Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: History of the United Netherlands from the Death of William the Silent to the Twelve Year's Truce, 1604-05
Author: Motley, John Lothrop
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of the United Netherlands from the Death of William the Silent to the Twelve Year's Truce, 1604-05" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



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, 1604-1605


CHAPTER XLIII.

     Policy of the King of France--Operations of Prince Maurice--Plans
     for a Flemish Campaign--Passage into Flanders--Fort St. Catharine--
     Flight of its garrison, and occupation by Maurice--Surrender of
     Ysendyke and Aardenburg--Skirmish at Stamper's Hook--Siege of Sluys
     by Prince Maurice--Ineffectual attempt of Spinola to relieve the
     town--Its capitulation and restoration to the States--Death of Lewis
     Gunther of Nassau--Operations at Ostend--Surrender of the garrison--
     Desolation of the scene after its evacuation.

The States-General had begun to forget the severe lesson taught them in
the Nieuport campaign.  Being determined to hold Ostend, they became very
impatient, in the early part of the present year, that Maurice should
once more invade Flanders, at the head of a relieving army, and drive the
archdukes from before the town.

They were much influenced in this policy by the persistent advice of the
French king.  To the importunities of their envoy at Paris, Henry had,
during the past eighteen months, replied by urging the States to invade
Flanders and seize its ports.  When they had thus something to place as
pledges in his hands, he might accede to their clamour and declare war
against Spain.  But he scarcely concealed his intention, in such case, to
annex both the obedient and the United Netherlands to his own dominions.
Meantime, before getting into the saddle, he chose to be guaranteed
against loss.  "Assure my lords the States that I love them," he said,
"and shall always do my best for them."  His affection for the territory
of my lords was even warmer than the sentiments he entertained for
themselves.  Moreover, he grudged the preliminary expenses which would be
necessary even should he ultimately make himself sovereign of the whole
country.  Rosny assured the envoy that he was mistaken in expecting a
declaration of war against Spain.  "Not that he does not think it useful
and necessary," said the minister, "but he wishes to have war and peace
both at once--peace because he wishes to make no retrenchments in his
pleasures of women, dogs, and buildings, and so war would be very
inopportune.  In three months he would be obliged to turn tail for want
of means (to use his own words), although I would furnish him funds
enough, if he would make the use of them that he ought."

The Queen of England, who, with all her parsimony and false pretences,
never doubted in her heart that perpetual hostility to Spain was the
chief bulwark of her throne, and that the republic was fighting her
battles as well as its own, had been ready to make such a lively war in
conjunction with France as would drive the Spaniard out of all the
Netherlands.  But Henry was not to be moved.  "I know that if I should
take her at her word," said he, "she would at once begin to screw me for
money.  She has one object, I another."  Villeroy had said plainly to
Aerssens, in regard to the prevalent system of Englishmen, Spaniards, and
Frenchmen being at war with each other, while the Governments might be
nominally at peace, "Let us take off our masks.  If the Spaniard has
designs against our State, has he not cause?  He knows the aid we are
giving you, and resents it.  If we should abstain, he would leave us in
peace.  If the Queen of England expects to draw us into a league, she is
mistaken.  Look to yourselves and be on your guard.  Richardot is
intriguing with Cecil.  You give the queen securities, fortresses, seats
in your council.  The king asks nothing but communication of your
projects."

In short, all the comfort that Aerssens had been able to derive from his
experiences at the French court in the autumn of 1602, was that the
republic could not be too suspicious both of England and France.  Rosny
especially he considered the most dangerous of all the politicians in
France.  His daughter was married to the Prince of Espinoy, whose 50,000
livres a year would be safer the more the archduke was strengthened.
"But for this he would be stiffer," said Aerssens.  Nevertheless there
were strong motives at work, pressing France towards the support of the
States.  There were strong political reasons, therefore, why they should
carry the war into Flanders, in conformity with the wishes of the king.

The stadholder, after much argument, yielded as usual to the authority
of the magistrates, without being convinced as to the sagacity of their
plans.  It was arranged that an army should make a descent upon the
Flemish coast in the early spring, and make a demonstration upon Sluys.
The effect of this movement, it was thought, would be to draw the enemy
out of his entrenchments, in which case it would be in the power of
Maurice to put an end at once to the siege.  It is unquestionable that
the better alternative, in the judgment of the prince, was to take
possession; if possible, of Sluys itself.  His preparations were,
however, made with a view to either event, and by the middle of April he
had collected at Willemstad a force of fifteen thousand foot and three
thousand horse.  As on the former memorable expedition, he now again
insisted that a considerable deputation of the States and of the States'
council should accompany the army.  His brother Henry, and his cousins
Lewis William, Lewis Gunther, and Ernest Casimir, were likewise with him,
as well as the Prince of Anhalt and other distinguished personages.

On the 25th April the army, having crossed the mouth of the West Scheld,
from Zeeland, in numberless vessels of all sizes and degrees, effected
their debarkation on the island of Cadzand.

In the course of two days they had taken possession of the little town,
and all the forts of that island, having made their entrance through what
was called the Black Channel.  Had they steered boldly through the Swint
or Sluys channel at once, it is probable that they might have proceeded
straight up to Sluy's, and taken the place by surprise.  Maurice's
habitual caution was, perhaps, on this occasion, a disadvantage to him,
but he would have violated the rules of war, and what seemed the dictates
of common sense, had he not secured a basis of operations, and a
possibility of retreat, before plunging with his army into the heart
of a hostile country.  The republic still shuddered at the possible
catastrophe of four years before, when circumstances had forced him to
take the heroic but dangerous resolution of sending off his ships from
Nieuport.  Before he had completed his arrangements for supplies on the
island of Cadzand, he learned from scouts and reconnoitring parties that
Spinola had sent a thousand infantry, besides five hundred cavalry, under
Trivulzio, to guard the passage across the Swint.  Maurice was thus on
the wrong side of the great channel by which Sluy's communicated with the
sea?

The town of Sluy's and its situation have been described in a former
chapter.  As a port, it was in those days considered a commodious and
important one, capable of holding five hundred ships.  As a town, it was
not so insignificant as geographical and historical changes have since
made it, and was certainly far superior to Ostend, even if Ostend had
not been almost battered out of existence.  It had spacious streets and
squares, and excellent fortifications in perfectly good condition.  It
was situate in a watery labyrinth, many slender streams from the interior
and several saltwater creeks being complicated around it, and then
flowing leisurely, in one deep sluggish channel, to the sea.  The wrath
of Leicester, when all his efforts to relieve the place had been baffled
by the superior skill of Alexander Farnese, has been depicted, and during
the seventeen years which had elapsed since its capture, the republic had
not ceased to deplore that disaster.  Obviously if the present expedition
could end in the restoration of Sluy's to its rightful owners, it would
be a remarkable success, even if Ostend should fall.  Sluy's and its
adjacent domains formed a natural portion of the Zeeland archipelago, the
geographical counterpart of Flushing.  With both branches of the stately
Scheld in its control, the republic would command the coast, and might
even dispense with Ostend, which, in the judgment of Maurice, was an
isolated and therefore not a desirable military possession.  The States-
General were of a different opinion.  They much desired to obtain Sluy's,
but they would not listen to the abandonment of Ostend.  It was expected
of the stadholder, therefore, that he should seize the one and protect
the other.  The task was a difficult one.  A less mathematical brain than
that of Maurice of Nassau would have reeled at the problem to be solved.
To master such a plexus of canals, estuaries, and dykes, of passages
through swamps, of fords at low water which were obliterated by flood-
tide; to take possession of a series of redoubts built on the only firm
points of land, with nothing but quaking morass over which to manoeuvre
troops or plant batteries against them, would be a difficult study, even
upon paper.  To accomplish it in the presence of a vigilant and anxious
foe seemed bewildering enough.

At first it was the intention of the stadholder, disappointed at learning
the occupation of the Swint, to content himself with fortifying Cadzand,
in view of future operations at some more favourable moment?  So meagre
a result would certainly not have given great satisfaction to the States,
nor added much to the military reputation of Maurice.  While he hesitated
between plunging without a clue into the watery maze around him, and
returning discomfited from the expedition on which such high hopes had
been built, a Flemish boor presented himself.  He offered to guide the
army around the east and south of Sluy's, and to point out passages where
it would be possible to cross the waters, which, through the care of
Spinola, now seemed to forbid access to the place.  Maurice lingered no
longer.  On the 28th April, led by the friendly boor, he advanced towards
Oostburg.  Next morning a small force of the enemy's infantry and cavalry
was seen, showing that there must be foothold in that direction.  He sent
out a few companies to skirmish with those troops, who fled after a very
brief action, and, in flying, showed their pursuers the road.  Maurice
marched in force, straight through the waters, on the track of the
retreating foe.  They endeavoured to rally at the fort of Coxie, which
stood upon and commanded a dyke, but the republicans were too quick for
them, and drove them out of the place."  The stadholder, thus obtaining
an unexpected passage into Flanders, conceived strong hopes of success,
despite the broken nature of the ground. Continuing to feel his way
cautiously through the wilderness of quagmire, he soon came upon a very
formidable obstacle.  The well-built and well-equipped redoubt of St.
Catharine rose frowning before him, overshadowing his path, and
completely prohibiting all further progress.  Plainly it would be
necessary to reduce this work at once, unless he were willing to abandon
his enterprise.  He sent back to Cadzand for artillery, but it was flood-
tide, the waters were out, and it was not till late in the afternoon that
nine pieces arrived.  The stadholder ordered a cannonade, less with the
hope of producing an impression by such inadequate means on so strong a
work, than with the intention of showing the enemy that he had brought
field-guns with him, and was not merely on an accidental foray.  At the
same time, having learned that the garrison, which was commanded by
Trivulzio, was composed of only a few regular troops, and a large force
of guerillas, he gave notice that such combatants were not entitled to
quarter, and that if captured they would be all put to the sword.  The
reply to this threat was not evacuation but defiance.  Especially a
volunteer ensign mounted upon a rampart, and danced about, waving his
flag gaily in the face of the assailants.  Maurice bitterly remarked to
his staff that such a man alone was enough to hold the fort.  As it was
obvious that the place would require a siege in form, and that it would
be almost impossible to establish batteries upon that quaking soil, where
there was no dry land for cavalry or artillery to move, Maurice ordered
the nine guns to be carried back to Cadzand that night, betaking himself,
much disappointed, in the same direction."  Yet it so happened that the
cannoneers, floundering through the bogs, made such an outcry--especially
when one of their guns became so bemired that it was difficult for them
to escape the disgrace of losing it--that the garrison, hearing a great
tumult, which they could not understand, fell into one of those panics to
which raw and irregular troops are liable.  Nothing would convince them
that fresh artillery had not arrived, that the terrible stadholder with
an immense force was not creating invincible batteries, and that they
should be all butchered in cold blood, according to proclamation, before
the dawn of day.  They therefore evacuated the place under cover of
the night, so that this absurd accident absolutely placed Maurice in
possession of the very fort--without striking a blow--which he was about
to abandon in despair, and which formed the first great obstacle to his
advance.

Having occupied St. Catharine's, he moved forward to Ysendyke, a strongly
fortified place three leagues to the eastward of Sluys and invested it in
form.  Meantime a great danger was impending over him.  A force of well-
disciplined troops, to the number of two thousand, dropped down in boats
from Sluy's to Cadzand, for the purpose of surprising the force left to
guard that important place.

The expedition was partially successful.  Six hundred landed; beating
down all opposition.  But a few Scotch companies held firm, and by hard
fighting were able at last to drive the invaders back to their sloops,
many of which were sunk in the affray, with all on board.  The rest
ignominiously retreated.  Had the enterprise been as well executed as it
was safely planned, it would have gone hard with the stadholder and his
army.  It is difficult to see in what way he could have extricated
himself from such a dilemma, being thus cut off from his supplies and his
fleet, and therefore from all possibility of carrying out his design or
effecting his escape to Zeeland.  Certainly thus far, fortune had
favoured his bold adventure.

He now sent his own trumpeter, Master Hans, to summon Ysendyke to a
surrender.  The answer was a bullet which went through the head of
unfortunate Master Hans.  Maurice, enraged at this barbarous violation of
the laws of war, drew his lines closer.  Next day the garrison, numbering
six hundred, mostly Italians, capitulated, and gave up the musketeer who
had murdered the trumpeter.

Two days later the army appeared before Aardenburg, a well-fortified
town four miles south of Sluys.  It surrendered disgracefully, without
striking a blow.  The place was a most important position for the
investment of Sluys.  Four or five miles further towards the west, two
nearly parallel streams, both navigable, called the Sweet and the Salt,
ran from Dam to Sluys.  It was a necessary but most delicate operation,
to tie up these two important arteries.  An expedition despatched in this
direction came upon Trivulzio with a strong force of cavalry, posted at a
pass called Stamper's Hook, which controlled the first of these streams.
The narrowness of the pathway gave the advantage to the Italian
commander.  A warm action took place, in which the republican cavalry
were worsted, and Paul Bax severely wounded.  Maurice coming up with the
infantry at a moment when the prospect was very black, turned defeat into
victory and completely routed the enemy, who fled from the precious
position with a loss of five hundred killed and three hundred prisoners,
eleven officers among them.  The Sweet was now in the stadholder's
possession.

Next day he marched against the Salt, at a pass where fourteen hundred
Spaniards were stationed.  Making very ostentatious preparations for an
attack upon this position, he suddenly fell backwards down the stream to
a point which he had discovered to be fordable at low water, and marched
his whole army through the stream while the skirmishing was going on a
few miles farther up.  The Spaniards, discovering their error, and
fearing to be cut off, scampered hastily away to Dam.  Both streams were
now in the control of the republican army, while the single fort of St.
Joris was all that was now interposed between Maurice and the much-
coveted Swint.  This redoubt, armed with nine guns, and provided with a
competent, garrison, was surrendered on the 23rd May.

The Swint, or great sea-channel of Sluys, being now completely in the
possession of the stadholder, he deliberately proceeded to lay out his
lines, to make his entrenched camp, and to invest his city with the
beautiful neatness which ever characterized his sieges.  A groan came
from the learned Lipsius, as he looked from the orthodox shades of
Louvain upon the progress of the heretic prince.

"Would that I were happier," he cried, "but things are not going on in
Flanders as I could wish.  How easy it would have been to save Sluys,
which we are now trying so hard to do, had we turned our attention
thither in time!  But now we have permitted the enemy to entrench and
fortify himself, and we are the less excusable because we know to our
cost how felicitously he fights with the spade, and that he builds works
like an ancient Roman .  .  .  .  .  Should we lose Sluys, which God
forbid, how much strength and encouragement will be acquired by the foe,
and by all who secretly or openly favour him!  Our neighbours are all
straining their eyes, as from a watch-tower, eager to see the result of
all these doings.  But what if they too should begin to move?  Where
should we be?  I pray God to have mercy on the Netherlanders, whom He has
been so many years chastising with heavy whips."

It was very true.  The man with the spade had been allowed to work too
long at his felicitous vocation.  There had been a successful effort made
to introduce reinforcements to the garrison.  Troops, to the number of
fifteen hundred, had been added to those already shut up there, but the
attempts to send in supplies were not so fortunate.  Maurice had
completely invested the town before the end of May, having undisputed
possession of the harbour and of all the neighbouring country.  He was
himself encamped on the west side of the Swint; Charles van der Noot
lying on the south.  The submerged meadows, stretching all around in the
vicinity of the haven, he had planted thickly with gunboats.  Scarcely a
bird or a fish could go into or out of the place.  Thus the stadholder
exhibited to the Spaniards who, fifteen miles off towards the west, had
been pounding and burrowing three years long before Ostend without
success, what he understood by a siege.

On the 22nd of May a day of solemn prayer and fasting was, by command of
Maurice, celebrated throughout the besieging camp.  In order that the day
should be strictly kept in penance, mortification, and thanksgiving, it
was ordered, on severe penalties, that neither the commissaries nor
sutlers should dispense any food whatever, throughout the twenty-four
hours.  Thus the commander-in-chief of the republic prepared his troops
for the work before them.

In the very last days of May the experiment was once more vigorously
tried to send in supplies.  A thousand galley-slaves, the remnant of
Frederic Spinola's unlucky naval forces, whose services were not likely
very soon to be required at sea, were sent out into the drowned land,
accompanied by five hundred infantry.  Simultaneously Count Berlaymont,
at the head of four thousand men, conveying a large supply of provisions
and munitions, started from Dam.  Maurice, apprised of the adventure,
sallied forth with two thousand troops to meet them.  Near Stamper's Hook
he came upon a detachment of Berlaymont's force, routed them, and took a
couple of hundred prisoners.  Learning from them that Berlaymont himself,
with the principal part of his force, had passed farther on, he started
off in pursuit; but, unfortunately taking a different path through the
watery wilderness from the one selected by the flying foe, he was not
able to prevent his retreat by a circuitous route to Dam.  From the
prisoners, especially from the galley-slaves, who had no reason for
disguising the condition of the place, he now learned that there were
plenty of troops in Sluys, but that there was already a great lack of
provisions.  They had lost rather than gained by their success in
introducing reinforcements without supplies.  Upon this information
Maurice now resolved to sit quietly down and starve out the garrison.
If Spinola, in consequence, should raise the siege of Ostend, in order
to relieve a better town, he was prepared to give him battle.  If the
marquis held fast to his special work, Sluys was sure to surrender.
This being the position of affairs, the deputies of the States-General
took their leave of the stadholder, and returned to the Hague.

Two months passed.  It was midsummer, and the famine in the beleaguered
town had become horrible.  The same hideous spectacle was exhibited as on
all occasions where thousands of human beings are penned together without
food.  They ate dogs, cats, and rats, the weeds from the churchyards, old
saddles, and old shoes, and, when all was gone, they began to eat each
other.  The small children diminished rapidly in numbers, while beacons
and signals of distress were fired day and night, that the obdurate
Spinola, only a few miles off, might at last move to their relief.

The archdukes too were beginning to doubt whether the bargain were a
good one.  To give a strong, new, well-fortified city, with the best of
harbours, in exchange for a heap of rubbish which had once been Ostend,
seemed unthrifty enough.  Moreover, they had not got Ostend, while sure
to lose Sluys.  At least the cardinal could no longer afford to dispense
with the service of his beat corps of veterans who had demanded their
wages so insolently, and who had laughed at his offer of excommunication
by way of payment so heartily.  Flinging away his pride, he accordingly
made a treaty with the mutinous "squadron" at Grave, granting an entire
pardon for all their offences, and promising full payment of their
arrears.  Until funds should be collected sufficient for this purpose,
they were to receive twelve stivers a day each foot-soldier, and twenty-
four stivers each cavalryman, and were to have the city of Roermond in
pledge.  The treaty was negotiated by Guerrera, commandant of Ghent
citadel, and by the Archbishop of Roermond, while three distinguished
hostages were placed in the keeping of the mutineers until the contract
should be faithfully executed: Guerrera himself, Count Fontenoy, son of
Marquis d'Havre, and Avalos, commander of a Spanish legion.  Thus, after
making a present of the services of these veterans for a twelvemonth to
the stadholder, and after employing a very important portion of his
remaining forces in a vain attempt to reduce their revolt, the archduke
had now been fain to purchase their submission by conceding all their
demands.  It would have been better economy perhaps to come to this
conclusion at an earlier day.

It would likewise have been more judicious, according to the lamentations
of Justus Lipsius, had the necessity of saving Sluys been thought of in
time.  Now that it was thoroughly enclosed, so that a mouse could scarce
creep through the lines, the archduke was feverish to send in a thousand
wagon loads of provisions.  Spinola, although in reality commander-in-
chief of a Spanish army, and not strictly subject to the orders of the
Flemish sovereigns, obeyed the appeal of the archduke, but he obeyed most
reluctantly.  Two-thirds of Ostend had been effaced, and it was hard to
turn even for a moment from the spot until all should have been
destroyed.

Leaving Rivas and Bucquoy to guard the entrenchments, and to keep
steadily to the work, Spinola took the field with a large force of all
arms, including the late mutineers and the troops of Count Trivulzio.
On the 8th August he appeared in the neighbourhood of the Salt and Sweet
streams, and exchanged a few cannon-shots with the republicans.  Next day
he made a desperate assault with three thousand men and some companies of
cavalry, upon Lewis William's quarters, where he had reason to believe
the lines were weakest.  He received from that most vigilant commander
a hearty welcome, however, and after a long skirmish was obliged to
withdraw, carrying off his dead and wounded, together with a few cart-
horses which had been found grazing outside the trenches.  Not satisfied
with these trophies or such results, he remained several days inactive,
and then suddenly whirled around Aardenburg with his whole army, directly
southward of Sluys, seized the forts of St. Catharine and St. Philip,
which had been left with very small garrisons, and then made a furious
attempt to break the lines at Oostburg, hoping to cross the fords at that
place, and thus push his way into the isle of Cadzand.  The resistance to
his progress was obstinate, the result for a time doubtful.  After severe
fighting however he crossed the waters of Oostburg in the face of the
enemy.  Maurice meantime had collected all his strength at the vital
position of Cadzand, hoping to deal, or at least to parry, a mortal blow.

On the 17th, on Cadzand dyke, between two redoubts, Spinola again met
Lewis William, who had been transferred to that important position.
A severe struggle ensued.  The Spaniards were in superior force, and
Lewis William, commanding the advance only of the States troops, was hard
pressed.  Moving always in the thickest of the fight, he would probably
have that day laid down his life, as so many of his race had done before
in the cause of the republic, had not Colonel van Dorp come to his
rescue, and so laid about him with a great broad sword, that the dyke was
kept until Maurice arrived with Eytzinga's Frisian regiment and other
reserves.  Van Dorp then fell covered with wounds.  Here was the decisive
combat.  The two commanders-in-chief met face to face for the first time,
and could Spinola have gained the position of Cadzand the fate of Maurice
must have been sealed.  But all his efforts were vain.  The stadholder,
by coolness and promptness, saved the day, and inflicted a bloody repulse
upon the Catholics.  Spinola had displayed excellent generalship, but it
is not surprising that the young volunteer should have failed upon his
first great field day to defeat Maurice of Nassau and his cousin Lewis
William.  He withdrew discomfited at last, leaving several hundred dead
upon the field, definitely renouncing all hope of relieving Sluys, and
retiring by way of Dam to his camp before Ostend.  Next day the town
capitulated.

The garrison were allowed to depart with the honours of war, and the same
terms were accorded to the inhabitants, both in secular and religious
matters, as were usual when Maurice re-occupied any portion of the
republic.  Between three and four thousand creatures, looking rather like
ghosts from the churchyards than living soldiers, marched out, with drums
beating, colours displayed, matches lighted, and bullet in mouth.  Sixty
of them fell dead before the dismal procession had passed out of the
gates.  Besides these troops were nearly fifteen hundred galley-slaves,
even more like shadows than the rest, as they had been regularly sent
forth during the latter days of the siege to browse upon soutenelle in
the submerged meadows, or to drown or starve if unable to find a
sufficient supply of that weed.  These unfortunate victims of Mahometan
and Christian tyranny were nearly all Turks, and by the care of the Dutch
Government were sent back by sea to their homes.  A few of them entered
the service of the States.

The evacuation of Sluys by Governor Serrano and his garrison was upon
the 20th August.  Next day the stadholder took possession, bestowing the
nominal government of the place upon his brother Frederic Henry.  The
atmosphere, naturally enough, was pestiferous, and young Count Lewis
Gunther of Nassau, who had so brilliantly led the cavalry on the famous
day of Nieuport, died of fever soon after entering the town infinitely
regretted by every one who wished well to the republic.

Thus an important portion of Zeeland was restored, to its natural owners.
A seaport which in those days was an excellent one, and more than a
compensation for the isolated fishing village already beleaguered for
upwards of three years, had been captured in three months.  The States-
General congratulated their stadholder on such prompt and efficient work,
while the garrison of Ostend, first learning the authentic news seven
days afterwards, although at a distance of only fourteen miles, had cause
to go upon their knees and sing praises to the Most High.

The question now arose as to the relief of Ostend.  Maurice was decidedly
opposed to any such scheme.  He had got a better Ostend in Slays, and he
saw no motive for spending money and blood in any further attempt to gain
possession of a ruin, which, even if conquered, could only with extreme
difficulty be held.  The States were of a diametrically opposite opinion.
They insisted that the stadholder, so soon he could complete his
preparations, should march straight upon Spinola's works and break up the
siege, even at the risk of a general action.  They were willing once more
to take the terrible chance of a defeat in Flanders.  Maurice, with a
heavy heart, bowed to their decision, showing by his conduct the very
spirit of a republican soldier, obeying the civil magistrate, even when
that obedience was like to bring disaster upon the commonwealth.  But
much was to be done before he could undertake this new adventure.

Meantime the garrison in Ostend were at their last gasp.  On being asked
by the States-General whether it was possible to hold out for twenty days
longer, Marquette called a council of officers, who decided that they
would do their best, but that it was impossible to fix a day or hour when
resistance must cease.  Obviously, however, the siege was in its extreme
old age.  The inevitable end was approaching.

Before the middle of September the enemy was thoroughly established in
possession of the new Hell's Mouth, the new Porcupine, and all the other
bastions of the new entrenchment.  On the 13th of that month the last
supreme effort was made, and the Sand Hill, that all-important redoubt,
which during these three dismal years had triumphantly resisted every
assault, was at last carried by storm.  The enemy had now gained
possession of the whole town except Little Troy.  The new harbour would
be theirs in a few hours, and as for Troy itself, those hastily and
flimsily constructed ramparts were not likely to justify the vaunts
uttered when they were thrown up nor to hold out many minutes before the
whole artillery of Spinola.  Plainly on this last morsel of the fatal
sandbank the word surrender must be spoken, unless the advancing trumpets
of Maurice should now be heard.  But there was no such welcome sound in
the air.  The weather was so persistently rainy and stormy that the roads
became impassable, and Maurice, although ready and intending to march
towards Spinola to offer him battle, was unable for some days to move.
Meantime a council, summoned by Marquette, of all the officers, decided
that Ostend must be abandoned now that Ostend had ceased to exist.

On the 20th September the Accord was signed with Spinola.  The garrison
were to march out with their arms.  They were to carry off four cannon
but no powder.  All clerical persons were to leave the place, with their
goods and chattels.  All prisoners taken on both sides during the siege
were to be released.  Burghers, sutlers, and others, to go whither they
would, undisturbed.  And thus the archdukes, after three years and
seventy-seven days of siege, obtained their prize.  Three thousand men,
in good health, marched out of little Troy with the honours of war.  The
officers were entertained by Spinola and his comrades at a magnificent
banquet, in recognition of the unexampled heroism with which the town had
been defended.  Subsequently the whole force marched to the headquarters
of the States' army in and about Sluys.  They were received by Prince
Maurice, who stood bareheaded and surrounded by his most distinguished
officers; to greet them and to shake them warmly by the hand.  Surely no
defeated garrison ever deserved more respect from friend or foe.

The Archduke Albert and the Infants Isabella entered the place
in triumph, if triumph it could be called.  It would be difficult to
imagine a more desolate scene.  The artillery of the first years of the
seventeenth century was not the terrible enginry of destruction that it
has become in the last third of the nineteenth, but a cannonade,
continued so steadily and so long, had done its work.  There were no
churches, no houses, no redoubts, no bastions, no walls, nothing but a
vague and confused mass of ruin.  Spinola conducted his imperial guests
along the edge of extinct volcanoes, amid upturned cemeteries, through
quagmires which once were moats, over huge mounds of sand, and vast
shapeless masses of bricks and masonry, which had been forts.  He
endeavoured to point out places where mines had been exploded, where
ravelins had been stormed, where the assailants had been successful, and
where they had been bloodily repulsed.  But it was all loathsome, hideous
rubbish.  There were no human habitations, no hovels, no casemates.  The
inhabitants had burrowed at last in the earth, like the dumb creatures of
the swamps and forests.  In every direction the dykes had burst, and the
sullen wash of the liberated waves, bearing hither and thither the
floating wreck of fascines and machinery, of planks and building
materials, sounded far and wide over what should have been dry land.  The
great ship channel, with the unconquered Half-moon upon one side and the
incomplete batteries and platforms of Bucquoy on the other, still
defiantly opened its passage to the sea, and the retiring fleets of the
garrison were white in the offing.  All around was the grey expanse of
stormy ocean, without a cape or a headland to break its monotony, as the
surges rolled mournfully in upon a desolation more dreary than their own.
The atmosphere was mirky and surcharged with rain, for the wild
equinoctial storm which had held Maurice spell-bound had been raging over
land and sea for many days.  At every step the unburied skulls of brave
soldiers who had died in the cause of freedom grinned their welcome to
the conquerors.  Isabella wept at the sight.  She had cause to weep.
Upon that miserable sandbank more than a hundred thousand men had laid
down their lives by her decree, in order that she and her husband might
at last take possession of a most barren prize.  This insignificant
fragment of a sovereignty which her wicked old father had presented to
her on his deathbed--a sovereignty which he had no more moral right or
actual power to confer than if it had been in the planet Saturn--had at
last been appropriated at the cost of all this misery.  It was of no
great value, although its acquisition had caused the expenditure of at
least eight millions of florins, divided in nearly equal proportions
between the two belligerents.  It was in vain that great immunities were
offered to those who would remain, or who would consent to settle in the
foul Golgotha.  The original population left the place in mass.  No human
creatures were left save the wife of a freebooter and her paramour, a
journeyman blacksmith.  This unsavoury couple, to whom entrance into the
purer atmosphere of Zeeland was denied, thenceforth shared with the
carrion crows the amenities of Ostend.



CHAPTER XLIV.

     Equation between the contending powers--Treaty of peace between King
     James and the archdukes and the King of Spain--Position of the
     Provinces--States envoy in England to be styled ambassador--Protest
     of the Spanish ambassador--Effect of James's peace-treaty on the
     people of England--Public rejoicings for the victory at Sluys--
     Spinola appointed commander-in-chief of the Spanish forces--
     Preparations for a campaign against the States--Seizure of Dutch
     cruisers--International discord--Destruction of Sarmiento's fleet by
     Admiral Haultain--Projected enterprise against Antwerp--Descent of
     Spinola on the Netherland frontier--Oldenzaal and Lingen taken--
     Movements of Prince Maurice--Encounter of the two armies--Panic of
     the Netherlanders--Consequent loss and disgrace--Wachtendonk and
     Cracow taken by Spinola--Spinola's reception in Spain--Effect of his
     victories--Results of the struggle between Freedom and Absolutism--
     Affairs in the East--Amboyna taken by Van der Hagen--Contest for
     possession of the Clove Islands--Commercial treaty between the
     States and the King of Ternate--Hostilities between the Kings of
     Ternate and Tydor--Expulsion of the Portuguese from the Moluccas--
     Du Terrail's attempted assault on Bergen-op-Zoom--Attack on the
     Dunkirk pirate fleet--Practice of executing prisoners captured at
     sea.

I have invited the reader's attention to the details of this famous siege
because it was not an episode, but almost the sum total, of the great war
during the period occupied by its events.  The equation between the
contending forces indicated the necessity of peace.  That equation seemed
for the time to have established itself over all Europe.  France had long
since withdrawn from the actual strife, and kept its idle thunders in a
concealed although ever threatening hand.  In the East the Pacha of Buda
had become Pacha of Pest.  Even Gran was soon to fall before the Turk,
whose advancing horse-tails might thus almost be descried from the walls
of Vienna.  Stephen Botschkay meantime had made himself master of
Transylvania, concluded peace with Ahmet, and laughed at the Emperor
Rudolph for denouncing him as a rebel.

Between Spain and England a far different result had been reached than
the one foreshadowed in the portentous colloquies between King James and
Maximilian de Bethune.  Those conferences have been purposely described
with some minuteness, in order that the difference often existing between
vast projects and diametrically opposed and very insignificant
conclusions might once more be exhibited.

In the summer of 1603 it had been firmly but mysteriously arranged
between the monarchs of France and Great Britain that the House of
Austria should be crushed, its territories parcelled out at the
discretion of those two potentates, the imperial crown taken from the
Habsburgs, the Spaniards driven out of the Netherlands, an alliance
offensive and defensive made with the Dutch republic, while the East and
West Indies were, to be wrested by main force of the allies, from Spain,
whose subjects were thenceforth to be for ever excluded from those
lucrative regions.  As for the Jesuits, who were to James as loathsome
as were the Puritans to Elizabeth, the British sovereign had implored the
ambassador of his royal brother, almost with tears, never to allow that
pestilential brood to regain an entrance into his dominions.

In the summer of 1604 King James made a treaty of peace and amity with
the archdukes and with the monarch of Spain, thus extending his friendly
relations with the doomed house of Austria.  The republic of the
Netherlands was left to fight her battles alone; her imaginary allies
looking down upon her struggle with benevolent indifference.  As for the
Indies, not a syllable of allusion in the treaty was permitted by Spain
to that sacred subject; the ambassador informing the British Government
that he gave them access to twelve kingdoms and two seas, while Spain
acquired by the treaty access only to two kingdoms and one sea.  The new
world, however, east or west, from the Antilles to the Moluccas, was the
private and indefeasible property of his Catholic Majesty.  On religious
matters, it was agreed that English residents in Spain should not be
compelled to go to mass, but that they should kneel in the street to the
Host unless they could get out of the ways. In regard to the Netherlands,
it was agreed by the two contracting powers that one should never assist
the rebels or enemies of the other.  With regard to the cities and
fortresses of Brill, Flushing, Rammekens, and other cautionary places,
where English garrisons were maintained, and which King James was bound
according to the contracts of Queen Elizabeth never to restore except to
those who had pledged them to the English crown--the king would uphold
those contracts.  He would, however, endeavour to make an arrangement
with the States by which they should agree within a certain period to
make their peace with Spain.  Should they refuse or fail, he would then
consider himself liberated from these previous engagements and free to
act concerning those cities in an honourable and reasonable manner, as
became a friendly king?  Meantime the garrisons should not in any way
assist the Hollanders in their hostilities with Spain.  English subjects
were forbidden to carry into Spain or the obedient Netherlands any
property or merchandize belonging to the Hollanders, or to make use of
Dutch vessels in their trade with Spain.  Both parties agreed to do their
best to bring about a pacification in the Netherlands.

No irony certainly could be more exquisite that this last-named article.
This was the end of that magnificent conception, the great Anglo-French
League against the house of Austria.  King James would combine his
efforts with King Philip to pacify the Netherlands.  The wolf and the
watchdog would unite to bring back the erring flock to the fold.
Meantime James would keep the cautionary towns in his clutches, not
permitting their garrisons or any of his subjects to assist the rebels on
sea or shore.  As for the Jesuits, their triumphant re-appearance in
France, and the demolition of the pyramid raised to their dishonour on
the site of the house where John Castel, who had stabbed Henry IV., had
resided, were events about to mark the opening year.  Plainly enough
Secretary Cecil had out-generalled the French party.

The secret treaty of Hampton Court, the result of the efforts of Rosny
and Olden-Barneveld in July of the previous year, was not likely to be
of much service in protecting the republic.  James meant to let the dead
treaties bury their dead, to live in peace with all the world, and to
marry his sons and daughters to Spanish Infantes and Infantas.  Meantime,
although he had sheathed the sword which Elizabeth had drawn against the
common enemy, and had no idea of fighting or spending money for the
States, he was willing that their diplomatic agent should be called
ambassador.  The faithful and much experienced Noel de Caron coveted that
distinction, and moved thereby the spleen of Henry's envoy at the Hague,
Buzanval, who probably would not have objected to the title himself.
"'Twill be a folly," he said, "for him to present himself on the pavement
as a prancing steed, and then be treated like a poor hack.  He has been
too long employed to put himself in such a plight.  But there are
lunatics everywhere and of all ages."

Never had the Advocate seemed so much discouraged.  Ostend had fallen,
and the defection of the British sovereign was an off-set for the
conquest of Sluys.  He was more urgent with the French Government for
assistance than he had ever been before.  "A million florins a year from
France," he said "joined to two millions raised in the provinces, would
enable them to carry on the war.  The ship was in good condition," he
added, "and fit for a long navigation without danger of shipwreck if
there were only biscuit enough on board."  Otherwise she was lost.
Before that time came he should quit the helm which he had been holding
the more resolutely since the peace of Vervins because the king had told
him, when concluding it, that if three years' respite should be given him
he would enter into the game afresh, and take again upon his shoulders
the burthen which inevitable necessity had made him throw down.  "But,"
added Olden-Barneveld, bitterly, "there is little hope of it now, after
his neglect of the many admirable occasions during the siege of Ostend."

So soon as the Spanish ambassador learned that Caron was to be
accepted into the same diplomatic rank as his own, he made an infinite
disturbance, protested moat loudly and passionately to the king at the
indignity done to his master by this concession to the representative of
a crew of traitors and rebels, and demanded in the name of the treaty
just concluded that Caron should be excluded in such capacity from all
access to court.

As James was nearly forty years of age, as the Hollanders had been
rebels ever since he was born, and as the King of Spain had exercised no
sovereignty over them within his memory, this was naturally asking too
much of him in the name of his new-born alliance with Spain.  So he
assumed a position of great dignity, notwithstanding the Constable's
clamour, and declared his purpose to give audience to the agents of the
States by whatever title they presented themselves before him.  In so
doing he followed the example, he said, of others who (a strange
admission on his part) were as wise as himself.  It was not for him to
censure the crimes and faults of the States, if such they had committed.
He had not been the cause of their revolt from Spanish authority, and it
was quite sufficient that he had stipulated to maintain neutrality
between the two belligerents's.  And with this the ambassador of his
Catholic Majesty, having obtained the substance of a very advantageous
treaty, was fain to abandon opposition to the shadowy title by which
James sought to indemnify the republic for his perfidy.

The treaty of peace with Spain gave no pleasure to the English public.
There was immense enthusiasm in London at the almost simultaneous fall of
Sluys, but it was impossible for the court to bring about a popular
demonstration of sympathy with the abandonment of the old ally and the
new-born affection for the ancient enemy.  "I can assure your
mightinesses," wrote Caron, "that no promulgation was ever received in
London with more sadness.  No mortal has shown the least satisfaction in
words or deeds, but, on the contrary, people have cried out openly, 'God
save our good neighbours the States of Holland and Zeeland, and grant
them victory!'  On Sunday, almost all the preachers gave thanks from
their pulpits for the victory which their good neighbours had gained at
Sluys, but would not say a word about the peace.  The people were
admonished to make bonfires, but you may be very sure not a bonfire was
to be seen.  But, in honour of the victory, all the vessels in St.
Catharine's Docks fired salutes at which the Spaniards were like to burst
with spite.  The English clap their hands and throw their caps in the air
when they hear anything published favourable to us, but, it must be
confessed, they are now taking very dismal views of affairs.  'Vox populi
vox Dei.'"

The rejoicing in Paris was scarcely less enthusiastic or apparently
less sincere than in London.  "The news of the surrender of Sluys," wrote
Aerasens, "is received with so much joy by small and great that one would
have said it was their own exploit.  His Majesty has made such
demonstrations in his actions and discourse that he has not only been
advised by his council to dissemble in the matter, but has undergone
reproaches from the pope's nuncius of having made a league with your
Mightinesses to the prejudice of the King of Spain.  His Majesty wishes
your Mightinesses prosperity with all his heart, yea so that he would
rather lose his right arm than see your Mightinesses in danger.  Be
assured that he means roundly, and we should pray God for his long life;
for I don't see that we can expect anything from these regions after his
death."

It was ere long to be seen, however, roundly as the king meant it, that
the republic was to come into grave peril without causing him to lose his
right arm, or even to wag his finger, save in reproach of their
Mightinesses.

The republic, being thus left to fight its battles alone, girded its
loins anew for the conflict.  During the remainder of the year 1604,
however, there were no military operations of consequence.  Both
belligerents needed a brief repose.

The siege of Ostend had not been a siege.  It was a long pitched battle
between the new system and the old, between absolutism and the spirit of
religious, political and mercantile freedom.  Absolutism had gained the
lists on which the long duel had been fought, but the republic had
meantime exchanged that war-blasted spot for a valuable and commodious
position.

It was certainly an advantage, as hostilities were necessarily to have
continued somewhere during all that period, that all the bloodshed and
desolation had been concentrated upon one insignificant locality, and one
more contiguous to the enemy's possessions than to those of the united
States.  It was very doubtful, however, whether all that money and blood
might not have been expended in some other manner more beneficial to the
cause of the archdukes.  At least it could hardly be maintained that they
took anything by the capitulation of Ostend but the most barren and
worthless of trophies.  Eleven old guns, partly broken, and a small
quantity of ammunition, were all the spoils of war found in the city
after its surrender.

The Marquis Spinola went to Spain.  On passing through Paris he was
received with immense enthusiasm by Henry IV., whose friendship for the
States, and whose desperate designs against the house of Austria, did not
prevent him from warmly congratulating the great Spanish general on his
victory.  It was a victory, said Henry, which he could himself have never
achieved, and, in recognition of so great a triumph, he presented Spinola
with a beautiful Thracian horse, valued at twelve hundred ducats.
Arriving in Spain, the conqueror found himself at once the object of the
open applause and the scarcely concealed hatred of the courtiers and
politicians.  He ardently desired to receive as his guerdon the rank of
grandee of Spain.  He met with a refusal.  To keep his hat on his head in
presence of the sovereign was the highest possible reward.  Should that
be bestowed upon him now, urged Lerma, what possible recompense could be
imagined for the great services which all felt confident that he was
about to render in the future?  He must continue to remove his hat in
the monarch's company. Meantime, if he wished the title of prince, with
considerable revenues attached to his principality, this was at his
disposal. It must be confessed that in a monarchy where the sentiment
of honour was supposed to be the foundation of the whole
structure there is something chivalrous and stimulating to the
imagination in this preference by the great general of a shadowy but
rare distinction to more substantial acquisitions.  Nevertheless, as the
grandeeship was refused, it is not recorded that he was displeased with
the principality.  Meantime there was a very busy intrigue to deprive him
of the command-in-chief of the Catholic forces in Flanders, and one so
nearly successful that Mexia, governor of Antwerp citadel, was actually
appointed in Spinola's stead.  It was only after long and anxious
conferences at Valladolid with the king and the Duke of Lerma, and after
repeated statements in letters from the archdukes that all their hopes of
victory depended on retaining the Genoese commander-in-chief, that the
matter was finally arranged.  Mexia received an annual pension of eight
thousand ducats, and to Spinola was assigned five hundred ducats monthly,
as commander-in-chief under the archduke, with an equal salary as agent
for the king's affairs in Flanders.

Early in the spring he returned to Brussels, having made fresh
preparations for the new campaign in which he was to measure himself
before the world against Maurice of Nassau.

Spinola had removed the thorn from the Belgic lion's foot: "Ostendae
erasit fatalis Spinola spinam."  And although it may be doubted whether
the relief was as thorough as had been hoped, yet a freedom of movement
had unquestionably been gained.  There was now at least what for a long
time had not existed, a possibility for imagining some new and perhaps
more effective course of campaigning.   The young Genoese commander-in-
chief returned from Spain early in May, with the Golden Fleece around his
neck, and with full powers from the Catholic king to lay out his work,
subject only to the approbation of the archduke.  It was not probable
that Albert, who now thoroughly admired and leaned upon the man of whom
he had for a time been disposed to be jealous, would interfere with his
liberty of action.  There had also been--thanks to Spinola's influence
with the cabinet at Madrid and the merchants of Genoa--much more energy
in recruiting and in providing the necessary sinews of war.  Moreover it
had been resolved to make the experiment of sending some of the new
levies by sea, instead of subjecting them all to the long and painful
overland march through Spain, Italy, and Germany.  A terzo of infantry
was on its way from Naples, and two more were expected from Milan, but it
was decided that the Spanish troops should be embarked on board a fleet
of transports, mainly German and English, and thus carried to the shores
of the obedient Netherlands.

The States-General got wind of these intentions, and set Vice-Admiral
Haultain upon the watch to defeat the scheme.  That well-seasoned mariner
accordingly, with a sufficient fleet of war-galleots, cruised thenceforth
with great assiduity in the chops of the channel.  Already the late
treaty between Spain and England had borne fruits of bitterness to the
republic.  The Spanish policy had for the time completely triumphed in
the council of James.  It was not surprising therefore that the partisans
of that policy should occasionally indulge in manifestations of
malevolence towards the upstart little commonwealth which had presumed
to enter into commercial rivalry with the British realm, and to assert a
place among the nations of the earth.  An order had just been issued by
the English Government that none of its subjects should engage in the
naval service of any foreign power.  This decree was a kind of corollary
to the Spanish treaty, was levelled directly against the Hollanders, and
became the pretext of intolerable arrogance, both towards their
merchantmen and their lesser war-vessels.  Admiral Monson, an especial
partisan of Spain, was indefatigable in exercising the right he claimed
of visiting foreign vessels off the English coast, in search of English
sailors violating the proclamation of neutrality.  On repeated occasions
prizes taken by Dutch cruisers from the Spaniards, and making their way
with small prize crews to the ports of the republic, were overhauled,
visited, and seized by the English admiral, who brought the vessels into
the harbours of his own country, liberated the crews, and handed ships
and cargoes over to the Spanish ambassador.  Thus prizes fairly gained by
nautical skill and hard fighting, off Spain, Portugal, Brazil, or even
more distant parts of the world, were confiscated almost in sight of
port, in utter disregard of public law or international decency.  The
States-General remonstrated with bitterness.  Their remonstrances were
answered by copious arguments, proving, of course, to the entire
satisfaction of the party who had done the wrong, that no practice could
be more completely in harmony with reason and justice.  Meantime the
Spanish ambassador sold the prizes, and appropriated the proceeds towards
carrying on the war against the republic; the Dutch sailors, thus set
ashore against their will and against law on the neutral coast of
England, being left to get home as they could, or to starve if they could
do no better.  As for the States, they had the legal arguments of their
late ally to console them for the loss of their ships.

Simultaneously with these events considerable levies of troops were made
in England by the archduke, in spite of all the efforts of the Dutch
ambassador to prevent this one-sided; neutrality, while at the other ends
of the world mercantile jealousy in both the Indies was fast combining
with other causes already rife to increase the international discord.
Out of all this fuel it was fated that a blaze of hatred between the two
leading powers of the new era, the United Kingdom and the United
Republic, should one day burst forth, which was to be fanned by passion,
prejudice, and a mistaken sentiment of patriotism and self-interest on
both sides, and which not all the bloodshed of more than one fierce war
could quench.  The traces of this savage sentiment are burnt deeply into
the literature, language, and traditions of both countries; and it is
strange enough that the epoch at which chronic wrangling and
international coolness changed into furious antipathy between the two
great Protestant powers of Europe--for great they already both were,
despite the paucity of their population and resources, as compared with
nations which were less influenced by the spirit of the age or had less
aptness in obeying its impulse--should be dated from the famous year of
Guy Fawkes.

Meantime the Spanish troops, embarked in eight merchant ships and a few
pinnaces, were slowly approaching their destination.  They had been
instructed, in case they found it impracticable to enter a Flemish port,
to make for the hospitable shores of England, the Spanish ambassador and
those whom he had bribed at the court of James having already provided
for their protection.  Off Dover Admiral Haultain got sight of
Sarmiento's little fleet.  He made short work with it.  Faithfully
carrying out the strenuous orders of the States-General, he captured some
of the ships, burned one, and ran others aground after a very brief
resistance.  Some of the soldiers and crews were picked up by English
vessels cruising in the neighbourhood and narrowly watching the conflict.
A few stragglers escaped by swimming, but by far, the greater proportion
of the newly-arrived troops were taken prisoners, tied together two and
two, and then, at a given signal from the admiral's ship, tossed into the
sea.

Not Peter Titelmann, nor Julian Romero, nor the Duke of Alva himself,
ever manifested greater alacrity in wholesale murder than was shown by
this admiral of the young republic in fulfilling the savage decrees of
the States-General.

Thus at least one-half of the legion perished.  The pursuit of the ships
was continued within English waters, when the guns of Dover Castle opened
vigorously upon the recent allies of England, in order to protect her
newly-found friends in their sore distress.  Doubtless in the fervour of
the work the Dutch admiral had violated the neutral coast of England, so
that the cannonade from the castle waw technically justified.  It was
however a biting satire upon the proposed Protestant league against Spain
and universal monarchy in behalf of the Dutch republic, that England was
already doing her best to save a Spanish legion and to sink a Dutch
fleet.  The infraction of English sovereignty was unquestionable if
judged by the more scrupulous theory of modern days, but it was well
remarked by the States-General, in answer to the remonstrances of James's
Government, that the Dutch admiral, knowing that the pirates of Dunkirk
roamed at will through English waters in search of their prey, might have
hoped for some indulgence of a similar character to the ships of the
republic.

Thus nearly the whole of the Spanish legion perished.  The soldiers who
escaped to the English coast passed the winter miserably in huts, which
they were allowed to construct on the sands, but nearly all, including
the lieutenant-colonel commanding, Pedro Cubiera, died of famine or of
wounds.   A few small vessels of the expedition succeeded in reaching the
Flemish coast, and landing a slight portion of the terzo.

The campaign of 1605 opened but languidly.  The strain upon the resources
of the Netherlands, thus unaided, was becoming severe, although there
is no doubt that, as the India traffic slowly developed itself, the
productive force of the commonwealth visibly increased, while the
thrifty habits of its citizens, and their comparative abstinence from
unproductive consumption, still enabled it to bear the tremendous burthen
of the war.  A new branch of domestic industry had grown out of the India
trade, great quantities of raw silk being now annually imported from the
East into Holland, to be wrought into brocades, tapestries, damasks,
velvets, satins, and other luxurious fabrics for European consumption.

It is a curious phenomenon in the history of industry that while at this
epoch Holland was the chief seat of silk manufactures, the great
financier of Henry IV. was congratulating his sovereign and himself that
natural causes had for ever prevented the culture or manufacture of silk
in France.  If such an industry were possible, he was sure that the
decline of martial spirit in France and an eternal dearth of good French
soldiers would be inevitable, and he even urged that the importation of
such luxurious fabrics should be sternly prohibited, in order to preserve
the moral health of the people.  The practical Hollanders were more
inclined to leave silk farthingales and brocaded petticoats to be dealt
with by thunderers from the pulpit or indignant fathers of families.
Meantime the States-General felt instinctively that the little
commonwealth grew richer, the more useful or agreeable things its
burghers could call into existence out of nothingness, to be exchanged
for the powder and bullets, timber and cordage, requisite for its eternal
fight with universal monarchy, and that the richer the burghers grew the
more capable they were of paying their taxes.  It was not the fault of
the States that the insane ambition of Spain and the archdukes compelled
them to exhaust themselves annually by the most unproductive consumption
that man is ever likely to devise, that of scientifically slaughtering
his brethren, because to practise economy in that regard would be to
cease to exist, or to accept the most intolerable form of slavery.

The forces put into the field in the spring of 1605 were but meagre.
There was also, as usual, much difference of opinion between Maurice and
Barneveld as to the most judicious manner of employing them, and as usual
the docile stadholder submitted his better judgment to the States.  It
can hardly be too much insisted upon that the high-born Maurice always
deported himself in fact, and as it were unconsciously, as the citizen
soldier of a little republic, even while personally invested with many of
the attributes of exalted rank, and even while regarded by many of his
leading fellow-citizens as the legitimate and predestined sovereign of
the newly-born state.

Early in the spring a great enterprise against Antwerp was projected.  It
failed utterly.  Maurice, at Bergen-op-Zoom, despatched seven thousand
troops up the Scheld, under command of Ernest Casimir.  The flotilla was
a long time getting under weigh, and instead of effecting a surprise, the
army, on reaching the walls of Antwerp, found the burghers and garrison
not in the least astonished, but on the contrary entirely prepared.
Ernest returned after a few insignificant skirmishes, having accomplished
nothing.

Maurice next spent a few days in reducing the castle of Wouda, not far
from Bergen, and then, transporting his army once more to the isle of
Cadzand, he established his headquarters at Watervliet, near Ysendyke.
Spinola followed him, having thrown a bridge across the Scheld.  Maurice
was disposed to reduce a fort, well called Patience, lying over against
the isle of Walcheren.  Spinola took up a position by which he defended
the place as with an impenetrable buckler.  A game of skill now began.
between these two adepts in the art of war, for already the volunteer had
taken rank among the highest professors of the new school.  It was the
object of Maurice, who knew himself on the whole outnumbered, to divine
his adversary's intentions.  Spinola was supposed to be aiming at Sluys,
at Grave, at Bergen-op-Zoom, possibly even at some more remote city, like
Rheinberg, while rumours as to his designs, flying directly from his
camp, were as thick as birds in the air.  They were let loose on purpose
by the artful Genoese, who all the time had a distinct and definite plan
which was not yet suspected.  The dilatoriness of the campaign was
exasperating.  It might be thought that the war was to last another half
century, from the excessive inertness of both parties.  The armies had
all gone into winter quarters in the previous November, Spinola had spent
nearly six months in Spain, midsummer had came and gone, and still
Maurice was at Watervliet, guessing at his adversary's first move.  On
the whole, he had inclined to suspect a design upon Rheinberg, and had
accordingly sent his brother Henry with a detachment to strengthen the
garrison of that place.  On the 1st of August however he learned that
Spinola had crossed the Meuse and the Rhine, with ten thousand foot and
three thousand horse, and that leaving Count Bucquoy with six thousand
foot and one thousand five hundred horse in the neighbourhood of the
Rhine, to guard a couple of redoubts which had been constructed for a
basis at Kaiserswerth, he was marching with all possible despatch towards
Friesland and Groningen.

The Catholic general had concealed his design in a masterly manner.  He
had detained Maurice in the isle of Cadzand, the States still dreaming of
a victorious invasion on their part of obedient Flanders, and the
stadholder hesitating to quit his position of inactive observation, lest
the moment his back was turned the rapid Spinola might whirl down upon
Sluys, that most precious and skilfully acquired possession of the
republic, when lo! his formidable antagonist was marching in force upon
what the prince well knew to be her most important and least guarded
frontier.

On the 8th August the Catholic general was before Olden-zaal which he
took in three days, and then advanced to Lingen.  Should that place fall
--and the city was known to be most inadequately garrisoned and supplied
--it would be easy for the foe to reduce Coeworden, and so seize the
famous pass over the Bourtanger Morass, march straight to Embden--then in
a state of municipal revolution on account of the chronic feuds between
its counts and the population, and therefore an easy prey--after which
all Friesland and Groningen would be at his mercy, and his road open to
Holland and Utrecht; in short, into the very bowels of the republic.

On the 4th August Maurice broke up his camp in Flanders, and leaving five
thousand men under Colonel Van der Noot, to guard the positions there,
advanced rapidly to Deventer, with the intention of saving Lingen.
It was too late.  That very important place had been culpably neglected.
The garrison consisted of but one cannoneer, and he had but one arm.
A burgher guard, numbering about three hundred, made such resistance as
they could, and the one-armed warrior fired a shot or two from a rusty
old demi-cannon. Such opposition to the accomplished Italian was
naturally not very effective.  On the 18th August the place capitulated.
Maurice, arriving at Deventer, and being now strengthened by his cousin
Lewis William with such garrison troops as could be collected, learned
the mortifying news with sentiments almost akin to despair.  It was now
to be a race for Coeworden, and the fleet-footed Spinola was a day's
march at least in advance of his competitor.  The key to the fatal morass
would soon be in his hands.  To the inexpressible joy of the stadholder,
the Genoese seemed suddenly struck with blindness.  The prize was almost
in his hands and he threw away all his advantages.  Instead of darting at
once upon Coeworden he paused for nearly a month, during which period he
seemed intoxicated with a success so rapidly achieved, and especially
with his adroitness in outwitting the great stadholder.  On the 14th
September he made a retrograde movement towards the Rhine, leaving two
thousand five hundred men in Lingen.  Maurice, giving profound thanks to
God for his enemy's infatuation, passed by Lingen, and having now, with
his cousin's reinforcements, a force of nine thousand foot and three
thousand horse, threw himself into Coeworden, strengthened and garrisoned
that vital fortress which Spinola would perhaps have taken as easily as
he had done Lingen, made all the neighbouring positions secure, and then
fell back towards Wesel on the Rhine, in order to watch his antagonist.
Spinola had established his headquarters at Ruhrort, a place where the
river Ruhr empties into the Rhine.  He had yielded to the remonstrances
of the Archbishop of Cologne, to whom Kaiserwerth belonged, and had
abandoned the forts which Bucquoy, under his directions, had constructed
at that place.

The two armies now gazed at each other, at a respectful distance, for a
fortnight longer, neither commander apparently having any very definite
purpose.  At last, Maurice having well reconnoitred his enemy, perceived
a weak point in his extended lines.  A considerable force of Italian
cavalry, with some infantry, was stationed at the village of Mulheim, on
the Ruhr, and apparently out of convenient supporting distance from
Spinola's main army.  The stadholder determined to deliver a sudden blow
upon this tender spot, break through the lines, and bring on a general
action by surprise.  Assembling his well-seasoned and veteran troopers in
force, he divided them into two formidable bands, one under the charge of
his young brother Frederic Henry, the other under that most brilliant of
cavalry officers, Marcellus Bax, hero of Turnhout and many another
well-fought field.

The river Ruhr was a wide but desultory stream, easily fordable in many
places.  On the opposite bank to Mulheim was the Castle of Brock, and
some hills of considerable elevation.  Bax was ordered to cross the river
and seize the castle and the heights, Count Henry to attack the enemy's
camp in front, while Maurice himself, following rapidly with the advance
of infantry and wagons, was to sustain the assault.

Marcellus Bax, rapid and dashing as usual, crossed the Ruhr, captured
Broek Castle with ease, and stood ready to prevent the retreat of the
Spaniards.  Taken by surprise in front, they would naturally seek refuge
on the other side of the river.  That stream was not difficult for
infantry, but as the banks were steep, cavalry could not easily extricate
themselves from the water, except at certain prepared landings.  Bax
waited however for some time in vain for the flying Spaniards.  It was
not destined that the stadholder should effect many surprises that year.
The troopers under Frederic Henry had made their approaches through an
intricate path, often missing their way, and in far more leisurely
fashion than was intended, so that outlying scouts had brought in
information of the coming attack.  As Count Henry approached the village,
Trivulzio's cavalry was found drawn up in battle array, formidable in
numbers, and most fully prepared for their visitors from Wesel.  The
party most astonished was that which came to surprise.  In an instant one
of those uncontrollable panics broke out to which even veterans are as
subject as to dysentery or scurvy.  The best cavalry of Maurice's army
turned their backs at the very sight of the foe, and galloped off much
faster than they had come.

Meantime, Marcellus Bax was assaulted, not only by his late handful of
antagonists, who had now rallied, but by troops from Mulheim, who began
to wade across the stream.  At that moment he was cheered by the sight of
Count Henry coming on with a very few of his troopers who had stood to
their colours.  A simultaneous charge from both banks at the enemy
floundering in the river was attempted.  It might have been brilliantly
successful, but the panic had crossed the river faster than the Spaniards
could do, and the whole splendid picked cavalry force of the republic,
commanded by the youngest son of William the Silent, and by the favourite
cavalry commander of her armies, was, after a hot but brief action, in
disgraceful and unreasonable flight.  The stadholder reached the bank of
that fatal stream only to witness this maddening spectacle, instead of
the swift and brilliant triumph which he was justified in expecting.  He
did his best to stem the retreating tide.  He called upon the veterans,
by the memory of Turnhout and Nieuport, and so many other victories, to
pause and redeem their name before it was too late.  He taunted them with
their frequent demands to be led to battle, and their expressed
impatience at enforced idleness.  He denounced them as valiant only for
plundering defenceless peasants, and as cowards against armed men; as
trusting more to their horses' heels than to their own right hands.  He
invoked curses upon them for deserting his young brother, who,
conspicuous among them by his gilded armour, the orange-plumes upon his
calque, and the bright orange-scarf across his shoulders, was now sorely
pressed in the struggling throng.

It was all in vain.  Could Maurice have thrown himself into the field,
he might, as in the crisis of the republic's fate at Nieuport, have once
more converted ruin into victory by the magic of his presence.  But the
river was between him and the battle, and he was an enforced spectator of
his country's disgrace.

For a few brief moments his demeanour, his taunts, and his supplications
had checked the flight of his troops.

A stand was made by a portion of the cavalry and a few detached but
fierce combats took place.  Count Frederic Henry was in imminent danger.
Leading a mere handful of his immediate retainers, he threw himself into
the thickest of the fight, with the characteristic audacity of his house.
A Spanish trooper aimed his carbine full at his face. It missed fire, and
Henry, having emptied his own pistol, was seized by the floating scarf
upon his breast by more than one enemy.  There was a brief struggle, and
death or capture seemed certain; when an unknown hand laid his nearest
antagonist low, and enabled him to escape from over powering numbers.
The soldier, whose devotion thus saved the career of the youngest
Orange-Nassau destined to be so long and so brilliant, from being cut off
so prematurely, was never again heard of, and doubtless perished in the
fray.

Meantime the brief sparkle of valour on the part of the States' troops
had already vanished. The adroit Spinola, hurrying personally to the
front, had caused such a clangor from all the drums and trumpets in Broek
and its neighbourhood to be made as to persuade the restive cavalry that
the whole force of the enemy was already upon them. The day was obviously
lost, and Maurice, with a heavy heart, now him self gave the signal to
retreat.  Drawing up the greater part of his infantry in solid mass upon
the banks to protect the passage, he sent a force to the opposite side,
Horace Vere being the first to wade the stream.   All that was then
possible to do was accomplished, and the panic flight converted into
orderly retreat, but it was a day of disaster and disgrace for the
republic.

About five hundred of the best States' cavalry were left dead on the
field, but the stain upon his almost unsullied flag was more cutting to
the stadholder's heart than the death of his veterans. The material
results were in truth almost even. The famous cavalry general, Count
Trivulzio, with at least three hundred Spaniards, fell in the combat,
but the glory of having defeated the best cavalry of Europe in a stricken
field and under the very eyes of the stadholder would have been
sufficient compensation to Spinola for much greater losses.

Maurice withdrew towards Wesel, sullen but not desponding.  His forces
were meagre, and although he had been out-generalled, out-marched, and
defeated in the open field, at least the Genoese had not planted the blow
which he had meditated in the very heart of the republic.

Autumn was now far advanced, and dripping with rain. The roads and fields
were fast becoming impassable sloughs, and no further large operations
could be expected in this campaign.  Yet the stadholder's cup was not
full, and he was destined to witness two more triumphs of his rival, now
fast becoming famous, before this year of disasters should close.  On the
27th October, Spinola took the city of Wachtendonk, after ten days'
siege, and on the 5th of November the strong place of Cracow.

Maurice was forced to see these positions captured almost under his eyes,
being now quite powerless to afford relief. His troops had dwindled by
sickness and necessary detachments for garrison-work to a comparatively,
insignificant force, and very soon afterwards both armies went into
winter quarters.

The States were excessively disappointed at the results of the year's
work, and deep if not loud were the reproaches cast upon the stadholder.
Certainly his military reputation had not been augmented by this
campaign.  He had lost many places, and had not gained an inch of ground
anywhere.  Already the lustre of Sluys, of Nieuport, and Turnhout were
growing dim, for Maurice had so accustomed the republic to victories that
his own past triumphs seemed now his greatest enemies.  Moreover he had
founded a school out of which apt pupils had already graduated, and it
would seem that the Genoese volunteer had rapidly profited by his
teachings as only a man endowed with exquisite military genius could have
done.

Yet, after all, it seems certain that, with the stadholder's limited
means, and with the awful consequences to the country of a total defeat
in the open field, the Fabian tactics, which he had now deliberately
adopted, were the most reasonable.  The invader of foreign domains, the
suppressor of great revolts, can indulge in the expensive luxury of
procrastination only at imminent peril.  For the defence, it is always
possible to conquer by delay, and it was perfectly understood between
Spinola and his ablest advisers at the Spanish court that the blows must
be struck thick and fast, and at the most vulnerable places, or that the
victory would be lost.

Time was the ally not of the Spanish invaders, who came from afar, but of
the Dutch burghers, who remained at home.  "Jam aut Nunquam," was the
motto upon the Italian's banners.

In proportion to the depression in the republic at the results of this
year's campaigning was the elation at the Spanish court.  Bad news and
false news had preceded the authentic intelligence of Spinola's
victories.  The English envoy had received unquestionable information
that the Catholic general had sustained an overwhelming defeat at the
close of the campaign, with a loss of three thousand five hundred men.

The tale was implicitly believed by king and cabinet, so that when,
very soon afterwards, the couriers arrived bringing official accounts of
the victory gained over the veteran cavalry of the States in the very
presence of the stadholder, followed by the crowning triumph of
Wachtendonk, the demonstrations of joy were all the more vivacious in
consequence of the previous gloom.  Spinola himself followed hard upon
the latest messengers, and was received with ovations.  Never, since the
days of Alexander Farnese, had a general at the Spanish court been more
cordially caressed or hated.  Had Philip the Prudent been still upon the
throne, he would have felt it his duty to make immediate arrangements for
poisoning him.  Certainly his plans and his popularity would have been
undermined in the most artistic manner.

But Philip III., more dangerous to rabbits than to generals, left the
Genoese to settle the plans of his next campaign with Lerma and his
parasites.

The subtle Spinola, having, in his despatches, ascribed the chief merit
of the victories to Louis Velasco, a Spaniard, while his own original
conception of transferring the war to Friesland was attributed by him
with magnificent effrontery to Lerma and to the king--who were probably
quite ignorant of the existence of that remote province--succeeded in
maintaining his favourable position at court, and was allowed, by what
was called the war-council, to manage matters nearly at his pleasure.

It is difficult however to understand how so much clamour should have
been made over such paltry triumphs.  All Europe rang with a cavalry
fight in which less than a thousand saddles on both sides had been
emptied, leading to no result, and with the capture of a couple of
insignificant towns, of which not one man in a thousand had ever heard.

Spinola had doubtless shown genius of a subtle and inventive order, and
his fortunate audacity in measuring himself, while a mere apprentice,
against the first military leader living had been crowned with wonderful
success.  He had nailed the stadholder fast to the island of Cadzand,
while he was perfecting his arrangements and building boats on the Rhine;
he had propounded riddles which Maurice had spent three of the best
campaigning months in idle efforts to guess, and when he at last moved,
he had swept to his mark with the swiftness and precision of a bird of
prey.  Yet the greatest of all qualities in a military commander, that of
deriving substantial fruits from victory instead of barren trophies, he
had not manifested.  If it had been a great stroke of art to seize reach
Deventer, it was an enormous blunder, worthy of a journeyman soldier, to
fail to seize the Bourtange marshes, and drive his sword into the fiery
vitals of the republic, thus placed at his mercy.

Meantime, while there had been all these rejoicings and tribulations at
the great doings on the Rhine and the shortcoming in Friesland, the real
operations of the war had been at the antipodes.

It is not a very unusual phenomenon in history that the events, upon
whose daily development the contemporary world hangs with most
palpitating interest, are far inferior in permanent influence upon the
general movement of humanity to a series of distant and apparently
commonplace transactions.

Empires are built up or undermined by the ceaseless industry of obscure
multitudes often slightly observed, or but dimly comprehended.

Battles and sieges, dreadful marches, eloquent debates, intricate
diplomacy--from time to time but only perhaps at rare intervals--have
decided or modified the destiny of nations, while very often the clash of
arms, the din of rhetoric, the whiz of political spindles, produce
nothing valuable for human consumption, and made the world no richer.

If the age of heroic and religious passion was rapidly fading away before
the gradual uprising of a politico-mercantile civilization--as it
certainly was--the most vital events, those in which the fate of coming
generations was most deeply involved, were those inspired by the spirit
of commercial-enterprise.

Nor can it be denied that there is often a genial and poetic essence even
among things practical or of almost vulgar exterior.  In those early
expeditions of the Hollanders to the flaming lands of the equator there
is a rhythm and romance of historical movement not less significant than
in their unexampled defence of fatherland and of the world's liberty
against the great despotism of the age.

Universal monarchy was baffled by the little republic, not within its own
populous cities only, or upon its own barren sands.  The long combat
between Freedom and Absolutism had now become as wide as the world.  The
greatest European states had been dragged by the iron chain of necessity
into a conflict from which they often struggled to escape, and on every
ocean, and on almost every foot of soil, where the footsteps of mankind
had as yet been imprinted, the fierce encounters were every day renewed.
In the east and the west, throughout that great vague new world, of which
geographers had hardly yet made a sketch, which comprised both the
Americas and something called the East Indies, and which Spain claimed
as her private property, those humbly born and energetic adventurers were
rapidly creating a symmetrical system out of most dismal chaos.

The King of Spain warned all nations from trespassing upon those outlying
possessions.

His edicts had not however prevented the English in moderate numbers, and
the Hollanders in steadily increasing swarms, from enlarging and making
profitable use of these new domains of the world's commerce.

The days were coming when the People was to have more to say than the
pope in regard to the disposition and arrangements of certain large
districts of this planet.  While the world-empire, which still excited so
much dismay, was yielding to constant corrosion, another empire, created
by well-directed toil and unflinching courage, was steadily rising out of
the depths.  It has often been thought amazing that the little republic
should so long and so triumphantly withstand the enormous forces brought
forward for her destruction.  It was not, however, so very surprising.
Foremost among nations, and in advance of the age, the republic had found
the strength which comes from the spirit of association.  On a wider
scale than ever before known, large masses of men, with their pecuniary
means, had been intelligently banded together to advance material
interests.  When it is remembered that, in addition to this force, the
whole commonwealth was inspired by the divine influence of liberty, her
power will no longer seem so wonderful.

A sinister event in the Isle of Ceylon had opened the series of
transactions in the East, and had cast a gloom over the public sentiment
at home.  The enterprising voyager, Sebald de Weerdt, one of the famous
brotherhood of the Invincible Lion which had wintered in the straits of
Magellan, had been murdered through the treachery of the King of Candy.
His countrymen had not taken vengeance on his assassins.  They were
perhaps too fearful of losing their growing trade in those lucrative
regions to take a becoming stand in that emergency.  They were also not
as yet sufficiently powerful there.

The East India Company had sent out in May of this year its third fleet
of eleven large ships, besides some smaller vessels, under the general
superintendence of Matelieff de Jonghe, one of the directors.  The
investments for the voyage amounted to more than nineteen hundred
thousand florins.

Meantime the preceding adventurers under Stephen van der Hagen, who had
sailed at the end of 1603, had been doing much thorough work.  A firm
league had been made with one of the chief potentates of Malabar,
enabling them to build forts and establish colonies in perpetual menace
of Goa, the great oriental capital of the Portuguese.  The return of the
ambassadors sent out from Astgen to Holland had filled not only the
island of Sumatra but the Moluccas, and all the adjacent regions, with
praises of the power, wealth, and high civilization of that distant
republic so long depicted by rivals as a nest of uncouth and sanguinary
savages.  The fleet now proceeded to Amboyna, a stronghold of the
Spanish-Portuguese, and the seat of a most lucrative trade.

On the arrival of those foreign well-armed ships under the guns of the
fortress, the governor sent to demand, with Castilian arrogance, who the
intruders were, and by whose authority and with what intent they presumed
to show themselves in those waters.  The reply was that they came in the
name and by the authority of their High Mightinesses the States-General,
and their stadholder the Prince of Orange; that they were sworn enemies
of the King of Spain and all his subjects, and that as to their intent,
this would soon be made apparent.  Whereupon, without much more ado, they
began a bombardment of the fort, which mounted thirty-six guns.  The
governor, as often happened in those regions, being less valiant against
determined European foes than towards the feebler oriental races on which
he had been accustomed to trample, succumbed with hardly an effort at
resistance.  The castle and town and whole island were surrendered to the
fleet, and thenceforth became virtually a colony of the republic with
which, nominally, treaties of alliance and defence were, negotiated.
Thence the fleet, after due possession had been taken of these new
domains, sailed partly to Bands and partly to two small but most
important islands of the Moluccas.

In that multitude of islands which make up the Eastern Archipelago there
were but five at that period where grew the clove--Ternate, Tydor,
Motiel, Makian, and Bacia.

Pepper and ginger, even nutmegs, cassia, and mace, were but vulgar drugs,
precious as they were already to the world and the world's commerce,
compared with this most magnificent spice.

It is wonderful to reflect upon the strange composition of man.  The
world had lived in former ages very comfortably without cloves.  But by
the beginning of the seventeenth century that odoriferous pistil had been
the cause of so many pitched battles and obstinate wars, of so much
vituperation, negotiation, and intriguing, that the world's destiny
seemed to have almost become dependent upon the growth of a particular
gillyflower.  Out of its sweetness had grown such bitterness among great
nations as not torrents of blood could wash away.  A commonplace
condiment enough it seems to us now, easily to be dispensed with, and not
worth purchasing at a thousand human lives or so the cargo, but it was
once the great prize to be struggled for by civilized nations.  From that
fervid earth, warmed from within by volcanic heat, and basking ever
beneath the equatorial sun, arose vapours as deadly to human life as the
fruits were exciting and delicious to human senses.  Yet the atmosphere
of pestiferous fragrance had attracted, rather than repelled.  The
poisonous delights of the climate, added to the perpetual and various
warfare for its productions, spread a strange fascination around those
fatal isles.

Especially Ternate and Tydor were objects of unending strife.
Chinese, Malays, Persians, Arabs, had struggled centuries long for their
possession; those races successively or simultaneously ruling these and
adjacent portions of the Archipelago.  The great geographical discoveries
at the close of the fifteenth century had however changed the aspect of
India and of the world.  The Portuguese adventurers found two rival
kings--in the two precious islands, and by ingeniously protecting one of
these potentates and poisoning the other, soon made themselves masters of
the field.  The clove trade was now entirely in the hands of the
strangers from the antipodes.  Goa became the great mart of the lucrative
traffic, and thither came Chinese, Arabs, Moors, and other oriental
traders to be supplied from the Portuguese monopoly: Two-thirds of the
spices however found their way directly to Europe.

Naturally enough, the Spaniards soon penetrated into these seas, and
claimed their portion of the spice trade. They insisted that the coveted
islands were included in their portion of the great Borgian grant.  As
there had hardly yet been time to make a trigonometrical survey of an
unknown world, so generously divided by the pope, there was no way of
settling disputed boundary questions save by apostolic blows.  These were
exchanged with much earnestness, year after year, between Spaniards,
Portuguese, and all who came in their way.  Especially the unfortunate
natives, and their kings most of all, came in for a full share.  At last
Charles V. sold out his share of the spice islands to his Portuguese
rival and co-proprietor, for three hundred and fifty thousand ducats.
The emperor's very active pursuits caused him to require ready money more
than cloves.  Yet John III.  had made an excellent bargain, and the
monopoly thenceforth brought him in at least two hundred thousand ducats
annually.  Goa became more flourishing, the natives more wretched,
the Portuguese more detested than ever.  Occasionally one of the royal
line of victims would consent to put a diadem upon his head, but the
coronation was usually the prelude to a dungeon or death.  The treaties
of alliance, which these unlucky potentates had formed with their
powerful invaders, were, as so often is the case, mere deeds to convey
themselves and their subjects into slavery.

Spain and Portugal becoming one, the slender weapon of defence which
these weak but subtle Orientals sometimes employed with success--the
international and commercial jealousy between their two oppressors--was
taken away.  It was therefore with joy that Zaida, who sat on the throne
of Ternate at the end of the sixteenth century, saw the sails of a Dutch
fleet arriving in his harbours.  Very soon negotiations were opened, and
the distant republic undertook to protect the Mahometan king against his
Catholic master.  The new friendship was founded upon trade monopoly, of
course, but at that period at least the islanders were treated with
justice and humanity by their republican allies.  The Dutch undertook to
liberate their friends from bondage, while the King of Ternate, panting
under Portuguese oppression, swore to have no traffic, no dealings of any
kind, with any other nation than Holland; not even with the English.  The
Dutch, they declared, were the liberators of themselves, of their
friends, and of the seas.

The international hatred, already germinating between England and
Holland, shot forth in these flaming regions like a tropical plant.  It
was carefully nurtured and tended by both peoples.  Freedom of commerce,
freedom of the seas, meant that none but the Dutch East India Company--
so soon as the Portuguese and Spaniards were driven out--should trade in
cloves and nutmegs.  Decrees to that effect were soon issued, under very
heavy penalties, by the States-General to the citizens of the republic
and to the world at large.  It was natural therefore that the English
traders should hail the appearance of the Dutch fleets with much less
enthusiasm than was shown by the King of Ternate.

On the other hand, the King of Tydor, persisting in his oriental hatred
towards the rival potentate in the other island, allowed the Portuguese
to build additional citadels, and generally to strengthen their positions
within his dominions.  Thus when Cornelius Sebastian, with his division
of Ver Hagen's fleet, arrived in the Moluccas in the summer of 1605, he
found plenty of work prepared for him.  The peace recently concluded by
James with Philip and the archdukes placed England in a position of
neutrality in the war now waging in the clove islands between Spain and
the republic's East India Company.  The English in those regions were not
slow to avail themselves of the advantage.  The Portuguese of Tydor
received from neutral sympathy a copious supply of powder and of
pamphlets.  The one explosive material enabled them to make a more
effective defence of their citadel against the Dutch fleet; the other
revealed to the Portuguese and their Mussulman allies that "the
Netherlanders could not exist without English protection, that they were
the scum of nations, and that if they should get possession of this clove
monopoly, their insolence would become intolerable."  Samples of polite
literature such as these, printed but not published, flew about in
volleys.  It was an age of pamphleteering, and neither the English nor
the Dutch were behind their contemporaries in the science of attack and
self-defence.  Nevertheless Cornelius Sebastian was not deterred by paper
pellets, nor by the guns of the citadel, from carrying out his purpose.
It was arranged with King Zaida that the islanders of Ternate should make
a demonstration against Tydor, being set across the strait in Dutch
vessels.  Sebastian, however, having little faith in oriental tenacity,
entrusted the real work of storming the fortress to his own soldiers and
sailors.  On a fine morning in May the assault was delivered in
magnificent style.  The resistance was obstinate; many of the assailants
fell, and Captain Mol, whom we have once before seen as master of the
Tiger, sinking the galleys of Frederic Spinola off the Gat of Sluys,
found himself at the head of only seven men within the interior defences
of the citadel.  A Spanish soldier, Torre by name, rushed upon him with a
spear.  Avoiding the blow, Mol grappled with his antagonist, and both
rolled to the ground.  A fortunate carbine-shot from one of the Dutch
captain's comrades went through the Spaniard's head.  Meantime the little
band, so insignificant in numbers, was driven out of the citadel.  Mol
fell to the ground with a shattered leg, and reproached his companions,
who sought to remove him, for neglecting their work in order to save his
life.  Let them take the fort, he implored them, and when that was done
they might find leisure to pick him up if they chose.  While he was
speaking the principal tower of the fortress blew up, and sixty of the
garrison were launched into the air.  A well-directed shot had set fire
to the magazine.  The assault was renewed with fresh numbers, and the
Dutch were soon masters of the place.  Never was a stronghold more
audaciously or more successfully stormed.  The garrison surrendered.
The women and children, fearing to be at the mercy of those who had been
depicted to them as cannibals, had already made their escape, and were
scrambling like squirrels among the volcanic cliffs.  Famine soon
compelled them to come down, however, when they experienced sufficiently
kind treatment, but were all deported in Dutch vessels to the Philippine
islands.  The conquerors not only spared the life of the King of Tydor,
but permitted him to retain his crown.  At his request the citadel was
razed to the ground.  It would have been better perhaps to let it stand,
and it was possible that in the heart of the vanquished potentate some
vengeance was lurking which might bear evil fruit at a later day.
Meantime the Portuguese were driven entirely out of the Moluccas,
save the island of Timos, where they still retained a not very
important citadel.

The East India Company was now in possession of the whole field.  The
Moluccas and the clove trade were its own, and the Dutch republic had
made manifest to the world that more potent instruments had now been
devised for parcelling out the new world than papal decrees, although
signed by the immaculate hand of a Borgia.

During the main operations already sketched in the Netherlands, and
during those vastly more important oriental movements to which the
reader's attention has just been called, a detached event or two
deserves notice.

Twice during the summer campaign of this year Du Terrail, an enterprising
French refugee in the service of the archdukes, had attempted to surprise
the important city of Bergen-op-Zoom.  On the 21st August the intended
assault had been discovered in time to prevent any very serious conflict
on, either side.  On the 20th September the experiment was renewed at an
hour after midnight.  Du Terrail, having arranged the attack at three
different points, had succeeded in forcing his way across the moat and
through one of the gates.  The trumpets of the foremost Spaniards already
sounded in, the streets.  It was pouring with rain; the town was pitch
dark.  But the energetic Paul Bax was governor of the place, a man who
was awake at any hour of the twenty-four, and who could see in the
darkest night.  He had already informed himself of the enemy's project,
and had strengthened his garrison by a large intermixture of the most
trustworthy burgher guards, so that the advance of Du Terrail at the
southern gate was already confronted by a determined band.  A fierce
battle began in the darkness.  Meantime Paul Bax, galloping through the
city, had aroused the whole population for the defence.  At the Steinberg
gate, where the chief assault had been prepared, Bax had caused great
fires of straw and pitch barrels to be lighted, so that the invaders,
instead of finding, as they expected, a profound gloom through the
streets, saw themselves approaching a brilliantly illuminated city, fully
prepared to give their uninvited guests a warm reception.  The garrison,
the townspeople, even the women, thronged to the ramparts, saluting the
Spaniards with a rain of bullets, paving-stones, and pitch hoops, and
with a storm of gibes and taunts.  They were asked why they allowed their
cardinal thus to send them to the cattle market, and whether Our Lady of
Hall, to whom Isabella was so fond of making pilgrimages, did not live
rather too far off to be of much use just then to her or to them.
Catholics and Protestants all stood shoulder to shoulder that night to
defend their firesides against the foreign foe, while mothers laid their
sleeping children on the ground that they might fill their cradles with
powder and ball, which they industriously brought to the soldiers.  The
less energetic women fell upon their knees in the street, and prayed
aloud through the anxious night.  The attack was splendidly repulsed.
As morning dawned the enemy withdrew, leaving one hundred dead outside
the walls or in the town, and carrying off thirty-eight wagon loads of
wounded.  Du Terrail made no further attempts that summer, although the
list of his surprises was not yet full.  He was a good engineer, and a
daring partisan officer.  He was also inspired by an especial animosity
to the States-General, who had refused the offer of his services before
he made application to the archdukes.

At sea there was no very important movement in European waters, save that
Lambert Heinrichzoon, commonly called Pretty Lambert, a Rotterdam
skipper, whom we have seen the sea-fights with Frederic Spinola, of the
Dunkirk pirate fleet, Adrian Dirkzoon.  It was a desperate fight.--Pretty
Lambent, sustained at a distance by Rear-Admiral Gerbrantzon, laid
himself yard-arm to yard-arm alongside the pirate vessel, boarded her,
and after beating down all resistance made prisoners such of the crew as
remained alive, and carried them into Rotterdam.  Next day they were
hanged, to the number of sixty.  A small number were pardoned on account
of their youth, and a few individuals who effected their escape when led
to the gallows, were not pursued.  The fact that the townspeople almost
connived at the escape of these desperadoes showed that there had been a
surfeit of hangings in Rotterdam.  It is moreover not easy to distinguish
with exactness the lines which in those days separated regular sea
belligerents, privateers, and pirates from each other.  It had been laid
down by the archdukes that there was no military law at sea, and that
sick soldiers captured on the water should be hanged.  Accordingly they
were hanged.  Admiral Fazardo, of the Spanish royal navy, not only
captured all the enemy's merchant vessels which came in his way, but
hanged, drowned, and burned alive every man found on board.  Admiral
Haultain, of the republican navy, had just been occupied in drowning a
whole regiment of Spanish soldiers, captured in English and German
transports.  The complaints brought against the English cruisers by the
Hollanders for capturing and confiscating their vessels, and banging,
maiming, and torturing their crews--not only when England was neutral,
but even when she was the ally of the republic--had been a standing topic
for diplomatic discussion, and almost a standing joke.  Why, therefore,
these Dunkirk sea-rovers should not on the same principle be allowed to
rush forth from their very convenient den to plunder friend and foe, burn
ships, and butcher the sailors at pleasure, seems difficult to
understand.  To expect from the inhabitants of this robbers' cave--
this "church on the downs"--a code of maritime law so much purer and
sterner than the system adopted by the English, the Spaniards, and the
Dutch, was hardly reasonable.  Certainly the Dunkirkers, who were mainly
Netherlanders--rebels to the republic and partisans of the Spanish crown
--did their best to destroy the herring fishery and to cut the throats of
the fishermen, but perhaps they received the halter more often than other
mariners who had quite as thoroughly deserved it.  And this at last
appeared the prevailing opinion in Rotterdam.



ETEXT EDITOR'S BOOKMARKS:

Abstinence from unproductive consumption
Defeated garrison ever deserved more respect from friend or foe
His own past triumphs seemed now his greatest enemies
Hundred thousand men had laid down their lives by her decree
John Castel, who had stabbed Henry IV.
Looking down upon her struggle with benevolent indifference
No retrenchments in his pleasures of women, dogs, and buildings
Sick soldiers captured on the water should be hanged
The small children diminished rapidly in numbers
When all was gone, they began to eat each other





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of the United Netherlands from the Death of William the Silent to the Twelve Year's Truce, 1604-05" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home