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coasts, and Parma, his troops, and his famous bridge, would be all defeated.

But Parma was well aware of the importance of the dyke, and held it with tenacity. A little string of citadels- forts that seemed to rise

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out of the water—were built along the narrow strip of land, and strongly garrisoned. Two or three well-planned attempts were made by the patriots upon this line of defence, but with no permanent success. The object, however, to be gained by piercing the dyke was so important that a general effort was resolved on by the Antwerpers ; and the burgo

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master Aldegonde and the most distinguished men of the time, including Jacob Run-away, who was fortunately drowned, set forth one May morning for the purpose of piercing the dyke.

As the sentinels on the Kowenstyn looked out from their dreary posts over the dull grey mass of waters, they saw four "fiery apparitions” gliding towards them. The alarm was given, and the troops began somewhat reluctantly to muster upon the dyke. The Spaniards entertained a mysterious dread of those demon-vessels which had done so much injury, and threatened so much more, to Parma’s bridge. But the vessels which now floated towards the Kowenstyn were mere ordinary fire ships things of tar, pitch, resin, wood, and gunpowder—that blazed bravely, but did no harm. Still they answered the purpose : as the attention of the Spanish soldiers was engaged with them, expecting every moment an eruption-a shower of ploughshares and grave stones—a great swarm of gun boats and other vessels skimmed across the leaden-coloured waters, and a company of wild Zelanders and other volunteers sprung on the dyke. A frightful struggle ensued ; face to face ; breast to breast; arm to arm : a struggle that must have ended in the destruction of the Zelanders, had not the Antwerp fleet appeared swiftly to the rescue, and Saint Aldegonde, with Hohenlo and three thousand brave fellows, effected a landing and driven the Spaniards from the dyke.

With woolsacks, sand-bags, hurdles, planks, and other materials brought with them, the patriots rapidly entrenched themselves in the position so brilliantly gained; while the miners, without an instant's delay, commenced the labour of piercing the dyke. But the Spaniards were by no means willing to accept their defeat. They returned to the attack, and fought desperately on that narrow strip of land — not six paces wide—but all-important to the interests of Spain and Holland. They fought with brave obstinacy, Dutchmen and Spaniards alike, “soldiers, citizens and all, they were like mad bull dogs." But while the contest was thus warmly maintained, the miners never for a moment ceased their work. They knew their picks and shovels were doing as brave work for Antwerp as the pikes and carbines of those who fought. Their labour was rewarded. A shout of triumph signalled their victory as the salt water rushed like a river through the ruptured dyke, and a Zeland barge floated into the waters now no longer an inland sea. Still only a portion of the barrier was destroyed. Those who had begun the work must finish it before they should congratulate themselves on a victory consummated. It was, therefore, to be regretted that in their presumed success the leaders of the Antwerpers and Hollanders should prove themselves incompetent to their position. Saint Aldegonde and Hohenlo sprung into the first barge that passed the dyke in order that they might in person carry the news of the victory to Antwerp.

For some hours after they had departed, those who were left behind laboured steadily at the work of destruction unmolested by the Spaniards. But their enemies were not idle. Count Mansfeld-a grizzled veteran, who had passed his whole life under fire-still held one end of the dyke, and was unwilling to accept defeat. As for Parma he was miles away. There were some three thousand Hollanders, Antwerpers, and English, all busy as beavers at the dyke, and all fierce as “mad bull dogs ;" there was a fleet of vessels pouring in a broadside on the Spaniards, but still old Peter Mansfeld was reluctant to concede the triumph. The bells of Antwerp were ringing merrily, bonfires blazing, for the boat-load of bread and beef-earnest of what was to come—had arrived ; cannon thundered in triumph, and a magnificent banquet was spread in the town-house to greet the conquerors. There was Hohenlo at the head of the table draining huge goblets to the conquerors of the Royalists; a bevy of fair dames surrounded him and Aldegonde-ladies such as Rubens would have delighted to paint-all smiles for the victors; victors who, to-morrow, tomorrow, to-morrow, would read Spain a lesson never to be forgotten--tomorrow, to-morrow! Gentlemen, charge your cups !

In the midst of the banquet strange sounds were heard in the streets; perhaps it was a tipsy brawl, perhaps it was an accident; perhaps—all the Rubens' ladies turned from red to white, from smiles to sadness-perhaps, those outrageous Spaniards had not been beaten after all! Too

Тоо soon the truth of the surmise was confirmed; a few stragglers who had escaped from the dyke came in to tell of disaster and defeat. Old Peter Mansfeld had, it appeared, summoned a council of war; there the majority were of opinion that they should do nothing until they had communicated with Alexander. But an Italian colonel, Camillo Capizucca had vehemently proposed an immediate attack. " What difference will it make,” he asked, “whether we defer our action until either darkness or the General arrives ? In each case we give the enemy time enough to destroy the dyke, and thoroughly to relieve the city. That done, what good can be accomplished by our army? Then our disheartened soldiers will either shrink from fruitless combat or march to certain death !!! The words


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thrilled those who heard him. The camp marshal, Piccolomini, seconded the proposition of the colonel. Then their enthusiasm being arou

roused, Spaniards and Italians began to quarrel who should take the lead in the attack; but this was at length amicably arranged.

“ Shoulder to shoulder,” it was said, “let us go into this business, and let our blows fall rather upon the enemy's heads than upon each other's.”

The battle that ensued was one of the most frightful encounters we can imagine; it was fought on a narrow slip of land, with the waters stretching far on either side, and maintained with deadly obstinacy. The Antwerpers, the Hollanders, and the English were true to each other, and the Spaniards and Italians found them more than a match, but at the very moment when the triumph of the Dutchmen appeared certain, Alexander suddenly appeared, “like a deity from the clouds,” and the disheartened Spaniards and Italians being roused by his presence, the battle was renewed with redoubled fury. “The fight on the Kowenstyn was to be long remembered in the military annals of Spain and Holland. Never since the curtain first rose upon the great Netherland tragedy, had there {been a fiercer encounter. Flinching was impossible. There was scant room for the play of pike and dagger; and close packed as were the combatants, the dead could hardly fall to the ground. It was a mile-long series of separate mortal duels, and the oozy dyke was slippery with blood." It is unnecessary to dwell on the details of that fearful struggle. It ended in the utter rout and defeat of the Hollanders. The Spaniards triumphed at the ebbing tide, and the slaughter was horrible. Thus the Kowenstyn, won so bravely, was again lost, and the last hope of the Antwerpers perished.

The resistance still offered by the Antwerpers was feeble and futile. All that remained was capitulation. The terms offered by Parma were liberal, were urged by famine on the citizens, and were at length accepted. The escutcheon of Philip of Spain was exhibited at the public buildings, the rites of the Roman Catholic Church re-established, and the Duke made his public entry into the city with a display of magnificence never surpassed by him on any public occasion.

To bis credit be it said, there was no pillage, no massacre. scenes which had occurred at Maestricht were not repeated. Antwerp received her conqueror with every outward demonstration of loyalty, and the conqueror was graciously pleased to accept the demonstration.

The savage

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PHILE Duke Parma was building his bridge, and the

avaricious butchers of Antwerp were in vain regretting the saving of their fat cattle, negociations were pending

between the United Netherlands and the Courts of d England as to the signing of an alliance which should effecit a stop to the ambitious designs of Spain. p in his private closet penning ill-written and not over well-spelt otting and contriving in a burrowing way, was Philip—late ing Consort ; chafing at the various losses he had recently ying his prayers with extreme devoutness, and promising rich {ven, if Heaven would but help him to crush the revolters in

tries, make a successful descent on England, triumphantly If as the greatest power in Europe, and in the fires make


her the French King, Henry III.—was playing fast and

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