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´╗┐Title: History of the United Netherlands, 1586c
Author: Motley, John Lothrop
Language: English
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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, 1586


CHAPTER IX.

     Military Plans in the Netherlands--The Elector and Electorate of
     Cologne--Martin Schenk--His Career before serving the States--
     Franeker University founded--Parma attempts Grave--Battle on the
     Meuse--Success and Vainglory of Leicester--St. George's Day
     triumphantly kept at Utrecht--Parma not so much appalled as it was
     thought--He besieges and reduces Grave--And is Master of the Meuse--
     Leicester's Rage at the Surrender of Grave--His Revenge--Parma on
     the Rhine--He besieges aid assaults Neusz--Horrible Fate of the
     Garrison and City--Which Leicester was unable to relieve--Asel
     surprised by Maurice and Sidney--The Zeeland Regiment given to
     Sidney--Condition of the Irish and English Troops--Leicester takes
     the Field--He reduces Doesburg--He lays siege to Zutphen--Which
     Parma prepares to relieve--The English intercept the Convoy--Battle
     of Warnsfeld--Sir Philip Sidney wounded--Results of the Encounter--
     Death of Sidney at Arnheim--Gallantry of Edward Stanley.

Five great rivers hold the Netherland territory in their coils.  Three
are but slightly separated--the Yssel, Waal, and ancient Rhine, while the
Scheldt and, Meuse are spread more widely asunder.  Along each of these
streams were various fortified cities, the possession of which, in those
days, when modern fortification was in its infancy, implied the control
of the surrounding country.  The lower part of all the rivers, where they
mingled with the sea and became wide estuaries, belonged to the Republic,
for the coasts and the ocean were in the hands of the Hollanders and
English.  Above, the various strong places were alternately in the hands
of the Spaniards and of the patriots.  Thus Antwerp, with the other
Scheldt cities, had fallen into Parma's power, but Flushing, which
controlled them all, was held by Philip Sidney for the Queen and States.
On the Meuse, Maastricht and Roermond were Spanish, but Yenloo, Grave,
Meghem, and other towns, held for the commonwealth.  On the Waal, the
town of Nymegen had, through the dexterity of Martin Schenk, been
recently transferred to the royalists, while the rest of that river's
course was true to the republic.  The Rhine, strictly so called, from its
entrance into Netherland, belonged to the rebels.  Upon its elder branch,
the Yssel, Zutphen was in Parma's hands, while, a little below, Deventer
had been recently and adroitly saved by Leicester and Count Meurs from
falling into the same dangerous grasp.

Thus the triple Rhine, after it had crossed the German frontier, belonged
mainly, although not exclusively, to the States.  But on the edge of the
Batavian territory, the ancient river, just before dividing itself into
its three branches, flowed through a debatable country which was even
more desolate and forlorn, if possible, than the land of the obedient
Provinces.

This unfortunate district was the archi-episcopal electorate of Cologne.
The city of Cologne itself, Neusz, and Rheinberg, on the river, Werll and
other places in Westphalia and the whole country around, were endangered,
invaded, ravaged, and the inhabitants plundered, murdered, and subjected
to every imaginable outrage, by rival bands of highwaymen, enlisted in
the support of the two rival bishops--beggars, outcasts, but high-born
and learned churchmen both--who disputed the electorate.

At the commencement of the year a portion of the bishopric was still in
the control of the deposed Protestant elector Gebhard Truchsess, assisted
of course by the English and the States.  The city of Cologne was held by
the Catholic elector, Ernest of Bavaria, bishop of Liege; but Neusz and
Rheinberg were in the hands of the Dutch republic.

The military operations of the year were, accordingly, along the Meuse,
where the main object of Parma was to wrest Grave From the Netherlands;
along the Waal, where, on the other hand, the patriots wished to recover
Nymegen; on the Yssel, where they desired to obtain the possession of
Zutphen; and in the Cologne electorate, where the Spaniards meant, if
possible, to transfer Neusz and Rheinberg from Truchsess to Elector
Ernest.  To clear the course of these streams, and especially to set free
that debatable portion of the river-territory which hemmed him in from
neutral Germany, and cut off the supplies from his starving troops, was
the immediate design of Alexander Farnese.

Nothing could be more desolate than the condition of the electorate.
Ever since Gebhard Truchsess had renounced the communion of the Catholic
Church for the love of Agnes Mansfeld, and so gained a wife and lost his
principality, he had been a dependant upon the impoverished Nassaus, or a
supplicant for alms to the thrifty Elizabeth.  The Queen was frequently
implored by Leicester, without much effect, to send the ex-elector a few
hundred pounds to keep him from starving, as "he had not one groat to
live upon," and, a little later, he was employed as a go-between, and
almost a spy, by the Earl, in his quarrels with the patrician party
rapidly forming against him in the States.

At Godesberg--the romantic ruins of which stronghold the traveller still
regards with interest, placed as it is in the midst of that enchanting
region where Drachenfels looks down on the crumbling tower of Roland and
the convent of Nonnenwerth--the unfortunate Gebhard had sustained a
conclusive defeat.  A small, melancholy man, accomplished, religious,
learned, "very poor but very wise," comely, but of mean stature,
altogether an unlucky and forlorn individual, he was not, after all,
in very much inferior plight to that in which his rival, the Bavarian
bishop, had found himself.  Prince Ernest, archbishop of Liege and
Cologne, a hangeron of his brother, who sought to shake him off, and a
stipendiary of Philip, who was a worse paymaster than Elizabeth, had a
sorry life of it, notwithstanding his nominal possession of the see.  He
was forced to go, disguised and in secret, to the Prince of Parma at
Brussels, to ask for assistance, and to mention, with lacrymose
vehemence, that both his brother and himself had determined to renounce
the episcopate, unless the forces of the Spanish King could be employed
to recover the cities on the Rhine.  If Neusz and Rheinberg were not
wrested from the rebels; Cologne itself would soon be gone.  Ernest
represented most eloquently to Alexander, that if the protestant
archbishop were reinstated in the ancient see, it would be a most
perilous result for the ancient church throughout all northern Europe.
Parma kept the wandering prelate for a few days in his palace in
Brussels, and then dismissed him, disguised and on foot, in the dusk of
the evening, through the park-gate.  He encouraged him with hopes of
assistance, he represented to his sovereign the importance of preserving
the Rhenish territory to Bishop Ernest and to Catholicism, but hinted
that the declared intention of the Bavarian to resign the dignity, was
probably a trick, because the archi-episcopate was no such very bad thing
after all.

The archi-episcopate might be no very bad thing, but it was a most
uncomfortable place of residence, at the moment, for prince or peasant.
Overrun by hordes of brigands, and crushed almost out of existence by
that most deadly of all systems of taxations, the 'brandschatzung,' it
was fast becoming a mere den of thieves.  The 'brandschatzung' had no
name in English, but it was the well-known impost, levied by roving
commanders, and even by respectable generals of all nations.  A hamlet,
cluster of farm-houses, country district, or wealthy city, in order to
escape being burned and ravaged, as the penalty of having fallen into a
conqueror's hands, paid a heavy sum of ready money on the nail at command
of the conqueror.  The free companions of the sixteenth century drove a
lucrative business in this particular branch of industry; and when to
this was added the more direct profits derived from actual plunder, sack,
and ransoming, it was natural that a large fortune was often the result
to the thrifty and persevering commander of free lances.

Of all the professors of this comprehensive art, the terrible Martin
Schenk was preeminent; and he was now ravaging the Cologne territory,
having recently passed again to the service of the States.  Immediately
connected with the chief military events of the period which now occupies
us, he was also the very archetype of the marauders whose existence was
characteristic of the epoch.  Born in 1549 of an ancient and noble family
of Gelderland, Martin Schenk had inherited no property but a sword.
Serving for a brief term as page to the Seigneur of Ysselstein, he
joined, while yet a youth, the banner of William of Orange, at the head
of two men-at-arms.  The humble knight-errant, with his brace of squires,
was received with courtesy by the Prince and the Estates, but he soon
quarrelled with his patrons.  There was a castle of Blyenbeek, belonging
to his cousin, which he chose to consider his rightful property, because
he was of the same race, and because it was a convenient and productive
estate and residence, The courts had different views of public law, and
supported the ousted cousin.  Martin shut himself up in the castle, and
having recently committed a rather discreditable homicide, which still
further increased his unpopularity with the patriots, he made overtures
to Parma.  Alexander was glad to enlist so bold a soldier on his side,
and assisted Schenk in his besieged stronghold.  For years afterwards,
his services under the King's banner were most brilliant, and he rose to
the highest military command, while his coffers, meantime, were rapidly
filling with the results of his robberies and 'brandschatzungs.' "'Tis a
most courageous fellow," said Parma, "but rather a desperate highwayman
than a valiant soldier."   Martin's couple of lances had expanded into a
corps of free companions, the most truculent, the most obedient, the most
rapacious in Christendom.  Never were freebooters more formidable to the
world at large, or more docile to their chief, than were the followers
of General Schenk.  Never was a more finished captain of highwaymen.
He was a man who was never sober, yet who never smiled.  His habitual
intoxication seemed only to increase both his audacity and his
taciturnity, without disturbing his reason.  He was incapable of fear,
of fatigue, of remorse.  He could remain for days and nights without
dismounting-eating, drinking, and sleeping in the saddle; so that to this
terrible centaur his horse seemed actually a part of himself.  His
soldiers followed him about like hounds, and were treated by him like
hounds.  He habitually scourged them, often took with his own hand the
lives of such as displeased him, and had been known to cause individuals
of them to jump from the top of church steeples at his command; yet the
pack were ever stanch to his orders, for they knew that he always led
them where the game was plenty.  While serving under Parma he had twice
most brilliantly defeated Hohenlo.  At the battle of Hardenberg Heath he
had completely outgeneralled that distinguished chieftain, slaying
fifteen hundred of his soldiers at the expense of only fifty or sixty of
his own.  By this triumph he had preserved the important city of
Groningen for Philip, during an additional quarter of a century, and had
been received in that city with rapture.  Several startling years of
victory and rapine he had thus run through as a royalist partisan.  He
became the terror and the scourge of his native Gelderland, and he was
covered with wounds received in the King's service.  He had been twice
captured and held for ransom.  Twice he had effected his escape.  He had
recently gained the city of Nymegen.  He was the most formidable, the
most unscrupulous, the most audacious Netherlander that wore Philip's
colours; but he had received small public reward for his services, and
the wealth which he earned on the high-road did not suffice for his
ambition.  He had been deeply disgusted, when, at the death of Count
Renneberg, Verdugo, a former stable-boy of Mansfeld, a Spaniard who had
risen from the humblest rank to be a colonel and general, had been made
governor of Friesland.  He had smothered his resentment for a time
however, but had sworn within himself to desert at the most favourable
opportunity.  At last, after he had brilliantly saved the city of Breda
from falling into the hands of the patriots, he was more enraged than he
had ever been before, when Haultepenne, of the house of Berlapmont, was
made governor of that place in his stead.

On the 25th of May, 1585, at an hour after midnight, he had a secret
interview with Count Meurs, stadholder for the States of Gelderland, and
agreed to transfer his mercenary allegiance to the republic.  He made
good terms.  He was to be lieutenant-governor of Gelderland, and he was
to have rank as marshal of the camp in the States' army, with a salary
of twelve hundred and fifty guilders a month.  He agreed to resign his
famous castle of Blyenbeek, but was to be reimbursed with estates in
Holland and Zeeland, of the annual value of four thousand florins.

After this treaty, Martin and his free lances served the States
faithfully, and became sworn foes to Parma and the King.  He gave and
took no quarter, and his men, if captured, "paid their ransom with their
heads."  He ceased to be the scourge of Gelderland, but he became the
terror of the electorate.  Early in 1586, accompanied by Herman Kloet,
the young and daring Dutch commandant of Neusz, he had swept down into
the Westphalian country, at the head of five hundred foot and five
hundred horse.  On the 18th of March he captured the city of Werll by a
neat stratagem.  The citizens, hemmed in on all sides by marauders, were
in want of many necessaries of life, among other things, of salt.  Martin
had, from time to time, sent some of his soldiers into the place,
disguised as boors from the neighbourhood, and carrying bags of that
article.  A pacific trading intercourse had thus been established between
the burghers within and the banditti without the gates.  Agreeable
relations were formed within the walls, and a party of townsmen had
agreed to cooperate with the followers of Schenk.  One morning a train
of waggons laden with soldiers neatly covered with salt, made their
appearance at the gate.  At the same time a fire broke out most
opportunely within the town.  The citizens busily employed themselves in
extinguishing the flames.  The salted soldiers, after passing through the
gateway, sprang from the waggons, and mastered the watch.  The town was.
carried at a blow.  Some of the inhabitants were massacred as a warning
to the rest; others were taken prisoners and held for ransom; a few, more
fortunate, made their escape to the citadel.  That fortress was stormed
in vain, but the city was thoroughly sacked.  Every house was rifled of
its contents.  Meantime Haultepenne collected a force of nearly four
thousand men, boors, citizens, and soldiers, and came to besiege Schenk
in the town, while, at the same time, attacks were made upon him from the
castle.  It was impossible for him to hold the city, but he had
completely robbed it of every thing valuable.  Accordingly he loaded a
train of waggons with his booty, took with him thirty of the magistrates
as hostages, with other wealthy citizens, and marching in good order
against Haultepenne, completely routed him, killing a number variously
estimated at from five hundred to two thousand, and effected his retreat,
desperately wounded in the thigh, but triumphant, and laden with the
spoils to Venlo on the Meuse, of which city he was governor.

"Surely this is a noble fellow, a worthy fellow," exclaimed Leicester,
who was filled with admiration at the bold marauder's progress, and vowed
that he was "the only soldier in truth that they had, for he was never
idle, and had succeeded hitherto very happily."

And thus, at every point of the doomed territory of the little
commonwealth, the natural atmosphere in which the inhabitants existed
was one of blood and rapine.  Yet during the very slight lull, which
was interposed in the winter of 1585-6 to the eternal clang of arms in
Friesland, the Estates of that Province, to their lasting honour, founded
the university of Franeker.  A dozen years before, the famous institution
at Leyden had been established, as a reward to the burghers for their
heroic defence of the city.  And now this new proof was given of the love
of Netherlanders, even in the midst of their misery and their warfare,
for the more humane arts.  The new college was well endowed from ancient
churchlands, and not only was the education made nearly gratuitous, while
handsome salaries were provided for the professors, but provision was
made by which the, poorer scholars could be fed and boarded at a very
moderate expense.  There was a table provided at an annual cost to the
student of but fifty florins, and a second and third table at the very
low price of forty and thirty florins respectively.  Thus the sum to be
paid by the poorer class of scholars for a year's maintenance was less
than three pounds sterling a year [1855 exchange rate D.W.].  The voice
with which this infant seminary of the Muses first made itself heard
above the din of war was but feeble, but the institution was destined to
thrive, and to endow the world, for many successive generations, with the
golden fruits of science and genius.

Early in the spring, the war was seriously taken in hand by Farnese.  It
has already been seen that the republic had been almost entirely driven
out of Flanders and Brabant.  The Estates, however, still held Grave,
Megem, Batenburg, and Venlo upon the Meuse.  That river formed, as it
were, a perfect circle of protection for the whole Province of Brabant,
and Farnese determined to make himself master of this great natural moat.
Afterwards, he meant to possess himself of the Rhine, flowing in a
parallel course, about twenty-five miles further to the east.  In order
to gain and hold the Meuse, the first step was to reduce the city of
Grave.  That town, upon the left or Brabant bank, was strongly fortified
on its land-side, where it was surrounded by low and fertile pastures,
while, upon the other, it depended upon its natural Toss, the river.  It
was, according to Lord North and the Earl of Leicester, the "strongest
town in all the Low Countries, though but a little one."

Baron Hemart, a young Gueldrian noble, of small experience in military
affairs, commanded in the city, his garrison being eight hundred
soldiers, and about one thousand burgher guard.  As early as January,
Farnese had ordered Count Mansfeld to lay siege to the place.  Five forts
had accordingly been constructed, above and below the town, upon the left
bank of the river, while a bridge of boats thrown across the stream led
to a fortified camp on the opposite side.  Mansfeld, Mondragon, Bobadil,
Aquila, and other distinguished veterans in Philip's service, were
engaged in the enterprise.  A few unimportant skirmishes between Schenk
and the Spaniards had taken place, but the city was already hard pressed,
and, by the series of forts which environed it, was cut off from its
supplies.  It was highly important, therefore, that Grave should be
relieved, with the least possible delay.

Early in Easter week, a force of three thousand men, under Hohenlo and
Sir John Norris, was accordingly despatched by Leicester, with orders,
at every hazard, to throw reinforcements and provisions into the place.
They took possession, at once, of a stone sconce, called the Mill-Fort,
which was guarded by fifty men, mostly boors of the country.  These were
nearly all hanged for "using malicious words," and for "railing against
Queen Elizabeth," and--a sufficient number of men being left to maintain
the fort--the whole relieving force marched with great difficulty--for
the river was rapidly rising, and flooding the country--along the right
bank of the Meuse, taking possession of Batenburg and Ravenstein castles,
as they went.  A force of four or five hundred Englishmen was then pushed
forward to a point almost exactly opposite Grave, and within an English
mile of the head of the bridge constructed by the Spaniards.  Here, in
the night of Easter Tuesday, they rapidly formed an entrenched camp, upon
the dyke along the river, and, although molested by some armed vessels,
succeeded in establishing themselves in a most important position.

On the morning of Easter Wednesday, April 16, Mansfeld, perceiving that
the enemy had thus stolen a march upon him, ordered one thousand picked
troops, all Spaniards, under Aquila, Casco and other veterans, to
assault this advanced post.  A reserve of two thousand was placed in
readiness to support the attack.  The Spaniards slowly crossed the
bridge, which was swaying very dangerously with the current, and then
charged the entrenched camp at a run.  A quarrel between the different
regiments as to the right of precedence precipitated the attack, before
the reserve, consisting of some picked companies of Mondragon's veterans,
had been able to arrive.  Coming in breathless and fatigued, the first
assailants were readily repulsed in their first onset.  Aquila then
opportunely made his appearance, and the attack was renewed with great
vigour: The defenders of the camp yielded at the third charge and fled in
dismay, while the Spaniards, leaping the barriers, scattered hither and
thither in the ardour of pursuit.  The routed Englishmen fled swiftly
along the oozy dyke, in hopes of joining the main body of the relieving
party, who were expected to advance, with the dawn, from their position
six miles farther down the river.  Two miles long the chace lasted, and
it seemed probable that the fugitives would be overtaken and destroyed,
when, at last, from behind a line of mounds which stretched towards
Batenburg and had masked their approach, appeared Count Hohenlo and Sir
John Norris, at the head of twenty-five hundred Englishmen and
Hollanders.  This force, advanced as rapidly as the slippery ground and
the fatigue of a two hours' march would permit to the rescue of their
friends, while the retreating English rallied, turned upon their
pursuers, and drove them back over the path along which they had just
been charging in the full career of victory.  The fortune of the day was
changed, and in a few minutes Hohenlo and Norris would have crossed the
river and entered Grave, when the Spanish companies of Bobadil and other
commanders were seen marching along the quaking bridge.

Three thousand men on each side now met at push of pike on the bank of
the Meuse.  The rain-was pouring in torrents, the wind was blowing a
gale, the stream was rapidly rising, and threatening to overwhelm its
shores.  By a tacit and mutual consent, both armies paused for a few
moments in full view of each other.  After this brief interval they
closed again, breast to breast, in sharp and steady conflict.  The
ground, slippery with rain and with blood, which was soon flowing almost
as fast as the rain, afforded an unsteady footing to the combatants.
They staggered like drunken men, fell upon their knees, or upon their
backs, and still, kneeling or rolling prostrate, maintained the deadly
conflict.  For the space of an hour and a half the fierce encounter of
human passion outmastered the fury of the elements.  Norris and Hohenlo
fought at the head of their columns, like paladins of old.  The
Englishman was wounded in the mouth and breast, the Count was seen to
gallop past one thousand musketeers and caliver-men of the enemy, and to
escape unscathed.  But as the strength of the soldiers exhausted itself,
the violence of the tempest increased.  The floods of rain and the blasts
of the hurricane at last terminated the affray.  The Spaniards, fairly
conquered, were compelled to a retreat, lest the rapidly rising river
should sweep away the frail and trembling bridge, over which they had
passed to their unsuccessful assault.  The English and Netherlanders
remained masters of the field.  The rising flood, too, which was fast
converting the meadows into a lake, was as useful to the conquerors as
it was damaging to the Spaniards.

In the course of the few following days, a large number of boats was
despatched before the very eyes of Parma, from Batenburg into Grave;
Hohenlo, who had "most desperately adventured his person" throughout the
whole affair, entering the town himself.

A force of five hundred men, together with provisions enough to last
a year, was thrown into the city, and the course of the Meuse was,
apparently, secured to the republic.  In this important action about
one hundred and fifty Dutch and English were killed, and probably four
hundred Spaniards, including several distinguished officers.

The Earl of Leicester was incredibly elated so soon as the success of
this enterprise was known.  "Oh that her Majesty knew," he cried, "how
easy a match now she hath with the King of Spain, and what millions of
aficted people she hath relieved in these, countries.  This summer, this
summer, I say, would make an end to her immortal glory."  He was no
friend to his countryman, the gallant Sir John Norris--whom, however, he
could not help applauding on this occasion,--but he was in raptures with
Hohenlo.  Next to God, he assured the Queen's government that the victory
was owing to the Count.  "He is both a valiant man and a wise man, and
the painfullest that ever I knew," he said; adding--as a secret--that
"five hundred Englishmen of the best Flemish training had flatly and
shamefully run away," when the fight had been renewed by Hohenlo and
Norris.  He recommended that her Majesty should, send her picture to the
Count, worth two hundred pounds, which he would value at more than one
thousand pounds in money, and he added that "for her sake the Count had
greatly left his drinking."

As for the Prince of Parma, Leicester looked upon him as conclusively
beaten.  He spoke of him as "marvellously appalled" by this overthrow of
his forces; but he assured the government that if the Prince's "choler
should press him to seek revenge," he should soon be driven out of the
country.  The Earl would follow him "at an inch," and effectually
frustrate all his undertakings.  "If the Spaniard have such a May as he
has had an April," said Lord North, "it will put water in his wine."

Meantime, as St. George's Day was approaching, and as the Earl was fond
of banquets and ceremonies, it was thought desirable to hold a great
triumphal feast at Utrecht.  His journey to that city from the Hague was
a triumphal procession.  In all the towns through which he passed he was
entertained with military display, pompous harangues, interludes, dumb
shows, and allegories.  At Amsterdam--a city which he compared to Venice
for situation and splendour, and where one thousand ships were constantly
lying--he was received with "sundry great whales and other fishes of
hugeness," that gambolled about his vessel, and convoyed him to the
shore.  These monsters of the deep presented him to the burgomaster and
magistrates who were awaiting him on the quay.  The burgomaster made him
a Latin oration, to which Dr. Bartholomew Clerk responded, and then the
Earl was ushered to the grand square, upon which, in his honour, a
magnificent living picture was exhibited, in which he figured as Moses,
at the head of the Israelites, smiting the Philistines hip and thigh.
After much mighty banqueting in Amsterdam, as in the other cities, the
governor-general came to Utrecht.  Through the streets of this antique
and most picturesque city flows the palsied current of the Rhine, and
every barge and bridge were decorated with the flowers of spring.  Upon
this spot, where, eight centuries before the Anglo-Saxon, Willebrod had
first astonished the wild Frisians with the pacific doctrines of Jesus,
and had been stoned to death as his reward, stood now a more arrogant
representative of English piety.  The balconies were crowded with fair
women, and decorated with scarves and banners.  From the Earl's
residence--the ancient palace of the Knights of Rhodes--to the cathedral,
the way was lined with a double row of burgher guards, wearing red roses
on their arms, and apparelled in the splendid uniforms for which the
Netherlanders were celebrated.  Trumpeters in scarlet and silver, barons,
knights, and great officers, in cloth of gold and silks of all colours;
the young Earl of Essex, whose career was to be so romantic, and whose
fate so tragic; those two ominous personages, the deposed little
archbishop-elector of Cologne, with his melancholy face, and the unlucky
Don Antonio, Pretender of Portugal, for whom, dead or alive, thirty
thousand crowns and a dukedom were perpetually offered by Philip II.;
young Maurice of Nassau, the future controller of European destinies;
great counsellors of state, gentlemen, guardsmen, and portcullis-herald,
with the coat of arms of Elizabeth, rode in solemn procession along.
Then great Leicester himself,  "most princelike in the robes of his
order," guarded by a troop of burghers, and by his own fifty halberd-men
in scarlet cloaks trimmed with white and purple velvet, pranced
gorgeously by.

The ancient cathedral, built on the spot where Saint Willebrod had once
ministered, with its light, tapering, brick tower, three hundred and
sixty feet in height, its exquisitely mullioned windows, and its
elegantly foliaged columns, soon received the glittering throng.  Hence,
after due religious ceremonies, and an English sermon from Master
Knewstubs, Leicester's chaplain, was a solemn march back again to the
palace, where a stupendous banquet was already laid in the great hall.

On the dais at the upper end of the table, blazing with plate and
crystal, stood the royal chair, with the Queen's plate and knife and fork
before it, exactly as if she had been present, while Leicester's trencher
and stool were set respectfully quite at the edge of the board.  In the
neighbourhood of this post of honour sat Count Maurice, the Elector, the
Pretender, and many illustrious English personages, with the fair Agnes
Mansfeld, Princess Chimay, the daughters of William the Silent, and other
dames of high degree.

Before the covers were removed, came limping up to the dais grim-visaged
Martin Schenk, freshly wounded, but triumphant, from the sack of Werll,
and black John Norris, scarcely cured of the spearwounds in his face and
breast received at the relief of Grave.  The sword of knighthood was
laid upon the shoulder of each hero, by the Earl of Leicester, as her
Majesty's vicegerent; and then the ushers marshalled the mighty feast.
Meats in the shape of lions, tigers, dragons, and leopards, flanked by
peacocks, swans, pheasants, and turkeys "in their natural feathers as in
their greatest pride," disappeared, course after course, sonorous metal
blowing meanwhile the most triumphant airs.  After the banquet came
dancing, vaulting, tumbling; together with the "forces of Hercules, which
gave great delight to the strangers," after which the company separated
until evensong.

Then again, "great was the feast," says the chronicler,--a mighty supper
following hard upon the gigantic dinner.  After this there was tilting
at the barriers, the young Earl of Essex and other knights bearing
themselves more chivalrously than would seem to comport with so much
eating and drinking.  Then, horrible to relate, came another "most
sumptuous banquet of sugar-meates for the men-at-arms and the ladies,"
after which, it being now midnight, the Lord of Leicester bade the whole
company good rest, and the men-at-arms and ladies took their leave.

But while all this chivalrous banqueting and holiday-making was in hand,
the Prince of Parma was in reality not quite so much "appalled" by the
relief of Grave as his antagonist had imagined.  The Earl, flushed with
the success of Hohenlo, already believed himself master of the country,
and assured his government, that, if he should be reasonably well
supplied, he would have Antwerp back again and Bruges besides before
mid June.  Never, said he, was "the Prince of Parma so dejected nor so
melancholy since he came into these countries, nor so far out of
courage."  And it is quite true that Alexander had reason to be
discouraged.  He had but eight or nine thousand men, and no money to pay
even this little force.  The soldiers were perishing daily, and nearly
all the survivors were described by their chief, as sick or maimed.  The
famine in the obedient Provinces was universal, the whole population was
desperate with hunger; and the merchants, frightened by Drake's
successes, and appalled by the ruin all around them, drew their purse-
strings inexorably.  "I know not to what saint to devote myself," said
Alexander.  He had been compelled, by the movement before Grave, to
withdraw Haultepenne from the projected enterprise against Neusz, and he
was quite aware of the cheerful view which Leicester was inclined to take
of their relative positions.  "The English think they are going to do
great things," said he; "and consider themselves masters of the field."

Nevertheless, on the 11th May, the dejected melancholy man had left
Brussels, and joined his little army, consisting of three thousand
Spaniards and five thousand of all other nations.  His veterans, though
unpaid; ragged, and half-starved were in raptures to, have their idolized
commander among them again, and vowed that under his guidance there was
nothing which they could not accomplish.  The King's honour, his own,
that of the army, all were pledged to take the city.  On the success of,
that enterprise, he said, depended all his past conquests, and every hope
for the future.  Leicester and the, English, whom he called the head and
body of the rebel forces, were equally pledged to relieve the place, and
were bent upon meeting him in the field.  The Earl had taken some forts
in the Batavia--Betuwe; or "good meadow," which he pronounced as fertile
and about as large as Herefordshire,--and was now threatening Nymegen,
a city which had been gained for Philip by the last effort of Schenk,
on the royalist side.  He was now observing Alexander's demonstrations
against Grave; but, after the recent success in victualling that place,
he felt a just confidence in its security.

On the 31st May the trenches were commenced, and on the 5th June the
batteries were opened.  The work went rapidly forward when Farnese was in
the field.  "The Prince of Parma doth batter it like a Prince," said Lord
North, admiring the enemy with the enthusiasm of an honest soldier: On
the 6th of June, as Alexander rode through the camp to reconnoitre,
previous to an attack.  A well-directed cannon ball carried away the
hinder half, of his horse.  The Prince fell to the ground, and, for a
moment, dismay was in the Spanish ranks.  At the next instant, though
somewhat bruised, he was on his feet again, and, having found the breach
sufficiently promising, he determined on the assault.

As a preliminary measure, he wished to occupy a tower which had been
battered nearly to ruins, situate near the river.  Captain de Solis was
ordered, with sixty veterans, to take possession of this tower, and to
"have a look at the countenance of the enemy, without amusing himself
with anything else."  The tower was soon secured, but Solis, in
disobedience to his written instructions led his men against the ravelin,
which was still in a state of perfect defence.  A musket-ball soon
stretched him dead beneath the wall, and his followers, still attempting
to enter the impracticable breach, were repelled by a shower of stones
and blazing pitch-hoops.  Hot sand; too, poured from sieves and baskets,
insinuated itself within the armour of the Spaniards, and occasioned such
exquisite suffering, that many threw themselves into the river to allay
the pain.  Emerging refreshed, but confused, they attempted in vain to
renew the onset.  Several of the little band were slain, the assault was
quite unsuccessful, and the trumpet sounded a recal.  So completely
discomfited were the Spaniards by this repulse, and so thoroughly at
their ease were the besieged, that a soldier let himself down from the
ramparts of the town for the sake of plundering the body of Captain
Solis, who was richly dressed, and, having accomplished this feat, was
quietly helped back again by his comrades from above.

To the surprise of the besiegers, however, on the very next morning came
a request from the governor of the city, Baron Hemart, to negotiate for
a surrender.  Alexander was, naturally, but too glad to grant easy terms,
and upon the 7th of June the garrison left the town with colours
displayed and drums beating, and the Prince of Parma marched into it, at
the head of his troops.  He found a year's provision there for six
thousand men, while, at the same time, the walls had suffered so
little, that he must have been obliged to wait long for a practicable
breach.

"There was no good reason even for women to have surrendered the place,"
exclaimed Leicester, when he heard the news.  And the Earl had cause to
be enraged at such a result.  He had received a letter only the day
before, signed by Hemart himself and by all the officers in Grave,
asserting their determination and ability to hold the place for a good
five months, or for an indefinite period, and until they should be
relieved.  And indeed all the officers, with three exceptions, had
protested against the base surrender.  But at the bottom of the
catastrophe--of the disastrous loss of the city and the utter ruin of
young Hemart--was a woman.  The governor was governed by his mistress,
a lady of good family in the place, but of Spanish inclinations, and she,
for some mysterious reasons, had persuaded him thus voluntarily to
capitulate.

Parma lost no time, however, in exulting over his success.  Upon the same
day the towns of Megen and Batenburg surrendered to him, and immediately
afterwards siege was laid to Venlo, a town of importance, lying thirty
miles farther up the Meuse.  The wife and family of Martin Schenk were in
the city, together with two hundred horses, and from forty to one hundred
thousand crowns in money, plate; and furniture belonging to him.

That bold partisan, accompanied by the mad Welshman, Roger Williams, at
the head of one hundred and thirty English lances and thirty of Schenk's
men, made a wild nocturnal attempt to cut their way through the besieging
force, and penetrate to the city.  They passed through the enemy's lines,
killed all the corps-de-garde, and many Spanish troopers--the terrible
Martin's own hand being most effective in this midnight slaughter--and
reached the very door of Parma's tent, where they killed his secretary
and many of his guards.  It was even reported; and generally believed,
that Farnese himself had been in imminent danger, that Schenk had fired
his pistol at him unsuccessfully, and had then struck him on the head
with its butt-end, and that the Prince had only saved his life by leaping
from his horse, and scrambling through a ditch.  But these seem to have
been fables.  The alarm at last became general, the dawn of a summer's
day was fast approaching; the drums beat to arms, and the bold marauders
were obliged to effect their retreat, as they best might, hotly pursued
by near two thousand men.  Having slain many of, the Spanish army, and
lost nearly half their own number, they at last obtained shelter in
Wachtendonk.

Soon afterwards the place capitulated without waiting for a battery, upon
moderate terms.  Schenk's wife was sent away (28 June 1586) courteously
with her family, in a coach and four, and with as much "apparel" as might
be carried with her.  His property was confiscated, for "no fair wars
could be made with him."

Thus, within a few weeks after taking the field, the "dejected,
melancholy" man, who was so "out of courage," and the soldiers who were
so "marvellously beginning to run away"--according to the Earl of
Leicester--had swept their enemy from every town on the Meuse.  That
river was now, throughout its whole course, in the power of the
Spaniards.  The Province of Brabant became thoroughly guarded again by
its foes, and the enemy's road was opened into the northern Provinces.

Leicester, meantime, had not distinguished himself.  It must be confessed
that he had been sadly out-generalled.  The man who had talked of
following the enemy inch by inch, and who had pledged himself not only
to protect Grave, and any other place that might be attacked, but even
to recover Antwerp and Bruges within a few weeks, had wasted the time in
very desultory operations.  After the St. George feasting, Knewstub
sermons, and forces of Hercules, were all finished, the Earl had taken
the field with five thousand foot and fifteen hundred horse.  His
intention was to clear the Yssel; by getting possession of Doesburg and
Zutphen, but, hearing of Parma's demonstrations upon Grave, he abandoned
the contemplated siege of those cities, and came to Arnheim.  He then
crossed the Rhine into the Isle of Batavia, and thence, after taking a
few sconces of inferior importance--while Schenk, meanwhile, was building
on the Island of Gravenweert, at the bifurcation of the Rhine and Waal,
the sconce so celebrated a century later as 'Schenk's Fort'
(Schenkenschans)---he was preparing to pass the Waal in order to attack
Farnese, when he heard to his astonishment, of the surrender of Grave.

He could therefore--to his chagrin--no longer save that important city,
but he could, at least, cut off the head of the culprit.  Leicester was
in Bommel when he heard of Baron Hemart's faint-heartedness or treachery,
and his wrath was extravagant in proportion to the exultation with which
his previous success had inspired him.  He breathed nothing but revenge
against the coward and the traitor, who had delivered up the town in
"such lewd and beastly sort."

"I will never depart hence," he said, "till by the goodness of God I be
satisfied someway of this villain's treachery."  There could be little
doubt that Hemart deserved punishment.  There could be as little that
Leicester would mete it out to him in ample measure.  "The lewd villain
who gave up Grave," said he, "and the captains as deep in fault as
himself, shall all suffer together."

Hemart came boldly to meet him.  "The honest man came to me at Bommel,"
said Leicester, and he assured the government that it was in the hope of
persuading the magistrates of that and other towns to imitate his own
treachery.

But the magistrates straightway delivered the culprit to the governor-
general, who immediately placed him under arrest.  A court-martial was
summoned, 26th of June, at Utrecht, consisting of Hohenlo, Essex, and
other distinguished officers.  They found that the conduct of the
prisoner merited death, but left it to the Earl to decide whether various
extenuating circumstances did not justify a pardon.  Hohenlo and Norris
exerted themselves to procure a mitigation of the young man's sentence,
and they excited thereby the governor's deep indignation.  Norris,
according to Leicester, was in love with the culprit's aunt, and was
therefore especially desirous of saving his life.  Moreover, much use was
made of the discredit which had been thrown by the Queen on the Earl's
authority, and it was openly maintained, that, being no longer governor-
general, he had no authority to order execution upon a Netherland
officer.

The favourable circumstances urged in the case, were, that Hemart was a
young man, without experience in military matters, and that he had been
overcome by the supplications and outcries of the women, panic-struck
after the first assault.  There were no direct proofs of treachery, or
even of personal cowardice.  He begged hard for a pardon, not on account
of his life, but for the sake of his reputation.  He earnestly implored
permission to serve under the Queen of England, as a private soldier,
without pay, on land or sea, for as many years as she should specify, and
to be selected for the most dangerous employments, in order that, before
he died, he might wipe out the disgrace, which, through his fault, in an
hour of weakness, had come upon an ancient and honourable house.  Much
interest was made for him--his family connection being powerful--and a
general impression prevailing that he had erred through folly rather than
deep guilt.  But Leicester beating himself upon the breast--as he was
wont when excited--swore that there should be no pardon for such a
traitor.  The States of Holland and Zeeland, likewise, were decidedly in
favour of a severe example.

Hemart was accordingly led to the scaffold on the 28th June.  He spoke to
the people with great calmness, and, in two languages, French and
Flemish, declared that he was guiltless of treachery, but that the terror
and tears of the women, in an hour of panic, had made a coward of him.
He was beheaded, standing.  The two captains, Du Ban and Koeboekum, who
had also been condemned, suffered with him.  A third captain, likewise
convicted, was, "for very just cause,", pardoned by Leicester.  The Earl
persisted in believing that Hemart had surrendered the city as part of a
deliberate plan, and affirmed that in such a time, when men had come to
think no more of giving up a town than of abandoning a house, it was
highly necessary to afford an example to traitors and satisfaction to the
people.  And the people were thoroughly satisfied, according to the
governor, and only expressed their regret that three or four members of
the States-General could not have their heads cut off as well, being as
arrant knaves as Henlart; "and so I think they be," added Leicester.

Parma having thus made himself master of the Meuse, lost no time in
making a demonstration upon the parallel course of the Rhine, thirty
miles farther east.  Schenk, Kloet; and other partisans, kept that
portion of the archi-episcopate and of Westphalia in a state of perpetual
commotion.  Early in the, preceding year, Count de Meurs had, by a
fortunate stratagem, captured the town of Neusz for the deposed elector,
and Herman Kloet, a young and most determined Geldrian soldier, now
commanded in the place.

The Elector Ernest had made a visit in disguise to the camp of Parma, and
had represented the necessity of recovering the city.  It had become the
stronghold of heretics, rebels, and banditti.  The Rhine was in their
hands, and with it the perpetual power of disturbing the loyal
Netherlands.  It was as much the interest of his Catholic Majesty as
that of the Archbishop that Neusz should be restored to its lawful owner.
Parma had felt the force of this reasoning, and had early in the year
sent Haultepenne to invest the city.  He had been obliged to recal that
commander during the siege of Grave.  The place being reduced, Alexander,
before the grass could grow beneath his feet advanced to the Rhine in
person.  Early in July he appeared before the walls of Neusz with eight
thousand foot and two thousand horse.  The garrison under Kloet numbered
scarcely more than sixteen hundred effective soldiers, all Netherlanders
and Germans, none being English.

The city is twenty-miles below Cologne.  It was so well fortified that a
century before it had stood a year's siege from the famous Charles the
Bold, who, after all, had been obliged to retire.  It had also resisted
the strenuous efforts of Charles the Fifth; and was now stronger than it
ever had been.  It was thoroughly well provisioned, so that it was safe
enough "if those within it," said Leicester, "be men."  The Earl
expressed the opinion, however, that "those fellows were not good to
defend towns, unless the besiegers were obliged to swim to the attack."
The issue was to show whether the sarcasm were just or not.  Meantime the
town was considered by the governor-general to be secure, "unless towns
were to be had for the asking."

Neusz is not immediately upon the Rhine, but that river, which sweeps
away in a north-easterly direction from the walls, throws out an arm
which completely encircles the town.  A part of the place, cut into an
island by the Erpt, was strengthened by two redoubts.  This island was
abandoned, as being too weak to hold, and the Spaniards took possession
of it immediately.  There were various preliminary and sanguinary sorties
and skirmishes, during which the Spaniards after having been once driven
from the island, again occupied that position.  Archbishop Ernest came
into the camp, and, before proceeding to a cannonade, Parma offered to
the city certain terms of capitulation, which were approved by that
prelate.  Kloet replied to this proposal, that he was wedded to the town
and to his honour, which were as one.  These he was incapable of
sacrificing, but his life he was ready to lay down.  There was, through
some misapprehension, a delay in reporting this answer to Farnese.
Meantime that general became impatient, and advanced to the battery of
the Italian regiment.  Pretending to be a plenipotentiary from the
commander-in-chief, he expostulated in a loud voice at the slowness of
their counsels.  Hardly had he begun to speak, when a shower of balls
rattled about him.  His own soldiers were terrified at his danger, and a
cry arose in the town that "Holofernese"--as the Flemings and Germans
were accustomed to nickname Farnese--was dead.  Strange to relate, he was
quite unharmed, and walked back to his tent with dignified slowness and a
very frowning face.  It was said that this breach of truce had been begun
by the Spaniards, who had fired first, and had been immediately answered
by the town.  This was hotly denied, and Parma sent Colonel Tasais with a
flag of truce to the commander, to rebuke and to desire an explanation of
this dishonourable conduct.

The answer given, or imagined, was that Commander Kloet had been sound
asleep, but that he now much regretted this untoward accident.  The
explanation was received with derision, for it seemed hardly probable
that so young and energetic a soldier would take the opportunity to
refresh himself with slumber at a moment when a treaty for the
capitulation of a city under his charge was under discussion.  This
terminated the negotiation.

A few days afterwards, the feast of St James was celebrated in the
Spanish camp, with bonfires and other demonstrations of hilarity.  The
townsmen are said to have desecrated the same holiday by roasting alive
in the market-place two unfortunate soldiers, who had been captured in a
sortie a few days before; besides burning the body of the holy Saint
Quirinus, with other holy relics.  The detestable deed was to be most
horribly avenged.

A steady cannonade from forty-five great guns was kept up from 2 A.M. of
July 15 until the dawn of the following day; the cannoneers--being all
provided with milk and vinegar to cool the pieces.  At daybreak the
assault was ordered.  Eight separate attacks were made with the usual
impetuosity of Spaniards, and were steadily repulsed.

At the ninth, the outer wall was carried, and the Spaniards shouting
"Santiago" poured over it, bearing back all resistance.  An Italian
Knight of the Sepulchre, Cesar Guidiccioni by name, and a Spanish ensign,
one Alphonao de Mesa, with his colours in one hand and a ladder in the
other, each claimed the honour of having first mounted the breach.  Both
being deemed equally worthy of reward, Parma, after the city had been
won, took from his own cap a sprig of jewels and a golden wheat-ear
ornamented with a gem, which he had himself worn in place of a plume, and
thus presented each with a brilliant token of his regard.  The wall was
then strengthened against the inner line of fortification, and all night
long a desperate conflict was maintained in the dark upon the narrow
space between the two barriers.  Before daylight Kloet, who then, as
always, had led his men in the moat desperate adventures, was carried
into the town, wounded in five places, and with his leg almost severed at
the thigh.  "'Tis the bravest man," said the enthusiastic Lord North,
"that was ever heard of in the world."--"He is but a boy," said Alexander
Farnese, "but a commander of extraordinary capacity and valour."

Early in the morning, when this mishap was known, an officer was sent to
the camp of the besiegers to treat.  The soldiers received him with
furious laughter, and denied him access to the general.  "Commander Kloet
had waked from his nap at a wrong time," they said, "and the Prince of
Parma was now sound asleep, in his turn."  There was no possibility of
commencing a negotiation.  The Spaniards, heated by the conflict,
maddened by opposition, and inspired by the desire to sack a wealthy
city, overpowered all resistance.  "My little soldiers were not to be
restrained," said Farnese, and so compelling a reluctant consent on the
part of the commander-in-chief to an assault, the Italian and Spanish
legions poured into the town at two opposite gates; which were no.
longer strong enough to withstand the enemy.  The two streams met in the
heart of the place, and swept every living thing in their, path out of
existence.  The garrison was butchered to a man, and subsequently many
of the inhabitants--men, women, and children-also, although the women;
to the honour of Alexander, had been at first secured from harm in some
of the churches, where they had been ordered to take refuge.  The first
blast of indignation was against the commandant of the place.  Alexander,
who had admired, his courage, was not unfavourably disposed towards him,
but Archbishop Ernest vehemently, demanded his immediate death, as a
personal favour to himself.  As the churchman was nominally sovereign of
the city although in reality a beggarly dependant on Philip's alms,
Farnese felt bound to comply.  The manner in which it was at first
supposed that the Bishop's Christian request had; been complied, with,
sent a shudder through every-heart in the Netherlands.  "They took Kloet,
wounded as he was," said Lord North, "and first strangled, him, then
smeared him with pitch, and burnt him with gunpowder; thus, with their
holiness, they, made a tragical end of an heroical service.  It is
wondered that the Prince would suffer so great an outrage to be done to
so noble a soldier, who did but his duty."

But this was an error.  A Jesuit priest was sent to the house of the
commandant, for a humane effort was thought necessary in order to save
the soul of the man whose life was forfeited for the crime of defending
his city.  The culprit was found lying in bed.  His wife, a woman of
remarkable beauty, with her sister, was in attendance upon him.  The
spectacle of those two fair women, nursing a wounded soldier fallen upon
the field of honour, might have softened devils with sympathy.  But the
Jesuit was closely followed by a band of soldiers, who, notwithstanding
the supplications of the women, and the demand of Kloet to be indulged
with a soldier's death, tied a rope round the commandant's necks dragged
him from his bed, and hanged him from his own window.  The Calvinist
clergyman, Fosserus of Oppenheim, the deacons of the congregation, two
military officers, and--said Parma--"forty other rascals," were murdered
in the same way at the same time.  The bodies remained at the window till
they were devoured by the flames, which soon consumed the house.  For a
vast conflagration, caused none knew whether by accident, by the despair
of the inhabitants; by the previous, arrangements of the commandant, by
the latest-arrived bands of the besiegers enraged that the Italians and
Spaniards had been beforehand with them in the spoils, or--as Farnese
more maturely believed--by the special agency of the Almighty, offended
with the burning of Saint Quirinus,--now came to complete the horror of
the scene.  Three-quarters of the town were at once in a blaze.  The
churches, where the affrighted women had been cowering during the sack
and slaughter, were soon on fire, and now, amid the crash of falling
houses and the uproar of the drunken soldiery, those unhappy victims were
seen flitting along the flaming streets; seeking refuge against the fury
of the elements in the more horrible cruelty of man.  The fire lasted all
day and night, and not one stone would have been left upon another, had
not the body of a second saint, saved on a former occasion from the
heretics by the piety of a citizen, been fortunately deposited in his
house.  At this point the conflagration was stayed--for the flames
refused to consume these holy relics--but almost the whole of the town
was destroyed, while at least four thousand people, citizens and
soldiers, had perished by sword or fire.

Three hundred survivors of the garrison took refuge in a tower.  Its base
was surrounded, and, after brief parley, they descended as prisoners.
The Prince and Haultepenne attempted in vain to protect them against the
fury of the soldiers, and every man of them was instantly put to death.

The next day, Alexander gave orders that the wife and sister of the
commandant should be protected--for they had escaped, as if by miracle,
from all the horrors of that day and night--and sent, under escort, to
their friends!  Neusz had nearly ceased to exist, for according to
contemporaneous accounts, but eight houses had escaped destruction.

And the reflection was most painful to Leicester and to every generous
Englishman or Netherlander in the country, that this important city and
its heroic defenders might have been preserved, but for want of harmony
and want of money.  Twice had the Earl got together a force of four
thousand men for the relief of the place, and twice had he been obliged
to disband them again for the lack of funds to set them in the field.

He had pawned his plate and other valuables, exhausted his credit, and
had nothing for it but to wait for the Queen's tardy remittances, and to
wrangle with the States; for the leaders of that body were unwilling to
accord large supplies to a man who had become personally suspected by
them, and was the representative of a deeply-suspected government.
Meanwhile, one-third at least of the money which really found its way
from time to time out of England, was filched from the "poor starved
wretches," as Leicester called his soldiers, by the dishonesty of Norris,
uncle of Sir John and army-treasurer.  This man was growing so rich on
his peculations, on his commissions, and on his profits from paying the
troops in a depreciated coin, that Leicester declared the whole revenue
of his own landed estates in England to be less than that functionary's
annual income.  Thus it was difficult to say whether the "ragged rogues"
of Elizabeth or the maimed and neglected soldiers of Philip were in the
more pitiable plight.

The only consolation in the recent reduction of Neusz was to be found in
the fact that Parma had only gained a position, for the town had ceased
to exist; and in the fiction that he had paid for his triumph by the loss
of six thousand soldiers, killed and wounded.  In reality not more than
five hundred of Farnese's army lost their lives, and although the town,
excepting some churches, had certainly been destroyed; yet the Prince was
now master of the Rhine as far as Cologne, and of the Meuse as far as
Grave.  The famine which pressed so sorely upon him, might now be
relieved, and his military communications with Germany be considered
secure.

The conqueror now turned his attention to Rheinberg, twenty-five miles
farther down the river.

Sir Philip Sidney had not been well satisfied by the comparative idleness
in which, from these various circumstances; he had been compelled to
remain.  Early in the spring he had been desirous of making an attack
upon Flanders by capturing the town of Steenberg.  The faithful Roger
Williams had strongly seconded the proposal.  "We wish to show your
Excellency," said he to Leicester, "that we are not sound asleep."  The
Welshman was not likely to be accused of somnolence, but on this occasion
Sidney and himself had been overruled.  At a later moment, and during the
siege of Neusz, Sir Philip had the satisfaction of making a successful
foray into Flanders.

The expedition had been planned by Prince Maurice of Nassau, and was his.
earliest military achievement.  He proposed carrying by surprise, the
city of Axel, a well-built, strongly-fortified town on the south-western
edge of the great Scheldt estuary, and very important from its position.
Its acquisition would make the hold of the patriots and the English upon
Sluys and Ostend more secure, and give them many opportunities of
annoying the enemy in Flanders.

Early in July, Maurice wrote to the Earl of Leicester, communicating the
particulars of his scheme, but begging that the affair might be "very
secretly handled," and kept from every one but Sidney.  Leicester
accordingly sent his nephew to Maurice that they might consult together
upon the enterprise, and make sure "that there was no ill intent, there
being so much treachery in the world."  Sidney found no treachery in
young Maurice, but only, a noble and intelligent love of adventure, and
the two arranged their plans in harmony.

Leicester, then, in order to deceive the enemy, came to Bergen-op-Zoom,
with five hundred men, where he remained two days, not sleeping a wink,
as he averred, during the whole time.  In the night of Tuesday, 16th of
July, the five hundred English soldiers were despatched by water, under
charge of Lord Willoughby, "who," said the Earl, "would needs go with
them."  Young Hatton, too, son of Sir Christopher, also volunteered on
the service, "as his first nursling."  Sidney had, five hundred of his
own Zeeland regiment in readiness, and the rendezvous was upon the broad
waters of the Scheldt, opposite Flushing.  The plan was neatly carried
out, and the united flotilla, in a dark, calm, midsummer's night, rowed
across the smooth estuary and landed at Ter Neuse, about a league from
Axel.  Here they were joined by Maurice with some Netherland companies,
and the united troops, between two and three thousand strong, marched at
once to the place proposed.  Before two in the morning they had reached
Axel, but found the moat very deep.  Forty soldiers immediately plunged
in, however, carrying their ladders with them, swam across, scaled the
rampart, killed, the guard, whom they found asleep in their beds, and
opened the gates for their comrades.  The whole force then marched in,
the Dutch companies under Colonel Pyion being first, Lord Willoughby's
men being second, and Sir Philip with his Zeelanders bringing up the
rear.  The garrison, between five and six hundred in number, though
surprised, resisted gallantly, and were all put to the sword.  Of the
invaders, not a single man lost his life.  Sidney most generously
rewarded from his own purse the adventurous soldiers who had swum the
moat; and it was to his care and intelligence that the success of Prince
Maurice's scheme was generally attributed.  The achievement was hailed
with great satisfaction, and it somewhat raised the drooping spirits of
the patriots after their severe losses at Grave and Venlo.  "This victory
hath happened in good time," wrote Thomas Cecil to his father, "and hath
made us somewhat to lift up our heads."  A garrison of eight hundred,
under Colonel Pyron, was left in Axel, and the dykes around were then
pierced.  Upwards of two millions' worth of property in grass, cattle,
corn, was thus immediately destroyed in the territory of the obedient
Netherlands.

After an unsuccessful attempt to surprise Gravelines, the governor of
which place, the veteran La Motte, was not so easily taken napping; Sir
Philip having gained much reputation by this conquest of Axel, then
joined the main body of the army, under Leicester, at Arnheim.

Yet, after all, Sir Philip had not grown in favour with her Majesty
during his service in the Low Countries.  He had also been disappointed
in the government of Zeeland, to which post his uncle had destined him.
The cause of Leicester's ambition had been frustrated by the policy of
Barneveld and Buys, in pursuance of which Count or Prince Maurice--as he
was now purposely designated, in order that his rank might surpass that
of the Earl--had become stadholder and captain general both of Holland
and Zeeland.  The Earl had given his nephew, however, the colonelcy of
the Zeeland regiment, vacant by the death of Admiral Haultain on the
Kowenstyn Dyke.  This promotion had excited much anger among the high
officers in the Netherlands who, at the instigation of Count Hohenlo,
had presented a remonstrance upon the subject to the governor-general.
It had always been the custom, they said, with the late Prince of Orange,
to confer promotion according to seniority, without regard to social
rank, and they were therefore unwilling that a young foreigner, who had
just entered the service; should thus be advanced over the heads of
veterans who had been campaigning there so many weary years.  At the same
time the gentlemen who signed the paper protested to Sir Philip, in
another letter, "with all the same hands," that they had no personal
feeling towards him, but, on the contrary, that they wished him all
honour.

Young Maurice himself had always manifested the most friendly feelings
toward Sidney, although influenced in his action by the statesmen who
were already organizing a powerful opposition to Leicester.  "Count
Maurice showed himself constantly, kind in the matter of the regiment,"
said Sir Philip, "but Mr. Paul Buss has so many busses in his head, such
as you shall find he will be to God and man about one pitch.  Happy is
the communication of them that join in the fear of God."  Hohenlo, too,
or Hollock, as he was called by the French and English, was much governed
by Buys and Olden-Barneveld.  Reckless and daring, but loose of life and
uncertain of purpose, he was most dangerous, unless under safe guidance.
Roger Williams--who vowed that but for the love he bore to Sidney and
Leicester, he would not remain ten days in the Netherlands--was much
disgusted by Hohenlo's conduct in regard to the Zeeland regiment.  "'Tis
a mutinous request of Hollock," said he, "that strangers should not
command Netherlanders.  He and his Alemaynes are farther born from
Zeeland than Sir Philip is.  Either you must make Hollock assured to you,
or you must disgrace him.  If he will not be yours, I will show you means
to disinherit him of all his commands at small danger.  What service doth
he, Count Solms, Count Overatein, with their Almaynes, but spend treasure
and consume great contributions?"

It was, very natural that the chivalrous Sidney, who had come to the
Netherlands to win glory in the field, should be desirous of posts that
would bring danger and distinction with them.  He was not there merely
that he might govern Flushing, important as it was, particularly as the
garrison was, according to his statement, about as able to maintain the
town, "as the Tower was to answer for London."  He disapproved of his
wife's inclination to join him in Holland, for he was likely--so he wrote
to her father, Walsingham--"to run such a course as would not be fit for
any of the feminine gender."  He had been, however; grieved to the heart,
by the spectacle which was perpetually exhibited of the Queen's
parsimony, and of the consequent suffering of the soldiers.  Twelve or
fifteen thousand Englishmen were serving in the Netherlands--more than
two thirds of them in her Majesty's immediate employment.  No troops had
ever fought better, or more honourably maintained the ancient glory of
England.  But rarely had more ragged and wretched warriors been seen than
they, after a few months' campaigning.

The Irish Kernes--some fifteen hundred of whom were among the
auxiliaries--were better off, for they habitually dispensed with
clothing; an apron from waist to knee being the only protection of these
wild Kelts, who fought with the valour, and nearly, in the costume of
Homeric heroes.  Fearing nothing, needing nothing, sparing nothing, they
stalked about the fens of Zeeland upon their long stilts, or leaped
across running rivers, scaling ramparts, robbing the highways, burning,
butchering, and maltreating the villages and their inhabitants, with as
little regard for the laws of Christian warfare as for those of civilized
costume.

Other soldiers, more sophisticated as to apparel, were less at their
ease.  The generous Sidney spent all his means, and loaded himself with
debt, in order to relieve the necessities of the poor soldiers.  He
protested that if the Queen would not pay her troops, she would lose her
troops, but that no living man should say the fault was in him.  "What
relief I can do them I will," he wrote to his father-in-law; "I will
spare no danger, if occasion serves.  I am sure that no creature shall
lay injustice to my charge."

Very soon it was discovered that the starving troops had to contend not
only with the Queen's niggardliness but with the dishonesty of her
agents.  Treasurer Norris was constantly accused by Leicester and Sidney
of gross peculation.  Five per cent., according to Sir Philip, was lost
to the Zeeland soldiers in every payment, "and God knows," he said, "they
want no such hindrance, being scarce able to keep life with their entire
pay.  Truly it is but poor increase to her Majesty, considering what loss
it is to the miserable soldier."  Discipline and endurance were sure to
be sacrificed, in the end, to such short-sighted economy.  "When
soldiers," said Sidney, "grow to despair, and give up towns, then it is
too late to buy with hundred thousands what might have been saved with a
trifle."

This plain dealing, on the part of Sidney, was anything but agreeable to
the Queen, who was far from feeling regret that his high-soaring
expectations had been somewhat blighted in the Provinces.  He often
expressed his mortification that her Majesty was disposed to interpret
everything to, his disadvantage.  "I understand," said he, "that I am
called ambitious, and very proud at home, but certainly, if they knew my
heart, they would not altogether so judge me."  Elizabeth had taken part
with Hohenlo against Sir Philip in the matter of the Zeeland regiment,
and in this perhaps she was not entirely to be blamed.  But she inveighed
needlessly against his ambitious seeking of the office, and--as
Walsingham observed--"she was very apt, upon every light occasion,
to find fault with him."  It is probable that his complaints against the
army treasurer, and his manful defence of the "miserable soldiers," more
than counterbalanced, in the Queen's estimation, his chivalry in the
field.

Nevertheless he had now the satisfaction of having gained an important
city in Flanders; and on subsequently joining the army under his uncle,
he indulged the hope of earning still greater distinction.

Martin Schenk had meanwhile been successfully defending Rheinberg, for
several weeks, against Parma's forces.  It was necessary, however, that
Leicester, notwithstanding the impoverished condition of his troops,
should make some diversion, while his formidable antagonist was thus
carrying all before him.

He assembled, accordingly, in the month of August, all the troops that
could be brought into the field, and reviewed them, with much ceremony,
in the neighbourhood of Arnheim.  His army--barely numbered seven
thousand foot and two thousand horse,  but he gave out, very extensively,
that he had fourteen thousand under his command, and he was moreover
expecting a force of three thousand reiters, and as many pikemen recently
levied in Germany.  Lord Essex was general of the cavalry, Sir William
Pelham--a distinguished soldier, who had recently arrived out of England,
after the most urgent solicitations to the Queen, for that end, by
Leicester--was lord-marshal of the camp, and Sir John Norris was colonel-
general of the infantry.

After the parade, two sermons were preached upon the hillside to
the soldiers, and then there was a council of war: It was decided--
notwithstanding the Earl's announcement of his intentions to attack Parma
in person--that the condition of the army did not warrant such an
enterprise.  It was thought better to lay siege to Zutphen.  This step,
if successful, would place in the power of the republic and her ally a
city of great importance and strength.  In every event the attempt would
probably compel Farnese to raise the siege of Berg.

Leicester, accordingly, with "his brave troop of able and likely men"
--five thousand of the infantry being English--advanced as far as
Doesburg.  This city, seated at the confluence of the ancient canal of
Drusus and the Yssel, five miles above Zutphen, it was necessary, as a
preliminary measure, to secure.  It was not a very strong place, being
rather slightly walled with brick, and with a foss drawing not more than
three feet of water.  By the 30th August it had been completely invested.

On the same night, at ten o'clock, Sir William Pelham, came to the Earl
to tell him "what beastly pioneers the Dutchmen were.  "Leicester
accordingly determined, notwithstanding the lord-marshal's entreaties,
to proceed to the trenches in person.  There being but faint light, the
two lost their way, and soon found themselves nearly, at the gate of the
town.  Here, while groping about in the dark; and trying to effect their
retreat, they were saluted with a shot, which struck Sir William in the
stomach.  For an instant; thinking himself mortally injured, he expressed
his satisfaction that he had been, between the commander-in-chief and the
blow, and made other "comfortable and resolute speeches."  Very
fortunately, however, it proved that the marshal was not seriously hurt,
and, after a few days, he was about his work as usual, although obliged--
as the Earl of Leicester expressed it--"to carry a bullet in his belly as
long as he should live."

Roger Williams, too, that valiant adventurer--"but no, more valiant than
wise, and worth his weight in gold," according to the appreciative
Leicester--was shot through the arm.  For the dare-devil Welshman, much
to the Earl's regret, persisted in running up and down the trenches "with
a great plume of feathers in his gilt morion," and in otherwise making a
very conspicuous mark of himself "within pointblank of a caliver."

Notwithstanding these mishaps, however, the siege went successfully
forward.  Upon the 2nd September the Earl began to batter, and after a
brisk cannonade, from dawn till two in the afternoon, he had considerably
damaged the wall in two places.  One of the breaches was eighty feet
wide, the other half as large, but the besieged had stuffed them full of
beds, tubs, logs of wood, boards, and "such like trash," by means whereof
the ascent was not so easy as it seemed.  The soldiers were excessively
eager for the assault.  Sir John Norris came to Leicester to receive his
orders as to the command of the attacking party.

The Earl referred the matter to him.  "There is no man," answered Sir
John, "fitter for that purpose than myself; for I am colonel-general of
the infantry."

But Leicester, not willing to indulge so unreasonable a proposal,
replied that he would reserve him for service of less hazard and greater
importance.  Norris being, as usual, "satis prodigus magnae animae," was
out of humour at the refusal, and ascribed it to the Earl's persistent
hostility to him and his family.  It was then arranged that the assault
upon the principal breach should be led by younger officers, to be
supported by Sir John and other veterans.  The other breach was assigned
to the Dutch and Scotch-black Norris scowling at them the while with
jealous eyes; fearing that they might get the start of the English party,
and be first to enter the town.  A party of noble volunteers clustered
about Sir John-Lord Burgh, Sir Thomas Cecil, Sir Philip Sidney, and his
brother Robert among the rest--most impatient for the signal.  The race
was obviously to be a sharp one.  The governor-general forbade these
violent demonstrations, but Lord Burgh, "in a most vehement passion,
waived the countermand," and his insubordination was very generally
imitated.  Before the signal was given, however, Leicester sent a trumpet
to summon the town to surrender, and could with difficulty restrain his
soldiers till the answer should be returned.  To the universal
disappointment, the garrison agreed to surrender.  Norris himself then
stepped forward to the breach, and cried aloud the terms, lest the
returning herald, who had been sent back by Leicester, should offer too
favourable a capitulation.  It was arranged that the soldiers should
retire without arms, with white wands in their hands--the officers
remaining prisoners--and that the burghers, their lives, and property,
should be at Leicester's disposal.  The Earl gave most peremptory orders
that persons and goods should be respected, but his commands were dis
obeyed.  Sir William Stanley's men committed frightful disorders, and
thoroughly, rifled the town."

"And because," said Norris, "I found fault herewith, Sir William began to
quarrel with me, hath braved me extremely, refuseth to take any direction
from me, and although I have sought for redress, yet it is proceeded in
so coldly, that he taketh encouragement rather to increase the quarrel
than to leave it."

Notwithstanding therefore the decree of Leicester, the expostulations and
anger of Norris, and the energetic efforts of Lord Essex and other
generals, who went about smiting the marauders on the head, the soldiers
sacked the city, and committed various disorders, in spite of the
capitulation.

Doesburg having been thus reduced, the Earl now proceeded toward the more
important city which he had determined to besiege.  Zutphen, or South-
Fen, an antique town of wealth and elegance, was the capital of the old
Landgraves of Zutphen.  It is situate on the right bank of the Yssel,
that branch of the Rhine which flows between Gelderland and Overyssel
into the Zuyder-Zee.

The ancient river, broad, deep, and languid, glides through a plain of
almost boundless extent, till it loses itself in the flat and misty
horizon.  On the other side of the stream, in the district called the
Veluwe, or bad meadow, were three sconces, one of them of remarkable
strength.  An island between the city and the shore was likewise well
fortified.  On the landward side the town was protected by a wall and
moat sufficiently strong in those infant days of artillery.  Near the
hospital-gate, on the east, was an external fortress guarding the road to
Warnsfeld.  This was a small village, with a solitary slender church-
spire, shooting up above a cluster of neat one-storied houses.  It was
about an English mile from Zutphen, in the midst of a wide, low, somewhat
fenny plain, which, in winter, became so completely a lake, that peasants
were not unfrequently drowned in attempting to pass from the city to the
village.  In summer, the vague expanse of country was fertile and
cheerful of aspect.  Long rows of poplars marking the straight highways,
clumps of pollard willows scattered around the little meres, snug farm-
houses, with kitchen-gardens and brilliant flower-patches dotting the
level plain, verdant pastures sweeping off into seemingly infinite
distance, where the innumerable cattle seemed to swarm like insects,
wind-mills swinging their arms in all directions, like protective giants,
to save the country from inundation, the lagging sail of market-boats
shining through rows of orchard trees--all gave to the environs of
Zutphen a tranquil and domestic charm.

Deventer and Kampen, the two other places on the river, were in the hands
of the States.  It was, therefore, desirable for the English and the
patriots, by gaining possession of Zutphen, to obtain control of the
Yssel; driven, as they had been, from the Meuse and Rhine.

Sir John Norris, by Leicester's direction, took possession of a
small rising-ground, called 'Gibbet Dill' on the land-side; where he
established a fortified camp, and proceeded to invest the city.  With him
were Count Lewis William of Nassau, and Sir Philip Sidney, while the Earl
himself, crossing the Yssel on a bridge of boats which he had
constructed, reserved for himself the reduction of the forts upon the
Veluwe side.

Farnese, meantime, was not idle; and Leicester's calculations proved
correct.  So soon as the Prince was informed of this important
demonstration of the enemy he broke up--after brief debate with his
officers--his camp before Rheinberg, and came to Wesel.  At this place
he built a bridge over the Rhine, and fortified it with two block-houses.
These he placed under command of Claude Berlot, who was ordered to watch
strictly all communication up the river with the city of Rheinberg, which
he thus kept in a partially beleaguered state.  Alexander then advanced
rapidly by way of Groll and Burik, both which places he took possession
of, to the neighbourhood of Zutphen.  He was determined, at every hazard,
to relieve that important city; and although, after leaving necessary
detachments on the, way; he had but five thousand men under his command,
besides fifteen hundred under Verdugo--making sixty-five hundred in all
--he had decided that the necessity of the case, and his own honour;
required him to seek the enemy, and to leave, as he said, the issue with
the God of battles, whose cause it was.

Tassis, lieutenant-governor of Gelderland, was ordered into the city with
two cornets of horse and six hundred foot.  As large a number, had
already been stationed there.  Verdugo, who had been awaiting the arrival
of the Prince at Borkelo, a dozen miles from Zutphen, with four hundred
foot and two hundred horse, now likewise entered the city.

On the night of 29th August Alexander himself entered Zutphen for
the purpose of encouraging the garrison by promise of-relief, and of
ascertaining the position of the enemy by personal observation.  His
presence as it always did, inspired the soldiers with enthusiasm, so that
they could with difficulty be restrained from rushing forth to assault
the besiegers.  In regard to the enemy he found that Gibbet Hill was
still occupied by Sir John Norris, "the best soldier, in his opinion,
that they had," who had entrenched himself very strongly, and was
supposed to have thirty-five hundred men under his command.  His position
seemed quite impregnable.  The rest of the English were on the other side
of the river, and Alexander observed, with satisfaction, that they had
abandoned a small redoubt, near the leper-house, outside the Loor-Gate,
through which the reinforcements must enter the city.  The Prince
determined to profit by this mistake, and to seize the opportunity thus
afforded of sending those much needed supplies.  During the night the
enemy were found to be throwing up works "most furiously," and
skirmishing parties were sent out of the town to annoy them.  In the
darkness nothing of consequence was effected, but a Scotch officer was
captured, who informed the Spanish commander that the enemy was fifteen
thousand strong--a number which was nearly double that of Leicester's
actual force.  In the morning Alexander returned to his camp at Borkelo
--leaving Tassis in command of the Veluwe Forts, and Verdugo in the city
itself--and he at once made rapid work in collecting victuals.  He had
soon wheat and other supplies in readiness, sufficient to feed four
thousand mouths for three months, and these he determined to send into
the city immediately, and at every hazard.

The great convoy which was now to be despatched required great care and a
powerful escort.  Twenty-five hundred musketeers and pikemen, of whom one
thousand were Spaniards, and six hundred cavalry, Epirotes; Spaniards,
and Italians, under Hannibal Gonzaga, George Crescia, Bentivoglio, Sesa,
and others, were accordingly detailed for this expedition.  The Marquis
del Vasto, to whom was entrusted the chief command, was ordered to march
from Borkelo at midnight on Wednesday, October 1 (St. Nov.) [N.S.].  It
was calculated that he would reach a certain hillock not far from
Warnsfeld by dawn of day.  Here he was to pause, and send forward an
officer towards the town, communicating his arrival, and requesting the
cooperation of Verdugo, who was to make a sortie with one thousand men,
according to Alexander's previous arrangements.  The plan was
successfully carried out.  The Marquis arrived by daybreak at the spot
indicated, and despatched Captain de Vega who contrived to send
intelligence of the fact.  A trooper, whom Parma had himself sent to
Verdugo with earlier information of the movement, had been captured on
the way.  Leicester had therefore been apprized, at an early moment, of
the Prince's intentions, but he was not aware that the convoy would be
accompanied by so strong a force as had really been detailed.

He had accordingly ordered Sir John Norris, who commanded on the outside
of the town near the road which the Spaniards must traverse, to place
an ambuscade in his way.  Sir John, always ready for adventurous
enterprises, took a body of two hundred cavalry, all picked men,
and ordered Sir William Stanley, with three hundred pikemen, to follow.
A much stronger force of infantry was held in reserve and readiness,
but it was not thought that it would be required.  The ambuscade was
successfully placed, before the dawn of Thursday morning, in the
neighbourhood of Warnsfeld church.  On the other hand, the Earl of
Leicester himself, anxious as to the result, came across the river just
at daybreak.  He was accompanied by the chief gentlemen in his camp, who
could never be restrained when blows were passing current.

The business that morning was a commonplace and practical though an
important, one--to "impeach" a convoy of wheat and barley, butter,
cheese, and beef--but the names of those noble and knightly volunteers,
familiar throughout Christendom, sound like the roll-call for some
chivalrous tournament.  There were Essex and Audley, Stanley, Pelham,
Russell, both the Sidneys, all the Norrises, men whose valour had been.
proved on many a hard-fought battle-field.  There, too, was the famous
hero of British ballad whose name was so often to ring on the plains of
the Netherlands--

                   "The brave Lord Willoughby,
                    Of courage fierce and fell,
                    Who would not give one inch of way
                    For all the devils in hell."

Twenty such volunteers as these sat on horseback that morning around the
stately Earl of Leicester.  It seemed an incredible extravagance to send
a handful of such heroes against an army.

But the English commander-in-chief had been listening to the insidious
tongue of Roland York--that bold, plausible, unscrupulous partisan,
already twice a renegade, of whom more was ere long to be heard in the
Netherlands and England.  Of the man's courage there could be no doubt,
and he was about to fight that morning in the front rank at the head of
his company.  But he had, for some mysterious reason, been bent upon
persuading the Earl that the Spaniards were no match for Englishmen at a
hand-to-hand contest.  When they could ride freely up and down, he said,
and use their lances as they liked, they were formidable.  But the
English were stronger men, better riders, better mounted, and better
armed.  The Spaniards hated helmets and proof armour, while the English
trooper, in casque, cuirass, and greaves, was a living fortress
impregnable to Spanish or Italian light horsemen.  And Leicester seemed
almost convinced by his reasoning.

It was five o'clock of a chill autumn morning.  It was time for day to
break, but the fog was so thick that a man at the distance of five yards
was quite invisible.  The creaking of waggon-wheels and the measured
tramp of soldiers soon became faintly audible however to Sir John Norris
and his five hundred as they sat there in the mist.  Presently came
galloping forward in hot haste those nobles and gentlemen, with their
esquires, fifty men in all--Sidney, Willoughby, and the rest--whom
Leicester had no longer been able to restrain from taking part in the
adventure.

A force of infantry, the amount of which cannot be satisfactorily
ascertained, had been ordered by the Earl to cross the bridge at a later
moment.  Sidney's cornet of horse was then in Deventer, to which place it
had been sent in order to assist in quelling an anticipated revolt, so
that he came, like most of his companions, as a private volunteer and
knight-errant.

The arrival of the expected convoy was soon more distinctly heard, but
no scouts or outposts had been stationed to give timely notice, of the
enemy's movements.  Suddenly the fog, which had shrouded the scene so
closely, rolled away like a curtain, and in the full light of an October
morning the Englishmen found themselves face to face with a compact body
of more than three thousand men.  The Marquis del Vasto rode at the head
of the forces surrounded by a band of mounted arquebus men.  The cavalry,
under the famous Epirote chief George Crescia, Hannibal Gonzaga,
Bentivoglio, Sesa, Conti, and other distinguished commanders, followed;
the columns of pikemen and musketeers lined the, hedge-rows on both sides
the causeway; while between them the long train of waggons came slowly
along under their protection.  The whole force had got in motion after
having sent notice of their arrival to Verdugo, who, with one or two
thousand men, was expected to sally forth almost immediately from the
city-gate.

There was but brief time for deliberation.  Notwithstanding the
tremendous odds there was no thought of retreat.  Black Norris called to
Sir William Stanley, with whom he had been at variance so lately at
Doesburg.

"There hath been ill-blood between us," he said.  "Let us be friends
together this day, and die side by side, if need be, in her Majesty's
cause."

"If you see me not serve my prince with faithful courage now," replied
Stanley, "account, me for ever a coward.  Living or dying I will stand
err lie by you in friendship."

As they were speaking these words the young Earl of Essex, general of the
horse, cried to his, handful of troopers:

"Follow me, good fellows, for the honour of England and of England's
Queen!"

As he spoke he dashed, lance in rest, upon the enemy's cavalry,
overthrew the foremost man, horse and rider, shivered his own spear to
splinters, and then, swinging his cartel-axe, rode merrily forward.  His
whole little troop, compact, as an arrow-head, flew with an irresistible
shock against the opposing columns, pierced clean through them, and
scattered them in all directions.  At the very first charge one hundred
English horsemen drove the Spanish and Albanian cavalry back upon the
musketeers and pikemen.  Wheeling with rapidity, they retired before a
volley of musket-shot, by which many horses and a few riders were killed;
and then formed again to renew the attack.  Sir Philip Sidney, an coming
to the field, having met Sir William Pelham, the veteran lord marshal,
lightly armed, had with chivalrous extravagance thrown off his own
cuishes, and now rode to the battle with no armour but his cuirass.
At the second charge his horse was shot under him, but, mounting another,
he was seen everywhere, in the thick of the fight, behaving himself with
a gallantry which extorted admiration even from the enemy.

For the battle was a series of personal encounters in which high officers
were doing the work of private, soldiers.  Lord North, who had been lying
"bed-rid" with a musket-shot in the leg, had got himself put on
horseback, and with "one boot on and one boot off," bore himself, "most
lustily" through the whole affair.  "I desire that her Majesty may know;"
he said, "that I live but to, serve her.  A better barony than I have
could not hire the Lord North to live, on meaner terms."  Sir William
Russell laid about him with his curtel-axe to such purpose that the
Spaniards pronounced him a devil and not a man.  "Wherever," said an eye-
witness, "he saw five or six of the enemy together; thither would he,
and with his hard knocks soon separated their friendship."  Lord
Willoughby encountered George Crescia, general of the famed Albanian
cavalry, unhorsed him at the first shock, and rolled him into the ditch.
"I yield me thy prisoner," called out the Epirote in French, "for thou
art a 'preux chevalier;'" while Willoughby, trusting to his captive's
word, galloped onward, and with him the rest of the little troop, till
they seemed swallowed up by the superior numbers of the enemy.  His horse
was shot under him, his basses were torn from his legs, and he was nearly
taken a prisoner, but fought his way back with incredible strength and
good fortune.  Sir William Stanley's horse had seven bullets in him, but
bore his rider unhurt to the end of the battle.  Leicester declared Sir
William and "old Reads" to be "worth their, weight in pearl."

Hannibal Gonzaga, leader of the Spanish cavalry, fell mortally wounded
a The Marquis del Vasto, commander of the expedition, nearly met the same
fate.  An Englishman was just cleaving his head with a battle-axe, when a
Spaniard transfixed the soldier with his pike.  The most obstinate
struggle took place about the train of waggons.  The teamsters had fled
in the beginning of the action, but the English and Spanish soldiers,
struggling with the horses, and pulling them forward and backward, tried
in vain to get exclusive possession of the convoy which was the cause of
the action.  The carts at last forced their way slowly nearer and nearer
to the town, while the combat still went on, warm as ever, between the
hostile squadrons.  The action, lasted an hour and a half, and again and
again the Spanish horsemen wavered and broke before the handful of
English, and fell back upon their musketeers.  Sir Philip Sidney, in the
last charge, rode quite through the enemy's ranks till he came upon their
entrenchments, when a musket-ball from the camp struck him upon the
thigh, three inches above the knee.  Although desperately wounded in a
part which should have been protected by the cuishes which he had thrown
aside, he was not inclined to leave the field; but his own horse had been
shot under him at the-beginning of the action, and the one upon which he
was now mounted became too restive for him, thus crippled, to control.
He turned reluctantly away, and rode a mile and a half back to the
entrenchments, suffering extreme pain, for his leg was dreadfully
shattered.  As he past along the edge of the battle-field his attendants
brought him a bottle of water to quench his raging thirst.  At, that
moment a wounded English soldier, "who had eaten his last at the same
feast," looked up wistfully, in his face, when Sidney instantly handed
him the flask, exclaiming, "Thy necessity is even greater than mine."
He then pledged his dying comrade in a draught, and was soon afterwards
met by his uncle.  "Oh, Philip," cried Leicester, in despair, "I am truly
grieved to see thee in this plight."  But Sidney comforted him with
manful words, and assured him that death was sweet in the cause of his
Queen and country.  Sir William Russell, too, all blood-stained from the
fight, threw his arms around his friend, wept like a child, and kissing
his hand, exclaimed, "Oh! noble Sir Philip, never did man attain hurt so
honourably or serve so valiantly as you."  Sir William Pelham declared
"that Sidney's noble courage in the face of our enemies had won him a
name of continuing honour."

The wounded gentleman was borne back to the camp, and thence in a barge
to Arnheim.  The fight was over.  Sir John Norris bade Lord Leicester
"be merry, for," said he, "you have had the honourablest day.  A handful
of men has driven the enemy three times to retreat.  "But, in truth, it
was now time for the English to retire in their turn.  Their reserve
never arrived.  The whole force engaged against the thirty-five hundred
Spaniards had never exceeded two hundred and fifty horse and three
hundred foot, and of this number the chief work had beer done by the
fifty or sixty volunteers and their followers.  The heroism which had
been displayed was fruitless, except as a proof--and so Leicester wrote
to the Palatine John Casimir--"that Spaniards were not invincible."  Two
thousand men now sallied from the Loor Gate under Verdugo and Tassis,
to join the force under Vasto, and the English were forced to retreat.
The whole convoy was then carried into the city, and the Spaniards
remained masters of the field.

Thirteen troopers and twenty-two foot soldiers; upon the English side,
were killed.  The enemy lost perhaps two hundred men.  They were thrice
turned from their position, and thrice routed, but they succeeded at last
in their attempt to carry their convoy into Zutphen.  Upon that day, and
the succeeding ones, the town was completely victualled.  Very little,
therefore, save honour, was gained by the display of English valour
against overwhelming numbers; five hundred against, near, four thousand.
Never in the whole course of the war had there been such fighting, for
the troops upon both sides were picked men and veterans.  For a long time
afterwards it was the custom of Spaniards and Netherlanders, in
characterising a hardly-contested action, to call it as warm as the fight
at Zutphen.

"I think I may call it," said Leicester, "the most notable encounter that
hath been in our age, and it will remain to our posterity famous."

Nevertheless it is probable that the encounter would have been forgotten
by posterity but for the melancholy close upon that field to Sidney's
bright career.  And perhaps the Queen of England had as much reason to
blush for the incompetency of her general and favourite as to be proud.
of the heroism displayed by her officers and soldiers.

"There were too many indeed at this skirmish of the better sort," said
Leicester; "only a two hundred and fifty horse, and most of them the best
of this camp, and unawares to me.  I was offended when I knew it, but
could not fetch them back; but since they all so well escaped (save my
dear nephew), I would not for ten thousand pounds but they had been
there, since they have all won that honour they have.  Your Lordship
never heard of such desperate charges as they gave upon the enemies in
the face of their muskets."

He described Sidney's wound as "very dangerous, the bone being broken in
pieces;" but said that the surgeons were in good hope.  "I pray God to
save his life," said the Earl, "and I care not how lame he be."  Sir
Philip was carried to Arnheim, where the best surgeons were immediately
in attendance upon him.  He submitted to their examination and the pain
which they inflicted, with great cheerfulness, although himself persuaded
that his wound was mortal.  For many days the result was doubtful, and
messages were sent day by day to England that he was convalescent--
intelligence which was hailed by the Queen and people as a matter not of
private but of public rejoicing.  He soon began to fail, however.  Count
Hohenlo was badly wounded a few days later before the great fort of
Zutphen.  A musket-ball entered his mouth; and passed through his cheek,
carrying off a jewel which hung in his ear.  Notwithstanding his own
critical condition, however, Hohenlo sent his surgeon, Adrian van den
Spiegel, a man of great skill, to wait upon Sir Philip, but Adrian soon
felt that the case was hopeless.  Meantime fever and gangrene attacked
the Count himself; and those in attendance upon him, fearing for his
life, sent for his surgeon.  Leicester refused to allow Adrian to depart,
and Hohenlo very generously acquiescing in the decree, but, also
requiring the surgeon's personal care, caused himself to be transported
in a litter to Arnheim.

Sidney was first to recognise the symptoms of mortification, which made a
fatal result inevitable.  His demeanour during his sickness and upon his
death-bed was as beautiful as his life.  He discoursed with his friends
concerning the immortality of the soul, comparing the doctrines of Plato
and of other ancient philosophers, whose writings were so familiar to
him, with the revelations of Scripture and with the dictates of natural
religion.  He made his will with minute and elaborate provisions, leaving
bequests, remembrances, and rings, to all his friends.  Then he indulged
himself with music, and listened particularly to a strange song which he
had himself composed during his illness, and which he had entitled 'La
Cuisse rompue.'  He took leave of the friends around him with perfect
calmness; saying to his brother Robert, "Love my memory.  Cherish my
friends.  Above all, govern your will and affections by the will and word
of your Creator; in me beholding the end of this world with all her
vanities."

And thus this gentle and heroic spirit took its flight.

Parma, after thoroughly victualling Zutphen, turned his attention to the
German levies which Leicester was expecting under the care of Count
Meurs.  "If the enemy is reinforced by these six thousand fresh troops,"
said Alexander; "it will make him master of the field."  And well he
might hold this opinion, for, in the meagre state of both the Spanish and
the liberating armies, the addition of three thousand fresh reiters and
as many infantry would be enough to turn the scale.  The Duke of Parma--
for, since the recent death of his father, Farnese had succeeded to his
title--determined in person to seek the German troops, and to destroy
them if possible.  But they never gave him the chance.  Their muster-
place was Bremen, but when they heard that the terrible 'Holofernese' was
in pursuit of them, and that the commencement of their service would be a
pitched battle with his Spaniards and Italians, they broke up and
scattered about the country.  Soon afterwards the Duke tried another
method of effectually dispersing them, in case they still retained a wish
to fulfil their engagement with Leicester.  He sent a messenger to treat
with them, and in consequence two of their rittmeisters; paid him a
visit.  He offered to give them higher pay, and "ready money in place of
tricks and promises."  The mercenary heroes listened very favourably to
his proposals, although they had already received--besides the tricks and
promises--at least one hundred thousand florins out of the States'
treasury.

After proceeding thus far in the negotiation, however, Parma concluded,
as the season was so far advanced, that it was sufficient to have
dispersed them, and to have deprived the English and patriots of their
services.  So he gave the two majors a gold chain a-piece, and they went
their way thoroughly satisfied.  "I have got them away from the enemy for
this year," said Alexander; "and this I hold to be one of the best
services that has been rendered for many a long day to your Majesty."

During the period which intervened between the action at Warnsfeld and
the death of Sidney, the siege-operations before Zutphen had been
continued.  The city, strongly garrisoned and well supplied with
provisions, as it had been by Parma's care, remained impregnable; but the
sconces beyond the river and upon the island fell into Leicester's hands.
The great fortress which commanded the Veluwe, and which was strong
enough to have resisted Count Hohenlo on a former, occasion for nearly a
whole year, was the scene of much hard fighting.  It was gained at last
by the signal valour of Edward Stanley, lieutenant to Sir William.  That
officer, at the commencement of an assault upon a not very practicable
breach, sprang at the long pike of a Spanish soldier, who was endeavoring
to thrust him from the wall, and seized it with both hands.  The Spaniard
struggled to maintain his hold of the weapon, Stanley to wrest it from
his grasp.  A dozen other soldiers broke their pikes upon his cuirass or
shot at him with their muskets.  Conspicuous by his dress, being all in
yellow but his corslet, he was in full sight of Leicester and of fire
thousand men.  The earth was so shifty and sandy that the soldiers who
were to follow him were not able to climb the wall.  Still Stanley
grasped his adversary's pike, but, suddenly changing his plan, he allowed
the Spaniard to lift him from the ground.  Then, assisting himself with
his feet against the wall, he, much to the astonishment of the
spectators, scrambled quite over the parapet, and dashed sword in hand
among the defenders of the fort.  Had he been endowed with a hundred
lives it seemed impossible for him to escape death.  But his followers,
stimulated by his example, made ladders for themselves of each others'
shoulders, clambered at last with great exertion over the broken wall,
overpowered the garrison, and made themselves masters of the sconce.
Leicester, transported with enthusiasm for this noble deed of daring,
knighted Edward Stanley upon the spot, besides presenting him next day
with forty pounds in gold and an annuity of one hundred marks, sterling
for life.  "Since I was born, I did never see any man behave himself as
he did," said the Earl.  "I shall never forget it, if I live a thousand
year, and he shall have a part of my living for it as long as I live."

The occupation of these forts terminated the military operations of the
year, for the rainy season, precursor of the winter, had now set in.
Leicester, leaving Sir William Stanley, with twelve hundred English and
Irish horse, in command of Deventer; Sir John Burrowes, with one thousand
men, in Doesburg; and Sir Robert Yorke, with one thousand more, in the
great sconce before Zutphen; took his departure for the Hague.  Zutphen
seemed so surrounded as to authorize the governor to expect ere long its
capitulation.  Nevertheless, the results of the campaign had not been
encouraging.  The States had lost ground, having been driven from the
Meuse and Rhine, while they had with difficulty maintained themselves on
the Flemish coast and upon the Yssel.

It is now necessary to glance at the internal politics of the Republic
during the period of Leicester's administration and to explain the
position in which he found himself at the close of the year.



ETEXT EDITOR'S BOOKMARKS:

And thus this gentle and heroic spirit took its flight
Five great rivers hold the Netherland territory in their coils
High officers were doing the work of private, soldiers
I did never see any man behave himself as he did
There is no man fitter for that purpose than myself





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