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´╗┐Title: History of the United Netherlands, 1587b
Author: Motley, John Lothrop
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of the United Netherlands, 1587b" ***

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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, 1587


     Leicester in England--Trial of the Queen of Scots--Fearful
     Perplexity at the English Court--Infatuation and Obstinacy of the
     Queen--Netherland Envoys in England--Queen's bitter Invective
     against them--Amazement of the Envoys--They consult with her chief
     Councillors--Remarks of Burghley and Davison--Fourth of February
     Letter from the States--Its severe Language towards Leicester--
     Painful Position of the Envoys at Court--Queen's Parsimony towards

The scene shifts, for a brief interval, to England.  Leicester had
reached the court late in November.  Those "blessed beams," under whose
shade he was wont to find so much "refreshment and nutrition," had again
fallen with full radiance upon him.  "Never since I was born," said he,
"did I receive a more gracious welcome."--[Leicester to 'Wilkes, 4 Dec.
1587.  (S. P. Office MS)]--Alas, there was not so much benignity for the
starving English soldiers, nor for the Provinces, which were fast growing
desperate; but although their cause was so intimately connected with the
"great cause," which then occupied Elizabeth, almost to the exclusion of
other matter, it was, perhaps, not wonderful, although unfortunate, that
for a time the Netherlands should be neglected.

The "daughter of debate" had at last brought herself, it was supposed,
within the letter of the law, and now began those odious scenes of
hypocrisy on the part of Elizabeth, that frightful comedy--more
melancholy even than the solemn tragedy which it preceded and followed--
which must ever remain the darkest passage in the history of the Queen.

It is unnecessary, in these pages, to make more than a passing allusion
to the condemnation and death of the Queen of Scots.  Who doubts her
participation in the Babington conspiracy?  Who doubts that she was the
centre of one endless conspiracy by Spain and Rome against the throne and
life of Elizabeth?  Who doubts that her long imprisonment in England was
a violation of all law, all justice, all humanity?  Who doubts that the
fineing, whipping, torturing, hanging, embowelling of men, women, and
children, guilty of no other crime than adhesion to the Catholic faith,
had assisted the Pope and Philip, and their band of English, Scotch, and
Irish conspirators, to shake Elizabeth's throne and endanger her life?
Who doubts that; had the English sovereign been capable of conceiving the
great thought of religious toleration, her reign would have been more
glorious than, it was, the cause of Protestantism and freedom more
triumphant, the name of Elizabeth Tudor dearer to human hearts?  Who
doubts that there were many enlightened and noble spirits among her
Protestant subjects who lifted up their voices, over and over again, in
parliament and out of it, to denounce that wicked persecution exercised
upon their innocent Catholic brethren, which was fast converting loyal
Englishmen, against their will, into traitors and conspirators?  Yet who
doubts that it would have required, at exactly that moment, and in the
midst of that crisis; more elevation of soul than could fairly be
predicated of any individual, for Elizabeth in 1587 to pardon Mary,
or to relax in the severity of her legislation towards English Papists?

Yet, although a display of sublime virtue, such as the world has rarely
seen, was not to be expected, it was reasonable to look for honest and
royal dealing, from a great sovereign, brought at last face to face with
a great event.  The "great cause" demanded, a great, straightforward
blow.  It was obvious, however, that it would be difficult, in the midst
of the tragedy and the comedy, for the Netherland business to come fairly
before her Majesty.  "Touching the Low Country causes," said Leicester;
"very little is done yet, by reason of the continued business we have had
about the Queen of Scots' matters.  All the speech I have had with her
Majesty hitherto touching those causes hath been but private."--
[Leicester to Wilkes, 4 Des 1586.  (S. P. Office MS.)]--Walsingham,
longing for retirement, not only on account of his infinite grief for the
death of Sir Philip Sidney, "which hath been the cause;" he said, "that I
have ever since betaken myself into solitariness, and withdrawn; from
public affairs," but also by reason of the perverseness an difficulty
manifested in the gravest affairs by the sovereign he so faithfully
served, sent information, that, notwithstanding the arrival of some of
the States' deputies, Leicester was persuading her Majesty to proceed
first in the great cause.  "Certain principal persons, chosen as
committees," he said, "of both Houses are sent as humble suitors, to her
Majesty to desire that she would be pleased to give order for the
execution of the Scottish Queen.  Her Majesty made answer that she was
loath to proceed in so violent a course against the said Queen; as the
taking away of her life, and therefore prayed them to think of some other
way which might be for her own and their safety.  They replied, no other
way but her execution.  Her Majesty, though she yielded no answer to this
their latter reply, is contented to give order that the proclamation be
published, and so also it is hoped that she, will be moved by this, their
earnest instance to proceed to the thorough ending of the cause."

And so the cause went slowly on to its thorough ending.  And when
"no other way" could be thought of but to take Mary's life, and when
"no other way of taking that life could be devised," at Elizabeth's
suggestion, except by public execution, when none of the gentlemen
"of the association," nor Paulet, nor Drury--how skilfully soever their
"pulses had been felt" by Elizabeth's command--would commit assassination
to serve a Queen who was capable of punishing them afterwards for the
murder, the great cause came to its inevitable conclusion, and Mary
Stuart was executed by command of Elizabeth Tudor.  The world may
continue to differ as to the necessity of the execution but it has long
since pronounced a unanimous verdict as to the respective display of
royal dignity by the two Queens upon that great occasion.

During this interval the Netherland matter, almost as vital to England as
the execution of Mary, was comparatively neglected.  It was not
absolutely in abeyance, but the condition of the Queen's mind coloured
every state-affair with its tragic hues.  Elizabeth, harassed, anxious,
dreaming dreams, and enacting a horrible masquerade, was in the worst
possible temper to be approached by the envoys.  She was furious with the
Netherlanders for having maltreated her favourite.  She was still more
furious because their war was costing so much money.  Her disposition
became so uncertain, her temper so ungovernable, as to drive her
counsellors to their wit's ends.  Burghley confessed himself "weary of
his miserable life," and protested "that the only desire he had in the
world was to be delivered from the ungrateful burthen of service, which
her Majesty laid upon him so very heavily."  Walsingham wished himself
"well established in Basle."  The Queen set them all together by the
ears.  She wrangled spitefully over the sum-totals from the Netherlands;
she worried Leicester, she scolded Burghley for defending Leicester, and
Leicester abused Burghley for taking part against him.

The Lord-Treasurer, overcome with "grief which pierced both his body and
his heart," battled his way--as best he could--through the throng of
dangers which beset the path of England in that great crisis.  It was
most obvious to every statesman in the realm that this was not the time--
when the gauntlet had been thrown full in the face of Philip and Sixtus
and all Catholicism, by the condemnation of Mary--to leave the Netherland
cause "at random," and these outer bulwarks of her own kingdom
insufficiently protected.

"Your Majesty will hear," wrote Parma to Philip, "of the disastrous,
lamentable, and pitiful end of the, poor Queen of Scots.  Although for
her it will be immortal glory, and she will be placed among the number of
the many martyrs whose blood has been shed in the kingdom of England, and
be crowned in Heaven with a diadem more precious than the one she wore on
earth, nevertheless one cannot repress one's natural emotions.  I believe
firmly that this cruel deed will be the concluding crime of the many
which that Englishwoman has committed, and that our Lord will be pleased
that she shall at last receive the chastisement which she has these many
long years deserved, and which has been reserved till now, for her
greater ruin and confusion."--[Parma to Philip IL, 22 March.  1587.
(Arch. de Simancas, MS.)]--And with this, the Duke proceeded to discuss
the all important and rapidly-preparing invasion of England.  Farnese was
not the man to be deceived by the affected reluctance of Elizabeth before
Mary's scaffold, although he was soon to show that he was himself a
master in the science of grimace.  For Elizabeth--more than ever disposed
to be friends with Spain and Rome, now that war to the knife was made
inevitable--was wistfully regarding that trap of negotiation, against
which all her best friends were endeavouring to warn her.  She was more
ill-natured than ever to the Provinces, she turned her back upon the
Warnese, she affronted Henry III. by affecting to believe in the fable of
his envoy's complicity in the Stafford conspiracy against her life.

"I pray God to open her eyes," said Walsingham, "to see the evident peril
of the course she now holdeth .  .  .  .  If it had pleased her to have
followed the advice given her touching the French ambassador, our ships
had been released .  .  .  .  but she has taken a very strange course by
writing a very sharp letter unto the French King, which I fear will cause
him to give ear to those of the League, and make himself a party with
them, seeing so little regard had to him here.  Your Lordship may see
that our courage doth greatly increase, for that we make no difficulty to
fall out with all the world .  .  .  .  .  I never saw her worse affected
to the poor King of Navarre, and yet doth she seek in no sort to yield
contentment to the French King.  If to offend all the world;" repeated
the Secretary bitterly, "be it good cause of government, then can we not
do amiss .  .  .  .  . I never found her less disposed to take a course
of prevention of the approaching mischiefs toward this realm than at this
present.  And to be plain with you, there is none here that hath either
credit or courage to deal effectually with her in any of her great

Thus distracted by doubts and dangers, at war with her best friends, with
herself, and with all-the world, was Elizabeth during the dark days and
months which, preceded and followed the execution of the Scottish Queen.
If the great fight was at last to be fought triumphantly through, it was
obvious that England was to depend upon Englishmen of all ranks and
classes, upon her prudent and far-seeing statesmen, upon her nobles and
her adventurers, on her Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman blood ever mounting
against, oppression, on Howard and Essex, Drake and Williams, Norris, and
Willoughby, upon high-born magnates, plebeian captains, London merchants,
upon yeomen whose limbs were made in England, and upon Hollanders and
Zeelanders whose fearless mariners were to swarm to the protection of her
coasts, quite as much in that year of anxious expectation as upon the
great Queen herself.  Unquestionable as were her mental capacity and her
more than woman's courage, when fairly, brought face, to face with the
danger, it was fortunately not on one man or woman's brain and arm that
England's salvation depended in that crisis of her fate.

As to the Provinces, no one ventured to speak very boldly in their
defence.  "When I lay before her the peril," said Walsingham, "she
scorneth at it.  The hope of a peace with Spain has put her into a most
dangerous security."  Nor would any man now assume responsibility.  The
fate of Davison--of the man who had already in so detestable a manner
been made the scape-goat for Leicester's sins in the Netherlands, and
who had now been so barbarously sacrificed by the Queen for faithfully
obeying her orders in regard to the death-warrant, had sickened all
courtiers and counsellors for the time.  "The late severe, dealing
used by her Highness towards Mr. Secretary Davison," said Walsingham
to Wilkes, "maketh us very circumspect and careful not to proceed in
anything but wherein we receive direction from herself, and therefore
you must not find it strange if we now be more sparing than heretofore
hath been accustomed."

Such being the portentous state of the political atmosphere, and such
the stormy condition of the royal mind, it may be supposed that the
interviews of the Netherland envoys with her Majesty during this period
were not likely to be genial.  Exactly at the most gloomy moment--
thirteen days before the execution of Mary--they came first into
Elizabeth's presence at Greenwich.

The envoys were five in number, all of them experienced and able
statesmen--Zuylen van Nyvelt, Joos de Menyn, Nicasius de Silla, Jacob
Valck, and Vitus van Kammings.  The Queen was in the privy council-
chamber, attended by the admiral of England, Lord Thomas Howard, Lord
Hunsdon, great-chamberlain, Sir Christopher Hatton, vice-chamberlain,
Secretary Davison, and many other persons of distinction.

The letters of credence were duly presented, but it was obvious from the
beginning of the interview that the Queen was ill-disposed toward the
deputies, and had not only been misinformed as to matters of fact, but as
to the state of feeling of the Netherlanders and of the States-General
towards herself.

Menyu, however, who was an orator by profession--being pensionary of
Dort--made, in the name of his colleagues, a brief but pregnant speech,
to which the Queen listened attentively, although, with frequent
indications of anger and impatience.  He commenced by observing that
the United Provinces still entertained the hope that her Majesty would
conclude, upon further thoughts, to accept the sovereignty over them,
with reasonable conditions; but the most important passages of his
address were those relating to the cost of the war.  "Besides our
stipulated contributions," said the pensionary, "of 200,000 florins the
month, we have furnished 500,000 as an extraordinary grant; making for
the year 2,900,000 florins, and this over and above the particular and
special expenditures of the Provinces, and other sums for military
purposes.  We confess, Madam, that the succour of your Majesty is a truly
royal one, and that there have been few princes in history who have given
such assistance to their neighbours unjustly oppressed.  It is certain
that by means of that help, joined with the forces of the United
Provinces, the Earl of Leicester has been able to arrest the course
of the Duke of Parma's victories and to counteract his designs.
Nevertheless, it appears, Madam, that these forces have not been
sufficient to drive the enemy out of the country.  We are obliged, for
regular garrison work and defence of cities, to keep; up an army of at
least 27,000 foot and 3500 horse.  Of this number your Majesty pays 5000
foot and 1000 horse, and we are now commissioned, Madam, humbly to
request an increase of your regular succour during the war to 10,000 foot
and 2000 horse.  We also implore the loan of L60,000 sterling, in order
to assist us in maintaining for the coming season a sufficient force in
the field."

Such, in brief, was the oration of pensionary Menyn, delivered in the
French language.  He had scarcely concluded, when the Queen--evidently in
a great passion--rose to her feet, and without any hesitation, replied in
a strain of vehement eloquence in the same tongue.

"Now I am not deceived, gentlemen," she said, "and that which I have been
fearing has occurred.  Our common adage, which we have in England, is a
very good one.  When one fears that an evil is coming, the sooner it
arrives the better.  Here is a quarter of a year that I have been
expecting you, and certainly for the great benefit I have conferred on
you, you have exhibited a great ingratitude, and I consider myself very
ill treated by you.  'Tis very strange that you should begin by
soliciting still greater succour without rendering me any satisfaction
for your past actions, which have been so extraordinary, that I swear by
the living God I think it impossible to find peoples or states more
ungrateful or ill-advised than yourselves.

"I have sent you this year fifteen, sixteen, aye seventeen or eighteen
thousand men.  You have left them without payment, you have let some of
them die of hunger, driven others to such desperation that they have
deserted to the enemy.  Is it not mortifying for the English nation and
a great shame for you that Englishmen should say that they have found
more courtesy from Spaniards than from Netherlanders?  Truly, I tell you
frankly that I will never endure such indignities.  Rather will I act
according to my will, and you may do exactly, as you think best.

"If I chose, I could do something very good without you, although some
persons are so fond of saying that it was quite necessary for the Queen
of England to do what she does for her own protection.  No, no!  Disabuse
yourselves of that impression.  These are but false persuasions.  Believe
boldly that I can play an excellent game without your assistance, and a
better one than I ever did with it!  Nevertheless, I do not choose to do
that, nor do I wish you so much harm.  But likewise do I not choose that
you should hold such language to me.  It is true that I should not wish
the Spaniard so near me if he should be my enemy.  But why should I
not live in peace, if we were to be friends to each other?  At the
commencement of my reign we lived honourably together, the King of Spain
and I, and he even asked me to, marry him, and, after that, we lived a
long time very peacefully, without any attempt having been made against
my life.  If we both choose, we can continue so to do.

"On the other hand, I sent you the Earl of Leicester, as lieutenant of
my forces, and my intention was that he should have exact knowledge of
your finances and contributions.  But, on the contrary, he has never
known anything about them, and you have handled them in your own manner
and amongst yourselves.  You have given him the title of governor, in
order, under this name, to cast all your evils on his head.  That title
he accepted against my will, by doing which he ran the risk of losing his
life, and his estates, and the grace and favour of his Princess, which
was more important to him than all.  But he did it in order to maintain
your tottering state.  And what authority, I pray you, have you given
him?  A shadowy authority, a purely imaginary one.  This is but mockery.
He is, at any rate, a gentleman, a man of honour and of counsel.  You had
no right to treat him thus.  If I had accepted the title which you wished
to give me, by the living God, I would not have suffered you so to treat

"But you are so badly advised that when there is a man of worth who
discovers your tricks you wish him ill, and make an outcry against him;
and yet some of you, in order to save your money, and others in the hope
of bribes, have been favouring the Spaniard, and doing very wicked work.
No, believe me that God will punish those who for so great a benefit wish
to return me so much evil.  Believe, boldly too, that the King of Spain
will never trust men who have abandoned the party to which they belonged,
and from which they have received so many benefits, and will never
believe a word of what they promise him.  Yet, in order to cover up their
filth, they spread the story that the Queen of England is thinking of
treating for peace without their knowledge.  No, I would rather be dead
than that any one should have occasion to say that I had not kept my
promise.  But princes must listen to both sides, and that can be done
without breach of faith.  For they transact business in a certain way,
and with a princely intelligence, such as private persons cannot imitate.

"You are States, to be sure, but private individuals in regard to
princes.  Certainly, I would never choose to do anything without your
knowledge, and I would never allow the authority which you have among
yourselves, nor your privileges, nor your statutes, to be infringed.
Nor will I allow you to be perturbed in your consciences.  What then
would you more of me?  You have issued a proclamation in your country
that no one is to talk of peace.  Very well, very good.  But permit
princes likewise to do as they shall think best for the security of their
state, provided it does you no injury.  Among us princes we are not wont
to make such long orations as you do, but you ought to be content with
the few words that we bestow upon you, and make yourself quiet thereby.

"If I ever do anything for you again, I choose to be treated more
honourably.  I shall therefore appoint some personages of my council to
communicate with you.  And in the first place I choose to hear and see
for myself what has taken place already, and have satisfaction about
that, before I make any reply to what you have said to me as to greater
assistance.  And so I will leave you to-day, without troubling you

With this her Majesty swept from the apartment, leaving the deputies
somewhat astounded at the fierce but adroit manner in which the tables
had for a moment been turned upon them.

It was certainly a most unexpected blow, this charge of the States having
left the English soldiers--whose numbers the Queen had so suddenly
multiplied by three--unpaid and unfed.  Those Englishmen who, as
individuals, had entered the States' service, had been--like all the
other troops regularly paid.  This distinctly appeared from the
statements of her own counsellors and generals.  On the other hand,
the Queen's contingent, now dwindled to about half their original
number, had been notoriously unpaid for nearly six months.

This has already been made sufficiently clear from the private letters
of most responsible persons.  That these soldiers were starving,
deserting; and pillaging, was, alas! too true; but the envoys of the
States hardly expected to be censured by her Majesty, because she had
neglected to pay her own troops.  It was one of the points concerning
which they had been especially enjoined to complain, that the English
cavalry, converted into highwaymen by want of pay, had been plundering
the peasantry, and we have seen that Thomas Wilkes had "pawned his
carcase" to provide for their temporary relief.

With regard to the insinuation that prominent personages in the country
had been tampered with by the enemy, the envoys were equally astonished
by such an attack.  The great Deventer treason had not yet been heard of
in England for it had occurred only a week before this first interview--
but something of the kind was already feared; for the slippery dealings
of York and Stanley with Tassis and Parma, had long been causing painful
anxiety, and had formed the subject of repeated remonstrances on the part
of the 'States' to Leicester and to the Queen.  The deputies were hardly,
prepared therefore to defend their own people against dealing privately
with the King of Spain.  The only man suspected of such practices was
Leicester's own favourite and financier, Jacques Ringault, whom the Earl
had persisted in employing against the angry remonstrances of the States,
who believed him to be a Spanish spy; and the man was now in prison, and
threatened with capital punishment.

To suppose that Buys or Barneveld, Roorda, Meetkerk, or any other leading
statesman in the Netherlands, was contemplating a private arrangement
with Philip II., was as ludicrous a conception as to imagine Walsingham
a pensioner of the Pope, or Cecil in league with the Duke of Guise.  The
end and aim of the States' party was war.  In war they not only saw the
safety of the reformed religion, but the only means of maintaining the
commercial prosperity of the commonwealth.  The whole correspondence of
the times shows that no politician in the country dreamed of peace,
either by public or secret negotiation.  On the other hand--as will be
made still clearer than ever--the Queen was longing for peace, and was
treating for peace at that moment through private agents, quite without
the knowledge of the States, and in spite of her indignant disavowals in
her speech to the envoys.

Yet if Elizabeth could have had the privilege of entering--as we are
about to do--into the private cabinet of that excellent King of Spain,
with whom, she had once been such good friends, who had even sought her
hand in marriage, and with whom she saw no reason whatever why she should
not live at peace, she might have modified her expressions an this
subject.  Certainly, if she could have looked through the piles of
papers--as we intend to do--which lay upon that library-table, far beyond
the seas and mountains, she would have perceived some objections to the
scheme of living at peace with that diligent letter-writer.

Perhaps, had she known how the subtle Farnese was about to express
himself concerning the fast-approaching execution of Mary, and the as
inevitably impending destruction of "that Englishwoman" through the
schemes of his master and himself, she would have paid less heed to the
sentiments couched in most exquisite Italian which Alexander was at the
same time whispering in her ear, and would have taken less offence at the
blunt language of the States-General.

Nevertheless, for the present, Elizabeth would give no better answer than
the hot-tempered one which had already somewhat discomfited the deputies.

Two days afterwards, the five envoys had an interview with several
members of her Majesty's council, in the private apartment of the Lord-
Treasurer in Greenwich Palace.  Burghley, being indisposed, was lying
upon his bed.  Leicester, Admiral Lord Howard, Lord Hunsden, Sir
Christopher Hatton, Lord Buckhurst, and Secretary Davison, were present,
and the Lord-Treasurer proposed that the conversation should be in Latin,
that being the common language most familiar to them all.  Then, turning
over the leaves of the report, a copy of which lay on his bed, he asked
the envoys, whether, in case her Majesty had not sent over the assistance
which she had done under the Earl of Leicester, their country would not
have been utterly ruined.

"To all appearance, yes," replied Menyn.

"But," continued Burghley, still running through the pages of the
document, and here and there demanding an explanation of an obscure
passage or two, "you are now proposing to her Majesty to send 10,000 foot
and 2000 horse, and to lend L60,000.  This is altogether monstrous and
excessive.  Nobody will ever dare even to speak to her Majesty on the
subject.  When you first came in 1585, you asked for 12,000 men, but you
were fully authorized to accept 6000.  No doubt that is the case now."

"On that occasion," answered Menyn, "our main purpose was to induce her
Majesty to accept the sovereignty, or at least the perpetual protection
of our country.  Failing in that we broached the third point, and not
being able to get 12,000 soldiers we compounded for 5000, the agreement
being subject to ratification by our principals.  We gave ample security
in shape of the mortgaged cities.  But experience has shown us that these
forces and this succour are insufficient.  We have therefore been sent to
beg her Majesty to make up the contingent to the amount originally

"But we are obliged to increase the garrisons in the cautionary towns,"
said one of the English councillors, "as 800 men in a city like Flushing
are very little."

"Pardon me," replied Valck, "the burghers are not enemies but friends to
her Majesty and to the English nation.  They are her dutiful subjects
like all the inhabitants of the Netherlands."

"It is quite true," said Burghley, after having made some critical
remarks upon the military system of the Provinces, "and a very common
adage, 'quod tunc tua res agitur, paries cum proximus ardet,' but,
nevertheless, this war principally concerns you.  Therefore you are bound
to do your utmost to meet its expenses in your own country, quite as much
as a man who means to build a house is expected to provide the stone and
timber himself.  But the States have not done their best.  They have not
at the appointed time come forward with their extraordinary contributions
for the last campaign.  "How many men," he asked, "are required for
garrisons in all the fortresses and cities, and for the field?"

"But," interposed Lord Hunsden, "not half so many men are needed in the
garrisons; for the burghers ought to be able to defend their own cities.
Moreover it is probable that your ordinary contributions might be
continued and doubled and even tripled."

"And on the whole," observed the Lord Admiral, "don't you think that the
putting an army in the field might be dispensed with for this year?  Her
Majesty at present must get together and equip a fleet of war vessels
against the King of Spain, which will be an excessively large pennyworth,
besides the assistance which she gives her neighbours."

"Yes, indeed," said Secretary Davison, "it would be difficult to
exaggerate the enormous expense which her Majesty must encounter this
year for defending and liberating her own kingdoms against the King of
Spain.  That monarch is making great naval preparations, and is treating
all Englishmen in the most hostile manner.  We are on the brink of
declared war with Spain, with the French King, who is arresting all
English persons and property within his kingdom, and with Scotland, all
which countries are understood to have made a league together on account
of the Queen of Scotland, whom it will be absolutely necessary to put to
death in order to preserve the life of her Majesty, and are about to make
war upon England.  This matter then will cost us, the current year, at
least eight hundred thousand pounds sterling.  Nevertheless her Majesty
is sure to assist you so far as her means allow; and I, for my part, will
do my best to keep her Majesty well disposed to your cause, even as I
have ever done, as you well know."

Thus spoke poor Davison, but a few days before the fatal 8th of February,
little dreaming that the day for his influencing the disposition of her
Majesty would soon be gone, and that he was himself to be crushed for
ever by the blow which was about to destroy the captive Queen.  The
political combinations resulting from the tragedy were not to be exactly
as he foretold, but there is little doubt that in him the Netherlands,
and Leicester, and the Queen of England, were to lose an honest,
diligent, and faithful friend.

"Well, gentlemen," said the Lord-Treasurer, after a few more questions
concerning the financial abilities of the States had been asked and
answered, "it is getting late into the evening, and time for you all to
get back to London.  Let me request you, as soon as may be, to draw up
some articles in writing, to which we will respond immediately."

Menyn then, in the name of the deputies, expressed thanks for the
urbanity shown them in the conference, and spoke of the deep regret with
which they had perceived, by her Majesty's answer two days before, that
she was so highly offended with them and with the States-General.  He
then, notwithstanding Burghley's previous hint as to the lateness of the
hour, took up the Queen's answer, point by point, contradicted all its
statements, appealing frequently to Lord Leicester for confirmation of
what he advanced, and concluded by begging the councillors to defend the
cause of the Netherlands to her Majesty, Burghley requested them to make
an excuse or reply to the Queen in writing, and send it to him to
present.  Thus the conference terminated, and the envoys returned to
London.  They were fully convinced by the result of, these interviews,
as they told their constituents, that her Majesty, by false statements
and reports of persons either grossly ignorant or not having the good of
the commonwealth before their eyes, had been very incorrectly informed as
to the condition of the Provinces, and of the great efforts made by the
States-General to defend their country against the enemy: It was obvious,
they said, that their measures had been exaggerated in order to deceive
the Queen and her council.

And thus statements and counter-statements, protocols and apostilles,
were glibly exchanged; the heap of diplomatic rubbish was rising higher
and higher, and the councillors and envoys, pleased with their work, were
growing more and more amicable, when the court was suddenly startled by
the news of the Deventer and Zutphen treason.  The intelligence was
accompanied by the famous 4th of February letter, which descended, like a
bombshell, in the midst of the, decorous council-chamber.  Such language
had rarely been addressed to the Earl of Leicester, and; through him; to
the imperious sovereign herself, as the homely truths with which
Barneveld, speaking with the voice of the States-General, now smote the
delinquent governor.

"My Lord," said he, "it is notorious; and needs no illustration whatever,
with what true confidence and unfeigned affection we received your
Excellency in our land; the States-General, the States-Provincial,
the magistrates, and the communities of the chief cities in the United
Provinces, all uniting to do honour to her serene Majesty of England
and to yourself, and to confer upon you the government-general over us.
And although we should willingly have placed some limitations upon the
authority thus bestowed on you; in, order that by such a course your own
honour and the good and constitutional condition of the country might be
alike preserved, yet finding your Excellency not satisfied with those
limitations, we postponed every objection, and conformed ourselves
to your pleasure.  Yet; before coming to that decision, we had well
considered that by doing so we might be opening a door to many ambitious,
avaricious, and pernicious persons, both of these countries and from
other nations, who might seize the occasion to advance their own private
profits, to the detriment of the country and the dishonour of your

"And, in truth, such persons have done their work so efficiently as to
inspire you with distrust against the most faithful and capable men in
the Provinces, against the Estates General and Provincial, magistrates,
and private persons, knowing very well that they could never arrive
at their own ends so long as you were guided by the constitutional
authorities of the country.  And precisely upon the distrust; thus
created as a foundation, they raised a back-stairs council, by means
of which they were able to further their ambitious, avaricious, and
seditious practices, notwithstanding the good advice and remonstrances
of the council of state, and the States General and Provincial."

He proceeded to handle the subjects of the English rose-noble; put in
circulation by Leicester's finance or back-stairs council at two florins
above its value, to the manifest detriment of the Provinces, to the
detestable embargo which had prevented them from using the means bestowed
upon them by God himself to defend their country, to the squandering.
and embezzlement of the large sums contributed by the Province; and
entrusted to the Earl's administration; to the starving condition of the
soldiers; maltreated by government, and thus compelled to prey upon the
inhabitants--so that troops in the States' service had never been so
abused during the whole war, although the States had never before voted
such large contributions nor paid them so promptly--to the placing in
posts of high honour and trust men of notoriously bad character and even
Spanish spies; to the taking away the public authority from those to whom
it legitimately belonged, and conferring it on incompetent and
unqualified persons; to the illegal banishment of respectable citizens,
to the violation of time-honoured laws and privileges, to the shameful
attempts to repudiate the ancient authority of the States, and to usurp a
control over the communities and nobles by them represented, and to the
perpetual efforts to foster dissension, disunion, and rebellion among the
inhabitants.  Having thus drawn up a heavy bill of indictment, nominally
against the Earl's illegal counsellors, but in reality against the Earl
himself, he proceeded to deal with the most important matter of all.

"The principal cities and fortresses in the country have been placed in
hands of men suspected by the States on legitimate grounds, men who had
been convicted of treason against these Provinces, and who continued to
be suspected, notwithstanding that your Excellency had pledged your own
honour for their fidelity.  Finally, by means of these scoundrels, it was
brought to pass, that the council of state having been invested by your
Excellency with supreme authority during your absence--a secret document,
was brought to light after your departure, by which the most substantial
matters, and those most vital to the defence of the country, were
withdrawn from the disposition of that council.  And now, alas, we see
the effects of these practices!

"Sir William Stanley, by you appointed governor of Deventer, and Rowland
York, governor of Fort Zutphen, have refused, by virtue of that secret
document, to acknowledge any authority in this country.  And
notwithstanding that since your departure they and their soldiers have
been supported at our expense, and had just received a full month's pay
from the States, they have traitorously and villainously delivered the
city and the fortress to the enemy, with a declaration made by Stanley
that he did the deed to ease his conscience, and to render to the King of
Spain the city which of right was belonging to him.  And this is a crime
so dishonourable, scandalous, ruinous, and treasonable, as that, during
this, whole war, we have never seen the like.  And we are now, in daily
fear lest the English commanders in Bergen-op-Zoom, Ostend, and other
cities, should commit the same crime.  And although we fully suspected
the designs of Stanley and York, yet your Excellency's secret document
had deprived us of the power to act.

"We doubt not that her Majesty and your Excellency will think this
strange language.  But we can assure you, that we too think it strange
and grievous that those places should have been confided to such men,
against our repeated remonstrances, and that, moreover, this very Stanley
should have been recommended by your Excellency for general of all the
forces.  And although we had many just and grave reasons for opposing
your administration--even as our ancestors were often wont to rise
against the sovereigns of the country--we have, nevertheless, patiently
suffered for a long time, in order not to diminish your authority, which
we deemed so important to our welfare, and in the hope that you would at
last be moved by the perilous condition of the commonwealth, and awake to
the artifices of your advisers.

"But at last-feeling that the existence of the state can no longer be
preserved without proper authority, and that the whole community is full
of emotion and distrust, on account of these great treasons--we, the
States-General, as well as the States-Provincial, have felt constrained
to establish such a government as we deem meet for the emergency.  And of
this we think proper to apprize your Excellency."

He then expressed the conviction that all these evil deeds had been
accomplished against the intentions of the Earl and the English
government, and requested his Excellency so to deal with her Majesty that
the contingent of horse and foot hitherto accorded by her "might be
maintained in good order, and in better pay."

Here, then, was substantial choleric phraseology, as good plain speaking
as her Majesty had just been employing, and with quite as sufficient
cause.  Here was no pleasant diplomatic fencing, but straightforward
vigorous thrusts.  It was no wonder that poor Wilkes should have thought
the letter "too sharp," when he heard it read in the assembly, and that
he should have done his best to prevent it from being despatched.  He
would have thought it sharper could he have seen how the pride of her
Majesty and of Leicester was wounded by it to the quick.  Her list of
grievances against the States seem to vanish into air.  Who had been
tampering with the Spaniards now?  Had that "shadowy and imaginary
authority" granted to Leicester not proved substantial enough?  Was it
the States-General, the state-council, or was it the "absolute governor"
--who had carried off the supreme control of the commonwealth in his
pocket--that was responsible for the ruin effected by Englishmen who had
scorned all "authority" but his own?

The States, in another blunt letter to the Queen herself, declared the
loss of Deventer to be more disastrous to them than even the fall of
Antwerp had been; for the republic had now been split asunder, and its
most ancient and vital portions almost cut away.  Nevertheless they were
not "dazzled nor despairing," they said, but more determined than ever to
maintain their liberties, and bid defiance to the Spanish tyrant.  And
again they demanded of, rather than implored; her Majesty to be true to
her engagements with them.

The interviews which followed were more tempestuous than ever.  "I had
intended that my Lord of Leicester should return to you," she said to the
envoys.  "But that shall never be.  He has been treated with gross
ingratitude, he has served the Provinces with ability, he has consumed
his own property there, he has risked his life, he has lost his near
kinsman, Sir Philip Sidney, whose life I should be glad to purchase with
many millions, and, in place of all reward, he receives these venomous
letters, of which a copy has been sent to his sovereign to blacken him
with her."  She had been advising him to return, she added, but she was
now resolved that he should "never set foot in the Provinces again."

Here the Earl, who, was present, exclaimed--beating himself on the
breast--"a tali officio libera nos, Domine!"

But the States, undaunted by these explosions of wrath, replied that it
had ever been their custom, when their laws and liberties were invaded,
to speak their mind boldly to kings and governors, and to procure redress
of their grievances, as became free men.

During that whole spring the Queen was at daggers drawn with all her
leading counsellors, mainly in regard to that great question of
questions--the relations of England with the Netherlands and Spain.
Walsingham--who felt it madness to dream of peace, and who believed it
the soundest policy to deal with Parma and his veterans upon the soil of
Flanders, with the forces of the republic for allies, rather than to
await his arrival in London--was driven almost to frenzy by what he
deemed the Queen's perverseness.

"Our sharp words continue," said the Secretary, "which doth greatly
disquiet her Majesty, and discomfort her poor servants that attend her.
The Lord-Treasurer remaineth still in disgrace, and, behind my back,
her Majesty giveth out very hard speeches of myself, which I the rather
credit, for that I find, in dealing with her, I am nothing gracious;
and if her Majesty could be otherwise served, I know I should not be used
.  .  .  .  .  Her Majesty doth wholly lend herself to devise some
further means to disgrace her poor council, in respect whereof she
neglecteth all other causes .  .  .  .  .  The discord between her
Majesty and her council hindereth the necessary consultations that were
to be destined for the preventing of the manifold perils that hang over
this realm .  .  .  .  .  .  Sir Christopher Hatton hath dealt very
plainly and dutifully with her, which hath been accepted in so evil part
as he is resolved to retire for a time.  I assure you I find every man
weary of attendance here .  .  .  .  .  .  I would to God I could find
as good resolution in her Majesty to proceed in a princely course in
relieving the United Provinces, as I find an honorable disposition in
your Lordship to employ yourself in their service."

The Lord-Treasurer was much puzzled, very wretched, but philosophically
resigned.  "Why her Majesty useth me thus strangely, I know not," he
observed.  "To some she saith that she meant not I should have gone from
the court; to some she saith, she may not admit me, nor give me
contentment.  I shall dispose myself to enjoy God's favour, and shall do
nothing to deserve her disfavour.  And if I be suffered to be a stranger
to her affairs, I shall have a quieter life."

Leicester, after the first burst of his anger was over, was willing to
return to the Provinces.  He protested that he had a greater affection
for the Netherland people--not for the governing powers--even than he
felt for the people of England.--"There is nothing sticks in my
stomach," he said, "but the good-will of that poor afflicted people, for
whom, I take God to record, I could be content to lose any limb I have to
do them good."  But he was crippled with debt, and the Queen resolutely
refused to lend him a few thousand pounds, without which he could not
stir.  Walsingham in vain did battle with her parsimony, representing how
urgently and vividly the necessity of his return had been depicted by all
her ministers in both countries, and how much it imported to her own
safety and service.  But she was obdurate.  "She would rather," he said
bitterly to Leicester, "hazard the increase of confusion there--which may
put the whole country in peril--than supply your want.  The like course
she holdeth in the rest of her causes, which maketh me to wish myself
from the helm."  At last she agreed to advance him ten thousand pounds,
but on so severe conditions, that the Earl declared himself heart-broken
again, and protested that he would neither accept the money, nor ever set
foot in the Netherlands.  "Let Norris stay there," he said in a fury;
"he will do admirably, no doubt.  Only let it not be supposed that I can
be there also.  Not for one hundred thousand pounds would I be in that
country with him."

Meantime it was agreed that Lord Buckhurst should be sent forth on what
Wilkes termed a mission of expostulation, and a very ill-timed one.  This
new envoy was to inquire into the causes of the discontent, and to do his
best to remove them: as if any man in England or in Holland doubted as to
the causes, or as to the best means of removing them; or as if it were
not absolutely certain that delay was the very worst specific that could
be adopted--delay--which the Netherland statesmen, as well as the Queen's
wisest counsellors, most deprecated, which Alexander and Philip most
desired, and by indulging in which her Majesty was most directly playing
into her adversary's hand.  Elizabeth was preparing to put cards upon the
table against an antagonist whose game was close, whose honesty was
always to be suspected, and who was a consummate master in what was then
considered diplomatic sleight of hand.  So Lord Buckhurst was to go forth
to expostulate at the Hague, while transports were loading in Cadiz and
Lisbon, reiters levying in Germany, pikemen and musketeers in Spain and
Italy, for a purpose concerning which Walsingham and Barneveld had for a
long time felt little doubt.

Meantime Lord Leicester went to Bath to drink the waters, and after
he had drunk the waters, the Queen, ever anxious for his health, was
resolved that he should not lose the benefit of those salubrious draughts
by travelling too soon, or by plunging anew into the fountains of
bitterness which flowed perennially in the Netherlands.


     Buckhurst sent to the Netherlands--Alarming State of Affairs on his
     Arrival--His Efforts to conciliate--Democratic Theories of Wilkes--
     Sophistry of the Argument--Dispute between Wilkes and Barneveld--
     Religious Tolerance by the States--Their Constitutional Theory--
     Deventer's bad Counsels to Leicester--Their pernicious Effect--Real
     and supposed Plots against Hohenlo--Mutual Suspicion and Distrust--
     Buckhurst seeks to restore good Feeling--The Queen angry and
     vindictive--She censures Buckhurst's Course--Leicester's wrath at
     Hohenlo's Charges of a Plot by the Earl to murder him--Buckhurst's
     eloquent Appeals to the Queen--Her perplexing and contradictory
     Orders--Despair of Wilkes--Leicester announces his Return--His
     Instructions--Letter to Junius--Barneveld denounces him in the

We return to the Netherlands.  If ever proof were afforded of the
influence of individual character on the destiny of nations and of the
world, it certainly was seen in the year 1587.  We have lifted the
curtain of the secret council-chamber at Greenwich.  We have seen all
Elizabeth's advisers anxious to arouse her from her fatal credulity,
from her almost as fatal parsimony.  We have seen Leicester anxious to
return, despite all fancied indignities, Walsingham eager to expedite the
enterprise, and the Queen remaining obdurate, while month after month of
precious time was melting away.

In the Netherlands, meantime, discord and confusion had been increasing
every day; and the first great cause of such a dangerous condition of
affairs was the absence of the governor.  To this all parties agreed.
The Leicestrians, the anti-Leicestriana, the Holland party, the Utrecht
party, the English counsellors, the English generals, in private letter,
in solemn act, all warned the Queen against the lamentable effects
resulting from Leicester's inopportune departure and prolonged absence.

On the first outbreak of indignation after the Deventer Affair, Prince
Maurice was placed at the head of the general government, with the
violent Hohenlo as his lieutenant.  The greatest exertions were made by
these two nobles and by Barneveld, who guided the whole policy of the
party, to secure as many cities as possible to their cause.  Magistrates
and commandants of garrisons in many towns willingly gave in their
adhesion to the new government; others refused; especially Diedrich
Sonoy, an officer of distinction, who was governor of Enkhuyzen, and
influential throughout North Holland, and who remained a stanch partisan
of Leicester.  Utrecht, the stronghold of the Leicestrians, was wavering
and much torn by faction; Hohenlo and Moeurs had "banquetted and feasted"
to such good purpose that they had gained over half the captains of the
burgher-guard, and, aided by the branch of nobles, were making a good
fight against the Leicester magistracy and the clerical force, enriched
by the plunder of the old Catholic livings, who denounced as Papistical
and Hispaniolized all who favoured the party of Maurice and Barneveld.

By the end of March the envoys returned from London, and in their company
came Lord Buckhurst, as special ambassador from the Queen.

Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst--afterwards Earl of Dorset and lord-
treasurer--was then fifty-one years of age.  A man of large culture-poet,
dramatist, diplomatist-bred to the bar; afterwards elevated to the
peerage; endowed with high character and strong intellect; ready with
tongue and pen; handsome of person, and with a fascinating address, he
was as fit a person to send on a mission of expostulation as any man to
be found in England.  But the author of the 'Induction to the Mirror for
Magistrates' and of 'Gorboduc,' had come to the Netherlands on a forlorn
hope.  To expostulate in favour of peace with a people who knew that
their existence depended on war, to reconcile those to delay who felt
that delay was death, and to, heal animosities between men who were
enemies from their cradles to their graves, was a difficult mission.
But the chief ostensible object of Buckhurst was to smooth the way for
Leicester, and, if possible, to persuade the Netherlanders as to the good
inclinations of the English government.  This was no easy task, for they
knew that their envoys had been dismissed, without even a promise of
subsidy.  They had asked for twelve thousand soldiers and sixty thousand
pounds, and had received a volley of abuse.  Over and over again, through
many months, the Queen fell into a paroxysm of rage when even an allusion
was made to the loan of fifty or sixty thousand pounds; and even had she
promised the money, it would have given but little satisfaction.  As
Count Moeurs observed, he would rather see one English rose-noble than a
hundred royal promises.  So the Hollanders and Zeelanders--not fearing
Leicester's influence within their little morsel of a territory--were
concentrating their means of resistance upon their own soil, intending to
resist Spain, and, if necessary, England, in their last ditch, and with
the last drop of their blood.

While such was the condition of affairs, Lord Buckhurst landed at
Flushing--four months after the departure of Leicester--on the 24th
March, having been tossing three days and nights at sea in a great storm,
"miserably sick and in great danger of drowning."  Sir William Russell,
governor of Flushing, informed him of the progress making by Prince
Maurice in virtue of his new authority.  He told him that the Zeeland
regiment, vacant by Sidney's death, and which the Queen wished bestowed
upon Russell himself, had been given to Count Solms; a circumstance which
was very sure to exite her Majesty's ire; but that the greater number,
and those of the better sort; disliked the alteration of government, and
relied entirely upon the Queen.  Sainte Aldegonde visited him at
Middelburgh, and in a "long discourse" expressed the most friendly
sentiments towards England, with free offers of personal service.
"Nevertheless," said Buckhurst, cautiously, "I mean to trust the effect,
not his words, and so I hope he will not much deceive me.  His opinion is
that the Earl of Leicester's absence hath chiefly caused this change, and
that without his return it will hardly be restored again, but that upon
his arrival all these clouds will prove but a summershower."

As a matter of course the new ambassador lifted up his voice, immediately
after setting foot on shore, in favour of the starving soldiers of his
Queen.  "'Tis a most lamentable thing," said he, "to hear the complaints
of soldiers and captains for want of pay."  .  .  .  .  Whole companies
made their way into his presence, literally crying aloud for bread.  "For
Jesus' sake," wrote Buckhurst, "hasten to send relief with all speed, and
let such victuallers be appointed as have a conscience not to make
themselves rich with the famine of poor soldiers.  If her Majesty send
not money, and that with speed, for their payment, I am afraid to think
what mischief and miseries are like to follow."

Then the ambassador proceeded to the Hague, holding interviews with
influential personages in private, and with the States-General in public.
Such was the charm of his manner, and so firm the conviction of sincerity
and good-will which he inspired, that in the course of a fortnight there
was already a sensible change in the aspect of affairs.  The enemy, who,
at the time of their arrival, had been making bonfires and holding
triumphal processions for joy of the great breach between Holland and
England, and had been "hoping to swallow them all up, while there were so
few left who knew how to act," were already manifesting disappointment.

In a solemn meeting of the States-General with the State-council,
Buckhurst addressed the assembly upon the general subject of her
Majesty's goodness to the Netherlands.  He spoke of the gracious
assistance rendered by her, notwithstanding her many special charges for
the common cause, and of the mighty enmities which she had incurred for
their sake.  He sharply censured the Hollanders for their cruelty to men
who had shed their blood in their cause, but who were now driven forth
from their towns; and left to starve on the highways, and hated for their
nation's sake; as if the whole English name deserved to be soiled "for
the treachery of two miscreants."  He spoke strongly of their demeanour
towards the Earl of Leicester, and of the wrongs they had done him, and
told them, that, if they were not ready to atone to her Majesty for such
injuries, they were not to wonder if their deputies received no better
answer at her hands.  "She who embraced your cause," he said, "when other
mighty princes forsook you, will still stand fast unto you, yea, and
increase her goodness, if her present state may suffer it."

After being addressed in this manner the council of state made what
Counsellor Clerk called a "very honest, modest, and wise answer;" but the
States-General, not being able "so easily to discharge that which had so
long boiled within them," deferred their reply until the following day.
They then brought forward a deliberate rejoinder, in which they expressed
themselves devoted to her Majesty, and, on the whole, well disposed to
the Earl.  As to the 4th February letter, it had been written "in
amaritudine cordis," upon hearing the treasons of York and Stanley, and
in accordance with "their custom and liberty used towards all princes,
whereby they had long preserved their estate," and in the conviction that
the real culprits for all the sins of his Excellency's government were
certain "lewd persons who sought to seduce his Lordship, and to cause him
to hate the States."

Buckhurst did not think it well to reply, at that moment, on the ground
that there had been already crimination and recrimination more than
enough, and that "a little bitterness more had rather caused them to
determine dangerously than solve for the best."

They then held council together--the envoys and the State-General, as to
the amount of troops absolutely necessary--casting up the matter "as
pinchingly as possibly might be." And the result was, that 20,000 foot
and 2000 horse for garrison work, and an army of 13,000 foot, 5000 horse,
and pioneers, for a campaign of five or six months, were pronounced
indispensable.  This would require all their L240,000 sterling a-year,
regular contribution, her Majesty's contingent of L140,000, and an extra
sum of L150,000 sterling.  Of this sum the States requested her Majesty
should furnish two-thirds, while they agreed to furnish the other third,
which would make in all L240,000 for the Queen, and L290,000 for the
States.  As it was understood that the English subsidies were only a
loan, secured by mortgage of the cautionary towns, this did not seem very
unreasonable, when the intimate blending of England's welfare with that
of the Provinces was considered.

Thus it will be observed that Lord Buckhurst--while doing his best to
conciliate personal feuds and heart-burnings--had done full justice to
the merits of Leicester, and had placed in strongest light the favours
conferred by her Majesty.

He then proceeded to Utrecht, where he was received with many
demonstrations of respect, "with solemn speeches" from magistrates and
burgher-captains, with military processions, and with great banquets,
which were, however, conducted with decorum, and at which even Count
Moeurs excited universal astonishment by his sobriety.  It was difficult,
however, for matters to go very smoothly, except upon the surface.  What
could be more disastrous than for a little commonwealth--a mere handful
of people, like these Netherlanders, engaged in mortal combat with the
most powerful monarch in the world, and with the first general of the
age, within a league of their borders--thus to be deprived of all
organized government at a most critical moment, and to be left to wrangle
with their allies and among themselves, as to the form of polity to be
adopted, while waiting the pleasure of a capricious and despotic woman?

And the very foundation of the authority by which the Spanish yoke had
been abjured, the sovereignty offered to Elizabeth, and the government-
general conferred on Leicester, was fiercely assailed by the confidential
agents of Elizabeth herself.  The dispute went into the very depths of
the social contract.  Already Wilkes, standing up stoutly for the
democratic views of the governor, who was so foully to requite him, had
assured the English government that the "people were ready to cut the
throats" of the Staten-General at any convenient moment.  The sovereign
people, not the deputies, were alone to be heeded, he said, and although
he never informed the world by what process he had learned the deliberate
opinion of that sovereign, as there had been no assembly excepting those
of the States-General and States-Provincial--he was none the less fully
satisfied that the people were all with Leicester, and bitterly opposed
to the States.

"For the sovereignty, or supreme authority," said he, through failure of
a legitimate prince, belongs to the people, and not to you, gentlemen,
who are only servants, ministers, and deputies of the people.  You have
your commissions or instructions surrounded by limitations--which
conditions are so widely different from the power of sovereignty, as the
might of the subject is in regard to his prince, or of a servant in,
respect to his master.  For sovereignty is not limited either as to power
or as to time.  Still less do you represent the sovereignty; for the
people, in giving the general and absolute government to the Earl of
Leicester, have conferred upon him at once the exercise of justice, the
administration of polity, of naval affairs, of war, and of all the other
points of sovereignty.  Of these a governor-general is however only the
depositary or guardian, until such time as it may please the prince or
people to revoke the trust; there being no other in this state who can do
this; seeing that it was the people, through the instrumentality of your
offices--through you as its servants--conferred on his Excellency, this
power, authority, and government.  According to the common rule law,
therefore, 'quo jure quid statuitur, eodem jure tolli debet.'  You having
been fully empowered by the provinces and cities, or, to speak more
correctly, by your masters and superiors, to confer the government on
his Excellency, it follows that you require a like power in order to take
it away either in whole or in part.  If then you had no commission to
curtail his authority, or even that of the state-council, and thus to
tread upon and usurp his power as governor general and absolute, there
follows of two things one: either you did not well understand what you
were doing, nor duly consider how far that power reached, or--much more
probably--you have fallen into the sin of disobedience, considering how
solemnly you swore allegiance to him.

Thus subtly and ably did Wilkes defend the authority of the man who had
deserted his post at a most critical moment, and had compelled the
States, by his dereliction, to take the government into their own hands.

For, after all, the whole argument of the English counsellor rested upon
a quibble.  The people were absolutely sovereign, he said, and had lent
that sovereignty to Leicester.  How had they made that loan?  Through the
machinery of the States-General.  So long then as the Earl retained the
absolute sovereignty, the States were not even representatives of the
sovereign people.  The sovereign people was merged into one English Earl.
The English Earl had retired--indefinitely--to England.  Was the
sovereign people to wait for months, or years, before it regained its
existence?  And if not, how was it to reassert its vitality?  How but
through the agency of the States-General, who--according to Wilkes
himself--had been fully empowered by the Provinces and Cities to confer
the government on the Earl?  The people then, after all, were the
provinces and cities.  And the States-General were at that moment as much
qualified to represent those provinces and cities as they ever had been,
and they claimed no more.  Wilkes, nor any other of the Leicester party,
ever hinted at a general assembly of the people.  Universal suffrage was
not dreamed of at that day.  By the people, he meant, if he meant
anything, only that very small fraction of the inhabitants of a country,
who, according to the English system, in the reign of Elizabeth,
constituted its Commons.  He chose, rather from personal and political
motives than philosophical ones, to draw a distinction between the people
and the States, but it is quite obvious, from the tone of his private
communications, that by the 'States' he meant the individuals who
happened, for the time-being, to be the deputies of the States of each
Province.  But it was almost an affectation to accuse those individuals
of calling or considering themselves 'sovereigns;' for it was very well
known that they sat as envoys, rather than as members of a congress, and
were perpetually obliged to recur to their constituents, the States of
each Province, for instructions.  It was idle, because Buys and
Barneveld, and Roorda, and other leaders, exercised the influence due to
their talents, patriotism, and experience, to stigmatize them as usurpers
of sovereignty, and to hound the rabble upon them as tyrants and
mischief-makers.  Yet to take this course pleased the Earl of Leicester,
who saw no hope for the liberty of the people, unless absolute and
unconditional authority over the people, in war, naval affairs, justice,
and policy, were placed in his hands.  This was the view sustained by the
clergy of the Reformed Church, because they found it convenient, through
such a theory, and by Leicester's power, to banish Papists, exercise
intolerance in matters of religion, sequestrate for their own private
uses the property of the Catholic Church, and obtain for their own a
political power which was repugnant to the more liberal ideas of the
Barneveld party.

The States of Holland--inspired as it were by the memory of that great
martyr to religious and political liberty, William the Silent--maintained
freedom of conscience.

The Leicester party advocated a different theory on the religious
question.  They were also determined to omit no effort to make the States

"Seeing their violent courses," said Wilkes to Leicester, "I have not
been negligent, as well by solicitations to the ministers, as by my
letters to such as have continued constant in affection to your Lordship,
to have the people informed of the ungrateful and dangerous proceedings
of the States.  They have therein travailed with so good effect, as the
people are now wonderfully well disposed, and have delivered everywhere
in speeches, that if, by the overthwart dealings of the States, her
Majesty shall be drawn to stay her succours and goodness to them, and
that thereby your Lordship be also discouraged to return, they will cut
their throats."

Who the "people" exactly were, that had been so wonderfully well disposed
to throat-cutting by the ministers of the Gospel, did not distinctly
appear.  It was certain, however, that they were the special friends of
Leicester, great orators, very pious, and the sovereigns of the country.
So much could not be gainsaid.

"Your Lordship would wonder," continued the councillor, "to see the
people--who so lately, by the practice of the said States and the
accident of Deventer, were notably alienated--so returned to their former
devotion towards her Majesty, your Lordship, and our nation."

Wilkes was able moreover to gratify the absent governor-general with the
intelligence--of somewhat questionable authenticity however--that the
States were very "much terrified with these threats of the people."  But
Barneveld came down to the council to inquire what member of that body it
was who had accused the States of violating the Earl's authority.
"Whoever he is," said the Advocate, "let him deliver his mind frankly,
and he shall be answered."  The man did not seem much terrified by the
throat-cutting orations.  "It is true," replied Wilkes, perceiving
himself to be the person intended, "that you have very injuriously, in
many of your proceedings, derogated from and trodden the authority of his
Lordship and of this council under your feet."

And then he went into particulars, and discussed, 'more suo,' the
constitutional question, in which various Leicestrian counsellors
seconded him.

But Barneveld grimly maintained that the States were the sovereigns,
and that it was therefore unfit that the governor, who drew his authority
from them, should call them to account for their doings.  "It was as if
the governors in the time of Charles V.," said the Advocate, "should have
taxed that Emperor for any action of his done in the government."

In brief, the rugged Barneveld, with threatening voice, and lion port,
seemed to impersonate the Staten, and to hold reclaimed sovereignty in
his grasp.  It seemed difficult to tear it from him again.

"I did what I could," said Wilkes, "to beat them from this humour of
their sovereignty, showing that upon that error they had grounded the
rest of their wilful absurdities."

Next night, he drew up sixteen articles, showing the disorders of the
States, their breach of oaths, and violations of the Earl's authority;
and with that commenced a series of papers interchanged by the two
parties, in which the topics of the origin of government and the
principles of religious freedom were handled with much ability on both
sides, but at unmerciful length.

On the religious question, the States-General, led by Barneveld and by
Francis Franck, expressed themselves manfully, on various occasions,
during the mission of Buckhurst.

"The nobles and cities constituting the States," they said, "have been
denounced to Lord Leicester as enemies of religion, by the self-seeking
mischief-makers who surround him.  Why?  Because they had refused the
demand of certain preachers to call a general synod, in defiance of the
States-General, and to introduce a set of ordinances, with a system of
discipline, according to their arbitrary will.  This the late Prince of
Orange and the States-General had always thought detrimental both to
religion and polity.  They respected the difference in religious
opinions, and leaving all churches in their freedom, they chose to compel
no man's conscience--a course which all statesmen, knowing the diversity
of human opinions, had considered necessary in order to maintain
fraternal harmony."

Such words shine through the prevailing darkness of the religious
atmosphere at that epoch, like characters of light.  They are beacons in
the upward path of mankind.  Never before, had so bold and wise a tribute
to the genius of the reformation been paid by an organized community.
Individuals walking in advance of their age had enunciated such truths,
and their voices had seemed to die away, but, at last, a little,
struggling, half-developed commonwealth had proclaimed the rights of
conscience for all mankind--for Papists and Calvinists, Jews and
Anabaptists--because "having a respect for differences in religious
opinions, and leaving all churches in their freedom, they chose to compel
no man's conscience."

On the constitutional question, the States commenced by an astounding
absurdity.  "These mischief-makers, moreover," said they, "have not been
ashamed to dispute, and to cause the Earl of Leicester to dispute, the
lawful constitution of the Provinces; a matter which has not been
disputed for eight hundred years."

This was indeed to claim a respectable age for their republic.  Eight
hundred years took them back to the days of Charlemagne, in whose time it
would have been somewhat difficult to detect a germ of their States-
General and States-Provincial.  That the constitutional government--
consisting of nobles and of the vroedschaps of chartered cities--should
have been in existence four hundred and seventeen years before the first
charter had ever been granted to a city, was a very loose style of
argument.  Thomas Wilkes, in reply; might as well have traced the English
parliament to Hengist and Horsa.  "For eight hundred years;" they said,
"Holland had been governed by Counts and Countesses, on whom the nobles
and cities, as representing the States, had legally conferred

Now the first incorporated city of Holland and Zeeland that ever existed
was Middelburg, which received its charter from Count William I. of
Holland and Countess Joan of Flanders; in the year 1217.  The first Count
that had any legal recognized authority was Dirk the First to whom
Charles the Simple presented the territory of Holland, by letters-patent,
in 922.  Yet the States-General, in a solemn and eloquent document,
gravely dated their own existence from the year 787, and claimed the
regular possession and habitual delegation of sovereignty from that epoch

After this fabulous preamble, they proceeded to handle the matter of fact
with logical precision.  It was absurd, they said, that Mr. Wilkes and
Lord Leicester should affect to confound the persons who appeared in the
assembly with the States themselves; as if those individuals claimed or
exercised sovereignty.  Any man who had observed what had been passing
during the last fifteen years, knew very well that the supreme authority
did not belong to the thirty or forty individuals who came to the
meetings .  .  .  .  .  The nobles, by reason of their ancient dignity
and splendid possessions, took counsel together over state matters, and
then, appearing at the assembly, deliberated with the deputies of the
cities.  The cities had mainly one form of government--a college of
counsellors; or wise men, 40, 32, 28, or 24 in number, of the most
respectable out of the whole community.  They were chosen for life, and
vacancies were supplied by the colleges themselves out of the mass of
citizens.  These colleges alone governed the city, and that which had
been ordained by them was to be obeyed by all the inhabitants--a system
against which there had never been any rebellion.  The colleges again,
united with those of the nobles, represented the whole state, the whole
body of the population; and no form of government could be imagined,
they said, that could resolve, with a more thorough knowledge of the
necessities of the country, or that could execute its resolves with more
unity of purpose and decisive authority.  To bring the colleges into an
assembly could only be done by means of deputies.  These deputies, chosen
by their colleges, and properly instructed, were sent to the place of
meeting.  During the war they had always been commissioned to resolve in
common on matters regarding the liberty of the land.  These deputies,
thus assembled, represented, by commission, the States; but they are not,
in their own persons, the States; and no one of them had any such
pretension.  "The people of this country," said the States, "have an
aversion to all ambition; and in these disastrous times, wherein nothing
but trouble and odium is to be gathered by public employment, these
commissions are accounted 'munera necessaria' .  .  .  .  .  This form of
government has, by God's favour, protected Holland and Zeeland, during
this war, against a powerful foe, without lose of territory, without any
popular outbreak, without military mutiny, because all business has been
transacted with open doors; and because the very smallest towns are all
represented, and vote in the assembly."

In brief, the constitution of the United Provinces was a matter of fact.
It was there in good working order, and had, for a generation of mankind,
and throughout a tremendous war, done good service.  Judged by the
principles of reason and justice, it was in the main a wholesome
constitution, securing the independence and welfare of the state, and
the liberty and property of the individual, as well certainly as did any
polity then existing in the world.  It seemed more hopeful to abide by it
yet a little longer than to adopt the throat-cutting system by the
people, recommended by Wilkes and Leicester as an improvement on the old
constitution.  This was the view of Lord Buckhurst.  He felt that threats
of throat-cutting were not the best means of smoothing and conciliating,
and he had come over to smooth and conciliate.

"To spend the time," said he, "in private brabbles and piques between the
States and Lord Leicester, when we ought to prepare an army against the
enemy, and to repair the shaken and torn state, is not a good course for
her Majesty's service."  Letters were continually circulating from hand
to hand among the antagonists of the Holland party, written out of
England by Leicester, exciting the ill-will of the populace against the
organized government.  "By such means to bring the States into hatred,"
said Buckhurst, "and to stir up the people against them; tends to great
damage and miserable end.  This his Lordship doth full little consider,
being the very way to dissolve all government, and so to bring all into
confusion, and open the door for the enemy.  But oh, how lamentable a
thing it is, and how doth my Lord of Leicester abuse her Majesty, making
her authority the means to uphold and justify, and under her name to
defend and maintain, all his intolerable errors.  I thank God that
neither his might nor his malice shall deter me from laying open all
those things which my conscience knoweth, and which appertaineth to be
done for the good of this cause and of her Majesty's service.  Herein,
though I were sure to lose my life, yet will I not offend neither the
one nor the other, knowing very well that I must die; and to die in her
Majesty's faithful service, and with a good conscience, is far more happy
than the miserable life that I am in.  If Leicester do in this sort stir
up the people against the States to follow his revenge against them, and
if the Queen do yield no better aid, and the minds of Count Maurice and
Hohenlo remain thus in fear and hatred of him, what good end or service
can be hoped for here?"--[Buckhurst to Walsingham, 13th June, 1587.
(Brit. Mus.  Galba, D. I. p. 95, MS.)]

Buckhurst was a man of unimpeached integrity and gentle manners.  He had
come over with the best intentions towards the governor-general, and it
has been seen that he boldly defended him in, his first interviews with
the States.  But as the intrigues and underhand plottings of the Earl's
agents were revealed to him, he felt more and more convinced that there
was a deep laid scheme to destroy the government, and to constitute a
virtual and absolute sovereignty for Leicester.  It was not wonderful
that the States were standing vigorously on the defensive.

The subtle Deventer, Leicester's evil genius, did not cease to poison the
mind of the governor, during his protracted absence, against all persons
who offered impediments to the cherished schemes of his master and
himself.  "Your Excellency knows very well," he said, "that the state of
this country is democratic, since, by failure of a prince, the sovereign
disposition of affairs has returned to the people.  That same people is
everywhere so incredibly affectionate towards you that the delay in your
return drives them to extreme despair.  Any one who would know the real
truth has but to remember the fine fear the States-General were in when
the news of your displeasure about the 4th February letter became known."

Had it not been for the efforts of Lord Buckhurst in calming the popular
rage, Deventer assured the Earl that the writers of the letter would
"have scarcely saved their skins;" and that they had always continued in
great danger.

He vehemently urged upon Leicester, the necessity of his immediate
return--not so much for reasons drawn from the distracted state of the
country, thus left to a provisional government and torn by faction--but
because of the facility with which he might at once seize upon arbitrary
power.  He gratified his master by depicting in lively colours the abject
condition into which Barneveld, Maurice, Hohenlo, and similar cowards,
would be thrown by his sudden return.

"If," said he, "the States' members and the counts, every one of them,
are so desperately afraid of the people, even while your Excellency is
afar off, in what trepidation will they be when you are here!  God,
reason, the affection of the sovereign people, are on your side.  There
needs, in a little commonwealth like ours, but a wink of the eye, the
slightest indication of dissatisfaction on your part, to take away all
their valour from men who are only brave where swords are too short.
A magnanimous prince like yourself should seek at once the place where
such plots are hatching, and you would see the fury of the rebels change
at once to cowardice.  There is more than one man here in the Netherlands
that brags of what he will do against the greatest and most highly
endowed prince in England, because he thinks he shall never see him
again, who, at the very first news of your return, my Lord, would think
only of packing his portmanteau, greasing his boots, or, at the very
least, of sneaking back into his hole."

But the sturdy democrat was quite sure that his Excellency, that most
magnanimous prince of England would not desert his faithful followers--
thereby giving those "filthy rascals," his opponents, a triumph, and
"doing so great an injury to the sovereign people, who were ready to get
rid of them all at a single blow, if his Excellency would but say the

He then implored the magnanimous prince to imitate the example of Moses,
Joshua, David, and that of all great emperors and captains, Hebrew,
Greek, and Roman, to come at once to the scene of action, and to smite
his enemies hip and thigh.  He also informed his Excellency, that if the
delay should last much longer, he would lose all chance of regaining
power, because the sovereign people had quite made up their mind to
return to the dominion of Spain within three months, if they could not
induce his Excellency to rule over them.  In that way at least, if in
no other, they could circumvent those filthy rascals whom they so much
abhorred, and frustrate the designs of Maurice, Hohenlo, and Sir John
Norris, who were represented as occupying the position of the triumvirs
after the death of Julius Caesar.

To place its neck under the yoke of Philip II.  and the Inquisition,
after having so handsomely got rid of both, did not seem a sublime
manifestation of sovereignty on the part of the people, and even Deventer
had some misgivings as to the propriety of such a result.  "What then
will become of our beautiful churches?"  he cried, "What will princes
say, what will the world in general say, what will historians say, about
the honour of the English nation?"

As to the first question, it is probable that the prospect of the
reformed churches would not have been cheerful, had the inquisition been
re-established in Holland and Utrecht, three months after that date.  As
to the second, the world and history were likely to reply, that the
honour of the English nation was fortunately not entirely, entrusted at
that epoch to the "magnanimous prince" of Leicester, and his democratic,
counsellor-in-chief, burgomaster Deventer.

These are but samples of the ravings which sounded incessantly in the
ears of the governor-general.  Was it strange that a man, so thirsty for
power, so gluttonous of flattery, should be influenced by such passionate
appeals?  Addressed in strains of fulsome adulation, convinced that
arbitrary power was within his reach, and assured that he had but to wink
his eye to see his enemies scattered before him, he became impatient of
all restraint; and determined, on his return, to crush the States into

Thus, while Buckhurst had been doing his best as a mediator to prepare
the path for his return, Leicester himself end his partisans had been
secretly exerting themselves to make his arrival the signal for discord;
perhaps of civil war.  The calm, then, immediately succeeding the mission
of Buckhurst was a deceitful one, but it seemed very promising. The best
feelings were avowed and perhaps entertained.  The States professed great
devotion to her Majesty and friendly regard for the governor.  They
distinctly declared that the arrangements by which Maurice and Hohenlo
had been placed in their new positions were purely provisional ones,
subject to modifications on the arrival of the Earl.  "All things are
reduced to a quiet calm," said Buckhurst, "ready to receive my Lord of
Leicester and his authority, whenever he cometh."

The quarrel of Hohenlo with Sir Edward Norris had been, by the exertions
of Buckhurst, amicably arranged: the Count became an intimate friend of
Sir John, "to the gladding of all such as wished well to, the country;"
but he nourished a deadly hatred to the Earl.  He ran up and down like a
madman whenever his return was mentioned.  "If the Queen be willing to
take the sovereignty," he cried out at his own dinner-table to a large
company, "and is ready to proceed roundly in this action, I will serve
her to the last drop of my blood; but if she embrace it in no other sort
than hitherto she hath done, and if Leicester is to return, then am I as
good a man as Leicester, and will never be commanded by him.  I mean to
continue on my frontier, where all who love me can come and find me."

He declared to several persons that he had detected a plot on the
part of Leicester to have him assassinated; and the assertion seemed so
important, that Villiers came to Councillor Clerk to confer with him on
the subject.  The worthy Bartholomew, who had again, most reluctantly,
left his quiet chambers in the Temple to come again among the guns and
drums, which his soul abhorred, was appalled by such a charge. It was
best to keep it a secret, he said, at least till the matter could be
thoroughly investigated.  Villiers was of the same opinion, and
accordingly the councillor, in the excess of his caution, confided the
secret only--to whom?  To Mr. Atye, Leicester's private secretary.  Atye,
of course, instantly told his master--his master in a frenzy of rage,
told the Queen, and her Majesty, in a paroxysm of royal indignation at
this new insult to her favourite, sent furious letters to her envoys,
to the States-General, to everybody in the Netherlands--so that the
assertion of Hohenlo became the subject of endless recrimination.
Leicester became very violent, and denounced the statement as an impudent
falsehood, devised wilfully in order to cast odium upon him and to
prevent his return.  Unquestionably there was nothing in the story but
table-talk; but the Count would have been still more ferocious towards
Leicester than he was, had he known what was actually happening at that
very moment.

While Buckhurst was at Utrecht, listening to the "solemn-speeches" of the
militia-captains and exchanging friendly expressions at stately banquets
with Moeurs, he suddenly received a letter in cipher from her Majesty.
Not having the key, he sent to Wilkes at the Hague.  Wilkes was very ill;
but the despatch was marked pressing and immediate, so he got out of bed
and made the journey to Utrecht.  The letter, on being deciphered, proved
to be an order from the Queen to decoy Hohenlo into some safe town, on
pretence of consultation and then to throw him into prison, on the ground
that he had been tampering with the enemy, and was about to betray the
republic to Philip.

The commotion which would have been excited by any attempt to enforce
this order, could be easily imagined by those familiar with Hohenlo and
with the powerful party in the Netherlands of which he was one of the
chiefs.  Wilkes stood aghast as he deciphered the letter.  Buckhurst felt
the impossibility of obeying the royal will.  Both knew the cause, and
both foresaw the consequences of the proposed step.  Wilkes had heard
some rumours of intrigues between Parma's agents at Deventer and Hohenlo,
and had confided them to Walsingham, hoping that the Secretary would keep
the matter in his own breast, at least till further advice.  He was
appalled at the sudden action proposed on a mere rumour, which both
Buckhurst and himself had begun to consider an idle one.  He protested,
therefore, to Walsingham that to comply with her Majesty's command would
not only be nearly impossible, but would, if successful, hazard the ruin
of the republic.  Wilkes was also very anxious lest the Earl of Leicester
should hear of the matter.  He was already the object of hatred to that
powerful personage, and thought him capable of accomplishing his
destruction in any mode.  But if Leicester could wreak his vengeance
upon his enemy Wilkes by the hand of his other deadly enemy Hohenlo,
the councillor felt that this kind of revenge would have a double
sweetness for him.  The Queen knows what I have been saying, thought
Wilkes, and therefore Leicester knows it; and if Leicester knows it, he
will take care that Hohenlo shall hear of it too, and then wo be unto me.
"Your honour knoweth," he said to Walsingham, "that her Majesty can hold
no secrets, and if she do impart it to Leicester, then am I sped."

Nothing came of it however, and the relations of Wilkes and Buckhurst
with Hohenlo continued to be friendly.  It was a lesson to Wilkes to
be more cautious even with the cautious Walsingham.  "We had but bare
suspicions," said Buckhurst, "nothing fit, God knoweth, to come to such a
reckoning.  Wilkes saith he meant it but for a premonition to you there;
but I think it will henceforth be a premonition to himself--there being
but bare presumptions, and yet shrewd presumptions."

Here then were Deventer and Leicester plotting to overthrow the
government of the States; the States and Hohenlo arming against
Leicester; the extreme democratic party threatening to go over to the
Spaniards within three months; the Earl accused of attempting the life of
Hohenlo; Hohenlo offering to shed the last drop of his blood for Queen
Elizabeth; Queen Elizabeth giving orders to throw Hohenlo into prison as
a traitor; Councillor Wilkes trembling for his life at the hands both of
Leicester and Hohenlo; and Buckhurst doing his best to conciliate all
parties, and imploring her Majesty in vain to send over money to help on
the war, and to save her soldiers from starving.

For the Queen continued to refuse the loan of fifty thousand pounds which
the provinces solicited, and in hope of which the States had just agreed
to an extra contribution of a million florins (L100,000), a larger sum
than had been levied by a single vote since the commencement of the war.
It must be remembered, too, that the whole expense of the war fell upon
Holland and Zeeland.  The Province of Utrecht, where there was so strong
a disposition to confer absolute authority upon Leicester, and to destroy
the power of the States-General contributed absolutely nothing.  Since
the Loss of Deventer, nothing could be raised in the Provinces of
Utrecht, Gelderland or Overyssel; the Spaniards levying black mail upon
the whole territory, and impoverishing the inhabitants till they became
almost a nullity.  Was it strange then that the States of Holland and
Zeeland, thus bearing nearly the whole; burden of the war, should be
dissatisfied with the hatred felt toward them by their sister Provinces
so generously protected by them?  Was it unnatural that Barneveld, and
Maurice, and Hohenlo, should be disposed to bridle the despotic
inclinations of Leicester, thus fostered by those who existed, as it
were, at their expense?

But the Queen refused the L50,000, although Holland and Zeeland had voted
the L100,000.  "No reason that breedeth charges," sighed Walsingham, "can
in any sort be digested."

It was not for want of vehement entreaty on the part of the Secretary of
State and of Buckhurst that the loan was denied.  At least she was
entreated to send over money for her troops, who for six months past were
unpaid.  "Keeping the money in your coffers," said Buckhurst, "doth yield
no interest to you, and--which is above all earthly, respects--it shall
be the means of preserving the lives of many of your faithful subjects
which otherwise must needs, daily perish.  Their miseries, through want
of meat and money, I do protest to God so much moves, my soul with
commiseration of that which is past, and makes my heart tremble to think
of the like to come again, that I humbly beseech your Majesty, for Jesus
Christ sake, to have compassion on their lamentable estate past, and send
some money to prevent the like hereafter."

These were moving words,--but the money did not come--charges could not
be digested.

"The eternal God," cried Buckhurst, "incline your heart to grant the
petition of the States for the loan of the L50,000, and that speedily,
for the dangerous terms of the State here and the mighty and forward
preparation of the enemy admit no minute of delay; so that even to grant
it slowly is to deny it utterly."

He then drew a vivid picture of the capacity of the Netherlands to assist
the endangered realm of England, if delay were not suffered to destroy
both commonwealths, by placing the Provinces in an enemy's hand.

"Their many and notable good havens," he said, "the great number of ships
and mariners, their impregnable towns, if they were in the hands of a
potent prince that would defend them, and, lastly, the state of this
shore; so near and opposite unto the land and coast of England--lo, the
sight of all this, daily in mine eye, conjoined with the deep, enrooted
malice of that your so mighty enemy who seeketh to regain them; these
things entering continually into the, meditations of my heart--so much do
they import the safety of yourself and your estate--do enforce me, in the
abundance of my love and duty to your Majesty, most earnestly to speak,
write, and weep unto you, lest when the occasion yet offered shall be
gone by, this blessed means of your defence, by God's provident goodness
thus put into your hand, will then be utterly lost, lo; never, never more
to be recovered again."

It was a noble, wise, and eloquent appeal, but it was muttered in vain.
Was not Leicester--his soul filled with petty schemes of reigning in
Utrecht, and destroying the constitutional government of the Provinces
--in full possession of the royal ear?  And was not the same ear lent,
at most critical moment, to the insidious Alexander Farnese, with his
whispers of peace, which were potent enough to drown all the preparations
for the invincible Armada?

Six months had rolled away since Leicester had left the Netherlands; six
months long, the Provinces, left in a condition which might have become
anarchy, had been saved by the wise government of the States-General; six
months long the English soldiers had remained unpaid by their sovereign;
and now for six weeks the honest, eloquent, intrepid, but gentle
Buckhurst had done his best to conciliate all parties, and to mould the
Netherlanders into an impregnable bulwark for the realm of England.  But
his efforts were treated with scorn by the Queen.  She was still maddened
by a sense of the injuries done by the States to Leicester.  She was
indignant that her envoy should have accepted such lame apologies for the
4th of February letter; that he should have received no better atonement
for their insolent infringements of the Earl's orders during his absence;
that he should have excused their contemptuous proceedings and that, in
short, he should have been willing to conciliate and forgive when he
should have stormed and railed.  "You conceived, it seemeth," said her
Majesty, "that a more sharper manner of proceeding would have exasperated
matters to the prejudice of the service, and therefore you did think it
more fit to wash the wounds rather with water than vinegar, wherein we
would rather have wished, on the other side, that you had better
considered that festering wounds had more need of corrosives than
lenitives.  Your own judgment ought to have taught that such a alight and
mild kind of dealing with a people so ingrate and void of consideration
as the said Estates have showed themselves toward us, is the ready way to
increase their contempt."

The envoy might be forgiven for believing that at any rate there would be
no lack of corrosives or vinegar, so long as the royal tongue or pen
could do their office, as the unfortunate deputies had found to their
cost in their late interviews at Greenwich, and as her own envoys in the
Netherlands were perpetually finding now.  The Queen was especially
indignant that the Estates should defend the tone of their letters to the
Earl on the ground that he had written a piquant epistle to them.  "But
you can manifestly see their untruths in naming it a piquant letter,"
said Elizabeth, "for it has no sour or sharp word therein, nor any clause
or reprehension, but is full of gravity and gentle admonition.  It
deserved a thankful answer, and so you may maintain it to them to their

The States doubtless thought that the loss of Deventer and, with it, the
almost ruinous condition of three out of the seven Provinces, might
excuse on their part a little piquancy of phraseology, nor was it easy
for them to express gratitude to the governor for his grave and gentle
admonitions, after he had, by his secret document of 24th November,
rendered himself fully responsible for the disaster they deplored.

She expressed unbounded indignation with Hohenlo, who, as she was well
aware, continued to cherish a deadly hatred for Leicester.  Especially
she was exasperated, and with reason, by the assertion the Count had made
concerning the governor's murderous designs upon him.  "'Tis a matter,"
said the Queen, "so foul and dishonourable that doth not only touch
greatly the credit of the Earl, but also our own honour, to have one who
hath been nourished and brought up by us, and of whom we have made show
to the world to have extraordinarily favoured above any other of our own
subjects, and used his service in those countries in a place of that
reputation he held there, stand charged with so horrible and unworthy a
crime.  And therefore our pleasure is, even as you tender the continuance
of our favour towards you, that you seek, by all the means you may,
examining the Count Hollock, or any other party in this matter, to
discover and to sift out how this malicious imputation hath been wrought;
for we have reason to think that it hath grown out of some cunning device
to stay the Earl's coming, and to discourage him from the continuance of
his service in those countries."

And there the Queen was undoubtedly in the right.  Hohenlo was resolved,
if possible, to make the Earl's government of the Netherlands impossible.
There was nothing in the story however; and all that by the most diligent
"sifting" could ever be discovered, and all that the Count could be
prevailed upon to confess, was an opinion expressed by him that if he had
gone with Leicester to England, it might perhaps have fared ill with him.
But men were given to loose talk in those countries.  There was great
freedom of tongue and pen; and as the Earl, whether with justice or not,
had always been suspected of strong tendencies to assassination, it was
not very wonderful that so reckless an individual as Hohenlo should
promulgate opinions on such subjects, without much reserve.  "The number
of crimes that have been imputed to me," said Leicester, "would be
incomplete, had this calumny not been added to all preceding ones."
It is possible that assassination, especially poisoning, may have been
a more common-place affair in those days than our own.  At any rate, it
is certain that accusations of such crimes were of ordinary occurrence.
Men were apt to die suddenly if they had mortal enemies, and people would
gossip.  At the very same moment, Leicester was deliberately accused not
only of murderous intentions towards Hohenlo, but towards Thomas Wilkes
and Count Lewis William of Nassau likewise.  A trumpeter, arrested in
Friesland, had just confessed that he had been employed by the Spanish
governor of that Province, Colonel Verdugo, to murder Count Lewis, and
that four other persons had been entrusted with the same commission.
The Count wrote to Verdugo, and received in reply an indignant denial
of the charge.  "Had I heard of such a project," said the Spaniard,
"I would, on the contrary, have given you warning.  And I give you one
now."  He then stated, as a fact known to him on unquestionable
authority, that the Earl of Leicester had assassins at that moment in his
employ to take the life of Count Lewis, adding that as for the trumpeter,
who had just been hanged for the crime suborned by the writer, he was a
most notorious lunatic.  In reply, Lewis, while he ridiculed this plea of
insanity set up for a culprit who had confessed his crime succinctly and
voluntarily, expressed great contempt for the counter-charge against
Leicester.  "His Excellency," said the sturdy little Count," is a
virtuous gentleman, the most pious and God-fearing I have ever known.  I
am very sure that he could never treat his enemies in the manner stated,
much less his friends.  As for yourself, may God give me grace, in
requital of your knavish trick, to make such a war upon you as becomes an
upright soldier and a man of honour."

Thus there was at least one man--and a most important, one--in the
opposition--party who thoroughly believed in the honour of the governor-

The Queen then proceeded to lecture Lord Buckhurst very severely for
having tolerated an instant the States' proposition to her for a loan of
L50,000.  "The enemy," she observed, "is quite unable to attempt the
siege of any town."

Buckhurst was, however, instructed, in case the States' million should
prove insufficient to enable the army to make head against the enemy, and
in the event of "any alteration of the good-will of the people towards
her, caused by her not yielding, in this their necessity, some convenient
support," to let them then understand, "as of himself, that if they would
be satisfied with a loan of ten or fifteen thousand pounds, he, would do
his best endeavour to draw her Majesty to yield unto the furnishing of
such a sum, with assured hope to obtaining the same at her hands."

Truly Walsingham was right in saying that charges of any kind were
difficult of digestion: Yet, even at that moment, Elizabeth had no more
attached subjects in England than sere the burghers of the Netherlands;
who were as anxious ever to annex their territory to her realms.

'Thus, having expressed an affection for Leicester which no one doubted,
having once more thoroughly brow-beaten the states, and having soundly
lectured Buckhurst--as a requital for his successful efforts to bring
about a more wholesome condition of affairs--she gave the envoy a parting
stab, with this postscript;--"There is small disproportion," she said
"twist a fool who useth not wit because he hath it not, and him that useth
it not when it should avail him."  Leicester, too, was very violent in
his attacks upon Buckhurst.  The envoy had succeeded in reconciling
Hohenlo with the brothers Norris, and had persuaded Sir John to offer the
hand of friendship to Leicester, provided it were sure of being accepted.
Yet in this desire to conciliate, the Earl found renewed cause for
violence.  "I would have had more regard of my Lord of Buckhurst," he
said, "if the case had been between him and Norris, but I must regard my
own reputation the more that I see others would impair it.  You have
deserved little thanks of me, if I must deal plainly, who do equal me
after this sort with him, whose best place is colonel under me, and once
my servant, and preferred by me to all honourable place he had."  And
thus were enterprises of great moment, intimately affecting the, safety
of Holland, of England, of all Protestantism, to be suspended between
triumph and ruin, in order that the spleen of one individual--one Queen's
favourite--might be indulged.  The contempt of an insolent grandee for a
distinguished commander--himself the son, of a Baron, with a mother the
dear friend of her sovereign--was to endanger the existence of great
commonwealths.  Can the influence of the individual, for good or bad,
upon the destinies of the race be doubted, when the characters and
conduct of Elizabeth and Leicester, Burghley and Walsingham, Philip and
Parma, are closely scrutinized and broadly traced throughout the wide
range of their effects?

"And I must now, in your Lordship's sight," continued Leicester, "be made
a counsellor with this companion, who never yet to this day hath done so
much as take knowledge of my mislike of him; no, not to say this much,
which I think would well become his better, that he was sorry, to hear I
had mislike to him, that he desired my suspension till he might either
speak with me, or be charged from me, and if then he were not able to
satisfy me, he would acknowledge his fault, and make me any honest
satisfaction.  This manner of dealing would have been no disparagement to
his better.  And even so I must think that your Lordship doth me wrong,
knowing what you do, to make so little difference between John Norris, my
man not long since, and now but my colonel under me, as though we were
equals.  And I cannot but more than marvel at this your proceeding, when
I remember your promises of friendship, and your opinions resolutely set
down .  .  .  .  You were so determined before you went hence, but must
have become wonderfully enamoured of those men's unknown virtues in a few
days of acquaintance, from the alteration that is grown by their own
commendations of themselves.  You know very well that all the world
should not make me serve with John Norris.  Your sudden change from
mislike to liking has, by consequence, presently cast disgrace upon me.
But all is not gold that glitters, nor every shadow a perfect
representation .  .  .  .  You knew he should not serve with me, but
either you thought me a very inconstant man, or else a very simple soul,
resolving with you as I did, for you to take the course you have done."
He felt, however, quite strong in her Majesty's favour.  He knew himself
her favourite, beyond all chance or change, and was sure, so long as
either lived, to thrust his enemies, by her aid, into outer darkness.
Woe to Buckhurst, and Norris, and Wilkes, and all others who consorted
with his enemies.  Let them flee from the wrath to come!  And truly they
were only too anxious to do so, for they knew that Leicester's hatred was
poisonous.  "He is not so facile to forget as ready to revenge," said
poor Wilkes, with neat alliteration.  "My very heavy and mighty adversary
will disgrace and undo me.

"It sufficeth," continued Leicester, "that her Majesty both find my
dealings well enough, and so, I trust will graciously use me.  As for the
reconciliations and love-days you have made there, truly I have liked
well of it; for you did sow me your disposition therein before, and I
allowed of it, and I had received letters both from Count Maurice and
Hohenlo of their humility and kindness, but now in your last letters you
say they have uttered the cause of their mislike towards me, which you
forbear to write of, looking so speedily for my return."

But the Earl knew well enough what the secret was, for had it not been
specially confided by the judicious Bartholomew to Atye, who had
incontinently told his master?  "This pretense that I should kill
Hohenlo," cried Leicester, "is a matter properly foisted in to bring me
to choler.  I will not suffer it to rest, thus.  Its authors shall be
duly and severely punished.  And albeit I see well enough the plot of
this wicked device, yet shall it not work the effect the devisers have
done it for.  No, my Lord, he is a villain and a false lying knave
whosoever he be, and of what, nation soever that hath forged this device.
Count Hohenlo doth know I never gave him cause to fear me so much.  There
were ways and means offered me to have quitted him of the country if I
had so liked.  This new monstrous villany which is now found out I do
hate and detest, as I would look for the right judgment of God to fall
upon myself, if I had but once imagined it.  All this makes good proof of
Wilkes's good dealing with me, that hath heard of so vile and villainous
a reproach of me, and never gave me knowledge.  But I trust your Lordship
shall receive her Majesty's order for this, as for a matter that toucheth
herself in honour, and me her poor servant and minister, as dearly as any
matter can do; and I will so take it and use it to the uttermost."

We have seen how anxiously Buckhurst had striven to do his duty upon a
most difficult mission.  Was it unnatural that so fine a nature as his
should be disheartened, at reaping nothing but sneers and contumely from
the haughty sovereign he served, and from the insolent favourite who
controlled her councils?  "I beseech your Lordship," he said to Burghley,
"keep one ear for me, and do not hastily condemn me before you hear mine
answer.  For if I ever did or shall do any acceptable service to her
Majesty, it was in, the stay and appeasing of these countries, ever ready
at my coming to have cast off all good respect towards us, and to have
entered even into some desperate cause.  In the meantime I am hardly
thought of by her Majesty, and in her opinion condemned before mine
answer be understood.  Therefore I beseech you to help me to return, and
not thus to lose her Majesty's favour for my good desert, wasting here my
mind, body, my wits, wealth, and all; with continual toils, taxes, and
troubles, more than I am able to endure."

But besides his instructions to smooth and expostulate, in which he had
succeeded so well, and had been requited so ill; Buckhurst had received a
still more difficult commission.  He had been ordered to broach the
subject of peace, as delicately as possible, but without delay; first
sounding the leading politicians, inducing them to listen to the Queen's
suggestions on the subject, persuading them that they ought to be
satisfied with the principles of the pacification of Ghent, and that it
was hopeless for the Provinces to continue the war with their mighty
adversary any longer.

Most reluctantly had Buckhurst fulfilled his sovereign's commands in this
disastrous course.  To talk to the Hollanders of the Ghent pacification
seemed puerile.  That memorable treaty, ten years before, had been one of
the great landmarks of progress, one of the great achievements of William
the Silent.  By its provisions, public exercise of the reformed religion
had been secured for the two Provinces of Holland and Zeeland, and it had
been agreed that the secret practice of those rites should be elsewhere
winked at, until such time as the States-General, under the auspices of
Philip II., should otherwise ordain.  But was it conceivable that now,
after Philip's authority had been solemnly abjured, and the reformed
worship had become the, public, dominant religion, throughout all the
Provinces,--the whole republic should return to the Spanish dominion,
and to such toleration as might be sanctioned by an assembly professing
loyalty to the most Catholic King?

Buckhurst had repeatedly warned the Queen, in fervid and eloquent
language, as to the intentions of Spain.  "There was never peace well
made," he observed, "without a mighty war preceding, and always, the
sword in hand is the best pen to write the conditions of peace."

"If ever prince had cause," he continued, "to think himself beset with
doubt and danger, you, sacred Queen, have most just cause not only to
think it, but even certainly to believe it.  The Pope doth daily plot
nothing else but how he may bring to pass your utter overthrow; the
French King hath already sent you threatenings of revenge, and though for
that pretended cause I think little will ensue, yet he is blind that
seeth not the mortal dislike that boileth deep in his heart for other
respects against you.  The Scottish King, not only in regard of his
future hope, but also by reason of some over conceit in his heart, may
be thought a dangerous neighbour to you.  The King of Spain armeth and
extendeth all his power to ruin both you and your estate.  And if the
Indian gold have corrupted also the King of Denmark, and made him
likewise Spanish, as I marvellously fear; why will not your Majesty,
beholding the flames of your enemies on every side kindling around,
unlock all your coffers and convert your treasure for the advancing of
worthy men, and for the arming of ships and men-of-war that may defend
you, since princes' treasures serve only to that end, and, lie they never
so fast or so full in their chests, can no ways so defend them?

"The eternal God, in whose hands the hearts of kings do rest, dispose and
guide your sacred Majesty to do that which may be most according to His
blessed will, and best for you, as I trust He will, even for His mercy's
sake, both toward your Majesty and the whole realm of England, whose
desolation is thus sought and compassed."

Was this the language of a mischievous intriguer, who was sacrificing the
true interest of his country, and whose proceedings were justly earning
for him rebuke and disgrace at the hands of his sovereign?  Or was it
rather the noble advice of an upright statesman, a lover of his country,
a faithful servant of his Queen, who had looked through the atmosphere of
falsehood in which he was doing his work, and who had detected, with rare
sagacity, the secret purposes of those who were then misruling the world?

Buckhurst had no choice, however, but to obey.  His private efforts were
of course fruitless, but he announced to her Majesty that it was his
intention very shortly to bring the matter--according to her wish--before
the assembly.

But Elizabeth, seeing that her counsel had been unwise and her action
premature, turned upon her envoy, as she was apt to do, and rebuked him
for his obedience, so soon as obedience had proved inconvenient to

"Having perused your letters," she said, "by which you at large debate
unto us what you have done in the matter of peace .  .  .  .  .  we find
it strange that you should proceed further.  And although we had given
you full and ample direction to proceed to a public dealing in that
cause, yet our own discretion, seeing the difficulties and dangers that
you yourself saw in the propounding of the matter, ought to have led you
to delay till further command from us."

Her Majesty then instructed her envoy, in case he had not yet "propounded
the matter in the state-house to the general assembly," to pause entirely
until he heard her further pleasure.  She concluded, as usual, with a
characteristic postcript in her own hand.

"Oh weigh deeplier this matter," she said, "than, with so shallow a
judgment, to spill the cause, impair my honour, and shame yourself, with
all your wit, that once was supposed better than to lose a bargain for
the handling."

Certainly the sphinx could have propounded no more puzzling riddles than
those which Elizabeth thus suggested to Buckhurst.  To make war without
an army, to support an army without pay, to frame the hearts of a whole
people to peace who were unanimous for war, and this without saying a
word either in private or public; to dispose the Netherlanders favourably
to herself and to Leicester, by refusing them men and money, brow-beating
them for asking for it, and subjecting them to a course of perpetual
insults, which she called "corrosives," to do all this and more seemed
difficult.  If not to do it, were to spill the cause and to lose the
bargain, it was more than probable that they would be spilt and lost.

But the ambassador was no OEdipus--although a man of delicate perceptions
and brilliant intellect--and he turned imploringly to a wise counsellor
for aid against the tormentor who chose to be so stony-faced and

"Touching the matter of peace," said he to Walsingham, "I have written
somewhat to her Majesty in cipher, so as I am sure you will be called for
to decipher it.  If you did know how infinitely her Majesty did at my
departure and before--for in this matter of peace she hath specially used
me this good while--command me, pray me, and persuade me to further and
hasten the same with all the speed possible that might be, and how, on
the other side, I have continually been the man and the mean that have
most plainly dehorted her from such post-haste, and that she should never
make good peace without a puissant army in the field, you would then say
that I had now cause to fear her displeasure for being too slow, and not
too forward.  And as for all the reasons which in my last letters are set
down, her Majesty hath debated them with me many times."

And thus midsummer was fast approaching, the commonwealth was without a
regular government, Leicester remained in England nursing his wrath and
preparing his schemes, the Queen was at Greenwich, corresponding with
Alexander Farnese, and sending riddles to Buckhurst, when the enemy--who,
according to her Majesty, was "quite unable to attempt the, siege of any
town" suddenly appeared in force in Flanders, and invested Sluy's.  This
most important seaport, both for the destiny of the republic and of
England at that critical moment, was insufficiently defended.  It was
quite time to put an army in the field, with a governor-general to
command it.

On the 5th June there was a meeting of the state-council at the Hague.
Count Maurice, Hohenlo, and Moeurs were present, besides several members
of the States-General.  Two propositions were before the council.  The
first was that it was absolutely necessary to the safety of the republic,
now that the enemy had taken the field, and the important city of Sluy's
was besieged, for Prince Maurice to be appointed captain-general, until
such time as the Earl of Leicester or some other should be sent by her
Majesty.  The second was to confer upon the state-council the supreme
government in civil affairs, for the same period, and to repeal all
limitations and restrictions upon the powers of the council made secretly
by the Earl.

Chancellor Leoninus, "that grave, wise old man," moved the propositions.
The deputies of the States were requested to withdraw.  The vote of each
councillor was demanded.  Buckhurst, who, as the Queen's representative--
together with Wilkes and John Norris--had a seat in the council, refused
to vote.  "It was a matter," he discreetly observed with which "he had not
been instructed by her Majesty to intermeddle."  Norris and Wilkes also
begged to be excused from voting, and, although earnestly urged to do so
by the whole council, persisted in their refusal.  Both measures were
then carried.

No sooner was the vote taken, than an English courier entered the
council-chamber, with pressing despatches from Lord Leicester.  The
letters were at once read.  The Earl announced his speedy arrival, and
summoned both the States-General and the council to meet him at Dort,
where his lodgings were already taken.  All were surprised, but none more
than Buckhurst, Wilkes, and Norris; for no intimation of this sudden
resolution had been received by them, nor any answer given to various
propositions, considered by her Majesty as indispensable preliminaries to
the governor's visit.

The council adjourned till after dinner, and Buckhurst held conference
meantime with various counsellors and deputies.  On the reassembling of
the board, it was urged by Barneveld, in the name of the States, that the
election of Prince Maurice should still hold good.  "Although by these
letters," said he, "it would seem that her Majesty had resolved upon the
speedy return of his Excellency, yet, inasmuch as the counsels and
resolutions of princes are often subject to change upon new occasion, it
does not seem fit that our late purpose concerning Prince Maurice should
receive any interruption."

Accordingly, after brief debate, both resolutions, voted in the morning,
were confirmed in the afternoon.

"So now," said Wilkes, "Maurice is general of all the forces, 'et quid
sequetur nescimus.'"

But whatever else was to follow, it was very certain that Wilkes would
not stay.  His great enemy had sworn his destruction, and would now take
his choice, whether to do him to death himself, or to throw him into the
clutch of the ferocious Hohenlo.  "As for my own particular," said the
counsellor, "the word is go, whosoever cometh or cometh not," and he
announced to Walsingham his intention of departing without permission,
should he not immediately receive it from England.  "I shall stay to be
dandled with no love-days nor leave-takings," he observed.

But Leicester had delayed his coming too long.  The country felt that it-
had been trifled with by his: absence--at so critical a period--of seven
months.  It was known too that the Queen was secretly treating with the
enemy, and that Buckhurst had been privately sounding leading personages
upon that subject, by her orders.  This had caused a deep, suppressed
indignation.  Over and over again had the English government been warned
as to the danger of delay.  "Your length in resolving;" Wilkes had said,
"whatsoever your secret purposes may be--will put us to new plunges
before long."  The mission of Buckhurst was believed to be "but a stale,
having some other intent than was expressed."  And at last, the new
plunge had been fairly taken.  It seemed now impossible for Leicester to
regain the absolute authority, which he coveted; and which he had for a
brief season possessed. The States-General, under able leaders, had
become used to a government which had been forced upon them, and which
they had wielded with success.  Holland and Zeeland, paying the whole
expense of the war, were not likely to endure again the absolute
sovereignty of a foreigner, guided by a back stairs council of reckless
politicians--most of whom were unprincipled, and some of whom had been
proved to be  felons--and established, at Utrecht, which contributed
nothing to the general purse.  If Leicester were really-coming, it seemed
certain that he would be held to acknowledge the ancient constitution,
and to respect the sovereignty of the States-General.  It was resolved
that he should be well bridled.  The sensations of Barneveld and his
party may therefore be imagined, when a private letter of Leicester, to
his secretary "the fellow named Junius," as Hohenlo called him--having
been intercepted at this moment, gave them an opportunity of studying
the Earl's secret thoughts.

The Earl informed his correspondent that he was on the point of starting
for the Netherlands.  He ordered him therefore to proceed at once to
reassure those whom he knew well disposed as to the good intentions of
her Majesty and of the governor-general.  And if, on the part of Lord
Buckhurst or others, it should be intimated that the Queen was resolved
to treat for peace with the King of Spain; and wished to have the opinion
of the Netherlanders on that subject, he was to say boldly that Lord
Buckhurst never had any such charge, and that her Majesty had not been
treating at all.  She had only been attempting to sound the King's
intentions towards the Netherlands, in case of any accord.  Having
received no satisfactory assurance on the subject, her Majesty was
determined to proceed with the defence of these countries.  This appeared
by the expedition of Drake against Spain, and by the return of the Earl,
with a good cumber of soldiers paid by her Majesty, over and above her
ordinary subsidy.

"You are also;" said the Earl, "to tell those who have the care of the
people" (the ministers of the reformed church and others), "that I am
returning, in the confidence that they will, in future, cause all past
difficulties to cease, and that they will yield to me a legitimate
authority, such as befits for administering the sovereignty of the
Provinces, without my being obliged to endure all the oppositions and
counterminmgs of the States, as in times past.  The States must content
themselves with retaining the power which they claim to have exercised
under the governors of the Emperor and the King--without attempting
anything farther during my government--since I desire to do nothing of
importance without the advice of the council, which will be composed
legitimately of persons of the country.  You will also tell them that her
Majesty commands me to return unless I can obtain from the States the
authority which is necessary, in order not to be governor in appearance
only and on paper.  And I wish that those who are good may be apprized of
all this, in order that nothing may happen to their prejudice and ruin,
and contrary to their wishes."

There were two very obvious comments to be made upon this document.
Firstly, the States--de jure, as they claimed, and de facto most
unquestionably--were in the position of the Emperor and King.  They were
the sovereigns.  The Earl wished them to content themselves with the
power which they exercised under the Emperor's governors.  This was like
requesting the Emperor, when in the Netherlands, to consider himself
subject to his own governor.  The second obvious reflection was that the
Earl, in limiting his authority by a state-council, expected, no doubt,
to appoint that body himself--as he had done before--and to allow the
members only the right of talking, and of voting,--without the power of
enforcing their decisions.  In short, it was very plain that Leicester
meant to be more absolute than ever.

As to the flat contradiction given to Buckhurst's proceedings in the
matter of peace, that statement could scarcely deceive any one who had
seen her Majesty's letters and instructions to her envoy.

It was also a singularly deceitful course to be adopted by Leicester
towards Buckhurst and towards the Netherlands, because his own private
instructions, drawn up at the same moment, expressly enjoined him to do
exactly what Buckhurst had been doing.  He was most strictly and
earnestly commanded to deal privately with all such persons as bad
influence with the "common sort of people," in order that they should use
their influence with those common people in favour of peace, bringing
vividly before them the excessive burthens of the war, their inability to
cope with so potent a prince as Philip, and the necessity the Queen was
under of discontinuing her contributions to their support.  He was to
make the same representations to the States, and he was further most
explicitly to inform all concerned, that, in case they were unmoved by
these suggestions, her Majesty had quite made up her mind to accept the
handsome offers of peace held out by the King of Spain, and to leave them
to their fate.

It seemed scarcely possible that the letter to Junius and the
instructions for the Earl should have been dated the same week, and
should have emanated from the same mind; but such was the fact.

He was likewise privately to assure Maurice and Hohenlo--in order to
remove their anticipated opposition to the peace--that such care should
be taken in providing for them, as that "they should have no just cause
to dislike thereof, but to rest satisfied withal."

With regard to the nature of his authority, he was instructed to claim a
kind of dictatorship in everything regarding the command of the forces,
and the distribution of the public treasure.  All offices were to be at
his disposal.  Every florin contributed by the States was to be placed in
his hands, and spent according to his single will.  He was also to have
plenary power to prevent the trade in victuals with the enemy by death
and confiscation.

If opposition to any of these proposals were made by the States-General,
he was to appeal to the States of each Province; to the towns and
communities, and in case it should prove impossible for him "to be
furnished with the desired authority," he was then instructed to say that
it was "her Majesty's meaning to leave them to their own counsel and
defence, and to withdraw the support that she had yielded to them: seeing
plainly that the continuance of the confused government now reigning
among them could not but work their ruin."

Both these papers came into Barneveld's hands, through the agency of
Ortel, the States' envoy in England, before the arrival of the Earl in
the Netherlands.

Of course they soon became the topics of excited conversation and of
alarm in every part of the country.  Buckhurst, touched to the quick by
the reflection upon those--proceedings of his which had been so
explicitly enjoined upon him, and so reluctantly undertaken--appealed
earnestly to her Majesty.  He reminded her, as delicately as possible,
that her honour, as well as his own, was at stake by Leicester's insolent
disavowals of her authorized ambassador.  He besought her to remember
"what even her own royal hand had written to the Duke of Parma;" and how
much his honour was interested "by the disavowing of his dealings about
the peace begun by her Majesty's commandment."  He adjured her with much
eloquence to think upon the consequences of stirring up the common and
unstable multitude against their rulers; upon the pernicious effects of
allowing the clergy to inflame the passions of the people against the
government.  "Under the name of such as have charge over the people,"
said Buckhurst, "are understood the ministers and chaplains of the
churches in every town, by the means of whom it, seems that his Lordship
tendeth his whole purpose to attain to his desire of the administration
of the sovereignty."  He assured the Queen that this scheme of Leicester
to seize virtually upon that sovereignty, would be a disastrous one.
"The States are resolved," said he, "since your Majesty doth refuse the
sovereignty, to lay it upon no creature else, as a thing contrary to
their oath and allegiance to their country."  He reminded her also that
the States had been dissatisfied with the Earl's former administration,
believing that he had exceeded his commission, and that they were
determined therefore to limit his authority at his return.  "Your sacred
Majesty may consider," he said, "what effect all this may work among the
common and ignorant people, by intimating that, unless they shall procure
him the administration of such a sovereignty as he requireth, their ruin
may ensue."  Buckhurst also informed her that he had despatched
Councillor Wilkes to England, in order that he might give more ample
information on all these affairs by word of mouth than could well be

It need hardly be stated that Barneveld came down to the states'-house
with these papers in his hand, and thundered against the delinquent and
intriguing governor till the general indignation rose to an alarming
height.  False statements of course were made to Leicester as to the
substance of the Advocate's discourse.  He was said to have charged upon
the English government an intention to seize forcibly upon their cities,
and to transfer them to Spain on payment of the sums due to the Queen
from the States, and to have declared that he had found all this treason
in the secret instructions of the Earl.  But Barneveld had read the
instructions, to which the attention of the reader has just been called,
and had strictly stated the truth which was damaging enough, without need
of exaggeration.


All business has been transacted with open doors
Beacons in the upward path of mankind
Been already crimination and recrimination more than enough
Casting up the matter "as pinchingly as possibly might be"
Disposed to throat-cutting by the ministers of the Gospel
During this, whole war, we have never seen the like
Even to grant it slowly is to deny it utterly
Evil is coming, the sooner it arrives the better
Fool who useth not wit because he hath it not
Guilty of no other crime than adhesion to the Catholic faith
Individuals walking in advance of their age
Never peace well made, he observed, without a mighty war
Rebuked him for his obedience
Respect for differences in religious opinions
Sacrificed by the Queen for faithfully obeying her orders
Succeeded so well, and had been requited so ill
Sword in hand is the best pen to write the conditions of peace
Their existence depended on war
They chose to compel no man's conscience
Torturing, hanging, embowelling of men, women, and children
Universal suffrage was not dreamed of at that day
Waiting the pleasure of a capricious and despotic woman
Who the "people" exactly were

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