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sidering the change which had been wrought of late years in the fifteen provinces, that they should consent to any treaty with their two heretic sisters. It was much more that the Pacification should recognize the new religion an the established creed of Holland and Zeland, while at the same time the infamous edicts of Charles were formally abolished. In the fifteen Catholic provinces there was to be no prohibition of private reformed worship, and it might be naturally expected that with time and the arrival of the banished religionists, a firmer stand would be taken in favour of the Reformation.

“Meantime, the new religion was formally established in two provinces, and tolerated, in secret, in the other fifteen; the inquisition was for ever abolished, and the whole strength of the nation enlisted to expel the foreign soldiery from the soil. This was the work of William the Silent, and the prince thus saw the labour of years crowned with, at least, momentary success. His satisfaction was very great when it was announced to him, many days before the exchange of the signatures, that the treaty had been concluded. He was desirous that the Pacification should be referred for approval, not to the municipal magistrates only, but to the people itself. In all great emergencies he was eager for a fresh expression of the popular will. On this occasion, however, the demand for approbation was superfluous. The whole country thought with his thoughts and spoke with his words, and the Pacification, as soon as published, was received with a shout of joy. Proclaimed in the marketplace of every city and village, it was ratified, not by votes, but by hymns of thanksgiving, by triumphal music, by thundering cannon, and by the blaze of beacons, throughout the Netherlands."

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AESTRICHT is a fortified town on the river Maas, and
the capital of the province of Limburg. It is said to
be one of the strongest towns in Holland, and is a model

of neatness and propriety. Where shall we find a more agreeable promenade than the Place d'Armes, a fine open space planted with trees, and generally well filled with loungers ? Where, even in Holland, the country of civic palaces, shall we find a nobler city-hall than its beautiful Hôtel de Ville ? And where shall we find a more industrious population—busy in woollen and in cotton factories, in soap-boiling houses, in breweries, tanneries, dye houses, pin manufactories, and other places of peaceful labour, not forgetting labour of a more warlike nature, namely, the making of fire-arms,-arms that the good citizens would be as ready now-a-days to handle in defence of their liberties as were their fathers three centuries ago.

Standing on the stone bridge which is built over the Maas, connecting Maestricht with the suburb of Wyck, the stirring history of the ancient


town is forcibly recalled. The extensive fortifications around it speak plainly of its great strength, and although everything is now peaceful, and the busy hum of the city, or the splash of the water broken by the progress of a barge, are the only sounds that disturb the silence, the imagination hears the roar of cannon and the quick sharp rattle of small arms, and sees citizen soldiers heroically defending their walls against a host of Spaniards, thirsting for vengeance, blood, and gold.

The most important event, in point of interest, in the annals of this venerable city, is the siege, under the Duke of Parma, in 1579. The siege lasted four months, and nine separate attacks were repulsed by the citizens. It is pleasing to know that a few English and Scotch soldiers served with the good folk of Maestricht, and bore themselves as bravely as the heroes of Agincourt or Alma.

In the story of the Spanish Fury we had occasion to refer to a circumstance which took place at Maestricht on the 20th of October, 1576. The Spaniards had been driven out of the city, and the bridge was commanded by a battery that daunted even Spanish daring. A cruel unmanly outrage enabled the Spaniards to retake the town and butcher some thousands of its people; thus rehearsing as it were the atrocities perpetrated but a few days later at Antwerp.

In the course of the war the city of Maestricht was again freed from the Spaniards, but the position it held was of so much importance that a jealous watch was maintained by its foes, ready to seize upon it the first moment an opportunity offered.

At the beginning of the year 1579, Maestricht was in brave but unfortunately feeble hands. It was well fortified, surrounded by a broad and deep moat, on both sides of the Maas; but the garrison was hardly one thousand strong; the volunteer burghers amounted to about twelve hundred more;

there were a few soldiers of fortune, and some three or four thousand peasants who had found refuge within the city walls, and many of whom rendered good service as sappers and miners.

The state of public affairs was encouraging to the Liberal and threatening to the Royal cause. The Spaniards had failed by either force or fraud to suppress the revolt. The master spirit of the age—the father of the Dutch Republic-William the Silent, was gradually building up a formidable barrier to Spanish tyranny, and blending in one harmonious whole the provinces of the Low Countries. Amsterdam, one of the most famous maritime and commercial cities of Holland, and one which


throughout the earlier part of the struggle had adhered to the cause of Spain, now declared openly for the Prince of Orange. All the Catholic magistrates and friars had been banished, and the city was warmly furthering the cause of the Confederacy. On the 23rd of January, 1579, the deputies from the various provinces provisionally agreed upon and signed a treaty of Union. This memorable document, which is

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regarded as the foundation of the Netherlands Republic, contained twenty-six articles.

The preamble stated the object of the union. It was to strengthen, not to forsake previous treaties already nearly annihilated by the force of foreign soldiery. For this purpose, and in order more conveniently to defend themselves against their foes, the deputies of Gelderland, Zutphen, Holland, Zeland, Utrecht, and the Frisian provinces, thought it desirable to form a still closer union. The contracting provinces agreed to remain eternally united, as if they were but one province. At the same time, it was understood that each was to retain its particular privileges, liberties, laudable and traditionary customs, and other laws. The cities, corporations, and inhabitants of every province were to be guaranteed as to their ancient constitutions. Disputes concerning these various statutes and customs were to be decided by the usual tribunals, by “good men,” or by amicable compromise. The provinces, by virtue of the union, were to defend each other “with life, goods, and blood, against all force brought against them in the king's name or behalf.” They were also to defend each other against all foreign or domestic potentates, provinces, or cities, provided such defence were controlled by the “generality of the union. For the expense occasioned by the protection of the provinces, certain imposts and excises were to be equally assessed and collected. No truce or peace was to be concluded, no war commenced, no impost established affecting the “ generality,” but by unanimous advice and consent of the provinces. Upon other matters the majority was to decide ; the votes being taken in the manner then customary in the assembly of the States-General. In case of difficulty in coming to a unanimous vote when required, the matter was to be referred to the stadtholders then in office. In case of their inability to agree, they were to appoint arbitrators, by whose decision the parties were to be governed. None of the united provinces, or of their cities or corporations, were to make treaties with other potentates or states, without consent of their confederates. neighbouring princes, provinces, or cities, wished to enter into this confederacy, they were to be received by the unanimous consent of the united provinces. A common currency was to be established for the confederacy. In the matter of divine worship, Holland and Zeland were to conduct themselves as they should think proper. The other provinces of the union, however, were either to conform to the religious peace already laid down, or to make such other arrangement as each province should for itself consider appropriate for the maintenance of its internal tranquillity--provided always that every individual should remain free in his religion, and that no man should be molested or questioned on the subject of divine worship, as had been already agreed. As a certain dispute arose concerning the meaning of this important clause, an additional paragraph was inserted a few days afterwards. In this it was stated that there was no intention of excluding from the confederacy any province or city


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