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´╗┐Title: History of the United Netherlands, 1588-89
Author: Motley, John Lothrop
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of the United Netherlands, 1588-89" ***

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HISTORY OF THE UNITED NETHERLANDS
From the Death of William the Silent to the Twelve Year's Truce--1609

By John Lothrop Motley



History of the United Netherlands, 1588-1589


CHAPTER XX.

     Alexander besieges Bergen-op-Zoom--Pallavicini's Attempt to seduce
     Parma--Alexander's Fury--He is forced to raise the Siege, of Bergen
     --Gertruydenberg betrayed to Parma--Indignation of the States--
     Exploits, of Schenk--His Attack on Nymegen--He is defeated and
     drowned--English-Dutch Expedition to Spain--Its meagre Results--
     Death of Guise and of the Queen--Mother--Combinations after the
     Murder of Henry III.--Tandem fit Surculus Arbor.

The fever of the past two years was followed by comparative languor.
The deadly crisis was past, the freedom of Europe was saved, Holland and
England breathed again; but tension now gave place to exhaustion.  The
events in the remainder of the year 1588, with those of 1589--although
important in themselves--were the immediate results of that history which
has been so minutely detailed in these volumes, and can be indicated in a
very few pages.

The Duke of Parma, melancholy, disappointed, angry stung to the soul by
calumnies as stupid as they were venomous, and already afflicted with a
painful and lingering disease, which his friends attributed to poison
administered by command of the master whom he had so faithfully served--
determined, if possible, to afford the consolation which that master was
so plaintively demanding at his hands.

So Alexander led the splendid army which had been packed in, and unpacked
from, the flat boats of Newport and Dunkerk, against Bergen-op-Zoom, and
besieged that city in form.  Once of great commercial importance,
although somewhat fallen away from its original prosperity, Bergen was
well situate on a little stream which connected it with the tide-waters
of the Scheldt, and was the only place in Brabant, except Willemstad,
still remaining to the States.  Opposite lay the Isle of Tholen from
which it was easily to be supplied and reinforced.  The Vosmeer, a branch
of the Scheldt, separated the island from the main, and there was a path
along the bed of that estuary, which, at dead low-water, was practicable
for wading.  Alexander, accordingly, sent a party of eight hundred
pikemen, under Montigny, Marquis of Renty, and Ottavio Mansfeld,
supported on the dyke by three thousand musketeers, across; the dangerous
ford, at ebb-tide, in order to seize this important island.  It was an
adventure similar to those, which, in the days of the grand commander,
and under the guidance of Mondragon; had been on two occasions so
brilliantly successful.  But the Isle of Tholen was now defended by Count
Solms and a garrison of fierce amphibious Zeelanders--of those determined
bands which had just been holding Farnese and his fleet in prison, and
daring him to the issue--and the invading party, after fortunately
accomplishing their night journey along the bottom of the Vosmeer, were
unable to effect a landing, were driven with considerable loss into the
waves again, and compelled to find their way back as best they could,
along their dangerous path, and with a rapidly rising tide.  It was a
blind and desperate venture, and the Vosmeer soon swallowed four hundred
of the Spaniards.  The rest, half-drowned or smothered, succeeded in
reaching the shore--the chiefs of the expedition, Renty and Mansfeld,
having been with difficulty rescued by their followers, when nearly
sinking in the tide.

The Duke continued the siege, but the place was well defended by an
English and Dutch garrison, to the number of five thousand, and commanded
by Colonel Morgan, that bold and much experienced Welshman, so well known
in the Netherland wars.  Willoughby and Maurice of Nassau, and Olden-
Barneveld were, at different times, within the walls; for the Duke
had been unable to invest the place so closely as to prevent all
communications from without; and, while Maurice was present, there were
almost daily sorties from the town, with many a spirited skirmish, to
give pleasure to the martial young Prince.  The English, officers, Vere
and Baskerville, and two Netherland colonels, the brothers Bax, most
distinguished themselves on these occasions.  The siege was not going on
with the good fortune which had usually attended the Spanish leaguer.  of
Dutch cities, while, on the 29th September, a personal incident came to
increase Alexander's dissatisfaction and melancholy.

On that day the Duke was sitting in his tent, brooding, as he was apt to
do, over the unjust accusations which had been heaped upon him in regard
to the failure of the Armada, when a stranger was announced.  His name,
he said, was Giacomo Morone, and he was the bearer of a letter from Sir
Horace Pallavicini, a Genoese gentleman long established in London; and
known to be on confidential terms with the English government.  Alexander
took the letter, and glancing at the bottom of the last page, saw that it
was not signed.

"How dare you bring me a dispatch without a signature?"  he exclaimed.
The messenger, who was himself a Genoese, assured the Duke that the
letter was most certainly written by Pallavicini--who had himself placed
it, sealed, in his hands--and that he had supposed it signed, although he
had of course, not seen the inside.

Alexander began to read the note, which was not a very long one, and his
brow instantly darkened.  He read a line or two more, when, with an
exclamation of fury, he drew his dagger, and, seizing the astonished
Genoese by the throat, was about to strike him dead.  Suddenly mastering
his rage, however, by a strong effort, and remembering that the man might
be a useful witness; he flung Morone from him.

"If I had Pallavicini here," he said, "I would treat, him as I have just
refrained from using you.  And if I had any suspicion that you were aware
of the contents of this letter, I would send you this instant to be
hanged."

The unlucky despatch-bearer protested his innocence of all complicity
with Pallavicini, and his ignorance of the tenor of the communication by
which the Duke's wrath had been so much excited.  He was then searched
and cross-examined most carefully by Richardot and other counsellors,
and his innocence being made apparent-he was ultimately discharged.

The letter of Pallavicini was simply an attempt to sound Farnese as to
his sentiments in regard to a secret scheme, which could afterwards be
arranged in form, and according, to which he was to assume the
sovereignty of the Netherlands himself, to the exclusion of his King, to
guarantee to England the possession of the cautionary towns, until her
advances to the States should be refunded, and to receive the support and
perpetual alliance of the Queen in his new and rebellious position.

Here was additional evidence, if any were wanting, of the universal
belief in his disloyalty; and Alexander, faithful, if man ever were to
his master--was cut to the heart, and irritated almost to madness, by
such insolent propositions.  There is neither proof nor probability that
the Queen's government was implicated in this intrigue of Pallavicini,
who appears to have been inspired by the ambition of achieving a bit of
Machiavellian policy, quite on his own account.  Nothing came of the
proposition, and the Duke; having transmitted to the King a minute
narrative of, the affair, together with indignant protestations of the
fidelity, which all the world seemed determined to dispute, received
most affectionate replies from that monarch, breathing nothing but
unbounded confidence in his nephew's innocence and devotion.

Such assurances from any other man in the world might have disarmed
suspicion, but Alexander knew his master too well to repose upon his
word, and remembered too bitterly the last hours of Don John of Austria
--whose dying pillow he had soothed, and whose death had been hastened,
as he knew, either by actual poison or by the hardly less fatal venom
of slander--to regain tranquillity as to his own position.

The King was desirous that Pallavicini should be invited over to
Flanders, in order that Alexander, under pretence of listening to his
propositions, might draw from the Genoese all the particulars of his
scheme, and then, at leisure, inflict the punishment which he had
deserved.  But insuperable obstacles presented themselves, nor was
Alexander desirous of affording still further pretexts for his
slanderers.

Very soon after this incident--most important as showing the real
situation of various parties, although without any immediate result--
Alexander received a visit in his tent from another stranger.  This time
the visitor was an Englishman, one Lieutenant Grimstone, and the object
of his interview with the Duke was not political, but had, a direct
reference to the siege of Bergen.  He was accompanied by a countryman
of his own, Redhead by name, a camp-suttler by profession.  The two
represented themselves as deserters from the besieged city, and offered,
for a handsome reward, to conduct a force of Spaniards, by a secret path,
into one of the gates.  The Duke questioned them narrowly, and being
satisfied with their intelligence and coolness, caused them to take an
oath on the Evangelists, that they were not playing him false.  He then
selected a band of one hundred musketeers, partly Spaniards, partly
Walloons--to be followed at a distance by a much, more considerable
force; two thousand in number, under Sancho de Leyva: and the Marquis of
Renti--and appointed the following night for an enterprise against the
city, under the guidance of Grimstone.

It was a wild autumnal night, moonless, pitch-dark, with a storm of
wind and rain.  The waters were out--for the dykes had been cut in all
'directions by the defenders of the city--and, with exception of some
elevated points occupied by Parma's forces, the whole country was
overflowed.  Before the party set forth on their daring expedition,
the two Englishmen were tightly bound with cords, and led, each by two
soldiers, instructed to put them to instant death if their conduct should
give cause for suspicion.  But both Grimstone and Redhead preserved a
cheerful countenance, and inspired a strong confidence in their honest
intention to betray their countrymen.  And thus the band of bold
adventurers plunged at once into the darkness, and soon found themselves
contending with the tempest, and wading breast high in the black waters
of the Scheldt.

After a long and perilous struggle, they at length reached the appointed
gate, The external portcullis was raised and the fifteen foremost of the
band rushed into tho town.  At the next moment, Lord Willoughby, who had
been privy to the whole scheme, cut with his own hand the cords which,
held the portcullis, and entrapped the leaders of the expedition, who
were all, at once put to the sword, while their followers were thundering
at the gate.  The lieutenant and suttler who had thus overreached that
great master of dissimulation; Alexander Farnese; were at the same time
unbound by their comrades, and rescued from the fate intended for them.

Notwithstanding the probability--when the portcullis fell--that the whole
party, had been deceived by an artifice of war the adventurers, who had
come so far, refused to abandon the enterprise, and continued an
impatient battery upon the gate.  At last it was swung wide open, and
a furious onslaught was made by the garrison upon the Spaniards.  There
was--a fierce brief struggle, and then the assailants were utterly
routed.  Some were killed under the walls, while the rest were hunted
into the waves.  Nearly every one of the, expedition (a thousand in
number) perished.

It had now become obvious to the Duke that his siege must be raised.
The days were gone when the walls of Dutch towns seemed to melt before
the first scornful glance of the Spanish invader; and when a summons
meant a surrender, and a surrender a massacre.  Now, strong in the
feeling of independence, and supported by the courage and endurance of
their English allies, the Hollanders had learned to humble the pride of
Spain as it had never been humbled before.  The hero of a hundred battle-
fields, the inventive and brilliant conqueror of Antwerp, seemed in the
deplorable issue of the English invasion to have lost all his genius, all
his fortune.  A cloud had fallen upon his fame, and he now saw himself;
at the head of the best army in Europe, compelled to retire, defeated and
humiliated, from the walls of Bergen.  Winter was coming on apace; the
country was flooded; the storms in that-bleak region and inclement season
were incessant; and he was obliged to retreat before his army should be
drowned.

On the night of 12-13 November he set fire to his camp; and took his
departure.  By daybreak he was descried in full retreat, and was hotly
pursued by the English and Dutch from the city, who drove the great
Alexander and his legions before them in ignominious flight. Lord
Willoughby, in full view of the retiring enemy, indulged the allied
forces with a chivalrous spectacle.  Calling a halt, after it had become
obviously useless, with their small force of cavalry; to follow any
longer, through a flooded country, an enemy who had abandoned his design,
he solemnly conferred the honour of knighthood, in the name of Queen
Elizabeth, on the officers who had most distinguished themselves during
the siege, Francis Vere, Baskerville, Powell, Parker, Knowles, and on the
two Netherland brothers, Paul and Marcellus Bax.

The Duke of Parma then went into winter quarters in Brabant, and, before
the spring, that obedient Province had been eaten as bare as Flanders had
already been by the friendly Spaniards.

An excellent understanding between England and Holland had been the
result of their united and splendid exertions against the Invincible
Armada.  Late in the year 1588 Sir John Norris had been sent by the Queen
to offer her congratulations and earnest thanks to the States for their
valuable assistance in preserving her throne, and to solicit their
cooperation in some new designs against the common foe.  Unfortunately,
however, the epoch of good feeling was but of brief duration.  Bitterness
and dissension seemed the inevitable conditions of the English-Dutch
alliance.  It will be, remembered, that, on the departure of Leicester,
several cities had refused to acknowledge the authority of Count Maurice
and the States; and that civil war in the scarcely-born commonwealth had
been the result.  Medenblik, Naarden, and the other contumacious cities,
had however been reduced to obedience after the reception of the Earl's
resignation, but the important city of Gertruydenberg had remained in a
chronic state of mutiny.  This rebellion had been partially appeased
during the year 1588 by the efforts of Willoughby, who had strengthened,
the garrison by reinforcements of English troops under command of his
brother-in-law, Sir John Wingfield.  Early in 1589 however, the whole
garrison became rebellious, disarmed and maltreated the burghers, and
demanded immediate payment of the heavy arrearages still due to the
troops.  Willoughby, who--much disgusted with his career in the
Netherlands--was about leaving for England, complaining that the States
had not only left him without remuneration for his services, but had not
repaid his own advances, nor even given him a complimentary dinner, tried
in vain to pacify them.  A rumour became very current, moreover, that the
garrison had opened negotiations with Alexander Farnese, and accordingly
Maurice of Nassau--of whose patrimonial property the city of
Gertruydenberg made a considerable proportion, to the amount of eight
thousand pounds sterling a years--after summoning the garrison, in his
own name and that of the States, to surrender, laid siege to the place
in form.  It would have been cheaper, no doubt, to pay the demands of the
garrison in full, and allow them to depart.  But Maurice considered his
honour at stake.  His letters of summons, in which he spoke of the
rebellious commandant and his garrison as self-seeking foreigners and
mercenaries, were taken in very ill part.  Wingfield resented the
statement in very insolent language, and offered to prove its falsehood
with his sword against any man and in any place whatever.  Willoughby
wrote to his brother-in-law, from Flushing, when about to embark,
disapproving of his conduct and of his language; and to Maurice,
deprecating hostile measures against a city under the protection of Queen
Elizabeth.  At any rate, he claimed that Sir John Wingfield and his wife,
the Countess of Kent, with their newly-born child, should be allowed to
depart from the place.  But Wingfield expressed great scorn at any
suggestion of retreat, and vowed that he would rather surrender the city
to the Spaniards than tolerate the presumption of Maurice and the States.
The young Prince accordingly, opened his batteries, but before an
entrance could be effected into the town, was obliged to retire at the
approach of Count Mansfield with a much superior force.  Gertruydenberg
was now surrendered to the Spaniards in accordance with a secret
negotiation which had been proceeding all the spring, and had been
brought to a conclusion at last.  The garrison received twelve months'
pay in full and a gratuity of five months in addition, and the city was
then reduced into obedience to Spain and Rome on the terms which had been
usual during the government of Farnese.

The loss of this city was most severe to the republic, for the enemy had
thus gained an entrance into the very heart of Holland.  It was a more
important acquisition to Alexander than even Bergen-op-Zoom would have
been, and it was a bitter reflection that to the treachery of
Netherlanders and of their English allies this great disaster was owing.
All the wrath aroused a year before by the famous treason of York and
Stanley, and which had been successfully extinguished, now flamed forth
afresh.  The States published a placard denouncing the men who had thus
betrayed the cause of freedom, and surrendered the city of Gertruydenberg
to the Spaniards, as perjured traitors whom it was made lawful to hang,
whenever or wherever caught, without trial or sentence, and offering
fifty florins a-head for every private soldier and one hundred florins
for any officer of the garrison.  A list of these Englishmen and
Netherlanders, so far as known, was appended to the placard, and the
catalogue was headed by the name of Sir John Wingfield.

Thus the consequences of the fatal event were even more deplorable than
the loss of the city itself.  The fury of Olden-Barneveld at the treason
was excessive, and the great Advocate governed the policy of the
republic, at this period, almost like a dictator.  The States, easily
acknowledging the sway of the imperious orator, became bitter--and
wrathful with the English, side by side with whom they had lately been
so cordially standing.

Willoughby, on his part, now at the English court, was furious with the
States, and persuaded the leading counsellors of the Queen as well as her
Majesty herself, to adopt his view of the transaction.  Wingfield, it was
asserted, was quite innocent in the matter; he was entirely ignorant of
the French language, and therefore was unable to read a word of the
letters addressed to him by Maurice and the replies which had been signed
by himself.  Whether this strange excuse ought to be accepted or not, it
is quite certain that he was no traitor like York and Stanley, and no
friend to Spain; for he had stipulated for himself the right to return
to England, and had neither received nor desired any reward.  He hated
Maurice and he hated the States, but he asserted that he had been held
in durance, that the garrison was mutinous, and that he was no more
responsible for the loss of the city than Sir Francis Vere had been, who
had also been present, and whose name had been subsequently withdrawn, in
honourable fashion from the list of traitors, by authority of the States.
His position--so far as he was personally concerned--seemed defensible,
and the Queen was thoroughly convinced of his innocence.  Willoughby
complained that the republic was utterly in the hands of Barneveld, that
no man ventured to lift his voice or his eyes in presence of the terrible
Advocate who ruled every Netherlander with a rod of iron, and that his
violent and threatening language to Wingfield and himself at the dinner-
table in Bergen-op-Zoom on the subject of the mutiny (when one hundred of
the Gertruydenberg garrison were within sound of his voice) had been the
chief cause of the rebellion.  Inspired by these remonstrances, the Queen
once more emptied the vials of her wrath upon the United Netherlands.
The criminations and recriminations seemed endless, and it was most
fortunate that Spain had been weakened, that Alexander, a prey to
melancholy and to lingering disease, had gone to the baths of Spa to
recruit his shattered health, and that his attention and the schemes of
Philip for the year 1589 and the following period were to be directed
towards France.  Otherwise the commonwealth could hardly have escaped
still more severe disasters than those already experienced in this
unfortunate condition of its affairs, and this almost hopeless
misunderstanding with its most important and vigorous friend.

While these events had been occurring in the heart of the republic,
Martin Schenk, that restless freebooter, had been pursuing a bustling and
most lucrative career on its outskirts.  All the episcopate of Cologne--
that debatable land of the two rival paupers, Bavarian Ernest and Gebhard
Truchsess--trembled before him.  Mothers scared their children into
quiet with the terrible name of Schenk, and farmers and land-younkers
throughout the electorate and the land of Berg, Cleves, and Juliers, paid
their black-mail, as if it were a constitutional impost, to escape the
levying process of the redoubtable partisan.

But Martin was no longer seconded, as he should have been, by the States,
to whom he had been ever faithful since he forsook the banner of Spain
for their own; and he had even gone to England and complained to the
Queen of the short-comings of those who owed him so much.  His ingenious
and daring exploit--the capture of Bonn--has already been narrated, but
the States had neglected the proper precautions to secure that important
city.  It had consequently, after a six months' siege, been surrendered
to the Spaniards under Prince Chimay, on the 19th of September; while, in
December following, the city of Wachtendonk, between the Rhine and Meuse,
had fallen into Mansfeld's hands.  Rheinberg, the only city of the
episcopate which remained to the deposed Truchsess, was soon afterwards
invested by the troops of Parma, and Schenk in vain summoned the States-
General to take proper measures for its defence.  But with the enemy now
eating his way towards the heart of Holland, and with so many dangers
threatening them on every side, it was thought imprudent to go so far
away to seek the enemy.  So Gebhard retired in despair into Germany,
and Martin did what he could to protect Rheinberg, and to fill his own
coffers at the expense of the whole country side.

He had built a fort, which then and long afterwards bore his name-
Schenken Schans, or Schenk's Sconce--at that important point where the
Rhine, opening its two arms to enclose the "good meadow" island of
Batavia, becomes on the left the Waal, while on the right it retains its
ancient name; and here, on the outermost edge of the republic, and
looking straight from his fastness into the fruitful fields of Munster,
Westphalia, and the electorate, the industrious Martin devoted himself
with advantage to his favourite pursuits.

On the 7th of August, on the heath of Lippe, he had attacked a body of
Spanish musketeers, more than a thousand strong, who were protecting a
convoy of provisions, treasure, and furniture, sent by Farnese to
Verdugo, royal governor of Friesland.  Schenk, without the loss of a
single man, had put the greater part of these Spaniards and Walloons to
the sword, and routed the rest.  The leader of the expedition, Colonel
Aristotle Patton, who had once played him so foul a trick in the
surrender of Gelder, had soon taken to flight, when he found his ancient
enemy upon him, and, dashing into the Lippe, had succeeded, by the
strength and speed of his horse, in gaining the opposite bank, and
effecting his escape.  Had he waited many minutes longer it is probable
that the treacherous Aristotle would have passed a comfortless half-hour
with his former comrade.  Treasure to the amount of seven thousand crowns
in gold, five hundred horses, with jewels, plate, and other articles of
value, were the fruit of this adventure, and Schenk returned with his
followers, highly delighted, to Schenkenschans, and sent the captured
Spanish colours to her Majesty of England as a token.

A few miles below his fortress was Nymegen, and towards that ancient and
wealthy city Schenk had often cast longing eyes.  It still held for the
King, although on the very confines of Batavia; but while acknowledging
the supremacy of Philip, it claimed the privileges of the empire.  From
earliest times it had held its head very high among imperial towns, had
been one of the three chief residences of the Emperor.  Charlemagne, and
still paid the annual tribute of a glove full of pepper to the German
empire.

On the evening of the 10th of August, 1589, there was a wedding feast in
one of the splendid mansions of the stately city.  The festivities were
prolonged until deep in the midsummer's night, and harp and viol were
still inspiring the feet of the dancers, when on a sudden, in the midst
of the holiday-groups, appeared the grim visage of Martin Schenk, the man
who never smiled.  Clad in no wedding-garment, but in armour of proof,
with morion on head, and sword in hand, the great freebooter strode
heavily through the ball-room, followed by a party of those terrible
musketeers who never gave or asked for quarter, while the affrighted
revellers fluttered away before them.

Taking advantage of a dark night, he had just dropped down the river from
his castle, with five-and-twenty barges, had landed with his most trusted
soldiers in the foremost vessels, had battered down the gate of St.
Anthony, and surprised and slain the guard.  Without waiting for the rest
of his boats, he had then stolen with his comrades through the silent
streets, and torn away the lattice-work, and other slight defences on the
rear of the house which they had now entered, and through which they
intended to possess themselves of the market-place.  Martin had long
since selected this mansion as a proper position for his enterprise, but
he had not been bidden to the wedding, and was somewhat disconcerted when
he found himself on the festive scene which he had so grimly interrupted.
Some of the merry-makers escaped from the house, and proceeded to alarm
the town; while Schenk hastily fortified his position; and took
possession of the square.  But the burghers and garrison were soon on
foot, and he was driven back into the house.  Three times he recovered
the square by main strength of his own arm, seconded by the handful of
men whom he had brought with him, and three times he was beaten back by
overwhelming numbers into the wedding mansion.  The arrival of the
greater part of his followers, with whose assistance he could easily have
mastered the city in the first moments of surprise, was mysteriously
delayed.  He could not account for their prolonged, absence, and was
meanwhile supported only by those who had arrived with him in the
foremost barges.

The truth--of which he was ignorant--was, that the remainder of the
flotilla, borne along by the strong and deep current of the Waal, then in
a state of freshet, had shot past the landing-place, and had ever since
been vainly struggling against wind and tide to force their way back to
the necessary point.  Meantime Schenk and his followers fought
desperately in the market-place, and desperately in the house which he
had seized.  But a whole garrison, and a town full of citizens in arms
proved too much for him, and he was now hotly besieged in the mansion,
and at last driven forth into the streets.

By this time day was dawning, the whole population, soldiers and
burghers, men, women, and children, were thronging about the little band
of marauders, and assailing them with every weapon and every missile to
be found.  Schenk fought with his usual ferocity, but at last the
musketeers, in spite of his indignant commands, began rapidly to retreat
towards the quay.  In vain Martin stormed and cursed, in vain with his
own hand he struck more than one of his soldiers dead.  He was swept
along with the panic-stricken band, and when, shouting and gnashing his
teeth with frenzy, he reached the quay at last, he saw at a glance why
his great enterprise had failed.  The few empty barges of his own party
were moored at the steps; the rest were half a mile off, contending
hopelessly against the swollen and rapid Waal.  Schenk, desperately
wounded, was left almost alone upon the wharf, for his routed followers
had plunged helter skelter into the boats, several of which, overladen in
the panic, sank at once, leaving the soldiers to drown or struggle with
the waves.  The game was lost.  Nothing was left the freebooter but
retreat.  Reluctantly turning his back on his enemies, now in full cry
close behind him, Schenk sprang into the last remaining boat just pushing
from the quay.  Already overladen, it foundered with his additional
weight, and Martin Schenk, encumbered with his heavy armour, sank at once
to the bottom of the Waal.

Some of the fugitives succeeded in swimming down the stream, and were
picked up by their comrades in the barges below the town, and so made
their escape.  Many were drowned with their captain.  A few days
afterwards, the inhabitants of Nymegen fished up the body of the famous
partisan.  He was easily recognized by his armour, and by his truculent
face, still wearing the scowl with which he had last rebuked his
followers.  His head was taken off at once, and placed on one of the
turrets of the town, and his body, divided in four, was made to adorn
other portions of the battlements; so that the burghers were enabled to
feast their eyes on the remnants of the man at whose name the whole
country had so often trembled.

This was the end of Sir Martin Schenk of Niddegem, knight, colonel, and
brigand; save that ultimately his dissevered limbs were packed in a
chest, and kept in a church tower, until Maurice of Nassau, in course of
time becoming master of Nymegen, honoured the valiant and on the whole
faithful freebooter with a Christian and military burial.

A few months later (October, 1589) another man who had been playing an
important part in the Netherlands' drama lost his life.  Count Moeurs and
Niewenaar, stadholder of Utrecht, Gelderland, and Overysael, while
inspecting some newly-invented fireworks, was suddenly killed by their
accidental ignition and explosion.  His death left vacant three great
stadholderates, which before long were to be conferred upon a youth whose
power henceforth was rapidly to grow greater.

The misunderstanding between Holland and England continuing, Olden-
Barneveld, Aerssens, and Buys, refusing to see that they had done wrong
in denouncing the Dutch and English traitors who had sold Gertruydenberg
to the enemy, and the Queen and her counsellors persisting in their anger
at so insolent a proceeding, it may easily be supposed that there was no
great heartiness in the joint expedition against Spain, which had been
projected in the autumn of 1588, and was accomplished in the spring and
summer of 1589.

Nor was this well-known enterprise fruitful of any remarkable result.
It had been decided to carry the war into Spain itself, and Don Antonio,
prior of Crato, bastard of Portugal, and pretender to its crown, had
persuaded himself and the English government that his name would be
potent to conjure with in that kingdom, hardly yet content with the
Spanish yoke.  Supported by a determined force of English and Dutch
adventurers, he boasted that he should excite a revolution by the magic
of his presence, and cause Philip's throne to tremble, in return for the
audacious enterprise of that monarch against England.

If a foray were to be made into Spain, no general and no admiral could be
found in the world so competent to the adventure as Sir John Norris and
Sir Francis Drake.  They were accompanied, too, by Sir Edward Norris, and
another of those 'chickens of Mars,' Henry Norris; by the indomitable and
ubiquitous Welshman, Roger Williams, and by the young Earl of Essex, whom
the Queen in vain commanded to remain at home, and who, somewhat to the
annoyance of the leaders of the expedition, concealed himself from her
Majesty's pursuit, and at last embarked in a vessel which he had
equipped, in order not to be cheated of his share in the hazard and
the booty.  "If I speed well," said the spendthrift but valiant youth;
"I will adventure to be rich; if not, I will never live, to see the end
of my poverty."

But no great riches were to be gathered in the expedition.  With some
fourteen thousand men, and one hundred and sixty vessels--of which six
were the Queen's ships of war, including the famous Revenge and the
Dreadnought, and the rest armed merchantmen, English, and forty
Hollanders--and with a contingent of fifteen hundred Dutchmen under
Nicolas van Meetkerke and Van Laen, the adventurers set sail from
Plymouth on the 18th of April, 1589.

They landed at Coruna--at which place they certainly could not expect to
create a Portuguese revolution, which was the first object of the
expedition--destroyed some shipping in the harbour, captured and sacked
the lower town, and were repulsed in the upper; marched with six thousand
men to Burgos, crossed the bridge at push of pike, and routed ten
thousand Spaniards under Andrada and Altamira--Edward Norris receiving a
desperate blow on the head at the passage' of the bridge, and being
rescued from death by his brother John--took sail for the south after
this action, in which they had killed a thousand Spaniards, and had lost
but two men of their own; were joined off Cape Finisterre by Essex;
landed a force at Peniche, the castle of which place surrendered to them,
and acknowledged the authority of Don Antonio; and thence marched with
the main body of the troops, under Sir John Norris, forty-eight miles to
Lisbon, while Drake, with the fleet, was to sail up the Tagus.

Nothing like a revolution had been effected in Portugal.  No one seemed
to care for the Pretender, or even to be aware that he had ever existed,
except the governor of Peniche Castle, a few ragged and bare-footed
peasants, who, once upon the road, shouted "Viva Don Antonio," and one
old gentleman by the way side, who brought him a plate of plums.  His
hopes of a crown faded rapidly, and when the army reached Lisbon it had
dwindled to not much more than four thousand effective men--the rest
being dead of dysentery, or on the sick-list from imprudence in eating
and drinking--while they found that they had made an unfortunate omission
in their machinery for assailing the capital, having not a single
fieldpiece in the whole army.  Moreover, as Drake was prevented by bad
weather and head-winds from sailing up the Tagus, it seemed a difficult
matter to carry the city.  A few cannon, and the co-operation of the
fleet, were hardly to be dispensed with on such an occasion.
Nevertheless it would perhaps have proved an easier task than it
appeared--for so great was the panic within the place that a large number
of the inhabitants had fled, the Cardinal Viceroy Archduke Albert had but
a very insufficient guard, and there were many gentlemen of high station
who were anxious to further the entrance of the English, and who were
afterwards hanged or garotted for their hostile sentiments to the Spanish
government.

While the leaders were deliberating what course to take, they were
informed that Count Fuentes and Henriquez de Guzman, with six thousand
men, lay at a distance of two miles from Lisbon, and that they had been
proclaiming by sound of trumpet that the English had been signally
defeated before Lisbon, and that they were in full retreat.

Fired at this bravado, Norris sent a trumpet to Fuentes and Guzman,
with a letter signed and sealed, giving them the lie in plainest terms,
appointing the next day for a meeting of the two forces, and assuring
them that when the next encounter should take place, it should be seen
whether a Spaniard or an Englishman would be first to fly; while Essex,
on his part, sent a note, defying either or both those boastful generals
to single combat.  Next day the English army took the field, but the
Spaniards retired before them; and nothing came of this exchange of
cartels, save a threat on the part of Fuentes to hang the trumpeter who
had brought the messages.  From the execution of this menace he
refrained, however, on being assured that the deed would be avenged by
the death of the Spanish prisoner of highest rank then in English hands,
and thus the trumpeter escaped.

Soon afterwards the fleet set sail from the Tagus, landed, and burned
Vigo on their way homeward, and returned to Plymouth about the middle of
July.

Of the thirteen thousand came home six thousand, the rest having perished
of dysentery and other disorders.  They had braved and insulted Spain,
humbled her generals, defied her power, burned some defenceless villages,
frightened the peasantry, set fire to some shipping, destroyed wine, oil,
and other merchandize, and had divided among the survivors of the
expedition, after landing in England, five shillings a head prize-money;
but they had not effected a revolution in Portugal.  Don Antonio had been
offered nothing by his faithful subjects but a dish of plums--so that he
retired into obscurity from that time forward--and all this was scarcely
a magnificent result for the death of six or seven thousand good English
and Dutch soldiers, and the outlay of considerable treasure.

As a free-booting foray--and it was nothing else--it could hardly be
thought successful; although it was a splendid triumph compared with the
result of the long and loudly heralded Invincible Armada.

In France, great events during the remainder of 1588 and the following
year, and which are well known even to the most superficial student of
history, had much changed the aspect of European affairs.  It was
fortunate for the two commonwealths of Holland and England, engaged in
the great struggle for civil and religious liberty, and national
independence, that the attention of Philip became more and more absorbed-
as time wore on--with the affairs of France.  It seemed necessary for him
firmly to establish his dominion in that country before attempting once
more the conquest of England, or the recovery of the Netherlands.  For
France had been brought more nearly to anarchy and utter decomposition
than ever.  Henry III., after his fatal forgiveness of the deadly offence
of Guise, felt day by day more keenly that he had transferred his
sceptre--such as it was--to that dangerous intriguer.  Bitterly did the
King regret having refused the prompt offer of Alphonse Corse on the day
of the barricades; for now, so long as the new generalissimo should live,
the luckless Henry felt himself a superfluity in his own realm.  The
halcyon days were for ever past, when, protected by the swords of Joyeuse
and of Epernon, the monarch of France could pass his life playing at cup
and ball, or snipping images out of pasteboard, or teaching his parrots-
to talk, or his lap-dogs to dance.  His royal occupations were gone, and
murder now became a necessary preliminary to any future tranquillity or
enjoyment.  Discrowned as he felt himself already, he knew that life or
liberty was only held by him now at the will of Guise.  The assassination
of the Duke in December was the necessary result of the barricades in
May; and accordingly that assassination was arranged with an artistic
precision of which the world had hardly suspected the Valois to be
capable, and which Philip himself might have envied.

The story of the murders of Blois--the destruction of Guise and his
brother the Cardinal, and the subsequent imprisonment of the Archbishop
of Lyons, the Cardinal Bourbon, and the Prince de Joinville, now, through
the death of his father, become the young Duke of Guise--all these events
are too familiar in the realms of history, song, romance, and painting,
to require more than this slight allusion here.

Never had an assassination been more technically successful; yet its
results were not commensurate with the monarch's hopes.  The deed which
he had thought premature in May was already too late in December.  His
mother denounced his cruelty now, as she had, six months before,
execrated his cowardice.  And the old Queen, seeing that her game was
played out--that the cards had all gone against her--that her son was
doomed, and her own influence dissolved in air, felt that there was
nothing left for her but to die.  In a week she was dead, and men spoke
no more of Catharine de' Medici, and thought no more of her than if--in
the words of a splenetic contemporary--"she had been a dead she-goat."
Paris howled with rage when it learned the murders of Blois, and the
sixteen quarters became more furious than ever against the Valois.  Some
wild talk there was of democracy and republicanism after the manner of
Switzerland, and of dividing France into cantons--and there was an
earnest desire on the part of every grandee, every general, every soldier
of fortune, to carve out a portion of French territory with his sword,
and to appropriate it for himself and his heirs.  Disintegration was
making rapid progress, and the epoch of the last Valois seemed mare dark
and barbarous than the times of the degenerate Carlovingians had been.
The letter-writer of the Escorial, who had earnestly warned his faithful
Mucio, week after week, that dangers were impending over him, and that
"some trick would be played upon him," should he venture into the royal
presence, now acquiesced in his assassination, and placidly busied
himself with fresh combinations and newer tools.

Baked, hunted, scorned by all beside, the luckless Henry now threw
himself into the arms of the Bearnese--the man who could and would have
protected him long before, had the King been capable of understanding
their relative positions and his own true interests.  Could the Valois
have conceived the thought of religious toleration, his throne even then
might have been safe.  But he preferred playing the game of the priests
and bigots, who execrated his name and were bent upon his destruction.
At last, at Plessis les Tours, the Bearnese, in his shabby old chamois
jacket and his well-dinted cuirass took the silken Henry in his arms, and
the two--the hero and the fribble--swearing eternal friendship, proceeded
to besiege Paris.  A few weeks later, the dagger of Jacques Clement put
an end for ever to, the line of Valois.  Luckless Henry III. slept with
his forefathers, and Henry of Bourbon and Navarre proclaimed himself King
of France.  Catharine and her four sons had all past away at last, and it
would be a daring and a dexterous schemer who should now tear the crown,
for which he had so long and so patiently waited, from the iron grasp of
the Bearnese.  Philip had a more difficult game than ever to play in
France.  It would be hard for him to make valid the claims of the Infanta
and any husband he might select for her to the crown of her grandfather
Henry II.  It seemed simple enough for him, while waiting the course of
events, to set up a royal effigy before the world in the shape of an
effete old Cardinal Bourbon, to pour oil upon its head and to baptize it
Charles X.; but meantime the other Bourbon was no effigy, and he called
himself Henry IV.

It was easy enough for Paris, and Madam League, and Philip the Prudent,
to cry wo upon the heretic; but the cheerful leader of the Huguenots was
a philosopher, who in the days of St. Bartholomew had become orthodox to
save his life, and who was already "instructing himself" anew in order to
secure his crown.  Philip was used to deal with fanatics, and had often
been opposed by a religious bigotry as fierce as his own; but he might
perhaps be baffled by a good-humoured free-thinker, who was to teach him
a lesson in political theology of which he had never dreamed.

The Leaguers were not long in doubt as to the meaning of "instruction,"
and they were thoroughly persuaded that--so soon as Henry IV. should
reconcile himself with Rome--their game was likely to become desperate.

Nevertheless prudent Philip sat in his elbow-chairs writing his
apostilles, improving himself and his secretaries in orthography, but
chiefly confining his attention to the affairs of France.  The departed
Mucio's brother Mayenne was installed as chief stipendiary of Spain and
lieutenant-general for the League in France, until Philip should
determine within himself in what form to assume the sovereignty of that
kingdom.  It might be questionable however whether that corpulent Duke,
who spent more time in eating than Henry IV. did in sleeping, and was
longer in reading a letter than Henry in winning a battle, were likely to
prove a very dangerous rival even with all Spain at his back--to the
lively Bearnese.  But time would necessarily be consumed before the end
was reached, and time and Philip were two.  Henry of Navarre and France
was ready to open his ears to instruction; but even he had declared,
several years before, that "a religion was not to be changed like a
shirt."  So while the fresh garment was airing for him at Rome, and while
he was leisurely stripping off the old, he might perhaps be taken at
a disadvantage.  Fanaticism on both sides, during this process of
instruction, might be roused.  The Huguenots on their part might denounce
the treason of their great chief, and the Papists, on theirs, howl at the
hypocrisy of the pretended conversion.  But Henry IV. had philosophically
prepared himself for the denunciations of the Protestants, while
determined to protect them against the persecutions of the Romanism to
which he meant to give his adhesion.  While accepting the title of
renegade, together with an undisputed crown, he was not the man to
rekindle those fires of religious bigotry which it was his task to
quench, now that they had lighted his way to the throne.  The demands
of his Catholic supporters for the exclusion from the kingdom of all
religions but their own, were steadily refused.

And thus the events of 1588 and 1589 indicated that the great game of
despotism against freedom would be played, in the coming years, upon the
soil of France.  Already Elizabeth had furnished the new King with
L22,000 in gold--a larger sum; as he observed, than he had ever seen
before in his life,  and the States of the Netherlands had provided him
with as much more.  Willoughby too, and tough Roger Williams, and
Baskerville, and Umpton, and Vere, with 4000 English pikemen at their
back, had already made a brief but spirited campaign in France; and the
Duke of Parma, after recruiting his health; so, far as it was possible;
at Spa, was preparing himself to measure swords with that great captain
of Huguenots; who now assumed the crown of his ancestors, upon the same
ground.  It seemed probable that for the coming years England would be
safe from Spanish invasion, and that Holland would have a better
opportunity than it had ever enjoyed before of securing its liberty and
perfecting its political organization.  While Parma, Philip; and Mayenne
were fighting the Bearnese for the crown of France, there might be a
fairer field for the new commonwealth of the United Netherlands.

And thus many of the personages who have figured in these volumes have
already passed away.  Leicester had died just after the defeat of the
Armada, and the thrifty Queen, while dropping a tear upon the grave of
'sweet Robin,' had sold his goods at auction to defray his debts to
herself; and Moeurs, and Martin Schenk, and 'Mucio,' and Henry III., and
Catharine de' Medici, were all dead.  But Philip the Prudent remained,
and Elizabeth of England, and Henry of France and Navarre, and John of
Olden-Barneveld; and there was still another personage, a very young man
still, but a deep-thinking, hard-working student, fagging steadily at
mathematics and deep in the works of Stevinus, who, before long, might
play a conspicuous part in the world's great drama.  But, previously to
1590, Maurice of Nassau seemed comparatively insignificant, and he could
be spoken of by courtiers as a cipher, and as an unmannerly boy just let
loose from school.



ETEXT EDITOR'S BOOKMARKS:

I will never live, to see the end of my poverty
Religion was not to be changed like a shirt
Tension now gave place to exhaustion





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