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thrilled those who heard him. The camp marshal, Piccolomini, seconded the proposition of the colonel. Then their enthusiasm being aroused, Spaniards and Italians began to quarrel who should take the lead in the attack; but this was at length amicably arranged.
6 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 įbeen 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 his 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.
HILE 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 France and England as to the signing of an alliance which should effectually put a stop to the ambitious designs of Spain.
Shut up in his private closet penning ill-written and not over well-spelt letters, plotting and contriving in a burrowing way, was Philip—late English King Consort ; chafing at the various losses he had recently sustained, saying his prayers with extreme devoutness, and promising rich bribes to Heaven, if Heaven would but help him to crush the revolters in the Low Countries, make a successful descent on England, triumphantly establish himself as the greatest power in Europe, and in the fires make an end of heresy.
France—or rather the French King, Henry III.—was playing fast and
loose with Spain and with the Netherlands. With no great love to the political supremacy of the Spanish Court, with still less regard for the liberal tendencies of the Netherlanders; with no love at all for heresy, and a pleasant recollection of the Bartholomew massacre, he toyed first with the one then with the other—did nothing, or, in fact, did worse than nothing. Deferred hope, which makes the heart sick, exhausted patience, money, men ; wasted time, the most precious of all, when Alexander of Parma was busy in siege operations.
Finally, it appeared that France would do nothing, which might have been safely predicated from the first.
But in England the case was different. Queen Elizabeth was on the throne,-a lion-hearted woman, who had known what persecution meant ; who hated Spain and Rome with a good Protestant hatred; who was willing to assist the Netherlanders in their struggles for civil and religious freedom; but a princess who, at the same time, had an eye to results, who plainly looked for compensation, -wages for work.
A chivalrous heroic spirit might turn scornfully away at this fact, but it has to be remembered that the England over which Queen Elizabeth bore sway was not the England of Queen Victoria. It was only beginning to excercise any influence in the world ; its revenues were small; its population, compared with a recent census, inconsiderable; its insular position its chief security. It was essential, therefore, that the Queen should place the interests of her own land and people foremost. She was ostensibly at peace with Spain; by rendering assistance to the revolted Netherlanders she virtually declared war; and Spain was no contemptible power; nor was she unwilling to seize on the least pretext for quarrel. Still it was plain that the Dutch and the English together
. would be able to offer formidable opposition to Spain, and Queen Elizabeth treated with the States.
It was a grand day at Greenwich when the Dutch envoy arrived, and had audience of the Queen. The palace in Greenwich was a building of ancient date, much enlarged and decorated by Henry VIII., and so magnificent for that age in its proportions aud embellishments, that the antiquary, Leland, exclaims :
How bright the lofty seal appears,
On the occasion of the arrival of the Dutch deputies, the presence chamber was hung with golden tapestry, and its floor strewn with rushes. Fifty gentlemen pensioners, with gilt battle axes, and a throng of the Yeomen of the Guard were in attendance, while the counsellors of the Queen, in their robes of state, waited round the throne. “There, in close skull cap and dark flowing gown, was the subtle monastic-looking Walsingham, with long grave melancholy face and Spanish eyes. There, too, white staff in hand, was Lord High Treasurer Burghley, then sixtyfive years of age, with serene blue eres, large, smooth, pale, scarce
wrinkled face and forehead, seeming with his placid, symmetrical features, and great velvet bonnet, under which such silver hairs as remained were soberly tucked away, and with his long dark robes which swept the ground, more like a dignified gentlewoman than a statesman, but for the wintry beard which lay like a snow drift on his ancient bonnet.
“ The Queen was then in the fifty-third year of her age, and considered herself in the full bloom of her beauty. Her garments were of satin and velvet, with fringes of pearls as big as beans. A small gold crown was upon her head, and her red hair, throughout its multiplicity of curls, blazed with diamonds and emeralds. Her forehead was tall, her face long, her complexion fair, her eyes small, dark, and glittering, her nose high and hooked, her lips thin, her teeth black, her bosom white, and literally exposed. As she passed through the ante-chamber to the presence-hall, supplicants presented petitions upon their knees. Wherever she glanced all prostrated themselves on the ground. The cry of Long live Queen Elizabeth' was spontaneous and perpetual; the reply, “I thank
you, my good people,' was constant and cordial.” The Dutch envoys numbered about a dozen “ as muscular champions as ever a little republic sent forth to wrestle with all-comers in the slippery ring of diplomacy.” Chief amongst these chosen ones was the foremost statesman of his country, John of Olden-Barnereld. He had come of distinguished lineage, his family was allied with many illustrious houses; he was himself a profound and indefatigable student; he had practised as an advocate in Holland and Zeland. He had particularly distinguished himself at Haarlem, had stood outside the walls of Leyden when the magnificent destruction of the dykes had taken place by which that city had been saved: still later, he had fought at the Kowenstyn, and was in all respects a noticeable man.
When the deputies were introduced into the presence-chamber, an elaborate address was delivered to the Queen by the deputy from Dort, one Joos de Menin. He said :
“Since the death of the Prince of Orange, the States have lost many important cities, and thus, for the preservation of their existence, they have need of a prince and sovereign lord to defend them against the tyranny and iniquitous oppression of the Spaniards and their adherents, who are more and more determined utterly to destroy their country, and reduce the poor people to a perpetual slavery, worse than that of Indians under the insupportable and detestable yoke of the Spanish inquisition. We have felt a confidence that your majesty will not choose to see us perish at the hands of the enemy against whom we have been obliged to sustain this long and cruel war. That war we have undertaken in order to procure for the poor people their liberty, laws, and franchises, together with the exercise of the true Christian religion, of which your Majesty bears right fully the title of defender, and against whom the enemy and his allies have so many leagues, and devise so many ambushes and stratagems, besides organising every day so many plots against the life of your majesty and the safety of your realms-schemes which thus far the