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´╗┐Title: History of the United Netherlands from the Death of William the Silent to the Twelve Year's Truce, 1602-03
Author: Motley, John Lothrop
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of the United Netherlands from the Death of William the Silent to the Twelve Year's Truce, 1602-03" ***

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From the Death of William the Silent to the Twelve Year's Truce--1609

By John Lothrop Motley

History of the United Netherlands, 1602-1603


     Protraction of the siege of Ostend--Spanish invasion of Ireland--
     Prince Maurice again on the march--Siege of Grave--State of the
     archduke's army--Formidable mutiny--State of Europe--Portuguese
     expedition to Java--Foundation there of the first Batavian trading
     settlement--Exploits of Jacob Heemskerk--Capture of a Lisbon
     carrack--Progress of Dutch commerce--Oriental and Germanic republics
     --Commercial embassy from the King of Atsgen in Sumatra to the
     Netherlands--Surrender of Grave--Privateer work of Frederic Spinola
     --Destruction of Spinola's fleet by English and Dutch cruisers--
     Continuation of the siege of Ostend--Fearful hurricane and its
     effects--The attack--Capture of external forts--Encounter between
     Spinola and a Dutch squadron--Execution of prisoners by the
     archduke--Philip Fleming and his diary--Continuation of operations
     before Ostend--Spanish veterans still mutinous--Their capital
     besieged by Van den Berg--Maurice marches to their relief--
     Convention between the prince and the mutineers--Great commercial
     progress of the Dutch--Opposition to international commerce--
     Organization of the Universal East India Company.

It would be desirable to concentrate the chief events of the siege of
Ostend so that they might be presented to the reader's view in a single
mass.  But this is impossible.  The siege was essentially the war--as
already observed--and it was bidding fair to protract itself to such an
extent that a respect for chronology requires the attention to be
directed for a moment to other topics.

The invasion of Ireland under Aquila, so pompously heralded as almost to
suggest another grand armada, had sailed in the beginning of the winter,
and an army of six thousand men had been landed at Kinsale.  Rarely had
there been a better opportunity for the Celt to strike for his
independence.  Shane Mac Neil had an army on foot with which he felt
confident of exterminating the Saxon oppressor, even without the
assistance of his peninsular allies; while the queen's army, severely
drawn upon as it had been for the exigencies of Vere and the States,
might be supposed unable to cope with so formidable a combination.  Yet
Montjoy made short work of Aquila and Tyrone.  The invaders, shut up in
their meagre conquest, became the besieged instead of the assailants.
Tyrone made a feeble attempt to relieve his Spanish allies, but was soon
driven into his swamps, the peasants would not rise; in spite of
proclamations and golden mountains of promise, and Aquila was soon glad
enough to sign a capitulation by which he saved a portion of his army.
He then returned, in transports provided by the English general, a much
discomfited man, to Spain instead of converting Ireland into a province
of the universal empire.  He had not rescued Hibernia, as he stoutly
proclaimed at the outset his intention of doing, from the jaws of
the evil demon.

The States, not much wiser after the experience of Nieuport, were again
desirous that Maurice should march into Flanders, relieve Ostend, and
sweep the archduke into the sea.  As for Vere, he proposed that a great
army of cavalry and infantry should be sent into Ostend, while another
force equally powerful should take the field as soon as the season
permitted.  Where the men were to be levied, and whence the funds for
putting such formidable hosts in motion were to be derived, it was not
easy to say: "'Tis astonishing," said Lewis William, "that the evils
already suffered cannot open his eyes; but after all, 'tis no marvel.  An
old and good colonel, as I hold him to be, must go to school before he
can become a general, and we must beware of committing any second folly,
govern ourselves according to our means and the art of war, and leave the
rest to God."

Prince Maurice, however; yielding as usual to the persuasions or
importunities of those less sagacious than himself; and being also much
influenced by the advice of the English queen and the French king, after
reviewing the most splendid army that even he had ever equipped and set
in the field, crossed the Waal at Nymegen, and the Meuse at Mook, and
then moving leisurely along Meuse--side by way of Sambeck, Blitterswyck,
and Maasyk, came past St. Truyden to the neighbourhood of Thienen, in
Brabant.  Here he stood, in the heart of the enemy's country, and within
a day's march of Brussels.  The sanguine portion of his countrymen and
the more easily alarmed of the enemy already thought it would be an easy
military promenade for the stadholder to march through Brabant and
Flanders to the coast, defeat the Catholic forces before Ostend, raise
the weary siege of that place, dictate peace to the archduke, and return
in triumph to the Hague, before the end of the summer.

But the experienced Maurice too well knew the emptiness of such dreams.
He had a splendid army--eighteen thousand foot and five thousand horse--
of which Lewis William commanded the battalia, Vere the right, and Count
Ernest the left, with a train of two thousand baggage wagons, and a
considerable force of sutlers and camp-followers.  He moved so
deliberately, and with such excellent discipline, that his two wings
could with ease be expanded for black-mail or forage over a considerable
extent of country, and again folded together in case of sudden military
necessity.  But he had no intention of marching through Brussels, Ghent,
and Bruges, to the Flemish coast.  His old antagonist, the Admiral of
Arragon, lay near Thienen in an entrenched camp, with a force of at least
fifteen thousand men, while the archduke, leaving Rivas in command before
Ostend, hovered in the neighbourhood of Brussels, with as many troops as
could be spared from the various Flemish garrisons, ready to support the

But Maurice tempted the admiral in vain with the chances of a general
action.  That warrior, remembering perhaps too distinctly his disasters
at Nieuport, or feeling conscious that his military genius was more fitly
displayed in burning towns and villages in neutral territory, robbing the
peasantry, plundering gentlemen's castles and murdering the proprietors,
than it was like to be in a pitched battle with the first general of the
age, remained sullenly within his entrenchments.  His position was too
strong and his force far too numerous to warrant an attack by the
stadholder upon his works.  After satisfying himself, therefore, that
there was no chance of an encounter in Brabant except at immense
disadvantage, Maurice rapidly counter-marched towards the lower Meuse,
and on the 18th July laid siege to Grave.  The position and importance of
this city have been thoroughly set before the reader in a former volumes
It is only necessary, therefore, to recal the fact that, besides being a
vital possession for the republic, the place was in law the private
property of the Orange family, having been a portion of the estate of
Count de Buren, afterwards redeemed on payment of a considerable sum of
money by his son-in-law, William the Silent, confirmed to him at the
pacification of Ghent, and only lost to his children by the disgraceful
conduct of Captain Hamart, which had cost that officer his head.  Maurice
was determined at least that the place should not now slip through his
fingers, and that the present siege should be a masterpiece.  His forts,
of which he had nearly fifty, were each regularly furnished with moat,
drawbridge, and bulwark.  His counterscarp and parapet, his galleries,
covered ways and mines, were as elaborate, massive, and artistically
finished as if he were building a city instead of besieging one.
Buzanval, the French envoy, amazed at the spectacle, protested that his
works "were rather worthy of the grand Emperor of the Turks than of, a
little commonwealth, which only existed through the disorder of its
enemies and the assistance of its friends;" but he admitted the utility
of the stadholder's proceedings to be very obvious.

While the prince calmly sat before Grave, awaiting the inexorable hour
for burghers and garrison to surrender, the great Francis Mendoza,
Admiral of Arragon, had been completing the arrangements for his
exchange.  A prisoner after the Nieuport battle, he had been assigned
by Maurice, as will be recollected, to his cousin, young Lewis Gunther,
whose brilliant services as commander of the cavalry had so much
contributed to the victory.  The amount of ransom for so eminent a
captive could not fail to be large, and accordingly the thrifty Lewis
William had congratulated his brother on being able, although so young,
thus to repair the fortunes of the family by his military industry to a
greater extent than had yet been accomplished by any of the race.
Subsequently, the admiral had been released on parole, the sum of his
ransom having been fixed at nearly one hundred thousand Flemish crowns.
By an agreement now made by the States, with consent of the Nassau
family, the prisoner was definitely released, on condition of effecting
the exchange of all prisoners of the republic, now held in durance by
Spain in any part of the world.  This was in lieu of the hundred thousand
crowns which were to be put into the impoverished coffers of Lewis
Gunther.  It may be imagined, as the hapless prisoners afterwards poured
in--not only from the peninsula, but from more distant regions, whither
they had been sent by their cruel taskmasters, some to relate their
sufferings in the horrible dungeons of Spain, where they had long been
expiating the crime of defending their fatherland, others to relate their
experiences as chained galley-slaves in the naval service of their
bitterest enemies, many with shorn heads and long beards like Turks, many
with crippled limbs, worn out with chains and blows, and the squalor of
disease and filth--that the hatred for Spain and Rome did not glow any
less fiercely within the republic, nor the hereditary love for the
Nassaus, to whose generosity these poor victims were indebted for their
deliverance, become fainter, in consequence of these revelations.  It was
at first vehemently disputed by many that the admiral could be exchanged
as a prisoner of war, in respect to the manifold murders and other crimes
which would seem to authorize his trial and chastisement by the tribunals
of the republic.  But it was decided by the States that the sacred aegis
of military law must be held to protect even so bloodstained a criminal
as he, and his release was accordingly effected.  Not long afterwards he
took his departure for Spain, where his reception was not enthusiastic.

From this epoch is to be dated a considerable reform in the laws
regulating the exchange of prisoners of war.--[Grotius]

While Maurice was occupied with the siege of Grave, and thus not only
menacing an important position, but spreading, danger and dismay over all
Brabant and Flanders, it was necessary for the archduke to detach so
large a portion of his armies to observe his indefatigable and scientific
enemy, as to much weaken the vigour of the operations before Ostend.
Moreover, the execrable administration of his finances, and the dismal
delays and sufferings of that siege; had brought about another mutiny--on
the whole, the most extensive, formidable, and methodical of all that had
hitherto occurred in the Spanish armies.

By midsummer, at least three thousand five hundred veterans, including a
thousand of excellent cavalry, the very best soldiers in the service, had
seized the city of Hoogstraaten.  Here they established themselves
securely, and strengthened the fortifications; levying contributions in
corn, cattle, and every other necessary, besides wine, beer, and pocket-
money, from the whole country round with exemplary regularity.  As usual,
disorder assumed the forms of absolute order.  Anarchy became the best
organized of governments; and it would have been difficult to find in the
world--outside the Dutch commonwealth--a single community where justice
appeared to be so promptly administered as in this temporary republic,
founded upon rebellion and theft.

For; although a brotherhood of thieves, it rigorously punished such of
its citizens as robbed for their own, not for the public good.  The
immense booty swept daily from the granges, castles; and villages of
Flanders was divided with the simplicity of early Christians, while the
success and steadiness of the operations paralyzed their sovereign, and
was of considerable advantage to the States.

Albert endeavoured in vain to negotiate with the rebels.  Nuncius
Frangipani went to them in person, but was received with calm derision.
Pious exhortations might turn the keys of Paradise, but gold alone, he
was informed, would unlock the gates of Hoogstraaten.  In an evil hour
the cardinal-archduke was tempted to try the effect of sacerdotal
thunder.  The ex-archbishop of Toledo could not doubt that the terrors of
the Church would make those brown veterans tremble who could confront so
tranquilly the spring-tides of the North Sea, and the batteries of Vere
and Nassau.  So he launched a manifesto, as highly spiced as a pamphlet
of Marnig, and as severe as a sentence of Torquemada.  Entirely against
the advice of the States-General of the obedient provinces, he denounced
the mutineers as outlaws and accursed.  He called on persons of every
degree to kill any of them in any way, at any time, or in any place,
promising that the slayer of a private soldier should receive a reward
of "ten crowns for each head" brought in, while for a subaltern officer's
head one hundred crowns were offered; for that of a superior officer two
hundred, and for that of the Eletto or chief magistrate, five hundred
crowns.  Should the slayer be himself a member of the mutiny, his crime
of rebellion was to be forgiven, and the price of murder duly paid.  All
judges, magistrates, and provost-marshals were ordered to make
inventories of the goods, moveable and immoveable, of the mutineers, and
of the clothing and other articles belonging to their wives and children,
all which property was to be brought in and deposited in the hands of the
proper functionaries of the archduke's camp, in order that it might be
duly incorporated into the domains of his Highness.

The mutineers were not frightened.  The ban was an anachronism.  If those
Spaniards and Italians had learned nothing by their much campaigning in
the land of Calvinism, they had at least unlearned their faith in bell,
book, and candle.  It happened, too, that among their numbers were to be
found pamphleteers as ready and as unscrupulous as the scribes of the

So there soon came forth and was published to the world, in the name of
the Eletto and council of Hoogstraaten, a formal answer to the ban.

"If scolding and cursing be payment," said the magistrates of the mutiny,
"then we might give a receipt in full for our wages.  The ban is
sufficient in this respect; but as these curses give no food for our
bellies nor clothes for our backs, not preventing us, therefore, who have
been fighting so long for the honour and welfare of the archdukes from
starving with cold and hunger, we think a reply necessary in order to
make manifest how much reason these archdukes have for thundering forth
all this choler and fury, by which women and children may be frightened,
but at which no soldier will feel alarm.

"When it is stated," continued the mutineers, "that we have deserted our
banners just as an attempt was making by the archduke to relieve Grave,
we can only reply that the assertion proves how impossible it is to
practise arithmetic with disturbed brains.  Passion is a bad
schoolmistress for the memory, but, as good friends, we will recal to the
recollection of your Highness that it was not your Highness, but the
Admiral of Arragon, that commanded the relieving force before that city.

"'Tis very true that we summon your Highnesses, and levy upon your
provinces, in order to obtain means of living; for in what other quarter
should we make application.  Your Highnesses give us nothing except
promises; but soldiers are not chameleons, to live on such air.
According to every principle of law, creditors have a lien on the
property of their debtors.

"As to condemning to death as traitors and scoundrels those who don't
desire to be killed, and who have the means of killing such as attempt to
execute the sentence; this is hardly in accordance with the extraordinary
wisdom which has always characterized your Highnesses.

"As, to the confiscation of our goods, both moveable and immoveable, we
would simply make this observation:

"Our moveable goods are our swords alone, and they can only be moved by
ourselves.  They are our immoveable goods as well; for should any one but
ourselves undertake to move them, we assure your Highnesses that they
will prove too heavy to be handled.

"As to the official register and deposit ordained of the money, clothing,
and other property belonging to ourselves, our wives and children, the
work may be done without clerks of inventory.  Certainly, if the domains
of your Highnesses have no other sources of revenue than the proceeds of
this confiscation, wherewith to feed the ostrich-like digestions of those
about you, 'tis to be feared that ere long they will be in the same
condition as were ours, when we were obliged to come together in
Hoogstraaten to devise means to keep ourselves, our wives, and children
alive.  And at that time we were an unbreeched people, like the Indians--
saving your Highnesses' reverence--and the climate here is too cold for
such costume.  Your Highnesses, and your relatives the Emperor and King
of Spain, will hardly make your royal heads greasy with the fat of such
property as we possess, 'Twill also be a remarkable spectacle after you
have stripped our wives and children stark naked for the benefit of your
treasury, to see them sent in that condition, within three days
afterwards, out of the country, as the ban ordains.

"You order the ban to be executed against our children and our children's
children, but your Highness never learned this in the Bible, when you
were an archbishop, and when you expounded, or ought to have expounded,
the Holy Scriptures to your flock.  What theology teaches your Highness
to vent your wrath upon the innocent?

"Whenever the cause of discontent is taken away, the soldiers will become
obedient and cheerful.  All kings and princes may mirror themselves in
the bad government of your Highness, and may see how they fare who try to
carry on a war, while with their own hands they cut the sinews of war.
The great leaders of old--Cyrus, Alexander, Scipio, Caesar--were
accustomed, not to starve, but to enrich their soldiers.  What did
Alexander, when in an arid desert they brought, him a helmet full of
water?  He threw it on the sand, saying that there was only enough for
him, but not enough for his army.

"Your Highnesses have set ten crowns, and one hundred, and five hundred
crowns upon our heads, but never could find five hundred mites nor ten
mites to keep our souls and bodies together.

"Yet you have found means to live yourselves with pomp and luxury, far
exceeding that of the great Emperor Charles and much surpassing the
magnificence of your Highnesses' brothers, the emperor and the king."

Thus, and much more, the magistrates of the "Italian republic"--answering
their master's denunciations of vengeance, both in this world and the
next, with a humorous scorn very refreshing in that age of the world to
contemplate.  The expanding influence of the Dutch commonwealth was
already making itself felt even in the ranks of its most determined foes.

The mutineers had also made an agreement with the States-General, by
which they had secured permission, in case of need, to retire within the
territory of the republic.

Maurice had written to them from his camp before Grave, and at first they
were disposed to treat him with as little courtesy as they had shown the
Nuncius; for they put the prince's letter on a staff, and fired at it as
a mark, assuring the trumpeter who brought it that they would serve
him in the same manner should he venture thither again.  Very soon
afterwards, however, the Eletto and council, reproving the folly of their
subordinates, opened negotiations with the stadholder, who, with the
consent of the States, gave them preliminary permission to take refuge
under the guns of Bergenop-Zoom, should they by chance be hard pressed.

Thus throughout Europe a singular equilibrium of contending forces seemed
established.  Before Ostend, where the chief struggle between imperialism
and republicanism had been proceeding for more than a year with equal
vigour, there seemed no possibility of a result.  The sands drank up the
blood of the combatants on both sides, month after month, in summer; the
pestilence in town and camp mowed down Catholic and Protestant with
perfect impartiality during the winter, while the remorseless ocean swept
over all in its wrath, obliterating in an hour the patient toil of

In Spain, in England, and Ireland; in Hungary, Germany, Sweden, and
Poland, men wrought industriously day by day and year by year, to destroy
each other, and to efface the products of human industry, and yet no
progress could fairly be registered.  The Turk was in Buda, on the right
bank of the Danube, and the Christian in Pest, on the left, while the
crescent; but lately supplanted by the cross, again waved in triumph over
Stuhlweissenberg, capital city of the Magyars.  The great Marshal Biron,
foiled in his stupendous treachery, had laid down his head upon the
block; the catastrophe following hard upon the madcap riot of Lord Essex
in the Strand and his tragic end.  The troublesome and restless
favourites of Henry and of Elizabeth had closed their stormy career, but
the designs of the great king and the great queen were growing wider and
wilder, more false and more fantastic than ever, as the evening shadows
of both were lengthening.

But it was not in Europe nor in Christendom: alone during that twilight
epoch of declining absolutism, regal and sacerdotal, and the coming
glimmer of freedom, religious and commercial, that the contrast between
the old and new civilizations was exhibiting itself.

The same fishermen and fighting men, whom we have but lately seen sailing
forth from Zeeland and Friesland to confront the dangers of either pole,
were now contending in the Indian seas with the Portuguese monopolists of
the tropics.

A century long, the generosity of the Roman pontiff in bestowing upon
others what was not his property had guaranteed to the nation of Vasco de
Gama one half at least of the valuable possessions which maritime genius,
unflinching valour, and boundless cruelty had won and kept.  But the
spirit of change was abroad in the world.  Potentates and merchants
under the equator had been sedulously taught that there were no other
white men on the planet but the Portuguese and their conquerors the
Spaniards, and that the Dutch--of whom they had recently heard, and the
portrait of whose great military chieftain they had seen after the news
of the Nieuport battle had made the circuit of the earth--were a mere mob
of pirates and savages inhabiting the obscurest of dens.  They were soon,
however, to be enabled to judge for themselves as to the power and the
merits of the various competitors for their trade.

Early in this year Andreas Hurtado de Mendoza with a stately fleet of
galleons and smaller vessels, more than five-and-twenty in all, was on
his way towards the island of Java to inflict summary vengeance upon
those oriental rulers who had dared to trade with men forbidden by his
Catholic Majesty and the Pope.

The city of Bantam was the first spot marked out for destruction, and it
so happened that a Dutch skipper, Wolfert Hermann by name, commanding
five trading vessels, in which were three hundred men, had just arrived
in those seas to continue the illicit commerce which had aroused the ire
of the Portuguese.  His whole force both of men and of guns was far
inferior to that of the flag-ship alone of Mendoza.  But he resolved to
make manifest to the Indians that the Batavians were not disposed to
relinquish their promising commercial relations with them, nor to turn
their backs upon their newly found friends in the hour of danger.  To the
profound astonishment of the Portuguese admiral the Dutchman with his
five little trading ships made an attack on the pompous armada, intending
to avert chastisement from the king of Bantam.  It was not possible for
Wolfert to cope at close quarters with his immensely superior adversary,
but his skill and nautical experience enabled him to play at what was
then considered long bowls with extraordinary effect.  The greater
lightness and mobility of his vessels made them more than a match, in
this kind of encounter, for the clumsy, top-heavy, and sluggish marine
castles in which Spain and Portugal then went forth to battle on the
ocean.  It seems almost like the irony of history, and yet it is the
literal fact, that the Dutch galleot of that day--hardly changed in two
and a half centuries since--"the bull-browed galleot butting through the
stream,"--[Oliver Wendell Holmes]--was then the model clipper,
conspicuous among all ships for its rapid sailing qualities and ease of
handling.  So much has the world moved, on sea and shore, since those
simple but heroic days.  And thus Wolfert's swift-going galleots circled
round and round the awkward, ponderous, and much-puzzled Portuguese
fleet, until by well-directed shots and skilful manoeuvring they had sunk
several ships, taken two, run others into the shallows, and, at last, put
the whole to confusion.  After several days of such fighting, Admiral
Mendoza fairly turned his back upon his insignificant opponent, and
abandoned his projects upon Java.  Bearing away for the Island of Amboyna
with the remainder of his fleet, he laid waste several of its villages
and odoriferous spice-fields, while Wolfert and his companions entered
Bantam in triumph, and were hailed as deliverers.  And thus on the
extreme western verge of this magnificent island was founded the first
trading settlement of the Batavian republic in the archipelago of the
equator--the foundation-stone of a great commercial empire which was to
encircle the earth.  Not many years later, at the distance, of a dozen
leagues from Bantam, a congenial swamp was fortunately discovered in a
land whose volcanic peaks rose two miles into the air, and here a town
duly laid out with canals and bridges, and trim gardens and stagnant
pools, was baptized by the ancient and well-beloved name of Good-Meadow
or Batavia, which it bears to this day.

Meantime Wolfert Hermann was not the only Hollander cruising in those
seas able to convince the Oriental mind that all Europeans save the
Portuguese were not pirates and savages, and that friendly intercourse
with other foreigners might be as profitable as slavery to the Spanish

Captain Nek made treaties of amity and commerce with the potentates of
Ternate, Tydor, and other Molucca islands.  The King of Candy on the
Island of Ceylon, lord of the odoriferous fields of cassia which perfume
those tropical seas, was glad to learn how to exchange the spices of the
equator for the thousand fabrics and products of western civilization
which found their great emporium in Holland.  Jacob Heemskerk, too, who
had so lately astonished the world by his exploits and discoveries during
his famous winter in Nova Zembla, was now seeking adventures and carrying
the flag and fame of the republic along the Indian and Chinese coasts.
The King of Johor on the Malayan peninsula entered into friendly
relations with him, being well pleased, like so many of those petty
rulers, to obtain protection against the Portuguese whom he had so long
hated and feared.  He informed Heemskerk of the arrival in the straits of
Malacca of an immense Lisbon carrack, laden with pearls and spices,
brocades and precious-stones, on its way to Europe, and suggested an
attack.  It is true that the roving Hollander merely commanded a couple
of the smallest galleots, with about a hundred and thirty men in the two.
But when was Jacob Heemskerk ever known to shrink from an encounter--
whether from single-handed combat with a polar bear, or from leading a
forlorn hope against a Spanish fort, or from assailing a Portuguese
armada.  The carrack, more than one thousand tons burthen, carried
seventeen guns, and at least eight times as many men as he commanded.
Nevertheless, after a combat of but brief duration Heemskerk was master
of the carrack: He spared the lives of his seven hundred prisoners, and
set them on shore before they should have time to discover to what a
handful of Dutchmen they had surrendered.  Then dividing about a million
florins' worth of booty among his men, who doubtless found such cruising
among the spice-islands more attractive than wintering at the North Pole,
he sailed in the carrack for Macao, where he found no difficulty in
convincing the authorities of the celestial empire that the friendship of
the Dutch republic was worth cultivating.  There was soon to be work in
other regions for the hardy Hollander--such as was to make the name of
Heemskerk a word to conjure with down to the latest posterity.  Meantime
he returned to his own country to take part in the great industrial
movements which were to make this year an epoch in commercial history.

The conquerors of Mendoza and deliverers of Bantam had however not paused
in their work.  From Java they sailed to Banda; and on those volcanic
islands of nutmegs and cloves made, in the name of their commonwealth,
a treaty with its republican antipodes.  For there was no king to be
found in that particular archipelago, and the two republics, the Oriental
and the Germanic, dealt with each other with direct and becoming
simplicity.  Their convention was in accordance with the commercial
ideas of the day, which assumed monopoly as the true basis of national
prosperity.  It was agreed that none but Dutchmen should ever purchase
the nutmegs of Banda, and that neither nation should harbour refugees
from the other.  Other articles, however; showed how much farther, the
practice of political and religious liberty had advanced than had any
theory of commercial freedom.  It was settled that each nation should
judge its own citizens according to its own laws, that neither should
interfere by force with the other in regard to religious matters, but
that God should be judge over them all.  Here at least was progress
beyond the system according to which the Holy Inquisition furnished the
only enginry of civilization.  The guardianship assumed by Holland over
these children of the sun was at least an improvement on the tyranny
which roasted them alive if they rejected religious dogmas which they
could not comprehend, and which proclaimed with fire, sword, and gibbet
that the Omnipotent especially forbade the nutmeg trade to all but the
subjects, of the most Catholic king.

In Atsgen or Achim, chief city of Sumatra, a treaty was likewise made
with the government of the place, and it was arranged that the king of
Atsgen should send over an embassy to the distant but friendly republic.
Thus he might judge whether the Hollanders were enemies of all the world,
as had been represented to him, or only of Spain; whether their knowledge
of the arts and sciences, and their position among the western nations
entitled them to respect, and made their friendship desirable; or whether
they were only worthy of the contempt which their royal and aristocratic
enemies delighted to heap upon their heads.  The envoys sailed from
Sumatra on board the same little fleet which, under the command of
Wolfert Hermann, had already done such signal service, and on their way
to Europe they had an opportunity of seeing how these republican sailors
could deal with their enemies on the ocean.

Off St. Helena an immense Portuguese carrack richly laden and powerfully
armed, was met, attacked, and overpowered by the little merchantmen with
their usual audacity and skill.  A magnificent booty was equitably
divided among the captors, the vanquished crew were set safely on shore;
and the Hollanders then pursued their home voyage without further

The ambassadors; with an Arab interpreter, were duly presented to Prince
Maurice in the lines before the city of Grave.  Certainly no more
favourable opportunity could have been offered them for contrasting the
reality of military power, science, national vigour; and wealth, which
made the republic eminent among the nations, with the fiction of a horde
of insignificant and bloodthirsty savages which her enemies had made so
familiar at the antipodes.  Not only were the intrenchments bastions,
galleries, batteries, the discipline and equipment of the troops, a
miracle in the eyes of these newly arrived Oriental ambassadors, but they
had awakened the astonishment of Europe, already accustomed to such
spectacles.  Evidently the amity of the stadholder and his commonwealth
was a jewel of price, and the King of Achim would have been far more
barbarous than he had ever deemed the Dutchmen to be, had he not well
heeded the lesson which he had sent so far to learn.

The chief of the legation, Abdulzamar, died in Zeeland, and was buried
with honourable obsequies at Middleburg, a monument being raised to his
memory.  The other envoys returned to Sumatra, fully determined to
maintain close relations with the republic.

There had been other visitors in Maurice's lines before Grave at about
the same period.  Among others, Gaston Spinola, recently created by the
archduke Count of Bruay, had obtained permission to make a visit to a
wounded relative, then a captive in the republican camp, and was
hospitably entertained at the stadholder's table.  Maurice, with
soldierly bluntness, ridiculed the floating batteries, the castles on
wheels, the sausages, and other newly-invented machines, employed before
Ostend, and characterized them as rather fit to catch birds with than to
capture a city, defended by mighty armies and fleets.

"If the archduke has set his heart upon it, he had far better try to buy
Ostend," he observed.

"What is your price?"  asked the Italian; "will you take 200,000 ducats?"

"Certainly not less than a million and a half," was the reply; so highly
did Maurice rate the position and advantages of the city.  He would
venture to prophesy, he added, that the siege of Ostend would last as
long as the siege of Troy.

"Ostend is no Troy," said Spinola with a courtly flourish, "although
there are certainly not wanting an Austrian Agamemnon, a Dutch Hector,
and an Italian Achilles."  The last allusion was to the speaker's
namesake and kinsman, the Marquis Anibrose Spinola, of whom much was to
be heard in the world from that time forth.

Meantime, although so little progress had been made at Ostend, Maurice
had thoroughly done his work before Grave.  On the 18th September the
place surrendered, after sixty days' siege, upon the terms usually
granted by the stadholder.  The garrison was to go out with the honours
of war.  Those of the inhabitants who wished to leave were to leave;
those who preferred staying were to stay; rendering due allegiance to the
republic, and abstaining in public from the rites of the Roman Church,
without being exposed, however, to any inquiries as to their religious
opinions, or any interference within their households.

The work went slowly on before Ostend.  Much effect had been produced,
however, by the operations of the archduke's little naval force.  The
galley of that day, although a child's toy as compared with the wonders
of naval architecture of our own time, was an effective machine enough to
harass fishing and coasting vessels in creeks and estuaries, and along
the shores of Holland and Zeeland during tranquil weather.

The locomotive force of these vessels consisted of galley-slaves,
in which respect the Spaniards had an advantage over other nations;
for they had no scruples in putting prisoners of war into chains and upon
the benches of the rowers.  Humanity--"the law of Christian piety," in
the words of the noble Grotius--forbade the Hollanders from reducing
their captives to such horrible slavery, and they were obliged to content
themselves with condemned criminals, and with the few other wretches whom
abject poverty and the impossibility of earning other wages could induce
to accept the service.  And as in the maritime warfare of our own day,
the machinery--engines, wheels, and boilers--is the especial aim of the
enemy's artillery, so the chain-gang who rowed in the waist of the
galley, the living enginry, without which the vessel became a useless
tub, was as surely marked out for destruction whenever a sea-fight took

The Hollanders did not very much favour this species of war-craft, both
by reason of the difficulty of procuring the gang, and because to a true
lover of the ocean and of naval warfare the galley was about as clumsy
and amphibious a production as could be hoped of human perverseness.
High where it should be low.  Exposed, flat, and fragile, where elevation
and strength were indispensable--encumbered and top-heavy where it should
be level and compact, weak in the waist, broad at stem and stern, awkward
in manoeuvre, helpless in rough weather, sluggish under sail, although
possessing the single advantage of being able to crawl over a smooth sea
when better and faster ships were made stationary by absolute calm, the
galley was no match for the Dutch galleot, either at close quarters or in
a breeze.

Nevertheless for a long time there had been a certain awe produced by the
possibility of some prodigious but unknown qualities in these outlandish
vessels, and already the Hollanders had tried their hand at constructing
them.  On a late occasion a galley of considerable size, built at Dort,
had rowed past the Spanish forts on the Scheld, gone up to Antwerp, and
coolly cut out from the very wharves of the city a Spanish galley of the
first class, besides seven war vessels of lesser dimensions, at first
gaining advantage by surprise, and then breaking down all opposition in a
brilliant little fight.  The noise of the encounter summoned the citizens
and garrison to the walls, only to witness the triumph achieved by Dutch
audacity, and to see the victors dropping rapidly down the river, laden
with booty and followed by their prizes.  Nor was the mortification of
these unwilling spectators diminished when the clear notes of a bugle on
board the Dutch galley brought to their ears the well-known melody of
"Wilhelmus of Nassau," once so dear to every, patriotic heart in Antwerp,
and perhaps causing many a renegade cheek on this occasion to tingle with

Frederic Spinola, a volunteer belonging to the great and wealthy Genoese
family of that name, had been performing a good deal of privateer work
with a small force of galleys which he kept under his command at Sluys.
He had succeeded in inflicting so much damage upon the smaller
merchantmen of the republic, and in maintaining so perpetual a panic in
calm weather among the seafaring multitudes of those regions, that he was
disposed to extend the scale of his operations.  On a visit to Spain he
had obtained permission from Government to employ in this service eight
great galleys, recently built on the Guadalquivir for the Royal Navy.
He was to man and equip them at his own expense, and was to be allowed
the whole of the booty that might result from his enterprise.  Early in
the autumn he set forth with his eight galleys on the voyage to Flanders,
but, off Cezimbra, on the Portuguese coast, unfortunately fell in with
Sir Robert Mansell, who; with a compact little squadron of English
frigates, was lying in wait for the homeward-bound India fleet on their
entrance to Lisbon.  An engagement took place, in which Spinola lost two
of his galleys.  His disaster might have been still greater, had not an
immense Indian carrack, laden with the richest merchandize, just then
hove in sight, to attract his conquerors with a hope of better prize-
money than could be expected from the most complete victory over him and
his fleet.

With the remainder of his vessels Spinola crept out of sight while the
English were ransacking the carrack.  On the 3rd of October he had
entered the channel with a force which, according to the ideas of that
day, was still formidable.  Each of his galleys was of two hundred and
fifty slave power, and carried, beside the chain-gang, four hundred
fighting men.  His flag-ship was called the St. Lewis; the names of the
other vessels being the St. Philip, the Morning Star, the St. John, the
Hyacinth, and the Padilla.  The Trinity and the Opportunity had been
destroyed off Cezimbra.  Now there happened to be cruising just then in
the channel, Captain Peter Mol, master of the Dutch war-ship Tiger, and
Captain Lubbertson, commanding the Pelican.  These two espied the Spanish
squadron, paddling at about dusk towards the English coast, and quickly
gave notice to Vice-Admiral John Kant, who in the States' ship Half-moon,
with three other war-galleots, was keeping watch in that neighbourhood.
It was dead calm as the night fell, and the galleys of Spinola, which had
crept close up to the Dover cliffs, were endeavouring to row their way
across in the darkness towards the Flemish coast, in the hope of putting
unobserved into the Gut of Sluys.  All went well with Spinola till the
moon rose; but, with the moon, sprang up a steady breeze, so that the
galleys lost all their advantage.  Nearly off Gravelines another States'
ship, the Mackerel, came in sight, which forthwith attacked the St:
Philip, pouring a broadside into her by which fifty men were killed.
Drawing off from this assailant, the galley found herself close to the
Dutch admiral in the Half-moon, who, with all sail set, bore straight
down upon her, struck her amidships with a mighty crash, carrying off her
mainmast and her poop, and then, extricating himself with difficulty from
the wreck, sent a tremendous volley of cannon-shot and lesser missiles
straight into the waist where sat the chain-gang.  A howl of pain and
terror rang through the air, while oars and benches, arms, legs, and
mutilated bodies, chained inexorably together, floated on the moonlit
waves.  An instant later, and another galleot bore down to complete the
work, striking with her iron prow the doomed St. Philip so straightly and
surely that she went down like a stone, carrying with her galley slaves,
sailors, and soldiers, besides all the treasure brought by Spinola for
the use of his fleet.

The Morning Star was the next galley attacked, Captain Sael, in a stout
galleot, driving at her under full sail, with the same accuracy and
solidity of shock as had been displayed in the encounter with the St.
Philip and with the same result.  The miserable, top-heavy monster galley
was struck between mainmast and stern, with a blow which carried away the
assailant's own bowsprit and fore-bulwarks, but which--completely
demolished the stem of the galley, and crushed out of existence the
greater portion of the live machinery sitting chained and rowing on the
benches.  And again, as the first enemy hauled off from its victim,
Admiral pant came up once more in the Half-moon, steered straight at the
floundering galley, and sent her with one crash to the bottom.  It was
not very scientific practice perhaps.  It was but simple butting, plain
sailing, good steering, and the firing of cannon at short pistol-shot.
But after all, the work of those unsophisticated Dutch skippers was done
very thoroughly, without flinching, and, as usual, at great odds of men
and guns.  Two more of the Spanish galleys were chased into the shallows
near Gravelines, where they went to pieces.  Another was wrecked near
Calais.  The galley which bore Frederic Spinola himself and his fortunes
succeeded in reaching Dunkirk, whence he made his way discomfited, to
tell the tale of his disaster to the archduke at Brussels.  During the
fight the Dutch admiral's boats had been active in picking up such of the
drowning crews, whether galley-slaves or soldiers, as it was possible to
save.  But not more than two hundred were thus rescued, while by far the
greater proportion of those on board, probably three thousand in number,
perished, and the whole fleet, by which so much injury was to have been
inflicted on Dutch commerce, was, save one damaged galley, destroyed. Yet
scarcely any lives were lost by the Hollanders, and it is certain that
the whole force in their fleet did not equal the crew of a single one of
the enemy's ships.  Neither Spinola nor the archduke seemed likely to
make much out of the contract.  Meantime, the Genoese volunteer kept
quiet in Sluy's, brooding over schemes to repair his losses and to renew
his forays on the indomitable Zeelanders.

Another winter had now closed in upon Ostend, while still the siege had
scarcely advanced an inch.  During the ten months of Governor Dorp's
administration, four thousand men had died of wounds or malady within the
town, and certainly twice as many in the trenches of the besieging force.
Still the patient Bucquoy went on, day after day, night after night,
month after month, planting his faggots and fascines, creeping forward
almost imperceptibly with his dyke, paying five florins each to the
soldiers who volunteered to bring the materials, and a double ducat to
each man employed in laying them.  So close were they under the fire of
the town; that a life was almost laid down for every ducat, but the
Gullet, which it was hoped to close, yawned as wide as ever, and the
problem how to reduce a city, open by sea to the whole world, remained
without solution.  On the last day of the year a splendid fleet of
transports arrived in the town, laden with whole droves of beeves and
flocks of sheep, besides wine and bread and beer enough to supply a
considerable city; so that market provisions in the beleaguered town
were cheaper than in any part of Europe.

Thus skilfully did the States-General and Prince Maurice watch from the
outside over Ostend, while the audacious but phlegmatic sea-captains
brought their cargoes unscathed through the Gullet, although Bucquoy's
batteries had now advanced to within seventy yards of the shore.

On the west side, the besiegers were slowly eating their way through the
old harbour towards the heart of the place.  Subterranean galleries,
patiently drained of their water, were met by counter-galleries leading
out from the town, and many were the desperate hand-to-hand encounters,
by dim lanterns, or in total darkness, beneath the ocean and beneath the
earth; Hollander, Spaniard, German, Englishman, Walloon, digging and
dying in the fatal trenches, as if there had been no graves at home.
Those insatiable sand-banks seemed ready to absorb all the gold and all
the life of Christendom.  But the monotony of that misery it is useless
to chronicle.  Hardly an event of these dreary days has been left
unrecorded by faithful diarists and industrious soldiers, but time has
swept us far away from them, and the world has rolled on to fresher
fields of carnage and ruin.  All winter long those unwearied,
intelligent, fierce, and cruel creatures toiled and fought in the
stagnant waters, and patiently burrowed in the earth.  It seemed that
if Ostend were ever lost it would be because at last entirely bitten
away and consumed.  When there was no Ostend left, it might be that
the archduke would triumph.

As there was always danger that the movements on the east side might be
at last successful, it was the command of Maurice that the labours to
construct still another harbour should go on in case the Gullet should
become useless, as the old haven had been since the beginning of the
siege.  And the working upon that newest harbour was as dangerous to the
Hollanders as Bucquoy's dike-building to the Spaniards, for the pioneers
and sappers were perpetually under fire from the batteries which the
count had at, last successfully established on the extremity of his work.
It was a piteous sight to see those patient delvers lay down their spades
and die, hour after hour, to be succeeded by their brethren only to share
their fate.  Yet still the harbour building progressed; for the republic
was determined that the city should be open to the sea so long as the
States had a stiver, or a ship, or a spade.

While this deadly industry went on, the more strictly military operations
were not pretermitted day nor night.  The Catholics were unwearied in
watching for a chance of attack, and the Hollanders stood on the ramparts
and in the trenches, straining eyes and ears through the perpetual icy
mists of that black winter to catch the sight and sound of a coming foe.
Especially the by-watches, as they were called, were enough to break down
constitutions of iron; for, all day and night, men were stationed in the
inundated regions, bound on pain of death to stand in the water and watch
for a possible movement of the enemy, until the waves should rise so high
as to make it necessary to swim.  Then, until the tide fell again, there
was brief repose.

And so the dreary winter faded away at last into chill and blustering
spring.  On the 13th of April a hurricane, such as had not occurred since
the siege began; raged across the ocean, deluging and shattering the
devoted town.  The waters rose over dyke and parapet, and the wind swept
from the streets and ramparts every living thing.  Not a soldier or
sailor could keep his feet, the chief tower of the church was blown into
the square, chimneys and windows crashed on all sides, and the elements
had their holiday, as if to prove how helpless a thing was man, however
fierce and determined, when the powers of Nature arose in their strength.
It was as if no siege existed, as if no hostile armies had been lying
nearly two years long close to each other, and losing no opportunity to
fly at each other's throats.  The strife of wind and ocean gave a respite
to human rage.

It was but a brief respite.  At nightfall there was a lull in the
tempest, and the garrison crept again to the ramparts.  Instantly the
departing roar of the winds and waters were succeeded by fainter but
still more threatening sounds, and the sentinels and the drums and
trumpets to rally the garrison, when the attack came.  The sleepless
Spaniards were already upon them.  In the Porcupine fort, a blaze of
wickerwork and building materials suddenly illuminated the gathering
gloom of night; and the loud cries of the assailants, who had succeeded
in kindling this fire by their missiles, proclaimed the fierceness of the
attack.  Governor Dorp was himself in the fort, straining every nerve to
extinguish the flames, and to hold this most important position.  He was
successful.  After a brief but bloody encounter the Spaniards were
repulsed with heavy loss.  All was quiet again, and the garrison in the
Porcupine were congratulating themselves on their victory when suddenly
the ubiquitous Philip Fleeting plunged, with a face of horror, into the
governor's quarters, informing him that the attack on the redoubt had
been a feint, and that the Spaniards were at that very moment swarming
all over the three external forts, called the South Square, the West
Square, and the Polder.  These points, which have been already described,
were most essential to the protection of the place, as without them the
whole counterscarp was in danger.  It was to save those exposed but vital
positions that Sir Francis Vere had resorted to the slippery device of
the last Christmas Eve but one.

Dorp refused to believe the intelligence.  The squares were well guarded,
the garrison ever alert.  Spaniards were not birds of prey to fly up
those perpendicular heights, and for beings without wings the thing was
impossible.  He followed Fleming through the darkness, and was soon
convinced that the impossible was true.  The precious squares were in the
hands of the enemy.  Nimble as monkeys, those yellow jerkined Italians,
Walloons, and Spaniards--stormhats on their heads and swords in their
teeth--had planted rope-ladders, swung themselves up the walls by
hundreds upon hundreds, while the fight had been going on at the
Porcupine, and were now rushing through the forts grinning defiance,
yelling and chattering with fierce triumph, and beating down all
opposition.  It was splendidly done.  The discomfited Dorp met small
bodies of his men, panic-struck, reeling out from their stronghold,
wounded, bleeding, shrieking for help and for orders.  It seemed as if
the Spaniards had dropped from the clouds.  The Dutch commandant did his
best to rally the fugitives, and to encourage those who had remained.
All night long the furious battle raged, every inch of ground being
contested; for both Catholics and Hollanders knew full well that this
triumph was worth more than all that had been gained for the archduke in
eighteen months of siege.  Pike to pike, breast to breast, they fought
through the dark April night; the last sobs of the hurricane dying
unheard, the red lanterns flitting to and fro, the fireworks hissing in
every direction of earth and air, the great wicker piles, heaped up with
pitch and rosin, flaming over a scene more like a dance of goblins than a
commonplace Christian massacre.  At least fifteen hundred were killed--
besiegers and besieged--during the storming of the forts and the
determined but unsuccessful attempt of the Hollanders to retake them.
And when at last the day had dawned, and the Spaniards could see the full
extent of their victory, they set themselves with--unusual alacrity to
killing such of the wounded and prisoners as were in their hands, while,
at the same time, they turned the guns of their newly acquired works upon
the main counterscarp of the town.

Yet the besieged--discomfited but undismayed lost not a moment in
strengthening their inner works, and in doing their best, day after day,
by sortie, cannonade, and every possible device, to prevent the foe from
obtaining full advantage of his success.  The triumph was merely a local
one, and the patient Hollanders soon proved to the enemy that the town
was not gained by carrying the three squares, but that every inch of the
place was to be contested as hotly as those little redoubts had been.
Ostend, after standing nearly two years of siege, was not to be carried
by storm.  A goodly slice of it had been pared off that April night, and
was now in possession of the archduke, but this was all.  Meantime the
underground work was resumed on both sides.

Frederic Spinola, notwithstanding the stunning defeat sustained by him
in the preceding October, had not lost heart while losing all his ships.
On the contrary, he had been busy during the winter in building other
galleys.  Accordingly, one fine morning in May, Counsellor Flooswyk,
being on board a war vessel convoying some empty transports from Ostend,
observed signs of mischief brewing as he sailed past the Gut of Sluys;
and forthwith gave notice of what he had seen to Admiral Joost de Moor,
commanding the blockading squadron.  The counsellor was right.  Frederic
Spinola meant mischief.  It was just before sunrise of a beautiful
summer's day.  The waves were smooth--not a breath of wind stirring--and
De Moor, who had four little war-ships of Holland, and was supported
besides by a famous vessel called the Black Galley of Zeeland, under
Captain Jacob Michelzoon, soon observed a movement from Sluys.

Over the flat and glassy surface of the sea, eight galleys of the largest
size were seen crawling slowly, like vast reptiles, towards his ..
position.  Four lesser vessels followed in the wake of the great galleys.
The sails of the admiral's little fleet flapped idly against the mast.
He could only placidly await the onset.  The Black Galley, however, moved
forward according to her kind; and was soon vigorously attacked by two
galleys of the enemy.  With all the force that five hundred rowers could
impart, these two huge vessels ran straight into the Zeeland ship, and
buried their iron prows in her sides.  Yet the Black Galley was made of
harder stuff than were those which had gone down in the channel the
previous autumn under the blows of John Kant.  Those on board her, at
least, were made of tougher material than were galley-slaves and land-
soldiers.  The ramming was certainly not like that of a thousand horse-
power of steam, and there was no very great display of science in the
encounter; yet Captain Jacob Michelzoon, with two enemy's ships thus
stuck to his sides, might well have given himself up for lost.  The
disproportion of ships and men was monstrous.  Beside the chain-gang,
each of Spinola's ships was manned by two hundred soldiers, while thirty-
six musketeers from the Flushing garrison were the only men-at-arms in De
Moor's whole squadron.  But those amphibious Zeelanders and Hollanders,
perfectly at home in the water, expert in handling vessels, and excellent
cannoneers, were more than a match for twenty times their number of
landsmen.  It was a very simple-minded, unsophisticated contest.  The
attempt to board the Black Galley was met with determined resistance, but
the Zeeland sailors clambered like cats upon the bowsprits of the Spanish
galleys, fighting with cutlass and handspike, while a broadside or two
was delivered with terrible effect into the benches of the chained and
wretched slaves.  Captain Michelzoon was killed, but his successor,
Lieutenant Hart, although severely wounded, swore that he would blow up
his ship with his own hands rather than surrender.  The decks of all the
vessels ran with blood, but at last the Black Galley succeeded in beating
off her assailants; the Zeelanders, by main force, breaking off the
enemy's bowsprits, so that the two ships of Spinola were glad to sheer
off, leaving their stings buried in the enemy's body.

Next, four galleys attacked the stout little galleot of Captain Logier,
and with a very similar result.  Their prows stuck fast in the bulwarks
of the ship, but the boarders soon found themselves the boarded, and,
after a brief contest, again the iron bowsprits snapped like pipe-stems,
and again the floundering and inexperienced Spaniards shrank away from
the terrible encounter which they had provoked.  Soon afterwards, Joost
de Moor was assailed by three galleys.  He received them, however, with
cannonade and musketry so warmly that they willingly obeyed a summons
from Spinola, and united with the flag-ship in one more tremendous onset
upon the Black Galley of Zeeland.  And it might have gone hard with that
devoted ship, already crippled in the previous encounter, had not Captain
Logier fortunately drifted with the current near enough to give her
assistance, while the other sailing ships lay becalmed and idle
spectators.  At last Spinola, conspicuous by his armour, and by
magnificent recklessness of danger, fell upon the deck of his galley,
torn to pieces with twenty-four wounds from a stone gun of the Black
Galley, while at nearly the same, moment a gentle breeze began in the
distance to ruffle the surface of the waters.  More than a thousand men
had fallen in Spinola's fleet, inclusive of the miserable slaves, who
were tossed overboard as often as wounds made them a cumbrous part of the
machinery, and the galleys, damaged, discomfited, laden with corpses and
dripping with blood, rowed off into Sluys as speedily as they could move,
without waiting until the coming wind should bring all the sailing ships
into the fight, together with such other vessels under Haultain as might
be cruising in the distance.  They succeeded in getting into the Gut of
Sluys, and so up to their harbour of refuge.  Meantime, baldheaded,
weather-beaten Joost de Moor--farther pursuit being impossible--piped all
hands on deck, where officers and men fell on their knees, shouting in
pious triumph the 34th Psalm: "I will bless the Lord at all times, His
praise shall continually be in my mouth .  .  .  .  .  O magnify the Lord
with me, and let us exalt His name together."  So rang forth the notes of
humble thanksgiving across the placid sea.  And assuredly those hardy
mariners, having gained a victory with their little vessels over twelve
ships and three thousand men--a numerical force of at least ten times
their number,--such as few but Dutchmen could have achieved; had a right
to give thanks to Him from whom all blessings flow.

Thus ended the career of Frederic Spinola, a wealthy, gallant, high-born,
brilliant youth, who might have earned distinction, and rendered
infinitely better service to the cause of Spain and the archdukes, had he
not persuaded himself that he had a talent for seamanship.  Certainly,
never was a more misplaced ambition, a more unlucky career.  Not even in
that age of rash adventure, when grandees became admirals and field-
marshals because they were grandees, had such incapacity been shown by
any restless patrician.  Frederic Spinola, at the age of thirty-two, a
landsman and a volunteer, thinking to measure himself on blue water with
such veterans as John Rant, Joost de Moor, and the other Dutchmen and
Zeelanders whom it was his fortune to meet, could hardly escape the doom
which so rapidly befel him.

On board the Black Galley Captain Michelznon, eleven of his officers, and
fifteen of his men were killed; Admiral de Moor was slightly wounded, and
had five of his men killed and twenty wounded; Captain Logier was wounded
in the foot, and lost fifteen killed and twelve wounded.

The number of those killed in Spinola's fleet has been placed as high
as fourteen hundred, including two hundred officers and gentlemen of
quality, besides the crowds of galley-slaves thrown overboard.  This was
perhaps an exaggeration.  The losses were, however, sufficient to put a
complete atop to the enterprise out of which the unfortunate Spinola had
conceived such extravagant hopes of fame and fortune.

The herring-smacks and other coasters, besides the transports passing to
and from Ostend, sailed thenceforth unmolested by any galleys from Sluys.
One unfortunate sloop, however, in moving out from the beleaguered city,
ran upon some shoals before getting out of the Gullet and thus fell a
prize to the besiegers.  She was laden with nothing more precious than
twelve wounded soldiers on their way to the hospitals at Flushing.
These prisoners were immediately hanged, at the express command of the
archduke, because they had been taken on the sea where, according to his
highness, there were no laws of war.

The stadholder, against his will--for Maurice was never cruel--felt
himself obliged to teach the cardinal better jurisprudence and better
humanity for the future.  In order to show him that there was but one
belligerent law on sea and on land, he ordered two hundred Spanish
prisoners within his lines to draw lots from an urn in which twelve of
the tickets were inscribed with the fatal word gibbet.  Eleven of the
twelve thus marked by ill luck were at once executed.  The twelfth, a
comely youth, was pardoned at the intercession of a young girl.  It is
not stated whether or not she became his wife.  It is also a fact worth
mentioning, as illustrating the recklessness engendered by a soldier's
life, that the man who drew the first blank sold it to one of his
comrades and plunged his hand again into the fatal urn.  Whether he
succeeded in drawing the gibbet at his second trial has not been
recorded.  When these executions had taken place in full view of the
enemy's camp, Maurice formally announced that for every prisoner
thenceforth put to death by the archduke two captives from his own army
should be hanged.  These stern reprisals, as usual, put an end to the
foul system of martial murder.

Throughout the year the war continued to be exclusively the siege of
Ostend.  Yet the fierce operations, recently recorded, having been
succeeded by a period of comparative languor, Governor Dorp at last
obtained permission to depart to repair his broken health.  He was
succeeded in command of the forces within the town by Charles Van der
Noot, colonel of the Zeeland regiment which had suffered so much in the
first act of the battle of Nieuport.  Previously to this exchange,
however, a day of solemn thanksgiving and prayer was set apart on the
anniversary of the beginning of the siege.  Since the 5th of July, 1601,
two years had been spent by the whole power of the enemy in the attempt
to reduce this miserable village, and the whole result thus far had been
the capture of three little external forts.  There seemed cause for

Philip Fleming, too, obtained a four weeks' holiday--the first in eleven
years--and went with his family outside the pestiferous and beleaguered
town.  He was soon to return to his multifarious duties as auditor,
secretary, and chronicler of the city, and unattached aide-de-camp to
the commander-in-chief, whoever that might be; and to perform his duty
with the same patient courage and sagacity that had marked him from the
beginning.  "An unlucky cannon-ball of the enemy," as he observes,
did some damage at this period to his diary, but it happened at a moment
when comparatively little was doing, so that the chasm was of less

"And so I, Philip Fleming, auditor to the Council of War," he says with
homely pathos, "have been so continually employed as not to have obtained
leave in all these years to refresh, for a few days outside this town,
my troubled spirit after such perpetual work, intolerable cares, and
slavery, having had no other pleasure allotted me than with daily
sadness, weeping eyes, and heavy yearnings to tread the ramparts, and,
like a poor slave laden with fetters, to look at so many others sailing
out of the harbour in order to feast their souls in other provinces with
green fields and the goodly works of God.  And thus it has been until it
has nearly gone out of my memory how the fruits of the earth, growing
trees, and dumb beasts appear to mortal eye."

He then, with whimsical indignation, alludes to a certain author who
pleaded in excuse for the shortcomings of the history of the siege the
damage done to his manuscripts by a cannon-ball.  "Where the liar dreamt
of or invented his cannon-ball," he says, "I cannot tell, inasmuch as he
never saw the city of Ostend in his life; but the said cannon-ball, to my
great sorrrow, did come one afternoon through my office, shot from the
enemy's great battery, which very much damaged not his memoirs but mine;
taking off the legs and arms at the same time of three poor invalid
soldiers seated in the sun before my door and killing them on the spot,
and just missing my wife, then great with child, who stood by me with
faithfulness through all the sufferings of the bloody siege and presented
me twice during its continuance, by the help of Almighty God, with young
Amazons or daughters of war."

And so honest Philip Fleming went out for a little time to look at
the green trees and the dumb creatures feeding in the Dutch pastures.
Meantime the two armies--outside and within Ostend--went moiling on
in their monotonous work; steadily returning at intervals, as if by
instinct, to repair the ruin which a superior power would often inflict
in a half-hour on the results of laborious weeks.

In the open field the military operations were very trifling, the wager
of battle being by common consent fought out on the sands of Ostend, and
the necessities for attack and defence absorbing, the resources of each
combatant.  France, England, and Spain were holding a perpetual
diplomatic tournament to which our eyes must presently turn, and the
Sublime Realm of the Ottoman and the holy Roman Empire were in the
customary equilibrium of their eternal strife.

The mutiny of the veterans continued; the "Italian republic" giving the
archduke almost as much trouble, despite his ban and edicts and outlawry,
as the Dutch commonwealth itself.  For more than a twelvemonth the best
troops of the Spanish army had been thus established as a separate
empire, levying black-mail on the obedient provinces, hanging such of
their old officers as dared to remonstrate, and obeying their elected
chief magistrates with exemplary docility.

They had become a force of five thousand strong, cavalry and infantry
together, all steady, experienced veterans--the best and bravest soldiers
of Europe.  The least of them demanded two thousand florins as owed to
him by the King of Spain and the archduke.  The burghers of Bois-le-Duc
and other neighbouring towns in the obedient provinces kept watch and
ward, not knowing how soon the Spaniards might be upon them to reward
them for their obedience.  Not a peasant with provisions was permitted by
the mutineers to enter Bois-le-Duc, while the priests were summoned to
pay one year's income of all their property on pain of being burned
alive.  "Very much amazed are the poor priests at these proceedings,"
said Ernest Nassau, "and there is a terrible quantity of the vile race
within and around the city.  I hope one day to have the plucking of some
of their feathers myself."

The mutiny governed itself as a strict military democracy, and had caused
an official seal to be engraved, representing seven snakes entwined in
one, each thrusting forth a dangerous tongue, with the motto--

                         "tutto in ore
            E sua Eccelenza in nostro favore."

"His Excellency" meant Maurice of Nassau, with whom formal articles of
compact had been arranged.  It had become necessary for the archduke,
notwithstanding the steady drain of the siege of Ostend, to detach a
considerable army against this republic and to besiege them in their
capital of Hoogstraaten.  With seven thousand foot and three thousand
cavalry Frederic Van den Berg took the field against them in the latter
part of July.  Maurice, with nine thousand five hundred infantry and
three thousand horse, lay near Gertruydenberg.  When united with the
rebel "squadron," two thousand five hundred strong, he would dispose of
a force of fifteen thousand veterans, and he moved at once to relieve
the besieged mutineers.  His cousin Frederic, however, had no desire to
measure himself with the stadholder at such odds, and stole away from
him in the dark without beat of drum.  Maurice entered Hoogstraaten, was
received with rapture by the Spanish and Italian veterans, and excited
the astonishment of all by the coolness with which he entered into the
cage of these dangerous serpents--as they called themselves--handling
them, caressing them, and being fondled by them in return.  But the
veterans knew a soldier when they saw one, and their hearts warmed to
the prince--heretic though he were--more than they had ever done to the
unfrocked bishop who, after starving them for years, had doomed them to
destruction in this world and the next.

The stadholder was feasted and honoured by the mutineers during his brief
visit to Hoogatraaten, and concluded with them a convention, according to
which that town was to be restored to him, while they were to take
temporary possession of the city of Grave.  They were likewise to assist,
with all their strength, in his military operations until they should
make peace on their own terms with the archduke.  For two weeks after
such treaty they were not to fight against the States, and meantime,
though fighting on the republican side, they were to act as an
independent corps and in no wise to be merged in the stadholder's
forces.  So much and no more had resulted from the archduke's
excommunication of the best part of his army.  He had made a present
of those troops to the enemy.  He had also been employing a considerable
portion of his remaining forces in campaigning against their own
comrades.  While at Grave, the mutineers, or the "squadron" as they were
now called, were to be permitted to practise their own religious rites,
without offering however, any interference with the regular Protestant
worship of the place.  When they should give up Grave, Hoogstraaten was
to be restored to them if still in possession of the States and they were
to enter into no negotiations with the archduke except with full
knowledge of the stadholder.

There were no further military, operations of moment during the rest of
the year.

Much, more important, however, than siege, battle, or mutiny, to human
civilization, were the steady movements of the Dutch skippers and
merchants at this period.  The ears of Europe were stunned with the
clatter of destruction going on all over Christendom, and seeming the
only reasonable occupation of Christians; but the little republic; while
fighting so heroically against the concentrated powers of despotism in
the West, was most industriously building up a great empire in the East.
In the new era just dawning, production was to become almost as
honourable and potent, a principle as destruction.

The voyages among the spicy regions of the equator--so recently wrested
from their Catholic and Faithful Majesties by Dutch citizens who did not
believe in Borgia--and the little treaties made with petty princes and
commonwealths, who for the first time ware learning that there were
other white men in the world beside the Portuguese, had already led to
considerable results.  Before the close of, the previous year that great
commercial corporation had been founded--an empire within an empire;
a republic beneath a republic--a counting-house company which was to
organize armies, conquer kingdoms, build forts and cities, make war
and peace, disseminate and exchange among the nations of the earth the
various products of civilization, more perfectly than any agency hitherto
known, and bring the farthest disjoined branches of the human family
into closer, connection than had ever existed before.  That it was a
monopoly, offensive to true commercial principles, illiberal, unjust,
tyrannical; ignorant of the very rudiments of mercantile philosophy;
is plain enough.  For the sages of the world were but as clowns, at that
period, in economic science.

Was not the great financier of the age; Maximilian de Bethune, at that
very moment exhausting his intellect in devices for the prevention of all
international commerce even in Europe?  "The kingdom of France," he
groaned, "is stuffed full of the manufactures of our neighbours, and it
is incredible what a curse to us are these wares.  The import of all
foreign goods has now been forbidden under very great penalties."  As a
necessary corollary to this madhouse legislation an edict was issued,
prohibiting the export of gold and silver from France, on pain, not only
of confiscation of those precious metals, but of the whole fortune of
such as engaged in or winked at the traffic.  The king took a public oath
never to exempt the culprits from the punishment thus imposed, and, as
the thrifty Sully had obtained from the great king a private grant of all
those confiscations, and as he judiciously promised twenty-five per cent.
thereof to the informer, no doubt he filled his own purse while
impoverishing the exchequer.

The United States, not enjoying the blessings, of a paternal government,
against which they had been fighting almost half a century, could not be
expected to rival the stupendous folly of such political economy,
although certainly not emancipated from all the delusions of the age.

Nor are we to forget how very recently, and even dimly, the idea of
freedom in commerce has dawned upon nations, the freest of all in polity
and religion.  Certainly the vices and shortcomings of the commercial
system now inaugurated by the republic may be justly charged in great
part to the epoch, while her vast share in the expanding and upward
movement which civilization, under the auspices of self-government;
self-help, political freedom, free thought, and unshackled science,
was then to undertake--never more perhaps to be permanently checked
--must be justly ascribed to herself.

It was considered accordingly that the existence of so many private
companies and copartnerships trading to the East was injurious to the
interests of commerce.  Merchants arriving at the different Indian ports
would often find that their own countrymen had been too quick for them,
and that other fleets had got the wind out of their sails, that the
eastern markets had been stripped, and that prices had gone up to a
ruinous height, while on the other hand, in the Dutch cities, nutmegs and
cinnamon, brocades and indigo, were as plentiful as red herrings.  It was
hardly to be expected at that day to find this very triumph of successful
traffic considered otherwise than as a grave misfortune, demanding
interference on the part of the only free Government then existing in the
world.  That already free competition and individual enterprise, had made
such progress in enriching the Hollanders and the Javanese respectively
with a superfluity of useful or agreeable things, brought from the
farthest ends of the earth, seemed to the eyes of that day a condition
of things likely to end in a general catastrophe.  With a simplicity,
amazing only to those who are inclined to be vain of a superior wisdom--
not their own but that of their wisest contemporaries--one of the chief
reasons for establishing the East India Company was stated to be the
necessity of providing against low prices of Oriental productions in

But national instinct is often wiser than what is supposed to be high
national statesmanship, and there can be no doubt that the true
foundation of the East India Company was the simple recognition of an
iron necessity.  Every merchant in Holland knew full well that the
Portuguese and Spaniards could never be driven out of their commercial
strongholds under the equator, except by a concentration of the private
strength and wealth, of the mercantile community.  The Government had
enough on its hands in disputing, inch by inch, at so prodigious an
expenditure of blood and treasure, the meagre territory with which nature
had endowed the little commonwealth.  Private organisation, self-help;
union of individual purses and individual brains, were to conquer an
empire at the antipodes if it were to be won at all.  By so doing, the
wealth of the nation and its power to maintain the great conflict with
the spirit of the past might be indefinitely increased, and the resources
of Spanish despotism proportionally diminished.  It was not to be
expected of Jacob Heemskerk, Wolfert Hermann, or Joris van Spilberg,
indomitable skippers though they were, that each, acting on his own
responsibility or on that of his supercargo, would succeed every day in
conquering a whole Spanish fleet and dividing a million or two of prize-
money among a few dozen sailors.  Better things even than this might be
done by wholesome and practical concentration on a more extended scale.

So the States-General granted a patent or charter to one great company
with what, for the time, was an enormous paid-up capital, in order that
the India trade might be made secure and the Spaniards steadily
confronted in what they had considered their most impregnable
possessions.  All former trading companies were invited to merge
themselves in the Universal East India Company, which, for twenty-one
years, should alone have the right to trade to the east of the Cape of
Good Hope and to sail through the Straits of Magellan.

The charter had been signed on 20th March, 1602, and was mainly to the
following effect.

The company was to pay twenty-five thousand florins to the States-General
for its privilege.  The whole capital was to be six million six hundred
thousand florins.  The chamber of Amsterdam was to have one half of the
whole interest, the chamber of Zeeland one fourth; the chambers of the
Meuse, namely, Delft, Rotterdam, and the north quarter; that is to say,
Hoorn and Enkhuizen, each a sixteenth.  All the chambers were to be
governed by the directors then serving, who however were to be allowed
to die out, down to the number of twenty for Amsterdam, twelve for
Zeeland, and seven for each of the other chambers.  To fill a vacancy
occurring among the directors, the remaining members of the board were
to nominate three candidates, from whom the estates of the province
should choose one.  Each director was obliged, to have an interest in the
company amounting to at least six thousand florins, except the directors
for Hoorn and Enkhuizen, of whom only three thousand should be required.
The general assembly of these chambers should consist of seventeen
directors, eight for Amsterdam, four for Zeeland, two for the Meuse, and
two for the north quarter; the seventeenth being added by turns from the
chambers of Zeeland, the Meuse, and the north quarter.  This assembly was
to be held six years at Amsterdam, and then two years in Zeeland.  The
ships were always to return to the port from which they had sailed.  All
the inhabitants of the provinces had the right, within a certain time, to
take shares in the company.  Any province or city subscribing for forty
thousand florins or upwards might appoint an agent to look after its

The Company might make treaties with the Indian powers, in the name of
the States-General of the United Netherlands or of the supreme
authorities of the same, might build fortresses; appoint generals, and
levy troops, provided such troops took oaths of fidelity to the States,
or to the supreme authority, and to the Company.  No ships, artillery,
or other munitions of war belonging to the Company were to be used in
service of the country without permission of the Company.  The admiralty
was to have a certain proportion of the prizes conquered from the enemy.

The directors should not be liable in property or person for the debts
of the Company.  The generals of fleets returning home were to make
reports on the state of India to the States.

Notification; of the union of all India companies with this great
corporation was duly sent to the fleets cruising in those regions, where
it arrived in the course of the year 1603.

Meantime the first fleet of the Company, consisting of fourteen vessels
under command of Admiral Wybrand van Warwyk, sailed before the end of
1602, and was followed towards the close of 1603 by thirteen other ships,
under Stephen van der Hagen?

The equipment of these two fleets cost two million two hundred thousand


Bestowing upon others what was not his property
Four weeks' holiday--the first in eleven years
Idea of freedom in commerce has dawned upon nations
Impossible it is to practise arithmetic with disturbed brains
Passion is a bad schoolmistress for the memory
Prisoners were immediately hanged
Unlearned their faith in bell, book, and candle
World has rolled on to fresher fields of carnage and ruin

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of the United Netherlands from the Death of William the Silent to the Twelve Year's Truce, 1602-03" ***

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