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O word of ours is necessary to commend the study of
History to the up-springing generation. History is


the mirror of the past, and the present and the past are so closely connected that we cannot understand the one without we know something of the other.

Among the happiest associations of the writer's childhood is that of learning-from a loving voice now hushed for ever on this side of the grave-stories from history, and connecting them with pictures which he has by him now. When he was very, very young it was his high ambition to write a history of England, and he did it in a small Roman character, as near like print as he could make it; and he issued it in penny numbers-with illustrations of his own-and attained the enormous and unprecedented circulation of one copy that is, the manuscript copy; for he was his own printer and his own publisher, and the one subscriber who took it in was his own father!


That playing at being an author and a printer and a publisher all combined was very pleasant to him more than twenty years ago. When he grew old enough to read and, in a measure, understand grave historians, he saw something of the learning and the labour their work required—to say nothing of the genius they displayed— and now to write a history is what he would not venture on upon

any account. But he has thought, with the help of all the best books he could get upon the subject-freely acknowledging his sources of information—he might string together some interesting and important events in the ever memorable period which includes the last half of the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth centuries.

He has tried to find the best authorities and to put the facts impartially before the reader. A profession of impartiality is generally affectation-seldom true-but the writer feels that if his leaning through all the "Stories" has been with the weak and the oppressed-strong only in the strength of their cause-the generous instincts of the reader will be with him, and forgive a hasty expression.

If the "Stories" amuse a leisure hour-if they awaken some lively sense of gratitude to the brave men who fought and died for freedom-if they lead to a closer and far more complete acquaintance with the period in which these heroes lived, and thus serve as a humble key to open a whole library of good, and learned books-if they do any one of these things, the labour of the writer will not be lost, and he will have the happiness of knowing that he has not altogether missed his aim.


LONDON, November 1st, 1864.



Leyden its position, antiquity, etc.-Investment of Leyden-Its small garrison

-William the Silent encourages the besieged-The Spaniards proclaim an amnesty

-The Hollanders reject it-William's misgivings-The "Glippers:" their remon-

strances and the reply-Scarcity of food in Leyden-The Spaniards unsuccessfully

attack Polderwaert-The Estates determine upon piercing the dykes-Valdez offers

pardon to the citizens-The dykes are pierced-The citizens grow impatient--Illness

of William the Silent-The citizens hold public rejoicings-Valdez mistrusts the

state of affairs-The Royalists in Leyden taunt their fellow-citizens-The estates

send a letter to the town-The relief is retarded by William the Silent's illness-

He issues his directions to Admiral Boisot -A report is circulated that Leyden has

fallen-The prince begins to recover-Preparations for the relief vigorously resumed

-The fleet is collected-The Land-scheiding is captured and broken-The Spaniards

are driven from the "Green-way"-An attack is made upon the canal bridge and

repulsed-Zoetermeer and Benthuyzen taken-The flotilla advances to North Aa-

The fleet delayed by the "Kirk-way"-The "Kirk-way" destroyed - Distress

inside the city-Adrian van der Werf's magnanimity-Valdez defied-Boisot writes to

the citizens-The Zelanders shoulder the vessels towards the city-The fort of Zoe--

terwoude taken-The fight on the dyke-The Lammen fort a serious impediment-

The Spaniards panic-stricken evacuate the fort-Leyden is relieved-Welcome of

Admiral Boisot-Prince William enters the city-Opening of the University


Philip of Spain determines on the assassination of William of Orange-Balthazar

Gérard, a Jesuit, undertakes to attempt his life-Gérard a fanatic-Parma en-

courages Gérard in his intentions-Gérard introduces himself to Villers, and is by

him recommended to William the Silent-Balthazar obtains money from William-

William the Silent is shot by Gérard-Torture of the murderer-Change in the

political arrangements of the Netherlands-Bruges and Ghent surrender to Parma-

Parma plans the siege of Antwerp-The Hollanders hesitate to destroy the dykes-

Saint Aldegonde made burgomaster of Antwerp-Antwerp and Babel-The butchers

of Antwerp resolutely oppose the piercing of the dykes-Military force within the

city-Condition of Parma's troops-Herenthals taken by the Spaniards-The fort of

Liefkenshoek taken by the Marquis of Richebourg-The attack on fort Lillo fails-

Kalloo is made the head-quarters of the Spanish army-Formation of the Steeken

canal-Blockade runners-
s-Establishment of a food tariff-Bridge-building, Parma's

great object-The Antwerpers ridicule the idea-The sluices on the Flemish side of

Antwerp are opened-This stratagem favourable to Parma-Forts St. Mary and

Philip completed-Skirmishes-Parma makes overtures of peace, which are rejected

-The Antwerpers attack Bois-le-Duc-The city entered-Hohenlo returns for re-

inforcements -The Antwerpers shut in-Parma's bridge of boats is finished-Lief-

kenshoek is recaptured by the Antwerpers - Gianibelli the Mantuan-The "Fortune"

and the "Hope"-The fire-ships approach Parma's bridge-The "Fortune" does

not explode-Explosion of the "Hope" and panic of the Spaniards-Failure of

Jacob Runaway's naval attack-The Patriots make preparations to pierce the

Kowenstyn--Parma's defences on the dyke-The dyke is attacked and pierced-The

Zeland ships cannonade the Spaniards-Count Mansfeld holds a council of war—

The Dutchmen are driven from the dyke-The Antwerpers capitulate-Alexander

Farnese enters the city.

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Disaffection amongst the English leaders-Farnese, the master spirit of Spain-

The Spanish king makes overtures of peace to Queen Elizabeth—The papal bull—

Parma accused of the publication of a pamphlet on the subject of the bull-His

indignant denial-Preparations in Spain and Portugal for the invasion of England-

Drake destroys eighty vessels in Cadiz harbour-Queen Elizabeth's parsimony detri-

mental to English interests-Parma's preparations-Inactivity of the English--A

nominal force enrolled-Muster of the troops at Tilbury Fort-The English fleet-

Force of the Armada-The Marquis of Santa Cruz appointed captain-general of the

Armada-Parma opposed to the appointment-Death of Santa Cruz-The Duke of

Medina Sidonia appointed to succeed him-Sickness in Parma's camp-Medina

Sidonia's plan of action-The Armada sets sail from Lisbon-David Gwynn's exploit

-The Armada reassembles at Corunna-Arrival of the Armada in the English Channel

-The English fleet refuse a general engagement-Attack the rear-guard of the fleet

-Admiral Oquendo's flag-ship blown up-Medina sends a message to Parma-The

second battle with the Armada-Admiral Howard knights some of his officers-The

Armada anchors in Calais roads-The Hollanders prevent the coalition of Medina

and Parma-Insecure anchorage of the Armada-The English fire-ships dismay the

Spaniards-The flag-ship of Don Hugo de Moncada, the "Capitana," grounds on

the bar of Calais harbour-The English attack and board her-The French prevent

their capturing her-Riot between the French and English on board the Capitana—

Pursuit of the Armada-The Spaniards retreat-The Armada overtaken by a storm

-The English relinquish the pursuit—Arrive safely in Margate roads—The Armada

scattered and many of the ships driven on the Irish coast-Drake's summing up of

the discomfiture of the Spaniards-Parma attacks the Dutch-Is repulsed--Enthu-

siasm in England on the approach of the Armada-The queen reviews the troops at

Tilbury-False reports in Spain of the success of the Armada-Philip's resignation

on hearing news of the defeat of the Armada—Rejoicings in England


Henry of Navarre-Personal appearance, the opposite of Philip of Spain-Henry
III. of France a puppet in the hands of Catherine de Medici-His vanity and
effeminacy-His vices and his penitence-Elected King of Poland-Forsakes the
Poles-Ascends the throne of France-Temporises with the Protestants-Henry of
Guise, called Henry of the Scar-Madame League-Henry of Navarre as a staunch
Protestant leader of the Huguenot party and determined foe of Rome and Spain—
The disturbed state of France-Henry III., terrified by the popularity of Henry of
Guise, forbids him to approach the capital-Guise advances on Paris and is warmly
received by the people-The great day of the barricades-Henry III. driven from
his palace takes refuge at Chartres-Reconciled to his Huguenot cousin of Navarre-
The States-General convoked at Blois-Description of its aspect at the present time

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