History of the United Netherlands, 1586-89 — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 626 pages of information about History of the United Netherlands, 1586-89 — Complete.

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     Defect of enjoying the flattery, of his inferiors in station
     The sapling was to become the tree


From the Death of William the Silent to the Twelve Year’s Truce—­1609

By John Lothrop Motley

History United Netherlands, Volume 52, 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.

It is unnecessary, in these pages, to make more than a passing allusion to the condemnation and death of the Queen of Scots.  Who doubts her participation in the Babington conspiracy?  Who doubts that she was the centre of one endless conspiracy by Spain and Rome against the throne and life of Elizabeth?  Who doubts that her long imprisonment in England was a violation of all law, all justice, all humanity?  Who doubts that the fineing, whipping, torturing, hanging, embowelling of men, women, and children, guilty of no other crime than adhesion to the Catholic faith, had assisted the Pope and Philip, and their band of English, Scotch, and Irish conspirators, to shake Elizabeth’s throne and endanger her life?  Who doubts that; had the English sovereign been capable of conceiving the great thought of religious toleration, her reign would have been more glorious than, it was,

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History of the United Netherlands, 1586-89 — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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