Title: History of the United Netherlands, 1587
Author: John Lothrop Motley
Release Date: January, 2004 [EBook #4852] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on April 5, 2002]
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By John Lothrop Motley
MOTLEY’S HISTORY OF THE NETHERLANDS, Project Gutenberg Edition, Vol. 52
History of the United Netherlands, 1587
Leicester in England—Trial of the Queen of Scots—Fearful Perplexity at the English Court—Infatuation and Obstinacy of the Queen—Netherland Envoys in England—Queen’s bitter Invective against them—Amazement of the Envoys—They consult with her chief Councillors—Remarks of Burghley and Davison—Fourth of February Letter from the States—Its severe Language towards Leicester— Painful Position of the Envoys at Court—Queen’s Parsimony towards Leicester.
The scene shifts, for a brief interval, to England. Leicester had reached the court late in November. Those “blessed beams,” under whose shade he was wont to find so much “refreshment and nutrition,” had again fallen with full radiance upon him. “Never since I was born,” said he, “did I receive a more gracious welcome.”—[Leicester to ’Wilkes, 4 Dec. 1587. (S. P. Office Ms)]—Alas, there was not so much benignity for the starving English soldiers, nor for the Provinces, which were fast growing desperate; but although their cause was so intimately connected with the “great cause,” which then occupied Elizabeth, almost to the exclusion of other matter, it was, perhaps, not wonderful, although unfortunate, that for a time the Netherlands should be neglected.
The “daughter of debate” had at last brought herself, it was supposed, within the letter of the law, and now began those odious scenes of hypocrisy on the part of Elizabeth, that frightful comedy—more melancholy even than the solemn tragedy which it preceded and followed— which must ever remain the darkest passage in the history of the Queen.