Rise of the Dutch Republic, the — Complete (1574-84) eBook

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hiding-place into the daylight.  Thousands of hands were ready to drag it through the streets for universal inspection and outrage.  A thousand sledge-hammers were ready to dash it to pieces, with a slight portion, at least, of the satisfaction with which those who wielded them would have dealt the same blows upon the head of the tyrant himself.  It was soon reduced to a shapeless mass.  Small portions were carried away and preserved for generations in families as heirlooms of hatred.  The bulk was melted again and reconverted, by a most natural metamorphosis, into the cannon from which it had originally sprung.

The razing of the Antwerp citadel set an example which was followed in other places; the castle of Ghent, in particular, being immediately levelled, amid demonstrations of universal enthusiasm.  Meantime, the correspondence between Don John and the estates at Brussels dragged its slow length along, while at the same time, two elaborate letters were addressed to the King, on the 24th of August and the 8th of September, by the estates-general of the Netherlands.  These documents, which were long and able, gave a vigorous representation of past evils and of the present complication of disorders under which the commonwealth was laboring.  They asked, as usual, for a royal remedy; and expressed their doubts whether there could be any sincere reconciliation so long as the present Governor, whose duplicity and insolence they represented in a very strong light, should remain in office.  Should his Majesty, however, prefer to continue Don John in the government, they signified their willingness, in consideration of his natural good qualities, to make the best of the matter.  Should, however, the estrangement between themselves and the Governor seem irremediable, they begged that another and a legitimate prince of the blood might be appointed in his place.

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MOTLEY’S HISTORY OF THE NETHERLANDS, Project Gutenberg Edition, Vol. 29

THE RISE OF THE DUTCH REPUBLIC

By John Lothrop Motley
1855

CHAPTER IV.

Orange invited to visit Brussels—­His correspondence upon the subject with the estates—­general—­Triumphant journey of the Prince to the capital——­Stop put by him to the negotiations with Don John —­New and stringent demands made upon the Governor—­His indignation —­Open rupture—­Intrigue of Netherland grandees with Archduke Matthias—­Policy of Orange—­Attitude of Queen Elizabeth—­Flight of Matthias from Vienna—­Anxiety of Elizabeth—­Adroitness of the Prince—­The office of Reward—­Election
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Rise of the Dutch Republic, the — Complete (1574-84) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.