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terminated, the necessary measures for distributing the food and for relieving the sick were taken by the magistracy. A note despatched to the Prince of Orange was received by him at two o'clock, as he sat in church at Delft. It was of a somewhat different purport from that of a letter which he had received early in the same day from Boisot; the letter in which the admiral had informed him that the success of the enterprise depended, after all, upon the desperate assault upon a nearly impregnable fort. The joy of the prince may be easily imagined, and, so soon as the sermon was concluded, he handed the letter just received to the minister, to be read to the congregation. Thus all participated in his joy, and united with him in thanksgiving.
The next day, notwithstanding the urgent intreaties of his friends, who were anxious lest his life should be endangered by breathing, in his scarcely convalescent state, the air of the city where so many thousands had been dying of the pestilence, the prince repaired to Leyden. He, at least, had never doubted his own or his country's fortitude. They could, therefore, most sincerely congratulate each other, now that the victory had been achieved. “If we are doomed to perish,” he had said a little before the commencement of the siege, “in the name of God, be it so ! At any rate, we shall have the honour to have done what no nation ever did before us, that of having defended and maintained ourselves, unaided, in so small a country, against the tremendous efforts of such powerful enemies. So long as the poor inhabitants here, though deserted by all the world, hold firm, it will still cost the Spaniards the half of Spain, in money and in men, before they can make an end of us.”
The termination of the terrible siege of Leyden was a convincing proof to the Spaniards that they had not yet made an end of the Hollanders. It furnished, also, a sufficient presumption that, until they had made an end of them, even unto the last Hollander, there would never be an end of the struggle in which they were engaged. It was a slender consolation to the governor-general, that his troops had been vanquished, not by the enemy, but by the ocean. An enemy whom the ocean obeyed with such docility might well be deemed invincible by man. On the 4th of October, the day following that on which the relief of the city was effected, the wind shifted to the north-east, and again blew a tempest. It was as if the waters, having now done their work, had been rolled back to the ocean by an Omnipotent hand, for in the course of a few days the land was bare again, and the work of reconstructing the dykes commenced. After a brief interval of repose, Leyden had regained its former position. The prince, with advice of the estates, had granted the city, as a reward for its sufferings, a ten days' annual fair, without tolls or taxes; and as a further manifestation of the gratitude entertained by the people of Holland and Zeland for the heroism of the citizens, it was resolved that an academy or university should be forthwith established within their walls. The University of Leyden, afterwards so illustrious, was thus founded in the very darkest period of the country's struggle.
The University was opened with a grand pageant, and all Leyden kept holiday in honour of the occasion. Over a pavement strewed with flowers, the procession moved slowly up and down the different streets, and along the quiet canals of the city. As it reached the Nuns' Bridge, a barge of triumph, gorgeously decorated, came floating slowly down the sluggish Rhine. Upon its deck, under a canopy enwreathed with laurels and oranges, and adorned with tapestry, sat Apollo, attended by the Nine Muses, all in classical costume; at the helm stood Neptune with his trident. The Muses executed some beautiful concerted pieces ; Apollo twanged his lute. Having reached the landing-place, this deputation from Parnassus stepped on shore, and stood awaiting the arrival of the procession. Each professor, as he advanced, was gravely embraced and kissed by Apollo and all the Nine Muses in turn, who greeted their arrival besides with the recitation of an elegant Latin poem. This classical ceremony terminated, the whole procession marched together to the cloister of Saint Barbara, the place prepared for the new University, where they listened to an eloquent oration by the Rev. Caspar Kolhas, after which they partook of a magnificent banquet. With this memorable feast, in the place where famine had so lately reigned, the ceremonies were concluded.
The University soon attained to the highest estimation, being regarded as one of the best of the continental schools for the study of classics, law, medicine, and divinity. Among its professors are many illustrious names, and Grotius and Descartes were of the number of its students, as were also our
own countrymen, Evelyn, Fielding, and Goldsmith. The University boasts of several beautiful portraits of distinguished men, chief amongst them, the portrait of its Founder and Leyden's Liberator William the Silent, Prince of Orange.
NTWERP is still one of the finest cities in the Netherlands,
but in the middle of the sixteenth century it was the di finest city in the world. It was the centre of the world's
traffic; its merchants, princes ; their houses, palaces ; a right royal city into which the wealth of the golden Indies had been freely poured.
The magnificent Gothic cathedral, the main architectural attraction of the city to this day, even then lifted its beautifully delicate spire above the steeples and towers and gable roofs of the picturesque old town. The river deep and wide bore its fleet of trading vessels, argosies that had ridden out many a storm with golden ballast, that had borne the treasures of all the known world to the merchant princes of Antwerp, each ship a wealthy coffer that Barbary pirates would fain have seized.
The wealth of Antwerp was proverbial. It was the millionaire of eities. All that ever had been related in fable of wondrous lands where the sands sparkled with gems, and golden pebbles as large as hen's eggs were dragged from the river, was realized in Antwerp. Not that its streets were really paved with gold, nor that its walls were encrusted with glittering gems, but in the cellars of the merchants' houses, hidden away in the darkness, were actual heaps of wealth. Diamonds from Golconda, pearls from the Indian seas, rubies, emeralds, amethysts, and gold in bars and nuggets and powder-gold that might have made all the poor in the world contented—that might, if rightly used, have made earth a heaven, and, badly employed, transformed it to a hell.
Antwerp merchants were provident enough, doubtless, to keep their tempting wealth in iron safes; to hide it from sight, lest plundering hands should seize upon it even at the price of blood. Doubtless they locked and double locked, bolted and barred their strong rooms, and were careful to keep the keys. But they omitted a very necessary precaution-they left their city undefended. And the times were ticklish. The Spaniards were still in the Netherlands-washed away from Leyden by the good sea's help, but not driven out of Holland : the war between the Netherlanders and the Spaniards was in progress. Duke Alva had erected a great and
trong citadel, defended by several fortresses commanding the city, and it was garrisoned by men totally unscrupulous, who had learned the art of war in newly-discovered America.
These dangerous neighbours made no show of friendly intercourse with the people. They swaggered, bullied and threatened, and stories of what their companions had done to those who ventured to oppose them, filled the Antwerp citizens with dread. The German troops quartered within the city were not, it was feared, to be relied on. They were disaffected, and as thirsty for gold—a draught from Pactolus—as the Spaniards. There lay the tempting snare-a golden city beset within by traitors, and without by murderers and thieves.
The burghers heard with blanched faces of how the Spaniards had served the good people of Maestricht. They had been driven out of that city; but eager to wipe out this disgrace were in mad haste to retake it. A bridge had to be crossed, and this bridge was defended by a strong battery. To cross under the deadly fire of the guns was an enterprise which even Spanish audacity declined; but they resorted to an expedient never practised before or since. They were stationed at a village were few men were to be found, but many women.
Each soldier was ordered to seize a woman and placing her before his own body to advance across the bridge. Thus bucklered by female bosoms the gallant chivalry of Spain marched forward. The Dutchmen saw the case was hopeless; they would die sooner than destroy their countrywomen; so not a shot was fired from the battery, and the Spaniards triumphed. A frightful massacre followed. The plundering, burning, stabbing, drowning were so dreadful, that in the words of a contemporary historian “the burghers who had escaped the fight had reason to think themselves less fortunate than those who had died with arms in their hands."
The citizens of Antwerp heard of what had taken place, and they felt instinctively their own danger. They watched with the flutter and palpitation of a bird imprisoned with a snake, every movement of their destroyers—they looked in vain for help. No help from the citadel, built to overawe not to defend the city-and no help from traitors within their gates.
There was a Colonel Van Ende, a crafty rascal, who would have sold his soul for gold; the palaces and magazines of Antwerp, glittering with splendour and bursting with treasure, made him eager to gratify his lust. His soldiers shared his sentiments. The other officer in command, Count Oberstein, was unfortunately a blunderer at the best of times, and the worst of blunderers when drunk. He loved his liquor almost as well as Van Ende loved gold, and nothing loth he went one night to a meeting with Sancho d'Avila, the Spanish general in command of the citadel, and made a night of it. He drank deeply, so deeply that he might have been an original Van Dunk, except that his draughts thoroughly overcame him, and when he was requested to write his name to a document signed by his brother officer, Van Ende, he signed it with unsteady hand, but therewith signed away the only hope of relief for Antwerp.
When Oberstein sobered he discovered his blunder. He had agreed that the citizens of Antwerp should be disarmed; that their weapons