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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Country would bear his
loss with fortitude
Its humility, seemed sufficiently ironical
Not upon words but upon actions
Perfection of insolence
Was it astonishing that murder was more common than fidelity?
MOTLEY’S HISTORY OF THE NETHERLANDS, Project Gutenberg Edition, Vol. 29
THE RISE OF THE DUTCH REPUBLIC
By John Lothrop Motley
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