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´╗┐Title: History of the United Netherlands, 1588b
Author: Motley, John Lothrop
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of the United Netherlands, 1588b" ***

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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, 1588


     Dangerous Discord in North Holland--Leicester's Resignation arrives
     --Enmity of Willoughby and Maurice--Willoughby's dark Picture of
     Affairs--Hatred between States and Leicestrians--Maurice's Answer to
     the Queen's Charges--End of Sonoy's Rebellion--Philip foments the
     Civil War in France--League's Threats and Plots against Henry--Mucio
     arrives in Paris--He is received with Enthusiasm--The King flies,
     and Spain triumphs in Paris--States expostulate with the Queen--
     English Statesmen still deceived--Deputies from Netherland Churches
     --Hold Conference with the Queen--And present long Memorials--More
     Conversations with the Queen--National Spirit of England and
     Holland--Dissatisfaction with Queen's Course--Bitter Complaints of
     Lord Howard--Want of Preparation in Army and Navy--Sanguine
     Statements of Leicester--Activity of Parma--The painful Suspense

But it is necessary-in order to obtain a complete picture of that famous
year 1588, and to understand the cause from which such great events were
springing--to cast a glance at the internal politics of the States most
involved in Philip's meshes.

Certainly, if there had ever been a time when the new commonwealth of the
Netherlands should be both united in itself and on thoroughly friendly
terms with England, it was exactly that epoch of which we are treating.
There could be no reasonable doubt that the designs of Spain against
England were hostile, and against Holland revengeful.  It was at least
possible that Philip meant to undertake the conquest of England, and to
undertake it as a stepping-stone to the conquest of Holland.  Both the
kingdom and the republic should have been alert, armed, full of suspicion
towards the common foe, full of confidence in each other.  What decisive
blows might have been struck against Parma in the Netherlands, when his
troops were starving, sickly, and mutinous, if the Hollanders and
Englishmen had been united under one chieftain, and thoroughly convinced
of the impossibility of peace!  Could the English and Dutch statesmen of
that day have read all the secrets of their great enemy's heart, as it is
our privilege at this hour to do, they would have known that in sudden
and deadly strokes lay their best chance of salvation.  But, without that
advantage, there were men whose sagacity told them that it was the hour
for deeds and not for dreams.  For to Leicester and Walsingham, as well
as to Paul Buys and Barneveld, peace with Spain seemed an idle vision.
It was unfortunate that they were overruled by Queen Elizabeth and
Burghley, who still clung to that delusion; it was still more disastrous
that the intrigues of Leicester had done so much to paralyze the
republic; it was almost fatal that his departure, without laying down his
authority, had given the signal for civil war.

During the winter, spring, and summer of 1588, while the Duke--in the
face of mighty obstacles--was slowly proceeding with his preparations in
Flanders, to co-operate with the armaments from Spain, it would have been
possible by a combined movement to destroy his whole plan, to liberate
all the Netherlands, and to avert, by one great effort, the ruin
impending over England.  Instead of such vigorous action, it was thought
wiser to send commissioners, to make protocols, to ask for armistices,
to give profusely to the enemy that which he was most in need of--time.
Meanwhile the Hollanders and English could quarrel comfortably among
themselves, and the little republic, for want of a legal head, could come
as near as possible to its dissolution.

Young Maurice--deep thinker for his years and peremptory in action--was
not the man to see his great father's life-work annihilated before his
eyes, so long as he had an arm and brain of his own.  He accepted his
position at the head of the government of Holland and Zeeland, and as
chief of the war-party.  The council of state, mainly composed of
Leicester's creatures, whose commissions would soon expire by their own
limitation, could offer but a feeble resistance to such determined
individuals as Maurice, Buys, and Barneveld.  The party made rapid
progress.  On the other hand, the English Leicestrians did their best
to foment discord in the Provinces.  Sonoy was sustained in his rebellion
in North Holland, not only by the Earl's partizans, but by Elizabeth
herself.  Her rebukes to Maurice, when Maurice was pursuing the only
course which seemed to him consistent with honour and sound policy,
were sharper than a sword.  Well might Duplessis Mornay observe, that
the commonwealth had been rather strangled than embraced by the English
Queen.  Sonoy, in the name of Leicester, took arms against Maurice and
the States; Maurice marched against him; and Lord Willoughby, commander-
in-chief of the English forces, was anxious to march against Maurice.
It was a spectacle to make angels weep, that of Englishmen and Hollanders
preparing to cut each other's throats, at the moment when Philip and
Parma were bending all their energies to crush England and Holland at

Indeed, the interregnum between the departure of Leicester and his
abdication was diligently employed by his more reckless partizans to
defeat and destroy the authority of the States.  By prolonging the
interval, it was hoped that no government would be possible except the
arbitrary rule of the Earl, or of a successor with similar views: for a
republic--a free commonwealth--was thought an absurdity.  To entrust
supreme power to advocates; merchants, and mechanics, seemed as hopeless
as it was vulgar.  Willoughby; much devoted to Leicester and much
detesting Barneveld, had small scruple in fanning the flames of discord.

There was open mutiny against the States by the garrison of
Gertruydenberg, and Willoughby's brother-in-law, Captain Wingfield,
commanded in Gertruydenberg.  There were rebellious demonstrations in
Naarden, and Willoughby went to Naarden.  The garrison was troublesome,
but most of the magistrates were firm.  So Willoughby supped with the
burgomasters, and found that Paul Buys had been setting the people
against Queen Elizabeth, Leicester, and the whole English nation, making
them all odious.  Colonel Dorp said openly that it was a shame for the
country to refuse their own natural-born Count for strangers.  He swore
that he would sing his song whose bread he had eaten.  A "fat militia
captain" of the place, one Soyssons, on the other hand, privately
informed Willoughby that Maurice and Barneveld were treating underhand
with Spain.  Willoughby was inclined to believe the calumny, but feared
that his corpulent friend would lose his head for reporting it.  Meantime
the English commander did his best to strengthen the English party in
their rebellion against the States.

"But how if they make war upon us?"  asked the Leicestrians.

"It is very likely," replied Willoughby, "that if they use violence you
will have her Majesty's assistance, and then you who continue constant to
the end will be rewarded accordingly.  Moreover, who would not rather be
a horse-keeper to her Majesty, than a captain to Barneveld or Buys?"

When at last the resignation of Leicester--presented to the States by
Killegrew on the 31st March--seemed to promise comparative repose to the
republic, the vexation of the Leicestrians was intense.  Their efforts.
to effect a dissolution of the government had been rendered unsuccessful,
when success seemed within their grasp.  "Albeit what is once executed
cannot be prevented," said Captain Champernoun; "yet 'tis thought certain
that if the resignation of Lord Leicester's commission had been deferred
yet some little time; the whole country and towns would have so revolted
and mutinied against the government and authority of the States, as that
they should have had no more credit given them by the people than pleased
her Majesty.  Most part of the people could see--in consequence of the
troubles, discontent, mutiny of garrisons, and the like, that it was most
necessary for the good success of their affairs that the power of the
States should be abolished, and the whole government of his Excellency
erected.  As these matters were busily working into the likelihood of
some good effect, came the resignation of his Excellency's commission and
authority, which so dashed the proceedings of it, as that all people and
commanders well affected unto her Majesty and my Lord of Leicester are
utterly discouraged.  The States, with their adherents, before they had
any Lord's resignations were much perplexed what course to take, but now
begin to hoist their heads."  The excellent Leicestrian entertained
hopes, however; that mutiny and intrigue might still carry the day.
He had seen the fat militiaman of Naarden and other captains, and,
hoped much mischief from their schemes.  "The chief mutineers of
Gertruydenberg," he said, "maybe wrought to send unto 'the States, that
if they do not procure them some English governor, they will compound
with the enemy, whereon the States shall be driven to request her Majesty
to accept the place, themselves entertaining the garrison.  I know
certain captains discontented with the States for arrears of pay, who
will contrive to get into Naarden with their companies, with the States
consent, who, once entered, will keep the place for their satisfaction,
pay their soldiers out of the contributions of the country; and yet
secretly hold the place at her Majesty's command."

This is not an agreeable picture; yet it is but one out of many examples
of the intrigues by which Leicester and his party were doing their best
to destroy the commonwealth of the Netherlands at a moment when its
existence was most important to that of England.

To foment mutiny in order to subvert the authority of Maurice, was not
a friendly or honourable course of action either towards Holland or
England; and it was to play into the hands of Philip as adroitly as
his own stipendiaries could have done.

With mischief-makers like Champernoun in every city, and with such
diplomatists at Ostend as Croft and Ropers and Valentine Dale, was it
wonderful that the King and the Duke of Parma found time to mature their
plans for the destruction of both countries?

Lord Willoughby, too, was extremely dissatisfied with his own position.
He received no commission from the Queen for several months.  When it at
last reached him, it seemed inadequate, and he became more sullen than
ever.  He declared that he would rather serve the Queen as a private
soldier, at his own expense--"lean as his purse was"--than accept the
limited authority conferred on him.  He preferred to show his devotion
"in a beggarly state, than in a formal show."  He considered it beneath
her Majesty's dignity that he should act in the field under the States,
but his instructions forbade his acceptance of any office from that body
but that of general in their service.  He was very discontented, and more
anxious than ever to be rid of his functions.  Without being extremely
ambitious, he was impatient of control.  He desired not "a larger-shaped
coat," but one that fitted him better.  "I wish to shape my garment
homely, after my cloth," he said, "that the better of my parish may not
be misled by my sumptuousness.  I would live quietly, without great
noise, my poor roof low and near the ground, not subject to be overblown
with unlooked-for storms, while the sun seems most shining."

Being the deadly enemy of the States and their leaders, it was a matter
of course that he should be bitter against Maurice.  That young Prince,
bold, enterprising, and determined, as he was, did not ostensibly meddle
with political affairs more than became his years; but he accepted the
counsels of the able statesmen in whom his father had trusted.  Riding,
hunting, and hawking, seemed to be his chief delight at the Hague, in the
intervals of military occupations.  He rarely made his appearance in the
state-council during the winter, and referred public matters to the
States-General, to the States of Holland, to Barneveld, Buys, and
Hohenlo.  Superficial observers like George Gilpin regarded him as a
cipher; others, like Robert Cecil, thought him an unmannerly schoolboy;
but Willoughby, although considering him insolent and conceited, could
not deny his ability.  The peace partisans among the burghers--a very
small faction--were furious against him, for they knew that Maurice of
Nassau represented war.  They accused of deep designs against the
liberties of their country the youth who was ever ready to risk his life
in their defence.  A burgomaster from Friesland, who had come across the
Zuyder Zee to intrigue against the States' party, was full of spleen at
being obliged to dance attendance for a long time at the Hague.  He
complained that Count Maurice, green of years, and seconded by greener
counsellors, was meditating the dissolution of the state-council, the
appointment of a new board from his own creatures, the overthrow of all
other authority, and the assumption of the, sovereignty of Holland and
Zeeland, with absolute power.  "And when this is done;" said the rueful
burgomaster, "he and his turbulent fellows may make what terms they like
with Spain, to the disadvantage of the Queen and of us poor wretches."

But there was nothing farther from the thoughts of the turbulent fellows
than any negotiations with Spain.  Maurice was ambitious enough, perhaps,
but his ambition ran in no such direction.  Willoughby knew better; and
thought that by humouring the petulant young man it might be possible to
manage him.

"Maurice is young," he said, "hot-headed; coveting honour.  If we do but
look at him through our fingers, without much words, but with providence
enough, baiting his hook a little to his appetite, there is no doubt but
he might be caught and kept in a fish-pool; while in his imagination he
may judge it a sea.  If not, 'tis likely he will make us fish in troubled

Maurice was hardly the fish for a mill-pond even at that epoch, and it
might one day be seen whether or not he could float in the great ocean
of events.  Meanwhile, he swam his course without superfluous gambols or

The commander of her Majesty's forces was not satisfied with the States,
nor their generals, nor their politicians.  "Affairs are going 'a malo in
pejus,'" he said.  "They embrace their liberty as apes their young.  To
this end are Counts Hollock and Maurice set upon the stage to entertain
the popular sort.  Her Majesty and my Lord of Leicester are not
forgotten.  The Counts are in Holland, especially Hollock, for the other
is but the cipher.  And yet I can assure you Maurice hath wit and spirit
too much for his time."

As the troubles of the interregnum increased Willoughby was more
dissatisfied than ever with the miserable condition of the Provinces,
but chose to ascribe it to the machinations of the States' party,
rather than to the ambiguous conduct of Leicester.  "These evils,"
he said, "are especially, derived from the childish ambition of the
young Count Maurice, from the covetous and furious counsels of the proud
Hollanders, now chief of the States-General, and, if with pardon it may
be said, from our slackness and coldness to entertain our friends.  The
provident and wiser sort--weighing what a slender ground the appetite of
a young man is, unfurnished with the sinews of war to manage so great a
cause--for a good space after my Lord of Leicester's departure, gave him
far looking on, to see him play has part on the stage."

Willoughby's spleen caused him to mix his metaphors more recklessly than
strict taste would warrant, but his violent expressions painted the
relative situation of parties more vividly than could be done by a calm
disquisition.  Maurice thus playing his part upon the stage--as the
general proceeded to observe--"was a skittish horse, becoming by little
and little assured of what he had feared, and perceiving the harmlessness
thereof; while his companions, finding no safety of neutrality in so
great practices, and no overturning nor barricado to stop his rash wilded
chariot, followed without fear; and when some of the first had passed the
bog; the rest, as the fashion is, never started after.  The variable
democracy; embracing novelty, began to applaud their prosperity; the base
and lewdest sorts of men, to whom there is nothing more agreeable than
change of estates, is a better monture to degrees than their merit, took
present hold thereof.  Hereby Paul Buys, Barneveld, and divers others,
who were before mantled with a tolerable affection, though seasoned with
a poisoned intention, caught the occasion, and made themselves the
Beelzebubs of all these mischiefs, and, for want of better angels, spared
not to let fly our golden-winged ones in the name of guilders, to prepare
the hearts and hands that hold money more dearer than honesty, of which
sort, the country troubles and the Spanish practices having suckled up
many, they found enough to serve their purpose.  As the breach is safely
saltable where no defence is made, so they, finding no head, but those
scattered arms that were disavowed, drew the sword with Peter, and gave
pardon with the Pope, as you shall plainly perceive by the proceedings
at Horn.  Thus their force; fair words, or corruption, prevailing
everywhere, it grew to this conclusion--that the worst were encouraged
with their good success, and the best sort assured of no fortune or

Out of all this hubbub of stage-actors, skittish horses, rash wilded
chariots, bogs, Beelzebubs, and golden-winged angels, one truth was
distinctly audible; that Beelzebub, in the shape of Barneveld, had been
getting the upper hand in the Netherlands, and that the Lecestrians were
at a disadvantage.  In truth those partisans were becoming extremely
impatient.  Finding themselves deserted by their great protector, they
naturally turned their eyes towards Spain, and were now threatening to
sell themselves to Philip.  The Earl, at his departure, had given them
privately much encouragement.  But month after month had passed by while
they were waiting in vain for comfort.  At last the "best"--that is to
say, the unhappy Leicestrians--came to Willoughby, asking his advice in
their "declining and desperate cause."

"Well nigh a month longer," said that general, "I nourished them with
compliments, and assured them that my Lord of Leicester would take care
of them."  The diet was not fattening.  So they began to grumble more
loudly than ever, and complained with great bitterness of the miserable
condition in which they had been left by the Earl, and expressed their
fears lest the Queen likewise meant to abandon them.  They protested that
their poverty, their powerful foes, and their slow friends, would.
compel them either to make their peace with the States' party, or
"compound with the enemy."

It would have seemed that real patriots, under such circumstances, would
hardly hesitate in their choice, and would sooner accept the dominion of
"Beelzebub," or even Paul Buys, than that of Philip II.  But the
Leicestrians of Utrecht and Friesland--patriots as they were--hated
Holland worse than they hated the Inquisition.  Willoughby encouraged
them in that hatred.  He assured him of her Majesty's affection for them,
complained of the factious proceedings of the States, and alluded to the
unfavourable state of the weather, as a reason why--near four months
long--they had not received the comfort out of England which they had a
right to expect.  He assured them that neither the Queen nor Leicester
would conclude this honourable action, wherein much had been hazarded,
"so rawly and tragically" as they seemed to fear, and warned them, that
"if they did join with Holland, it would neither ease nor help them, but
draw them into a more dishonourable loss of their liberties; and that,
after having wound them in, the Hollanders would make their own peace
with the enemy."

It seemed somewhat unfair-while the Queen's government was straining
every nerve to obtain a peace from Philip, and while the Hollanders were
obstinately deaf to any propositions for treating--that Willoughby should
accuse them of secret intentions to negotiate.  But it must be confessed
that faction has rarely worn a more mischievous aspect than was presented
by the politics of Holland and England in the winter and spring of 1588.

Young Maurice was placed in a very painful position.  He liked not to be
"strangled in the great Queen's embrace;" but he felt most keenly the
necessity of her friendship, and the importance to both countries of a
close alliance.  It was impossible for him, however, to tolerate the
rebellion of Sonoy, although Sonoy was encouraged by Elizabeth, or to fly
in the face of Barneveld, although Barneveld was detested by Leicester.
So with much firmness and courtesy, notwithstanding the extravagant
pictures painted by Willoughby, he suppressed mutiny in Holland, while
avowing the most chivalrous attachment to the sovereign of England.

Her Majesty expressed her surprise and her discontent, that,
notwithstanding his expressions of devotion to herself, he should
thus deal with Sonoy, whose only crime was an equal devotion.  "If you
do not behave with more moderation in future," she said, "you may believe
that we are not a princess of so little courage as not to know how to
lend a helping hand to those who are unjustly oppressed.  We should be
sorry if we had cause to be disgusted with your actions, and if we were
compelled to make you a stranger to the ancient good affection which we
bore to your late father, and have continued towards yourself."

But Maurice maintained a dignified attitude, worthy of his great father's
name.  He was not the man to crouch like Leicester, when he could no
longer refresh himself in the "shadow of the Queen's golden beams,"
important as he knew her friendship to be to himself and his country.
So he defended himself in a manly letter to the privy council against the
censures of Elizabeth.  He avowed his displeasure, that, within his own
jurisdiction, Sonoy should give a special oath of obedience to Leicester;
a thing never done before in the country, and entirely illegal.  It would
not even be tolerated in England, he said, if a private gentleman should
receive a military appointment in Warwickshire or Norfolk without the
knowledge of the lord-lieutenant of the shire.  He had treated the
contumacious Sonoy with mildness during a long period, but without
effect.  He had abstained from violence towards him, out of reverence to
the Queen, under whose sacred name he sheltered himself.  Sonoy had not
desisted, but had established himself in organized rebellion at
Medenblik, declaring that he would drown the whole country, and levy
black-mail upon its whole property, if he were not paid one hundred
thousand crowns.  He had declared that he would crush Holland like a
glass beneath his feet.  Having nothing but religion in his mouth, and
protecting himself with the Queen's name, he had been exciting all the
cities of North Holland to rebellion, and bringing the poor people to
destruction.  He had been offered money enough to satisfy the most
avaricious soldier in the world, but he stood out for six years' full
pay for his soldiers, a demand with which it was impossible to comply.
It was necessary to prevent him from inundating the land and destroying
the estates of the country gentlemen and the peasants.  "This gentlemen,"
said Maurice, "is the plain truth; nor do I believe that you will sustain
against me a man who was under such vast obligations to my late father,
and who requites his debt by daring to speak of myself as a rascal; or
that you will countenance his rebellion against a country to which he
brought only, his cloak and sword, and, whence he has filched one hundred
thousand crowns.  You will not, I am sure, permit a simple captain, by
his insubordination to cause such mischief, and to set on fire this and
other Provinces.

"If, by your advice," continued the Count; "the Queen should appoint
fitting' personages to office here--men who know what honour is; born
of illustrious and noble-race, or who by their great virtue have been
elevated to the honours of the kingdom--to them I will render an account
of my actions.  And it shall appear that I have more ability and more
desire to do my duty, to her Majesty than those who render her lip-
service only, and only make use of her sacred name to fill their purses,
while I and, mine have been ever ready to employ our lives, and what
remains of our fortunes, in the cause of God, her Majesty, and our

Certainly no man had a better right: to speak with consciousness of the
worth of race than the son of William the Silent, the nephew of Lewis,
Adolphus, and Henry of Nassau,  who had all laid down their lives for
the liberty of their country.  But Elizabeth continued to threaten the
States-General, through the mouth of Willoughby, with the loss of her
protection, if they should continue thus to requite her favours with
ingratitude and insubordination: and Maurice once more respectfully but
firmly replied that Sonoy's rebellion could not and would not be
tolerated; appealing boldly to her sense of justice, which was the
noblest attribute of kings.

At last the Queen informed Willoughby, that--as the cause of Sonoy's
course seemed to be his oath of obedience to Leicester, whose resignation
of office had not yet been received in the Netherlands--she had now
ordered Councillor Killigrew to communicate the fact of that resignation.
She also wrote to Sonoy, requiring him to obey the States and Count
Maurice, and to accept a fresh commission from them, or at least to
surrender Medenblik, and to fulfil all their orders with zeal and

This act of abdication by Leicester, which had been received on the 22nd
of January by the English envoy, Herbert, at the moment of his departure
from the Netherlands, had been carried back by him to England, on the
ground that its communication to the States at that moment would cause
him inconveniently to postpone his journey.  It never officially reached
the States-General until the 31st of March, so that this most dangerous
crisis was protracted nearly five months long--certainly without
necessity or excuse--and whether through design, malice, wantonness,
or incomprehensible carelessness, it is difficult to say.

So soon as the news reached Sonoy, that contumacious chieftain found his
position untenable, and he allowed the States' troops to take possession
of Medenblik, and with it the important territory of North Holland.

Maurice now saw himself undisputed governor.  Sonoy was in the course of
the summer deprived of all office, and betook himself to England.  Here
he was kindly received by the Queen, who bestowed upon him a ruined
tower, and a swamp among the fens of Lincolnshire.  He brought over some
of his countrymen, well-skilled in such operations, set himself to
draining and dyking, and hoped to find himself at home and comfortable in
his ruined tower.  But unfortunately, as neither he nor his wife,
notwithstanding their English proclivities, could speak a word of the
language; they found their social enjoyments very limited.  Moreover,
as his work-people were equally without the power of making their wants
understood, the dyking operations made but little progress.  So the
unlucky colonel soon abandoned his swamp, and retired to East Friesland,
where he lived a morose and melancholy life on a pension of one thousand
florins, granted him by the States of Holland, until the year 1597, when
he lost his mind, fell into the fire, and thus perished.

And thus; in the Netherlands, through hollow negotiations between enemies
and ill-timed bickerings among friends, the path of Philip and Parma had
been made comparatively smooth during the spring and early summer of
1588.  What was the aspect of affairs in Germany and France?

The adroit capture of Bonn by Martin Schenk had given much trouble.
Parma was obliged to detach a strong force; under Prince Chimay, to
attempt the recovery of that important place, which--so long as it
remained in the power of the States--rendered the whole electorate
insecure and a source of danger to the Spanish party.  Farnese
endeavoured in vain to win back the famous partizan by most liberal
offers, for he felt bitterly the mistake he had made in alienating so
formidable a freebooter.  But the truculent Martin remained obdurate and
irascible.  Philip, much offended that the news of his decease had proved
false, ordered rather than requested the Emperor Rudolph to have a care
that nothing was done in Germany to interfere with the great design upon
England.  The King gave warning that he would suffer no disturbance from
that quarter, but certainly the lethargic condition of Germany rendered
such threats superfluous.  There were riders enough, and musketeers
enough, to be sold to the highest bidder.  German food for powder was
offered largely in the market to any foreign consumer, for the trade in
their subjects', lives was ever a prolific source of revenue to the petty
sovereigns--numerous as the days of the year--who owned Germany and the

The mercenaries who had so recently been, making their inglorious
campaign in France had been excluded from that country at the close of
1587, and furious were the denunciations of the pulpits and the populace
of Paris that the foreign brigands who had been devastating the soil of
France, and attempting to oppose the decrees of the Holy Father of Rome,
should; have made their escape so easily.  Rabid Lincestre and other
priests and monks foamed with rage, as they execrated and anathematized
the devil-worshipper Henry of Valois, in all the churches of that
monarch's capital.  The Spanish ducats were flying about, more profusely
than ever, among the butchers and porters, and fishwomen, of the great
city; and Madam League paraded herself in the day-light with still
increasing insolence.  There was scarcely a pretence at recognition of
any authority, save that of Philip and Sixtus.  France had become a
wilderness--an uncultivated, barbarous province of Spain.  Mucio--Guise
had been secretly to Rome, had held interviews with the Pope and
cardinals, and had come back with a sword presented by his Holiness,
its hilt adorned with jewels, and its blade engraved with tongues of
fire.  And with this flaming sword the avenging messenger of the holy
father was to smite the wicked, and to drive them into outer darkness.

And there had been fresh conferences among the chiefs of the sacred
League within the Lorraine territory, and it was resolved to require of
the Valois an immediate extermination of heresy and heretics throughout
the kingdom, the publication of the Council of Trent, and the formal
establishment of the Holy Inquisition in every province of France.  Thus,
while doing his Spanish master's bidding, the great Lieutenant of the
league might, if he was adroit enough, to outwit Philip, ultimately carve
out a throne for himself.

Yet Philip felt occasional pangs of uneasiness lest there should, after
all, be peace in France, and lest his schemes against Holland and England
might be interfered with from that quarter.  Even Farnese, nearer the
scene, could, not feel completely secure that a sudden reconciliation
among contending factions might not give rise to a dangerous inroad
across the Flemish border.  So Guise was plied more vigourously than ever
by the Duke with advice and encouragement, and assisted with such Walloon
carabineers as could be spared, while large subsidies and larger promises
came from Philip, whose prudent policy was never to pay excessive sums,
until the work contracted for was done.  "Mucio must do the job long
since agreed upon," said Philip to Farnese, "and you and Mendoza must see
that he prevents the King of France from troubling me in my enterprize
against England."  If the unlucky Henry III. had retained one spark of
intelligence, he would have seen that his only chance of rescue lay in
the arm of the Bearnese, and in an honest alliance with England.  Yet
so strong was his love for the monks, who were daily raving against him,
that he was willing to commit any baseness, in order to win back their
affection.  He was ready to exterminate heresy and to establish the
inquisition, but he was incapable of taking energetic measures of any
kind, even when throne and life were in imminent peril.  Moreover, he
clung to Epernon and the 'politiques,' in whose swords he alone found
protection, and he knew that Epernon and the 'politiques' were the
objects of horror to Paris and to the League.  At the same time he looked
imploringly towards England and towards the great Huguenot chieftain,
Elizabeth's knight-errant.  He had a secret interview with Sir Edward
Stafford, in the garden of the Bernardino convent, and importuned that
envoy to implore the Queen to break off her negotiations with Philip, and
even dared to offer the English ambassador a large reward, if such a
result could be obtained.  Stafford was also earnestly, requested to
beseech the Queen's influence with Henry of Navarre, that he should
convert himself to Catholicism, and thus destroy the League.

On the other hand, the magniloquent Mendoza, who was fond of describing
himself as "so violent and terrible to the French that they wished to be
rid of him," had--as usual--been frightening the poor King, who, after a
futile attempt at dignity, had shrunk before the blusterings of the
ambassador.  "This King," said Don Bernardino, "thought that he could
impose, upon me and silence me, by talking loud, but as I didn't talk
softly to him, he has undeceived himself .  .  .  . I have had another
interview with him, and found him softer than silk, and he made me many
caresses, and after I went out, he said that I was a very skilful

It was the purpose of the League to obtain possession of the King's
person, and, if necessary, to dispose of the 'politiques' by a general
massacre, such as sixteen years before had been so successful in the case
of Coligny and the Huguenots.  So the populace--more rabid than ever--
were impatient that their adored Balafre should come to Paris and begin
the holy work.

He came as far as Gonesse to do the job he had promised to Philip, but
having heard that Henry had reinforced himself with four thousand Swiss
from the garrison of Lagny, he fell back to Soissons.  The King sent him
a most abject message, imploring him not to expose his sovereign to so
much danger, by setting his foot at that moment in the capital.  The
Balafre hesitated, but the populace raved and roared for its darling.
The Queen-Mother urged her unhappy son to yield his consent, and the
Montpensier--fatal sister of Guise, with the famous scissors ever at her
girdle--insisted that her brother had as good a right as any man to come
to the city.  Meantime the great chief of the 'politiques,' the hated and
insolent Epernon, had been appointed governor of Normandy, and Henry had
accompanied his beloved minion a part of the way towards Rouen.  A plot
contrived by the Montpensier to waylay the monarch on his return, and to
take him into the safe-keeping of the League, miscarried, for the King
reentered the city before the scheme was ripe.  On the other hand,
Nicholas Poulain, bought for twenty thousand crowns by the 'politiques,'
gave the King and his advisers-full information of all these intrigues,
and, standing in Henry's cabinet, offered, at peril of his life, if he
might be confronted with the conspirators--the leaders of the League
within the city--to prove the truth of the charges which he had made.

For the whole city was now thoroughly organized.  The number of its
districts had been reduced from sixteen to five, the better to bring it
under the control of the League; and, while it could not be denied that
Mucio, had, been doing his master's work very thoroughly, yet it was
still in the power of the King--through the treachery of Poulain--to
strike a blow for life and freedom, before he was quite, taken in the
trap.  But he stood helpless, paralyzed, gazing in dreamy stupor--like
one fascinated at the destruction awaiting him.

At last, one memorable May morning, a traveller alighted outside the gate
of Saint Martin, and proceeded on foot through the streets of Paris.  He
was wrapped in a large cloak, which he held carefully over his face.
When he had got as far as the street of Saint Denis, a young gentleman
among the passers by, a good Leaguer, accosted the stranger, and with
coarse pleasantry, plucked the cloak from his face, and the hat from his
head.  Looking at the handsome, swarthy features, marked with a deep
scar, and the dark, dangerous eyes which were then revealed, the
practical jester at once recognized in the simple traveller the terrible
Balafre, and kissed the hem of his garments with submissive rapture.
Shouts of "Vive Guise" rent the air from all the bystanders, as the Duke,
no longer affecting concealment, proceeded with a slow and stately step
toward the residence of Catharine de' Medici.'  That queen of compromises
and of magic had been holding many a conference with the leaders of both
parties; had been increasing her son's stupefaction by her enigmatical
counsels; had been anxiously consulting her talisman of goat's and human
blood, mixed with metals melted under the influence of the star of her
nativity, and had been daily visiting the wizard Ruggieri, in whose magic
circle--peopled with a thousand fantastic heads--she had held high
converse with the world of spirits, and derived much sound advice as to
the true course of action to be pursued between her son and Philip, and
between the politicians and the League.  But, in spite of these various
sources of instruction, Catharine--was somewhat perplexed, now that
decisive action seemed necessary--a dethronement and a new massacre
impending, and judicious compromise difficult.  So after a hurried
conversation with Mucio, who insisted on an interview with the King, she
set forth for the Louvre, the Duke lounging calmly by the aide of her,
sedan chair, on foot, receiving the homage of the populace, as men,
women, and children together, they swarmed around him as he walked,
kissing his garments, and rending the air with their shouts.  For that
wolfish mob of Paris, which had once lapped the blood of ten thousand
Huguenots in a single night, and was again rabid with thirst, was most
docile and fawning to the great Balafre.  It grovelled before him, it
hung upon his look, it licked his hand, and, at the lifting of his
finger, or the glance of his eye, would have sprung at the throat of King
or Queen-Mother, minister, or minion, and devoured them all before his
eyes.  It was longing for the sign, for, much as Paris adored and was
besotted with Guise and the League, even more, if possible, did it hate
those godless politicians, who had grown fat on extortions from the poor,
and who had converted their substance into the daily bread of luxury.

Nevertheless the city was full of armed men, Swiss and German
mercenaries, and burgher guards, sworn to fidelity to the throne.  The
place might have been swept clean, at that moment, of rebels who were not
yet armed or fortified in their positions.  The Lord had delivered Guise
into Henry's hands.  "Oh, the madman!"--cried Sixtus V., when he heard
that the Duke had gone to Paris, "thus to put himself into the clutches
of the King whom he had so deeply offended!"  And, "Oh, the wretched
coward, the imbecile?"  he added, when he heard how the King had dealt
with his great enemy.

For the monarch was in his cabinet that May morning, irresolutely
awaiting the announced visit of the Duke.  By his aide stood Alphonse
Corse, attached as a mastiff to his master, and fearing not Guise nor
Leaguer, man nor devil.

"Sire, is the Duke of Guise your friend or enemy?"  said Alphonse.  The
King answered by an expressive shrug.

"Say the word, Sire," continued Alphonse, "and I pledge myself to bring
his head this instant, and lay it at your feet."

And he would have done it.  Even at the side of Catharine's sedan chair,
and in the very teeth of the worshipping mob, the Corsican would have had
the Balafre's life, even though he laid down his own.

But Henry--irresolute and fascinated--said it was not yet time for such a

Soon afterward; the Duke was announced.  The chief of the League and the
last of the Valois met, face to face; but not for the last time.  The
interview--was coldly respectful on the part of Mucio, anxious and
embarrassed on that of the King.  When the visit, which was merely one
of ceremony, was over, the Duke departed as he came, receiving the
renewed homage of the populace as he walked to his hotel.

That night precautions were taken.  All the guards were doubled around
the palace and through the streets.  The Hotel de Ville and the Place de
la Greve were made secure, and the whole city was filled with troops.
But the Place Maubert was left unguarded, and a rabble rout--all night
long--was collecting in that distant spot.  Four companies of burgher-
guards went over to the League at three o'clock in the morning.  The rest
stood firm in the cemetery of the Innocents, awaiting the orders of the
King.  At day-break on the 11th the town was still quiet.  There was an
awful pause of expectation.  The shops remained closed all the morning,
the royal troops were drawn up in battle-array, upon the Greve and around
the Hotel de Ville, but they stood motionless as statues, until the
populace began taunting them with cowardice, and then laughing them to
scorn.  For their sovereign lord and master still sat paralyzed in his

The mob had been surging through all the streets and lanes, until,
as by a single impulse, chains were stretched across the streets, and
barricades thrown up in all the principal thoroughfares.  About noon the
Duke of Guise, who had been sitting quietly in his hotel, with a very few
armed followers, came out into the street of the Hotel Montmorency, and
walked calmly up and down, arm-in-aim with the Archbishop of Lyons,
between a double hedge-row of spectators and admirers, three or four
ranks thick.  He was dressed in a white slashed doublet and hose, and
wore a very large hat.  Shouts of triumph resounded from a thousand
brazen throats, as he moved calmly about, receiving, at every instant,
expresses from the great gathering in the Place Maubert.

"Enough, too much, my good friends," he said, taking off the great hat--
("I don't know whether he was laughing in it," observed one who was
looking on that day)--"Enough of 'Long live Guise!' Cry 'Long live the

There was no response, as might be expected, and the people shouted more
hoarsely than ever for Madam League and the Balafre.  The Duke's face was
full of gaiety; there was not a shadow of anxiety upon it in that
perilous and eventful moment.  He saw that the day was his own.

For now, the people, ripe, ready; mustered, armed, barricaded; awaited
but a signal to assault the King's mercenaries, before rushing to the
palace: On every house-top missiles were provided to hurl upon their
heads.  There seemed no escape for Henry or his Germans from impending
doom, when Guise, thoroughly triumphant, vouchsafed them their lives.

"You must give me these soldiers as a present, my friends," said he to
the populace.

And so the armed Swiss, French, and German troopers and infantry,
submitted to be led out of Paris, following with docility the aide-de-
camp of Guise, Captain St. Paul, who walked quietly before them, with his
sword in its scabbard, and directing their movements with a cane.  Sixty
of them were slain by the mob, who could not, even at the command of
their beloved chieftain, quite forego their expected banquet.  But this
was all the blood shed on the memorable day of Barricades, when another
Bartholomew massacre had been, expected.

Meantime; while Guise was making his promenade through the city,
exchanging embraces with the rabble; and listening to the coarse
congratulations and obscene jests of the porters and fishwomen, the poor
King sat crying all day long in the Louvre.  The Queen-Mother was with
him, reproaching him bitterly with his irresolution and want of
confidences in her, and scolding him for his tears.  But the unlucky
Henry only wept the more as he cowered in a corner.

"These are idle tears," said Catherine.  "This is no time for crying.
And for myself, though women weep so easily; I feel my heart too deeply
wrung for tears.  If they came to my eyes they would be tears of blood."

Next day the last Valois walked-out, of the Louvre; as if for a promenade
in, the Tuileries, and proceeded straightway to the stalls, where his
horse stood saddled.  Du Halde, his equerry, buckled his master's spurs
on upside down.  "No; matter;" said Henry; "I am not riding to see my
mistress.  I have a longer journey before me."

And so, followed by a rabble rout of courtiers, without boots or cloaks;
and mounted on, sorry hacks--the King-of France rode forth from his
capital post-haste, and turning as he left the gates, hurled back
impotent imprecations upon Paris and its mob.  Thenceforth, for a long
interval, there: was no king in that country.  Mucio had done his work,
and earned his wages, and Philip II. reigned in Paris.  The commands
of the League were now complied with.  Heretics were doomed to
extermination.  The edict of 19th July, 1588, was published with the most
exclusive and stringent provisions that the most bitter Romanist could
imagine, and, as a fair beginning; two young girls, daughters of Jacques
Forcade, once 'procureur au parlement,' were burned in Paris, for the
crime, of Protestantism.  The Duke of Guise was named Generalissimo of
the Kingdom (26th August, 1588).  Henry gave in his submission to
the Council of Trent, the edicts, the Inquisition, and the rest of
the League's infernal machinery, and was formally reconciled.
to Guise, with how much sincerity time was soon to show.

     [The King bound himself by oath to extirpate heresy, to remove all
     persons suspected of that crime from office, and never to lay down
     arms so long as a single, heretic remained.  By secret articles,'two
     armies against the Huguenots were agreed upon, one under the Duke of
     Mayenne, the other under some general to be appointed by the grog.
     The Council of Trent was forthwith to be proclaimed, and by a
     refinement of malice the League stipulated that all officers
     appointed in Paris by the Duke of Guise on the day after the
     barricades should resign their powers, and be immediately re-
     appointed by the King himself (DeThou, x.1.  86, pp. 324-325.)]

Meantime Philip, for whom and at whose expense all this work had been
done by he hands of the faithful Mucio, was constantly assuring his royal
brother of France, through envoy Longlee, at Madrid, of his most
affectionate friendship, and utterly repudiating all knowledge of these
troublesome and dangerous plots.  Yet they had been especially organized
--as we have seen--by himself and the Balafre, in order that France might
be kept a prey to civil war, and thus rendered incapable of offering any
obstruction to his great enterprise against England.  Any complicity of
Mendoza, the Spanish ambassador in Paris, or, of the Duke of Parma, who
were important agents in all these proceedings, with the Duke of Guise,
was strenuously--and circumstantially--denied; and the Balafre, on the
day of the barricades, sent Brissac to Elizabeth's envoy, Sir Edward
Stafford, to assure him as to his personal safety; and as to the deep
affection with which England and its Queen were regarded by himself and
all his friends.  Stafford had also been advised to accept a guard for
his house of embassy.  His reply was noble.

"I represent the majesty of England," he said, "and can take no safeguard
from a subject of the sovereign to whom I am accredited."

To the threat of being invaded, and to the advice to close his gates, he
answered, "Do you see these two doors? now, then, if I am attacked, I am
determined to defend myself to the last drop of my blood, to serve as an
example to the universe of the law of nations, violated in my person.  Do
not imagine that I shall follow your advice.  The gates of an ambassador
shall be open to all the world."

Brissac returned with this answer to Guise, who saw that it was hopeless
to attempt making a display in the eyes of Queen Elizabeth, but gave
private orders that the ambassador should not be molested.

Such were the consequences of the day of the barricades--and thus the
path of Philip was cleared of all obstructions on, the part of France.
His Mucio was now, generalissimo.  Henry was virtually deposed.  Henry of
Navarre, poor and good-humoured as ever, was scarcely so formidable at
that moment as he might one day become.  When the news of the day of
barricades was brought at night to that cheerful monarch, he started from
his couch.  "Ha," he exclaimed with a laugh, "but they havn't yet caught
the Bearnese!"

And it might be long before the League would catch the Bearnese; but,
meantime, he could render slight assistance to Queen Elizabeth.

In England there had been much fruitless negotiation between the
government of that country and the commissioners from the States-General.
There was perpetual altercation on the subject of Utrecht, Leyden, Sonoy,
and the other causes of contention; the Queen--as usual--being imperious
and choleric, and the envoys, in her opinion, very insolent.  But the
principal topic of discussion was the peace-negotiations, which the
States-General, both at home and through their delegation in England, had
been doing their best to prevent; steadily refusing her Majesty's demand
that commissioners, on their part, should be appointed to participate in
the conferences at Ostend.  Elizabeth promised that there should be as
strict regard paid to the interests of Holland as to those of England,
in case of a pacification, and that she would never forget her duty to
them, to herself, and to the world, as the protectress of the reformed
religion.  The deputies, on the other hand, warned her that peace with
Spain was impossible; that the intention of the Spanish court was to
deceive her, while preparing her destruction and theirs; that it was
hopeless to attempt the concession of any freedom of conscience from
Philip II.; and that any stipulations which might be made upon that, or
any other subject, by the Spanish commissioners, would be tossed to the
wind.  In reply to the Queen's loud complaints that the States had been
trifling with her, and undutiful to her, and that they had kept her
waiting seven months long for an answer to her summons to participate in
the negotiations, they replied, that up to the 15th October of the
previous year, although there had been flying rumours of an intention on
the part of her Majesty's government to open those communications with
the enemy, it had, "nevertheless been earnestly and expressly, and with
high words and oaths, denied that there was any truth in those rumours."
Since that time the States had not once only, but many times, in private
letters, in public documents, and in conversations with Lord Leicester
and other eminent personages, deprecated any communications whatever with
Spain, asserting uniformly their conviction that such proceedings would
bring ruin on their country, and imploring her Majesty not to give ear to
any propositions whatever.

And not only were the envoys, regularly appointed by the States-General,
most active in England, in their, attempts to prevent the negotiations,
but delegates from the Netherland churches were also sent to the Queen,
to reason with her on the subject, and to utter solemn warnings that the
cause of the reformed religion would be lost for ever, in case of a
treaty on her part with Spain.  When these clerical envoys reached
England the Queen was already beginning to wake from her delusion;
although her commissioners were still--as we have seen--hard at work,
pouring sand through their sieves at Ostend, and although the steady
protestations, of the Duke of Parma, and the industrious circulation of
falsehoods by Spanish emissaries, had even caused her wisest statesmen,
for a time, to participate in that delusion.

For it is not so great an impeachment on the sagacity of the great Queen
of England, as it would now appear to those who judge by the light of
subsequent facts, that she still doubted whether the armaments,
notoriously preparing in Spain and Flanders, were intended against
herself; and that even if such were the case--she still believed in the
possibility of averting the danger by negotiation.

So late as the beginning of May, even the far-seeing and anxious
Walsingham could say, that in England "they were doing nothing but
honouring St. George, of whom the Spanish Armada seemed to be afraid.
We hear," he added, "that they will not be ready to set forward before
the midst of May, but I trust that it will be May come twelve months.
The King of Spain is too old and too sickly to fall to conquer kingdoms.
If he be well counselled, his best course will be to settle his own
kingdoms in his own hands."

And even much later, in the middle of July--when the mask was hardly,
maintained--even then there was no certainty as to the movements of the
Armada; and Walsingham believed, just ten days before the famous fleet
was to appear off Plymouth, that it had dispersed and returned to Spain,
never to re-appear.  As to Parma's intentions, they were thought to lie
rather in the direction: of Ostend than of England; and Elizabeth; on the
20th July, was more anxious for that city than for her own kingdom.
"Mr. Ned, I am persuaded," she wrote to Morris, "that if a Spanish fleet
break, the Prince of Parma's enterprise for England will fall to the
ground, and then are you to look to Ostend.  Haste your works."

All through the spring and early summer, Stafford, in Paris, was kept in
a state of much perplexity as to the designs of Spain--so contradictory
were the stories circulated--and so bewildering the actions of men known
to be hostile to England.  In, the last days of April he intimated it as
a common opinion in Paris, that these naval preparations of Philip were
an elaborate farce; "that the great elephant would bring forth but a
mouse--that the great processions, prayers, and pardons, at Rome, for the
prosperous success of the Armada against England; would be of no effect;
that the King of Spain was laughing in his sleeve at the Pope, that he
could make such a fool of him; and that such an enterprise was a thing
the King never durst think of in deed, but only in show to feed the

Thus, although furnished with minute details as to these, armaments, and
as to the exact designs of Spain against his country, by the ostentatious
statements of the; Spanish ambassador in Paris himself, the English,
envoy was still inclined to believe that these statements were a figment,
expressly intended to deceive.  Yet he was aware that Lord Westmoreland,
Lord Paget, Sir Charles Paget, Morgan, and other English refugees, were
constantly meeting with Mendoza, that they were told to get themselves in
readiness, and to go down--as well appointed as might be--to the Duke of
Parma; that they had been "sending for their tailor to make them apparel,
and to put themselves in equipage;" that, in particular, Westmoreland had
been assured of being restored by Philip to his native country in better
condition than before.  The Catholic and Spanish party in Paris were
however much dissatisfied with the news from Scotland, and were getting
more and more afraid that King James would object to the Spaniards
getting a foot-hold in his country, and that "the Scots would soon be
playing them a Scottish trick."

Stafford was plunged still more inextricably into doubt by the accounts
from Longlee in Madrid.  The diplomatist, who had been completely
convinced by Philip as to his innocence of any participation in the
criminal enterprise of Guise against Henry III., was now almost staggered
by the unscrupulous mendacity of that monarch with regard to any supposed
designs against England.  Although the Armada was to be ready by the 15th
May, Longlee was of opinion--notwithstanding many bold announcements of
an attack upon Elizabeth--that the real object of the expedition was
America.  There had recently been discovered, it was said, "a new
country, more rich in gold and silver than any yet found, but so full of
stout people that they could not master them."  To reduce these stout
people beyond the Atlantic, therefore, and to get possession of new gold
mines, was the real object at which Philip was driving, and Longlee and
Stafford were both very doubtful whether it were worth the Queen's while
to exhaust her finances in order to protect herself against an imaginary
invasion.  Even so late as the middle of July, six to one was offered on
the Paris exchange that the Spanish fleet would never be seen in the
English seas, and those that offered the bets were known to be well-
wishers to the Spanish party.

Thus sharp diplomatists and statesmen like Longlee, Stafford, and
Walsingham, were beginning to lose their fear of the great bugbear by
which England had so long been haunted.  It was, therefore no deep stain
on the Queen's sagacity that she, too, was willing to place credence in
the plighted honour of Alexander Farnese, the great prince who prided
himself on his sincerity, and who, next to the King his master, adored
the virgin Queen of England.

The deputies of the Netherland churches had come, with the permission of
Count Maurice and of the States General; but they represented more
strongly than any other envoys could do, the English and the monarchical
party.  They were instructed especially to implore the Queen to accept
the sovereignty of their country; to assure her that the restoration of
Philip--who had been a wolf instead of a shepherd to his flock--was an
impossibility, that he had been solemnly and for ever deposed, that
under her sceptre only could the Provinces ever recover their ancient
prosperity; that ancient and modern history alike made it manifest
that a free republic could never maintain itself, but that it must,
of necessity, run its course through sedition, bloodshed, and anarchy,
until liberty was at last crushed by an absolute despotism; that equality
of condition, the basis of democratic institutions, could never be made
firm; and that a fortunate exception, like that of Switzerland, whose
historical and political circumstances were peculiar, could never serve
as a model to the Netherlands, accustomed as those Provinces had ever
been to a monarchical form of government; and that the antagonism of
aristocratic and democratic elements in the States had already produced
discord, and was threatening destruction to the whole country.  To avert
such dangers the splendour of royal authority was necessary, according to
the venerable commands of Holy Writ; and therefore the Netherland
churches acknowledged themselves the foster-children of England, and
begged that in political matters also the inhabitants of the Provinces
might be accepted as the subjects of her Majesty.  They also implored the
Queen to break off these accursed negotiations with Spain, and to provide
that henceforth in the Netherlands the reformed religion might be freely
exercised, to the exclusion of any other.

Thus it was very evident that these clerical envoys, although they were
sent by permission of the States, did not come as the representatives of
the dominant party.  For that 'Beelzebub,' Barneveld, had different
notions from theirs as to the possibility of a republic, and as to the
propriety of tolerating other forms of worship than his own.  But it was
for such pernicious doctrines, on religious matters in particular, that
he was called Beelzebub, Pope John, a papist in disguise, and an atheist;
and denounced, as leading young Maurice and the whole country to

On the basis of these instructions, the deputies drew up a memorial of
pitiless length, filled with astounding parallels between their own
position and that of the Hebrews, Assyrians, and other distinguished
nations of antiquity.  They brought it to Walsingham on the 12th July,
1588, and the much enduring man heard it read from beginning to end.
He expressed his approbation of its sentiments, but said it was too long.
It must be put on one sheet of paper, he said, if her Majesty was
expected to read it.

"Moreover," said the Secretary of State, "although your arguments are
full of piety, and your examples from Holy Writ very apt, I must tell you
the plain truth.  Great princes are not always so zealous in religious
matters as they might be.  Political transactions move them more deeply,
and they depend too much on worldly things.  However there is no longer
much danger, for our envoys will return from Flanders in a few days."

"But," asked a deputy, "if the Spanish fleet does not succeed in its
enterprise, will the peace-negotiations be renewed?"

"By no means," said Walsingham; "the Queen can never do that,
consistently with her honour.  They have scattered infamous libels
against her--so scandalous, that you would be astounded should you read
them.  Arguments drawn from honour are more valid with princes than any

He alluded to the point in their memorial touching the free exercise of
the reformed religion in the Provinces.

"'Tis well and piously said," he observed; "but princes and great lords
are not always very earnest in such matters.  I think that her Majesty's
envoys will not press for the free exercise of the religion so very much;
not more than for two or three years.  By that time--should our
negotiations succeed--the foreign troops will have evacuated the
Netherlands on condition that the States-General shall settle the
religious question."

"But," said Daniel de Dieu, one of the deputies, "the majority of the
States is Popish."

"Be it so," replied Sir Francis; "nevertheless they will sooner permit
the exercise of the reformed religion than take up arms and begin the war

He then alluded to the proposition of the deputies to exclude all
religious worship but that of the reformed church--all false religion--
as they expressed themselves.

"Her Majesty," said he, "is well disposed to permit some exercise of
their religion to the Papists.  So far as regards my own feelings, if we
were now in the beginning, of the reformation, and the papacy were still
entire, I should willingly concede such exercise; but now that the Papacy
has been overthrown, I think it would not be safe to give such
permission.  When we were disputing, at the time of the pacification of
Ghent, whether the Popish religion should be partially permitted, the
Prince of Orange was of the affirmative opinion; but I, who was then at
Antwerp, entertained the contrary conviction."

"But," said one of the deputies--pleased to find that Walsingham was more
of their way of thinking on religious toleration than the great Prince
of Orange had been, or than Maurice and Barneveld then were--"but her
Majesty will, we hope, follow the advice of her good and faithful

"To tell you the truth," answered Sir Francis, "great princes are not
always inspired with a sincere and upright zeal;"--it was the third
time he had made this observation"--although, so far as regards the
maintenance of the religion in the Netherlands, that is a matter of
necessity.  Of that there is no fear, since otherwise all the pious would
depart, and none would remain but Papists, and, what is more, enemies of
England.  Therefore the Queen is aware that the religion must be

He then advised the deputies to hand in the memorial to her Majesty,
without any long speeches, for which there was then no time or
opportunity; and it was subsequently arranged that they should be
presented to the Queen as she would be mounting her horse at St. James's
to ride to Richmond.

Accordingly on the 15th July, as her Majesty came forth at the gate, with
a throng of nobles and ladies--some about to accompany her and some
bidding her adieu--the deputies fell on their knees before her.
Notwithstanding the advice of Walsingham, Daniel de Dieu was bent upon an

"Oh illustrious Queen!"  he began, "the churches of the United

He had got no further, when the Queen, interrupting, exclaimed, "Oh!  I
beg you--at another time--I cannot now listen to a speech.  Let me see
the memorial."

Daniel de Dieu then humbly presented that document, which her Majesty
graciously received, and then, getting on horseback, rode off to

The memorial was in the nature of an exhortation to sustain the religion,
and to keep clear of all negotiations with idolaters and unbelievers;
and the memorialists supported themselves by copious references to
Deuteronomy, Proverbs, Isaiah, Timothy, and Psalms, relying mainly on the
case of Jehosaphat, who came to disgrace and disaster through his treaty
with the idolatrous King Ahab.  With regard to any composition with
Spain, they observed, in homely language, that a burnt cat fears the
fire; and they assured the Queen that, by following their advice, she
would gain a glorious and immortal name, like those of David, Ezekiel,
Josiah, and others, whose fragrant memory, even as precious incense from
the apothecary's, endureth to the end of the world.

It was not surprising that Elizabeth, getting on horseback on the 15th
July, 1588, with her head full of Tilbury Fort and Medina Sidonia, should
have as little relish for the affairs of Ahab and Jehosophat, as for
those melting speeches of Diomede and of Turnus, to which Dr. Valentine
Dale on his part was at that moment invoking her attention.

On the 20th July, the deputies were informed by Leicester that her
Majesty would grant them an interview, July 20, and that they must
come into his quarter of the palace and await her arrival.

Between six and seven in the evening she came into the throne-room, and
the deputies again fell on their knees before her.

She then seated herself--the deputies remaining on their knees on her
right side and the Earl of Leicester standing at her left--and proceeded
to make many remarks touching her earnestness in the pending negotiations
to provide for their religious freedom.  It seemed that she must have
received a hint from Walsingham on the subject.

"I shall provide," she said, "for the maintenance of the reformed

De Dieu--"The enemy will never concede it."

The Queen.--"I think differently."

De Dieu.--"There is no place within his dominions where he has permitted
the exercise of the pure religion.  He has never done so."

The Queen.--"He conceded it in the pacification of Ghent."

De Dieu.--"But he did not keep his agreement.  Don John had concluded
with the States, but said he was not held to his promise, in case he
should repent; and the King wrote afterwards to our States, and said that
he was no longer bound to his pledge."

The Queen.--"That is quite another thing."

De Dieu.--"He has very often broken his faith."

The Queen.--"He shall no longer be allowed to do so.  If he does not keep
his word, that is my affair, not yours.  It is my business to find the
remedy.  Men would say, see in what a desolation the Queen of England has
brought this poor people.  As to the freedom of worship, I should have
proposed three or four years' interval--leaving it afterwards to the
decision of the States."

De Dieu.--"But the majority of the States is Popish."

The Queen.--"I mean the States-General, not the States of any particular

De Dieu.--"The greater part of the States-General is Popish."

The Queen.--"I mean the three estates--the clergy, the nobles, and the
cities."  The Queen--as the deputies observed--here fell into an error.
She thought that prelates of the reformed Church, as in England, had
seats in the States-General.  Daniel de Dieu explained that they had no
such position.

The Queen.--"Then how were you sent hither?"

De Dieu.--"We came with the consent of Count Maurice of Nassau."

The Queen.--"And of the States?"

De Dieu.--"We came with their knowledge."

The Queen.--"Are you sent only from Holland and Zeeland?  Is there no
envoy from Utrecht and the other Provinces?"

Helmichius.--"We two," pointing to his colleague Sossingius, "are from

The Queen.--"What?  Is this young man also a minister?"  She meant
Helmichius, who had a very little beard, and looked young.

Sossingius.--"He is not so young as he looks."

The Queen.--"Youths are sometimes as able as old men."

De Dieu.--"I have heard our brother preach in France more than fourteen
years ago."

The Queen.--"He must have begun young.  How old were you when you first
became a preacher?"

Helmichius.--"Twenty-three or twenty-four years of age."

The Queen.--"It was with us, at first, considered a scandal that a man so
young as that should be admitted to the pulpit.  Our antagonists
reproached us with it in a book called 'Scandale de l'Angleterre,' saying
that we had none but school-boys for ministers.  I understand that you
pray for me as warmly as if I were your sovereign princess.  I think I
have done as much for the religion as if I were your Queen."

Helmichius.--"We are far from thinking otherwise.  We acknowledge
willingly your Majesty's benefits to our churches."

The Queen.--"It would else be ingratitude on your part."

Helmichius.--"But the King of Spain will never keep any promise about the

The Queen.--"He will never come so far: he does nothing but make a noise
on all sides.  Item, I don't think he has much confidence in himself."

De Dieu.--"Your Majesty has many enemies.  The Lord hath hitherto
supported you, and we pray that he may continue to uphold your Majesty."

The Queen.--"I have indeed many enemies; but I make no great account of
them.  Is there anything else you seek?"

De Dieu.--"There is a special point: it concerns our, or rather your
Majesty's, city of Flushing.  We hope that Russelius--(so he called Sir
William Russell)--may be continued in its government, although he wishes
his discharge."

"Aha!" said the Queen, laughing and rising from her seat, "I shall not
answer you; I shall call some one else to answer you."

She then summoned Russell's sister, Lady Warwick.

"If you could speak French," said the Queen to that gentlewoman,
"I should bid you reply to these gentlemen, who beg that your brother
may remain in Flushing, so very agreeable has he made himself to them."

The Queen was pleased to hear this good opinion of Sir William, and this
request that he might continue to be governor of Flushing, because he had
uniformly supported the Leicester party, and was at that moment in high
quarrel with Count Maurice and the leading members of the States.

As the deputies took their leave, they requested an answer to their
memorial, which was graciously promised.

Three days afterwards, Walsingham gave them a written answer to their
memorial--conceived in the same sense as had been the expressions of her
Majesty and her counsellors.  Support to the Netherlands and stipulations
for the free exercise of their religion were promised; but it was
impossible for these deputies of the churches to obtain a guarantee from
England that the Popish religion should be excluded from the Provinces,
in case of a successful issue to the Queen's negotiation with Spain.

And thus during all those eventful days-the last weeks of July and the
first weeks of August--the clerical deputation remained in England,
indulging in voluminous protocols and lengthened conversations with the
Queen and the principal members of her government.  It is astonishing, in
that breathless interval of history, that so much time could be found for
quill-driving and oratory.

Nevertheless, both in Holland and England, there had been other work than
protocolling.  One throb of patriotism moved the breast of both nations.
A longing to grapple, once for all, with the great enemy of civil and
religious liberty inspired both.  In Holland, the States-General and all
the men to whom the people looked for guidance, had been long deprecating
the peace-negotiations.  Extraordinary supplies--more than had ever been
granted before--were voted for the expenses of the campaign; and Maurice
of Nassau, fitly embodying the warlike tendencies of his country and
race, had been most importunate with Queen Elizabeth that she would
accept his services and his advice.  Armed vessels of every size, from
the gun-boat to the galleon of 1200 tons--then the most imposing ship
in those waters--swarmed in all the estuaries and rivers, and along the
Dutch and Flemish coast, bidding defiance to Parma and his armaments;
and offers of a large contingent from the fleets of Jooat de Moor and
Justinua de Nassau, to serve under Seymour and Howard, were freely made
to the States-General.

It was decided early in July, by the board of admiralty, presided over by
Prince Maurice, that the largest square-rigged vessels of Holland and
Zeeland should cruise between England and the Flemish coast, outside the
banks; that a squadron of lesser ships should be stationed within the
banks; and that a fleet of sloops and fly-boats should hover close in
shore, about Flushing and Rammekens.  All the war-vessels of the little
republic were thus fully employed.  But, besides this arrangement,
Maurice was empowered to lay an embargo--under what penalty he chose and
during his pleasure--on all square-rigged vessels over 300 tons, in order
that there might be an additional supply in case of need.  Ninety ships
of war under Warmond, admiral, and Van der Does, vice-admiral of Holland;
and Justinus de Nassau, admiral, and Joost de Moor, vice-admiral of
Zeeland; together with fifty merchant-vessels of the best and strongest,
equipped and armed for active service, composed a formidable fleet.

The States-General, a month before, had sent twenty-five or thirty good
ships, under Admiral Rosendael, to join Lord Henry Seymour, then cruising
between Dover and Calais.  A tempest, drove them back, and their absence
from Lord Henry's fleet being misinterpreted by the English, the States
were censured for ingratitude and want of good faith.  But the injustice
of the accusation was soon made manifest, for these vessels, reinforcing
the great Dutch fleet outside the banks, did better service than they
could have done; in the straits.  A squadron of strong well-armed
vessels, having on board, in addition to their regular equipment,
a picked force of twelve hundred musketeers, long accustomed to this
peculiar kind of naval warfare, with crews of, grim Zeelanders, who had
faced Alva, and Valdez in their day, now kept close watch over Farnese,
determined that he should never thrust his face out of any haven or nook
on the coast so long as they should be in existence to prevent him.

And in England the protracted diplomacy at Ostend, ill-timed though
it was, had not paralyzed the arm or chilled the heart of the nation.
When the great Queen, arousing herself from the delusion in which the
falsehoods of Farnese and of Philip had lulled her, should once more.
represent--as no man or woman better than Elizabeth Tudor could represent
--the defiance of England to foreign insolence; the resolve of a whole
people to die rather than yield; there was a thrill of joy through the
national heart.  When the enforced restraint was at last taken off, there
was one bound towards the enemy.  Few more magnificent spectacles have
been seen in history than the enthusiasm which pervaded the country as
the great danger, so long deferred, was felt at last to be closely
approaching.  The little nation of four millions, the merry England of
the sixteenth century, went forward to the death-grapple with its
gigantic antagonist as cheerfully as to a long-expected holiday.
Spain was a vast empire, overshadowing the world; England, in comparison,
but a province; yet nothing could surpass the steadiness with which the
conflict was awaited.

For, during all the months of suspense; the soldiers and sailors, and
many statesman of England, had deprecated, even as the Hollanders had
been doing, the dangerous delays of Ostend.  Elizabeth was not embodying
the national instinct, when she talked of peace; and shrank penuriously
from the expenses of war.  There was much disappointment, even
indignation, at the slothfulness with which the preparations for defence
went on, during the period when there was yet time to make them.  It was
feared with justice that England, utterly unfortified as were its cities,
and defended only by its little navy without, and by untaught enthusiasm
within, might; after all, prove an easier conquest than Holland and
Zeeland, every town, in whose territory bristled with fortifications.
If the English ships--well-trained and swift sailors as they were--were
unprovided with spare and cordage, beef and biscuit, powder and shot,
and the militia-men, however enthusiastic, were neither drilled nor
armed, was it so very certain, after all, that successful resistance
would be made to the great Armada, and to the veteran pikemen and
musketeers of Farnese, seasoned on a hundred, battlefields, and equipped
as for a tournament?  There was generous confidence and chivalrous
loyalty on the part of Elizabeth's naval and military commanders; but
there had been deep regret and disappointment at her course.

Hawkins was anxious, all through the winter and spring, to cruise with a
small squadron off the coast of Spain.  With a dozen vessels he undertook
to "distress anything that went through the seas."  The cost of such a
squadron, with eighteen hundred men, to be relieved every four months, he
estimated at two thousand seven hundred pounds sterling the month, or a
shilling a day for each man; and it would be a very unlucky month, he
said, in which they did not make captures to three times that amount; for
they would see nothing that would not be presently their own.  "We might
have peace, but not with God," said the pious old slave-trader; "but
rather than serve Baal, let us die a thousand deaths.  Let us have open
war with these Jesuits, and every man will contribute, fight, devise, or
do, for the liberty of our country."

And it was open war with the Jesuits for which those stouthearted sailors
longed.  All were afraid of secret mischief.  The diplomatists--who were
known to be flitting about France, Flanders, Scotland, and England--were
birds of ill omen.  King James was beset by a thousand bribes and
expostulations to avenge his mother's death; and although that mother had
murdered his father, and done her best to disinherit himself, yet it was
feared that Spanish ducats might induce him to be true to his mother's
revenge, and false to the reformed religion.  Nothing of good was hoped
for from France.  "For my part," said Lord Admiral Howard, "I have made
of the French King, the Scottish King, and the King of Spain, a trinity
that I mean never to trust to be saved by, and I would that others were
of my opinion."

The noble sailor, on whom so much responsibility rested, yet who was so
trammelled and thwarted by the timid and parsimonious policy of Elizabeth
and of Burghley, chafed and shook his chains like a captive.  "Since
England was England," he exclaimed, "there was never such a stratagem
and mask to deceive her as this treaty of peace.  I pray God that we do
not curse for this a long grey beard with a white head witless, that will
make all the world think us heartless.  You know whom I mean."  And it
certainly was not difficult to understand the allusion to the pondering
Lord-Treasurer."  'Opus est aliquo Daedalo,' to direct us out of the
maze," said that much puzzled statesman; but he hardly seemed to be
making himself wings with which to lift England and himself out of the
labyrinth.  The ships were good ships, but there was intolerable delay in
getting a sufficient number of them as ready for action as was the spirit
of their commanders.

"Our ships do show like gallants here," said Winter; "it would do a man's
heart good to behold them.  Would to God the Prince of Parma were on the
seas with all his forces, and we in sight of them.  You should hear that
we would make his enterprise very unpleasant to him."

And Howard, too, was delighted not only with his own little flag-ship the
Ark-Royal--"the odd ship of the world for all conditions,"--but with all
of his fleet that could be mustered.  Although wonders were reported, by
every arrival from the south, of the coming Armada, the Lord-Admiral was
not appalled.  He was perhaps rather imprudent in the defiance he flung
to the enemy.  "Let me have the four great ships and twenty hoys, with
but twenty men a-piece, and each with but two iron pieces, and her
Majesty shall have a good account of the Spanish forces; and I will make
the King wish his galleys home again.  Few as we are, if his forces be
not hundreds, we will make good sport with them."

But those four great ships of her Majesty, so much longed for by Howard,
were not forthcoming.  He complained that the Queen was "keeping them to
protect Chatham Church withal, when they should be serving their turn
abroad."  The Spanish fleet was already reported as numbering from 210
sail, with 36,000 men,' to 400 or 500 ships, and 80,000 soldiers and
mariners; and yet Drake was not ready with his squadron.  "The fault is
not in him," said Howard, "but I pray God her Majesty do not repent her
slack dealing.  We must all lie together, for we shall be stirred very
shortly with heave ho!  I fear ere long her Majesty will be sorry she
hath believed some so much as she hath done."

Howard had got to sea, and was cruising all the stormy month of March in
the Channel with his little unprepared squadron; expecting at any moment
--such was the profound darkness which, enveloped the world at that day--
that the sails of the Armada might appear in the offing.  He made a visit
to the Dutch coast, and was delighted with the enthusiasm with which he
was received.  Five thousand people a day came on board his ships, full
of congratulation and delight; and he informed the Queen that she was not
more assured of the Isle of Sheppey than of Walcheren.

Nevertheless time wore on, and both the army and navy of England were
quite unprepared, and the Queen was more reluctant than ever to incur the
expense necessary to the defence of her kingdom.  At least one of those
galleys, which, as Howard bitterly complained, seemed destined to defend
Chatham Church, was importunately demanded; but it was already Easter-Day
(17th April), and she was demanded in vain.  "Lord! when should she
serve," said the Admiral, "if not at such a time as this?  Either she is
fit now to serve, or fit for the fire.  I hope never in my time to see so
great a cause for her to be used.  I dare say her Majesty will look that
men should fight for her, and I know they will at this time.  The King of
Spain doth not keep any ship at home, either of his own or any other,
that he can get for money.  Well, well, I must pray heartily for peace,"
said Howard with increasing spleen, "for I see the support of an
honourable, war will never appear.  Sparing and war have no affinity

In truth Elizabeth's most faithful subjects were appalled at the ruin
which she seemed by her mistaken policy to be rendering inevitable.  "I
am sorry," said the Admiral, "that her Majesty is so careless of this
most dangerous time.  I fear me much, and with grief I think it, that she
relieth on a hope that will deceive her, and greatly endanger her, and
then it will not be her money nor her jewels that will help; for as they
will do good in time, so they will help nothing for the redeeming of

The preparations on shore were even more dilatory than those on the sea.
We have seen that the Duke of Parma, once landed, expected to march
directly upon London; and it was notorious that there were no fortresses
to oppose a march of the first general in Europe and his veterans upon
that unprotected and wealthy metropolis.  An army had been enrolled--a
force of 86,016 foot, and 13,831 cavalry; but it was an army on paper
merely.  Even of the 86,000, only 48,000 were set down as trained;
and it is certain that the training had been of the most meagre and
unsatisfactory description.  Leicester was to be commander-in-chief; but
we have already seen that nobleman measuring himself, not much to his
advantage, with Alexander Farnese, in the Isle of Bommel, on the sands of
Blankenburg, and at the gates of Sluys.  His army was to consist of
27,000 infantry, and 2000 horse; yet at midsummer it had not reached half
that number.  Lord Chamberlain Hunsdon was to protect the Queen's person
with another army of 36,000; but this force, was purely an imaginary one;
and the lord-lieutenant of each county was to do his best with the
militia.  But men were perpetually escaping out of the general service,
in order to make themselves retainers for private noblemen, and be kept
at their expense.  "You shall hardly believe," said Leicester, "how many
new liveries be gotten within these six weeks, and no man fears the
penalty.  It would be better that every nobleman did as Lord Dacres, than
to take away from the principal service such as are set down to serve."

Of enthusiasm and courage, then, there was enough, while of drill and
discipline, of powder and shot, there was a deficiency.  No braver or
more competent soldier could be found than Sir Edward Stanley--the man
whom we have seen in his yellow jerkin, helping himself into Fort Zutphen
with the Spanish soldier's pike--and yet Sir Edward Stanley gave but a
sorry account of the choicest soldiers of Chester and Lancashire, whom he
had been sent to inspect.  "I find them not," he said, "according to your
expectation, nor mine own liking.  They were appointed two years past to
have been trained six days by the year or more, at the discretion of the
muster-master, but, as yet, they have not been trained one day, so that
they have benefited nothing, nor yet know their leaders.  There is now
promise of amendment, which, I doubt, will be very slow, in respect to my
Lord Derby's absence."

My Lord Derby was at that moment, and for many months afterwards,
assisting Valentine Dale in his classical prolusions on the sands of
Bourbourg.  He had better have been mustering the trainbands of
Lancashire.  There was a general indisposition in the rural districts to
expend money and time in military business, until the necessity should
become imperative.  Professional soldiers complained bitterly of the
canker of a long peace.  "For our long quietness, which it hath pleased
God to send us," said Stanley, "they think their money very ill bestowed
which they expend on armour or weapon, for that they be in hope they
shall never have occasion to use it, so they may pass muster, as they
have done heretofore.  I want greatly powder, for there is little or none
at all."

The day was fast approaching when all the power in England would be too
little for the demand.  But matters had not very much mended even at
midsummer.  It is true that Leicester, who was apt to be sanguine-
particularly in matters under his immediate control--spoke of the handful
of recruits assembled at his camp in Essex, as "soldiers of a year's
experience, rather than a month's camping; "but in this opinion he
differed from many competent authorities, and was somewhat in
contradiction to himself.  Nevertheless he was glad that the Queen had
determined to visit him, and encourage his soldiers.

"I have received in secret," he said, "those news that please me, that
your Majesty doth intend to behold the poor and bare company that lie
here in the field, most willingly to serve you, yea, most ready to die
for you.  You shall, dear Lady, behold as goodly, loyal, and as able men
as any prince Christian can show you, and yet but a handful of your own,
in comparison of the rest you have.  What comfort not only these shall
receive who shall be the happiest to behold yourself I cannot express;
but assuredly it will give no small comfort to the rest, that shall be
overshined with the beams of so gracious and princely a party, for what
your royal Majesty shall do to these will be accepted as done to all.
Good sweet Queen, alter not your purpose, if God give you health.  It
will be your pain for the time, but your pleasure to behold such people.
And surely the place must content you, being as fair a soil and as goodly
a prospect as may be seen or found, as this extreme weather hath made
trial, which doth us little annoyance, it is so firm and dry a ground.
Your usher also liketh your lodging--a proper, secret, cleanly house.
Your camp is a little mile off, and your person will be as sure as at St.
James's, for my life."

But notwithstanding this cheerful view of the position expressed by the
commander-in-chief, the month of July had passed, and the early days of
August had already arrived; and yet the camp was not formed, nor anything
more than that mere handful of troops mustered about Tilbury, to defend
the road from Dover to London.  The army at Tilbury never, exceeded
sixteen or seventeen thousand men.

The whole royal navy-numbering about thirty-four vessels in all--of
different sizes, ranging from 1100 and 1000 tons to 30, had at last been
got ready for sea.  Its aggregate tonnage was 11,820; not half so much as
at the present moment--in the case of one marvellous merchant-steamer--
floats upon a single keel.

These vessels carried.  837 guns and 6279 men.  But the navy was
reinforced by the patriotism and liberality of English merchants and
private gentlemen.  The city of London having been requested to furnish
15 ships of war and 5000 men, asked two days for deliberation, and then
gave 30 ships and 10,000 men of which number 2710 were seamen.  Other
cities, particularly Plymouth, came forward with proportionate
liberality, and private individuals, nobles, merchants, and men of
humblest rank, were enthusiastic in volunteering into the naval service,
to risk property and life in defence of the country.  By midsummer there
had been a total force of 197 vessels manned, and partially equipped,
with an aggregate of 29,744 tons, and 15,785 seamen.  Of this fleet a
very large number were mere coasters of less than 100 tons each; scarcely
ten ships were above 500, and but one above 1000 tons--the Triumph,
Captain Frobisher, of 1100 tons, 42 guns, and 500 sailors.

Lord Howard of Effingham, Lord High-Admiral of England, distinguished for
his martial character, public spirit, and admirable temper, rather than
for experience or skill as a seaman, took command of the whole fleet, in
his "little odd ship for all conditions," the Ark-Royal, of 800 tons, 425
sailors, and 55 guns.

Next in rank was Vice-Admiral Drake, in the Revenge, of 500 tons, 250 men
and 40 guns.  Lord Henry Seymour, in the Rainbow, of precisely the same
size and strength, commanded the inner squadron, which cruised in the
neighbourhood of the French and Flemish coast.

The Hollanders and Zeelanders had undertaken to blockade the Duke of
Parma still more closely, and pledged themselves that he should never
venture to show himself upon the open sea at all.  The mouth of the
Scheldt, and the dangerous shallows off the coast of Newport and Dunkirk,
swarmed with their determined and well-seasoned craft, from the flybooter
or filibuster of the rivers, to the larger armed vessels, built to
confront every danger, and to deal with any adversary.

Farnese, on his part, within that well-guarded territory, had, for months
long, scarcely slackened in his preparations, day or night.  Whole
forests had been felled in the land of Waas to furnish him with
transports and gun-boats, and with such rapidity, that--according to his
enthusiastic historiographer--each tree seemed by magic to metamorphose
itself into a vessel at the word of command.  Shipbuilders, pilots, and
seamen, were brought from the Baltic, from Hamburgh, from Genoa.  The
whole surface of the obedient Netherlands, whence wholesome industry had
long been banished, was now the scene of a prodigious baleful activity.
Portable bridges for fording the rivers of England, stockades for
entrenchments, rafts and oars, were provided in vast numbers, and
Alexander dug canals and widened natural streams to facilitate his
operations.  These wretched Provinces, crippled, impoverished,
languishing for peace, were forced to contribute out of their poverty,
and to find strength even in their exhaustion, to furnish the machinery
for destroying their own countrymen, and for hurling to perdition their
most healthful neighbour.

And this approaching destruction of England--now generally believed in--
was like the sound of a trumpet throughout Catholic Europe.  Scions of
royal houses, grandees of azure blood, the bastard of Philip II., the
bastard of Savoy, the bastard of Medici, the Margrave of Burghaut, the
Archduke Charles, nephew of the Emperor, the Princes of Ascoli and of
Melfi, the Prince of Morocco, and others of illustrious name, with many
a noble English traitor, like Paget, and Westmoreland, and Stanley, all
hurried to the camp of Farnese, as to some famous tournament, in which it
was a disgrace to chivalry if their names were not enrolled.  The roads
were trampled with levies of fresh troops from Spain, Naples, Corsica,
the States of the Church, the Milanese, Germany, Burgundy.

Blas Capizucca was sent in person to conduct reinforcements from the
north of Italy.  The famous Terzio of Naples, under Carlos Pinelo,
arrived 3500 strong--the most splendid regiment ever known in the history
of war.  Every man had an engraved corslet and musket-barrel, and there
were many who wore gilded armour, while their waving plumes and festive
caparisons made them look like holiday-makers, rather than real
campaigners, in the eyes of the inhabitants of the various cities through
which their road led them to Flanders.  By the end of April the Duke of
Parma saw himself at the head of 60,000 men, at a monthly expense of
454,315 crowns or dollars.  Yet so rapid was the progress of disease--
incident to northern climates--among those southern soldiers, that we
shall find the number woefully diminished before they were likely to set
foot upon the English shore.

Thus great preparations, simultaneously with pompous negotiations, had
been going forward month after month, in England, Holland, Flanders.
Nevertheless, winter, spring, two-thirds of summer, had passed away, and
on the 29th July, 1588, there remained the same sickening uncertainty,
which was the atmosphere in which the nations had existed for a

Howard had cruised for a few weeks between England and Spain, without any
results, and, on his return, had found it necessary to implore her
Majesty, as late as July, to "trust no more to Judas' kisses, but to her
sword, not her enemy's word."


A burnt cat fears the fire
A free commonwealth--was thought an absurdity
Baiting his hook a little to his appetite
Canker of a long peace
Englishmen and Hollanders preparing to cut each other's throats
Faction has rarely worn a more mischievous aspect
Hard at work, pouring sand through their sieves
She relieth on a hope that will deceive her
Sparing and war have no affinity together
The worst were encouraged with their good success
Trust her sword, not her enemy's word

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of the United Netherlands, 1588b" ***

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