de Barneveld," said the
envoy, "is deeply sympathized with here and commiserated. The Chancellor
has repeatedly requested me to present to you his very sincere and very
hearty respects, exhorting you to continue in your manly steadfastness
and courage." He also assured the Advocate that the French ambassador, M.
du Maurier, enjoyed the entire confidence of his government, and of the
principal members of the council, and that the King, although
contemplating, as we have seen, the seizure of the sovereignty of the
country, was most amicably disposed towards it, and so soon as the peace
of Savoy was settled "had something very good for it in his mind."
Whether the something very good was this very design to deprive it of
independence, the Ambassador did not state. He however recommended the
use of sundry small presents at the French court--especially to Madame de
Luynes, wife of the new favourite of Lewis since the death of Concini, in
which he had aided, now rising rapidly to consideration, and to Madame du
Agean--and asked to be supplied with funds accordingly. By these means he
thought it probable that at least the payment to the States of the long
arrears of the French subsidy might be secured.

Three weeks later, returning to the subject, the Ambassador reported
another conversation with M. du Agean. That politician assured him, "with
high protestations," as a perfectly certain fact that a Frenchman duly
qualified had arrived in Paris from Holland who had been in communication
not only with him but with several of the most confidential members of
the privy council of France. This duly qualified gentleman had been
secretly commissioned to say that in opinion of the conspirators already
indicated the occasion was exactly offered by these religious dissensions
in the Netherlands for bringing the whole country under the obedience of
the King. This would be done with perfect ease if he would
only be willing to favour a little the one party, that of the
Contra-Remonstrants, and promise his Excellency "perfect and perpetual
authority in the government with other compensations."

The proposition, said du Agean, had been rejected by the privy
councillors with a declaration that they would not mix themselves up with
any factions, nor assist any party, but that they would gladly work with
the government for the accommodation of these difficulties and
differences in the Provinces.

"I send you all this nakedly," concluded Langerac, "exactly as it has
been communicated to me, having always answered according to my duty and
with a view by negotiating with these persons to discover the intentions
as well of one side as the other."

The Advocate was not profoundly impressed by these revelations. He was
too experienced a statesman to doubt that in times when civil and
religious passion was running high there was never lack of fishers in
troubled waters, and that if a body of conspirators could secure a
handsome compensation by selling their country to a foreign prince, they
would always be ready to do it.

But although believed by Maurice to be himself a stipendiary of Spain, he
was above suspecting the Prince of any share in the low and stupid
intrigue which du Agean had imagined or disclosed. That the Stadholder
was ambitious of greater power, he hardly doubted, but that he was
seeking to acquire it by such corrupt and circuitous means, he did not
dream. He confidentially communicated the plot as in duty bound to some
members of the States, and had the Prince been accused in any
conversation or statement of being privy to the scheme, he would have
thought himself bound to mention it to him. The story came to the ears of
Maurice however, and helped to feed his wrath against the Advocate, as if
he were responsible for a plot, if plot it were, which had been concocted
by his own deadliest enemies. The Prince wrote a letter alluding to this
communication of Langerac and giving much alarm to that functionary. He
thought his despatches must have been intercepted and proposed in future
to write always by special courier. Barneveld thought that unnecessary
except when there were more important matters than those appeared to him
to be and requiring more haste.

"The letter of his Excellency," said he to the Ambassador, "is caused in
my opinion by the fact that some of the deputies to this assembly to whom
I secretly imparted your letter or its substance did not rightly
comprehend or report it. You did not say that his Excellency had any such
design or project, but that it had been said that the Contra-Remonstrants
were entertaining such a scheme. I would have shown the letter to him
myself, but I thought it not fair, for good reasons, to make M. du Agean
known as the informant. I do not think it amiss for you to write yourself
to his Excellency and tell him what is said, but whether it would be
proper to give up the name of your author, I think doubtful. At all
events one must consult about it. We live in a strange world, and one
knows not whom to trust."

He instructed the Ambassador to enquire into the foundation of these
statements of du Agean and send advices by every occasion of this affair
and others of equal interest. He was however much more occupied with
securing the goodwill of the French government, which he no more
suspected of tampering in these schemes against the independence of the
Republic than he did Maurice himself. He relied and he had reason to rely
on their steady good offices in the cause of moderation and
reconciliation. "We are not yet brought to the necessary and much desired
unity," he said, "but we do not despair, hoping that his Majesty's
efforts through M. du Maurier, both privately and publicly, will do much
good. Be assured that they are very agreeable to all rightly disposed
people . . . . My trust is that God the Lord will give us a happy issue
and save this country from perdition." He approved of the presents to the
two ladies as suggested by Langerac if by so doing the payment of the
arrearages could be furthered. He was still hopeful and confident in the
justice of his cause and the purity of his conscience. "Aerssens is
crowing like a cock," he said, "but the truth will surely prevail."


   A Deputation from Utrecht to Maurice--The Fair at Utrecht--Maurice
   and the States' Deputies at Utrecht--Ogle refuses to act in
   Opposition to the States--The Stadholder disbands the Waartgelders--
   The Prince appoints forty Magistrates--The States formally disband
   the Waartgelders.

The eventful midsummer had arrived. The lime-tree blossoms were fragrant
in the leafy bowers overshadowing the beautiful little rural capital of
the Commonwealth. The anniversary of the Nieuwpoort victory, July 2, had
come and gone, and the Stadholder was known to be resolved that his
political campaign this year should be as victorious as that memorable
military one of eighteen years before.

Before the dog-days should begin to rage, the fierce heats of theological
and political passion were to wax daily more and more intense.

The party at Utrecht in favour of a compromise and in awe of the
Stadholder sent a deputation to the Hague with the express but secret
purpose of conferring with Maurice. They were eight in number, three of
whom, including Gillis van Ledenberg, lodged at the house of Daniel
Tressel, first clerk of the States-General.

The leaders of the Barneveld party, aware of the purport of this mission
and determined to frustrate it, contrived a meeting between the Utrecht
commissioners and Grotius, Hoogerbeets, de Haan, and de Lange at
Tressel's house.

Grotius was spokesman. Maurice had accused the States of Holland of
mutiny and rebellion, and the distinguished Pensionary of Rotterdam now
retorted the charges of mutiny, disobedience, and mischief-making upon
those who, under the mask of religion, were attempting to violate the
sovereignty of the States, the privileges and laws of the province, the
authority of the magistrates, and to subject them to the power of
others. To prevent such a catastrophe many cities had enlisted
Waartgelders. By this means they had held such mutineers to their duty,
as had been seen at Leyden, Haarlem, and other places. The States of
Utrecht had secured themselves in the same way. But the mischiefmakers
and the ill-disposed had been seeking everywhere to counteract these
wholesome measures and to bring about a general disbanding of these
troops. This it was necessary to resist with spirit. It was the very
foundation of the provinces' sovereignty, to maintain which the public
means must be employed. It was in vain to drive the foe out of the
country if one could not remain in safety within one's own doors. They
had heard with sorrow that Utrecht was thinking of cashiering its troops,
and the speaker proceeded therefore to urge with all the eloquence he was
master of the necessity of pausing before taking so fatal a step.

The deputies of Utrecht answered by pleading the great pecuniary burthen
which the maintenance of the mercenaries imposed upon that province, and
complained that there was no one to come to their assistance, exposed as
they were to a sudden and overwhelming attack from many quarters. The
States-General had not only written but sent commissioners to Utrecht
insisting on the disbandment. They could plainly see the displeasure of
the Prince. It was a very different affair in Holland, but the States of
Utrecht found it necessary of two evils to choose the least.

They had therefore instructed their commissioners to request the Prince
to remove the foreign garrison from their capital and to send the old
companies of native militia in their place, to be in the pay of the
episcopate. In this case the States would agree to disband the new

Grotius in reply again warned the commissioners against communicating
with Maurice according to their instructions, intimated that the native
militia on which they were proposing to rely might have been debauched,
and he held out hopes that perhaps the States of Utrecht might derive
some relief from certain financial measures now contemplated in Holland.

The Utrechters resolved to wait at least several days before opening the
subject of their mission to the Prince. Meantime Ledenberg made a rough
draft of a report of what had occurred between them and Grotius and his
colleagues which it was resolved to lay secretly before the States of
Utrecht. The Hollanders hoped that they had at last persuaded the
commissioners to maintain the Waartgelders.

The States of Holland now passed a solemn resolution to the effect that
these new levies had been made to secure municipal order and maintain the
laws from subversion by civil tumults. If this object could be obtained
by other means, if the Stadholder were willing to remove garrisons of
foreign mercenaries on whom there could be no reliance, and supply their
place with native troops both in Holland and Utrecht, an arrangement
could be made for disbanding the Waartgelders.

Barneveld, at the head of thirty deputies from the nobles and cities,
waited upon Maurice and verbally communicated to him this resolution. He
made a cold and unsatisfactory reply, although it seems to have been
understood that by according twenty companies of native troops he might
have contented both Holland and Utrecht.

Ledenberg and his colleagues took their departure from the Hague without
communicating their message to Maurice. Soon afterwards the
States-General appointed a commission to Utrecht with the Stadholder at
the head of it.

The States of Holland appointed another with Grotius as its chairman.

On the 25th July Grotius and Pensionary Hoogerbeets with two colleagues
arrived in Utrecht.

Gillis van Ledenberg was there to receive them. A tall, handsome,
bald-headed, well-featured, mild, gentlemanlike man was this secretary of
the Utrecht assembly, and certainly not aware, while passing to and fro
on such half diplomatic missions between two sovereign assemblies, that
he was committing high-treason. He might well imagine however, should
Maurice discover that it was he who had prevented the commissioners from
conferring with him as instructed, that it would go hard with him.

Ledenberg forthwith introduced Grotius and his committee to the Assembly
at Utrecht.

While these great personages were thus holding solemn and secret council,
another and still greater personage came upon the scene.

The Stadholder with the deputation from the States-General arrived at

Evidently the threads of this political drama were converging to a
catastrophe, and it might prove a tragical one.

Meantime all looked merry enough in the old episcopal city. There were
few towns in Lower or in Upper Germany more elegant and imposing than
Utrecht. Situate on the slender and feeble channel of the ancient Rhine
as it falters languidly to the sea, surrounded by trim gardens and
orchards, and embowered in groves of beeches and limetrees, with busy
canals fringed with poplars, lined with solid quays, and crossed by
innumerable bridges; with the stately brick tower of St. Martin's rising
to a daring height above one of the most magnificent Gothic cathedrals in
the Netherlands; this seat of the Anglo-Saxon Willebrord, who eight
hundred years before had preached Christianity to the Frisians, and had
founded that long line of hard-fighting, indomitable bishops, obstinately
contesting for centuries the possession of the swamps and pastures about
them with counts, kings, and emperors, was still worthy of its history
and its position.

It was here too that sixty-one years before the famous Articles of Union
were signed. By that fundamental treaty of the Confederacy, the Provinces
agreed to remain eternally united as if they were but one province, to
make no war nor peace save by unanimous consent, while on lesser matters
a majority should rule; to admit both Catholics and Protestants to the
Union provided they obeyed its Articles and conducted themselves as good
patriots, and expressly declared that no province or city should
interfere with another in the matter of divine worship.

From this memorable compact, so enduring a landmark in the history of
human freedom, and distinguished by such breadth of view for the times
both in religion and politics, the city had gained the title of cradle of
liberty: 'Cunabula libertatis'.

Was it still to deserve the name? At that particular moment the mass of
the population was comparatively indifferent to the terrible questions
pending. It was the kermis or annual fair, and all the world was keeping
holiday in Utrecht. The pedlars and itinerant merchants from all the
cities and provinces had brought their wares jewellery and crockery,
ribbons and laces, ploughs and harrows, carriages and horses, cows and
sheep, cheeses and butter firkins, doublets and petticoats, guns and
pistols, everything that could serve the city and country-side for months
to come--and displayed them in temporary booths or on the ground, in
every street and along every canal. The town was one vast bazaar. The
peasant-women from the country, with their gold and silver tiaras and the
year's rent of a comfortable farm in their earrings and necklaces, and
the sturdy Frisian peasants, many of whom had borne their matchlocks in
the great wars which had lasted through their own and their fathers'
lifetime, trudged through the city, enjoying the blessings of peace.
Bands of music and merry-go-rounds in all the open places and squares;
open-air bakeries of pancakes and waffles; theatrical exhibitions,
raree-shows, jugglers, and mountebanks at every corner--all these
phenomena which had been at every kermis for centuries, and were to
repeat themselves for centuries afterwards, now enlivened the atmosphere
of the grey, episcopal city. Pasted against the walls of public edifices
were the most recent placards and counter-placards of the States-General
and the States of Utrecht on the great subject of religious schisms and
popular tumults. In the shop-windows and on the bookstalls of
Contra-Remonstrant tradesmen, now becoming more and more defiant as the
last allies of Holland, the States of Utrecht, were gradually losing
courage, were seen the freshest ballads and caricatures against the
Advocate. Here an engraving represented him seated at table with Grotius,
Hoogerbeets, and others, discussing the National Synod, while a flap of
the picture being lifted put the head of the Duke of Alva on the legs of
Barneveld, his companions being transformed in similar manner into
Spanish priests and cardinals assembled at the terrible Council of
Blood-with rows of Protestant martyrs burning and hanging in the
distance. Another print showed Prince Maurice and the States-General
shaking the leading statesmen of the Commonwealth in a mighty sieve
through which came tumbling head foremost to perdition the hated Advocate
and his abettors. Another showed the Arminians as a row of crest-fallen
cocks rained upon by the wrath of the Stadholder--Arminians by a
detestable pun being converted into "Arme haenen" or "Poor cocks." One
represented the Pope and King of Spain blowing thousands of ducats out of
a golden bellows into the lap of the Advocate, who was holding up his
official robes to receive them, or whole carriage-loads of Arminians
starting off bag and baggage on the road to Rome, with Lucifer in the
perspective waiting to give them a warm welcome in his own dominions; and
so on, and so on. Moving through the throng, with iron calque on their
heads and halberd in hand, were groups of Waartgelders scowling fiercely
at many popular demonstrations such as they had been enlisted to
suppress, but while off duty concealing outward symptoms of wrath which
in many instances perhaps would have been far from genuine.

For although these mercenaries knew that the States of Holland, who were
responsible for the pay of the regular troops then in Utrecht, authorized
them to obey no orders save from the local authorities, yet it was
becoming a grave question for the Waartgelders whether their own wages
were perfectly safe, a circumstance which made them susceptible to the
atmosphere of Contra-Remonstrantism which was steadily enwrapping the
whole country. A still graver question was whether such resistance as
they could offer to the renowned Stadholder, whose name was magic to
every soldier's heart not only in his own land but throughout
Christendom, would not be like parrying a lance's thrust with a bulrush.
In truth the senior captain of the Waartgelders, Harteveld by name, had
privately informed the leaders of the Barneveld party in Utrecht that he
would not draw his sword against Prince Maurice and the States-General.
"Who asks you to do so?" said some of the deputies, while Ledenberg on
the other hand flatly accused him of cowardice. For this affront the
Captain had vowed revenge.

And in the midst of this scene of jollity and confusion, that midsummer
night, entered the stern Stadholder with his fellow commissioners; the
feeble plans for shutting the gates upon him not having been carried into

"You hardly expected such a guest at your fair," said he to the
magistrates, with a grim smile on his face as who should say, "And what
do you think of me now I have came?"

Meantime the secret conference of Grotius and colleagues with the States
of Utrecht proceeded. As a provisional measure, Sir John Ogle, commander
of the forces paid by Holland, had been warned as to where his obedience
was due. It had likewise been intimated that the guard should be doubled
at the Amersfoort gate, and a watch set on the river Lek above and below
the city in order to prevent fresh troops of the States-General from
being introduced by surprise.

These precautions had been suggested a year before, as we have seen, in a
private autograph letter from Barneveld to Secretary Ledenberg.

Sir John Ogle had flatly refused to act in opposition to the Stadholder
and the States-General, whom he recognized as his lawful superiors and
masters, and he warned Ledenberg and his companions as to the perilous
nature of the course which they were pursuing. Great was the indignation
of the Utrechters and the Holland commissioners in consequence.

Grotius in his speech enlarged on the possibility of violence being used
by the Stadholder, while some of the members of the Assembly likewise
thought it likely that he would smite the gates open by force. Grotius,
when reproved afterwards for such strong language towards Prince Maurice,
said that true Hollanders were no courtiers, but were wont to call
everything by its right name.

He stated in strong language the regret felt by Holland that a majority
of the States of Utrecht had determined to disband the Waartgelders which
had been constitutionally enlisted according to the right of each
province under the 1st Article of the Union of Utrecht to protect itself
and its laws.

Next day there were conferences between Maurice and the States of Utrecht
and between him and the Holland deputies. The Stadholder calmly demanded
the disbandment and the Synod. The Hollanders spoke of securing first the
persons and rights of the magistracy.

"The magistrates are to be protected," said Maurice, "but we must first
know how they are going to govern. People have tried to introduce five
false points into the Divine worship. People have tried to turn me out of
the stadholdership and to drive me from the country. But I have taken my
measures. I know well what I am about. I have got five provinces on my
side, and six cities of Holland will send deputies to Utrecht to sustain
me here."

The Hollanders protested that there was no design whatever, so far as
they knew, against his princely dignity or person. All were ready to
recognize his rank and services by every means in their power. But it was
desirable by conciliation and compromise, not by stern decree, to arrange
these religious and political differences.

The Stadholder replied by again insisting on the Synod. "As for the
Waartgelders," he continued, "they are worse than Spanish fortresses.
They must away."

After a little further conversation in this vein the Prince grew more

"Everything is the fault of the Advocate," he cried.

"If Barneveld were dead," replied Grotius, "all the rest of us would
still deem ourselves bound to maintain the laws. People seem to despise
Holland and to wish to subject it to the other provinces."

"On the contrary," cried the Prince, "it is the Advocate who wishes to
make Holland the States-General."

Maurice was tired of argument. There had been much ale-house talk some
three months before by a certain blusterous gentleman called van Ostrum
about the necessity of keeping the Stadholder in check. "If the Prince
should undertake," said this pot-valiant hero, "to attack any of the
cities of Utrecht or Holland with the hard hand, it is settled to station
8000 or 10,000 soldiers in convenient places. Then we shall say to the
Prince, if you don't leave us alone, we shall make an arrangement with
the Archduke of Austria and resume obedience to him. We can make such a
treaty with him as will give us religious freedom and save us from
tyranny of any kind. I don't say this for myself, but have heard it on
good authority from very eminent persons."

This talk had floated through the air to the Stadholder.

What evidence could be more conclusive of a deep design on the part of
Barneveld to sell the Republic to the Archduke and drive Maurice into
exile? Had not Esquire van Ostrum solemnly declared it at a tavern table?
And although he had mentioned no names, could the "eminent personages"
thus cited at second hand be anybody but the Advocate?

Three nights after his last conference with the Hollanders, Maurice
quietly ordered a force of regular troops in Utrecht to be under arms at
half past three o'clock next morning. About 1000 infantry, including
companies of Ernest of Nassau's command at Arnhem and of Brederode's from
Vianen, besides a portion of the regular garrison of the place, had
accordingly been assembled without beat of drum, before half past three
in the morning, and were now drawn up on the market-place or Neu. At
break of day the Prince himself appeared on horseback surrounded by his
staff on the Neu or Neude, a large, long, irregular square into which the
seven or eight principal streets and thoroughfares of the town emptied
themselves. It was adorned by public buildings and other handsome
edifices, and the tall steeple of St. Martin's with its beautiful
open-work spire, lighted with the first rays of the midsummer sun, looked
tranquilly down upon the scene.

Each of the entrances to the square had been securely guarded by
Maurice's orders, and cannon planted to command all the streets. A single
company of the famous Waartgelders was stationed in the Neu or near it.
The Prince rode calmly towards them and ordered them to lay down their
arms. They obeyed without a murmur. He then sent through the city to
summon all the other companies of Waartgelders to the Neu. This was done
with perfect promptness, and in a short space of time the whole body of
mercenaries, nearly 1000 in number, had laid down their arms at the feet
of the Prince.

The snaphances and halberds being then neatly stacked in the square, the
Stadholder went home to his early breakfast. There was an end to those
mercenaries thenceforth and for ever. The faint and sickly resistance to
the authority of Maurice offered at Utrecht was attempted nowhere else.

For days there had been vague but fearful expectations of a "blood bath,"
of street battles, rioting, and plunder. Yet the Stadholder with the
consummate art which characterized all his military manoeuvres had so
admirably carried out his measure that not a shot was fired, not a blow
given, not a single burgher disturbed in his peaceful slumbers. When the
population had taken off their nightcaps, they woke to find the awful
bugbear removed which had so long been appalling them. The Waartgelders
were numbered with the terrors of the past, and not a cat had mewed at
their disappearance.

Charter-books, parchments, 13th Articles, Barneveld's teeth, Arminian
forts, flowery orations of Grotius, tavern talk of van Ostrum, city
immunities, States' rights, provincial laws, Waartgelders and all--the
martial Stadholder, with the orange plume in his hat and the sword of
Nieuwpoort on his thigh, strode through them as easily as through the
whirligigs and mountebanks, the wades and fritters, encumbering the
streets of Utrecht on the night of his arrival.

Secretary Ledenberg and other leading members of the States had escaped
the night before. Grotius and his colleagues also took a precipitate
departure. As they drove out of town in the twilight, they met the
deputies of the six opposition cities of Holland just arriving in their
coach from the Hague. Had they tarried an hour longer, they would have
found themselves safely in prison.

Four days afterwards the Stadholder at the head of his body-guard
appeared at the town-house. His halberdmen tramped up the broad
staircase, heralding his arrival to the assembled magistracy. He
announced his intention of changing the whole board then and there. The
process was summary. The forty members were required to supply forty
other names, and the Prince added twenty more. From the hundred
candidates thus furnished the Prince appointed forty magistrates such as
suited himself. It is needless to say that but few of the old bench
remained, and that those few were devoted to the Synod, the
States-General, and the Stadholder. He furthermore announced that these
new magistrates were to hold office for life, whereas the board had
previously been changed every year. The cathedral church was at once
assigned for the use of the Contra-Remonstrants.

This process was soon to be repeated throughout the two insubordinate
provinces Utrecht and Holland.

The Prince was accused of aiming at the sovereignty of the whole country,
and one of his grief's against the Advocate was that he had begged the
Princess-Widow, Louise de Coligny, to warn her son-in-law of the dangers
of such ambition. But so long as an individual, sword in hand, could
exercise such unlimited sway over the whole municipal, and provincial
organization of the Commonwealth, it mattered but little whether he was
called King or Kaiser, Doge or Stadholder. Sovereign he was for the time
being at least, while courteously acknowledging the States-General as his

Less than three weeks afterwards the States-General issued a decree
formally disbanding the Waartgelders; an almost superfluous edict, as
they had almost ceased to exist, and there were none to resist the
measure. Grotius recommended complete acquiescence. Barneveld's soul
could no longer animate with courage a whole people.

The invitations which had already in the month of June been prepared for
the Synod to meet in the city of Dortor Dordtrecht-were now issued. The
States of Holland sent back the notification unopened, deeming it an
unwarrantable invasion of their rights that an assembly resisted by a
large majority of their body should be convoked in a city on their own
territory. But this was before the disbandment of the Waartgelders and
the general change of magistracies had been effected.

Earnest consultations were now held as to the possibility of devising
some means of compromise; of providing that the decisions of the Synod
should not be considered binding until after having been ratified by the
separate states. In the opinion of Barneveld they were within a few
hours' work of a favourable result when their deliberations were
interrupted by a startling event.


   Fruitless Interview between Barneveld and Maurice--The Advocate,
   warned of his Danger, resolves to remain at the Hague--Arrest of
   Barneveld, of Qrotius, and of Hoogerbeets--The States-General assume
   the Responsibility in a "Billet"--The States of Holland protest--
   The Advocate's Letter to his Family--Audience of Boississe--
   Mischief-making of Aerssens--The French Ambassadors intercede for
   Barneveld--The King of England opposes their Efforts--Langerac's
   Treachery to the Advocate--Maurice continues his Changes in the
   Magistracy throughout the Country--Vote of Thanks by the States of

The Advocate, having done what he believed to be his duty, and exhausted
himself in efforts to defend ancient law and to procure moderation and
mutual toleration in religion, was disposed to acquiesce in the
inevitable. His letters giving official and private information of those
grave events were neither vindictive nor vehement.

"I send you the last declaration of My Lords of Holland," he said to
Caron, "in regard to the National Synod, with the counter-declaration of
Dordtrecht and the other five cities. Yesterday was begun the debate
about cashiering the enrolled soldiers called Waartgelders. To-day the
late M. van Kereburg was buried."

Nothing could be calmer than his tone. After the Waartgelders had been
disbanded, Utrecht revolutionized by main force, the National Synod
decided upon, and the process of changing the municipal magistracies
everywhere in the interest of Contra-Remonstrants begun, he continued to
urge moderation and respect for law. Even now, although discouraged, he
was not despondent, and was disposed to make the best even of the Synod.

He wished at this supreme moment to have a personal interview with the
Prince in order to devise some means for calming the universal agitation
and effecting, if possible, a reconciliation among conflicting passions
and warring sects. He had stood at the side of Maurice and of Maurice's
great father in darker hours even than these. They had turned to him on
all trying and tragical occasions and had never found his courage
wavering or his judgment at fault. "Not a friend to the House of Nassau,
but a father," thus had Maurice with his own lips described the Advocate
to the widow of William the Silent. Incapable of an unpatriotic thought,
animated by sincere desire to avert evil and procure moderate action,
Barneveld saw no reason whatever why, despite all that had been said and
done, he should not once more hold council with the Prince. He had a
conversation accordingly with Count Lewis, who had always honoured the
Advocate while differing with him on the religious question. The
Stadholder of Friesland, one of the foremost men of his day in military
and scientific affairs, in administrative ability and philanthropic
instincts, and, in a family perhaps the most renowned in Europe for
heroic qualities and achievements, hardly second to any who had borne the
name, was in favour of the proposed interview, spoke immediately to
Prince Maurice about it, but was not hopeful as to its results. He knew
his cousin well and felt that he was at that moment resentful, perhaps
implacably so, against the whole Remonstrant party and especially against
their great leader.

Count Lewis was small of stature, but dignified, not to say pompous, in
demeanour. His style of writing to one of lower social rank than himself
was lofty, almost regal, and full of old world formality.

"Noble, severe, right worshipful, highly learned and discreet, special
good friend," he wrote to Barneveld; "we have spoken to his Excellency
concerning the expediency of what you requested of us this forenoon. We
find however that his Excellency is not to be moved to entertain any
other measure than the National Synod which he has himself proposed in
person to all the provinces, to the furtherance of which he has made so
many exertions, and which has already been announced by the

"We will see by what opportunity his Excellency will appoint the
interview, and so far as lies in us you may rely on our good offices. We
could not answer sooner as the French ambassadors had audience of us this
forenoon and we were visiting his Excellency in the afternoon. Wishing
your worship good evening, we are your very good friend."

Next day Count William wrote again. "We have taken occasion," he said,
"to inform his Excellency that you were inclined to enter into
communication with him in regard to an accommodation of the religious
difficulties and to the cashiering of the Waartgelders. He answered that
he could accept no change in the matter of the National Synod, but
nevertheless would be at your disposal whenever your worship should be
pleased to come to him."

Two days afterwards Barneveld made his appearance at the apartments of
the Stadholder. The two great men on whom the fabric of the Republic had
so long rested stood face to face once more.

The Advocate, with long grey beard and stern blue eye, haggard with
illness and anxiety, tall but bent with age, leaning on his staff and
wrapped in black velvet cloak--an imposing magisterial figure; the
florid, plethoric Prince in brown doublet, big russet boots, narrow ruff,
and shabby felt hat with its string of diamonds, with hand clutched on
swordhilt, and eyes full of angry menace, the very type of the high-born,
imperious soldier--thus they surveyed each other as men, once friends,
between whom a gulf had opened.

Barneveld sought to convince the Prince that in the proceedings at
Utrecht, founded as they were on strict adherence to the laws and
traditions of the Provinces, no disrespect had been intended to him, no
invasion of his constitutional rights, and that on his part his lifelong
devotion to the House of Nassau had suffered no change. He repeated his
usual incontrovertible arguments against the Synod, as illegal and
directly tending to subject the magistracy to the priesthood, a course of
things which eight-and-twenty years before had nearly brought destruction
on the country and led both the Prince and himself to captivity in a
foreign land.

The Prince sternly replied in very few words that the National Synod was
a settled matter, that he would never draw back from his position, and
could not do so without singular disservice to the country and to his own
disreputation. He expressed his displeasure at the particular oath
exacted from the Waartgelders. It diminished his lawful authority and the
respect due to him, and might be used per indirectum to the oppression of
those of the religion which he had sworn to maintain. His brow grew black
when he spoke of the proceedings at Utrecht, which he denounced as a
conspiracy against his own person and the constitution of the country.

Barneveld used in vain the powers of argument by which he had guided
kings and republics, cabinets and assemblies, during so many years. His
eloquence fell powerless upon the iron taciturnity of the Stadholder.
Maurice had expressed his determination and had no other argument to
sustain it but his usual exasperating silence.

The interview ended as hopelessly as Count Lewis William had anticipated,
and the Prince and the Advocate separated to meet no more on earth.

"You have doubtless heard already," wrote Barneveld to the ambassador in
London, "of all that has been passing here and in Utrecht. One must pray
to God that everything may prosper to his honour and the welfare of the
country. They are resolved to go through with the National Synod, the
government of Utrecht after the change made in it having consented with
the rest. I hope that his Majesty, according to your statement, will send
some good, learned, and peace-loving personages here, giving them
wholesome instructions to help bring our affairs into Christian unity,
accommodation, and love, by which his Majesty and these Provinces would
be best served."

Were these the words of a baffled conspirator and traitor? Were they
uttered to produce an effect upon public opinion and avert a merited
condemnation by all good men? There is not in them a syllable of
reproach, of anger, of despair. And let it be remembered that they were
not written for the public at all. They were never known to the public,
hardly heard of either by the Advocate's enemies or friends, save the one
to whom they were addressed and the monarch to whom that friend was
accredited. They were not contained in official despatches, but in
private, confidential outpourings to a trusted political and personal
associate of many years. From the day they were written until this hour
they have never been printed, and for centuries perhaps not read.

He proceeded to explain what he considered to be the law in the
Netherlands with regard to military allegiance. It is not probable that
there was in the country a more competent expounder of it; and defective
and even absurd as such a system was, it had carried the Provinces
successfully through a great war, and a better method for changing it
might have been found among so law-loving and conservative a people as
the Netherlanders than brute force.

"Information has apparently been sent to England," he said, "that My
Lords of Holland through their commissioners in Utrecht dictated to the
soldiery standing at their charges something that was unreasonable. The
truth is that the States of Holland, as many of them as were assembled,
understanding that great haste was made to send his Excellency and some
deputies from the other provinces to Utrecht, while the members of the
Utrecht assembly were gone to report these difficulties to their
constituents and get fresh instructions from them, wishing that the
return of those members should be waited for and that the Assembly of
Holland might also be complete--a request which was refused--sent a
committee to Utrecht, as the matter brooked no delay, to give information
to the States of that province of what was passing here and to offer
their good offices.

"They sent letters also to his Excellency to move him to reasonable
accommodation without taking extreme measures in opposition to those
resolutions of the States of Utrecht which his Excellency had promised to
conform with and to cause to be maintained by all officers and soldiers.
Should his Excellency make difficulty in this, the commissioners were
instructed to declare to him that they were ordered to warn the colonels
and captains standing in the payment of Holland, by letter and word of
mouth, that they were bound by oath to obey the States of Holland as
their paymasters and likewise to carry out the orders of the provincial
and municipal magistrates in the places where they were employed. The
soldiery was not to act or permit anything to be done against those
resolutions, but help to carry them out, his Excellency himself and the
troops paid by the States of Holland being indisputably bound by oath and
duty so to do."

Doubtless a more convenient arrangement from a military point of view
might be imagined than a system of quotas by which each province in a
confederacy claimed allegiance and exacted obedience from the troops paid
by itself in what was after all a general army. Still this was the
logical and inevitable result of State rights pushed to the extreme and
indeed had been the indisputable theory and practice in the Netherlands
ever since their revolt from Spain. To pretend that the proceedings and
the oath were new because they were embarrassing was absurd. It was only
because the dominant party saw the extreme inconvenience of the system,
now that it was turned against itself, that individuals contemptuous of
law and ignorant of history denounced it as a novelty.

But the strong and beneficent principle that lay at the bottom of the
Advocate's conduct was his unflagging resolve to maintain the civil
authority over the military in time of peace. What liberal or healthy
government would be possible otherwise? Exactly as he opposed the
subjection of the magistracy by the priesthood or the mob, so he now
defended it against the power of the sword. There was no justification
whatever for a claim on the part of Maurice to exact obedience from all
the armies of the Republic, especially in time of peace. He was himself
by oath sworn to obey the States of Holland, of Utrecht, and of the three
other provinces of which he was governor. He was not commander-in-chief.
In two of the seven provinces he had no functions whatever, military or
civil. They had another governor.

Yet the exposition of the law, as it stood, by the Advocate and his claim
that both troops and Stadholder should be held to their oaths was
accounted a crime. He had invented a new oath--it was said--and sought to
diminish the power of the Prince. These were charges, unjust as they
were, which might one day be used with deadly effect.

"We live in a world where everything is interpreted to the worst," he
said. "My physical weakness continues and is increased by this
affliction. I place my trust in God the Lord and in my upright and
conscientious determination to serve the country, his Excellency, and the
religion in which through God's grace I hope to continue to the end."

On the 28th August of a warm afternoon, Barneveld was seated on a
porcelain seat in an arbor in his garden. Councillor Berkhout,
accompanied by a friend, called to see him, and after a brief
conversation gave him solemn warning that danger was impending, that
there was even a rumour of an intention to arrest him.

The Advocate answered gravely, "Yes, there are wicked men about."

Presently he lifted his hat courteously and said, "I thank you,
gentlemen, for the warning."

It seems scarcely to have occurred to him that he had been engaged in
anything beyond a constitutional party struggle in which he had defended
what in his view was the side of law and order. He never dreamt of
seeking safety in flight. Some weeks before, he had been warmly advised
to do as both he and Maurice had done in former times in order to escape
the stratagems of Leicester, to take refuge in some strong city devoted
to his interests rather than remain at the Hague. But he had declined the
counsel. "I will await the issue of this business," he said, "in the
Hague, where my home is, and where I have faithfully served my masters. I
had rather for the sake of the Fatherland suffer what God chooses to send
me for having served well than that through me and on my account any city
should fall into trouble and difficulties."

Next morning, Wednesday, at seven o'clock, Uytenbogaert paid him a visit.
He wished to consult him concerning a certain statement in regard to the
Synod which he desired him to lay before the States of Holland. The
preacher did not find his friend busily occupied at his desk, as usual,
with writing and other work. The Advocate had pushed his chair away from
the table encumbered with books and papers, and sat with his back leaning
against it, lost in thought. His stern, stoical face was like that of a
lion at bay.

Uytenbogaert tried to arouse him from his gloom, consoling him by
reflections on the innumerable instances, in all countries and ages, of
patriotic statesmen who for faithful service had reaped nothing but

Soon afterwards he took his leave, feeling a presentiment of evil within
him which it was impossible for him to shake off as he pressed
Barneveld's hand at parting.

Two hours later, the Advocate went in his coach to the session of the
States of Holland. The place of the Assembly as well as that of the
States-General was within what was called the Binnenhof or Inner Court;
the large quadrangle enclosing the ancient hall once the residence of the
sovereign Counts of Holland. The apartments of the Stadholder composed
the south-western portion of the large series of buildings surrounding
this court. Passing by these lodgings on his way to the Assembly, he was
accosted by a chamberlain of the Prince and informed that his Highness
desired to speak with him. He followed him towards the room where such
interviews were usually held, but in the antechamber was met by
Lieutenant Nythof, of the Prince's bodyguard. This officer told him that
he had been ordered to arrest him in the name of the States-General. The
Advocate demanded an interview with the Prince. It was absolutely
refused. Physical resistance on the part of a man of seventy-two,
stooping with age and leaning on a staff, to military force, of which
Nythof was the representative, was impossible. Barneveld put a cheerful
face on the matter, and was even inclined to converse. He was at once
carried off a prisoner and locked up in a room belonging to Maurice's

Soon afterwards, Grotius on his way to the States-General was invited in
precisely the same manner to go to the Prince, with whom, as he was
informed, the Advocate was at that moment conferring. As soon as he had
ascended the stairs however, he was arrested by Captain van der Meulen in
the name of the States-General, and taken to a chamber in the same
apartments, where he was guarded by two halberdmen. In the evening he was
removed to another chamber where the window shutters were barred, and
where he remained three days and nights. He was much cast down and
silent. Pensionary Hoogerbeets was made prisoner in precisely the same
manner. Thus the three statesmen--culprits as they were considered by
their enemies--were secured without noise or disturbance, each without
knowing the fate that had befallen the other. Nothing could have been
more neatly done. In the same quiet way orders were sent to secure
Secretary Ledenberg, who had returned to Utrecht, and who now after a
short confinement in that city was brought to the Hague and imprisoned in
the Hof.

At the very moment of the Advocate's arrest his son-in-law van der Myle
happened to be paying a visit to Sir Dudley Carleton, who had arrived
very late the night before from England. It was some hours before he or
any other member of the family learned what had befallen.

The Ambassador reported to his sovereign that the deed was highly
applauded by the well disposed as the only means left for the security of
the state. "The Arminians," he said, "condemn it as violent and
insufferable in a free republic."

Impartial persons, he thought, considered it a superfluous proceeding now
that the Synod had been voted and the Waartgelders disbanded.

While he was writing his despatch, the Stadholder came to call upon him,
attended by his cousin Count Lewis William. The crowd of citizens
following at a little distance, excited by the news with which the city
was now ringing, mingled with Maurice's gentlemen and bodyguards and
surged up almost into the Ambassador's doors.

Carleton informed his guests, in the course of conversation, as to the
general opinion of indifferent judges of these events. Maurice replied
that he had disbanded the Waartgelders, but it had now become necessary
to deal with their colonel and the chief captains, meaning thereby
Barneveld and the two other prisoners.

The news of this arrest was soon carried to the house of Barneveld, and
filled his aged wife, his son, and sons-in-law with grief and
indignation. His eldest son William, commonly called the Seignior van
Groeneveld, accompanied by his two brothers-in-law, Veenhuyzen, President
of the Upper Council, and van der Myle, obtained an interview with the
Stadholder that same afternoon.

They earnestly requested that the Advocate, in consideration of his
advanced age, might on giving proper bail be kept prisoner in his own

The Prince received them at first with courtesy. "It is the work of the
States-General," he said, "no harm shall come to your father any more
than to myself."

Veenhuyzen sought to excuse the opposition which the Advocate had made to
the Cloister Church.

The word was scarcely out of his mouth when the Prince fiercely
interrupted him--"Any man who says a word against the Cloister Church,"
he cried in a rage, "his feet shall not carry him from this place."

The interview gave them on the whole but little satisfaction. Very soon
afterwards two gentlemen, Asperen and Schagen, belonging to the Chamber
of Nobles, and great adherents of Barneveld, who had procured their
enrolment in that branch, forced their way into the Stadholder's
apartments and penetrated to the door of the room where the Advocate was
imprisoned. According to Carleton they were filled with wine as well as
rage, and made a great disturbance, loudly demanding their patron's
liberation. Maurice came out of his own cabinet on hearing the noise in
the corridor, and ordered them to be disarmed and placed under arrest. In
the evening however they were released.

Soon afterwards van der Myle fled to Paris, where he endeavoured to make
influence with the government in favour of the Advocate. His departure
without leave, being, as he was, a member of the Chamber of Nobles and of
the council of state, was accounted a great offence. Uytenbogaert also
made his escape, as did Taurinus, author of The Balance, van Moersbergen
of Utrecht, and many others more or less implicated in these commotions.

There was profound silence in the States of Holland when the arrest of
Barneveld was announced. The majority sat like men distraught. At last
Matenesse said, "You have taken from us our head, our tongue, and our
hand, henceforth we can only sit still and look on."

The States-General now took the responsibility of the arrest, which eight
individuals calling themselves the States-General had authorized by
secret resolution the day before (28th August). On the 29th accordingly,
the following "Billet," as it was entitled, was read to the Assembly and
ordered to be printed and circulated among the community. It was without
date or signature.

"Whereas in the course of the changes within the city of Utrecht and in
other places brought about by the high and mighty Lords the
States-General of the United Netherlands, through his Excellency and
their Lordships' committee to him adjoined, sundry things have been
discovered of which previously there had been great suspicion, tending to
the great prejudice of the Provinces in general and of each province in
particular, not without apparent danger to the state of the country, and
that thereby not only the city of Utrecht, but various other cities of
the United Provinces would have fallen into a blood bath; and whereas the
chief ringleaders in these things are considered to be John van
Barneveld, Advocate of Holland, Rombout Hoogerbeets, and Hugo Grotius,
whereof hereafter shall declaration and announcement be made, therefore
their High Mightinesses, in order to prevent these and similar
inconveniences, to place the country in security, and to bring the good
burghers of all the cities into friendly unity again, have resolved to
arrest those three persons, in order that out of their imprisonment they
may be held to answer duly for their actions and offences."

The deputies of Holland in the States-General protested on the same day
against the arrest, declaring themselves extraordinarily amazed at such
proceedings, without their knowledge, with usurpation of their
jurisdiction, and that they should refer to their principals for
instructions in the matter.

They reported accordingly at once to the States of Holland in session in
the same building. Soon afterwards however a committee of five from the
States-General appeared before the Assembly to justify the proceeding. On
their departure there arose a great debate, the six cities of course
taking part with Maurice and the general government. It was finally
resolved by the majority to send a committee to the Stadholder to
remonstrate with, and by the six opposition cities another committee to
congratulate him, on his recent performances.

His answer was to this effect:

"What had happened was not by his order, but had been done by the
States-General, who must be supposed not to have acted without good
cause. Touching the laws and jurisdiction of Holland he would not himself
dispute, but the States of Holland would know how to settle that matter
with the States-General."

Next day it was resolved in the Holland assembly to let the affair remain
as it was for the time being. Rapid changes were soon to be expected in
that body, hitherto so staunch for the cause of municipal laws and State

Meantime Barneveld sat closely guarded in the apartments of the
Stadholder, while the country and very soon all Europe were ringing with
the news of his downfall, imprisonment, and disgrace. The news was a
thunder-bolt to the lovers of religious liberty, a ray of dazzling
sunlight after a storm to the orthodox.

The showers of pamphlets, villanous lampoons, and libels began afresh.
The relatives of the fallen statesman could not appear in the streets
without being exposed to insult, and without hearing scurrilous and
obscene verses against their father and themselves, in which neither sex
nor age was spared, howled in their ears by all the ballad-mongers and
broadsheet vendors of the town. The unsigned publication of the
States-General, with its dark allusions to horrible discoveries and
promised revelations which were never made, but which reduced themselves
at last to the gibberish of a pot-house bully, the ingenious libels, the
powerfully concocted and poisonous calumnies, caricatures, and lampoons,
had done their work. People stared at each other in the streets with open
mouths as they heard how the Advocate had for years and years been the
hireling of Spain, whose government had bribed him largely to bring about
the Truce and kill the West India Company; how his pockets and his
coffers were running over with Spanish ducats; how his plot to sell the
whole country to the ancient tyrant, drive the Prince of Orange into
exile, and bring every city of the Netherlands into a "blood-bath," had,
just in time, been discovered.

And the people believed it and hated the man they had so lately honoured,
and were ready to tear him to pieces in the streets. Men feared to defend
him lest they too should be accused of being stipendiaries of Spain. It
was a piteous spectacle; not for the venerable statesman sitting alone
there in his prison, but for the Republic in its lunacy, for human nature
in its meanness and shame. He whom Count Lewis, although opposed to his
politics, had so lately called one of the two columns on which the whole
fabric of the States reposed, Prince Maurice being the other, now lay
prostrate in the dust and reviled of all men.

"Many who had been promoted by him to high places," said a contemporary,
"and were wont to worship him as a god, in hope that he would lift them
up still higher, now deserted him, and ridiculed him, and joined the rest
of the world in heaping dirt upon him."

On the third day of his imprisonment the Advocate wrote this letter to
his family:--

"My very dear wife, children, children-in-law, and grandchildren,--I know
that you are sorrowful for the troubles which have come upon me, but I
beg you to seek consolation from God the Almighty and to comfort each
other. I know before the Lord God of having given no single lawful reason
for the misfortunes which have come upon me, and I will with patience
await from His Divine hand and from my lawful superiors a happy issue,
knowing well that you and my other well-wishers will with your prayers
and good offices do all that you can to that end.

"And so, very dear wife, children, children-in-law, and grandchildren, I
commend you to God's holy keeping.

"I have been thus far well and honourably treated and accommodated, for
which I thank his princely Excellency.

"From my chamber of arrest, last of August, anno 1618.

"Your dear husband, father, father-in-law, and grand father,

                  "JOHN OF BARNEVELD."

On the margin was written:

"From the first I have requested and have at last obtained materials for

A fortnight before the arrest, but while great troubles were known to be
impending, the French ambassador extraordinary, de Boississe, had
audience before the Assembly of the States-General. He entreated them to
maintain the cause of unity and peace as the foundation of their state;
"that state," he said, "which lifts its head so high that it equals or
surpasses the mightiest republics that ever existed, and which could not
have risen to such a height of honour and grandeur in so short a time,
but through harmony and union of all the provinces, through the valour of
his Excellency, and through your own wise counsels, both sustained by our
great king, whose aid is continued by his son."--"The King my master," he
continued, "knows not the cause of your disturbances. You have not
communicated them to him, but their most apparent cause is a difference
of opinion, born in the schools, thence brought before the public, upon a
point of theology. That point has long been deemed by many to be so hard
and so high that the best advice to give about it is to follow what God's
Word teaches touching God's secrets; to wit, that one should use
moderation and modesty therein and should not rashly press too far into
that which he wishes to be covered with the veil of reverence and wonder.
That is a wise ignorance to keep one's eyes from that which God chooses
to conceal. He calls us not to eternal life through subtle and perplexing

And further exhorting them to conciliation and compromise, he enlarged on
the effect of their internal dissensions on their exterior relations.
"What joy, what rapture you are preparing for your neighbours by your
quarrels! How they will scorn you! How they will laugh! What a hope do
you give them of revenging themselves upon you without danger to
themselves! Let me implore you to baffle their malice, to turn their joy
into mourning, to unite yourselves to confound them."

He spoke much more in the same vein, expressing wise and moderate
sentiments. He might as well have gone down to the neighbouring beach
when a south-west gale was blowing and talked of moderation to the waves
of the German Ocean. The tempest of passion and prejudice had risen in
its might and was sweeping all before it. Yet the speech, like other
speeches and intercessions made at this epoch by de Boississe and by the
regular French ambassador, du Maurier, was statesmanlike and reasonable.
It is superfluous to say that it was in unison with the opinions of
Barneveld, for Barneveld had probably furnished the text of the oration.
Even as he had a few years before supplied the letters which King James
had signed and subsequently had struggled so desperately to disavow, so
now the Advocate's imperious intellect had swayed the docile and amiable
minds of the royal envoys into complete sympathy with his policy. He
usually dictated their general instructions. But an end had come to such
triumphs. Dudley Carleton had returned from his leave of absence in
England, where he had found his sovereign hating the Advocate as doctors
hate who have been worsted in theological arguments and despots who have
been baffled in their imperious designs. Who shall measure the influence
on the destiny of this statesman caused by the French-Spanish marriages,
the sermons of James through the mouth of Carleton, and the mutual
jealousy of France and England?

But the Advocate was in prison, and the earth seemed to have closed over
him. Hardly a ripple of indignation was perceptible on the calm surface
of affairs, although in the States-General as in the States of Holland
his absence seemed to have reduced both bodies to paralysis.

They were the more easily handled by the prudent, skilful, and determined

The arrest of the four gentlemen had been communicated to the kings of
France and Great Britain and the Elector-Palatine in an identical letter
from the States-General. It is noticeable that on this occasion the
central government spoke of giving orders to the Prince of Orange, over
whom they would seem to have had no legitimate authority, while on the
other hand he had expressed indignation on more than one occasion that
the respective states of the five provinces where he was governor and to
whom he had sworn obedience should presume to issue commands to him.

In France, where the Advocate was honoured and beloved, the intelligence
excited profound sorrow. A few weeks previously the government of that
country had, as we have seen, sent a special ambassador to the States, M.
de Boississe, to aid the resident envoy, du Maurier, in his efforts to
bring about a reconciliation of parties and a termination of the
religious feud. Their exertions were sincere and unceasing. They were as
steadily countermined by Francis Aerssens, for the aim of that
diplomatist was to bring about a state of bad feeling, even at cost of
rupture, between the Republic and France, because France was friendly to
the man he most hated and whose ruin he had sworn.

During the summer a bitter personal controversy had been going on,
sufficiently vulgar in tone, between Aerssens and another diplomatist,
Barneveld's son-in-law, Cornelis van der Myle. It related to the recall
of Aerssens from the French embassy of which enough has already been laid
before the reader. Van der Myle by the production of the secret letters
of the Queen-Dowager and her counsellors had proved beyond dispute that
it was at the express wish of the French government that the Ambassador
had retired, and that indeed they had distinctly refused to receive him,
should he return. Foul words resulting in propositions for a hostile
meeting on the frontier, which however came to nothing, were interchanged
and Aerssens in the course of his altercation with the son-inlaw had
found ample opportunity for venting his spleen upon his former patron the
now fallen statesman.

Four days after the arrest of Barneveld he brought the whole matter
before the States-General, and the intention with which he thus raked up
the old quarrel with France after the death of Henry, and his charges in
regard to the Spanish marriages, was as obvious as it was deliberate.

The French ambassadors were furious. Boississe had arrived not simply as
friend of the Advocate, but to assure the States of the strong desire
entertained by the French government to cultivate warmest relations with
them. It had been desired by the Contra-Remonstrant party that deputies
from the Protestant churches of France should participate in the Synod,
and the French king had been much assailed by the Catholic powers for
listening to those suggestions. The Papal nuncius, the Spanish
ambassador, the envoy of the Archduke, had made a great disturbance at
court concerning the mission of Boississe. They urged with earnestness
that his Majesty was acting against the sentiments of Spain, Rome, and
the whole Catholic Church, and that he ought not to assist with his
counsel those heretics who were quarrelling among themselves over points
in their heretical religion and wishing to destroy each other.

Notwithstanding this outcry the weather was smooth enough until the
proceedings of Aerssens came to stir up a tempest at the French court. A
special courier came from Boississe, a meeting of the whole council,
although it was Sunday, was instantly called, and the reply of the
States-General to the remonstrance of the Ambassador in the Aerssens
affair was pronounced to be so great an affront to the King that, but for
overpowering reasons, diplomatic intercourse would have at once been
suspended. "Now instead of friendship there is great anger here," said
Langerac. The king forbade under vigorous penalties the departure of any
French theologians to take part in the Synod, although the royal consent
had nearly been given. The government complained that no justice was done
in the Netherlands to the French nation, that leading personages there
openly expressed contempt for the French alliance, denouncing the country
as "Hispaniolized," and declaring that all the council were regularly
pensioned by Spain for the express purpose of keeping up the civil
dissensions in the United Provinces.

Aerssens had publicly and officially declared that a majority of the
French council since the death of Henry had declared the crown in its
temporal as well as spiritual essence to be dependent on the Pope, and
that the Spanish marriages had been made under express condition of the
renunciation of the friendship and alliance of the States.

Such were among the first-fruits of the fall of Barneveld and the triumph
of Aerssens, for it was he in reality who had won the victory, and he had
gained it over both Stadholder and Advocate. Who was to profit by the
estrangement between the Republic and its powerful ally at a moment too
when that great kingdom was at last beginning to emerge from the darkness
and nothingness of many years, with the faint glimmering dawn of a new
great policy?

Barneveld, whose masterful statesmanship, following out the traditions of
William the Silent, had ever maintained through good and ill report
cordial and beneficent relations between the two countries, had always
comprehended, even as a great cardinal-minister was ere long to teach the
world, that the permanent identification of France with Spain and the
Roman League was unnatural and impossible.

Meantime Barneveld sat in his solitary prison, knowing not what was
passing on that great stage where he had so long been the chief actor,
while small intriguers now attempted to control events.

It was the intention of Aerssens to return to the embassy in Paris whence
he had been driven, in his own opinion, so unjustly. To render himself
indispensable, he had begun by making himself provisionally formidable to
the King's government. Later, there would be other deeds to do before the
prize was within his grasp.

Thus the very moment when France was disposed to cultivate the most
earnest friendship with the Republic had been seized for fastening an
insult upon her. The Twelve Years' Truce with Spain was running to its
close, the relations between France and Spain were unusually cold, and
her friendship therefore more valuable than ever.

On the other hand the British king was drawing closer his relations with
Spain, and his alliance was demonstrably of small account. The phantom of
the Spanish bride had become more real to his excited vision than ever,
so that early in the year, in order to please Gondemar, he had been
willing to offer an affront to the French ambassador.

The Prince of Wales had given a splendid masquerade at court, to which
the envoy of his Most Catholic Majesty was bidden. Much to his amazement
the representative of the Most Christian King received no invitation,
notwithstanding that he had taken great pains to procure one. M. de la
Boderie was very angry, and went about complaining to the States'
ambassador and his other colleagues of the slight, and darkened the lives
of the court functionaries having charge of such matters with his
vengeance and despair. It was represented to him that he had himself been
asked to a festival the year before when Count Gondemar was left out. It
was hinted to him that the King had good reasons for what he did, as the
marriage with the daughter of Spain was now in train, and it was
desirable that the Spanish ambassador should be able to observe the
Prince's disposition and make a more correct report of it to his
government. It was in vain. M. de la Boderie refused to be comforted, and
asserted that one had no right to leave the French ambassador uninvited
to any "festival or triumph" at court. There was an endless disturbance.
De la Boderie sent his secretary off to Paris to complain to the King
that his ambassador was of no account in London, while much favour was
heaped upon the Spaniard. The Secretary returned with instructions from
Lewis that the Ambassador was to come home immediately, and he went off
accordingly in dudgeon. "I could see that he was in the highest degree
indignant," said Caron, who saw him before he left, "and I doubt not that
his departure will increase and keep up the former jealousy between the

The ill-humor created by this event lasted a long time, serving to
neutralize or at least perceptibly diminish the Spanish influence
produced in France by the Spanish marriages. In the autumn, Secretary de
Puysieux by command of the King ordered every Spaniard to leave the
French court. All the "Spanish ladies and gentlemen, great and small,"
who had accompanied the Queen from Madrid were included in this expulsion
with the exception of four individuals, her Majesty's father confessor,
physician, apothecary, and cook.

The fair young queen was much vexed and shed bitter tears at this
calamity, which, as she spoke nothing but Spanish, left her isolated at
the court, but she was a little consoled by the promise that thenceforth
the King would share her couch. It had not yet occurred to him that he
was married.

The French envoys at the Hague exhausted themselves in efforts, both
private and public, in favour of the prisoners, but it was a thankless
task. Now that the great man and his chief pupils and adherents were out
of sight, a war of shameless calumny was began upon him, such as has
scarcely a parallel in political history.

It was as if a whole tribe of noxious and obscene reptiles were swarming
out of the earth which had suddenly swallowed him. But it was not alone
the obscure or the anonymous who now triumphantly vilified him. Men in
high places who had partaken of his patronage, who had caressed him and
grovelled before him, who had grown great through his tuition and rich
through his bounty, now rejoiced in his ruin or hastened at least to save
themselves from being involved in it. Not a man of them all but fell away
from him like water. Even the great soldier forgot whose respectful but
powerful hand it was which, at the most tragical moment, had lifted him
from the high school at Leyden into the post of greatest power and
responsibility, and had guided his first faltering footsteps by the light
of his genius and experience. Francis Aerssens, master of the field, had
now become the political tutor of the mature Stadholder. Step by step we
have been studying the inmost thoughts of the Advocate as revealed in his
secret and confidential correspondence, and the reader has been enabled
to judge of the wantonness of the calumny which converted the determined
antagonist into the secret friend of Spain. Yet it had produced its
effect upon Maurice.

He told the French ambassadors a month after the arrest that Barneveld
had been endeavouring, during and since the Truce negotiations, to bring
back the Provinces, especially Holland, if not under the dominion of, at
least under some kind of vassalage to Spain. Persons had been feeling the
public pulse as to the possibility of securing permanent peace by paying
tribute to Spain, and this secret plan of Barneveld had so alienated him
from the Prince as to cause him to attempt every possible means of
diminishing or destroying altogether his authority. He had spread through
many cities that Maurice wished to make himself master of the state by
using the religious dissensions to keep the people weakened and divided.

There is not a particle of evidence, and no attempt was ever made to
produce any, that the Advocate had such plan, but certainly, if ever, man
had made himself master of a state, that man was Maurice. He continued
however to place himself before the world as the servant of the
States-General, which he never was, either theoretically or in fact.

The French ambassadors became every day more indignant and more
discouraged. It was obvious that Aerssens, their avowed enemy, was
controlling the public policy of the government. Not only was there no
satisfaction to be had for the offensive manner in which he had filled
the country with his ancient grievances and his nearly forgotten charges
against the Queen-Dowager and those who had assisted her in the regency,
but they were repulsed at every turn when by order of their sovereign
they attempted to use his good offices in favour of the man who had ever
been the steady friend of France.

The Stadholder also professed friendship for that country, and referred
to Colonel-General Chatillon, who had for a long time commanded the
French regiments in the Netherlands, for confirmation of his uniform
affection for those troops and attachment to their sovereign.

He would do wonders, he said, if Lewis would declare war upon Spain by
land and sea.

"Such fruits are not ripe," said Boississe, "nor has your love for France
been very manifest in recent events."

"Barneveld," replied the Prince, "has personally offended me, and has
boasted that he would drive me out of the country like Leicester. He is
accused of having wished to trouble the country in order to bring it back
under the yoke of Spain. Justice will decide. The States only are
sovereign to judge this question. You must address yourself to them."

"The States," replied the ambassadors, "will require to be aided by your

The Prince made no reply and remained chill and "impregnable." The
ambassadors continued their intercessions in behalf of the prisoners both
by public address to the Assembly and by private appeals to the
Stadholder and his influential friends. In virtue of the intimate
alliance and mutual guarantees existing between their government and the
Republic they claimed the acceptance of their good offices. They insisted
upon a regular trial of the prisoners according to the laws of the land,
that is to say, by the high court of Holland, which alone had
jurisdiction in the premises. If they had been guilty of high-treason,
they should be duly arraigned. In the name of the signal services of
Barneveld and of the constant friendship of that great magistrate for
France, the King demanded clemency or proof of his crimes. His Majesty
complained through his ambassadors of the little respect shown for his
counsels and for his friendship. "In times past you found ever prompt and
favourable action in your time of need."

"This discourse," said Maurice to Chatillon, "proceeds from evil

Thus the prisoners had disappeared from human sight, and their enemies
ran riot in slandering them. Yet thus far no public charges had been

"Nothing appears against them," said du Maurier, "and people are
beginning to open their mouths with incredible freedom. While waiting for
the condemnation of the prisoners, one is determined to dishonour them."

The French ambassadors were instructed to intercede to the last, but they
were steadily repulsed--while the King of Great Britain, anxious to gain
favour with Spain by aiding in the ruin of one whom he knew and Spain
knew to be her determined foe, did all he could through his ambassador to
frustrate their efforts and bring on a catastrophe. The States-General
and Maurice were now on as confidential terms with Carleton as they were
cold and repellent to Boississe and du Maurier.

"To recall to them the benefits of the King," said du Maurier, "is to
beat the air. And then Aerssens bewitches them, and they imagine that
after having played runaway horses his Majesty will be only too happy to
receive them back, caress them, and, in order to have their friendship,
approve everything they have been doing right or wrong."

Aerssens had it all his own way, and the States-General had just paid him
12,000 francs in cash on the ground that Langerac's salary was larger
than his had been when at the head of the same embassy many years before.

His elevation into the body of nobles, which Maurice had just stocked
with five other of his partisans, was accounted an additional affront to
France, while on the other hand the Queen-Mother, having through
Epernon's assistance made her escape from Blois, where she had been kept
in durance since the death of Concini, now enumerated among other
grievances for which she was willing to take up arms against her son that
the King's government had favoured Barneveld.

It was strange that all the devotees of Spain--Mary de' Medici, and
Epernon, as well as James I. and his courtiers--should be thus embittered
against the man who had sold the Netherlands to Spain.

At last the Prince told the French ambassadors that the "people of the
Provinces considered their persistent intercessions an invasion of their
sovereignty." Few would have anything to say to them. "No one listens to
us, no one replies to us," said du Maurier, "everyone visiting us is
observed, and it is conceived a reproach here to speak to the ambassadors
of France."

Certainly the days were changed since Henry IV. leaned on the arm of
Barneveld, and consulted with him, and with him only, among all the
statesmen of Europe on his great schemes for regenerating Christendom and
averting that general war which, now that the great king had been
murdered and the Advocate imprisoned, had already begun to ravage Europe.

Van der Myle had gone to Paris to make such exertions as he could among
the leading members of the council in favour of his father-in-law.
Langerac, the States' ambassador there, who but yesterday had been
turning at every moment to the Advocate for light and warmth as to the
sun, now hastened to disavow all respect or regard for him. He scoffed at
the slender sympathy van der Myle was finding in the bleak political
atmosphere. He had done his best to find out what he had been negotiating
with the members of the council and was glad to say that it was so
inconsiderable as to be not worth reporting. He had not spoken with or
seen the King. Jeannin, his own and his father-in-law's principal and
most confidential friend, had only spoken with him half an hour and then
departed for Burgundy, although promising to confer with him
sympathetically on his return. "I am very displeased at his coming here,"
said Langerac, ". . . . but he has found little friendship or
confidence, and is full of woe and apprehension."

The Ambassador's labours were now confined to personally soliciting the
King's permission for deputations from the Reformed churches of France to
go to the Synod, now opened (13th November) at Dordtrecht, and to
clearing his own skirts with the Prince and States-General of any
suspicion of sympathy with Barneveld.

In the first object he was unsuccessful, the King telling him at last
"with clear and significant words that this was impossible, on account of
his conscience, his respect for the Catholic religion, and many other

In regard to the second point he acted with great promptness.

He received a summons in January 1619 from the States-General and the
Prince to send them all letters that he had ever received from Barneveld.
He crawled at once to Maurice on his knees, with the letters in his hand.

"Most illustrious, high-born Prince, most gracious Lord," he said;
"obeying the commands which it has pleased the States and your princely
Grace to give me, I send back the letters of Advocate Barneveld. If your
princely Grace should find anything in them showing that the said
Advocate had any confidence in me, I most humbly beg your princely Grace
to believe that I never entertained any affection for, him, except only
in respect to and so far as he was in credit and good authority with the
government, and according to the upright zeal which I thought I could see
in him for the service of My high and puissant Lords the States-General
and of your princely Grace."

Greater humbleness could be expected of no ambassador. Most nobly did the
devoted friend and pupil of the great statesman remember his duty to the
illustrious Prince and their High Mightinesses. Most promptly did he
abjure his patron now that he had fallen into the abyss.

"Nor will it be found," he continued, "that I have had any sympathy or
communication with the said Advocate except alone in things concerning my
service. The great trust I had in him as the foremost and oldest
counsellor of the state, as the one who so confidentially instructed me
on my departure for France, and who had obtained for himself so great
authority that all the most important affairs of the country were
entrusted to him, was the cause that I simply and sincerely wrote to him
all that people were in the habit of saying at this court.

"If I had known in the least or suspected that he was not what he ought
to be in the service of My Lords the States and of your princely Grace
and for the welfare and tranquillity of the land, I should have been well
on my guard against letting myself in the least into any kind of
communication with him whatever."

The reader has seen how steadily and frankly the Advocate had kept
Langerac as well as Caron informed of passing events, and how little
concealment he made of his views in regard to the Synod, the
Waartgelders, and the respective authority of the States-General and
States-Provincial. Not only had Langerac no reason to suspect that
Barneveld was not what he ought to be, but he absolutely knew the
contrary from that most confidential correspondence with him which he was
now so abjectly repudiating. The Advocate, in a protracted constitutional
controversy, had made no secret of his views either officially or
privately. Whether his positions were tenable or flimsy, they had been
openly taken.

"What is more," proceeded the Ambassador, "had I thought that any account
ought to be made of what I wrote to him concerning the sovereignty of the
Provinces, I should for a certainty not have failed to advise your Grace
of it above all."

He then, after profuse and maudlin protestations of his most dutiful zeal
all the days of his life for "the service, honour, reputation, and
contentment of your princely Grace," observed that he had not thought it
necessary to give him notice of such idle and unfounded matters, as being
likely to give the Prince annoyance and displeasure. He had however
always kept within himself the resolution duly to notify him in case he
found that any belief was attached to the reports in Paris. "But the
reports," he said, "were popular and calumnious inventions of which no
man had ever been willing or able to name to him the authors."

The Ambassador's memory was treacherous, and he had doubtless neglected
to read over the minutes, if he had kept them, of his wonderful
disclosures on the subject of the sovereignty before thus exculpating
himself. It will be remembered that he had narrated the story of the plot
for conferring sovereignty upon Maurice not as a popular calumny flying
about Paris with no man to father it, but he had given it to Barneveld on
the authority of a privy councillor of France and of the King himself.
"His Majesty knows it to be authentic," he had said in his letter. That
letter was a pompous one, full of mystery and so secretly ciphered that
he had desired that his friend van der Myle, whom he was now deriding for
his efforts in Paris to save his father-inlaw from his fate, might assist
the Advocate in unravelling its contents. He had now discovered that it
had been idle gossip not worthy of a moment's attention.

The reader will remember too that Barneveld, without attaching much
importance to the tale, had distinctly pointed out to Langerac that the
Prince himself was not implicated in the plot and had instructed the
Ambassador to communicate the story to Maurice. This advice had not been
taken, but he had kept the perilous stuff upon his breast. He now sought
to lay the blame, if it were possible to do so, upon the man to whom he
had communicated it and who had not believed it.

The business of the States-General, led by the Advocate's enemies this
winter, was to accumulate all kind of tales, reports, and accusations to
his discredit on which to form something like a bill of indictment. They
had demanded all his private and confidential correspondence with Caron
and Langerae. The ambassador in Paris had been served, moreover, with a
string of nine interrogatories which he was ordered to answer on oath and
honour. This he did and appended the reply to his letter.

The nine questions had simply for their object to discover what Barneveld
had been secretly writing to the Ambassador concerning the Synod, the
enlisted troops, and the supposed projects of Maurice concerning the
sovereignty. Langerac was obliged to admit in his replies that nothing
had been written except the regular correspondence which he endorsed, and
of which the reader has been able to see the sum and substance in the
copious extracts which have been given.

He stated also that he had never received any secret instructions save
the marginal notes to the list of questions addressed by him, when about
leaving for Paris in 1614, to Barneveld. Most of these were of a trivial
and commonplace nature.

They had however a direct bearing on the process to be instituted against
the Advocate, and the letter too which we have been examining will prove
to be of much importance. Certainly pains enough were taken to detect the
least trace of treason in a very loyal correspondence. Langerac concluded
by enclosing the Barneveld correspondence since the beginning of the year
1614, protesting that not a single letter had been kept back or
destroyed. "Once more I recommend myself to mercy, if not to favour," he
added, "as the most faithful, most obedient, most zealous servant of
their High Mightinesses and your princely Grace, to whom I have devoted
and sacrificed my honour and life in most humble service; and am now and
forever the most humble, most obedient, most faithful servant of my most
serene, most illustrious, most highly born Prince, most gracious Lord and
princeliest Grace."

The former adherent of plain Advocate Barneveld could hardly find
superlatives enough to bestow upon the man whose displeasure that
prisoner had incurred.

Directly after the arrest the Stadholder had resumed his tour through the
Provinces in order to change the governments. Sliding over any opposition
which recent events had rendered idle, his course in every city was
nearly the same. A regiment or two and a train of eighty or a hundred
waggons coming through the city-gate preceded by the Prince and his
body-guard of 300, a tramp of halberdmen up the great staircase of the
town-hall, a jingle of spurs in the assembly-room, and the whole board of
magistrates were summoned into the presence of the Stadholder. They were
then informed that the world had no further need of their services, and
were allowed to bow themselves out of the presence. A new list was then
announced, prepared beforehand by Maurice on the suggestion of those on
whom he could rely. A faint resistance was here and there attempted by
magistrates and burghers who could not forget in a moment the rights of
self-government and the code of laws which had been enjoyed for
centuries. At Hoorn, for instance, there was deep indignation among the
citizens. An imprudent word or two from the authorities might have
brought about a "blood-bath."

The burgomaster ventured indeed to expostulate. They requested the Prince
not to change the magistracy. "This is against our privileges," they
said, "which it is our duty to uphold. You will see what deep displeasure
will seize the burghers, and how much disturbance and tumult will follow.
If any faults have been committed by any member of the government, let
him be accused and let him answer for them. Let your Excellency not only
dismiss but punish such as cannot properly justify themselves."

But his Excellency summoned them all to the town-house and as usual
deposed them all. A regiment was drawn up in half-moon on the square
beneath the windows. To the magistrates asking why they were deposed, he
briefly replied, "The quiet of the land requires it. It is necessary to
have unanimous resolutions in the States-General at the Hague. This
cannot be accomplished without these preliminary changes. I believe that
you had good intentions and have been faithful servants of the
Fatherland. But this time it must be so."

And so the faithful servants of the Fatherland were dismissed into space.
Otherwise how could there be unanimous voting in parliament? It must be
regarded perhaps as fortunate that the force of character, undaunted
courage, and quiet decision of Maurice enabled him to effect this violent
series of revolutions with such masterly simplicity. It is questionable
whether the Stadholder's commission technically empowered him thus to
trample on municipal law; it is certain that, if it did, the boasted
liberties of the Netherlands were a dream; but it is equally true that,
in the circumstances then existing, a vulgar, cowardly, or incompetent
personage might have marked his pathway with massacres without restoring

Sometimes there was even a comic aspect to these strokes of state. The
lists of new magistrates being hurriedly furnished by the Prince's
adherents to supply the place of those evicted, it often happened that
men not quahified by property, residence, or other attributes were
appointed to the government, so that many became magistrates before they
were citizens.

On being respectfully asked sometimes who such a magistrate might be
whose face and name were equally unknown to his colleagues and to the
townsmen in general; "Do I know the fellows?" he would say with a
cheerful laugh. And indeed they might have all been dead men, those new
functionaries, for aught he did know. And so on through Medemblik and
Alkmaar, Brielle, Delft, Monnikendam, and many other cities progressed
the Prince, sowing new municipalities broadcast as he passed along. At
the Hague on his return a vote of thanks to the Prince was passed by the
nobles and most of the cities for the trouble he had taken in this
reforming process. But the unanimous vote had not yet been secured, the
strongholds of Arminianism, as it was the fashion to call them, not being
yet reduced.

The Prince, in reply to the vote of thanks, said that "in what he had
done and was going to do his intention sincerely and uprightly had been
no other than to promote the interests and tranquillity of the country,
without admixture of anything personal and without prejudice to the
general commonwealth or the laws and privileges of the cities." He
desired further that "note might be taken of this declaration as record
of his good and upright intentions."

But the sincerest and most upright intentions may be refracted by party
atmosphere from their aim, and the purest gold from the mint elude the
direct grasp through the clearest fluid in existence. At any rate it
would have been difficult to convince the host of deposed magistrates
hurled from office, although recognized as faithful servants of the
Fatherland, that such violent removal had taken place without detriment
to the laws and privileges.

And the Stadholder went to the few cities where some of the leaven still

He arrived at Leyden on the 22nd October, "accompanied by a great suite
of colonels, ritmeesters, and captains," having sent on his body-guard to
the town strengthened by other troops. He was received by the magistrates
at the "Prince's Court" with great reverence and entertained by them in
the evening at a magnificent banquet.

Next morning he summoned the whole forty of them to the town-house,
disbanded them all, and appointed new ones in their stead; some of the
old members however who could be relied upon being admitted to the
revolutionized board.

The populace, mainly of the Stadholder's party, made themselves merry
over the discomfited "Arminians". They hung wisps of straw as derisive
wreaths of triumph over the dismantled palisade lately encircling the
town-hall, disposed of the famous "Oldenbarneveld's teeth" at auction in
the public square, and chased many a poor cock and hen, with their
feathers completely plucked from their bodies, about the street, crying
"Arme haenen, arme haenen"--Arminians or poor fowls--according to the
practical witticism much esteemed at that period. Certainly the
unfortunate Barneveldians or Arminians, or however the Remonstrants might
be designated, had been sufficiently stripped of their plumes.

The Prince, after having made proclamation from the town-house enjoining
"modesty upon the mob" and a general abstention from "perverseness and
petulance," went his way to Haarlem, where he dismissed the magistrates
and appointed new ones, and then proceeded to Rotterdam, to Gouda, and to

It seemed scarcely necessary to carry, out the process in the commercial
capital, the abode of Peter Plancius, the seat of the West India Company,
the head-quarters of all most opposed to the Advocate, most devoted to
the Stadholder. But although the majority of the city government was an
overwhelming one, there was still a respectable minority who, it was
thought possible, might under a change of circumstances effect much
mischief and even grow into a majority.

The Prince therefore summoned the board before him according to his usual
style of proceeding and dismissed them all. They submitted without a word
of remonstrance.

Ex-Burgomaster Hooft, a man of seventy-two-father of the illustrious
Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft, one of the greatest historians of the
Netherlands or of any country, then a man of thirty-seven-shocked at the
humiliating silence, asked his colleagues if they had none of them a word
to say in defence of their laws and privileges.

They answered with one accord "No."

The old man, a personal friend of Barneveld and born the same year, then
got on his feet and addressed the Stadholder. He spoke manfully and well,
characterizing the summary deposition of the magistracy as illegal and
unnecessary, recalling to the memory of those who heard him that he had
been thirty-six years long a member of the government and always a warm
friend of the House of Nassau, and respectfully submitting that the small
minority in the municipal government, while differing from their
colleagues and from the greater number of the States-General, had limited
their opposition to strictly constitutional means, never resorting to
acts of violence or to secret conspiracy.

Nothing could be more truly respectable than the appearance of this
ancient magistrate, in long black robe with fur edgings, high ruff around
his thin, pointed face, and decent skull-cap covering his bald old head,
quavering forth to unsympathetic ears a temperate and unanswerable
defence of things which in all ages the noblest minds have deemed most

His harangue was not very long. Maurice's reply was very short.

"Grandpapa," he said, "it must be so this time. Necessity and the service
of the country require it."

With that he dismissed the thirty-six magistrates and next day appointed
a new board, who were duly sworn to fidelity to the States-General. Of
course a large proportion of the old members were renominated.

Scarcely had the echo of the Prince's footsteps ceased to resound through
the country as he tramped from one city to another, moulding each to his
will, when the States of Holland, now thoroughly reorganized, passed a
solemn vote of thanks to him for all that he had done. The six cities of
the minority had now become the majority, and there was unanimity at the
Hague. The Seven Provinces, States-General and States-Provincial, were as
one, and the Synod was secured. Whether the prize was worth the
sacrifices which it had cost and was still to cost might at least be
considered doubtful.


     Affection of his friends and the wrath of his enemies
     Depths theological party spirit could descend
     Extraordinary capacity for yielding to gentle violence
     Human nature in its meanness and shame
     It had not yet occurred to him that he was married
     Make the very name of man a term of reproach
     Never lack of fishers in troubled waters
     Opposed the subjection of the magistracy by the priesthood
     Pot-valiant hero
     Resolve to maintain the civil authority over the military
     Tempest of passion and prejudice
     The effect of energetic, uncompromising calumny
     Yes, there are wicked men about



By John Lothrop Motley, D.C.L., LL.D.

Life and Death of John of Barneveld, v10, 1618-19


   Rancour between the Politico-Religious Parties--Spanish Intrigues
   Inconsistency of James--Brewster and Robinson's Congregation at
   Leyden--They decide to leave for America--Robinson's Farewell Sermon
   and Prayer at Parting.

During this dark and mournful winter the internal dissensions and, as a
matter of course, the foreign intrigues had become more dangerous than
ever. While the man who for a whole generation had guided the policy of
the Republic and had been its virtual chief magistrate lay hidden from
all men's sight, the troubles which he had sought to avert were not
diminished by his removal from the scene. The extreme or Gomarist party
which had taken a pride in secret conventicles where they were in a
minority, determined, as they said, to separate Christ from Belial and,
meditating the triumph which they had at last secured, now drove the
Arminians from the great churches. Very soon it was impossible for these
heretics to enjoy the rights of public worship anywhere. But they were
not dismayed. The canons of Dordtrecht had not yet been fulminated. They
avowed themselves ready to sacrifice worldly goods and life itself in
defence of the Five Points. In Rotterdam, notwithstanding a garrison of
fifteen companies, more than a thousand Remonstrants assembled on
Christmas-day in the Exchange for want of a more appropriate place of
meeting and sang the 112th Psalm in mighty chorus. A clergyman of their
persuasion accidentally passing through the street was forcibly laid
hands upon and obliged to preach to them, which he did with great
unction. The magistracy, where now the Contra-Remonstrants had the
control, forbade, under severe penalties, a repetition of such scenes. It
was impossible not to be reminded of the days half a century before, when
the early Reformers had met in the open fields or among the dunes, armed
to the teeth, and with outlying pickets to warn the congregation of the
approach of Red Rod and the functionaries of the Holy Inquisition.

In Schoonhoven the authorities attempted one Sunday by main force to
induct a Contra-Remonstrant into the pulpit from which a Remonstrant had
just been expelled. The women of the place turned out with their distaffs
and beat them from the field. The garrison was called out, and there was
a pitched battle in the streets between soldiers, police officers, and
women, not much to the edification certainly of the Sabbath-loving
community on either side, the victory remaining with the ladies.

In short it would be impossible to exaggerate the rancour felt between
the different politico-religious parties. All heed for the great war now
raging in the outside world between the hostile elements of Catholicism
and Protestantism, embattled over an enormous space, was lost in the din
of conflict among the respective supporters of conditional and
unconditional damnation within the pale of the Reformed Church. The
earthquake shaking Europe rolled unheeded, as it was of old said to have
done at Cannae, amid the fierce shock of mortal foes in that narrow

The respect for authority which had so long been the distinguishing
characteristic of the Netherlanders seemed to have disappeared. It was
difficult--now that the time-honoured laws and privileges in defence of
which, and of liberty of worship included in them, the Provinces had made
war forty years long had been trampled upon by military force--for those
not warmed by the fire of Gomarus to feel their ancient respect for the
magistracy. The magistracy at that moment seemed to mean the sword.

The Spanish government was inevitably encouraged by the spectacle thus
presented. We have seen the strong hopes entertained by the council at
Madrid, two years before the crisis now existing had occurred. We have
witnessed the eagerness with which the King indulged the dream of
recovering the sovereignty which his father had lost, and the vast
schemes which he nourished towards that purpose, founded on the internal
divisions which were reducing the Republic to impotence. Subsequent
events had naturally made him more sanguine than ever. There was now a
web of intrigue stretching through the Provinces to bring them all back
under the sceptre of Spain. The imprisonment of the great stipendiary,
the great conspirator, the man who had sold himself and was on the point
of selling his country, had not terminated those plots. Where was the
supposed centre of that intrigue? In the council of state of the
Netherlands, ever fiercely opposed to Barneveld and stuffed full of his
mortal enemies. Whose name was most familiar on the lips of the Spanish
partisans engaged in these secret schemes? That of Adrian Manmaker,
President of the Council, representative of Prince Maurice as first noble
of Zealand in the States-General, chairman of the committee sent by that
body to Utrecht to frustrate the designs of the Advocate, and one of the
twenty-four commissioners soon to be appointed to sit in judgment upon

The tale seems too monstrous for belief, nor is it to be admitted with
certainty, that Manmaker and the other councillors implicated had
actually given their adhesion to the plot, because the Spanish emissaries
in their correspondence with the King assured him of the fact. But if
such a foundation for suspicion could have been found against Barneveld
and his friends, the world would not have heard the last of it from that
hour to this.

It is superfluous to say that the Prince was entirely foreign to these
plans. He had never been mentioned as privy to the little arrangements of
Councillor du Agean and others, although he was to benefit by them. In
the Spanish schemes he seems to have been considered as an impediment,
although indirectly they might tend to advance him.

"We have managed now, I hope, that his Majesty will be recognized as
sovereign of the country," wrote the confidential agent of the King of
Spain in the Netherlands, Emmanuel Sueyro, to the government of Madrid.
"The English will oppose it with all their strength. But they can do
nothing except by making Count Maurice sovereign of Holland and duke of
Julich and Cleve. Maurice will also contrive to make himself master of
Wesel, so it is necessary for the Archduke to be beforehand with him and
make sure of the place. It is also needful that his Majesty should induce
the French government to talk with the Netherlanders and convince them
that it is time to prolong the Truce."

This was soon afterwards accomplished. The French minister at Brussels
informed Archduke Albert that du Maurier had been instructed to propose
the prolongation, and that he had been conferring with the Prince of
Orange and the States-General on the subject. At first the Prince had
expressed disinclination, but at the last interview both he and the
States had shown a desire for it, and the French King had requested from
the Archduke a declaration whether the Spanish government would be
willing to treat for it. In such case Lewis would offer himself as
mediator and do his best to bring about a successful result.

But it was not the intention of the conspirators in the Netherlands that
the Truce should be prolonged. On the contrary the negotiation for it was
merely to furnish the occasion for fully developing their plot. "The
States and especially those of Zealand will reply that they no longer
wish the Truce," continued Sueyro, "and that they would prefer war to
such a truce. They desire to put ships on the coast of Flanders, to which
the Hollanders are opposed because it would be disagreeable to the
French. So the Zealanders will be the first to say that the Netherlanders
must come back to his Majesty. This their President Hanmaker has sworn.
The States of Overyssel will likewise give their hand to this because
they say they will be the first to feel the shock of the war. Thus we
shall very easily carry out our design, and as we shall concede to the
Zealanders their demands in regard to the navigation they at least will
place themselves under the dominion of his Majesty as will be the case
with Friesland as well as Overyssel."

It will be observed that in this secret arrangement for selling the
Republic to its ancient master it was precisely the Provinces and the
politicians most steadily opposed to Barneveld that took the lead.
Zealand, Friesland, Overyssel were in the plot, but not a word was said
of Utrecht. As for Holland itself, hopes were founded on the places where
hatred to the Advocate was fiercest.

"Between ourselves," continued the agent, "we are ten here in the
government of Holland to support the plan, but we must not discover
ourselves for fear of suffering what has happened to Barneveld."

He added that the time for action had not yet come, and that if movements
were made before the Synod had finished its labours, "The Gomarists would
say that they were all sold." He implored the government at Madrid to
keep the whole matter for the present profoundly secret because "Prince
Maurice and the Gomarists had the forces of the country at their
disposition." In case the plot was sprung too suddenly therefore, he
feared that with the assistance of England Maurice might, at the head of
the Gomarists and the army, make himself sovereign of Holland and Duke of
Cleve, while he and the rest of the Spanish partisans might be in prison
with Barneveld for trying to accomplish what Barneveld had been trying to

The opinions and utterances of such a man as James I. would be of little
worth to our history had he not happened to occupy the place he did. But
he was a leading actor in the mournful drama which filled up the whole
period of the Twelve Years' Truce. His words had a direct influence on
great events. He was a man of unquestionable erudition, of powers of mind
above the average, while the absolute deformity of his moral constitution
made him incapable of thinking, feeling, or acting rightly on any vital
subject, by any accident or on any occasion. If there were one thing that
he thoroughly hated in the world, it was the Reformed religion. If in his
thought there were one term of reproach more loathsome than another to be
applied to a human creature, it was the word Puritan. In the word was
subversion of all established authority in Church and State--revolution,
republicanism, anarchy. "There are degrees in Heaven," he was wont to
say, "there are degrees in Hell, there must be degrees on earth."

He forbade the Calvinist Churches of Scotland to hold their customary
Synod in 1610, passionately reviling them and their belief, and declaring
"their aim to be nothing else than to deprive kings and princes of their
sovereignty, and to reduce the whole world to a popular form of
government where everybody would be master."

When the Prince of Neuburg embraced Catholicism, thus complicating
matters in the duchies and strengthening the hand of Spain and the
Emperor in the debateable land, he seized the occasion to assure the
agent of the Archduke in London, Councillor Boissetot, of his warm
Catholic sympathies. "They say that I am the greatest heretic in the
world!" he exclaimed; "but I will never deny that the true religion is
that of Rome even if corrupted." He expressed his belief in the real
presence, and his surprise that the Roman Catholics did not take the
chalice for the blood of Christ. The English bishops, he averred, drew
their consecration through the bishops in Mary Tudor's time from the

As Philip II., and Ferdinand II. echoing the sentiments of his
illustrious uncle, had both sworn they would rather reign in a wilderness
than tolerate a single heretic in their dominions, so James had said "he
would rather be a hermit in a forest than a king over such people as the
pack of Puritans were who overruled the lower house."

For the Netherlanders he had an especial hatred, both as rebels and
Puritans. Soon after coming to the English throne he declared that their
revolt, which had been going on all his lifetime and of which he never
expected to see the end, had begun by petition for matters of religion.
"His mother and he from their cradles," he said, "had been haunted with a
Puritan devil, which he feared would not leave him to his grave. And he
would hazard his crown but he would suppress those malicious spirits." It
seemed a strange caprice of Destiny that assigned to this hater of
Netherlanders, of Puritans, and of the Reformed religion, the decision of
disputed points between Puritans and anti-Puritans in the Reformed Church
of the Netherlands.

It seemed stranger that his opinions should be hotly on the side of the

Barneveld, who often used the expression in later years, as we have seen
in his correspondence, was opposed to the Dutch Puritans because they had
more than once attempted subversion of the government on pretext of
religion, especially at the memorable epoch of Leicester's government.

The business of stirring up these religious conspiracies against the
magistracy he was apt to call "Flanderizing," in allusion to those
disastrous days and to the origin of the ringleaders in those tumults.
But his main object, as we have seen, was to effect compromises and
restore good feeling between members of the one church, reserving the
right of disposing over religious matters to the government of the
respective provinces.

But James had remedied his audacious inconsistency by discovering that
Puritanism in England and in the Netherlands resembled each other no more
than certain letters transposed into totally different words meant one
and the same thing. The anagrammatic argument had been neatly put by Sir
Dudley Carleton, convincing no man. Puritanism in England "denied the
right of human invention or imposition in religious matters." Puritanism
in the Netherlands denied the right of the legal government to impose its
authority in religious matters. This was the great matter of debate in
the Provinces. In England the argument had been settled very summarily
against the Puritans by sheriffs' officers, bishops' pursuivants, and
county jails.

As the political tendencies, so too the religious creed and observances
of the English Puritans were identical with that of the
Contra-Remonstrants, whom King James had helped to their great triumph.
This was not very difficult to prove. It so happened that there were some
English Puritans living at that moment in Leyden. They formed an
independent society by themselves, which they called a Congregational
Church, and in which were some three hundred communicants. The length of
their residence there was almost exactly coeval with the Twelve Years'
Truce. They knew before leaving England that many relics of the Roman
ceremonial, with which they were dissatisfied, and for the discontinuance
of which they had in vain petitioned the crown--the ring, the sign of the
cross, white surplices, and the like--besides the whole hierarchical
system, had been disused in the Reformed Churches of France, Switzerland,
and the United Provinces, where the forms of worship in their view had
been brought more nearly to the early apostolic model. They admitted for
truth the doctrinal articles of the Dutch Reformed Churches. They had not
come to the Netherlands without cause. At an early period of King James's
reign this congregation of seceders from the establishment had been wont
to hold meetings at Scrooby in Nottinghamshire, once a manor of the
Archbishop of York, but then the residence of one William Brewster. This
was a gentleman of some fortune, educated at Cambridge, a good scholar,
who in Queen Elizabeth's time had been in the service of William Davison
when Secretary of State. He seemed to have been a confidential private
secretary of that excellent and unlucky statesman, who found him so
discreet and faithful as to deserve employment before all others in
matters of trust and secrecy. He was esteemed by Davison "rather as a son
than a servant," and he repaid his confidence by doing him many faithful
offices in the time of his troubles. He had however long since retired
from connection with public affairs, living a retired life, devoted to
study, meditation, and practical exertion to promote the cause of
religion, and in acts of benevolence sometimes beyond his means.

The pastor of the Scrooby Church, one John Robinson, a graduate of
Cambridge, who had been a benefited clergyman in Norfolk, was a man of
learning, eloquence, and lofty intellect. But what were such good gifts
in the possession of rebels, seceders, and Puritans? It is needless to
say that Brewster and Robinson were baited, persecuted, watched day and
night, some of the congregation often clapped into prison, others into
the stocks, deprived of the means of livelihood, outlawed, famished,
banned. Plainly their country was no place for them. After a few years of
such work they resolved to establish themselves in Holland, where at
least they hoped to find refuge and toleration.

But it proved as difficult for them to quit the country as to remain in
it. Watched and hunted like gangs of coiners, forgers, or other felons
attempting to flee from justice, set upon by troopers armed with "bills
and guns and other weapons," seized when about to embark, pillaged and
stripped by catchpoles, exhibited as a show to grinning country folk, the
women and children dealt with like drunken tramps, led before
magistrates, committed to jail; Mr. Brewster and six other of the
principal ones being kept in prison and bound over to the assizes; they
were only able after attempts lasting through two years' time to effect
their escape to Amsterdam. After remaining there a year they had removed
to Leyden, which they thought "a fair and beautiful city, and of a sweet

They settled in Leyden in the very year in which Arminius was buried
beneath the pavement of St. Peter's Church in that town. It was the year
too in which the Truce was signed. They were a singularly tranquil and
brotherly community. Their pastor, who was endowed with remarkable
gentleness and tact in dealing with his congregation, settled amicably
all their occasional disputes. The authorities of the place held them up
as a model. To a Walloon congregation in which there were many
troublesome and litigious members they said: "These English have lived
among us ten years, and yet we never had any suit or accusation against
any of them, but your quarrels are continual."

Although many of them were poor, finding it difficult to earn their
living in a foreign land among people speaking a strange tongue, and with
manners and habits differing from their own, and where they were obliged
to learn new trades, having most of them come out of an agricultural
population, yet they enjoyed a singular reputation for probity. Bakers
and butchers and the like willingly gave credit to the poorest of these
English, and sought their custom if known to be of the congregation. Mr.
Brewster, who had been reduced almost to poverty by his charities and
munificent aid to his struggling brethren, earned his living by giving
lessons in English, having first composed a grammar according to the
Latin model for the use of his pupils. He also set up a printing
establishment, publishing many controversial works prohibited in England,
a proceeding which roused the wrath of Carleton, impelling him to do his
best to have him thrown into prison.

It was not the first time that this plain, mechanical, devout Englishman,
now past middle age, had visited the Netherlands. More than twenty-five
years before he had accompanied William Davison on his famous embassy to
the States, as private secretary.

When the keys of Flushing, one of the cautionary towns, were committed to
the Ambassador, he confided them to the care of Brewster, who slept with
them under his pillow. The gold chain which Davison received as a present
from the provincial government on leaving the country was likewise placed
in his keeping, with orders to wear it around his neck until they should
appear before the Queen. To a youth of ease and affluence, familiar with
ambassadors and statesmen and not unknown at courts, had succeeded a
mature age of obscurity, deep study, and poverty. No human creature would
have heard of him had his career ended with his official life. Two
centuries and a half have passed away and the name of the outlawed
Puritan of Scrooby and Leyden is still familiar to millions of the
English race.

All these Englishmen were not poor. Many of them occupied houses of fair
value, and were admitted to the freedom of the city. The pastor with
three of his congregation lived in a comfortable mansion, which they had
purchased for the considerable sum of 8000 florins, and on the garden of
which they subsequently erected twenty-one lesser tenements for the use
of the poorer brethren.

Mr. Robinson was himself chosen a member of the famous university and
admitted to its privileges. During his long residence in Leyden, besides
the daily care of his congregation, spiritual and temporal, he wrote many
learned works.

Thus the little community, which grew gradually larger by emigration from
England, passed many years of tranquillity. Their footsteps were not
dogged by constables and pursuivants, they were not dragged daily before
the magistrates, they were not thrown into the town jails, they were not
hunted from place to place with bows and bills and mounted musketeers.
They gave offence to none, and were respected by all. "Such was their
singleheartedness and sincere affection one towards another," says their
historian and magistrate, "that they came as near the primitive pattern
of the first churches as any other church of these later times has done,
according to their rank and quality."

Here certainly were English Puritans more competent than any men else in
the world to judge if it were a slander upon the English government to
identify them with Dutch Puritans. Did they sympathize with the party in
Holland which the King, who had so scourged and trampled upon themselves
in England, was so anxious to crush, the hated Arminians? Did they abhor
the Contra-Remonstrants whom James and his ambassador Carleton doted upon
and whom Barneveld called "Double Puritans" and "Flanderizers?"

Their pastor may answer for himself and his brethren.

"We profess before God and men," said Robinson in his Apologia, "that we
agree so entirely with the Reformed Dutch Churches in the matter of
religion as to be ready to subscribe to all and each of their articles
exactly as they are set forth in the Netherland Confession. We
acknowledge those Reformed Churches as true and genuine, we profess and
cultivate communion with them as much as in us lies. Those of us who
understand the Dutch language attend public worship under their pastors.
We administer the Holy Supper to such of their members as, known to us,
appear at our meetings." This was the position of the Puritans. Absolute,
unqualified accordance with the Contra-Remonstrants.

As the controversy grew hot in the university between the Arminians and
their adversaries, Mr. Robinson, in the language of his friend Bradford,
became "terrible to the Arminians . . . . who so greatly molested the
whole state and that city in particular."

When Episcopius, the Arminian professor of theology, set forth sundry
theses, challenging all the world to the onset, it was thought that "none
was fitter to buckle with them" than Robinson. The orthodox professor
Polyander so importuned the English Puritan to enter the lists on behalf
of the Contra-Remonstrants that at last he consented and overthrew the
challenger, horse and man, in three successive encounters. Such at least
was the account given by his friend and admirer the historian. "The Lord
did so help him to defend the truth and foil this adversary as he put him
to an apparent nonplus in this great and public audience. And the like he
did a second or third time upon such like occasions," said Bradford,
adding that, if it had not been for fear of offending the English
government, the university would have bestowed preferments and honours
upon the champion.

We are concerned with this ancient and exhausted controversy only for the
intense light it threw, when burning, on the history which occupies us.

Of the extinct volcano itself which once caused such devastation, and in
which a great commonwealth was well-nigh swallowed up, little is left but
slag and cinders. The past was made black and barren with them. Let us
disturb them as little as possible.

The little English congregation remained at Leyden till toward the end of
the Truce, thriving, orderly, respected, happy. They were witnesses to
the tumultuous, disastrous, and tragical events which darkened the
Republic in those later years, themselves unobserved and unmolested. Not
a syllable seems to remain on record of the views or emotions which may
have been excited by those scenes in their minds, nor is there a trace
left on the national records of the Netherlands of their protracted
residence on the soil.

They got their living as best they might by weaving, printing, spinning,
and other humble trades; they borrowed money on mortgages, they built
houses, they made wills, and such births, deaths, and marriages as
occurred among them were registered by the town-clerk.

And at last for a variety of reasons they resolved to leave the
Netherlands. Perhaps the solution of the problem between Church and State
in that country by the temporary subjection of State to Church may have
encouraged them to realize a more complete theocracy, if a sphere of
action could be found where the experiment might be tried without a
severe battle against time-hallowed institutions and vested rights.
Perhaps they were appalled by the excesses into which men of their own
religious sentiments had been carried by theological and political
passion. At any rate depart they would; the larger half of the
congregation remaining behind however till the pioneers should have
broken the way, and in their own language "laid the stepping-stones."

They had thought of the lands beneath the Equator, Raleigh having
recently excited enthusiasm by his poetical descriptions of Guiana. But
the tropical scheme was soon abandoned. They had opened negotiations with
the Stadholder and the States-General through Amsterdam merchants in
regard to settling in New Amsterdam, and offered to colonize that country
if assured of the protection of the United Provinces. Their petition had
been rejected. They had then turned their faces to their old master and
their own country, applying to the Virginia Company for a land-patent,
which they were only too happy to promise, and to the King for liberty of
religion in the wilderness confirmed under his broad seal, which his
Majesty of course refused. It was hinted however that James would connive
at them and not molest them if they carried themselves peaceably. So they
resolved to go without the seal, for, said their magistrate very wisely,
"if there should be a purpose or desire to wrong them, a seal would not
serve their turn though it were as broad as the house-floor."

Before they left Leyden, their pastor preached to them a farewell sermon,
which for loftiness of spirit and breadth of vision has hardly a parallel
in that age of intolerance. He laid down the principle that criticism of
the Scriptures had not been exhausted merely because it had been begun;
that the human conscience was of too subtle a nature to be imprisoned for
ever in formulas however ingeniously devised; that the religious
reformation begun a century ago was not completed; and that the Creator
had not necessarily concluded all His revelations to mankind.

The words have long been familiar to students of history, but they can
hardly be too often laid to heart.

Noble words, worthy to have been inscribed over the altar of the first
church to be erected by the departing brethren, words to bear fruit after
centuries should go by. Had not the deeply injured and misunderstood
Grotius already said, "If the trees we plant do not shade us, they will
yet serve for our descendants?"

Yet it is passing strange that the preacher of that sermon should be the
recent champion of the Contra-Remonstrants in the great controversy; the
man who had made himself so terrible to the pupils of the gentle and
tolerant Arminius.

And thus half of that English congregation went down to Delftshaven,
attended by the other half who were to follow at a later period with
their beloved pastor. There was a pathetic leave-taking. Even many of the
Hollanders, mere casual spectators, were in tears.

Robinson, kneeling on the deck of the little vessel, offered a prayer and
a farewell. Who could dream that this departure of an almost nameless
band of emigrants to the wilderness was an epoch in the world's history?
Yet these were the Pilgrim Fathers of New England, the founders of what
was to be the mightiest republic of modern history, mighty and stable
because it had been founded upon an idea.

They were not in search of material comfort and the chances of elevating
their condition, by removing from an overpeopled country to an organized
Commonwealth, offering a wide field for pauper labourers. Some of them
were of good social rank and highest education, most of them in decent
circumstances, none of them in absolute poverty. And a few years later
they were to be joined by a far larger company with leaders and many
brethren of ancient birth and landed possessions, men of "education,
figure; and estate," all ready to convert property into cash and to place
it in joint-stock, not as the basis of promising speculation, but as the
foundation of a church.

It signifies not how much or how little one may sympathize with their
dogma or their discipline now. To the fact that the early settlement of
that wilderness was by self-sacrificing men of earnestness and faith, who
were bent on "advancing the Gospel of Christ in remote parts of the
world," in the midst of savage beasts, more savage men, and unimaginable
difficulties and dangers, there can be little doubt that the highest
forms of Western civilization are due. Through their provisional
theocracy, the result of the independent church system was to establish
the true purport of the Reformation, absolute religious equality. Civil
and political equality followed as a matter of course.

Two centuries and a half have passed away.

There are now some seventy or eighty millions of the English-speaking
race on both sides the Atlantic, almost equally divided between the
United Kingdom and the United Republic, and the departure of those
outcasts of James has interest and significance for them all.

Most fitly then, as a distinguished American statesman has remarked, does
that scene on board the little English vessel, with the English pastor
uttering his farewell blessing to a handful of English exiles for
conscience sake; depicted on canvas by eminent artists, now adorn the
halls of the American Congress and of the British Parliament. Sympathy
with one of the many imperishable bonds of union between the two great
and scarcely divided peoples.

We return to Barneveld in his solitary prison.


   Barneveld's Imprisonment--Ledenberg's Examination and Death--
   Remonstrance of De Boississe--Aerssens admitted to the order of
   Knights--Trial of the Advocate--Barneveld's Defence--The States
   proclaim a Public Fast--Du Maurier's Speech before the Assembly--
   Barneveld's Sentence--Barneveld prepares for Death--Goes to

The Advocate had been removed within a few days after the arrest from the
chamber in Maurice's apartments, where he had originally been confined,
and was now in another building.

It was not a dungeon nor a jail. Indeed the commonplace and domestic
character of the scenery in which these great events were transacted has
in it something pathetic. There was and still remains a two-storied
structure, then of modern date, immediately behind the antique hall of
the old Counts within the Binnenhof. On the first floor was a courtroom
of considerable extent, the seat of one of the chief tribunals of justice
The story above was divided into three chambers with a narrow corridor on
each side. The first chamber, on the north-eastern side, was appropriated
for the judges when the state prisoners should be tried. In the next Hugo
Grotius was imprisoned. In the third was Barneveld. There was a tower at
the north-east angle of the building, within which a winding and narrow
staircase of stone led up to the corridor and so to the prisoners'
apartments. Rombout Hoogerbeets was confined in another building.

As the Advocate, bent with age and a life of hard work, and leaning on
his staff, entered the room appropriated to him, after toiling up the
steep staircase, he observed--

"This is the Admiral of Arragon's apartment."

It was true. Eighteen years before, the conqueror of Nieuwpoort had
assigned this lodging to the chief prisoner of war in that memorable
victory over the Spaniards, and now Maurice's faithful and trusted
counsellor at that epoch was placed in durance here, as the result of the
less glorious series of victories which had just been achieved.

It was a room of moderate dimensions, some twenty-five feet square, with
a high vaulted roof and decently furnished. Below and around him in the
courtyard were the scenes of the Advocate's life-long and triumphant
public services. There in the opposite building were the windows of the
beautiful "Hall of Truce," with its sumptuous carvings and gildings, its
sculptures and portraits, where he had negotiated with the
representatives of all the great powers of Christendom the famous Treaty
which had suspended the war of forty years, and where he was wont almost
daily to give audience to the envoys of the greatest sovereigns or the
least significant states of Europe and Asia, all of whom had been ever
solicitous of his approbation and support.

Farther along in the same building was the assembly room of the
States-General, where some of the most important affairs of the Republic
and of Europe had for years been conducted, and where he had been so
indispensable that, in the words of a contemporary who loved him not,
"absolutely nothing could be transacted in his absence, all great affairs
going through him alone."

There were two dull windows, closely barred, looking northward over an
irregular assemblage of tile-roofed houses and chimney-stacks, while
within a stone's throw to the west, but unseen, was his own elegant
mansion on the Voorhout, surrounded by flower gardens and shady pleasure
grounds, where now sat his aged wife and her children all plunged in deep

He was allowed the attendance of a faithful servant, Jan Franken by name,
and a sentinel stood constantly before his door. His papers had been
taken from him, and at first he was deprived of writing materials.

He had small connection with the outward world. The news of the municipal
revolution which had been effected by the Stadholder had not penetrated
to his solitude, but his wife was allowed to send him fruit from their
garden. One day a basket of fine saffron pears was brought to him. On
slicing one with a knife he found a portion of a quill inside it. Within
the quill was a letter on thinnest paper, in minutest handwriting in
Latin. It was to this effect.

"Don't rely upon the States of Holland, for the Prince of Orange has
changed the magistracies in many cities. Dudley Carleton is not your

A sergeant of the guard however, before bringing in these pears, had put
a couple of them in his pocket to take home to his wife. The letter,
copies of which perhaps had been inserted for safety in several of them,
was thus discovered and the use of this ingenious device prevented for
the future.

Secretary Ledenberg, who had been brought to the Hague in the early days
of September, was the first of the prisoners subjected to examination. He
was much depressed at the beginning of it, and is said to have exclaimed
with many sighs, "Oh Barneveld, Barneveld, what have you brought us to!"

He confessed that the Waartgelders at Utrecht had been enlisted on
notification by the Utrecht deputies in the Hague with knowledge of
Barneveld, and in consequence of a resolution of the States in order to
prevent internal tumults. He said that the Advocate had advised in the
previous month of March a request to the Prince not to come to Utrecht;
that the communication of the message, in regard to disbanding the
Waartgelders, to his Excellency had been postponed after the deputies of
the States of Holland had proposed a delay in that disbandment; that
those deputies had come to Utrecht of their own accord; . . . . that they
had judged it possible to keep everything in proper order in Utrecht if
the garrison in the city paid by Holland were kept quiet, and if the
States of Utrecht gave similar orders to the Waartgelders; for they did
not believe that his Excellency would bring in troops from the outside.
He said that he knew nothing of a new oath to be demanded of the
garrison. He stated that the Advocate, when at Utrecht, had exhorted the
States, according to his wont, to maintain their liberties and
privileges, representing to them that the right to decide on the Synod
and the Waartgelders belonged to them. Lastly, he denied knowing who was
the author of The Balance, except by common report.

Now these statements hardly amounted to a confession of abominable and
unpardonable crimes by Ledenberg, nor did they establish a charge of
high-treason and corrupt correspondence with the enemy against Barneveld.
It is certain that the extent of the revelations seemed far from
satisfactory to the accusers, and that some pressure would be necessary
in order to extract anything more conclusive. Lieutenant Nythof told
Grotius that Ledenberg had accordingly been threatened with torture, and
that the executioner had even handled him for that purpose. This was
however denied by the judges of instruction who had been charged with the
preliminary examination.

That examination took place on the 27th September. After it had been
concluded, Ledenberg prayed long and earnestly on returning to prison. He
then entrusted a paper written in French to his son Joost, a boy of
eighteen, who did not understand that language. The youth had been
allowed to keep his father company in his confinement, and slept in the
same room.

The next night but one, at two o'clock, Joost heard his father utter a
deep groan. He was startled, groped in the darkness towards his bed and
felt his arm, which was stone cold. He spoke to him and received no
answer. He gave the alarm, the watch came in with lights, and it was
found that Ledenberg had given himself two mortal wounds in the abdomen
with a penknife and then cut his throat with a table-knife which he had
secreted, some days before, among some papers.

The paper in French given to his son was found to be to this effect.

"I know that there is an inclination to set an example in my person, to
confront me with my best friends, to torture me, afterwards to convict me
of contradictions and falsehoods as they say, and then to found an
ignominious sentence upon points and trifles, for this it will be
necessary to do in order to justify the arrest and imprisonment. To
escape all this I am going to God by the shortest road. Against a dead
man there can be pronounced no sentence of confiscation of property. Done
17th September (o. s.) 1618."

The family of the unhappy gentleman begged his body for decent burial.
The request was refused. It was determined to keep the dead secretary
above ground and in custody until he could be tried, and, if possible,
convicted and punished. It was to be seen whether it were so easy to
baffle the power of the States-General, the Synod, and the Stadholder,
and whether "going to God by the shortest road" was to save a culprit's
carcass from ignominy, and his property from confiscation.

The French ambassadors, who had been unwearied in their endeavour to
restore harmony to the distracted Commonwealth before the arrest of the
prisoners, now exerted themselves to throw the shield of their
sovereign's friendship around the illustrious statesman and his

"It is with deepest sorrow," said de Boississe, "that I have witnessed
the late hateful commotions. Especially from my heart I grieve for the
arrest of the Seignior Barneveld, who with his discretion and wise
administration for the past thirty years has so drawn the hearts of all
neighbouring princes to himself, especially that of the King my master,
that on taking up my pen to apprize him of these events I am gravely
embarrassed, fearing to infringe on the great respect due to your
Mightinesses or against the honour and merits of the Seignior Barneveld.
. . . My Lords, take heed to your situation, for a great discontent is
smouldering among your citizens. Until now, the Union has been the chief
source of your strength. And I now fear that the King my master, the
adviser of your renowned Commonwealth, maybe offended that you have taken
this resolution after consulting with others, and without communicating
your intention to his ambassador . . . . It is but a few days that an
open edict was issued testifying to the fidelity of Barneveld, and can it
be possible that within so short a time you have discovered that you have
been deceived? I summon you once more in the name of the King to lay
aside all passion, to judge these affairs without partiality, and to
inform me what I am to say to the King. Such very conflicting accounts
are given of these transactions that I must beg you to confide to me the
secret of the affair. The wisest in the land speak so strongly of these
proceedings that it will be no wonder if the King my master should give
me orders to take the Seignior Barneveld under his protection. Should
this prove to be the case, your Lordships will excuse my course . . . I
beg you earnestly in your wisdom not to give cause of offence to
neighbouring princes, especially to my sovereign, who wishes from his
heart to maintain your dignity and interests and to assure you of his

The language was vigorous and sincere, but the Ambassador forgot that the
France of to-day was not the France of yesterday; that Louis XIII. was
not Henry IV.; that it was but a cheerful fiction to call the present
King the guide and counsellor of the Republic, and that, distraught as
she was by the present commotions, her condition was strength and
tranquillity compared with the apparently decomposing and helpless state
of the once great kingdom of France. De Boississe took little by his

On the 12th December both de Boississe and du Maurier came before the
States-General once more, and urged a speedy and impartial trial for the
illustrious prisoners. If they had committed acts of treason and
rebellion, they deserved exemplary punishment, but the ambassadors warned
the States-General with great earnestness against the dangerous doctrine
of constructive treason, and of confounding acts dictated by violence of
party spirit at an excited period with the crime of high-treason against
the sovereignty of the State.

"Barneveld so honourable," they said, "for his immense and long continued
services has both this Republic and all princes and commonwealths for his
witnesses. It is most difficult to believe that he has attempted the
destruction of his fatherland, for which you know that he has toiled so

They admitted that so grave charges ought now to be investigated. "To
this end," said the ambassadors, "you ought to give him judges who are
neither suspected nor impassioned, and who will decide according to the
laws of the land, and on clear and undeniable evidence . . . . So doing
you will show to the whole world that you are worthy to possess and to
administer this Commonwealth to whose government God has called you."

Should they pursue another and a sterner course, the envoys warned the
Assembly that the King would be deeply offended, deeming it thus proved
how little value they set upon his advice and his friendship.

The States-General replied on the 19th December, assuring the ambassadors
that the delay in the trial was in order to make the evidence of the
great conspiracy complete, and would not tend to the prejudice of the
prisoners "if they had a good consciousness of their innocence." They
promised that the sentence upon them when pronounced would give entire
satisfaction to all their allies and to the King of France in particular,
of whom they spoke throughout the document in terms of profound respect.
But they expressed their confidence that "his Majesty would not place the
importunate and unfounded solicitations of a few particular criminals or
their supporters before the general interests of the dignity and security
of the Republic."

On the same day the States-General addressed a letter filled with very
elaborate and courteous commonplaces to the King, in which they expressed
a certainty that his Majesty would be entirely satisfied with their

The official answer of the States-General to the ambassadors, just cited,
gave but little comfort to the friends of the imprisoned statesman and
his companions. Such expressions as "ambitious and factious
spirits,"--"authors and patrons of the faction,"--"attempts at novelty
through changes in religion, in justice and in the fundamental laws of
all orders of polity," and the frequent mention of the word "conspiracy"
boded little good.

Information of this condition of affairs was conveyed to Hoogerbeets and
Grotius by means of an ingenious device of the distinguished scholar, who
was then editing the Latin works of the Hague poet, Janus Secundus.

While the sheets were going through the press, some of the verses were
left out, and their place supplied by others conveying the intelligence
which it was desired to send to the prisoners. The pages which contained
the secret were stitched together in such wise that in cutting the book
open they were not touched but remained closed. The verses were to this
effect. "The examination of the Advocate proceeds slowly, but there is
good hope from the serious indignation of the French king, whose envoys
are devoted to the cause of the prisoners, and have been informed that
justice will be soon rendered. The States of Holland are to assemble on
the 15th January, at which a decision will certainly be taken for
appointing judges. The preachers here at Leyden are despised, and men are
speaking strongly of war. The tumult which lately occurred at Rotterdam
may bring forth some good."

The quick-wited Grotius instantly discovered the device, read the
intelligence thus communicated in the proofsheets of Secundus, and made
use of the system to obtain further intelligence.

Hoogerbeets laid the book aside, not taking much interest at that time in
the works of the Hague poet. Constant efforts made to attract his
attention to those poems however excited suspicion among his keepers, and
the scheme was discovered before the Leyden pensionary had found the
means to profit by it.'

The allusions to the trial of the Advocate referred to the preliminary
examination which took place, like the first interrogatories of Grotius
and Hoogerbeets, in the months of November and December.

The thorough manner in which Maurice had reformed the States of Holland
has been described. There was one department of that body however which
still required attention. The Order of Knights, small in number but
potential in influence, which always voted first on great occasions, was
still through a majority of its members inclined to Barneveld. Both his
sons-in-law had seats in that college. The Stadholder had long believed
in a spirit of hostility on the part of those nobles towards himself. He
knew that a short time before this epoch there had been a scheme for
introducing his young brother, Frederic Henry, into the Chamber of
Knights. The Count had become proprietor of the barony of Naaldwyk, a
property which he had purchased of the Counts of Arenberg, and which
carried with it the hereditary dignity of Great Equerry of the Counts of
Holland. As the Counts of Holland had ceased to exist, although their
sovereignty had nearly been revived and conferred upon William the
Silent, the office of their chief of the stables might be deemed a
sinecure. But the jealousy of Maurice was easily awakened, especially by
any movement made or favoured by the Advocate. He believed that in the
election of Frederic Henry as a member of the College of Knights a plan
lay concealed to thrust him into power and to push this elder brother
from his place. The scheme, if scheme it were, was never accomplished,
but the Prince's rancour remained.

He now informed the nobles that they must receive into their body Francis
Aerssens, who had lately purchased the barony of Sommelsdyk, and Daniel
de Hartaing, Seignior of Marquette. With the presence of this deadly
enemy of Barneveld and another gentleman equally devoted to the
Stadholder's interest it seemed probable that the refractory majority of
the board of nobles would be overcome. But there were grave objections to
the admission of these new candidates. They were not eligible. The
constitution of the States and of the college of nobles prescribed that
Hollanders only of ancient and noble race and possessing estates in the
province could sit in that body. Neither Aerssens nor Hartaing was born
in Holland or possessed of the other needful qualifications.
Nevertheless, the Prince, who had just remodelled all the municipalities
throughout the Union which offered resistance to his authority, was not
to be checked by so trifling an impediment as the statutes of the House
of Nobles. He employed very much the same arguments which he had used to
"good papa" Hooft. "This time it must be so." Another time it might not
be necessary. So after a controversy which ended as controversies are apt
to do when one party has a sword in his hand and the other is seated at a
green-baize-covered table, Sommelsdyk and Marquette took their seats
among the knights. Of course there was a spirited protest. Nothing was
easier for the Stadholder than to concede the principle while trampling
it with his boot-heels in practice.

"Whereas it is not competent for the said two gentlemen to be admitted to
our board," said the nobles in brief, "as not being constitutionally
eligible, nevertheless, considering the strong desire of his Excellency
the Prince of Orange, we, the nobles and knights of Holland, admit them
with the firm promise to each other by noble and knightly faith ever in
future for ourselves and descendants to maintain the privileges of our
order now violated and never again to let them be directly or indirectly

And so Aerssens, the unscrupulous plotter, and dire foe of the Advocate
and all his house, burning with bitter revenge for all the favours he had
received from him during many years, and the author of the venomous
pamphlets and diatribes which had done so much of late to blacken the
character of the great statesman before the public, now associated
himself officially with his other enemies, while the preliminary
proceedings for the state trials went forward.

Meantime the Synod had met at Dordtrecht. The great John Bogerman, with
fierce, handsome face, beak and eye of a bird of prey, and a deluge of
curly brown beard reaching to his waist, took his seat as president.
Short work was made with the Armenians. They and their five Points were
soon thrust out into outer darkness.

It was established beyond all gainsaying that two forms of Divine worship
in one country were forbidden by God's Word, and that thenceforth by
Netherland law there could be but one religion, namely, the Reformed or
Calvinistic creed.

It was settled that one portion of the Netherlanders and of the rest of
the human race had been expressly created by the Deity to be for ever
damned, and another portion to be eternally blessed. But this history has
little to do with that infallible council save in the political effect of
its decrees on the fate of Barneveld. It was said that the canons of
Dordtrecht were likely to shoot off the head of the Advocate. Their
sessions and the trial of the Advocate were simultaneous, but not
technically related to each other.

The conclusions of both courts were preordained, for the issue of the
great duel between Priesthood and State had been decided when the
military chieftain threw his sword into the scale of the Church.

There had been purposely a delay, before coming to a decision as to the
fate of the state prisoners, until the work of the Synod should have
approached completion.

It was thought good that the condemnation of the opinions of the
Arminians and the chastisement of their leaders should go hand-in-hand.

On the 23rd April 1619, the canons were signed by all the members of the
Synod. Arminians were pronounced heretics, schismatics, teachers of false
doctrines. They were declared incapable of filling any clerical or
academical post. No man thenceforth was to teach children, lecture to
adolescents, or preach to the mature, unless a subscriber to the
doctrines of the unchanged, unchangeable, orthodox church. On the 30th
April and 1st May the Netherland Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism
were declared to be infallible. No change was to be possible in either

Schools and pulpits were inexorably bound to the only true religion.

On the 6th May there was a great festival at Dordtrecht in honour of the
conclusion of the Synod. The canons, the sentence, and long prayers and
orations in Latin by President Bogerman gladdened the souls of an immense
multitude, which were further enlivened by the decree that both Creed and
Catechism had stood the test of several criticisms and come out unchanged
by a single hair. Nor did the orator of the occasion forget to render
thanks "to the most magnanimous King James of Great Britain, through
whose godly zeal, fiery sympathy, and truly royal labour God had so often
refreshed the weary Synod in the midst of their toil."

The Synod held one hundred and eighty sessions between the 13th November
1618 and 29th May 1619, all the doings of which have been recorded in
chronicles innumerable. There need be no further mention of them here.

Barneveld and the companions of his fate remained in prison.

On the 7th March the trial of the great Advocate began. He had sat in
prison since the 18th of the preceding August. For nearly seven months he
had been deprived of all communication with the outward world save such
atoms of intelligence as could be secretly conveyed to him in the inside
of a quill concealed in a pear and by other devices. The man who had
governed one of the most important commonwealths of the world for nearly
a generation long--during the same period almost controlling the politics
of Europe--had now been kept in ignorance of the most insignificant
everyday events. During the long summer-heat of the dog-days immediately
succeeding his arrest, and the long, foggy, snowy, icy winter of Holland
which ensued, he had been confined in that dreary garret-room to which he
had been brought when he left his temporary imprisonment in the
apartments of Prince Maurice.

There was nothing squalid in the chamber, nothing specially cruel or
repulsive in the arrangements of his captivity. He was not in fetters,
nor fed upon bread and water. He was not put upon the rack, nor even
threatened with it as Ledenberg had been. He was kept in a mean,
commonplace, meagerly furnished, tolerably spacious room, and he was
allowed the services of his faithful domestic servant John Franken. A
sentinel paced day and night up the narrow corridor before his door. As
spring advanced, the notes of the nightingale came through the
prison-window from the neighbouring thicket. One day John Franken,
opening the window that his master might the better enjoy its song,
exchanged greeting with a fellow-servant in the Barneveld mansion who
happened to be crossing the courtyard. Instantly workmen were sent to
close and barricade the windows, and it was only after earnest
remonstrances and pledges that this resolve to consign the Advocate to
darkness was abandoned.

He was not permitted the help of lawyer, clerk, or man of business. Alone
and from his chamber of bondage, suffering from bodily infirmities and
from the weakness of advancing age, he was compelled to prepare his
defence against a vague, heterogeneous collection of charges, to meet
which required constant reference, not only to the statutes, privileges,
and customs of the country and to the Roman law, but to a thousand minute
incidents out of which the history of the Provinces during the past dozen
years or more had been compounded.

It is true that no man could be more familiar with the science and
practice of the law than he was, while of contemporary history he was
himself the central figure. His biography was the chronicle of his
country. Nevertheless it was a fearful disadvantage for him day by day to
confront two dozen hostile judges comfortably seated at a great table
piled with papers, surrounded by clerks with bags full of documents and
with a library of authorities and precedents duly marked and dog's-eared
and ready to their hands, while his only library and chronicle lay in his
brain. From day to day, with frequent intermissions, he was led down
through the narrow turret-stairs to a wide chamber on the floor
immediately below his prison, where a temporary tribunal had been
arranged for the special commission.

There had been an inclination at first on the part of his judges to treat
him as a criminal, and to require him to answer, standing, to the
interrogatories propounded to him. But as the terrible old man advanced
into the room, leaning on his staff, and surveying them with the air of
haughty command habitual to him, they shrank before his glance; several
involuntarily, rising uncovered, to salute him and making way for him to
the fireplace about which many were standing that wintry morning.

He was thenceforth always accommodated with a seat while he listened to
and answered 'ex tempore' the elaborate series of interrogatories which
had been prepared to convict him.

Nearly seven months he had sat with no charges brought against him. This
was in itself a gross violation of the laws of the land, for according to
all the ancient charters of Holland it was provided that accusation
should follow within six weeks of arrest, or that the prisoner should go
free. But the arrest itself was so gross a violation of law that respect
for it was hardly to be expected in the subsequent proceedings. He was a
great officer of the States of Holland. He had been taken under their
especial protection. He was on his way to the High Council. He was in no
sense a subject of the States-General. He was in the discharge of his
official duty. He was doubly and trebly sacred from arrest. The place
where he stood was on the territory of Holland and in the very sanctuary
of her courts and House of Assembly. The States-General were only as
guests on her soil, and had no domain or jurisdiction there whatever. He
was not apprehended by any warrant or form of law. It was in time of
peace, and there was no pretence of martial law. The highest civil
functionary of Holland was invited in the name of its first military
officer to a conference, and thus entrapped was forcibly imprisoned.

At last a board of twenty-four commissioners was created, twelve from
Holland and two from each of the other six provinces. This affectation of
concession to Holland was ridiculous. Either the law 'de non
evocando'--according to which no citizen of Holland could be taken out of
the province for trial--was to be respected or it was to be trampled
upon. If it was to be trampled upon, it signified little whether more
commissioners were to be taken from Holland than from each of the other
provinces, or fewer, or none at all. Moreover it was pretended that a
majority of the whole board was to be assigned to that province. But
twelve is not a majority of twenty-four. There were three fascals or
prosecuting officers, Leeuwen of Utrecht, Sylla of Gelderland, and Antony
Duyck of Holland. Duyck was notoriously the deadly enemy of Barneveld,
and was destined to succeed to his offices. It would have been as well to
select Francis Aerssens himself.

It was necessary to appoint a commission because there was no tribunal
appertaining to the States-General. The general government of the
confederacy had no power to deal with an individual. It could only
negotiate with the sovereign province to which the individual was
responsible, and demand his punishment if proved guilty of an offence.
There was no supreme court of appeal. Machinery was provided for settling
or attempting to settle disputes among the members of the confederacy,
and if there was a culprit in this great process it was Holland itself.
Neither the Advocate nor any one of his associates had done any act
except by authority, express or implied, of that sovereign State.
Supposing them unquestionably guilty of blackest crimes against the
Generality, the dilemma was there which must always exist by the very
nature of things in a confederacy. No sovereign can try a fellow
sovereign. The subject can be tried at home by no sovereign but his own.

The accused in this case were amenable to the laws of Holland only.

It was a packed tribunal. Several of the commissioners, like Pauw and
Muis for example, were personal enemies of Barneveld. Many of them were
totally ignorant of law. Some of them knew not a word of any language but
their mother tongue, although much of the law which they were to
administer was written in Latin.

Before such a court the foremost citizen of the Netherlands, the first
living statesman of Europe, was brought day by day during a period of
nearly three months; coming down stairs from the mean and desolate room
where he was confined to the comfortable apartment below, which had been
fitted up for the commission.

There was no bill of indictment, no arraignment, no counsel. There were
no witnesses and no arguments. The court-room contained, as it were, only
a prejudiced and partial jury to pronounce both on law and fact without a
judge to direct them, or advocates to sift testimony and contend for or
against the prisoner's guilt. The process, for it could not be called a
trial, consisted of a vast series of rambling and tangled interrogatories
reaching over a space of forty years without apparent connection or
relevancy, skipping fantastically about from one period to another, back
and forthwith apparently no other intent than to puzzle the prisoner,
throw him off his balance, and lead him into self-contradiction.

The spectacle was not a refreshing one. It was the attempt of a multitude
of pigmies to overthrow and bind the giant.

Barneveld was served with no articles of impeachment. He asked for a list
in writing of the charges against him, that he might ponder his answer.
The demand was refused. He was forbidden the use of pen and ink or any
writing materials. His papers and books were all taken from him.

He was allowed to consult neither with an advocate nor even with a single
friend. Alone in his chamber of bondage he was to meditate on his
defence. Out of his memory and brain, and from these alone, he was to
supply himself with the array of historical facts stretching over a
longer period than the lifetime of many of his judges, and with the
proper legal and historical arguments upon those facts for the
justification of his course. That memory and brain were capacious and
powerful enough for the task. It was well for the judges that they had
bound themselves, at the outset, by an oath never to make known what
passed in the courtroom, but to bury all the proceedings in profound
secrecy forever. Had it been otherwise, had that been known to the
contemporary public which has only been revealed more than two centuries
later, had a portion only of the calm and austere eloquence been heard in
which the Advocate set forth his defence, had the frivolous and ignoble
nature of the attack been comprehended, it might have moved the very
stones in the streets to mutiny. Hateful as the statesman had been made
by an organized system of calumny, which was continued with unabated
vigour and increased venom sine he had been imprisoned, there was enough
of justice and of gratitude left in the hearts of Netherlanders to resent
the tyranny practised against their greatest man, and the obloquy thus
brought against a nation always devoted to their liberties and laws.

That the political system of the country was miserably defective was no
fault of Barneveld. He was bound by oath and duty to administer, not make
the laws. A handful of petty feudal sovereignties such as had once
covered the soil of Europe, a multitude of thriving cities which had
wrested or purchased a mass of liberties, customs, and laws from their
little tyrants, all subjected afterwards, without being blended together,
to a single foreign family, had at last one by one, or two by two, shaken
off that supremacy, and, resuming their ancient and as it were
decapitated individualities, had bound themselves by treaty in the midst
of a war to stand by each other, as if they were but one province, for
purposes of common defence against the common foe.

There had been no pretence of laying down a constitution, of enacting an
organic law. The day had not come for even the conception of a popular
constitution. The people had not been invented. It was not provinces
only, but cities, that had contracted with each other, according to the
very first words of the first Article of Union. Some of these cities,
like Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp, were Catholic by overwhelming majority, and
had subsequently either fallen away from the confederacy or been

And as if to make assurance doubly sure, the Articles of Union not only
reserved to each province all powers not absolutely essential for
carrying on the war in common, but by an express article (the 13th),
declared that Holland and Zealand should regulate the matter of religion
according to their own discretion, while the other provinces might
conform to the provisions of the "Religious Peace" which included mutual
protection for Catholics and Protestants--or take such other order as
seemed most conducive to the religious and secular rights of the
inhabitants. It was stipulated that no province should interfere with
another in such matters, and that every individual in them all should
remain free in his religion, no man being molested or examined on account
of his creed. A farther declaration in regard to this famous article was
made to the effect that no provinces or cities which held to the Roman
Catholic religion were to be excluded from the League of Union if they
were ready to conform to its conditions and comport themselves
patriotically. Language could not be devised to declare more plainly than
was done by this treaty that the central government of the League had
neither wish nor right to concern itself with the religious affairs of
the separate cities or provinces. If it permitted both Papists and
Protestants to associate themselves against the common foe, it could
hardly have been imagined, when the Articles were drawn, that it would
have claimed the exclusive right to define the minutest points in a
single Protestant creed.

And if the exclusively secular parts of the polity prevailing in the
country were clumsy, irregular, and even monstrous, and if its defects
had been flagrantly demonstrated by recent events, a more reasonable
method of reforming the laws might have been found than the imprisonment
of a man who had faithfully administered them forty years long.

A great commonwealth had grown out of a petty feudal organism, like an
oak from an acorn in a crevice, gnarled and distorted, though
wide-spreading and vigorous. It seemed perilous to deal radically with
such a polity, and an almost timid conservatism on the part of its
guardians in such an age of tempests might be pardonable.

Moreover, as before remarked, the apparent imbecility resulting from
confederacy and municipalism combined was for a season remedied by the
actual preponderance of Holland. Two-thirds of the total wealth and
strength of the seven republics being concentrated in one province, the
desired union seemed almost gained by the practical solution of all in
that single republic. But this was one great cause of the general

It would be a thankless and tedious task to wander through the wilderness
of interrogatories and answers extending over three months of time, which
stood in the place of a trial. The defence of Barneveld was his own
history, and that I have attempted to give in the preceding pages. A
great part of the accusation was deduced from his private and official
correspondence, and it is for this reason that I have laid such copious
extracts from it before the reader. No man except the judges and the
States-General had access to those letters, and it was easy therefore, if
needful, to give them a false colouring. It is only very recently that
they have been seen at all, and they have never been published from that
day to this.

Out of the confused mass of documents appertaining to the trial, a few
generalizations can be made which show the nature of the attack upon him.
He was accused of having permitted Arminius to infuse new opinions into
the University of Leyden, and of having subsequently defended the
appointment of Vorstius to the same place. He had opposed the National
Synod. He had made drafts of letters for the King of Great Britain to
sign, recommending mutual toleration on the five disputed points
regarding predestination. He was the author of the famous Sharp
Resolution. He had recommended the enlistment by the provinces and towns
of Waartgelders or mercenaries. He had maintained that those mercenaries
as well as the regular troops were bound in time of peace to be obedient
and faithful, not only to the Generality and the stadholders, but to the
magistrates of the cities and provinces where they were employed, and to
the states by whom they were paid. He had sent to Leyden, warning the
authorities of the approach of the Prince. He had encouraged all the
proceedings at Utrecht, writing a letter to the secretary of that
province advising a watch to be kept at the city gates as well as in the
river, and ordering his letter when read to be burned. He had received
presents from foreign potentates. He had attempted to damage the
character of his Excellency the Prince by declaring on various occasions
that he aspired to the sovereignty of the country. He had held a ciphered
correspondence on the subject with foreign ministers of the Republic. He
had given great offence to the King of Great Britain by soliciting from
him other letters in the sense of those which his Majesty had written in
1613, advising moderation and mutual toleration. He had not brought to
condign punishment the author of 'The Balance', a pamphlet in which an
oration of the English ambassador had been criticised, and aspersions
made on the Order of the Garter. He had opposed the formation of the West
India Company. He had said many years before to Nicolas van Berk that the
Provinces had better return to the dominion of Spain. And in general, all
his proceedings had tended to put the Provinces into a "blood bath."

There was however no accusation that he had received bribes from the
enemy or held traitorous communication with him, or that he had committed
any act of high-treason.

His private letters to Caron and to the ambassadors in Paris, with which
the reader has been made familiar, had thus been ransacked to find
treasonable matter, but the result was meagre in spite of the minute and
microscopic analysis instituted to detect traces of poison in them.

But the most subtle and far-reaching research into past transactions was
due to the Greffier Cornelis Aerssens, father of the Ambassador Francis,
and to a certain Nicolas van Berk, Burgomaster of Utrecht.

The process of tale-bearing, hearsay evidence, gossip, and invention went
back a dozen years, even to the preliminary and secret conferences in
regard to the Treaty of Truce.

Readers familiar with the history of those memorable negotiations are
aware that Cornelis van Aerssens had compromised himself by accepting a
valuable diamond and a bill of exchange drawn by Marquis Spinola on a
merchant in Amsterdam, Henry Beekman by name, for 80,000 ducats. These
were handed by Father Neyen, the secret agent of the Spanish government,
to the Greffier as a prospective reward for his services in furthering
the Truce. He did not reject them, but he informed Prince Maurice and the
Advocate of the transaction. Both diamond and bill of exchange were
subsequently deposited in the hands of the treasurer of the
States-General, Joris de Bie, the Assembly being made officially
acquainted with the whole course of the affair.

It is passing strange that this somewhat tortuous business, which
certainly cast a shade upon the fair fame of the elder Aerssens, and
required him to publish as good a defence as he could against the
consequent scandal, should have furnished a weapon wherewith to strike at
the Advocate of Holland some dozen years later.

But so it was. Krauwels, a relative of Aerssens, through whom Father
Neyen had first obtained access to the Greffier, had stated, so it
seemed, that the monk had, in addition to the bill, handed to him another
draft of Spinola's for 100,000 ducats, to be given to a person of more
consideration than Aerssens. Krauwels did not know who the person was,
nor whether he took the money. He expressed his surprise however that
leading persons in the government "even old and authentic
beggars"--should allow themselves to be so seduced as to accept presents
from the enemy. He mentioned two such persons, namely, a burgomaster at
Delft and a burgomaster at Haarlem. Aerssens now deposed that he had
informed the Advocate of this story, who had said, "Be quiet about it, I
will have it investigated," and some days afterwards on being questioned
stated that he had made enquiry and found there was something in it.

So the fact that Cornelis Aerssens had taken bribes, and that two
burgomasters were strongly suspected by Aerssens of having taken bribes,
seems to have been considered as evidence that Barneveld had taken a
bribe. It is true that Aerssens by advice of Maurice and Barneveld had
made a clean breast of it to the States-General and had given them over
the presents. But the States-General could neither wear the diamond nor
cash the bill of exchange, and it would have been better for the Greffier
not to contaminate his fingers with them, but to leave the gifts in the
monk's palm. His revenge against the Advocate for helping him out of his
dilemma, and for subsequently advancing his son Francis in a brilliant
diplomatic career, seems to have been--when the clouds were thickening
and every man's hand was against the fallen statesman--to insinuate that
he was the anonymous personage who had accepted the apocryphal draft for
100,000 ducats.

The case is a pregnant example of the proceedings employed to destroy the

The testimony of Nicolas van Berk was at any rate more direct.

On the 21st December 1618 the burgomaster testified that the Advocate had
once declared to him that the differences in regard to Divine Worship
were not so great but that they might be easily composed; asking him at
the same time "whether it would not be better that we should submit
ourselves again to the King of Spain." Barneveld had also referred, so
said van Berk, to the conduct of the Spanish king towards those who had
helped him to the kingdom of Portugal. The Burgomaster was unable however
to specify the date, year, or month in which the Advocate had held this
language. He remembered only that the conversation occurred when
Barneveld was living on the Spui at the Hague, and that having been let
into the house through the hall on the side of the vestibule, he had been
conducted by the Advocate down a small staircase into the office.

The only fact proved by the details seems to be that the story had lodged
in the tenacious memory of the Burgomaster for eight years, as Barneveld
had removed from the Spui to Arenberg House in the Voorhout in the year

No other offers from the King of Spain or the Archdukes had ever been
made to him, said van Berk, than those indicated in this deposition
against the Advocate as coming from that statesman. Nor had Barneveld
ever spoken to him upon such subjects except on that one occasion.

It is not necessary and would be wearisome to follow the unfortunate
statesman through the long line of defence which he was obliged to make,
in fragmentary and irregular form, against these discursive and confused
assaults upon him. A continuous argument might be built up with the
isolated parts which should be altogether impregnable. It is superfluous.

Always instructive to his judges as he swept at will through the record
of nearly half a century of momentous European history, in which he was
himself a conspicuous figure, or expounding the ancient laws and customs
of the country with a wealth and accuracy of illustration which testified
to the strength of his memory, he seemed rather like a sage expounding
law and history to a class of pupils than a criminal defending himself
before a bench of commissioners. Moved occasionally from his austere
simplicity, the majestic old man rose to a strain of indignant eloquence
which might have shaken the hall of a vast assembly and found echo in the
hearts of a thousand hearers as he denounced their petty insults or
ignoble insinuations; glaring like a caged lion at his tormentors, who
had often shrunk before him when free, and now attempted to drown his
voice by contradictions, interruptions, threats, and unmeaning howls.

He protested, from the outset and throughout the proceedings, against the
jurisdiction of the tribunal. The Treaty of Union on which the Assembly
and States-General were founded gave that assembly no power over him.
They could take no legal cognizance of his person or his acts. He had
been deprived of writing materials, or he would have already drawn up his
solemn protest and argument against the existence of the commission. He
demanded that they should be provided for him, together with a clerk to
engross his defence. It is needless to say that the demand was refused.

It was notorious to all men, he said, that on the day when violent hands
were laid upon him he was not bound to the States-General by oath,
allegiance, or commission. He was a well-known inhabitant of the Hague, a
householder there, a vassal of the Commonwealth of Holland, enfeoffed of
many notable estates in that country, serving many honourable offices by
commission from its government. By birth, promotion, and conferred
dignities he was subject to the supreme authority of Holland, which for
forty years had been a free state possessed of all the attributes of
sovereignty, political, religious, judicial, and recognizing no superior
save God Almighty alone.

He was amenable to no tribunal save that of their Mightinesses the States
of Holland and their ordinary judges. Not only those States but the
Prince of Orange as their governor and vassal, the nobles of Holland, the
colleges of justice, the regents of cities, and all other vassals,
magistrates, and officers were by their respective oaths bound to
maintain and protect him in these his rights.

After fortifying this position by legal argument and by an array of
historical facts within his own experience, and alluding to the repeated
instances in which, sorely against his will, he had been solicited and
almost compelled to remain in offices of which he was weary, he referred
with dignity to the record of his past life. From the youthful days when
he had served as a volunteer at his own expense in the perilous sieges of
Haarlem and Leyden down to the time of his arrest, through an unbroken
course of honourable and most arduous political services, embassies, and
great negotiations, he had ever maintained the laws and liberties of the
Fatherland and his own honour unstained.

That he should now in his seventy-second year be dragged, in violation of
every privilege and statute of the country, by extraordinary means,
before unknown judges, was a grave matter not for himself alone but for
their Mightinesses the States of Holland and for the other provinces. The
precious right 'de non evocando' had ever been dear to all the provinces,
cities, and inhabitants of the Netherlands. It was the most vital
privilege in their possession as well in civil as criminal, in secular as
in ecclesiastical affairs.

When the King of Spain in 1567, and afterwards, set up an extraordinary
tribunal and a course of extraordinary trials, it was an undeniable fact,
he said, that on the solemn complaint of the States all princes, nobles,
and citizens not only in the Netherlands but in foreign countries, and
all foreign kings and sovereigns, held those outrages to be the foremost
and fundamental reason for taking up arms against that king, and
declaring him to have forfeited his right of sovereignty.

Yet that monarch was unquestionably the born and accepted sovereign of
each one of the provinces, while the General Assembly was but a gathering
of confederates and allies, in no sense sovereign. It was an unimaginable
thing, he said, that the States of each province should allow their whole
authority and right of sovereignty to be transferred to a board of
commissioners like this before which he stood. If, for example, a general
union of France, England, and the States of the United Netherlands should
be formed (and the very words of the Act of Union contemplated such
possibility), what greater absurdity could there be than to suppose that
a college of administration created for the specific purposes of such
union would be competent to perform acts of sovereignty within each of
those countries in matters of justice, polity, and religion?

It was known to mankind, he said, that when negotiations were entered
into for bestowing the sovereignty of the Provinces on France and on
England, special and full powers were required from, and furnished by,
the States of each individual province.

Had the sovereignty been in the assembly of the States-General, they
might have transferred it of their own motion or kept it for themselves.

Even in the ordinary course of affairs the commissioners from each
province to the General Assembly always required a special power from
their constituents before deciding any matter of great importance.

In regard to the defence of the respective provinces and cities, he had
never heard it doubted, he said, that the states or the magistrates of
cities had full right to provide for it by arming a portion of their own
inhabitants or by enlisting paid troops. The sovereign counts of Holland
and bishops of Utrecht certainly possessed and exercised that right for
many hundred years, and by necessary tradition it passed to the states
succeeding to their ancient sovereignty. He then gave from the stores of
his memory innumerable instances in which soldiers had been enlisted by
provinces and cities all over the Netherlands from the time of the
abjuration of Spain down to that moment. Through the whole period of
independence in the time of Anjou, Matthias, Leicester, as well as under
the actual government, it had been the invariable custom thus to provide
both by land and sea and on the rivers against robbers, rebels, pirates,
mischief-makers, assailing thieves, domestic or foreign. It had been done
by the immortal William the Silent on many memorable occasions, and in
fact the custom was so notorious that soldiers so enlisted were known by
different and peculiar nicknames in the different provinces and towns.

That the central government had no right to meddle with religious matters
was almost too self-evident an axiom to prove. Indeed the chief
difficulty under which the Advocate laboured throughout this whole
process was the monstrous assumption by his judges of a political and
judicial system which never had any existence even in imagination. The
profound secrecy which enwrapped the proceedings from that day almost to
our own and an ignorant acquiescence of a considerable portion of the
public in accomplished facts offer the only explanation of a mystery
which must ever excite our wonder. If there were any impeachment at all,
it was an impeachment of the form of government itself. If language could
mean anything whatever, a mere perusal of the Articles of Union proved
that the prisoner had never violated that fundamental pact. How could the
general government prescribe an especial formulary for the Reformed
Church, and declare opposition to its decrees treasonable, when it did
not prohibit, but absolutely admitted and invited, provinces and cities
exclusively Catholic to enter the Union, guaranteeing to them entire
liberty of religion?

Barneveld recalled the fact that when the stadholdership of Utrecht
thirty years before had been conferred on Prince Maurice the States of
that province had solemnly reserved for themselves the disposition over
religious matters in conformity with the Union, and that Maurice had
sworn to support that resolution.

Five years later the Prince had himself assured a deputation from Brabant
that the States of each province were supreme in religious matters, no
interference the one with the other being justifiable or possible. In
1602 the States General in letters addressed to the States of the
obedient provinces under dominion of the Archdukes had invited them to
take up arms to help drive the Spaniards from the Provinces and to join
the Confederacy, assuring them that they should regulate the matter of
religion at their good pleasure, and that no one else should be allowed
to interfere therewith.

The Advocate then went into an historical and critical disquisition, into
which we certainly have no need to follow him, rapidly examining the
whole subject of predestination and conditional and unconditional
damnation from the days of St. Augustine downward, showing a thorough
familiarity with a subject of theology which then made up so much of the
daily business of life, political and private, and lay at the bottom of
the terrible convulsion then existing in the Netherlands. We turn from it
with a shudder, reminding the reader only how persistently the statesman
then on his trial had advocated conciliation, moderation, and kindness
between brethren of the Reformed Church who were not able to think alike
on one of the subtlest and most mysterious problems that casuistry has
ever propounded.

For fifty years, he said, he had been an enemy of all compulsion of the
human conscience. He had always opposed rigorous ecclesiastical decrees.
He had done his best to further, and did not deny having inspired, the
advice given in the famous letters from the King of Great Britain to the
States in 1613, that there should be mutual toleration and abstinence
from discussion of disputed doctrines, neither of them essential to
salvation. He thought that neither Calvin nor Beza would have opposed
freedom of opinion on those points. For himself he believed that the
salvation of mankind would be through God's unmerited grace and the
redemption of sins though the Saviour, and that the man who so held and
persevered to the end was predestined to eternal happiness, and that his
children dying before the age of reason were destined not to Hell but to
Heaven. He had thought fifty years long that the passion and sacrifice of
Christ the Saviour were more potent to salvation than God's wrath and the
sin of Adam and Eve to damnation. He had done his best practically to
avert personal bickerings among the clergy. He had been, so far as lay in
his power, as friendly to Remonstrants as to Contra-Remonstrants, to
Polyander and Festus Hommius as to Uytenbogaert and Episcopius. He had
almost finished a negotiation with Councillor Kromhout for the peaceable
delivery of the Cloister Church on the Thursday preceding the Sunday on
which it had been forcibly seized by the Contra-Remonstrants.

When asked by one of his judges how he presumed to hope for toleration
between two parties, each of which abhorred the other's opinions, and
likened each other to Turks and devil-worshippers, he replied that he had
always detested and rebuked those mutual revilings by every means in his
power, and would have wished to put down such calumniators of either
persuasion by the civil authority, but the iniquity of the times and the
exasperation of men's humours had prevented him.

Being perpetually goaded by one judge after another as to his
disrespectful conduct towards the King of Great Britain, and asked why
his Majesty had not as good right to give the advice of 1617 as the
recommendation of tolerance in 1613, he scrupulously abstained, as he had
done in all his letters, from saying a disrespectful word as to the
glaring inconsistency between the two communications, or to the hostility
manifested towards himself personally by the British ambassador. He had
always expressed the hope, he said, that the King would adhere to his
original position, but did not dispute his right to change his mind, nor
the good faith which had inspired his later letters. It had been his
object, if possible, to reconcile the two different systems recommended
by his Majesty into one harmonious whole.

His whole aim had been to preserve the public peace as it was the duty of
every magistrate, especially in times of such excitement, to do. He could
never comprehend why the toleration of the Five Points should be a danger
to the Reformed religion. Rather, he thought, it would strengthen the
Church and attract many Lutherans, Baptists, Catholics, and other good
patriots into its pale. He had always opposed the compulsory acceptance
by the people of the special opinions of scribes and doctors. He did not
consider, he said, the difference in doctrine on this disputed point
between the Contra-Remonstrants and Remonstrants as one-tenth the value
of the civil authority and its right to make laws and ordinances
regulating ecclesiastical affairs.

He believed the great bulwark of the independence of the country to be
the Reformed Church, and his efforts had ever been to strengthen that
bulwark by preventing the unnecessary schism which might prove its ruin.
Many questions of property, too, were involved in the question--the
church buildings, lands and pastures belonging to the Counts of Holland
and their successors--the States having always exercised the right of
church patronage--'jus patronatus'--a privilege which, as well as
inherited or purchased advowsons, had been of late flagrantly interfered

He was asked if he had not said that it had never been the intention of
the States-General to carry on the war for this or that religion.

He replied that he had told certain clergymen expressing to him their
opinion that the war had been waged solely for the furtherance of their
especial shade of belief, that in his view the war had been undertaken
for the conservation of the liberties and laws of the land, and of its
good people. Of that freedom the first and foremost point was the true
Christian religion and liberty of conscience and opinion. There must be
religion in the Republic, he had said, but that the war was carried on to
sustain the opinion of one doctor of divinity or another on--differential
points was something he had never heard of and could never believe. The
good citizens of the country had as much right to hold by Melancthon as
by Calvin or Beza. He knew that the first proclamations in regard to the
war declared it to be undertaken for freedom of conscience, and so to
his, own knowledge it had been always carried on.

He was asked if he had not promised during the Truce negotiations so to
direct matters that the Catholics with time might obtain public exercise
of their religion.

He replied that this was a notorious falsehood and calumny, adding that
it ill accorded with the proclamation against the Jesuits drawn up by
himself some years after the Truce. He furthermore stated that it was
chiefly by his direction that the discourse of President Jeannin--urging
on part of the French king that liberty of worship might be granted to
the Papists--was kept secret, copies of it not having been furnished even
to the commissioners of the Provinces.

His indignant denial of this charge, especially taken in connection with
his repeated assertions during the trial, that among the most patriotic
Netherlanders during and since the war were many adherents of the ancient
church, seems marvellously in contradiction with his frequent and most
earnest pleas for liberty of conscience. But it did not appear
contradictory even to his judges nor to any contemporary. His position
had always been that the civil authority of each province was supreme in
all matters political or ecclesiastical. The States-General, all the
provinces uniting in the vote, had invited the Catholic provinces on more
than one occasion to join the Union, promising that there should be no
interference on the part of any states or individuals with the internal
affairs religious or otherwise of the provinces accepting the invitation.
But it would have been a gross contradiction of his own principle if he
had promised so to direct matters that the Catholics should have public
right of worship in Holland where he knew that the civil authority was
sure to refuse it, or in any of the other six provinces in whose internal
affairs he had no voice whatever. He was opposed to all tyranny over
conscience, he would have done his utmost to prevent inquisition into
opinion, violation of domicile, interference with private worship,
compulsory attendance in Protestant churches of those professing the
Roman creed. This was not attempted. No Catholic was persecuted on
account of his religion. Compared with the practice in other countries
this was a great step in advance. Religious tolerance lay on the road to
religious equality, a condition which had hardly been imagined then and
scarcely exists in Europe even to this day. But among the men in history
whose life and death contributed to the advancement of that blessing, it
would be vain to deny that Barneveld occupies a foremost place.

Moreover, it should be remembered that religious equality then would have
been a most hazardous experiment. So long as Church and State were
blended, it was absolutely essential at that epoch for the preservation
of Protestantism to assign the predominance to the State. Should the
Catholics have obtained religious equality, the probable result would
before long have been religious inequality, supremacy of the Catholics in
the Church, and supremacy of the Church over the State. The fruits of the
forty years' war would have become dust and ashes. It would be mere weak
sentimentalism to doubt--after the bloody history which had just closed
and the awful tragedy, then reopening--that every spark of religious
liberty would have soon been trodden out in the Netherlands. The general
onslaught of the League with Ferdinand, Maximilian of Bavaria, and Philip
of Spain at its head against the distracted, irresolute, and wavering
line of Protestantism across the whole of Europe was just preparing.
Rather a wilderness to reign over than a single heretic, was the war-cry
of the Emperor. The King of Spain, as we have just been reading in his
most secret, ciphered despatches to the Archduke at Brussels, was nursing
sanguine hopes and weaving elaborate schemes for recovering his dominion
over the United Netherlands, and proposing to send an army of Jesuits
thither to break the way to the reconquest. To play into his hands then,
by granting public right of worship to the Papists, would have been in
Barneveld's opinion like giving up Julich and other citadels in the
debatable land to Spain just as the great war between Catholicism and
Protestantism was breaking out. There had been enough of burning and
burying alive in the Netherlands during the century which had closed. It
was not desirable to give a chance for their renewal now.

In regard to the Synod, Barneveld justified his course by a simple
reference to the 13th Article of the Union. Words could not more plainly
prohibit the interference by the States-General with the religious
affairs of any one of the Provinces than had been done by that celebrated
clause. In 1583 there had been an attempt made to amend that article by
insertion of a pledge to maintain the Evangelical, Reformed, religion
solely, but it was never carried out. He disdained to argue so
self-evident a truth, that a confederacy which had admitted and
constantly invited Catholic states to membership, under solemn pledge of
noninterference with their religious affairs, had no right to lay down
formulas for the Reformed Church throughout all the Netherlands. The oath
of stadholder and magistrates in Holland to maintain the Reformed
religion was framed before this unhappy controversy on predestination had
begun, and it was mere arrogant assumption on the part of the
Contra-Remonstrants to claim a monopoly of that religion, and to exclude
the Remonstrants from its folds.

He had steadily done his utmost to assuage those dissensions while
maintaining the laws which he was sworn to support. He had advocated a
provincial synod to be amicably assisted by divines from neighbouring
countries. He had opposed a National Synod unless unanimously voted by
the Seven Provinces, because it would have been an open violation of the
fundamental law of the confederacy, of its whole spirit, and of liberty
of conscience. He admitted that he had himself drawn up a protest on the
part of three provinces (Holland, Utrecht, and Overyssel) against the
decree for the National Synod as a breach of the Union, declaring it to
be therefore null and void and binding upon no man. He had dictated the
protest as oldest member present, while Grotius as the youngest had acted
as scribe. He would have supported the Synod if legally voted, but would
have preferred the convocation, under the authority of all the provinces,
of a general, not a national, synod, in which, besides clergy and laymen
from the Netherlands, deputations from all Protestant states and churches
should take part; a kind of Protestant oecumenical council.

As to the enlistment, by the States of a province, of soldiers to keep
the peace and suppress tumults in its cities during times of political
and religious excitement, it was the most ordinary of occurrences. In his
experience of more than forty years he had never heard the right even
questioned. It was pure ignorance of law and history to find it a

To hire temporarily a sufficient number of professional soldiers, he
considered a more wholesome means of keeping the peace than to enlist one
portion of the citizens of a town against another portion, when party and
religious spirit was running high. His experience had taught him that the
mutual hatred of the inhabitants, thus inflamed, became more lasting and
mischievous than the resentment caused through suppression of disorder by
an armed and paid police of strangers.

It was not only the right but the most solemn duty of the civil authority
to preserve the tranquillity, property, and lives of citizens committed
to their care. "I have said these fifty years," said Barneveld, "that it
is better to be governed by magistrates than mobs. I have always
maintained and still maintain that the most disastrous, shameful, and
ruinous condition into which this land can fall is that in which the
magistrates are overcome by the rabble of the towns and receive laws from
them. Nothing but perdition can follow from that."

There had been good reason to believe that the French garrisons as well
as some of the train bands could not be thoroughly relied upon in
emergencies like those constantly breaking out, and there had been
advices of invasion by sympathizers from neighbouring countries. In many
great cities the civil authority had been trampled upon and mob rule had
prevailed. Certainly the recent example in the great commercial capital
of the country--where the house of a foremost citizen had been besieged,
stormed, and sacked, and a virtuous matron of the higher class hunted
like a wild beast through the streets by a rabble grossly ignorant of the
very nature of the religious quibble which had driven them mad, pelted
with stones, branded with vilest names, and only saved by accident from
assassination, while a church-going multitude looked calmly on--with
constantly recurring instances in other important cities were sufficient
reasons for the authorities to be watchful.

He denied that he had initiated the proceedings at Utrecht in
conversation with Ledenberg or any one else, but he had not refused, he
said, his approval of the perfectly legal measures adopted for keeping
the peace there when submitted to him. He was himself a born citizen of
that province, and therefore especially interested in its welfare, and
there was an old and intimate friendship between Utrecht and Holland. It
would have been painful to him to see that splendid city in the control
of an ignorant mob, making use of religious problems, which they did not
comprehend, to plunder the property and take the lives of peaceful
citizens more comfortably housed than themselves.

He had neither suggested nor controlled the proceedings at Utrecht. On
the contrary, at an interview with the Prince and Count William on the
13th July, and in the presence of nearly thirty members of the general
assembly, he had submitted a plan for cashiering the enlisted soldiery
and substituting for them other troops, native-born, who should be sworn
in the usual form to obey the laws of the Union. The deputation from
Holland to Utrecht, according to his personal knowledge, had received no
instructions personal or oral to authorize active steps by the troops of
the Holland quota, but to abstain from them and to request the Prince
that they should not be used against the will and commands of the States
of Utrecht, whom they were bound by oath to obey so long as they were in
garrison there.

No man knew better than he whether the military oath which was called
new-fangled were a novelty or not, for he had himself, he said, drawn it
up thirty years before at command of the States-General by whom it was
then ordained. From that day to this he had never heard a pretence that
it justified anything not expressly sanctioned by the Articles of Union,
and neither the States of Holland nor those of Utrecht had made any
change in the oath. The States of Utrecht were sovereign within their own
territory, and in the time of peace neither the Prince of Orange without
their order nor the States-General had the right to command the troops in
their territory. The governor of a province was sworn to obey the laws of
the province and conform to the Articles of the General Union.

He was asked why he wrote the warning letter to Ledenberg, and why he was
so anxious that the letter should be burned; as if that were a deadly

He said that he could not comprehend why it should be imputed to him as a
crime that he wished in such turbulent times to warn so important a city
as Utrecht, the capital of his native province, against tumults,
disorders, and sudden assaults such as had often happened to her in times
past. As for the postscript requesting that the letter might be put in
the fire, he said that not being a member of, the government of that
province he was simply unwilling to leave a record that "he had been too
curious in aliens republics, although that could hardly be considered a
grave offence."

In regard to the charge that he had accused Prince Maurice of aspiring to
the sovereignty of the country, he had much to say. He had never brought
such accusation in public or private. He had reason to believe
however--he had indeed convincing proofs--that many people, especially
those belonging to the Contra-Remonstrant party, cherished such schemes.
He had never sought to cast suspicion on the Prince himself on account of
those schemes. On the contrary, he had not even formally opposed them.
What he wished had always been that such projects should be discussed
formally, legally, and above board. After the lamentable murder of the
late Prince he had himself recommended to the authorities of some of the
cities that the transaction for bestowing the sovereignty of Holland upon
William, interrupted by his death, "should be completed in favour of
Prince Maurice in despite of the Spaniard." Recently he had requested
Grotius to look up the documents deposited in Rotterdam belonging to this
affair, in order that they might be consulted.

He was asked whether according to Buzenval, the former French ambassador,
Prince Maurice had not declared he would rather fling himself from the
top of the Hague tower than accept the sovereignty. Barneveld replied
that the Prince according to the same authority had added "under the
conditions which had been imposed upon his father;" a clause which
considerably modified the self-denying statement. It was desirable
therefore to search the acts for the limitations annexed to the

Three years long there had been indications from various sources that a
party wished to change the form of government. He had not heard nor ever
intimated that the Prince suggested such intrigues. In anonymous
pamphlets and common street and tavern conversations the
Contra-Remonstrants were described by those of their own persuasion as
"Prince's Beggars" and the like. He had received from foreign countries
information worthy of attention, that it was the design of the
Contra-Remonstrants to raise the Prince to the sovereignty. He had
therefore in 1616 brought the matter before the nobles and cities in a
communication setting forth to the best of his recollection that under
these religious disputes something else was intended. He had desired ripe
conclusions on the matter, such as should most conduce to the service of
the country. This had been in good faith both to the Prince and the
Provinces, in order that, should a change in the government be thought
desirable, proper and peaceful means might be employed to bring it about.
He had never had any other intention than to sound the inclinations of
those with whom he spoke, and he had many times since that period, by
word of mouth and in writing, so lately as the month of April last
assured the Prince that he had ever been his sincere and faithful servant
and meant to remain so to the end of his life, desiring therefore that he
would explain to him his wishes and intentions.

Subsequently he had publicly proposed in full Assembly of Holland that
the States should ripely deliberate and roundly declare if they were
discontented with the form of government, and if so, what change they
would desire. He had assured their Mightinesses that they might rely upon
him to assist in carrying out their intentions whatever they might be. He
had inferred however from the Prince's intimations, when he had broached
the subject to him in 1617, that he was not inclined towards these
supposed projects, and had heard that opinion distinctly expressed from
the mouth of Count William.

That the Contra-Remonstrants secretly entertained these schemes, he had
been advised from many quarters, at home and abroad. In the year 1618 he
had received information to that effect from France. Certain confidential
counsellors of the Prince had been with him recently to confer on the
subject. He had told them that, if his Excellency chose to speak to him
in regard to it, would listen to his reasoning about it, both as regarded
the interests of the country and the Prince himself, and then should
desire him to propose and advocate it before the Assembly, he would do so
with earnestness, zeal, and affection. He had desired however that, in
case the attempt failed, the Prince would allow him to be relieved from
service and to leave the country. What he wished from the bottom of his
heart was that his Excellency would plainly discover to him the exact
nature of his sentiments in regard to the business.

He fully admitted receiving a secret letter from Ambassador Langerac,
apprising him that a man of quality in France had information of the
intention of the Contra-Remonstrants throughout the Provinces, should
they come into power, to raise Prince Maurice to the sovereignty. He had
communicated on the subject with Grotius and other deputies in order
that, if this should prove to be the general inclination, the affair
might be handled according to law, without confusion or disorder. This,
he said, would be serving both the country and the Prince most

He was asked why he had not communicated directly with Maurice. He
replied that he had already seen how unwillingly the Prince heard him
allude to the subject, and that moreover there was another clause in the
letter of different meaning, and in his view worthy of grave
consideration by the States.

No question was asked him as to this clause, but we have seen that it
referred to the communication by du Agean to Langerac of a scheme for
bestowing the sovereignty of the Provinces on the King of France. The
reader will also recollect that Barneveld had advised the Ambassador to
communicate the whole intelligence to the Prince himself.

Barneveld proceeded to inform the judges that he had never said a word to
cast suspicion upon the Prince, but had been actuated solely by the
desire to find out the inclination of the States. The communications
which he had made on the subject were neither for discrediting the Prince
nor for counteracting the schemes for his advancement. On the contrary,
he had conferred with deputies from great cities like Dordtrecht,
Enkhuyzen, and Amsterdam, most devoted to the Contra-Remonstrant party,
and had told them that, if they chose to propose the subject themselves,
he would conduct himself to the best of his abilities in accordance with
the wishes of the Prince.

It would seem almost impossible for a statesman placed in Barneveld's
position to bear himself with more perfect loyalty both to the country
and to the Stadholder. His duty was to maintain the constitution and laws
so long as they remained unchanged. Should it appear that the States,
which legally represented the country, found the constitution defective,
he was ready to aid in its amendment by fair public and legal methods.

If Maurice wished to propose himself openly as a candidate for the
sovereignty, which had a generation before been conferred upon his
father, Barneveld would not only acquiesce in the scheme, but propose it.

Should it fail, he claimed the light to lay down all his offices and go
into exile.

He had never said that the Prince was intriguing for, or even desired,
the sovereignty. That the project existed among the party most opposed to
himself, he had sufficient proof. To the leaders of that party therefore
he suggested that the subject should be publicly discussed, guaranteeing
freedom of debate and his loyal support so far as lay within his power.

This was his answer to the accusation that he had meanly, secretly, and
falsely circulated statements that the Prince was aspiring to the

   [Great pains were taken, in the course of the interrogatories, to
   elicit proof that the Advocate had concealed important diplomatic
   information from the Prince. He was asked why, in his secret
   instructions to Ambassador Langerac, he ordered him by an express
   article to be very cautious about making communications to the
   Prince. Searching questions were put in regard to these secret
   instructions, which I have read in the Archives, and a copy of which
   now lies before me. They are in the form of questions, some of them
   almost puerile ones, addressed to Barneveld by the Ambassador then
   just departing on his mission to France in 1614, with the answers
   written in the margin by the Advocate. The following is all that
   has reference to the Prince:
   "Of what matters may I ordinarily write to his Excellency?"
   Answer--"Of all great and important matters."
   It was difficult to find much that was treasonable in that.]

Among the heterogeneous articles of accusation he was asked why he had
given no attention to those who had so, frequently proposed the formation
of the West India Company.

He replied that it had from old time been the opinion of the States of
Holland, and always his own, that special and private licenses for
traffic, navigation, and foreign commerce, were prejudicial to the
welfare of the land. He had always been most earnestly opposed to them,
detesting monopolies which interfered with that free trade and navigation
which should be common to all mankind. He had taken great pains however
in the years 1596 and 1597 to study the nature of the navigation and
trade to the East Indies in regard to the nations to be dealt with in
those regions, the nature of the wares bought and sold there, the
opposition to be encountered from the Spaniards and Portuguese against
the commerce of the Netherlanders, and the necessity of equipping vessels
both for traffic and defence, and had come to the conclusion that these
matters could best be directed by a general company. He explained in
detail the manner in which he had procured the blending of all the
isolated chambers into one great East India Corporation, the enormous
pains which it had cost him to bring it about, and the great commercial
and national success which had been the result. The Admiral of Aragon,
when a prisoner after the battle of Nieuwpoort, had told him, he said,
that the union of these petty corporations into one great whole had been
as disastrous a blow to the kingdoms of Spain and Portugal as the Union
of the Provinces at Utrecht had been. In regard to the West India
Company, its sole object, so far as he could comprehend it, had been to
equip armed vessels, not for trade but to capture and plunder Spanish
merchantmen and silver fleets in the West Indies and South America. This
was an advantageous war measure which he had favoured while the war
lasted. It was in no sense a commercial scheme however, and when the
Truce had been made--the company not having come into existence--he
failed to comprehend how its formation could be profitable for the
Netherlanders. On the contrary it would expressly invite or irritate the
Spaniards into a resumption of the war, an object which in his humble
opinion was not at all desirable.

Certainly these ideas were not especially reprehensible, but had they
been as shallow and despicable as they seem to us enlightened, it is
passing strange that they should have furnished matter for a criminal

It was doubtless a disappointment for the promoters of the company, the
chief of whom was a bankrupt, to fail in obtaining their charter, but it
was scarcely high-treason to oppose it. There is no doubt however that
the disapprobation with which Barneveld regarded the West India Company,
the seat of which was at Amsterdam, was a leading cause of the deadly
hostility entertained for him by the great commercial metropolis.

It was bad enough for the Advocate to oppose unconditional predestination
and the damnation of infants, but to frustrate a magnificent system of
privateering on the Spaniards in time of truce was an unpardonable crime.

The patience with which the venerable statesman submitted to the taunts,
ignorant and insolent cross-questionings, and noisy interruptions of his
judges, was not less remarkable than the tenacity of memory which enabled
him thus day after day, alone, unaided by books, manuscripts, or friendly
counsel, to reconstruct the record of forty years, and to expound the
laws of the land by an array of authorities, instances, and illustrations
in a manner that would be deemed masterly by one who had all the
resources of libraries, documents, witnesses, and secretaries at command.

Only when insidious questions were put tending to impute to him
corruption, venality, and treacherous correspondence with the enemy--for
they never once dared formally to accuse him of treason--did that almost
superhuman patience desert him.

He was questioned as to certain payments made by him to a certain van der
Vecken in Spanish coin. He replied briefly at first that his money
transactions with that man of business extended over a period of twenty
or thirty years, and amounted to many hundred thousands of florins,
growing out of purchases and sales of lands, agricultural enterprises on
his estates, moneys derived from his professional or official business
and the like. It was impossible for him to remember the details of every
especial money payment that might have occurred between them.

Then suddenly breaking forth into a storm of indignation; he could mark
from these questions, he said, that his enemies, not satisfied with
having wounded his heart with their falsehoods, vile forgeries, and
honour-robbing libels, were determined to break it. This he prayed that
God Almighty might avert and righteously judge between him and them.

It was plain that among other things they were alluding to the stale and
senseless story of the sledge filled with baskets of coin sent by the
Spanish envoys on their departure from the Hague, on conclusion of the
Truce, to defray expenses incurred by them for board and lodging of
servants, forage of horses, and the like-which had accidentally stopped
at Barneveld's door and was forthwith sent on to John Spronssen,
superintendent of such affairs. Passing over this wanton bit of calumny
with disgust, he solemnly asserted that he had never at any period of his
life received one penny nor the value of one penny from the King of
Spain, the Archdukes, Spinola, or any other person connected with the
enemy, saving only the presents publicly and mutually conferred according
to invariable custom by the high contracting parties, upon the respective
negotiators at conclusion of the Treaty of Truce. Even these gifts
Barneveld had moved his colleagues not to accept, but proposed that they
should all be paid into the public treasury. He had been overruled, he
said, but that any dispassionate man of tolerable intelligence could
imagine him, whose whole life had been a perpetual offence to Spain, to
be in suspicious relations with that power seemed to him impossible. The
most intense party spirit, yea, envy itself, must confess that he had
been among the foremost to take up arms for his country's liberties, and
had through life never faltered in their defence. And once more in that
mean chamber, and before a row of personal enemies calling themselves
judges, he burst into an eloquent and most justifiable sketch of the
career of one whom there was none else to justify and so many to assail.

From his youth, he said, he had made himself by his honourable and
patriotic deeds hopelessly irreconcilable with the Spaniards. He was one
of the advocates practising in the Supreme Court of Holland, who in the
very teeth of the Duke of Alva had proclaimed him a tyrant and had sworn
obedience to the Prince of Orange as the lawful governor of the land. He
was one of those who in the same year had promoted and attended private
gatherings for the advancement of the Reformed religion. He had helped to
levy, and had contributed to, funds for the national defence in the early
days of the revolt. These were things which led directly to the Council
of Blood and the gibbet. He had borne arms himself on various bloody
fields and had been perpetually a deputy to the rebel camps. He had been
the original mover of the Treaty of Union which was concluded between the
Provinces at Utrecht. He had been the first to propose and to draw up the
declaration of Netherland independence and the abjuration of the King of
Spain. He had been one of those who had drawn and passed the Act
establishing the late Prince of Orange as stadholder. Of the sixty
signers of these memorable declarations none were now living save himself
and two others. When the Prince had been assassinated, he had done his
best to secure for his son Maurice the sovereign position of which murder
had so suddenly deprived the father. He had been member of the memorable
embassies to France and England by which invaluable support for the
struggling Provinces had been obtained.

And thus he rapidly sketched the history of the great war of independence
in which he had ever been conspicuously employed on the patriotic side.
When the late King of France at the close of the century had made peace
with Spain, he had been sent as special ambassador to that monarch, and
had prevailed on him, notwithstanding his treaty with the enemy, to
continue his secret alliance with the States and to promise them a large
subsidy, pledges which had been sacredly fulfilled. It was on that
occasion that Henry, who was his debtor for past services, professional,
official, and perfectly legitimate, had agreed, when his finances should
be in better condition, to discharge his obligations; over and above the
customary diplomatic present which he received publicly in common with
his colleague Admiral Nassau. This promise, fulfilled a dozen years
later, had been one of the senseless charges of corruption brought
against him. He had been one of the negotiators of the Truce in which
Spain had been compelled to treat with her revolted provinces as with
free states and her equals. He had promoted the union of the Protestant
princes and their alliance with France and the United States in
opposition to the designs of Spain and the League. He had organized and
directed the policy by which the forces of England, France, and
Protestant Germany had possessed themselves of the debateable land. He
had resisted every scheme by which it was hoped to force the States from
their hold of those important citadels. He had been one of the foremost
promoters of the East India Company, an organization which the Spaniards
confessed had been as damaging to them as the Union of the Provinces
itself had been.

The idiotic and circumstantial statements, that he had conducted
Burgomaster van Berk through a secret staircase of his house into his
private study for the purpose of informing him that the only way for the
States to get out of the war was to submit themselves once more to their
old masters, so often forced upon him by the judges, he contradicted with
disdain and disgust. He had ever abhorred and dreaded, he said, the House
of Spain, Austria, and Burgundy. His life had passed in open hostility to
that house, as was known to all mankind. His mere personal interests,
apart from higher considerations, would make an approach to the former
sovereign impossible, for besides the deeds he had already alluded to, he
had committed at least twelve distinct and separate acts, each one of
which would be held high-treason by the House of Austria, and he had
learned from childhood that these are things which monarchs never forget.
The tales of van Berk were those of a personal enemy, falsehoods scarcely
worth contradicting.

He was grossly and enormously aggrieved by the illegal constitution of
the commission. He had protested and continued to protest against it. If
that protest were unheeded, he claimed at least that those men should be
excluded from the board and the right to sit in judgment upon his person
and his deeds who had proved themselves by words and works to be his
capital enemies, of which fact he could produce irrefragable evidence. He
claimed that the Supreme Court of Holland, or the High Council, or both
together, should decide upon that point. He held as his personal enemies,
he said, all those who had declared that he, before or since the Truce
down to the day of his arrest, had held correspondence with the
Spaniards, the Archdukes, the Marquis Spinola, or any one on that side,
had received money, money value, or promises of money from them, and in
consequence had done or omitted to do anything whatever. He denounced
such tales as notorious, shameful, and villainous falsehoods, the
utterers and circulators of them as wilful liars, and this he was ready
to maintain in every appropriate way for the vindication of the truth and
his own honour. He declared solemnly before God Almighty to the
States-General and to the States of Holland that his course in the
religious matter had been solely directed to the strengthening of the
Reformed religion and to the political security of the provinces and
cities. He had simply desired that, in the awful and mysterious matter of
predestination, the consciences of many preachers and many thousands of
good citizens might be placed in tranquillity, with moderate and
Christian limitations against all excesses.

From all these reasons, he said, the commissioners, the States-General,
the Prince, and every man in the land could clearly see, and were bound
to see, that he was the same man now that he was at the beginning of the
war, had ever been, and with God's help should ever remain.

The proceedings were kept secret from the public and, as a matter of
course, there had been conflicting rumours from day to day as to the
probable result of these great state trials. In general however it was
thought that the prisoner would be acquitted of the graver charges, or
that at most he would be permanently displaced from all office and
declared incapable thenceforth to serve the State. The triumph of the
Contra-Remonstrants since the Stadholder had placed himself at the head
of them, and the complete metamorphosis of the city governments even in
the strongholds of the Arminian party seemed to render the permanent
political disgrace of the Advocate almost a matter of certainty.

The first step that gave rise to a belief that he might be perhaps more
severely dealt with than had been anticipated was the proclamation by the
States-General of a public fast and humiliation for the 17th April.

In this document it was announced that "Church and State--during several
years past having been brought into great danger of utter destruction
through certain persons in furtherance of their ambitious designs--had
been saved by the convocation of a National Synod; that a lawful sentence
was soon to be expected upon those who had been disturbing the
Commonwealth; that through this sentence general tranquillity would
probably be restored; and that men were now to thank God for this result,
and pray to Him that He would bring the wicked counsels and stratagems of
the enemy against these Provinces to naught."

All the prisoners were asked if they too would like in their chambers of
bondage to participate in the solemnity, although the motive for the
fasting and prayer was not mentioned to them. Each of them in his
separate prison room, of course without communication together, selected
the 7th Psalm and sang it with his servant and door-keeper.

From the date of this fast-day Barneveld looked upon the result of his
trial as likely to be serious.

Many clergymen refused or objected to comply with the terms of this
declaration. Others conformed with it greedily, and preached lengthy
thanksgiving sermons, giving praise to God that, He had confounded the
devices of the ambitious and saved the country from the "blood bath"
which they had been preparing for it.

The friends of Barneveld became alarmed at the sinister language of this
proclamation, in which for the first time allusions had been made to a
forthcoming sentence against the accused.

Especially the staunch and indefatigable du Maurier at once addressed
himself again to the States-General. De Boississe had returned to France,
having found that the government of a country torn, weakened, and
rendered almost impotent by its own internecine factions, was not likely
to exert any very potent influence on the fate of the illustrious

The States had given him to understand that they were wearied with his
perpetual appeals, intercessions, and sermons in behalf of mercy. They
made him feel in short that Lewis XIII. and Henry IV. were two entirely
different personages.

Du Maurier however obtained a hearing before the Assembly on the 1st May,
where he made a powerful and manly speech in presence of the Prince,
urging that the prisoners ought to be discharged unless they could be
convicted of treason, and that the States ought to show as much deference
to his sovereign as they had always done to Elizabeth of England. He made
a personal appeal to Prince Maurice, urging upon him how much it would
redound to his glory if he should now in generous and princely fashion
step forward in behalf of those by whom he deemed himself to have been
personally offended.

His speech fell upon ears hardened against such eloquence and produced no

Meantime the family of Barneveld, not yet reduced to despair, chose to
take a less gloomy view of the proclamation. Relying on the innocence of
the great statesman, whose aims, in their firm belief, had ever been for
the welfare and glory of his fatherland, and in whose heart there had
never been kindled one spark of treason, they bravely expected his
triumphant release from his long and, as they deemed it, his iniquitous

On this very 1st of May, in accordance with ancient custom, a may-pole
was erected on the Voorhout before the mansion of the captive statesman,
and wreaths of spring flowers and garlands of evergreen decorated the
walls within which were such braised and bleeding hearts. These
demonstrations of a noble hypocrisy, if such it were, excited the wrath,
not the compassion, of the Stadholder, who thought that the aged matron
and her sons and daughters, who dwelt in that house of mourning, should
rather have sat in sackcloth with ashes on their heads than indulge in
these insolent marks of hope and joyful expectation.

It is certain however that Count William Lewis, who, although most
staunch on the Contra-Remonstrant side, had a veneration for the Advocate
and desired warmly to save him, made a last and strenuous effort for that

It was believed then, and it seems almost certain, that, if the friends
of the Advocate had been willing to implore pardon for him, the sentence
would have been remitted or commuted. Their application would have been
successful, for through it his guilt would seem to be acknowledged.

Count William sent for the Fiscal Duyck. He asked him if there were no
means of saving the life of a man who was so old and had done the country
so much service. After long deliberation, it was decided that Prince
Maurice should be approached on the subject. Duyck wished that the Count
himself would speak with his cousin, but was convinced by his reasoning
that it would be better that the Fiscal should do it. Duyck had a long
interview accordingly with Maurice, which was followed by a very secret
one between them both and Count William. The three were locked up
together, three hours long, in the Prince's private cabinet. It was then
decided that Count William should go, as if of his own accord, to the
Princess-Dowager Louise, and induce her to send for some one of
Barneveld's children and urge that the family should ask pardon for him.
She asked if this was done with the knowledge of the Prince of Orange, or
whether he would not take it amiss. The Count eluded the question, but
implored her to follow his advice.

The result was an interview between the Princess and Madame de
Groeneveld, wife of the eldest son. That lady was besought to apply, with
the rest of the Advocate's children, for pardon to the Lords States, but
to act as if it were done of her own impulse, and to keep their interview
profoundly secret.

Madame de Groeneveld took time to consult the other members of the family
and some friends. Soon afterwards she came again to the Princess, and
informed her that she had spoken with the other children, and that they
could not agree to the suggestion. "They would not move one step in
it--no, not if it should cost him his head."

The Princess reported the result of this interview to Count William, at
which both were so distressed that they determined to leave the Hague.

There is something almost superhuman in the sternness of this stoicism.
Yet it lay in the proud and highly tempered character of the
Netherlanders. There can be no doubt that the Advocate would have
expressly dictated this proceeding if he had been consulted. It was
precisely the course adopted by himself. Death rather than life with a
false acknowledgment of guilt and therefore with disgrace. The loss of
his honour would have been an infinitely greater triumph to his enemies
than the loss of his head.

There was no delay in drawing up the sentence. Previously to this
interview with the widow of William the Silent, the family of the
Advocate had presented to the judges three separate documents, rather in
the way of arguments than petitions, undertaking to prove by elaborate
reasoning and citations of precedents and texts of the civil law that the
proceedings against him were wholly illegal, and that he was innocent of
every crime.

No notice had been taken of those appeals.

Upon the questions and answers as already set forth the sentence soon
followed, and it may be as well that the reader should be aware, at this
point in the narrative, of the substance of that sentence so soon to be
pronounced. There had been no indictment, no specification of crime.
There had been no testimony or evidence. There had been no argument for
the prosecution or the defence. There had been no trial whatever. The
prisoner was convicted on a set of questions to which he had put in
satisfactory replies. He was sentenced on a preamble. The sentence was a
string of vague generalities, intolerably long, and as tangled as the
interrogatories. His proceedings during a long career had on the whole
tended to something called a "blood bath"--but the blood bath had never

With an effrontery which did not lack ingenuity, Barneveld's defence was
called by the commissioners his confession, and was formally registered
as such in the process and the sentence; while the fact that he had not
been stretched upon the rack during his trial, nor kept in chains for the
eight months of his imprisonment, were complacently mentioned as proofs
of exceptionable indulgence.

"Whereas the prisoner John of Barneveld," said the sentence, "without
being put to the torture and without fetters of iron, has confessed . . .
to having perturbed religion, greatly afflicted the Church of God, and
carried into practice exorbitant and pernicious maxims of State . . .
inculcating by himself and accomplices that each province had the right
to regulate religious affairs within its own territory, and that other
provinces were not to concern themselves therewith"--therefore and for
many other reasons he merited punishment.

He had instigated a protest by vote of three provinces against the
National Synod. He had despised the salutary advice of many princes and
notable personages. He had obtained from the King of Great Britain
certain letters furthering his own opinions, the drafts of which he had
himself suggested, and corrected and sent over to the States' ambassador
in London, and when written out, signed, and addressed by the King to the
States-General, had delivered them without stating how they had been

Afterwards he had attempted to get other letters of a similar nature from
the King, and not succeeding had defamed his Majesty as being a cause of
the troubles in the Provinces. He had permitted unsound theologians to be
appointed to church offices, and had employed such functionaries in
political affairs as were most likely to be the instruments of his own
purposes. He had not prevented vigorous decrees from being enforced in
several places against those of the true religion. He had made them
odious by calling them Puritans, foreigners, and "Flanderizers," although
the United Provinces had solemnly pledged to each other their lives,
fortunes, and blood by various conventions, to some of which the prisoner
was himself a party, to maintain the Reformed, Evangelical, religion
only, and to, suffer no change in it to be made for evermore.

In order to carry out his design and perturb the political state of the
Provinces he had drawn up and caused to be enacted the Sharp Resolution
of 4th August 1617. He had thus nullified the ordinary course of justice.
He had stimulated the magistrates to disobedience, and advised them to
strengthen themselves with freshly enlisted military companies. He had
suggested new-fangled oaths for the soldiers, authorizing them to refuse
obedience to the States-General and his Excellency. He had especially
stimulated the proceedings at Utrecht. When it was understood that the
Prince was to pass through Utrecht, the States of that province not
without the prisoner's knowledge had addressed a letter to his
Excellency, requesting him not to pass through their city. He had written
a letter to Ledenberg suggesting that good watch should be held at the
town gates and up and down the river Lek. He had desired that Ledenberg
having read that letter should burn it. He had interfered with the
cashiering of the mercenaries at Utrecht. He had said that such
cashiering without the consent of the States of that province was an act
of force which would justify resistance by force.

Although those States had sent commissioners to concert measures with the
Prince for that purpose, he had advised them to conceal their
instructions until his own plan for the disbandment could be carried out.
At a secret meeting in the house of Tresel, clerk of the States-General,
between Grotius, Hoogerbeets, and other accomplices, it was decided that
this advice should be taken. Report accordingly was made to the prisoner.
He had advised them to continue in their opposition to the National

He had sought to calumniate and blacken his Excellency by saying that he
aspired to the sovereignty of the Provinces. He had received intelligence
on that subject from abroad in ciphered letters.

He had of his own accord rejected a certain proposed, notable alliance of
the utmost importance to this Republic.

   [This refers, I think without doubt, to the conversation between
   King James and Caron at the end of the year 1815.]

He had received from foreign potentates various large sums of money and
other presents.

All "these proceedings tended to put the city of Utrecht into a
blood-bath, and likewise to bring the whole country, and the person of
his Excellency into the uttermost danger."

This is the substance of the sentence, amplified by repetitions and
exasperating tautology into thirty or forty pages.

It will have been perceived by our analysis of Barneveld's answers to the
commissioners that all the graver charges which he was now said to have
confessed had been indignantly denied by him or triumphantly justified.

It will also be observed that he was condemned for no categorical
crime--lese-majesty, treason, or rebellion. The commissioners never
ventured to assert that the States-General were sovereign, or that the
central government had a right to prescribe a religious formulary for all
the United Provinces. They never dared to say that the prisoner had been
in communication with the enemy or had received bribes from him.

Of insinuation and implication there was much, of assertion very little,
of demonstration nothing whatever.

But supposing that all the charges had been admitted or proved, what
course would naturally be taken in consequence? How was a statesman who
adhered to the political, constitutional, and religious opinions on which
he had acted, with the general acquiescence, during a career of more than
forty years, but which were said to be no longer in accordance with
public opinion, to be dealt with? Would the commissioners request him to
retire honourably from the high functions which he had over and over
again offered to resign? Would they consider that, having fairly
impeached and found him guilty of disturbing the public peace by
continuing to act on his well-known legal theories, they might deprive
him summarily of power and declare him incapable of holding office again?

The conclusion of the commissioners was somewhat more severe than either
of these measures. Their long rambling preamble ended with these decisive

"Therefore the judges, in name of the Lords States-General, condemn the
prisoner to be taken to the Binnenhof, there to be executed with the
sword that death may follow, and they declare all his property

The execution was to take place so soon as the sentence had been read to
the prisoner.

After the 1st of May Barneveld had not appeared before his judges. He had
been examined in all about sixty times.

In the beginning of May his servant became impatient. "You must not be
impatient," said his master. "The time seems much longer because we get
no news now from the outside. But the end will soon come. This delay
cannot last for ever."

Intimation reached him on Saturday the 11th May that the sentence was
ready and would soon be pronounced.

"It is a bitter folk," said Barneveld as he went to bed. "I have nothing
good to expect of them." Next day was occupied in sewing up and
concealing his papers, including a long account of his examination, with
the questions and answers, in his Spanish arm-chair. Next day van der
Meulen said to the servant, "I will bet you a hundred florins that you'll
not be here next Thursday."

The faithful John was delighted, not dreaming of the impending result.

It was Sunday afternoon, 12th May, and about half past five o'clock.
Barneveld sat in his prison chamber, occupied as usual in writing,
reviewing the history of the past, and doing his best to reduce into
something like order the rambling and miscellaneous interrogatories, out
of which his trial had been concocted, while the points dwelt in his
memory, and to draw up a concluding argument in his own defence. Work
which according to any equitable, reasonable, or even decent procedure
should have been entrusted to the first lawyers of the country--preparing
the case upon the law and the facts with the documents before them, with
the power of cross-questioning witnesses and sifting evidence, and
enlightened by constant conferences with the illustrious prisoner
himself--came entirely upon his own shoulders, enfeebled as he was by
age, physical illness, and by the exhaustion of along imprisonment.
Without books, notes of evidence, or even copies of the charges of which
he stood accused, he was obliged to draw up his counter-arguments against
the impeachment and then by aid of a faithful valet to conceal his
manuscript behind the tapestry of the chamber, or cause them to be sewed
up in the lining of his easy-chair, lest they should be taken from him by
order of the judges who sat in the chamber below.

While he was thus occupied in preparations for his next encounter with
the tribunal, the door opened, and three gentlemen entered. Two were the
prosecuting officers of the government, Fiscal Sylla and Fiscal van
Leeuwen. The other was the provost-marshal, Carel de Nijs. The servant
was directed to leave the room.

Barneveld had stepped into his dressing-room on hearing footsteps, but
came out again with his long furred gown about him as the three entered.
He greeted them courteously and remained standing, with his hands placed
on the back of his chair and with one knee resting carelessly against the
arm of it. Van Leeuwen asked him if he would not rather be seated, as
they brought a communication from the judges. He answered in the
negative. Von Leeuwen then informed him that he was summoned to appear
before the judges the next morning to hear his sentence of death.

"The sentence of death!" he exclaimed, without in the least changing his
position; "the sentence of death! the sentence of death!" saying the
words over thrice, with an air of astonishment rather than of horror. "I
never expected that! I thought they were going to hear my defence again.
I had intended to make some change in my previous statements, having set
some things down when beside myself with choler."

He then made reference to his long services. Van Leeuwen expressed
himself as well acquainted with them. "He was sorry," he said, "that his
lordship took this message ill of him."

"I do not take it ill of you," said Barneveld, "but let them," meaning
the judges, "see how they will answer it before God. Are they thus to
deal with a true patriot? Let me have pen, ink, and paper, that for the
last time I may write farewell to my wife."

"I will go ask permission of the judges," said van Leenwen, "and I cannot
think that my lord's request will be refused."

While van Leeuwen was absent, the Advocate exclaimed, looking at the
other legal officer:

"Oh, Sylla, Sylla, if your father could only have seen to what uses they
would put you!"

Sylla was silent.

Permission to write the letter was soon received from de Voogt, president
of the commission. Pen, ink, and paper were brought, and the prisoner
calmly sat down to write, without the slightest trace of discomposure
upon his countenance or in any of his movements.

While he was writing, Sylla said with some authority, "Beware, my lord,
what you write, lest you put down something which may furnish cause for
not delivering the letter."

Barneveld paused in his writing, took the glasses from his eyes, and
looked Sylla in the face.

"Well, Sylla," he said very calmly, "will you in these my last moments
lay down the law to me as to what I shall write to my wife?"

He then added with a half-smile, "Well, what is expected of me?"

"We have no commission whatever to lay down the law," said van Leeuwen.
"Your worship will write whatever you like."

While he was writing, Anthony Walaeus came in, a preacher and professor
of Middelburg, a deputy to the Synod of Dordtrecht, a learned and amiable
man, sent by the States-General to minister to the prisoner on this
supreme occasion; and not unworthy to be thus selected.

The Advocate, not knowing him, asked him why he came.

"I am not here without commission," said the clergyman. "I come to
console my lord in his tribulation."

"I am a man," said Barneveld; "have come to my present age, and I know
how to console myself. I must write, and have now other things to do."

The preacher said that he would withdraw and return when his worship was
at leisure.

"Do as you like," said the Advocate, calmly going on with his writing.

When the letter was finished, it was sent to the judges for their
inspection, by whom it was at once forwarded to the family mansion in the
Voorhout, hardly a stone's throw from the prison chamber.

Thus it ran:

"Very dearly beloved wife, children, sons-in-law, and grandchildren, I
greet you altogether most affectionately. I receive at this moment the
very heavy and sorrowful tidings that I, an old man, for all my services
done well and faithfully to the Fatherland for so many years (after
having performed all respectful and friendly offices to his Excellency
the Prince with upright affection so far as my official duty and vocation
would permit, shown friendship to many people of all sorts, and wittingly
injured no man), must prepare myself to die to-morrow.

"I console myself in God the Lord, who knows all hearts, and who will
judge all men. I beg you all together to do the same. I have steadily and
faithfully served My Lords the States of Holland and their nobles and
cities. To the States of Utrecht as sovereigns of my own Fatherland I
have imparted at their request upright and faithful counsel, in order to
save them from tumults of the populace, and from the bloodshed with which
they had so long been threatened. I had the same views for the cities of
Holland in order that every one might be protected and no one injured.

"Live together in love and peace. Pray for me to Almighty God, who will
graciously hold us all in His holy keeping.

"From my chamber of sorrow, the 12th May 1619.

"Your very dear husband, father, father-in-law, and grandfather,

                  "JOHN OF BARNEVELD."

It was thought strange that the judges should permit so simple and clear
a statement, an argument in itself, to be forwarded. The theory of his
condemnation was to rest before the public on his confessions of guilt,
and here in the instant of learning the nature of the sentence in a few
hours to be pronounced upon him he had in a few telling periods declared
his entire innocence. Nevertheless the letter had been sent at once to
its address.

So soon as this sad business had been disposed of, Anthony Walaeus
returned. The Advocate apologized to the preacher for his somewhat abrupt
greeting on his first appearance. He was much occupied and did not know
him, he said, although he had often heard of him. He begged him, as well
as the provost-marshal, to join him at supper, which was soon brought.

Barneveld ate with his usual appetite, conversed cheerfully on various
topics, and pledged the health of each of his guests in a glass of beer.
Contrary to his wont he drank at that repast no wine. After supper he
went out into the little ante-chamber and called his servant, asking him
how he had been faring. Now John Franken had just heard with grief
unspeakable the melancholy news of his master's condemnation from two
soldiers of the guard, who had been sent by the judges to keep additional
watch over the prisoner. He was however as great a stoic as his master,
and with no outward and superfluous manifestations of woe had simply
implored the captain-at-arms, van der Meulen, to intercede with the
judges that he might be allowed to stay with his lord to the last.
Meantime he had been expressly informed that he was to say nothing to the
Advocate in secret, and that his master was not to speak to him in a low
tone nor whisper in his ear.

When the Advocate came out into the ante-chamber and looking over his
shoulder saw the two soldiers he at once lowered his voice.

"Hush-speak low," he whispered; "this is too cruel." John then informed
him of van der Meulen's orders, and that the soldiers had also been
instructed to look to it sharply that no word was exchanged between
master and man except in a loud voice.

"Is it possible," said the Advocate, "that so close an inspection is held
over me in these last hours? Can I not speak a word or two in freedom?
This is a needless mark of disrespect."

The soldiers begged him not to take their conduct amiss as they were
obliged strictly to obey orders.

He returned to his chamber, sat down in his chair, and begged Walaeus to
go on his behalf to Prince Maurice.

"Tell his Excellency," said he, "that I have always served him with
upright affection so far as my office, duties, and principles permitted.
If I, in the discharge of my oath and official functions, have ever done
anything contrary to his views, I hope that he will forgive it, and that
he will hold my children in his gracious favour."

It was then ten o'clock. The preacher went downstairs and crossed the
courtyard to the Stadholder's apartments, where he at once gained

Maurice heard the message with tears in his eyes, assuring Walaeus that
he felt deeply for the Advocate's misfortunes. He had always had much
affection for him, he said, and had often warned him against his mistaken
courses. Two things, however, had always excited his indignation. One was
that Barneveld had accused him of aspiring to sovereignty. The other that
he had placed him in such danger at Utrecht. Yet he forgave him all. As
regarded his sons, so long as they behaved themselves well they might
rely on his favour.

As Walaeus was about to leave the apartment, the Prince called him back.

"Did he say anything of a pardon?" he asked, with some eagerness.

"My Lord," answered the clergyman, "I cannot with truth say that I
understood him to make any allusion to it."

Walaeus returned immediately to the prison chamber and made his report of
the interview. He was unwilling however to state the particulars of the
offence which Maurice declared himself to have taken at the acts of the

But as the prisoner insisted upon knowing, the clergyman repeated the
whole conversation.

"His Excellency has been deceived in regard to the Utrecht business,"
said Barneveld, "especially as to one point. But it is true that I had
fear and apprehension that he aspired to the sovereignty or to more
authority in the country. Ever since the year 1600 I have felt this fear
and have tried that these apprehensions might be rightly understood."

While Walaeus had been absent, the Reverend Jean la Motte (or Lamotius)
and another clergyman of the Hague had come to the prisoner's apartment.
La Motte could not look upon the Advocate's face without weeping, but the
others were more collected. Conversation now ensued among the four; the
preachers wishing to turn the doomed statesman's thought to the
consolations of religion.

But it was characteristic of the old lawyer's frame of mind that even now
he looked at the tragical position in which he found himself from a
constitutional and controversial point of view. He was perfectly calm and
undaunted at the awful fate so suddenly and unexpectedly opened before
his eyes, but he was indignant at what he esteemed the ignorance,
injustice, and stupidity of the sentence to be pronounced against him.

"I am ready enough to die," he said to the three clergymen, "but I cannot
comprehend why I am to die. I have done nothing except in obedience to
the laws and privileges of the land and according to my oath, honour, and

"These judges," he continued, "come in a time when other maxims prevail
in the State than those of my day. They have no right therefore to sit in
judgment upon me."

The clergymen replied that the twenty-four judges who had tried the case
were no children and were conscientious men; that it was no small thing
to condemn a man, and that they would have to answer it before the
Supreme Judge of all.

"I console myself," he answered, "in the Lord my God, who knows all
hearts and shall judge all men. God is just.

"They have not dealt with me," he continued, "as according to law and
justice they were bound to deal. They have taken away from me my own
sovereign lords and masters and deposed them. To them alone I was
responsible. In their place they have put many of my enemies who were
never before in the government, and almost all of whom are young men who
have not seen much or read much. I have seen and read much, and know that
from such examples no good can follow. After my death they will learn for
the first time what governing means."

"The twenty-four judges are nearly all of them my enemies. What they have
reproached me with, I have been obliged to hear. I have appealed against
these judges, but it has been of no avail. They have examined me in
piecemeal, not in statesmanlike fashion. The proceedings against me have
been much too hard. I have frequently requested to see the notes of my
examination as it proceeded, and to confer upon it with aid and counsel
of friends, as would be the case in all lands governed by law. The
request was refused. During this long and wearisome affliction and misery
I have not once been allowed to speak to my wife and children. These are
indecent proceedings against a man seventy-two years of age, who has
served his country faithfully for three-and-forty years. I bore arms with
the volunteers at my own charges at the siege of Haarlem and barely
escaped with life."

It was not unnatural that the aged statesman's thoughts should revert in
this supreme moment to the heroic scenes in which he had been an actor
almost a half-century before. He could not but think with bitterness of
those long past but never forgotten days when he, with other patriotic
youths, had faced the terrible legions of Alva in defence of the
Fatherland, at a time when the men who were now dooming him to a
traitor's death were unborn, and who, but for his labours, courage,
wisdom, and sacrifices, might have never had a Fatherland to serve, or a
judgment-seat on which to pronounce his condemnation.

Not in a spirit of fretfulness, but with disdainful calm, he criticised
and censured the proceedings against himself as a violation of the laws
of the land and of the first principles of justice, discussing them as
lucidly and steadily as if they had been against a third person.

The preachers listened, but had nothing to say. They knew not of such
matters, they said, and had no instructions to speak of them. They had
been sent to call him to repentance for his open and hidden sins and to
offer the consolations of religion.

"I know that very well," he said, "but I too have something to say
notwithstanding." The conversation then turned upon religious topics, and
the preachers spoke of predestination.

"I have never been able to believe in the matter of high predestination,"
said the Advocate. "I have left it in the hands of God the Lord. I hold
that a good Christian man must believe that he through God's grace and by
the expiation of his sin through our Redeemer Jesus Christ is predestined
to be saved, and that this belief in his salvation, founded alone on
God's grace and the merits of our Redeemer Jesus Christ, comes to him
through the same grace of God. And if he falls into great sins, his firm
hope and confidence must be that the Lord God will not allow him to
continue in them, but that, through prayer for grace and repentance, he
will be converted from evil and remain in the faith to the end of his

These feelings, he said, he had expressed fifty-two years before to three
eminent professors of theology in whom he confided, and they had assured
him that he might tranquilly continue in such belief without examining
further. "And this has always been my creed," he said.

The preachers replied that faith is a gift of God and not given to all
men, that it must be given out of heaven to a man before he could be
saved. Hereupon they began to dispute, and the Advocate spoke so
earnestly and well that the clergymen were astonished and sat for a time
listening to him in silence.

He asked afterwards about the Synod, and was informed that its decrees
had not yet been promulgated, but that the Remonstrants had been

"It is a pity," said he. "One is trying to act on the old Papal system,
but it will never do. Things have gone too far. As to the Synod, if My
Lords the States of Holland had been heeded there would have been first a
provincial synod and then a national one."--"But," he added, looking the
preachers in the face, "had you been more gentle with each other, matters
would not have taken so high a turn. But you have been too fierce one
against the other, too full of bitter party spirit."

They replied that it was impossible for them to act against their
conscience and the supreme authority. And then they asked him if there
was nothing that troubled him in, his conscience in the matters for which
he must die; nothing for which he repented and sorrowed, and for which he
would call upon God for mercy.

"This I know well," he said, "that I have never willingly done wrong to
any man. People have been ransacking my letters to Caron--confidential
ones written several years ago to an old friend when I was troubled and
seeking for counsel and consolation. It is hard that matter of
impeachment against me to-day should be sought for thus."

And then he fell into political discourse again on the subject of the
Waartgelders and the State rights, and the villainous pasquils and libels
that had circulated so long through the country.

"I have sometimes spoken hastily, I confess," he said; "but that was when
I was stung by the daily swarm of infamous and loathsome pamphlets,
especially those directed against my sovereign masters the States of
Holland. That I could not bear. Old men cannot well brush such things
aside. All that was directly aimed at me in particular I endeavoured to
overcome with such patience as I could muster. The disunion and mutual
enmity in the country have wounded me to the heart. I have made use of
all means in my power to accommodate matters, to effect with all
gentleness a mutual reconciliation. I have always felt a fear lest the
enemy should make use of our internal dissensions to strike a blow
against us. I can say with perfect truth that ever since the year '77 I
have been as resolutely and unchangeably opposed to the Spaniards and
their adherents, and their pretensions over these Provinces, as any man
in the world, no one excepted, and as ready to sacrifice property and
shed my blood in defence of the Fatherland. I have been so devoted to the
service of the country that I have not been able to take the necessary
care of my own private affairs."

So spoke the great statesman in the seclusion of his prison, in the
presence of those clergymen whom he respected, at a supreme moment, when,
if ever, a man might be expected to tell the truth. And his whole life
which belonged to history, and had been passed on the world's stage
before the eyes of two generations of spectators, was a demonstration of
the truth of his words.

But Burgomaster van Berk knew better. Had he not informed the twenty-four
commissioners that, twelve years before, the Advocate wished to subject
the country to Spain, and that Spinola had drawn a bill of exchange for
100,000 ducats as a compensation for his efforts?

It was eleven o'clock. Barneveld requested one of the brethren to say an
evening prayer. This was done by La Motte, and they were then requested
to return by three or four o'clock next morning. They had been directed,
they said, to remain with him all night. "That is unnecessary," said the
Advocate, and they retired.

His servant then helped his master to undress, and he went to bed as
usual. Taking off his signet-ring, he gave it to John Franken.

"For my eldest son," he said.

The valet sat down at the head of his bed in order that his master might
speak to him before he slept. But the soldiers ordered him away and
compelled him to sit in a distant part of the room.

An hour after midnight, the Advocate having been unable to lose himself,
his servant observed that Isaac, one of the soldiers, was fast asleep. He
begged the other, Tilman Schenk by name, to permit him some private words
with his master. He had probably last messages, he thought, to send to
his wife and children, and the eldest son, M. de Groeneveld, would no
doubt reward him well for it. But the soldier was obstinate in obedience
to the orders of the judges.

Barneveld, finding it impossible to sleep, asked his servant to read to
him from the Prayer-book. The soldier called in a clergyman however,
another one named Hugo Bayerus, who had been sent to the prison, and who
now read to him the Consolations of the Sick. As he read, he made
exhortations and expositions, which led to animated discussion, in which
the Advocate expressed himself with so much fervour and eloquence that
all present were astonished, and the preacher sat mute a half-hour long
at the bed-side.

"Had there been ten clergymen," said the simple-hearted sentry to the
valet, "your master would have enough to say to all of them."

Barneveld asked where the place had been prepared in which he was to die.

"In front of the great hall, as I understand," said Bayerus, "but I don't
know the localities well, having lived here but little."

"Have you heard whether my Grotius is to die, and Hoogerbeets also?" he

"I have heard nothing to that effect," replied the clergyman.

"I should most deeply grieve for those two gentlemen," said Barneveld,
"were that the case. They may yet live to do the land great service. That
great rising light, de Groot, is still young, but a very wise and learned
gentleman, devoted to his Fatherland with all zeal, heart, and soul, and
ready to stand up for her privileges, laws, and rights. As for me, I am
an old and worn-out man. I can do no more. I have already done more than
I was really able to do. I have worked so zealously in public matters
that I have neglected my private business. I had expressly ordered my
house at Loosduinen" [a villa by the seaside] "to be got ready, that I
might establish myself there and put my affairs in order. I have
repeatedly asked the States of Holland for my discharge, but could never
obtain it. It seems that the Almighty had otherwise disposed of me."

He then said he would try once more if he could sleep. The clergyman and
the servant withdrew for an hour, but his attempt was unsuccessful. After
an hour he called for his French Psalm Book and read in it for some time.
Sometime after two o'clock the clergymen came in again and conversed with
him. They asked him if he had slept, if he hoped to meet Christ, and if
there was anything that troubled his conscience.

"I have not slept, but am perfectly tranquil," he replied. "I am ready to
die, but cannot comprehend why I must die. I wish from my heart that,
through my death and my blood, all disunion and discord in this land may

He bade them carry his last greetings to his fellow prisoners. "Say
farewell for me to my good Grotius," said he, "and tell him that I must

The clergymen then left him, intending to return between five and six

He remained quiet for a little while and then ordered his valet to cut
open the front of his shirt. When this was done, he said, "John, are you
to stay by me to the last?"

"Yes," he replied, "if the judges permit it."

"Remind me to send one of the clergymen to the judges with the request,"
said his master.

The faithful John, than whom no servant or friend could be more devoted,
seized the occasion, with the thrift and stoicism of a true Hollander, to
suggest that his lord might at the same time make some testamentary
disposition in his favour.

"Tell my wife and children," said the Advocate, "that they must console
each other in mutual love and union. Say that through God's grace I am
perfectly at ease, and hope that they will be equally tranquil. Tell my
children that I trust they will be loving and friendly to their mother
during the short time she has yet to live. Say that I wish to recommend
you to them that they may help you to a good situation either with
themselves or with others. Tell them that this was my last request."

He bade him further to communicate to the family the messages sent that
night through Walaeus by the Stadholder.

The valet begged his master to repeat these instructions in presence of
the clergyman, or to request one of them to convey them himself to the
family. He promised to do so.

"As long as I live," said the grateful servant, "I shall remember your
lordship in my prayers."

"No, John," said the Advocate, "that is Popish. When I am dead, it is all
over with prayers. Pray for me while I still live. Now is the time to
pray. When one is dead, one should no longer be prayed for."

La Motte came in. Barneveld repeated his last wishes exactly as he
desired them to be communicated to his wife and children. The preacher
made no response. "Will you take the message?" asked the prisoner. La
Motte nodded, but did not speak, nor did he subsequently fulfil the

Before five o'clock the servant heard the bell ring in the apartment of
the judges directly below the prison chamber, and told his master he had
understood that they were to assemble at five o'clock.

"I may as well get up then," said the Advocate; "they mean to begin
early, I suppose. Give me my doublet and but one pair of stockings."

He was accustomed to wear two or three pair at a time.

He took off his underwaistcoat, saying that the silver bog which was in
one of the pockets was to be taken to his wife, and that the servant
should keep the loose money there for himself. Then he found an
opportunity to whisper to him, "Take good care of the papers which are in
the apartment." He meant the elaborate writings which he had prepared
during his imprisonment and concealed in the tapestry and within the
linings of the chair.

As his valet handed him the combs and brushes, he said with a smile,
"John, this is for the last time."

When he was dressed, he tried, in rehearsal of the approaching scene, to
pull over his eyes the silk skull-cap which he usually wore under his
hat. Finding it too tight he told the valet to put the nightcap in his
pocket and give it him when he should call for it. He then swallowed a
half-glass of wine with a strengthening cordial in it, which he was wont
to take.

The clergymen then re-entered, and asked if he had been able to sleep. He
answered no, but that he had been much consoled by many noble things
which he had been reading in the French Psalm Book. The clergymen said
that they had been thinking much of the beautiful confession of faith
which he had made to them that evening. They rejoiced at it, they said,
on his account, and had never thought it of him. He said that such had
always been his creed.

At his request Walaeus now offered a morning prayer Barneveld fell on his
knees and prayed inwardly without uttering a sound. La Motte asked when
he had concluded, "Did my Lord say Amen?"--"Yes, Lamotius," he replied;
"Amen."--"Has either of the brethren," he added, "prepared a prayer to be
offered outside there?"

La Motte informed him that this duty had been confided to him. Some
passages from Isaiah were now read aloud, and soon afterwards Walaeus was
sent for to speak with the judges. He came back and said to the prisoner,
"Has my Lord any desire to speak with his wife or children, or any of his
friends?" It was then six o'clock, and Barneveld replied:

"No, the time is drawing near. It would excite a new emotion." Walaeus
went back to the judges with this answer, who thereupon made this
official report:

"The husband and father of the petitioners, being asked if he desired
that any of the petitioners should come to him, declared that he did not
approve of it, saying that it would cause too great an emotion for
himself as well as for them. This is to serve as an answer to the

Now the Advocate knew nothing of the petition. Up to the last moment his
family had been sanguine as to his ultimate acquittal and release. They
relied on a promise which they had received or imagined that they had
received from the Stadholder that no harm should come to the prisoner in
consequence of the arrest made of his person in the Prince's apartments
on the 8th of August. They had opened this tragical month of May with
flagstaffs and flower garlands, and were making daily preparations to
receive back the revered statesman in triumph.

The letter written by him from his "chamber of sorrow," late in the
evening of 12th May, had at last dispelled every illusion. It would be
idle to attempt to paint the grief and consternation into which the
household in the Voorhout was plunged, from the venerable dame at its
head, surrounded by her sons and daughters and children's children, down
to the humblest servant in their employment. For all revered and loved
the austere statesman, but simple and benignant father and master.

No heed had been taken of the three elaborate and argumentative petitions
which, prepared by learned counsel in name of the relatives, had been
addressed to the judges. They had not been answered because they were
difficult to answer, and because it was not intended that the accused
should have the benefit of counsel.

An urgent and last appeal was now written late at night, and signed by
each member of the family, to his Excellency the Prince and the judge
commissioners, to this effect:

"The afflicted wife and children of M. van Barneveld humbly show that
having heard the sorrowful tidings of his coming execution, they humbly
beg that it may be granted them to see and speak to him for the last

The two sons delivered this petition at four o'clock in the morning into
the hands of de Voogd, one of the judges. It was duly laid before the
commission, but the prisoner was never informed, when declining a last
interview with his family, how urgently they had themselves solicited the

Louise de Coligny, on hearing late at night the awful news, had been
struck with grief and horror. She endeavoured, late as it was, to do
something to avert the doom of one she so much revered, the man on whom
her illustrious husband had leaned his life long as on a staff of iron.
She besought an interview of the Stadholder, but it was refused. The wife
of William the Silent had no influence at that dire moment with her
stepson. She was informed at first that Maurice was asleep, and at four
in the morning that all intervention was useless.

The faithful and energetic du Maurier, who had already exhausted himself
in efforts to save the life of the great prisoner, now made a last
appeal. He, too, heard at four o'clock in the morning of the 13th that
sentence of death was to be pronounced. Before five o'clock he made
urgent application to be heard before the Assembly of the States-General
as ambassador of a friendly sovereign who took the deepest interest in
the welfare of the Republic and the fate of its illustrious statesman.
The appeal was refused. As a last resource he drew up an earnest and
eloquent letter to the States-General, urging clemency in the name of his
king. It was of no avail. The letter may still be seen in the Royal
Archives at the Hague, drawn up entirely in du Maurier's clear and
beautiful handwriting. Although possibly a first draft, written as it
was under such a mortal pressure for time, its pages have not one erasure
or correction.

It was seven o'clock. Barneveld having observed by the preacher (La
Motte's) manner that he was not likely to convey the last messages which
he had mentioned to his wife and children, sent a request to the judges
to be allowed to write one more letter. Captain van der Meulen came back
with the permission, saying he would wait and take it to the judges for
their revision.

The letter has been often published.

"Must they see this too? Why, it is only a line in favour of John," said
the prisoner, sitting quietly down to write this letter:

"Very dear wife and children, it is going to an end with me. I am,
through the grace of God, very tranquil. I hope that you are equally so,
and that you may by mutual love, union, and peace help each other to
overcome all things, which I pray to the Omnipotent as my last request.
John Franken has served me faithfully for many years and throughout all
these my afflictions, and is to remain with me to the end. He deserves to
be recommended to you and to be furthered to good employments with you or
with others. I request you herewith to see to this.

"I have requested his Princely Excellency to hold my sons and children in
his favour, to which he has answered that so long as you conduct
yourselves well this shall be the case. I recommend this to you in the
best form and give you all into God's holy keeping. Kiss each other and
all my grandchildren, for the last time in my name, and fare you well.
Out of the chamber of sorrow, 13th May 1619. Your dear husband and
                  JOHN OF BARNEVELD.

"P.S. You will make John Franken a present in memory of me."

Certainly it would be difficult to find a more truly calm, courageous, or
religious spirit than that manifested by this aged statesman at an hour
when, if ever, a human soul is tried and is apt to reveal its innermost
depths or shallows. Whatever Gomarus or Bogerman, or the whole Council of
Dordtrecht, may have thought of his theology, it had at least taught him
forgiveness of his enemies, kindness to his friends, and submission to
the will of the Omnipotent. Every moment of his last days on earth had
been watched and jealously scrutinized, and his bitterest enemies had
failed to discover one trace of frailty, one manifestation of any
vacillating, ignoble, or malignant sentiment.

The drums had been sounding through the quiet but anxiously expectant
town since four o'clock that morning, and the tramp of soldiers marching
to the Inner Court had long been audible in the prison chamber.

Walaeus now came back with a message from the judges. "The high
commissioners," he said, "think it is beginning. Will my Lord please to
prepare himself?"

"Very well, very well," said the prisoner. "Shall we go at once?"

But Walaeus suggested a prayer. Upon its conclusion, Barneveld gave his
hand to the provost-marshal and to the two soldiers, bidding them adieu,
and walked downstairs, attended by them, to the chamber of the judges. As
soon as he appeared at the door, he was informed that there had been a
misunderstanding, and he was requested to wait a little. He accordingly
went upstairs again with perfect calmness, sat down in his chamber again,
and read in his French Psalm Book. Half an hour later he was once more
summoned, the provost-marshal and Captain van der Meulen reappearing to
escort him. "Mr. Provost," said the prisoner, as they went down the
narrow staircase, "I have always been a good friend to you."--"It is
true," replied that officer, "and most deeply do I grieve to see you in
this affliction."

He was about to enter the judges' chamber as usual, but was informed that
the sentence would be read in the great hall of judicature. They
descended accordingly to the basement story, and passed down the narrow
flight of steps which then as now connected the more modern structure,
where the Advocate had been imprisoned and tried, with what remained of
the ancient palace of the Counts of Holland. In the centre of the vast
hall--once the banqueting chamber of those petty sovereigns; with its
high vaulted roof of cedar which had so often in ancient days rung with
the sounds of mirth and revelry--was a great table at which the
twenty-four judges and the three prosecuting officers were seated, in
their black caps and gowns of office. The room was lined with soldiers
and crowded with a dark, surging mass of spectators, who had been waiting
there all night.

A chair was placed for the prisoner. He sat down, and the clerk of the
commission, Pots by name, proceeded at once to read the sentence. A
summary of this long, rambling, and tiresome paper has been already laid
before the reader. If ever a man could have found it tedious to listen to
his own death sentence, the great statesman might have been in that
condition as he listened to Secretary Pots.

During the reading of the sentence the Advocate moved uneasily on his
seat, and seemed about to interrupt the clerk at several passages which
seemed to him especially preposterous. But he controlled himself by a
strong effort, and the clerk went steadily on to the conclusion.

Then Barneveld said:

"The judges have put down many things which they have no right to draw
from my confession. Let this protest be added."

"I thought too," he continued, "that My Lords the States-General would
have had enough in my life and blood, and that my wife and children might
keep what belongs to them. Is this my recompense for forty-three years'
service to these Provinces?"

President de Voogd rose:

"Your sentence has been pronounced," he said. "Away! away!" So saying he
pointed to the door into which one of the great windows at the
south-eastern front of the hall had been converted.

Without another word the old man rose from his chair and strode, leaning
on his staff, across the hall, accompanied by his faithful valet and the
provost and escorted by a file of soldiers. The mob of spectators flowed
out after him at every door into the inner courtyard in front of the
ancient palace.


     Better to be governed by magistrates than mobs
     Burning with bitter revenge for all the favours he had received
     Death rather than life with a false acknowledgment of guilt
     Enemy of all compulsion of the human conscience
     Heidelberg Catechism were declared to be infallible
     I know how to console myself
     Implication there was much, of assertion very little
     John Robinson
     Magistracy at that moment seemed to mean the sword
     Only true religion
     Rather a wilderness to reign over than a single heretic
     William Brewster



By John Lothrop Motley, D.C.L., LL.D.

Life and Death of John of Barneveld, v11, 1619-23


   Barneveld's Execution--The Advocate's Conduct on the Scaffold--The
   Sentence printed and sent to the Provinces--The Proceedings
   irregular and inequitable.

In the beautiful village capital of the "Count's Park," commonly called
the Hague, the most striking and picturesque spot then as now was that
where the transformed remains of the old moated castle of those feudal
sovereigns were still to be seen. A three-storied range of simple,
substantial buildings in brown brickwork, picked out with white stone in
a style since made familiar both in England and America, and associated
with a somewhat later epoch in the history of the House of Orange,
surrounded three sides of a spacious inner paved quadrangle called the
Inner Court, the fourth or eastern side being overshadowed by a beechen
grove. A square tower flanked each angle, and on both sides of the
south-western turret extended the commodious apartments of the
Stadholder. The great gateway on the south-west opened into a wide open
space called the Outer Courtyard. Along the north-west side a broad and
beautiful sheet of water, in which the walls, turrets, and chapel-spires
of the enclosed castle mirrored themselves, was spread between the mass
of buildings and an umbrageous promenade called the Vyverberg, consisting
of a sextuple alley of lime-trees and embowering here and there a stately
villa. A small island, fringed with weeping willows and tufted all over
with lilacs, laburnums, and other shrubs then in full flower, lay in the
centre of the miniature lake, and the tall solid tower of the Great
Church, surmounted by a light openwork spire, looked down from a little
distance over the scene.

It was a bright morning in May. The white swans were sailing tranquilly
to and fro over the silver basin, and the mavis, blackbird, and
nightingale, which haunted the groves surrounding the castle and the
town, were singing as if the daybreak were ushering in a summer festival.

But it was not to a merry-making that the soldiers were marching and the
citizens thronging so eagerly from every street and alley towards the
castle. By four o'clock the Outer and Inner Courts had been lined with
detachments of the Prince's guard and companies of other regiments to the
number of 1200 men. Occupying the north-eastern side of the court rose
the grim, time-worn front of the ancient hall, consisting of one tall
pyramidal gable of ancient grey brickwork flanked with two tall slender
towers, the whole with the lancet-shaped windows and severe style of the
twelfth century, excepting a rose-window in the centre with the decorated
mullions of a somewhat later period.

In front of the lower window, with its Gothic archway hastily converted
into a door, a shapeless platform of rough, unhewn planks had that night
been rudely patched together. This was the scaffold. A slight railing
around it served to protect it from the crowd, and a heap of coarse sand
had been thrown upon it. A squalid, unclean box of unplaned boards,
originally prepared as a coffin for a Frenchman who some time before had
been condemned to death for murdering the son of Goswyn Meurskens, a
Hague tavern-keeper, but pardoned by the Stadholder--lay on the scaffold.
It was recognized from having been left for a long time, half forgotten,
at the public execution-place of the Hague.

Upon this coffin now sat two common soldiers of ruffianly aspect playing
at dice, betting whether the Lord or the Devil would get the soul of
Barneveld. Many a foul and ribald jest at the expense of the prisoner was
exchanged between these gamblers, some of their comrades, and a few
townsmen, who were grouped about at that early hour. The horrible libels,
caricatures, and calumnies which had been circulated, exhibited, and sung
in all the streets for so many months had at last thoroughly poisoned the
minds of the vulgar against the fallen statesman.

The great mass of the spectators had forced their way by daybreak into
the hall itself to hear the sentence, so that the Inner Courtyard had
remained comparatively empty.

At last, at half past nine o'clock, a shout arose, "There he comes! there
he comes!" and the populace flowed out from the hall of judgment into the
courtyard like a tidal wave.

In an instant the Binnenhof was filled with more than three thousand

The old statesman, leaning on his staff, walked out upon the scaffold and
calmly surveyed the scene. Lifting his eyes to Heaven, he was heard to
murmur, "O God! what does man come to!" Then he said bitterly once more:
"This, then, is the reward of forty years' service to the State!"

La Motte, who attended him, said fervently: "It is no longer time to
think of this. Let us prepare your coming before God."

"Is there no cushion or stool to kneel upon?" said Barneveld, looking
around him.

The provost said he would send for one, but the old man knelt at once on
the bare planks. His servant, who waited upon him as calmly and
composedly as if he had been serving him at dinner, held him by the arm.
It was remarked that neither master nor man, true stoics and Hollanders
both, shed a single tear upon the scaffold.

La Motte prayed for a quarter of an hour, the Advocate remaining on his

He then rose and said to John Franken, "See that he does not come near
me," pointing to the executioner who stood in the background grasping his
long double-handed sword. Barneveld then rapidly unbuttoned his doublet
with his own hands and the valet helped him off with it. "Make haste!
make haste!" said his master.

The statesman then came forward and said in a loud, firm voice to the

"Men, do not believe that I am a traitor to the country. I have ever
acted uprightly and loyally as a good patriot, and as such I shall die."

The crowd was perfectly silent.

He then took his cap from John Franken, drew it over his eyes, and went
forward towards the sand, saying:

"Christ shall be my guide. O Lord, my heavenly Father, receive my

As he was about to kneel with his face to the south, the provost said:

"My lord will be pleased to move to the other side, not where the sun is
in his face."

He knelt accordingly with his face towards his own house. The servant
took farewell of him, and Barneveld said to the executioner:

"Be quick about it. Be quick."

The executioner then struck his head off at a single blow.

Many persons from the crowd now sprang, in spite of all opposition, upon
the scaffold and dipped their handkerchiefs in his blood, cut wet
splinters from the boards, or grubbed up the sand that was steeped in it;
driving many bargains afterwards for these relics to be treasured, with
various feelings of sorrow, joy, glutted or expiated vengeance.

It has been recorded, and has been constantly repeated to this day, that
the Stadholder, whose windows exactly faced the scaffold, looked out upon
the execution with a spy-glass; saying as he did so:

"See the old scoundrel, how he trembles! He is afraid of the stroke."

But this is calumny. Colonel Hauterive declared that he was with Maurice
in his cabinet during the whole period of the execution, that by order of
the Prince all the windows and shutters were kept closed, that no person
wearing his livery was allowed to be abroad, that he anxiously received
messages as to the proceedings, and heard of the final catastrophe with
sorrowful emotion.

It must be admitted, however, that the letter which Maurice wrote on the
same morning to his cousin William Lewis does not show much pathos.

"After the judges," he said, "have been busy here with the sentence
against the Advocate Barneveld for several days, at last it has been
pronounced, and this morning, between nine o'clock and half past, carried
into execution with the sword, in the Binnenhof before the great hall.

"The reasons they had for this you will see from the sentence, which will
doubtless be printed, and which I will send you.

"The wife of the aforesaid Barneveld and also some of his sons and
sons-in-law or other friends have never presented any supplication for
his pardon, but till now have vehemently demanded that law and justice
should be done to him, and have daily let the report run through the
people that he would soon come out. They also planted a may-pole before
their house adorned with garlands and ribbands, and practised other
jollities and impertinences, while they ought to have conducted
themselves in a humble and lowly fashion. This is no proper manner of
behaving, and moreover not a practical one to move the judges to any
favour even if they had been thereto inclined."

The sentence was printed and sent to the separate provinces. It was
accompanied by a declaration of the States-General that they had received
information from the judges of various points, not mentioned in the
sentence, which had been laid to the charge of the late Advocate, and
which gave much reason to doubt whether he had not perhaps turned his
eyes toward the enemy. They could not however legally give judgment to
that effect without a sharper investigation, which on account of his
great age and for other reasons it was thought best to spare him.

A meaner or more malignant postscript to a state paper recounting the
issue of a great trial it would be difficult to imagine. The first
statesman of the country had just been condemned and executed on a
narrative, without indictment of any specified crime. And now, by a kind
of apologetic after-thought, six or eight individuals calling themselves
the States-General insinuated that he had been looking towards the enemy,
and that, had they not mercifully spared him the rack, which is all that
could be meant by their sharper investigation, he would probably have
confessed the charge.

And thus the dead man's fame was blackened by those who had not hesitated
to kill him, but had shrunk from enquiring into his alleged crime.

Not entirely without semblance of truth did Grotius subsequently say that
the men who had taken his life would hardly have abstained from torturing
him if they had really hoped by so doing to extract from him a confession
of treason.

The sentence was sent likewise to France, accompanied with a statement
that Barneveld had been guilty of unpardonable crimes which had not been
set down in the act of condemnation. Complaints were also made of the
conduct of du Maurier in thrusting himself into the internal affairs of
the States and taking sides so ostentatiously against the government. The
King and his ministers were indignant with these rebukes, and sustained
the Ambassador. Jeannin and de Boississe expressed the opinion that he
had died innocent of any crime, and only by reason of his strong
political opposition to the Prince.

The judges had been unanimous in finding him guilty of the acts recorded
in their narrative, but three of them had held out for some time in
favour of a sentence of perpetual imprisonment rather than decapitation.

They withdrew at last their opposition to the death penalty for the
wonderful reason that reports had been circulated of attempts likely to
be made to assassinate Prince Maurice. The Stadholder himself treated
these rumours and the consequent admonition of the States-General that he
would take more than usual precautions for his safety with perfect
indifference, but they were conclusive with the judges of Barneveld.

"Republica poscit exemplum," said Commissioner Junius, one of the three,
as he sided with the death-warrant party.

The same Doctor Junius a year afterwards happened to dine, in company of
one of his fellow-commissioners, with Attorney-General Sylla at Utrecht,
and took occasion to ask them why it was supposed that Barneveld had been
hanging his head towards Spain, as not one word of that stood in the

The question was ingenuous on the part of one learned judge to his
colleagues in one of the most famous state trials of history, propounded
as a bit of after-dinner casuistry, when the victim had been more than a
year in his grave.

But perhaps the answer was still more artless. His brother lawyers
replied that the charge was easily to be deduced from the sentence,
because a man who breaks up the foundation of the State makes the country
indefensible, and therefore invites the enemy to invade it. And this
Barneveld had done, who had turned the Union, religion, alliances, and
finances upside down by his proceedings.

Certainly if every constitutional minister, accused by the opposition
party of turning things upside down by his proceedings, were assumed to
be guilty of deliberately inviting a hostile invasion of his country,
there would have been few from that day to this to escape hanging.

Constructive treason could scarcely go farther than it was made to do in
these attempts to prove, after his death, that the Advocate had, as it
was euphuistically expressed, been looking towards the enemy.

And no better demonstrations than these have ever been discovered.

He died at the age of seventy-one years seven months and eighteen days.

His body and head were huddled into the box upon which the soldiers had
been shaking the dice, and was placed that night in the vault of the
chapel in the Inner Court.

It was subsequently granted as a boon to the widow and children that it
might be taken thence and decently buried in the family vault at

On the day of the execution a formal entry was made in the register of
the States of Holland.

"Monday, 13th May 1619. To-day was executed with the sword here in the
Hague, on a scaffold thereto erected in the Binnenhof before the steps of
the great hall, Mr. John of Barneveld, in his life Knight, Lord of
Berkel, Rodenrys, &c., Advocate of Holland and West Friesland, for
reasons expressed in the sentence and otherwise, with confiscation of his
property, after he had served the State thirty-three years two months and
five days since 8th March 1586.; a man of great activity, business,
memory, and wisdom--yes, extraordinary in every respect. He that stands
let him see that he does not fall, and may God be merciful to his soul.

A year later-on application made by the widow and children of the
deceased to compound for the confiscation of his property by payment of a
certain sum, eighty florins or a similar trifle, according to an ancient
privilege of the order of nobility--the question was raised whether he
had been guilty of high-treason, as he had not been sentenced for such a
crime, and as it was only in case of sentence for lese-majesty that this
composition was disallowed. It was deemed proper therefore to ask the
court for what crime the prisoner had been condemned. Certainly a more
sarcastic question could not have been asked. But the court had ceased to
exist. The commission had done its work and was dissolved. Some of its
members were dead. Letters however were addressed by the States-General
to the individual commissioners requesting them to assemble at the Hague
for the purpose of stating whether it was because the prisoners had
committed lese-majesty that their property had been confiscated. They
never assembled. Some of them were perhaps ignorant of the exact nature
of that crime. Several of them did not understand the words. Twelve of
them, among whom were a few jurists, sent written answers to the
questions proposed. The question was, "Did you confiscate the property
because the crime was lese-majesty?" The reply was, "The crime was
lese-majesty, although not so stated in the sentence, because we
confiscated the property." In one of these remarkable documents this was
stated to be "the unanimous opinion of almost all the judges."

The point was referred to the commissioners, some of whom attended the
court of the Hague in person, while others sent written opinions. All
agreed that the criminal had committed high-treason because otherwise his
property would not have been confiscated.

A more wonderful example of the argument in a circle was never heard of.
Moreover it is difficult to understand by what right the high commission,
which had been dissolved a year before, after having completed its work,
could be deemed competent to emit afterwards a judicial decision. But the
fact is curious as giving one more proof of the irregular,
unphilosophical, and inequitable nature of these famous proceedings.


   Grotius urged to ask Forgiveness--Grotius shows great Weakness--
   Hoogerbeets and Grotius imprisoned for Life--Grotius confined at
   Loevestein--Grotius' early Attainments--Grotius' Deportment in
   Prison--Escape of Grotius--Deventer's Rage at Grotius' Escape.

Two days after the execution of the Advocate, judgment was pronounced
upon Gillis van Ledenberg. It would have been difficult to try him, or to
extort a confession of high-treason from him by the rack or otherwise, as
the unfortunate gentleman had been dead for more than seven months.

Not often has a court of justice pronounced a man, without trial, to be
guilty of a capital offence. Not often has a dead man been condemned and
executed. But this was the lot of Secretary Ledenberg. He was sentenced
to be hanged, his property declared confiscated.

His unburied corpse, reduced to the condition of a mummy, was brought out
of its lurking-place, thrust into a coffin, dragged on a hurdle to the
Golgotha outside the Hague, on the road to Ryswyk, and there hung on a
gibbet in company of the bodies of other malefactors swinging there in

His prudent scheme to save his property for his children by committing
suicide in prison was thus thwarted.

The reading of the sentence of Ledenberg, as had been previously the case
with that of Barneveld, had been heard by Grotius through the open window
of his prison, as he lay on his bed. The scaffold on which the Advocate
had suffered was left standing, three executioners were still in the
town, and there was every reason for both Grotius and Hoogerbeets to
expect a similar doom. Great efforts were made to induce the friends of
the distinguished prisoners to sue for their pardon. But even as in the
case of the Barneveld family these attempts were fruitless. The austere
stoicism both on the part of the sufferers and their relatives excites
something like wonder.

Three of the judges went in person to the prison chamber of Hoogerbeets,
urging him to ask forgiveness himself or to allow his friends to demand
it for him.

"If my wife and children do ask," he said, "I will protest against it. I
need no pardon. Let justice take its course. Think not, gentlemen, that I
mean by asking for pardon to justify your proceedings."

He stoutly refused to do either. The judges, astonished, took their
departure, saying:

"Then you will fare as Barneveld. The scaffold is still standing."

He expected consequently nothing but death, and said many years
afterwards that he knew from personal experience how a man feels who goes
out of prison to be beheaded.

The wife of Grotius sternly replied to urgent intimations from a high
source that she should ask pardon for her husband, "I shall not do it. If
he has deserved it, let them strike off his head."

Yet no woman could be more devoted to her husband than was Maria van
Reigersbergen to Hugo de Groot, as time was to prove. The Prince
subsequently told her at a personal interview that "one of two roads must
be taken, that of the law or that of pardon."

Soon after the arrest it was rumoured that Grotius was ready to make
important revelations if he could first be assured of the Prince's

His friends were indignant at the statement. His wife stoutly denied its
truth, but, to make sure, wrote to her husband on the subject.

"One thing amazes me," she said; "some people here pretend to say that
you have stated to one gentleman in private that you have something to
disclose greatly important to the country, but that you desired
beforehand to be taken under the protection of his Excellency. I have not
chosen to believe this, nor do I, for I hold that to be certain which you
have already told me--that you know no secrets. I see no reason therefore
why you should require the protection of any man. And there is no one to
believe this, but I thought best to write to you of it. Let me, in order
that I may contradict the story with more authority, have by the bearer
of this a simple Yes or No. Study quietly, take care of your health, have
some days' patience, for the Advocate has not yet been heard."

The answer has not been preserved, but there is an allusion to the
subject in an unpublished memorandum of Grotius written while he was in

It must be confessed that the heart of the great theologian and jurist
seems to have somewhat failed him after his arrest, and although he was
incapable of treachery--even if he had been possessed of any secrets,
which certainly was not the case--he did not show the same Spartan
firmness as his wife, and was very far from possessing the heroic calm of
Barneveld. He was much disposed to extricate himself from his unhappy
plight by making humble, if not abject, submission to Maurice. He
differed from his wife in thinking that he had no need of the Prince's
protection. "I begged the Chamberlain, Matthew de Cors," he said, a few
days after his arrest, "that I might be allowed to speak with his
Excellency of certain things which I would not willingly trust to the
pen. My meaning was to leave all public employment and to offer my
service to his Excellency in his domestic affairs. Thus I hoped that the
motives for my imprisonment would cease. This was afterwards
misinterpreted as if I had had wonderful things to reveal."

But Grotius towards the end of his trial showed still greater weakness.
After repeated refusals, he had at last obtained permission of the judges
to draw up in writing the heads of his defence. To do this he was allowed
a single sheet of paper, and four hours of time, the trial having lasted
several months. And in the document thus prepared he showed faltering in
his faith as to his great friend's innocence, and admitted, without any
reason whatever, the possibility of there being truth in some of the vile
and anonymous calumnies against him.

"The friendship of the Advocate of Holland I had always highly prized,"
he said, "hoping from the conversation of so wise and experienced a
person to learn much that was good . . . . I firmly believed that his
Excellency, notwithstanding occasional differences as to the conduct of
public affairs, considered him a true and upright servant of the land
. . . . I have been therefore surprised to understand, during my
imprisonment, that the gentlemen had proofs in hand not alone of his
correspondence with the enemy, but also of his having received money
from them.

"He being thus accused, I have indicated by word of mouth and afterwards
resumed in writing all matters which I thought--the above-mentioned
proofs being made good--might be thereto indirectly referred, in order to
show that for me no friendships were so dear as the preservation of the
freedom of the land. I wish that he may give explanation of all to the
contentment of the judges, and that therefore his actions--which,
supposing the said correspondence to be true, are subject to a bad
interpretation--may be taken in another sense."

Alas! could the Advocate--among whose first words after hearing of his
own condemnation to death were, "And must my Grotius die too?" adding,
with a sigh of relief when assured of the contrary, "I should deeply
grieve for that; he is so young and may live to do the State much
service." could he have read those faltering and ungenerous words from one
he so held in his heart, he would have felt them like the stab of Brutus.

Grotius lived to know that there were no such proofs, that the judges did
not dare even allude to the charge in their sentence, and long years
afterwards he drew a picture of the martyred patriot such as one might
have expected from his pen.

But these written words of doubt must have haunted him to his grave.

On the 18th May 1619--on the fifty-first anniversary, as Grotius
remarked, of the condemnation of Egmont and Hoorn by the Blood Tribunal
of Alva--the two remaining victims were summoned to receive their doom.
The Fiscal Sylla, entering de Groot's chamber early in the morning to
conduct him before the judges, informed him that he was not instructed to
communicate the nature of the sentence. "But," he said, maliciously, "you
are aware of what has befallen the Advocate."

"I have heard with my own ears," answered Grotius, "the judgment
pronounced upon Barneveld and upon Ledenberg. Whatever may be my fate, I
have patience to bear it."

The sentence, read in the same place and in the same manner as had been
that upon the Advocate, condemned both Hoogerbeets and Grotius to
perpetual imprisonment.

The course of the trial and the enumeration of the offences were nearly
identical with the leading process which has been elaborately described.

Grotius made no remark whatever in the court-room. On returning to his
chamber he observed that his admissions of facts had been tortured into
confessions of guilt, that he had been tried and sentenced against all
principles and forms of law, and that he had been deprived of what the
humblest criminal could claim, the right of defence and the examination
of testimony. In regard to the penalty against him, he said, there was no
such thing as perpetual imprisonment except in hell. Alluding to the
leading cause of all these troubles, he observed that it was with the
Stadholder and the Advocate as Cato had said of Caesar and Pompey. The
great misery had come not from their being enemies, but from their having
once been friends.

On the night of 5th June the prisoners were taken from their prison in
the Hague and conveyed to the castle of Loevestein.

This fortress, destined thenceforth to be famous in history and--from its
frequent use in after-times as a state-prison for men of similar
constitutional views to those of Grotius and the Advocate--to give its
name to a political party, was a place of extraordinary strength. Nature
and art had made it, according to military ideas of that age, almost
impregnable. As a prison it seemed the very castle of despair. "Abandon
all hope ye who enter" seemed engraven over its portal.

Situate in the very narrow, acute angle where the broad, deep, and turbid
Waal--the chief of the three branches into which the Rhine divides itself
on entering the Netherlands--mingles its current with the silver Meuse
whose name it adopts as the united rivers roll to the sea, it was guarded
on many sides by these deep and dangerous streams. On the land-side it
was surrounded by high walls and a double foss, which protected it
against any hostile invasion from Brabant. As the Twelve Years' Truce was
running to its close, it was certain that pains would be taken to
strengthen the walls and deepen the ditches, that the place might be
proof against all marauders and land-robbers likely to swarm over from
the territory of the Archdukes. The town of Gorcum was exactly opposite
on the northern side of the Waal, while Worcum was about a league's
distance from the castle on the southern side, but separated from it by
the Meuse.

The prisoners, after crossing the drawbridge, were led through thirteen
separate doors, each one secured by iron bolts and heavy locks, until
they reached their separate apartments.

They were never to see or have any communication with each other. It had
been accorded by the States-General however that the wives of the two
gentlemen were to have access to their prison, were to cook for them in
the castle kitchen, and, if they chose to inhabit the fortress, might
cross to the neighbouring town of Gorcum from time to time to make
purchases, and even make visits to the Hague. Twenty-four stuivers, or
two shillings, a day were allowed by the States-General for the support
of each prisoner and his family. As the family property of Grotius was at
once sequestered, with a view to its ultimate confiscation, it was clear
that abject indigence as well as imprisonment was to be the lifelong lot
of this illustrious person, who had hitherto lived in modest affluence,
occupying the most considerable of social positions.

The commandant of the fortress was inspired from the outset with a desire
to render the prisoner's situation as hateful as it was in his power to
make it. And much was in his power. He resolved that the family should
really live upon their daily pittance. Yet Madame de Groot, before the
final confiscation of her own and her husband's estates, had been able to
effect considerable loans, both to carry on process against government
for what the prisoners contended was an unjust confiscation, and for
providing for the household on a decent scale and somewhat in accordance
with the requirements of the prisoner's health. Thus there was a
wearisome and ignoble altercation, revived from day to day, between the
Commandant and Madame de Groot. It might have been thought enough of
torture for this virtuous and accomplished lady, but twenty-nine years of
age and belonging to one of the eminent families of the country, to see
her husband, for his genius and accomplishments the wonder of Europe,
thus cut off in the flower of his age and doomed to a living grave. She
was nevertheless to be subjected to the perpetual inquisition of the
market-basket, which she was not ashamed with her maid to take to and
from Gorcum, and to petty wrangles about the kitchen fire where she was
proud to superintend the cooking of the scanty fare for her husband and
her five children.

There was a reason for the spite of the military jailer. Lieutenant
Prouninx, called Deventer, commandant of Loevestein, was son of the
notorious Gerard Prouninx, formerly burgomaster of Utrecht, one of the
ringleaders of the Leicester faction in the days when the Earl made his
famous attempts upon the four cities. He had sworn revenge upon all those
concerned in his father's downfall, and it was a delight therefore to
wreak a personal vengeance on one who had since become so illustrious a
member of that party by which the former burgomaster had been deposed,
although Grotius at the time of Leicester's government had scarcely left
his cradle.

Thus these ladies were to work in the kitchen and go to market from time
to time, performing this menial drudgery under the personal inspection of
the warrior who governed the garrison and fortress, but who in vain
attempted to make Maria van Reigersbergen tremble at his frown.

Hugo de Groot, when thus for life immured, after having already undergone
a preliminary imprisonment of nine months, was just thirty-six years of
age. Although comparatively so young, he had been long regarded as one of
the great luminaries of Europe for learning and genius. Of an ancient and
knightly race, his immediate ancestors had been as famous for literature,
science, and municipal abilities as their more distant progenitors for
deeds of arms in the feudal struggles of Holland in the middle ages.

His father and grandfather had alike been eminent for Hebrew, Greek, and
Latin scholarship, and both had occupied high positions in the University
of Leyden from its beginning. Hugo, born and nurtured under such
quickening influences, had been a scholar and poet almost from his
cradle. He wrote respectable Latin verses at the age of seven, he was
matriculated at Leyden at the age of eleven. That school, founded amid
the storms and darkness of terrible war, was not lightly to be entered.
It was already illustrated by a galaxy of shining lights in science and
letters, which radiated over Christendom. His professors were Joseph
Scaliger, Francis Junius, Paulus Merula, and a host of others. His
fellow-students were men like Scriverius, Vossius, Baudius, Daniel
Heinsius. The famous soldier and poet Douza, who had commanded the forces
of Leyden during the immortal siege, addressed him on his admission to
the university as "Magne peer magni dignissime cura parentis," in a copy
of eloquent verses.

When fourteen years old, he took his bachelor's degree, after a rigorous
examination not only in the classics but astronomy, mathematics,
jurisprudence, and theology, at an age when most youths would have been
accounted brilliant if able to enter that high school with credit.

On leaving the University he was attached to the embassy of Barneveld and
Justinus van Nassau to the court of Henry IV. Here he attracted the
attention of that monarch, who pointed him out to his courtiers as the
"miracle of Holland," presented him with a gold chain with his miniature
attached to it, and proposed to confer on him the dignity of knighthood,
which the boy from motives of family pride appears to have refused. While
in France he received from the University of Orleans, before the age of
fifteen, the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws in a very eulogistic
diploma. On his return to Holland he published an edition of the poet
Johannes Capella with valuable annotations, besides giving to the public
other learned and classical works and several tragedies of more or less
merit. At the age of seventeen he was already an advocate in full
practice before the supreme tribunals of the Hague, and when twenty-three
years old he was selected by Prince Maurice from a list of three
candidates for the important post of Fiscal or Attorney-General of
Holland. Other civic dignities, embassies, and offices of various kinds,
had been thrust upon him one after another, in all of which he had
acquitted himself with dignity and brilliancy. He was but twenty-six when
he published his argument for the liberty of the sea, the famous Mare
Liberum, and a little later appeared his work on the Antiquity of the
Batavian Republic, which procured for him in Spain the title of "Hugo
Grotius, auctor damnatus." At the age of twenty-nine he had completed his
Latin history of the Netherlands from the period immediately preceding
the war of independence down to the conclusion of the Truce, 1550-1609--a
work which has been a classic ever since its appearance, although not
published until after his death. A chief magistrate of Rotterdam, member
of the States of Holland and the States-General, jurist, advocate,
attorney-general, poet, scholar, historian, editor of the Greek and Latin
classics, writer of tragedies, of law treatises, of theological
disquisitions, he stood foremost among a crowd of famous contemporaries.
His genius, eloquence, and learning were esteemed among the treasures not
only of his own country but of Europe. He had been part and parcel of his
country's history from his earliest manhood, and although a child in
years compared to Barneveld, it was upon him that the great statesman had
mainly relied ever since the youth's first appearance in public affairs.
Impressible, emotional, and susceptive, he had been accused from time to
time, perhaps not entirely without reason, of infirmity of purpose, or at
least of vacillation in opinion; but his worst enemies had never assailed
the purity of his heart or integrity of his character. He had not yet
written the great work on the 'Rights of War and Peace', which was to
make an epoch in the history of civilization and to be the foundation of
a new science, but the materials lay already in the ample storehouse of
his memory and his brain.

Possessed of singular personal beauty--which the masterly portraits of
Miereveld attest to the present day--tall, brown-haired;
straight-featured, with a delicate aquiline nose and piercing dark blue
eyes, he was also athletic of frame and a proficient in manly exercises.
This was the statesman and the scholar, of whom it is difficult to speak
but in terms of affectionate but not exaggerated eulogy, and for whom the
Republic of the Netherlands could now find no better use than to shut him
up in the grim fortress of Loevestein for the remainder of his days. A
commonwealth must have deemed itself rich in men which, after cutting off
the head of Barneveld, could afford to bury alive Hugo Grotius.

His deportment in prison was a magnificent moral lesson. Shut up in a
kind of cage consisting of a bedroom and a study, he was debarred from
physical exercise, so necessary for his mental and bodily health. Not
choosing for the gratification of Lieutenant Deventer to indulge in weak
complaints, he procured a huge top, which he employed himself in whipping
several hours a day; while for intellectual employment he plunged once
more into those classical, juridical, and theological studies which had
always employed his leisure hours from childhood upwards.

It had been forbidden by the States-General to sell his likeness in the
shops. The copper plates on which they had been engraved had as far as
possible been destroyed.

The wish of the government, especially of his judges, was that his name
and memory should die at once and for ever. They were not destined to be
successful, for it would be equally difficult to-day to find an educated
man in Christendom ignorant of the name of Hugo Grotius, or acquainted
with that of a single one of his judges.

And his friends had not forgotten him as he lay there living in his tomb.
Especially the learned Scriverius, Vossius, and other professors, were
permitted to correspond with him at intervals on literary subjects, the
letters being subjected to preliminary inspection. Scriverius sent him
many books from his well-stocked library, de Groot's own books and papers
having been confiscated by the government. At a somewhat later period the
celebrated Orientalist Erpenius sent him from time to time a large chest
of books, the precious freight being occasionally renewed and the chest
passing to and from Loevestein by way of Gorcum. At this town lived a
sister of Erpenius, married to one Daatselaer, a considerable dealer in
thread and ribbons, which he exported to England. The house of Daatselaer
became a place of constant resort for Madame de Groot as well as the wife
of Hoogerbeets, both dames going every few days from the castle across
the Waal to Gorcum, to make their various purchases for the use of their
forlorn little households in the prison. Madame Daatselaer therefore
received and forwarded into Loevestein or into Holland many parcels and
boxes, besides attending to the periodical transmission of the mighty
chest of books.

Professor Vossius was then publishing a new edition of the tragedies of
Seneca, and at his request Grotius enriched that work, from his prison,
with valuable notes. He employed himself also in translating the moral
sentences extracted by Stobaeus from the Greek tragedies; drawing
consolation from the ethics and philosophy of the ancient dramatists,
whom he had always admired, especially the tragedies of Euripides; he
formed a complete moral anthology from that poet and from the works of
Sophocles, Menander, and others, which he translated into fluent Dutch
verse. Becoming more and more interested in the subject, he executed a
masterly rhymed translation of the 'Theban Brothers' of Euripides, thus
seeking distraction from his own tragic doom in the portraiture of
antique, distant, and heroic sorrow.

Turning again to legal science, he completed an Introduction to the
Jurisprudence of Holland, a work which as soon as published became
thenceforward a text-book and an oracle in the law courts and the high
schools of the country. Not forgetting theology, he composed for the use
of the humbler classes, especially for sailors, in whose lot, so exposed
to danger and temptation, he ever took deep interest, a work on the
proofs of Christianity in easy and familiar rhyme--a book of gold, as it
was called at once, which became rapidly popular with those for whom it
was designed.

At a somewhat later period Professor Erpenius, publishing a new edition
of the New Testament in Greek, with translations in Arabic, Syriac, and
Ethiopian, solicited his friend's help both in translations and in the
Latin commentaries and expositions with which he proposed to accompany
the work. The prisoner began with a modest disclaimer, saying that after
the labours of Erasmus and Beza, Maldonatus and Jasenius, there was
little for him to glean. Becoming more enthusiastic as he went on, he
completed a masterly commentary on the Four Evangelists, a work for which
the learned and religious world has ever recognized a kind of debt of
gratitude to the castle of Loevestein, and hailed in him the founder of a
school of manly Biblical criticism.

And thus nearly two years wore away. Spinning his great top for exercise;
soothing his active and prolific brain with Greek tragedy, with Flemish
verse, with jurisprudence, history, theology; creating, expounding,
adorning, by the warmth of his vivid intellect; moving the world, and
doing good to his race from the depths of his stony sepulchre; Hugo
Grotius rose superior to his doom and took captivity captive. The man is
not to be envied who is not moved by so noble an example of great
calamity manfully endured.

The wife of Hoogerbeets, already advanced in years, sickened during the
imprisonment and died at Loevestein after a lingering illness, leaving
six children to the care of her unfortunate husband. Madame de Groot had
not been permitted by the prison authorities to minister to her in
sickness, nor to her children after her death.

Early in the year 1621 Francis Aerssens, Lord of Sommelsdyk, the arch
enemy of Barneveld and of Grotius, was appointed special ambassador to
Paris. The intelligence--although hardly unexpected, for the stratagems
of Aerssens had been completely successful--moved the prisoner deeply. He
felt that this mortal enemy, not glutted with vengeance by the beheading
of the Advocate and the perpetual imprisonment of his friend, would do
his best at the French court to defame and to blacken him. He did what he
could to obviate this danger by urgent letters to friends on whom he
could rely.

At about the same time Muis van Holy, one of the twenty-four
commissioners, not yet satisfied with the misery he had helped to
inflict, informed the States-General that Madame de Groot had been buying
ropes at Gorcum. On his motion a committee was sent to investigate the
matter at Castle Loevestein, where it was believed that the ropes had
been concealed for the purpose of enabling Grotius to make his escape
from prison.

Lieutenant Deventer had heard nothing of the story. He was in high
spirits at the rumour however, and conducted the committee very eagerly
over the castle, causing minute search to be made in the apartment of
Grotius for the ropes which, as they were assured by him and his wife,
had never existed save in the imagination of Judge Muis. They succeeded
at least in inflicting much superfluous annoyance on their victims, and
in satisfying themselves that it would be as easy for the prisoner to fly
out of the fortress on wings as to make his escape with ropes, even if he
had them.

Grotius soon afterwards addressed a letter to the States-General
denouncing the statement of Muis as a fable, and these persistent
attempts to injure him as cowardly and wicked.

A few months later Madame de Groot happened to be in the house of
Daatselaer on one of her periodical visits to Gorcum. Conversation
turning on these rumours March of attempts at escape, she asked Madame
Daatselaer if she would not be much embarrassed, should Grotius suddenly
make his appearance there.

"Oh no," said the good woman with a laugh; "only let him come. We will
take excellent care of him."

At another visit one Saturday, 20th March, (1621) Madame de Groot asked
her friend why all the bells of Gorcum march were ringing.

"Because to-morrow begins our yearly fair," replied Dame Daatselaer.

"Well, I suppose that all exiles and outlaws may come to Gorcum on this
occasion," said Madame de Groot.

"Such is the law, they say," answered her friend.

"And my husband might come too?"

"No doubt," said Madame Daatselaer with a merry laugh, rejoiced at
finding the wife of Grotius able to speak so cheerfully of her husband in
his perpetual and hopeless captivity. "Send him hither. He shall have, a
warm welcome."

"What a good woman you are!" said Madame de Groot with a sigh as she rose
to take leave. "But you know very well that if he were a bird he could
never get out of the castle, so closely, he is caged there."

Next morning a wild equinoctial storm was howling around the battlements
of the castle. Of a sudden Cornelia, daughter of the de Groots, nine
years of age, said to her mother without any reason whatever,

"To-morrow Papa must be off to Gorcum, whatever the weather may be."

De Groot, as well as his wife, was aghast at the child's remark, and took
it as a direct indication from Heaven.

For while Madame Daatselaer had considered the recent observations of her
visitor from Loevestein as idle jests, and perhaps wondered that Madame
de Groot could be frivolous and apparently lighthearted on so dismal a
topic, there had been really a hidden meaning in her words.

For several weeks past the prisoner had been brooding over a means of
escape. His wife, whose every thought was devoted to him, had often cast
her eyes on the great chest or trunk in which the books of Erpenius had
been conveyed between Loevestein and Gorcum for the use of the prisoner.
At first the trunk had been carefully opened and its contents examined
every time it entered or left the castle. As nothing had ever been found
in it save Hebrew, Greek, and Latin folios, uninviting enough to the
Commandant, that warrior had gradually ceased to inspect the chest very
closely, and had at last discontinued the practice altogether.

It had been kept for some weeks past in the prisoner's study. His wife
thought--although it was two finger breadths less than four feet in
length, and not very broad or deep in proportion--that it might be
possible for him to get into it. He was considerably above middle height,
but found that by curling himself up very closely he could just manage to
lie in it with the cover closed. Very secretly they had many times
rehearsed the scheme which had now taken possession of their minds, but
had not breathed a word of it to any one. He had lain in the chest with
the lid fastened, and with his wife sitting upon the top of it, two hours
at a time by the hour-glass. They had decided at last that the plan,
though fraught with danger, was not absolutely impossible, and they were
only waiting now for a favourable opportunity. The chance remark of the
child Cornelia settled the time for hazarding the adventure. By a strange
coincidence, too, the commandant of the fortress, Lieutenant Deventer,
had just been promoted to a captaincy, and was to go to Heusden to
receive his company. He left the castle for a brief absence that very
Sunday evening. As a precautionary measure, the trunk filled with books
had been sent to Gorcum and returned after the usual interval only a few
days before.

The maid-servant of the de Groots, a young girl of twenty, Elsje van
Houwening by name, quick, intelligent, devoted, and courageous, was now
taken into their confidence. The scheme was explained to her, and she was
asked if she were willing to take the chest under her charge with her
master in it, instead of the usual freight of books, and accompany it to

She naturally asked what punishment could be inflicted upon her in case
the plot were discovered.

"None legally," answered her master; "but I too am innocent of any crime,
and you see to what sufferings I have been condemned."

"Whatever come of it," said Elsje stoutly; "I will take the risk and
accompany my master."

Every detail was then secretly arranged, and it was provided beforehand,
as well as possible, what should be said or done in the many
contingencies that might arise.

On Sunday evening Madame de Groot then went to the wife of the
Commandant, with whom she had always been on more friendly terms than
with her malicious husband. She had also recently propitiated her
affections by means of venison and other dainties brought from Gorcum.
She expressed the hope that, notwithstanding the absence of Captain
Deventer, she might be permitted to send the trunk full of books next day
from the castle.

"My husband is wearing himself out," she said, "with his perpetual
studies. I shall be glad for a little time to be rid of some of these

The Commandant's wife made no objection to this slight request.

On Monday morning the gale continued to beat with unabated violence on
the turrets. The turbid Waal, swollen by the tempest, rolled darkly and
dangerously along the castle walls.

But the die was cast. Grotius rose betimes, fell on his knees, and prayed
fervently an hour long. Dressed only in linen underclothes with a pair of
silk stockings, he got into the chest with the help of his wife. The big
Testament of Erpenius, with some bunches of thread placed upon it, served
him as a pillow. A few books and papers were placed in the interstices
left by the curves of his body, and as much pains as possible taken to
prevent his being seriously injured or incommoded during the hazardous
journey he was contemplating. His wife then took solemn farewell of him,
fastened the lock, which she kissed, and gave the key to Elsje.

The usual garments worn by the prisoner were thrown on a chair by the
bedside and his slippers placed before it. Madame de Groot then returned
to her bed, drew the curtains close, and rang the bell.

It was answered by the servant who usually waited on the prisoner, and
who was now informed by the lady that it had been her intention to go
herself to Gorcum, taking charge of the books which were valuable. As the
weather was so tempestuous however, and as she was somewhat indisposed,
it had been decided that Elsje should accompany the trunk.

She requested that some soldiers might be sent as usual to take it down
to the vessel. Two or three of the garrison came accordingly, and seeing
the clothes and slippers of Grotius lying about, and the bed-curtains
closed, felt no suspicion.

On lifting the chest, however, one of them said, half in jest:

"The Arminian must be in it himself, it seems so heavy!"

"Not the Arminian," replied Madame de Groot, in a careless voice, from
the bed; "only heavy Arminian books."

Partly lifting, partly dragging the ponderous box, the soldiers managed
to get it down the stairs and through the thirteen barred and bolted
doors. Four several times one or other of the soldiers expressed the
opinion that Grotius himself must be locked within it, but they never
spoke quite seriously, and Elsje was ever ready to turn aside the remark
with a jest. A soldier's wife, just as the box was approaching the wharf,
told a story of a malefactor who had once been carried out of the castle
in a chest.

"And if a malefactor, why not a lawyer?" she added. A soldier said he
would get a gimlet and bore a hole into the Arminian. "Then you must get
a gimlet that will reach to the top of the castle, where the Arminian
lies abed and asleep," said Elsje.

Not much heed was given to this careless talk, the soldiers, before
leaving the chamber of Grotius, having satisfied themselves that there
were no apertures in the chest save the keyhole, and that it would be
impossible by that means alone for sufficient air to penetrate to keep a
man enclosed in it from smothering.

Madame Deventer was asked if she chose to inspect the contents of the
trunk, and she enquired whether the Commandant had been wont so to do.
When told that such search had been for a long time discontinued, as
nothing had ever been found there but books, she observed that there was
no reason why she should be more strict than her husband, and ordered the
soldiers to take their heavy load to the vessel.

Elsje insisted that the boatmen should place a doubly thick plank for
sliding the box on board, as it seemed probable, she said, that the usual
one would break in two, and then the valuable books borrowed of Professor
Erpenius would be damaged or destroyed. The request caused much further
grumbling, but was complied with at last and the chest deposited on the
deck. The wind still continued to blow with great fury, and as soon as
the sails were set the vessel heeled over so much, that Elsje implored
the skipper to cause the box to be securely lashed, as it seemed in
imminent danger, at the first lurch of the vessel, of sliding into the

This done, Elsje sat herself down and threw her white handkerchief over
her head, letting it flutter in the wind. One of the crew asked her why
she did so, and she replied that the servant in the castle had been
tormenting her, saying that she would never dare to sail to Gorcum in
such tempestuous weather, and she was now signalling him that she had
been as good as her word. Whereupon she continued to wave the

In reality the signal was for her mistress, who was now straining her
eyes from the barred window which looked out upon the Waal, and with whom
the maid had agreed that if all went prosperously she would give this
token of success. Otherwise she would sit with her head in her hands.

During the voyage an officer of the garrison, who happened to be on
board, threw himself upon the chest as a convenient seat, and began
drumming and pounding with his heels upon it. The ever watchful Elsje,
feeling the dreadful inconvenience to the prisoner of these proceedings,
who perhaps was already smothering and would struggle for air if not
relieved, politely addressed the gentleman and induced him to remove to
another seat by telling him that, besides the books, there was some
valuable porcelain in the chest which might easily be broken.

No further incident occurred. The wind, although violent, was favourable,
and Gorcum in due time was reached. Elsje insisted upon having her own
precious freight carried first into the town, although the skipper for
some time was obstinately bent on leaving it to the very last, while all
the other merchandise in the vessel should be previously unshipped.

At last on promise of payment of ten stuivers, which was considered an
exorbitant sum, the skipper and son agreed to transport the chest between
them on a hand-barrow. While they were trudging with it to the town, the
son remarked to his father that there was some living thing in the box.
For the prisoner in the anguish of his confinement had not been able to
restrain a slight movement.

"Do you hear what my son says?" cried the skipper to Elsje. "He says you
have got something alive in your trunk."

"Yes, yes," replied the cheerful maid-servant; "Arminian books are always
alive, always full of motion and spirit."

They arrived at Daatselaer's house, moving with difficulty through the
crowd which, notwithstanding the boisterous weather, had been collected
by the annual fair. Many people were assembled in front of the building,
which was a warehouse of great resort, while next door was a
book-seller's shop thronged with professors, clergymen, and other
literary persons. The carriers accordingly entered by the backway, and
Elsje, deliberately paying them their ten stuivers, and seeing them
depart, left the box lying in a room at the rear and hastened to the shop
in front.

Here she found the thread and ribbon dealer and his wife, busy with their
customers, unpacking and exhibiting their wares. She instantly whispered
in Madame Daatselaer's ear, "I have got my master here in your back

The dame turned white as a sheet, and was near fainting on the spot. It
was the first imprudence Elsje had committed. The good woman recovered
somewhat of her composure by a strong effort however, and instantly went
with Elsje to the rear of the house.

"Master! master!" cried Elsje, rapping on the chest.

There was no answer.

"My God! my God!" shrieked the poor maid-servant. "My poor master is

"Ah!" said Madame Daatselaer, "your mistress has made a bad business of
it. Yesterday she had a living husband. Now she has a dead one."

But soon there was a vigorous rap on the inside of the lid, and a cry
from the prisoner:

"Open the chest! I am not dead, but did not at first recognize your

The lock was instantly unfastened, the lid thrown open, and Grotius arose
in his linen clothing, like a dead man from his coffin.

The dame instantly accompanied the two through a trapdoor into an upper

Grotius asked her if she was always so deadly pale.

"No," she replied, "but I am frightened to see you here. My lord is no
common person. The whole world is talking of you. I fear this will cause
the loss of all my property and perhaps bring my husband into prison in
your place."

Grotius rejoined: "I made my prayers to God before as much as this had
been gained, and I have just been uttering fervent thanks to Him for my
deliverance so far as it has been effected. But if the consequences are
to be as you fear, I am ready at once to get into the chest again and be
carried back to prison."

But she answered, "No; whatever comes of it, we have you here and will do
all that we can to help you on."

Grotius being faint from his sufferings, the lady brought him a glass of
Spanish wine, but was too much flustered to find even a cloak or shawl to
throw over him. Leaving him sitting there in his very thin attire, just
as he had got out of the chest, she went to the front warehouse to call
her husband. But he prudently declined to go to his unexpected guest. It
would be better in the examination sure to follow, he said, for him to
say with truth that he had not seen him and knew nothing of the escape,
from first to last.

Grotius entirely approved of the answer when told to him. Meantime Madame
Daatselaer had gone to her brother-in-law van der Veen, a clothier by
trade, whom she found in his shop talking with an officer of the
Loevestein garrison. She whispered in the clothier's ear, and he, making
an excuse to the officer, followed her home at once. They found Grotius
sitting where he had been left. Van der Veen gave him his hand, saying:

"Sir, you are the man of whom the whole country is talking?"

"Yes, here I am," was the reply, "and I put myself in your hands--"

"There isn't a moment to lose," replied the clothier. "We must help you
away at once."

He went immediately in search of one John Lambertsen, a man in whom he
knew he could confide, a Lutheran in religion, a master-mason by
occupation. He found him on a scaffold against the gable-end of a house,
working at his trade.

He told him that there was a good deed to be done which he could do
better than any man, that his conscience would never reproach him for it,
and that he would at the same time earn no trifling reward.

He begged the mason to procure a complete dress as for a journeyman, and
to follow him to the house of his brother-in-law Daatselaer.

Lambertsen soon made his appearance with the doublet, trunk-hose, and
shoes of a bricklayer, together with trowel and measuring-rod. He was
informed who his new journeyman was to be, and Grotius at once put on the

The doublet did not reach to the waistband of the trunkhose, while those
nether garments stopped short of his knees; the whole attire belonging to
a smaller man than the unfortunate statesman. His delicate white hands,
much exposed by the shortness of the sleeves, looked very unlike those of
a day-labourer, and altogether the new mason presented a somewhat
incongruous and wobegone aspect. Grotius was fearful too lest some of the
preachers and professors frequenting the book-shop next door would
recognize him through his disguise. Madame Daatselaer smeared his face
and hands with chalk and plaster however and whispered encouragement, and
so with a felt hat slouched over his forehead and a yardstick in his
hand, he walked calmly forth into the thronged marketplace and through
the town to the ferry, accompanied by the friendly Lambertsen. It had
been agreed that van der Veen should leave the house in another direction
and meet them at the landing-place.

When they got to the ferry, they found the weather as boisterous as ever.
The boatmen absolutely refused to make the dangerous crossing of the
Merwede over which their course lay to the land of Altona, and so into
the Spanish Netherlands, for two such insignificant personages as this
mason and his scarecrow journeyman.

Lambertsen assured them that it was of the utmost importance that he
should cross the water at once. He had a large contract for purchasing
stone at Altona for a public building on which he was engaged. Van der
Veen coming up added his entreaties, protesting that he too was
interested in this great stone purchase, and so by means of offering a
larger price than they at first dared to propose, they were able to
effect their passage.

After landing, Lambertsen and Grotius walked to Waalwyk, van der Veen
returning the same evening to Gorcum. It was four o'clock in the
afternoon when they reached Waalwyk, where a carriage was hired to convey
the fugitive to Antwerp. The friendly mason here took leave of his
illustrious journeyman, having first told the driver that his companion
was a disguised bankrupt fleeing from Holland into foreign territory to
avoid pursuit by his creditors. This would explain his slightly
concealing his face in passing through a crowd in any village.

Grotius proved so ignorant of the value of different coins in making
small payments on the road, that the honest waggoner, on being
occasionally asked who the odd-looking stranger was, answered that he was
a bankrupt, and no wonder, for he did not know one piece of money from
another. For, his part he thought him little better than a fool.

Such was the depreciatory opinion formed by the Waalwyk coachman as to
the "rising light of the world" and the "miracle of Holland." They
travelled all night and, arriving on the morning of the 21st within a few
leagues of Antwerp, met a patrol of soldiers, who asked Grotius for his
passport. He enquired in whose service they were, and was told in that of
"Red Rod," as the chief bailiff of Antwerp was called. That functionary
happened to be near, and the traveller approaching him said that his
passport was on his feet, and forthwith told him his name and story.

Red Rod treated him at once with perfect courtesy, offered him a horse
for himself with a mounted escort, and so furthered his immediate
entrance to Antwerp. Grotius rode straight to the house of a banished
friend of his, the preacher Grevinkhoven. He was told by the daughter of
that clergyman that her father was upstairs ministering at the bedside of
his sick wife. But so soon as the traveller had sent up his name, both
the preacher and the invalid came rushing downstairs to fall upon the
neck of one who seemed as if risen from the dead.

The news spread, and Episcopius and other exiled friends soon thronged to
the house of Grevinkhoven, where they all dined together in great glee,
Grotius, still in his journeyman's clothes, narrating the particulars of
his wonderful escape.

He had no intention of tarrying in his resting-place at Antwerp longer
than was absolutely necessary. Intimations were covertly made to him that
a brilliant destiny might be in store for him should he consent to enter
the service of the Archdukes, nor were there waning rumours, circulated
as a matter of course by his host of enemies, that he was about to become
a renegade to country and religion. There was as much truth in the
slanders as in the rest of the calumnies of which he had been the victim
during his career. He placed on record a proof of his loyal devotion to
his country in the letters which he wrote from Antwerp within a week of
his arrival there. With his subsequent history, his appearance and long
residence at the French court as ambassador of Sweden, his memorable
labours in history, diplomacy, poetry, theology, the present narrative is
not concerned. Driven from the service of his Fatherland, of which his
name to all time is one of the proudest garlands, he continued to be a
benefactor not only to her but to all mankind. If refutation is sought of
the charge that republics are ungrateful, it will certainly not be found
in the history of Hugo Grotius or John of Barneveld.

Nor is there need to portray the wrath of Captain Deventer when he
returned to Castle Loevestein.

"Here is the cage, but your bird is flown," said corpulent Maria Grotius
with a placid smile. The Commandant solaced himself by uttering
imprecations on her, on her husband, and on Elsje van Houwening. But
these curses could not bring back the fugitive. He flew to Gorcum to
browbeat the Daatselaers and to search the famous trunk. He found in it
the big New Testament and some skeins of thread, together with an octavo
or two of theology and of Greek tragedies; but the Arminian was not in
it, and was gone from the custody of the valiant Deventer for ever.

After a brief period Madame de Groot was released and rejoined her
husband. Elsje van Houwening, true heroine of the adventure, was
subsequently married to the faithful servant of Grotius, who during the
two years' imprisonment had been taught Latin and the rudiments of law by
his master, so that he subsequently rose to be a thriving and respectable
advocate at the tribunals of Holland.

The Stadholder, when informed of the escape of the prisoner, observed, "I
always thought the black pig was deceiving me," making not very
complimentary allusion to the complexion and size of the lady who had
thus aided the escape of her husband.

He is also reported as saying that it "is no wonder they could not keep
Grotius in prison, as he has more wit than all his judges put together."


   Barneveld's Sons plot against Maurice--The Conspiracy betrayed to
   Maurice--Escape of Stoutenburg--Groeneveld is arrested--Mary of
   Barneveld appeals to the Stadholder--Groeneveld condemned to Death--
   Execution of Groeneveld.

The widow of Barneveld had remained, since the last scene of the fatal
tragedy on the Binnenhof, in hopeless desolation. The wife of the man who
during a whole generation of mankind had stood foremost among the
foremost of the world, and had been one of those chief actors and
directors in human affairs to whom men's eyes turned instinctively from
near and from afar, had led a life of unbroken prosperity. An heiress in
her own right, Maria van Utrecht had laid the foundation of her husband's
wealth by her union with the rising young lawyer and statesman. Her two
sons and two daughters had grown up around her, all four being married
into the leading families of the land, and with apparently long lives of
prosperity and usefulness before them. And now the headsman's sword had
shivered all this grandeur and happiness at a blow. The name of the dead
statesman had become a word of scoffing and reproach; vagabond
mountebanks enacted ribald scenes to his dishonour in the public squares
and streets; ballad-mongers yelled blasphemous libels upon him in the
very ears of his widow and children. For party hatred was not yet glutted
with the blood it had drunk.

It would be idle to paint the misery of this brokenhearted woman.

The great painters of the epoch have preserved her face to posterity; the
grief-stricken face of a hard-featured but commanding and not uncomely
woman, the fountains of whose tears seem exhausted; a face of austere and
noble despair. A decorous veil should be thrown over the form of that
aged matron, for whose long life and prosperity Fate took such merciless
vengeance at last.

For the woes of Maria of Barneveld had scarcely begun. Desolation had
become her portion, but dishonour had not yet crossed her threshold.
There were sterner strokes in store for her than that which smote her
husband on the scaffold.

She had two sons, both in the prime of life. The eldest, Reinier, Lord of
Groeneveld, who had married a widow of rank and wealth, Madame de
Brandwyk, was living since the death of his father in comparative ease,
but entire obscurity. An easy-tempered, genial, kindly gentleman, he had
been always much beloved by his friends and, until the great family
catastrophe, was popular with the public, but of an infirm and
vacillating character, easily impressed by others, and apt to be led by
stronger natures than his own. He had held the lucrative office of head
forester of Delfland of which he had now been deprived.

The younger son William, called, from an estate conferred on him by his
father, Lord of Stoutenburg, was of a far different mould. We have seen
him at an earlier period of this narrative attached to the embassy of
Francis Aerssens in Paris, bearing then from another estate the unmusical
title of Craimgepolder, and giving his subtle and dangerous chief great
cause of complaint by his irregular, expensive habits. He had been
however rather a favourite with Henry IV., who had so profound a respect
for the father as to consult him, and him only of all foreign statesmen,
in the gravest affairs of his reign, and he had even held an office of
honour and emolument at his court. Subsequently he had embraced the
military career, and was esteemed a soldier of courage and promise. As
captain of cavalry and governor of the fortress of Bergen op Zoom, he
occupied a distinguished and lucrative position, and was likely, so soon
as the Truce ran to its close, to make a name for himself in that
gigantic political and religious war which had already opened in Bohemia,
and in which it was evident the Republic would soon be desperately
involved. His wife, Walburg de Marnix, was daughter to one of the noblest
characters in the history of the Netherlands, or of any history, the
illustrious Sainte-Aldegonde. Two thousand florins a year from his
father's estate had been settled on him at his marriage, which, in
addition to his official and military income, placed him in a position of

After the death of his father the family estates were confiscated, and he
was likewise deprived of his captaincy and his governorship. He was
reduced at a blow from luxury and high station to beggary and obscurity.
At the renewal of the war he found himself, for no fault of his own,
excluded from the service of his country. Yet the Advocate almost in his
last breath had recommended his sons to the Stadholder, and Maurice had
sent a message in response that so long as the sons conducted themselves
well they might rely upon his support.

Hitherto they had not conducted themselves otherwise than well.
Stoutenburg, who now dwelt in his house with his mother, was of a dark,
revengeful, turbulent disposition. In the career of arms he had a right
to look forward to success, but thus condemned to brood in idleness on
the cruel wrongs to himself and his house it was not improbable that he
might become dangerous.

Years long he fed on projects of vengeance as his daily bread. He was
convinced that his personal grievances were closely entwined with the
welfare of the Commonwealth, and he had sworn to avenge the death of his
father, the misery of his mother, and the wrongs which he was himself
suffering, upon the Stadholder, whom he considered the author of all
their woe. To effect a revolution in the government, and to bring back to
power all the municipal regents whom Maurice had displaced so summarily,
in order, as the son believed, to effect the downfall of the hated
Advocate, this was the determination of Stoutenburg.

He did not pause to reflect whether the arm which had been strong enough
to smite to nothingness the venerable statesman in the plenitude of his
power would be too weak to repel the attack of an obscure and disarmed
partisan. He saw only a hated tyrant, murderer, and oppressor, as he
considered him, and he meant to have his life.

He had around him a set of daring and desperate men to whom he had from
time to time half confided his designs. A certain unfrocked preacher of
the Remonstrant persuasion, who, according to the fashion of the learned
of that day, had translated his name out of Hendrik Sleet into Henricus
Slatius, was one of his most unscrupulous instruments. Slatius, a big,
swarthy, shag-eared, beetle-browed Hollander, possessed learning of no
ordinary degree, a tempestuous kind of eloquence, and a habit of dealing
with men; especially those of the humbler classes. He was passionate,
greedy, overbearing, violent, and loose of life. He had sworn vengeance
upon the Remonstrants in consequence of a private quarrel, but this did
not prevent him from breathing fire and fury against the
Contra-Remonstrants also, and especially against the Stadholder, whom he
affected to consider the arch-enemy of the whole Commonwealth.

Another twelvemonth went by. The Advocate had been nearly four years in
his grave. The terrible German war was in full blaze. The Twelve Years'
Truce had expired, the Republic was once more at war, and Stoutenburg,
forbidden at the head of his troop to campaign with the Stadholder
against the Archdukes, nourished more fiercely than ever his plan against
the Stadholder's life.

Besides the ferocious Slatius he had other associates. There was his
cousin by marriage, van der Dussen, a Catholic gentleman, who had married
a daughter of Elias Barneveld, and who shared all Stoutenburg's feelings
of resentment towards Maurice. There was Korenwinder, another Catholic,
formerly occupying an official position of responsibility as secretary of
the town of Berkel, a man of immense corpulence, but none the less an
active and dangerous conspirator.

There was van Dyk, a secretary of Bleiswyk, equally active and dangerous,
and as lean and hungry as Korenwinder was fat. Stoutenburg, besides other
rewards, had promised him a cornetcy of cavalry, should their plans be
successful. And there was the brother-in-law of Slatius, one Cornelis
Gerritaen, a joiner by trade, living at Rotterdam, who made himself very
useful in all the details of the conspiracy.

For the plot was now arranged, the men just mentioned being its active
agents and in constant communication with Stoutenburg.

Korenwinder and van Dyk in the last days of December 1622 drew up a
scheme on paper, which was submitted to their chief and met with his
approval. The document began with a violent invective against the crimes
and tyranny of the Stadholder, demonstrated the necessity of a general
change in the government, and of getting rid of Maurice as an
indispensable preliminary, and laid down the means and method of doing
this deed.

The Prince was in the daily habit of driving, unattended by his
body-guard, to Ryswyk, about two miles from the Hague. It would not be
difficult for a determined band of men divided into two parties to set
upon him between the stables and his coach, either when alighting from or
about to enter it--the one party to kill him while the other protected
the retreat of the assassins, and beat down such defence as the few
lackeys of the Stadholder could offer.

The scheme, thus mapped out, was submitted to Stoutenburg, who gave it
his approval after suggesting a few amendments. The document was then
burnt. It was estimated that twenty men would be needed for the job, and
that to pay them handsomely would require about 6000 guilders.

The expenses and other details of the infamous plot were discussed as
calmly as if it had been an industrial or commercial speculation. But
6000 guilders was an immense sum to raise, and the Seigneur de
Stoutenburg was a beggar. His associates were as forlorn as himself, but
his brother-in-law, the ex-Ambassador van der Myle, was living at
Beverwyk under the supervision of the police, his property not having
been confiscated. Stoutenburg paid him a visit, accompanied by the
Reverend Slatius, in hopes of getting funds from him, but at the first
obscure hint of the infamous design van der Myle faced them with such
looks, gestures, and words of disgust and indignation that the murderous
couple recoiled, the son of Barneveld saying to the expreacher: "Let us
be off, Slaet,'tis a mere cur. Nothing is to be made of him."

The other son of Barneveld, the Seigneur de Groeneveld, had means and
credit. His brother had darkly hinted to him the necessity of getting rid
of Maurice, and tried to draw him into the plot. Groeneveld, more
unstable than water, neither repelled nor encouraged these advances. He
joined in many conversations with Stoutenburg, van Dyk, and Korenwinder,
but always weakly affected not to know what they were driving at. "When
we talk of business," said van Dyk to him one day, "you are always
turning off from us and from the subject. You had better remain." Many
anonymous letters were sent to him, calling on him to strike for
vengeance on the murderer of his father, and for the redemption of his
native land and the Remonstrant religion from foul oppression.

At last yielding to the persuasions and threats of his fierce younger
brother, who assured him that the plot would succeed, the government be
revolutionized, and that then all property would be at the mercy of the
victors, he agreed to endorse certain bills which Korenwinder undertook
to negotiate. Nothing could be meaner, more cowardly, and more murderous
than the proceedings of the Seigneur de Groeneveld. He seems to have felt
no intense desire of vengeance upon Maurice, which certainly would not
have been unnatural, but he was willing to supply money for his
assassination. At the same time he was careful to insist that this
pecuniary advance was by no means a free gift, but only a loan to be
repaid by his more bloodthirsty brother upon demand with interest. With a
businesslike caution, in ghastly contrast with the foulness of the
contract, he exacted a note of hand from Stoutenburg covering the whole
amount of his disbursements. There might come a time, he thought, when
his brother's paper would be more negotiable than it was at that moment.

Korenwinder found no difficulty in discounting Groeneveld's bills, and
the necessary capital was thus raised for the vile enterprise. Van Dyk,
the lean and hungry conspirator, now occupied himself vigorously in
engaging the assassins, while his corpulent colleague remained as
treasurer of the company. Two brothers Blansaerts, woollen manufacturers
at Leyden--one of whom had been a student of theology in the Remonstrant
Church and had occasionally preached--and a certain William Party, a
Walloon by birth, but likewise a woollen worker at Leyden, agreed to the
secretary's propositions. He had at first told, them that their services
would be merely required for the forcible liberation of two Remonstrant
clergymen, Niellius and Poppius, from the prison at Haarlem. Entertaining
his new companions at dinner, however, towards the end of January, van
Dyk, getting very drunk, informed them that the object of the enterprise
was to kill the Stadholder; that arrangements had been made for effecting
an immediate change in the magistracies in all the chief cities of
Holland so soon as the deed was done; that all the recently deposed
regents would enter the Hague at once, supported by a train of armed
peasants from the country; and that better times for the oppressed
religion, for the Fatherland, and especially for everyone engaged in the
great undertaking, would begin with the death of the tyrant. Each man
taking direct part in the assassination would receive at least 300
guilders, besides being advanced to offices of honour and profit
according to his capacity.

The Blansaerts assured their superior that entire reliance might be
placed on their fidelity, and that they knew of three or four other men
in Leyden "as firm as trees and fierce as lions," whom they would
engage--a fustian worker, a tailor, a chimney-sweeper, and one or two
other mechanics. The looseness and utter recklessness with which this
hideous conspiracy was arranged excites amazement. Van Dyk gave the two
brothers 100 pistoles in gold--a coin about equal to a guinea--for their
immediate reward as well as for that of the comrades to be engaged. Yet
it seems almost certain from subsequent revelations that they were
intending all the time to deceive him, to take as much money as they
could get from him, "to milk, the cow as long as she would give milk," as
William Party expressed it, and then to turn round upon and betray him.
It was a dangerous game however, which might not prove entirely

Van Dyk duly communicated with Stoutenburg, who grew more and more
feverish with hatred and impatience as the time for gratifying those
passions drew nigh, and frequently said that he would like to tear the
Stadholder to pieces with his own hands. He preferred however to act as
controlling director over the band of murderers now enrolled.

For in addition to the Leyden party, the Reverend Slatius, supplied with
funds by van Dyk, had engaged at Rotterdam his brother-in-law Gerritsen,
a joiner, living in that city, together with three sailors named
respectively Dirk, John, and Herman.

The ex-clergyman's house was also the arsenal of the conspiracy,
and here were stored away a stock of pistols, snaphances, and
sledge-hammers--together with that other death-dealing machinery, the
whole edition of the 'Clearshining Torch', an inflammatory, pamphlet by
Slatius--all to be used on the fatal day fast approaching.

On the 1st February van Dyk visited Slatius at Rotterdam. He found
Gerritsen hard at work.

There in a dark back kitchen, by the lurid light of the fire in a dim
wintry afternoon, stood the burly Slatius, with his swarthy face and
heavy eyebrows, accompanied by his brother-in-law the joiner, both in
workman's dress, melting lead, running bullets, drying powder, and
burnishing and arranging the fire-arms and other tools to be used in the
great crime now so rapidly maturing. The lean, busy, restless van Dyk,
with his adust and sinister visage, came peering in upon the couple thus
engaged, and observed their preparations with warm approval.

He recommended that in addition to Dirk, John, and Herman, a few more
hardy seafaring men should be engaged, and Slatius accordingly secured
next day the services of one Jerome Ewouts and three other sailors. They
were not informed of the exact nature of the enterprise, but were told
that it was a dangerous although not a desperate one, and sure to be of
great service to the Fatherland. They received, as all the rest had done,
between 200 and 300 guilders in gold, that they would all be promoted to
be captains and first mates.

It was agreed that all the conspirators should assemble four days later
at the Hague on Sunday, the 5th February, at the inn of the "Golden
Helmet." The next day, Monday the 6th, had been fixed by Stoutenburg for
doing the deed. Van Dyk, who had great confidence in the eloquence of
William Party, the Walloon wool manufacturer, had arranged that he should
make a discourse to them all in a solitary place in the downs between
that city and the sea-shore, taking for his theme or brief the
Clearshining Torch of Slatius.

On Saturday that eminent divine entertained his sister and her husband
Gerritsen, Jerome Ewouts, who was at dinner but half informed as to the
scope of the great enterprise, and several other friends who were
entirely ignorant of it. Slatius was in high spirits, although his
sister, who had at last become acquainted with the vile plot, had done
nothing but weep all day long. They had better be worms, with a promise
of further reward and an intimation she said, and eat dirt for their
food, than crawl in so base a business. Her brother comforted her with
assurances that the project was sure to result in a triumph for religion
and Fatherland, and drank many healths at his table to the success of all
engaged in it. That evening he sent off a great chest filled with arms
and ammunition to the "Golden Helmet" at the Hague under the charge of
Jerome Ewouts and his three mates. Van Dyk had already written a letter
to the landlord of that hostelry engaging a room there, and saying that
the chest contained valuable books and documents to be used in a lawsuit,
in which he was soon to be engaged, before the supreme tribunal.

On the Sunday this bustling conspirator had John Blansaert and William
Party to dine with him at the "Golden Helmet" in the Hague, and produced
seven packages neatly folded, each containing gold pieces to the amount
of twenty pounds sterling. These were for themselves and the others whom
they had reported as engaged by them in Leyden. Getting drunk as usual,
he began to bluster of the great political revolution impending, and
after dinner examined the carbines of his guests. He asked if those
weapons were to be relied upon. "We can blow a hair to pieces with them
at twenty paces," they replied. "Ah! would that I too could be of the
party," said van Dyk, seizing one of the carbines. "No, no," said John
Blansaert, "we can do the deed better without you than with you. You must
look out for the defence."

Van Dyk then informed them that they, with one of the Rotterdam sailors,
were to attack Maurice as he got out of his coach at Ryswyk, pin him
between the stables and the coach, and then and there do him to death.
"You are not to leave him," he cried, "till his soul has left his body."

The two expressed their hearty concurrence with this arrangement, and
took leave of their host for the night, going, they said, to distribute
the seven packages of blood-money. They found Adam Blansaert waiting for
them in the downs, and immediately divided the whole amount between
themselves and him--the chimney-sweeper, tailor, and fustian worker,
"firm as trees and fierce as lions," having never had any existence save
in their fertile imaginations.

On Monday, 6th February, van Dyk had a closing interview with Stoutenburg
and his brother at the house of Groeneveld, and informed them that the
execution of the plot had been deferred to the following day. Stoutenburg
expressed disgust and impatience at the delay. "I should like to tear the
Stadholder to pieces with my own hands!" he cried. He was pacified on
hearing that the arrangements had been securely made for the morrow, and
turning to his brother observed, "Remember that you can never retract.
You are in our power and all your estates at our mercy." He then
explained the manner in which the magistracies of Leyden, Gouda,
Rotterdam, and other cities were to be instantly remodelled after the
death of Maurice, the ex-regents of the Hague at the head of a band of
armed peasants being ready at a moment's warning to take possession of
the political capital.

Prince Frederic Henry moreover, he hinted darkly and falsely, but in a
manner not to be mistaken, was favourable to the movement, and would
after the murder of Maurice take the government into his hands.

Stoutenburg then went quietly home to pass the day and sleep at his
mother's house awaiting the eventful morning of Tuesday.

Van Dyk went back to his room at the "Golden Helmet" and began inspecting
the contents of the arms and ammunition chest which Jerome Ewouts and his
three mates had brought the night before from Rotterdam. He had been
somewhat unquiet at having seen nothing of those mariners during the day;
when looking out of window, he saw one of them in conference with some
soldiers. A minute afterwards he heard a bustle in the rooms below, and
found that the house was occupied by a guard, and that Gerritsen, with
the three first engaged sailors Dirk, Peter, and Herman, had been
arrested at the Zotje. He tried in vain to throw the arms back into the
chest and conceal it under the bed, but it was too late. Seizing his hat
and wrapping himself in his cloak, with his sword by his side, he walked
calmly down the stairs looking carelessly at the group of soldiers and
prisoners who filled the passages. A waiter informed the provost-marshal
in command that the gentleman was a respectable boarder at the tavern,
well known to him for many years. The conspirator passed unchallenged and
went straight to inform Stoutenburg.

The four mariners, last engaged by Slatius at Rotterdam, had signally
exemplified the danger of half confidences. Surprised that they should
have been so mysteriously entrusted with the execution of an enterprise
the particulars of which were concealed from them, and suspecting that
crime alone could command such very high prices as had been paid and
promised by the ex-clergyman, they had gone straight to the residence of
the Stadholder, after depositing the chest at the "Golden Helmet."

Finding that he had driven as usual to Ryswyk, they followed him thither,
and by dint of much importunity obtained an audience. If the enterprise
was a patriotic one, they reasoned, he would probably know of it and
approve it. If it were criminal, it would be useful for them to reveal
and dangerous to conceal it.

They told the story so far as they knew it to the Prince and showed him
the money, 300 florins apiece, which they had already received from
Slatius. Maurice hesitated not an instant. It was evident that a dark
conspiracy was afoot. He ordered the sailors to return to the Hague by
another and circuitous road through Voorburg, while he lost not a moment
himself in hurrying back as fast as his horses would carry him. Summoning
the president and several councillors of the chief tribunal, he took
instant measures to take possession of the two taverns, and arrest all
the strangers found in them.

Meantime van Dyk came into the house of the widow Barneveld and found
Stoutenburg in the stable-yard. He told him the plot was discovered, the
chest of arms at the "Golden Helmet" found. "Are there any private
letters or papers in the bog?" asked Stoutenburg. "None relating to the
affair," was the answer.

"Take yourself off as fast as possible," said Stoutenburg. Van Dyk needed
no urging. He escaped through the stables and across the fields in the
direction of Leyden. After skulking about for a week however and making
very little progress, he was arrested at Hazerswoude, having broken
through the ice while attempting to skate across the inundated and frozen
pastures in that region.

Proclamations were at once made, denouncing the foul conspiracy in which
the sons of the late Advocate Barneveld, the Remonstrant clergyman
Slatius, and others, were the ringleaders, and offering 4000 florins each
for their apprehension. A public thanksgiving for the deliverance was
made in all the churches on the 8th February.

On the 12th February the States-General sent letters to all their
ambassadors and foreign agents, informing them of this execrable plot to
overthrow the Commonwealth and take the life of the Stadholder, set on
foot by certain Arminian preachers and others of that faction, and this
too in winter, when the ice and snow made hostile invasion practicable,
and when the enemy was encamped in so many places in the neighbourhood.
"The Arminians," said the despatch, "are so filled with bitterness that
they would rather the Republic should be lost than that their pretended
grievances should go unredressed." Almost every pulpit shook with
Contra-Remonstrant thunder against the whole society of Remonstrants, who
were held up to the world as rebels and prince-murderers; the criminal
conspiracy being charged upon them as a body. Hardly a man of that
persuasion dared venture into the streets and public places, for fear of
being put to death by the rabble. The Chevalier William of Nassau,
natural son of the Stadholder, was very loud and violent in all the
taverns and tap-rooms, drinking mighty draughts to the damnation of the

Many of the timid in consequence shrank away from the society and joined
the Contra-Remonstrant Church, while the more courageous members,
together with the leaders of that now abhorred communion, published long
and stirring appeals to the universal sense of justice, which was
outraged by the spectacle of a whole sect being punished for a crime
committed by a few individuals, who had once been unworthy members of it.

Meantime hue and cry was made after the fugitive conspirators. The
Blansaerts and William Party having set off from Leyden towards the Hague
on Monday night, in order, as they said, to betray their employers, whose
money they had taken, and whose criminal orders they had agreed to
execute, attempted to escape, but were arrested within ten days. They
were exhibited at their prison at Amsterdam to an immense concourse at a
shilling a peep, the sums thus collected being distributed to the poor.
Slatius made his way disguised as a boor into Friesland, and after
various adventures attempted to cross the Bourtange Moors to Lingen.
Stopping to refresh himself at a tavern near Koevorden, he found himself
in the tap-room in presence of Quartermaster Blau and a company of
soldiers from the garrison. The dark scowling boor, travel-stained and
weary, with felt hat slouched over his forbidding visage, fierce and
timorous at once like a hunted wild beast, excited their suspicion.
Seeing himself watched, he got up, paid his scot, and departed, leaving
his can of beer untasted. This decided the quartermaster, who accordingly
followed the peasant out of the house, and arrested him as a Spanish spy
on the watch for the train of specie which the soldiers were then
conveying into Koevorden Castle.

Slatius protested his innocence of any such design, and vehemently
besought the officer to release him, telling him as a reason for his
urgency and an explanation of his unprepossessing aspect--that he was an
oculist from Amsterdam, John Hermansen by name, that he had just
committed a homicide in that place, and was fleeing from justice.

The honest quartermaster saw no reason why a suspected spy should go free
because he proclaimed himself a murderer, nor why an oculist should
escape the penalties of homicide. "The more reason," he said, "why thou
shouldst be my prisoner." The ex-preacher was arrested and shut up in the
state prison at the Hague.

The famous engraver Visser executed a likeness on copper-plate of the
grim malefactor as he appeared in his boor's disguise. The portrait,
accompanied by a fiercely written broadsheet attacking the Remonstrant
Church, had a great circulation, and deepened the animosity against the
sect upon which the unfrocked preacher had sworn vengeance. His evil face
and fame thus became familiar to the public, while the term Hendrik Slaet
became a proverb at pot-houses, being held equivalent among tipplers to
shirking the bottle.

Korenwinder, the treasurer of the association, coming to visit
Stoutenburg soon after van Dyk had left him, was informed of the
discovery of the plot and did his best to escape, but was arrested within
a fortnight's time.

Stoutenburg himself acted with his usual promptness and coolness. Having
gone straightway to his brother to notify him of the discovery and to
urge him to instant flight, he contrived to disappear. A few days later a
chest of merchandise was brought to the house of a certain citizen of
Rotterdam, who had once been a fiddler, but was now a man of considerable
property. The chest, when opened, was found to contain the Seigneur de
Stoutenburg, who in past times had laid the fiddler under obligations,
and in whose house he now lay concealed for many days, and until the
strictness with which all roads and ferries in the neighbourhood were
watched at first had somewhat given way. Meantime his cousin van der
Dussen had also effected his escape, and had joined him in Rotterdam. The
faithful fiddler then, for a thousand florins, chartered a trading vessel
commanded by one Jacob Beltje to take a cargo of Dutch cheese to Wesel on
the Rhine. By this means, after a few adventures, they effected their
escape, and, arriving not long afterwards at Brussels, were formally
taken under the protection of the Archduchess Isabella.

Stoutenburg afterwards travelled in France and Italy, and returned to
Brussels. His wife, loathing his crime and spurning all further
communication with him, abandoned him to his fate. The daughter of Marnix
of Sainte-Aldegonde had endured poverty, obscurity, and unmerited
obloquy, which had become the lot of the great statesman's family after
his tragic end, but she came of a race that would not brook dishonour.
The conspirator and suborner of murder and treason, the hirer and
companion of assassins, was no mate for her.

Stoutenburg hesitated for years as to his future career, strangely enough
keeping up a hope of being allowed to return to his country.

Subsequently he embraced the cause of his country's enemies, converted
himself to the Roman Church, and obtained a captaincy of horse in the
Spanish service. He was seen one day, to the disgust of many spectators,
to enter Antwerp in black foreign uniform, at the head of his troopers,
waving a standard with a death's-head embroidered upon it, and wearing,
like his soldiers, a sable scarf and plume. History disdains to follow
further the career of the renegade, traitor, end assassin.

When the Seigneur de Groeneveld learned from his younger brother, on the
eventful 6th of February, that the plot had been discovered, he gave
himself up for lost. Remorse and despair, fastening upon his naturally
feeble character, seemed to render him powerless. His wife, of more
hopeful disposition than himself and of less heroic mould than Walburg de
Marnix, encouraged him to fly. He fled accordingly, through the desolate
sandy downs which roll between the Hague and the sea, to Scheveningen,
then an obscure fishing village on the coast, at a league's distance from
the capital. Here a fisherman, devoted to him and his family, received
him in his hut, disguised him in boatman's attire, and went with him to
the strand, proposing to launch his pinkie, put out at once to sea, and
to land him on the English coast, the French coast, in Hamburg--where he

The sight of that long, sandy beach stretching for more than seventy
miles in an unbroken, melancholy line, without cove, curve, or
indentation to break its cruel monotony, and with the wild waves of the
German Ocean, lashed by a wintry storm, breaking into white foam as far
as the eye could reach, appalled the fugitive criminal. With the
certainty of an ignominious death behind him, he shrank abjectly from the
terrors of the sea, and, despite the honest fisherman's entreaties,
refused to enter the boat and face the storm. He wandered feebly along
the coast, still accompanied by his humble friend, to another little
village, where the fisherman procured a waggon, which took them as far as
Sandvoort. Thence he made his way through Egmond and Petten and across
the Marsdiep to Tegel, where not deeming himself safe he had himself
ferried over to the neighbouring island of Vlieland. Here amongst the
quicksands, whirlpools, and shallows which mark the last verge of
habitable Holland, the unhappy fugitive stood at bay.

Meantime information had come to the authorities that a suspicious
stranger had been seen at Scheveningen. The fisherman's wife was
arrested. Threatened with torture she at last confessed with whom her
husband had fled and whither. Information was sent to the bailiff of
Vlieland, who with a party of followers made a strict search through his
narrow precincts. A group of seamen seated on the sands was soon
discovered, among whom, dressed in shaggy pea jacket with long
fisherman's boots, was the Seigneur de Groeneveld, who, easily recognized
through his disguise, submitted to his captors without a struggle. The
Scheveningen fisherman, who had been so faithful to him, making a sudden
spring, eluded his pursuers and disappeared; thus escaping the gibbet
which would probably have been his doom instead of the reward of 4000
golden guilders which he might have had for betraying him. Thus a sum
more than double the amount originally furnished by Groeneveld, as the
capital of the assassination company, had been rejected by the Rotterdam
boatman who saved Stoutenburg, and by the Scheveningen fisherman who was
ready to save Groeneveld. On the 19th February, within less than a
fortnight from the explosion of the conspiracy, the eldest son of
Barneveld was lodged in the Gevangen Poort or state prison of the Hague.

The awful news of the 6th February had struck the widow of Barneveld as
with a thunderbolt. Both her sons were proclaimed as murderers and
suborners of assassins, and a price put upon their heads. She remained
for days neither speaking nor weeping; scarcely eating, drinking, or
sleeping. She seemed frozen to stone. Her daughters and friends could not
tell whether she were dying or had lost her reason. At length the escape
of Stoutenburg and the capture of Groeneveld seemed to rouse her from her
trance. She then stooped to do what she had sternly refused to do when
her husband was in the hands of the authorities. Accompanied by the wife
and infant son of Groeneveld she obtained an audience of the stern
Stadholder, fell on her knees before him, and implored mercy and pardon
for her son.

Maurice received her calmly and not discourteously, but held out no hopes
of pardon. The criminal was in the hands of justice, he said, and he had
no power to interfere. But there can scarcely be a doubt that he had
power after the sentence to forgive or to commute, and it will be
remembered that when Barneveld himself was about to suffer, the Prince
had asked the clergyman Walaeus with much anxiety whether the prisoner in
his message had said nothing of pardon.

Referring to the bitter past, Maurice asked Madame de Barneveld why she
not asked mercy for her son, having refused to do so for her husband.

Her answer was simple and noble:

"My husband was innocent of crime," she said; "my son is guilty."

The idea of pardon in this case was of course preposterous. Certainly if
Groeneveld had been forgiven, it would have been impossible to punish the
thirteen less guilty conspirators, already in the hands of justice, whom
he had hired to commit the assassination. The spectacle of the two
cowardly ringleaders going free while the meaner criminals were gibbeted
would have been a shock to the most rudimentary ideas of justice. It
would have been an equal outrage to pardon the younger Barnevelds for
intended murder, in which they had almost succeeded, when their great
father had already suffered for a constructive lese-majesty, the guilt of
which had been stoutly denied. Yet such is the dreary chain of cause and
effect that it is certain, had pardon been nobly offered to the
statesman, whose views of constitutional law varied from those of the
dominant party, the later crime would never have been committed. But
Francis Aerssens--considering his own and other partisans lives at stake
if the States' right party did not fall--had been able to bear down all
thoughts of mercy. He was successful, was called to the house of nobles,
and regained the embassy of Paris, while the house of Barneveld was
trodden into the dust of dishonour and ruin. Rarely has an offended
politician's revenge been more thorough than his. Never did the mocking
fiend betray his victims into the hands of the avenger more sardonically
than was done in this sombre tragedy.

The trials of the prisoners were rapidly conducted. Van Dyk, cruelly
tortured, confessed on the rack all the details of the conspiracy as they
were afterwards embodied in the sentences and have been stated in the
preceding narrative. Groeneveld was not tortured. His answers to the
interrogatories were so vague as to excite amazement at his general
ignorance of the foul transaction or at the feebleness of his memory,
while there was no attempt on his part to exculpate himself from the
damning charge. That it was he who had furnished funds for the proposed
murder and mutiny, knowing the purpose to which they were to be applied,
was proved beyond all cavil and fully avowed by him.

On the 28th May, he, Korenwinder, and van Dyk were notified that they
were to appear next day in the courthouse to hear their sentence, which
would immediately afterwards be executed.

That night his mother, wife, and son paid him a long visit of farewell in
his prison. The Gevangen Poort of the Hague, an antique but mean building
of brown brick and commonplace aspect, still stands in one of the most
public parts of the city. A gloomy archway, surmounted by windows grimly
guarded by iron lattice-work, forms the general thoroughfare from the
aristocratic Plaats and Kneuterdyk and Vyverberg to the inner court of
the ancient palace. The cells within are dark, noisome, and dimly
lighted, and even to this day the very instruments of torture, used in
the trials of these and other prisoners, may be seen by the curious. Half
a century later the brothers de Witt were dragged from this prison to be
literally torn to pieces by an infuriated mob.

The misery of that midnight interview between the widow of Barneveld, her
daughter-in-law, and the condemned son and husband need not be described.
As the morning approached, the gaoler warned the matrons to take their
departure that the prisoner might sleep.

"What a woful widow you will be," said Groeneveld to his wife, as she
sank choking with tears upon the ground. The words suddenly aroused in
her the sense of respect for their name.

"At least for all this misery endured," she said firmly, "do me enough
honour to die like a gentleman." He promised it. The mother then took
leave of the son, and History drops a decorous veil henceforth over the
grief-stricken form of Mary of Barneveld.

Next morning the life-guards of the Stadholder and other troops were
drawn up in battle-array in the outer and inner courtyard of the supreme
tribunal and palace. At ten o'clock Groeneveld came forth from the
prison. The Stadholder had granted as a boon to the family that he might
be neither fettered nor guarded as he walked to the tribunal. The
prisoner did not forget his parting promise to his wife. He appeared
full-dressed in velvet cloak and plumed hat, with rapier by his side,
walking calmly through the inner courtyard to the great hall. Observing
the windows of the Stadholder's apartments crowded with spectators, among
whom he seemed to recognize the Prince's face, he took off his hat and
made a graceful and dignified salute. He greeted with courtesy many
acquaintances among the crowd through which he passed. He entered the
hall and listened in silence to the sentence condemning him to be
immediately executed with the sword. Van Dyk and Korenwinder shared the
same doom, but were provisionally taken back to prison.

Groeneveld then walked calmly and gracefully as before from the hall to
the scaffold, attended by his own valet, and preceded by the
provost-marshal and assistants. He was to suffer, not where his father
had been beheaded, but on the "Green Sod." This public place of execution
for ordinary criminals was singularly enough in the most elegant and
frequented quarter of the Hague. A few rods from the Gevangen Poort, at
the western end of the Vyverberg, on the edge of the cheerful triangle
called the Plaats, and looking directly down the broad and stately
Kneuterdyk, at the end of which stood Aremberg House, lately the
residence of the great Advocate, was the mean and sordid scaffold.

Groeneveld ascended it with perfect composure. The man who had been
browbeaten into crime by an overbearing and ferocious brother, who had
quailed before the angry waves of the North Sea, which would have borne
him to a place of entire security, now faced his fate with a smile upon
his lips. He took off his hat, cloak, and sword, and handed them to his
valet. He calmly undid his ruff and wristbands of pointlace, and tossed
them on the ground. With his own hands and the assistance of his servant
he unbuttoned his doublet, laying breast and neck open without suffering
the headsman's hands to approach him.

He then walked to the heap of sand and spoke a very few words to the vast
throng of spectators.

"Desire of vengeance and evil counsel," he said, "have brought me here.
If I have wronged any man among you, I beg him for Christ's sake to
forgive me."

Kneeling on the sand with his face turned towards his father's house at
the end of the Kneuterdyk, he said his prayers. Then putting a red velvet
cap over his eyes, he was heard to mutter:

"O God! what a man I was once, and what am I now?"

Calmly folding his hands, he said, "Patience."

The executioner then struck off his head at a blow. His body, wrapped in
a black cloak, was sent to his house and buried in his father's tomb.

Van Dyk and Korenwinder were executed immediately afterwards. They were
quartered and their heads exposed on stakes. The joiner Gerritsen and the
three sailors had already been beheaded. The Blansaerts and William
Party, together with the grim Slatius, who was savage and turbulent to
the last, had suffered on the 5th of May.

Fourteen in all were executed for this crime, including an unfortunate
tailor and two other mechanics of Leyden, who had heard something
whispered about the conspiracy, had nothing whatever to do with it, but
from ignorance, apathy, or timidity did not denounce it. The ringleader
and the equally guilty van der Dussen had, as has been seen, effected
their escape.

Thus ended the long tragedy of the Barnevelds. The result of this foul
conspiracy and its failure to effect the crime proposed strengthened
immensely the power, popularity, and influence of the Stadholder, made
the orthodox church triumphant, and nearly ruined the sect of the
Remonstrants, the Arminians--most unjustly in reality, although with a
pitiful show of reason--being held guilty of the crime of Stoutenburg and

The Republic--that magnificent commonwealth which in its infancy had
confronted, single-handed, the greatest empire of the earth, and had
wrested its independence from the ancient despot after a forty years'
struggle--had now been rent in twain, although in very unequal portions,
by the fiend of political and religious hatred. Thus crippled, she was to
go forth and take her share in that awful conflict now in full blaze, and
of which after-ages were to speak with a shudder as the Thirty Years'


     Argument in a circle
     He that stands let him see that he does not fall
     If he has deserved it, let them strike off his head
     Misery had come not from their being enemies
     O God! what does man come to!
     Party hatred was not yet glutted with the blood it had drunk
     Rose superior to his doom and took captivity captive
     This, then, is the reward of forty years' service to the State
     To milk, the cow as long as she would give milk


     Acts of violence which under pretext of religion
     Adulation for inferiors whom they despise
     Affection of his friends and the wrath of his enemies
     And give advice. Of that, although always a spendthrift
     Argument in a circle
     Better to be governed by magistrates than mobs
     Burning with bitter revenge for all the favours he had received
     Calumny is often a stronger and more lasting power than disdain
     Casual outbursts of eternal friendship
     Changed his positions and contradicted himself day by day
     Conciliation when war of extermination was intended
     Considered it his special mission in the world to mediate
     Created one child for damnation and another for salvation
     Death rather than life with a false acknowledgment of guilt
     Denoungced as an obstacle to peace
     Depths theological party spirit could descend
     Depths of credulity men in all ages can sink
     Devote himself to his gout and to his fair young wife
     Enemy of all compulsion of the human conscience
     Extraordinary capacity for yielding to gentle violence
     France was mourning Henry and waiting for Richelieu
     Furious mob set upon the house of Rem Bischop
     Hardly a sound Protestant policy anywhere but in Holland
     He that stands let him see that he does not fall
     Heidelberg Catechism were declared to be infallible
     Highborn demagogues in that as in every age affect adulation
     History has not too many really important and emblematic men
     Human nature in its meanness and shame
     I hope and I fear
     I know how to console myself
     If he has deserved it, let them strike off his head
     Implication there was much, of assertion very little
     In this he was much behind his age or before it
     It had not yet occurred to him that he was married
     John Robinson
     King who thought it furious madness to resist the enemy
     Logic is rarely the quality on which kings pride themselves
     Magistracy at that moment seemed to mean the sword
     Make the very name of man a term of reproach
     Misery had come not from their being enemies
     Mockery of negotiation in which nothing could be negotiated
     More apprehension of fraud than of force
     Necessity of deferring to powerful sovereigns
     Never lack of fishers in troubled waters
     Not his custom nor that of his councillors to go to bed
     O God! what does man come to!
     Only true religion
     Opening an abyss between government and people
     Opposed the subjection of the magistracy by the priesthood
     Partisans wanted not accommodation but victory
     Party hatred was not yet glutted with the blood it had drunk
     Pot-valiant hero
     Puritanism in Holland was a very different thing from England
     Rather a wilderness to reign over than a single heretic
     Resolve to maintain the civil authority over the military
     Rose superior to his doom and took captivity captive
     Seemed bent on self-destruction
     Stand between hope and fear
     Successful in this step, he is ready for greater ones
     Tempest of passion and prejudice
     That he tries to lay the fault on us is pure malice
     The magnitude of this wonderful sovereign's littleness
     The effect of energetic, uncompromising calumny
     The evils resulting from a confederate system of government
     This, then, is the reward of forty years' service to the State
     This wonderful sovereign's littleness oppresses the imagination
     To milk, the cow as long as she would give milk
     To stifle for ever the right of free enquiry
     William Brewster
     Wise and honest a man, although he be somewhat longsome
     Yes, there are wicked men about
     Yesterday is the preceptor of To-morrow


     Abstinence from inquisition into consciences and private parlour
     Acts of violence which under pretext of religion
     Adulation for inferiors whom they despise
     Advanced orthodox party-Puritans
     Affection of his friends and the wrath of his enemies
     Allowed the demon of religious hatred to enter into its body
     Almost infinite power of the meanest of passions
     And give advice. Of that, although always a spendthrift
     And now the knife of another priest-led fanatic
     Argument in a circle
     Aristocracy of God's elect
     As with his own people, keeping no back-door open
     At a blow decapitated France
     Atheist, a tyrant, because he resisted dictation from the clergy
     Behead, torture, burn alive, and bury alive all heretics
     Better to be governed by magistrates than mobs
     Burning with bitter revenge for all the favours he had received
     Calumny is often a stronger and more lasting power than disdain
     Casual outbursts of eternal friendship
     Changed his positions and contradicted himself day by day
     Christian sympathy and a small assistance not being sufficient
     Conciliation when war of extermination was intended
     Conclusive victory for the allies seemed as predestined
     Considered it his special mission in the world to mediate
     Contained within itself the germs of a larger liberty
     Could not be both judge and party in the suit
     Covered now with the satirical dust of centuries
     Created one child for damnation and another for salvation
     Deadly hatred of Puritans in England and Holland
     Death rather than life with a false acknowledgment of guilt
     Denoungced as an obstacle to peace
     Depths of credulity men in all ages can sink
     Depths theological party spirit could descend
     Determined to bring the very name of liberty into contempt
     Devote himself to his gout and to his fair young wife
     Disputing the eternal damnation of young children
     Doctrine of predestination in its sternest and strictest sense
     Emperor of Japan addressed him as his brother monarch
     Enemy of all compulsion of the human conscience
     Epernon, the true murderer of Henry
     Estimating his character and judging his judges
     Everybody should mind his own business
     Extraordinary capacity for yielding to gentle violence
     Fate, free will, or absolute foreknowledge
     Father Cotton, who was only too ready to betray the secrets
     France was mourning Henry and waiting for Richelieu
     Furious mob set upon the house of Rem Bischop
     Give him advice if he asked it, and money when he required
     Great war of religion and politics was postponed
     Hardly a sound Protestant policy anywhere but in Holland
     He was not imperial of aspect on canvas or coin
     He who would have all may easily lose all
     He who spreads the snare always tumbles into the ditch himself
     He was a sincere bigot
     He that stands let him see that he does not fall
     Heidelberg Catechism were declared to be infallible
     Highborn demagogues in that as in every age affect adulation
     History has not too many really important and emblematic men
     Human nature in its meanness and shame
     I know how to console myself
     I hope and I fear
     If he has deserved it, let them strike off his head
     Impatience is often on the part of the non-combatants
     Implication there was much, of assertion very little
     In this he was much behind his age or before it
     Intense bigotry of conviction
     International friendship, the self-interest of each
     It had not yet occurred to him that he was married
     It was the true religion, and there was none other
     James of England, who admired, envied, and hated Henry
     Jealousy, that potent principle
     Jesuit Mariana--justifying the killing of excommunicated kings
     John Robinson
     King who thought it furious madness to resist the enemy
     King's definite and final intentions, varied from day to day
     Language which is ever living because it is dead
     Logic is rarely the quality on which kings pride themselves
     Louis XIII.
     Ludicrous gravity
     Magistracy at that moment seemed to mean the sword
     Make the very name of man a term of reproach
     Misery had come not from their being enemies
     Mockery of negotiation in which nothing could be negotiated
     More apprehension of fraud than of force
     More fiercely opposed to each other than to Papists
     Most detestable verses that even he had ever composed
     Necessity of deferring to powerful sovereigns
     Neither kings nor governments are apt to value logic
     Never lack of fishers in troubled waters
     No man pretended to think of the State
     No man can be neutral in civil contentions
     No synod had a right to claim Netherlanders as slaves
     None but God to compel me to say more than I choose to say
     Not his custom nor that of his councillors to go to bed
     O God! what does man come to!
     Only true religion
     Opening an abyss between government and people
     Opposed the subjection of the magistracy by the priesthood
     Outdoing himself in dogmatism and inconsistency
     Partisans wanted not accommodation but victory
     Party hatred was not yet glutted with the blood it had drunk
     Philip IV.
     Pot-valiant hero
     Power the poison of which it is so difficult to resist
     Practised successfully the talent of silence
     Presents of considerable sums of money to the negotiators made
     Priests shall control the state or the state govern the priests
     Princes show what they have in them at twenty-five or never
     Puritanism in Holland was a very different thing from England
     Putting the cart before the oxen
     Queen is entirely in the hands of Spain and the priests
     Rather a wilderness to reign over than a single heretic
     Religion was made the strumpet of Political Ambition
     Religious toleration, which is a phrase of insult
     Resolve to maintain the civil authority over the military
     Rose superior to his doom and took captivity captive
     Safest citadel against an invader and a tyrant is distrust
     Schism in the Church had become a public fact
     Secure the prizes of war without the troubles and dangers
     Seemed bent on self-destruction
     Senectus edam maorbus est
     She declined to be his procuress
     Small matter which human folly had dilated into a great one
     Smooth words, in the plentiful lack of any substantial
     So much in advance of his time as to favor religious equality
     Stand between hope and fear
     Stroke of a broken table knife sharpened on a carriage wheel
     Successful in this step, he is ready for greater ones
     Tempest of passion and prejudice
     That he tries to lay the fault on us is pure malice
     That cynical commerce in human lives
     The effect of energetic, uncompromising calumny
     The evils resulting from a confederate system of government
     The vehicle is often prized more than the freight
     The voice of slanderers
     The truth in shortest about matters of importance
     The assassin, tortured and torn by four horses
     The defence of the civil authority against the priesthood
     The magnitude of this wonderful sovereign's littleness
     The Catholic League and the Protestant Union
     Their own roofs were not quite yet in a blaze
     Theological hatred was in full blaze throughout the country
     Theology and politics were one
     There was no use in holding language of authority to him
     There was but one king in Europe, Henry the Bearnese
     Therefore now denounced the man whom he had injured
     They have killed him, 'e ammazato,' cried Concini
     Things he could tell which are too odious and dreadful
     Thirty Years' War tread on the heels of the forty years
     This wonderful sovereign's littleness oppresses the imagination
     This, then, is the reward of forty years' service to the State
     To milk, the cow as long as she would give milk
     To stifle for ever the right of free enquiry
     To look down upon their inferior and lost fellow creatures
     Uncouple the dogs and let them run
     Unimaginable outrage as the most legitimate industry
     Vows of an eternal friendship of several weeks' duration
     What could save the House of Austria, the cause of Papacy
     Whether repentance could effect salvation
     Whether dead infants were hopelessly damned
     Whose mutual hatred was now artfully inflamed by partisans
     William Brewster
     Wise and honest a man, although he be somewhat longsome
     Wish to appear learned in matters of which they are ignorant
     Work of the aforesaid Puritans and a few Jesuits
     Wrath of the Jesuits at this exercise of legal authority
     Yes, there are wicked men about
     Yesterday is the preceptor of To-morrow

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Life and Death of John of Barneveld, Advocate of Holland : with a view of the primary causes and movements of the Thirty Years' War — Complete (1614-23)" ***

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