THE DUTCH REPUBLIC.
By the Rev. G. EDMUNDSON, M.A.
Consequences of the assassination of William of Orange . 617
The foreign policy of the United Provinces . 618
Negotiations with France and England . 619
Leicester as Governor-General . 620
His mistakes and difficulties . 621
His struggles with the States of Holland . 622
His failure and return to England. Parma's plans and prospects, 1588 . 623
Oldenharneveldt and the Province of Holland . 624
Maurice of Nassau. William Lewis of Nassau . 625
Seizure of Nymegen . 626
Death of Parma. Stadt en Landen. Archduke Ernest Governor. 627
Archduke Albert Governor . 628
The great campaign of 1597 . 629
Marriage of Albert and Isabel, 1598. Commercial activity and prosperity of the United Provinces . 630
Maritime enterprise of the Hollanders and Zeelanders . 631
Expansion of Dutch trade. The Gold Coast of Guinea. India and the Malay Archipelago . 632
Foundation of Dutch East and West Indian Companies . 633
The "Archdukes" at Brussels . 634
Campaign against Dunkirk, 1600 . 635
Battle of Nieuport. Siege of Ostend . 636
Spmola takes Ostend, 1604. Maurice's unsuccessful campaign of 1605 . 637
Expeditions to the East Indies . 638
Heemskerk's victory at Gibraltar. Peace negotiations . 639
Conferences and discussions at the Hague . 641
Conclusion of the Twelve Years' Truce, 1609. The Jiilich-Cleves succession 642
Relations between the Dutch Republic and England . 643
Fishery disputes. Oldenbarneveldt's diplomatic activity . 644
Difficulties of internal administration. Opposition between Oldenharneveldt and Maurice . 645
Religious strife. Gomarus and Arminius 646
Remonstrants and Contra-Remonstrants . 647
Oldenbarneveldt and the Contra-Remonstrants. Maurice opposes Oldenbarneveldt . 648
The "Sharp Resolution" . 650
Oldenbarneveldt's Remonstrantie. The waardgelders. Armed intervention of Maurice 651
Trial of Oldenbarneveldt, 1619 . 652
Synod of Dort, 1618-9 . 653
Execution of Oldenbarneveldt . 654
Maurice supreme. End of the Twelve Years' Truce, 1621. . 655
Death of Maurice of Orange, 1625 . 656
THE DUTCH REPUBLIC.
THE consequences of the assassination of William the Silent were not so momentous as his enemies had expected. The task undertaken by him had been so far accomplished, that his death in no way impaired the firm resolution of the revolted Provinces to maintain to the end their desperate struggle against the Spanish tyranny. On the very day of the murder (July 10, 1584), the States of Holland, sitting at Delft, passed a resolution " to uphold the good cause with God's help without sparing gold or blood " ; and this resolution was at once forwarded to all officers in command on land and sea. The people, though stirred to indignation by the crime, everywhere preserved a calm and determined attitude. There was no panic, nor was submission thought of for a single instant.
William's death had left the government of the country in an amorphous condition. It would indeed be more correct to say that no government existed. When the authority of Philip II had been finally abjured, the sovereignty reverted to the several Provinces, and by their delegation was vested in the States General. But that body had only been anxious to find someone able and willing, under proper guarantees, to step into the place forfeited by the Spanish King. Failure and disappointment had attended their first efforts ; and they had only been saved from ruin by putting trust in the leadership of the Prince of Orange, who, although he had steadily declined any offer of sovereignty, had guided them by his courage and sagacity through the long years of their desperate struggle. At length, in 1584, William had, though unwillingly, accepted for himself the Countship of Holland and Zeeland, and had secured for the Duke of Anjou, despite his misdeeds, the lordship over the other Provinces. By their almost simultaneous deaths the sovereignty reverted once more to the States General. It was an extraordinary state of affairs ; for, when we speak of the sovereignty being vested in the States General, it must be remembered that the States General themselves were possessed of no real authority. They were composed of delegates from a number of Provincial States, each of them sovereign. These delegates were simply the mouthpieces of
Thus it is not to be wondered at that the States General should have believed their only hope of safety to lie in securing some foreign potentate as their sovereign, who would be able to lend them armed assistance, and give unity of purpose to their councils. The only two Powers to whom they could turn were the same with whom they had already been in correspondence upon the subject, France and England. Elizabeth, however, had shown so strong a disinclination to embroil herself with Philip for the sake of the Netherlands, that, despite the deep offence which Anjou had given, negotiations were again on foot at the time of the Duke's death for his return to the country as sovereign with strictly limited powers. The States General therefore determined to adhere to William of Orange's policy on this head, and in the first instance to offer the protectorship of Holland and Zeeland and the sovereignty of the other Provinces conditionally to Henry III of France. An embassy was despatched accordingly. But the form of the offer displeased the King; and he was preoccupied with the serious discords in his own kingdom and the dangers which threatened his own throne.
He refused to consider the proposal, unless the sovereignty of all the Provinces were laid at his feet. The negotiation therefore came to nothing (1585).
All this time an influential party in Holland, at whose head was the Advocate Paul Buys, was in favour of an English alliance. But Elizabeth was quite as coy as her brother of France. She received the Dutch envoys with fair words ; but, partly on principle, partly from prudence, declined the proffered sovereignty. All she would undertake was to give a limited amount of military aid on characteristically commercial terms. The towns of Flushing, Brill, and Rammekens were to be handed over to her, as pledges for the repayment of her expenses. In the matter of bargaining the Dutch on this occasion certainly met their match in Queen Elizabeth, who after the treaty was agreed upon, August 10, 1585, still spent some months in haggling over petty details. But the fall of Antwerp, which she had not anticipated, hastened her decision. She agreed to despatch at once 5000 foot and 1000 horse, together with garrisons for the cautionary towns, under the command of her favourite, the Earl of Leicester. He landed at Flushing on December 19, and received everywhere an enthusiastic welcome, even the States of Holland, afterwards his foes, writing to the Queen, " that they looked upon him as sent from Heaven for their deliverance." There was an eager desire to confer sovereign powers on him ; and he was nothing loth. Without consulting Elizabeth he allowed himself, February 4,1586, in the presence of the States General and of Maurice of Nassau, to be solemnly invested with almost absolute authority, under the title of Governor-General. Practically the only restrictions placed upon him were that the States General and Provincial States should have the right of assembling on their own initiative ; that the existing Stadholders should be irremovable ; and that appointments to offices in the several Provinces should be made from two or three names submitted to him by the States. A new Council of State was created in which two Englishmen had seats. But Leicester was disappointed. His correspondence clearly shows that he wanted to be, for a time at any rate, in the position of a Roman dictator, though not from mere vanity or for the purpose of robbing the Netherlander of their liberty, but as a means to an end. But with good intentions he had little sagacity or tact, and he speedily found that his ideas conflicted not merely with those of a people obstinately attached to their time-honoured rights and liberties, but with those of his royal mistress herself. Elizabeth received the news of his inauguration to office as Governor-General with high indignation. Leicester was ordered to resign his dignity ; and Lord Heneage was despatched to Holland to rate both him and the States General for their conduct. Not till July did the Queen's favourite succeed in appeasing her wrath, or obtain her consent to his being styled Governor-General, and being addressed as "Excellency."
The new Governor, who could speak no Dutch and knew nothing of the people with whom he had to deal, speedily found himself in difficulties. On April 4,1586, he issued a placard forbidding, on pain of death, all commercial intercourse with the enemy. The exportation of grain, provisions, or other commodities to all countries under the sway of Philip II was henceforth absolutely prohibited. The Spaniards were dependent upon the Dutch for the supply of the necessaries of life ; and, if only these could be effectually cut off, the armies of Parma would be starved out. In this reasoning, however, Leicester left out of account the vital importance of this traffic to the merchants of Holland and Zeeland. The purse of Holland and Zeeland furnished the sinews of war, and equipped the fleets and paid for the armies ; and it was their great carrying and distributing trade which filled the purse. The inland districts, which were constantly exposed to the destructive ravages of the enemy's troops within their borders, were jealous of the greater prosperity of the maritime Provinces. Already in 1584, under pressure from their representatives, the States General had attempted to stop the grain traffic with the enemy in the interests of the country at large; but Amsterdam, supported by the States of Holland, had refused to obey the edict, and had carried the day. The yet more stringent prohibition proposed by Leicester at the instigation of the democratic party at Utrecht, who had a special grudge against the Hollanders, brought upon him their lasting hostility. The course rashly adopted by him was, in fact, really impracticable.
Meanwhile, Parma continued to advance further northwards ; in June Grave, and in July Venloo, fell into his hands. Leicester was too much engrossed with the difficulties of internal administration to conduct the operations of war with the necessary vigour. His efforts towards curbing what he regarded as the contumacious opposition of the Holland merchants and regents to his authority only made the breach wider. He surrounded himself with a circle of advisers from the southern Netherlands, the three most prominent members of the favoured group being Jacques Reingoud and Gérard Prouninck surnamed Deventer, both Brabanters, and Daniel de Burchgrave, a Fleming. On June 26 Leicester surprised the Council of State by the sudden announcement that he had created a Chamber of Finance, to which he had handed over the control of the Treasury. One of the special duties of this Chamber was to see that the placards against trading with the enemy were stringently enforced ; and to effect this it was proposed to arm it with inquisitorial powers, extending even to the inspection of the books of suspected merchants. At its head was placed the Count von Neuenaar, Stadholder of Gelderland, Utrecht, and Overyssel, with Reingoud as treasurer-general and de Burchgrave as auditor. Leicester's arbitrary act deprived the Council of State of one of the most important of its functions, while foreigners were appointed to offices of financial control. Paul Buys, to
The Governor on his part leant more and more on the support of the democratic party of Utrecht, who with the help of Neuenaar had deprived the old burgher oligarchy of the reins of power. Leicester secured the election of his confidant Deventer as burgomaster of the town, though as a foreigner he was disqualified from holding such an office ; and the burgher captains and Calvinist preachers were his staunch partisans and allies. It was highly impolitic for the Governor-General, whose special task was to give unity to the national opposition to Spain, thus to accentuate the differences which divided Province from Province. But he was resolved to try conclusions with his adversaries ; and Paul Buys was arrested at Utrecht and imprisoned.
West Friesland had long been merged in the Province of Holland and was known as the North Quarter. Leicester now resolved to revive the semi-independency of former times by appointing Sonoy Stadholder of West Friesland, thus openly ignoring the fact that that office was already held by Maurice of Nassau, who, as Admiral-General, also had supreme control of the naval forces of Holland and Zeeland. The Governor, however, took upon himself to erect three independent Admiralty Colleges of Holland, Zeeland, and the North Quarter, thus, to the great detriment of the public service, creating a system destined to last as long as the Dutch Republic. He made himself still more unpopular by violently espousing the cause of the extreme Calvinist preachers and zealots, and allowing a so-called National Synod to meet at Dort (June, 1586), whose aim was the suppression of all rites and opinions but its own, including those of the large " Libertine " or moderate party, at the head of which stood Oldenbarneveldt, the inheritors of the principles of William of Orange. As the year 1586 drew to its close Leicester became more and more dissatisfied with his position. He had to draw largely on his private resources to meet his expenses ; and his forces were so weak that Parma could have overrun Gelderland and Overyssel with ease, had his master but given him a free hand. Philip's attention, however, was absorbed in preparations for the invasion of England, an enterprise for which the cooperation of Parma's army by land was essential. So soon as England had been conquered, the Netherlands could speedily be coerced into submission.
Disgusted at the many rebuffs he had suffered, Leicester, towards the end of November, determined to return to England and represent his difficulties in person to the Queen. The exercise of authority during his absence was left in the hands of the Council of State. But this body was merely the executive of the States General, and therefore in reality
The terms of this document gave great offence to Elizabeth; but it did not suit her policy to abandon the cause of the Netherlands, and an accommodation was patched up. In July, 1587, Leicester returned to his post, welcomed by his partisans, but coldly and suspiciously received by the Holland leaders. His success or failure depended now upon his attitude towards the States of Holland and the States General, in which Holland was dominant. He came back determined to master them, but his conduct had already raised a question, which for two centuries was to divide the Dutch people into opposing parties-the question of the sovereignty of the Provinces. Elaborate arguments were brought forward to show that the sovereign power, formerly exercised by Charles V and Philip II, had by the abjuration of his sovereignty become vested in the States of each several Province. Hence it would follow that Leicester, as Governor, was subordinate to the States as Margaret of Parma had been to King Philip. This assumption of the States of Holland was historically indefensible; but Oldenbarneveldt had offered to resign his post as Advocate in April rather than yield on this head. He thus founded a party with whom the question of Provincial sovereignty became a principle; and the unwise attempts of a foreigner to erect a democratic dictatorship at the expense of the burgher oligarchies intensified a particularism, which was for many years to prejudice the national action and the best interests of the
The position of the States at the beginning of 1588 appeared all but desperate. Their army was weak in numbers and in discipline, and without leaders of repute. The Provinces themselves were split into contending parties and jealous of each other. They had no allies to whom they could turn for help. Opposed to them stood the first general of his time, at the head of a large and seasoned force, which he had led to repeated triumphs. Already the whole country to the east of the Yssel and to the south of the Meuse and the Waal was practically in his hands. His plans were laid for completing the work so well begun; and, had he been unhampered, Parma would have in all probability in a couple of campaigns crushed out the revolt in the northern Netherlands.
He was not, however, destined to have a free hand. King Philip had set his heart upon the conquest of England by the Invincible Armada. In vain Parma urged that the subjugation of the rebel States was now in the King's power, and that it was not only wise, but necessary, to finish the one task before embarking upon another. The Duke was ordered to collect an immense fleet of transports at Sluys and Dunkirk, and to hold his army in readiness for crossing the Channel, so soon as the Great Armada appeared in the offing to act as his convoy. The story of what ensued is told elsewhere. The weary months of waiting, and the failure of Parma to put to sea in the face of the swarms of Dutch privateers that kept watch and ward to oppose his egress, gave breathing time to the Provinces, and at the same time filled the mind of the suspicious Philip with distrust of his nephew.
Moreover, the scheming brain of the Spanish King, undeterred by the crushing disaster of his " invincible " fleet, was already busy with projects of aggrandisement in France ; so that, instead of being able to devote his energies to the reconquest of the Netherlands, during the remainder of his life Parma was chiefly occupied with futile expeditions into French territory. Thus, just when it seemed that nothing could avert the complete subjugation of the United Provinces, the attention of their adversary was fixed on other costly enterprises ; and the resources of Spain, already gravely crippled, were drained to exhaustion.
After the departure of Leicester it seemed as if the loose federation of the United Provinces must fall apart through its own inherent separatist tendencies, and the utter lack of any workable machinery of government. The executive power was nominally vested in the Council of State ; but the presence upon it of the local English commander and of two other English members weakened its authority, and rendered it unacceptable to the Provinces, especially to Holland, whose representation upon it in no way corresponded to her position and influence. Gradually, therefore, the States General curtailed its powers, and consulted it less ; until a few years later it complained that all the most important affairs of the Provinces were determined and carried out without its cognisance. The driving-wheel of the government was now to be found in the predominance of the Province of Holland, as personified in the person of her Advocate, Oldenbarneveldt. This great statesman, the real founder of the Dutch Republic, as it was known to history, with consummate ability took advantage of the interval of comparative repose which followed the withdrawal of the English Governor, in order to gather into his own hands the reins of administration.
Johan van Oldenbarneveldt was born at Amersfoort in 1547. After he had begun practice as an advocate at the Hague, he became a fiery adherent of Orange, and bore arms at the time of the sieges of Haarlem and Leyden. In 1576 he was appointed Pensionary of Rotterdam, and thus became a member of the States of Holland. His industry and powers of persuasion, and his practical grasp of affairs, soon won him his prominence; and, having in 1586 been chosen Land's Advocate in succession to Paul Buys, he filled that important post for the next thirty-two years, thus exercising a commanding influence on the affairs of his country, and upon general European politics. For though the Advocate was nominally only the paid servant of the Provincial States of Holland, yet the permanency of his office, and the multiplicity of his functions, gave to a man of great ability a controlling voice in all discussions, and almost unlimited authority in the details of administration. As practically " Minister of all affairs," Oldenbarneveldt became in a sense the political personification of the Province whose servant he was, and of which he was the mouthpiece in the Assembly of the States General. Thus it came to pass that a many-headed system of government, whose
But the Dutch Republic, in these first years of its consolidation as a federal State, required the services of the soldier quite as much as those of the statesman. Fortunately in Maurice of Nassau a great commander arose, who possessed precisely the qualifications needed. Maurice was only seventeen years of age at the time of his father's murder, and was at once appointed in his place Stadholder of Holland and Zeeland, and also first Member of the Council of State. During the next few years he had busied himself in the study of mathematics, and in acquiring both technical and practical acquaintance with the art of war. He served in several campaigns under Hohenlo, and from the first devoted himself seriously to the task of gaining a thorough knowledge of military tactics. He was a born soldier ; politics had no attraction for him. In August, 1588, he was created Captain-General and Admiral of the Union by the States General, and in succession to Neuenaar, who died in October, 1589, he was elected by the Provinces of Utrecht, Gelderland, and Overyssel to be their Stadholder. All the stadholderates, with the single exception of Friesland, of which his cousin, William Lewis of Nassau, was Stadholder, were thus united in the person of Maurice. As in addition to this he was charged with the supreme control in military and naval affairs, Oldenbarneveldt found ready to his hand an instrument capable of carrying out his plans, and of translating policy into action. Many years were to pass before there arose even the faintest suspicion of jealousy or opposition between these two men, both so capable and ambitious. Their spheres of interest were distinct ; and the younger man was content to leave in the hands of his father's trusted friend the entire management of the affairs of State ; his own thoughts were centred on the training of armies and the conduct of campaigns.
The Stadholder of Friesland, William Lewis of Nassau, the son of John, was the cousin and life-long confidant and adviser of Maurice, who owed to him his first instruction in military knowledge, and who could always rely on his far-sighted prudence and discretion. Of blameless life, sincerely religious, a firm adherent of the Reformed faith, William Lewis was at the same time broad-minded and statesmanlike in his views of men and things, like the great uncle whose daughter he married. He was a reformer of military science on principles drawn from a study of Greek and Roman writers, a commander of far more than ordinary ability, yet modest withal, aiming always at the good of the common cause rather than at his own personal fame or advantage. It was
The tide of the Spanish advance had already begun to turn in the spring of that year. On March 3, a body of 78 Netherlanders, concealed in a vessel laden with peat, had taken Breda by surprise. In the autumn Maurice, at the head of a small column, after failing to capture Nymegen by a coup de main, raided the whole of North Brabant and took some dozen small places from the enemy. The year 1591 was a year of surprising triumphs. Zutphen, unexpectedly attacked, fell into the hands of Maurice and William Lewis after a. five days' siege, on May 20. Deventer was next beleaguered, and, though gallantly defended by Herman van den Bergh, a cousin of Maurice, surrendered on June 20. The army then moved upon Groningen ; but, on hearing that Parma was besieging the fort of Knodsenburg, Maurice hastened to its relief, routed the enemy's cavalry, and compelled him to retire. A sudden movement southward to Zeeland brought the Stadholder before the town of Hulst in the land of Waas, which surrendered after three days' investment. Then returning upon his steps the indefatigable leader finished up an extraordinary campaign by the seizure of Nymegen, October 21. At the age of twenty-four years, Maurice now took his place among the first generals of his time.
The next year, 1592, saw Parma once more marching into France for the relief of Rouen ; and the way lay open to the Stadholders for freeing Friesland and the Zuiderzee from the hold of the Spaniard. The Spanish forces in the north were under the command of their old chief Verdugo, who regarded the two fortresses of Steenwyk and Koevorden as quite impregnable. The English auxiliaries under Vere had been sent to France, and Maurice's army was thus weakened. But the Stad-holder's scientific skill in the art of beleaguering was able to accomplish what was regarded as impossible. Steenwyk fell on June 5, after a gallant defence ; and, despite the utmost efforts of Verdugo to raise the siege of Koevorden, that place also surrendered on September 12.
Shortly afterwards, on December 3, the most redoubtable adversary of the States was removed by the death of Parma. Broken in spirit, and ill from the effects of a wound, he had retired to Spa. He had long forfeited the confidence of the King, and died while on his way to meet the Count of Fuentes, who had arrived at Brussels with a royal letter of recall Until the arrival of the new Governor, Archduke Ernest, his post was filled by the old Count of Mansfeld.
The great event of Maurice's campaign of 1593 was the siege and capture of Geertruidenburg, the only town of Holland in the possession of the Spaniards which closed important waterways. The conduct of this siege, sometimes called " the Roman leaguer " from the astonishing scientific skill with which the methods of the ancients were applied in the construction of the besieger's lines and approaches, put the crown upon Maurice's fame. Despite the neighbourhood of Mansfeld with an army of 14,000 men, the town was taken, June 25, after a siege of three months' duration. In the following year the Stadholder's attention was once more turned to the north. After a two months' siege Groningen surrendered, under the so-called " treaty of reduction." This defined the terms on which the town, with the Ommelanden, became a Province of the Union known as Stadt en Landen. William Lewis was appointed its Stadholder. Maurice's four offensive campaigns had practically cleared the soil of the federated Provinces from the presence of the Spanish garrisons ; and the authority of the States General was now established within the defensible limits of a well-rounded and compact territory.
In January, 1595, Henry IV of France had declared war upon Spain, and sought a close alliance with the United Provinces. Thus Archduke Ernest, as Viceroy of the Netherlands, found himself in a most difficult position. He had hostile armies on both sides of him ; and the resources of Spain were already so exhausted, that no money was forthcoming for the payment of troops. In these circumstances Philip urged the Archduke to make an effort for peace with the States on equitable conditions upon the lines of the Pacification of Ghent. But the States were in no mood to accept any conditions which recognised in any shape the sovereignty of Philip ; and the King was unwilling to recognise their independence. The negotiations came to nothing.
The arrival of Archduke Ernest in the southern Netherlands had been greeted with enthusiasm. Rumour pointed to his marriage with the Infanta, and to the establishment at Brussels of a national government under their rule. But these expectations were speedily doomed to disappointment by the sudden death of the Archduke (February 20,1595). His place was taken ad interim by the Count of Fuentes, a Spanish grandee of the school of Alva, but a very capable commander. His year's administration of affairs was attended by more success in the field than had attended the Spanish arms since 1587. The efforts of the allies
At the beginning of 1596 Fuentes was replaced as Governor by Cardinal Archduke Albert of Austria, the favourite nephew of Philip, a far more capable man than his brothers, both as statesman and soldier. He brought with him reinforcements and some money, and, finding the army well disciplined and ready for action, he resolved to emulate, if possible, the successes of the previous year. But Fuentes had departed ; and both Verdugo and Mondragon had died immediately before his arrival. In the lack of Spanish generals of repute, Albert gave the command to a French refugee, the Seigneur de Rosne. At this time a considerable body of the States' troops were with Henry IV, who was besieging La Fere. His lines were so strong that it seemed hopeless to attempt to raise the siege by a direct attack. But, acting on the advice of Rosne, Albert's army suddenly advanced upon Calais, which was unprepared and quickly surrendered to the Spaniards. It was a heavy and humiliating loss to the French, for which the capture of La Fere offered scant compensation. The Archduke, by the recapture of Hulst, followed up this striking success. Maurice had been so weakened by the detachment of his troops serving in France, that he had been unable to attempt any offensive operations. Nor was he able to prevent the powerful Spanish army from effecting the capture of Hulst, dearly purchased by 5000 lives, including that of Rosne himself.
Albert, like his predecessor, had begun with futile peace overtures. The States General on the contrary were at this time engaged upon other negotiations, the issue of which marked a stage in the history of the United Provinces. Before the close of the year there was concluded between England, France, and the States, a triple alliance, which had to be purchased by hard conditions, but which proclaimed the recognition by England and France of the United Provinces as a free and independent State. The States General undertook to maintain an army of 8000 men in the Netherlands, to send an auxiliary force of 4000 men to France, and lastly to give up the privilege, so important to the mercantile classes in Holland, of free trade with the enemy. The consent of the States of Holland to this requirement was obtained only with the greatest difficulty;
Meanwhile, it was not the fault of the Netherlanders that the results attained were not more considerable. At hardly any stage of his career did the brilliant military talents of Maurice shine more conspicuously than in the campaign of 1597. It began with the astonishing victory of Turnhout. Near that village lay a considerable force under the command of an officer named Varax, which ravaged the neighbourhood far and near. In January, while the armies were still in their winter quarters, Maurice, at the head of a body of troops rapidly collected from various garrison towns, set out with such secrecy and despatch that he arrived quite unexpectedly within a few miles of Varax' camp. The Spanish General determined to effect a retreat under cover of the night. Maurice set out in pursuit with his cavalry only, and a couple of hundred musketeers mounted behind the riders, less than 800 men in all. He came up with the enemy, just in time to prevent their making their escape behind a morass, and at once gave orders to charge. Varax did his utmost to draw up his wearied troops in order of battle ; but no time was given him, and the rout was complete. In half-an-hour all was over. Out of a force of some 4500 men, 2000 were killed, among them Varax himself; 500 prisoners were taken and 28 standards. Maurice lost only eight or ten men, and was back at the Hague within a week, having freed North Brabant and Zeeland from the incursions of the enemy.
The summer campaign was one long succession of triumphs for the States. The Archduke had not enough money to maintain a large army on both his northern and his southern frontier, and had resolved to direct his chief attention to the French side. Henry IV was in even worse want of means ; and the capture by the Spaniards of Amiens, with a quantity of stores, was a severe blow to him. But the way was now open to Maurice for prosecuting siege after siege without fear of interference. Rheinberg, Meurs, Groenloo, Breedevoort, Enschede, Oot-marsum, Oldenzaal, and Lingen all fell into his hands, and a very large district was added to the territory acknowledging the authority of the States General.
The advantages of the French alliance, however, had ceased before the opening of another campaign on May 2, 1598. Henry concluded peace with Philip at Vervins. In vain the States had done their utmost to prevent this result. They were more successful with Elizabeth, to whom they sent an embassy, in which Oldenbarneveldt personally took part. She consented to continue the war with Spain on condition that the States repaid by instalments her loan to them, and agreed to send
It had been for some time the intention of Philip to marry his eldest daughter, Isabel Clara Eugenia, to her cousin, Archduke Albert, and to erect the Netherland Provinces into a sovereign State under their joint rule. Philip wished to conciliate the Netherlander by conceding to them the appearance of independence ; but the contract, and a secret agreement which accompanied it, was intended not only to secure the reversion of the Provinces to the Crown of Spain in case the Archduke should be childless, but to keep them in many respects subordinate to Spain, and under Spanish suzerainty. Philip was undoubtedly prompted to take this step, in the first place by affection for a daughter to whom he was deeply attached ; and in the second place by his sincere zeal for the Catholic faith. Both Albert and Isabel possessed many qualities which fitted them for the difficult task.
In May the instrument was signed which erected the old Burgundian Provinces into a separate State under the rule of a descendant of Charles the Bold. In September Philip II died. In November the Archduke Albert, who had resigned his ecclesiastical dignities, was married by proxy to the Infanta, who was still in Spain. The old régime had passed away.
The hopes of reunion and of peace placed upon the advent of the Archdukes were speedily dissipated. Even in the south the new sovereigns were received without enthusiasm and with suspicion. It was felt that a government was being set up, imbued with Spanish ideas, guided by Spanish councillors, and relying on Spanish garrisons. The war and the Inquisition had effectually crushed out all life and enterprise in the southern Provinces ; and the mere presence of a resident Court and well-intentioned rulers at Brussels could do little to restore a ruined and desolate land. Very different was the state of things north of the Scheldt. Here the long struggle for existence had filled the people with a new spirit, and, so far from bringing in their train exhaustion and misery, the very burdens of the war had been productive of unexampled prosperity. Nothing in history is more remarkable than the condition of the United Provinces, and especially of the Provinces of Holland and Zeeland, at the end of thirty years of incessant warfare.
They had become the chief trading country of the world. The riveting of the Spanish yoke upon Brabant and Flanders by the arms of Parma had driven the wealthiest and most enterprising of the inhabitants of Antwerp, Bruges, and Ghent to take refuge in Holland and Zeeland, whither they brought with them their energy, their commercial knowledge, and their experience of affairs. The Hollanders and
Zeelanders were above all things sea-faring folk; and their industries had up to the time of the revolt been all connected with the sea. Their fisheries, and especially the herring fishery, employed many thousands of boats and fishermen, and were a great source of wealth. They were the carriers whose ships brought the corn and the timber from the Baltic, the wines from Spain and France, the salt from the Cape Verde Islands, to the wharves and warehouses of the Zuiderzee and the Meuse, and again distributed them to foreign markets. Had the Hollanders and Zeelanders not been able to keep the seas open to their ships, the revolt must have collapsed very speedily. As it was, their trade with each succeeding year grew and prospered. Even the Spaniards themselves were dependent upon their hated enemies for the very necessities of life ; and the Dutchmen did not scruple to supply their foes when it was to their own profit. Thus trade thrived by the war, and the war was maintained by the wealth poured into the country, while the crushing burden of the taxes was lightened by the product of the charges for licenses and convoys, which were really paid by the foreigner. Commerce became a passion with the Hollanders and Zeelanders ; and eagerness after gain by the expansion of trade possessed itself of all classes. The armies commanded by Maurice were mainly composed of foreigners; the Netherlanders themselves made the sea their element. In 1587 800 vessels passed through the Sound for corn and timber. In 1590 the Dutchmen, not content with carrying the corn as far as Spain southwards, penetrated into the Mediterranean and supplied Genoa, Naples, and other Italian towns with their commodities; and shortly afterwards they made their way to Constantinople and the Levant, under a permit from the Sultan obtained by the good offices of Henry IV. So greatly had this trade grown by the end of the century that in 1601 between 800 and 900 vessels sailed from Amsterdam for the Baltic to fetch corn within three days. Scarcely less remarkable was the expansion of the timber trade. In 1596 the first saw-mill was erected at Zaandam. During the decade that followed, the shores of the Zaan became the staple of the timber trade of Europe. At the neighbouring ports of Hoorn and Enkhuysen shipbuilding attained a perfection«unknown in other lands. The cloth and the linen trades also flourished, introduced by the skilled Flemish weavers, who fled from persecution to Leyden and Haarlem. English cloth was imported to Holland to be dyed, and was sold as Dutch.
Nor was the enterprise of this nation of traders confined to the European seas. The Gold Coast of Africa, both the Indies, and even distant China, allured adventurers to seek in these distant regions, at the expense of the hated Spaniard, who claimed the monopoly of the Oceans East and West alike, fortunes surpassing those which were made in Europe. A certain Balthasar de Moucheron, a merchant of French extraction, who had been settled at Antwerp and fled from that city to
Middelburg at the time of its capture by Parma, was the pioneer in these first efforts at a world-wide expansion of commerce. His earliest attempt was directed to the opening out of trade with Russia. In 1584 he established a factory at Archangel on the White Sea. This intercourse with the far North led to a scheme for reaching China and the East by the route of northern Asia, for which, after laying his plans before the Stadholder and the Advocate, Moucheron secured the support of the States of Holland. In 1594 two small vessels sailed from the Texel under Willem Barendsz ; they succeeded in passing through the Waigaats in open water, but were quickly stopped by ice. Undeterred by the failure a larger fleet, under Heemskerk and Barendsz, in 1596 essayed the same venture. Amidst incredible sufferings the winter was passed on the inhospitable shores of Nova Zembla. Barendsz himself perished, but a remnant under Heemskerk made their escape home. The effort again was fruitless; but the story of these brave men's wintering in the frozen polar seas fascinated their contemporaries.
The first voyage to the Gold Coast of Guinea was undertaken by Barent Erikszen of Medemblik, in 1593 ; and from this time forward an ever increasing number of ships made their way to the various river mouths of the bight of Guinea, and established friendly relations and a lucrative trade with the natives of the country. The first actual conquest on this coast was made by a large expedition despatched in 1598 by Balthasar de Moucheron for the seizure of the island Del Principe. But, before this, the daring enterprise of the two brothers Houtman had carried the Netherlands flag to the shores of India and the Malay Archipelago. The way thither was no secret, for numerous Dutch sailors served on Portuguese ships, and had thus learned the route to Mozambique, Goa, and Molucca. The Itlnerarium of the famous traveller, Jan Huyghen Linschoten, a native of Enkhuysen, who spent five years in the East Indies, aroused universal interest. Already during the period of the Leicester régime Linschoten found many of his countrymen occupying positions of trust in various parts of the far East. Linschoten, in 1594, went out as Commissary of the States of Holland on the first expedition sent by Moucheron to discover the North-West Passage ; and at this very time another expedition was being prepared by certain Amsterdam merchants to sail direct for the Indies by the usual route round the Cape. The moving spirit of this voyage was Cornelis Houtman of Gouda, who, like Linschoten, had been in the Portuguese ships, and who, as upper commissary, was in command of the four vessels which set sail on April 2, 1595. They visited Madagascar, Java, Goa, and Molucca with varied fortunes, and after many dangers and hardships reached Amsterdam once more in July, 1597. Several small Companies were now formed for exploiting the rich regions which had for so long been the preserve of the Portuguese-three at Amsterdam, two at Rotterdam, two in Zeeland, one at Delft. In 1598 no less
Not content even with this extension of the sphere of their commercial enterprises and its vast possibilities, the eyes of the keen and eager traders were already turning westward as well as eastward. Netherlanders had first made acquaintance with the West Indies and Brazil in the Spanish or Portuguese service ; and in 1593 Barent Erikszen, in his voyage to Guinea, had proceeded across the Atlantic to Brazil. It was, however, the fame of Ralegh's voyages, and his account of the Golden city of Manoa and the fabled riches of Guiana that spurred on the imagination of the adventurous Hollanders and Zeelanders with feverish dreams of untold wealth, and led them to follow in his steps. Moucheron was again among the pioneers ; and Dutch trading ships laden with articles of barter were to be found entering the Amazon, coasting along the shores of Guiana, and returning with cargoes of salt from the mines of Punta del Rey beyond the Orinoco. A certain Willem Usselincx, also a Flemish refugee, first began to make his name known in the last decade of the sixteenth century as a strenuous advocate for the creation of a chartered West India Company. He did not succeed at this time ; but for a quarter of a century he gave himself unceasingly to the task of urging upon the authorities the advantages and profits to be obtained by the establishment of colonies upon the American continent.
Thus, then, their war for life and death had stirred the sluggish blood of the Dutch people, and had aroused in them a most extraordinary spirit of energy and enterprise. Peace overtures, unless accompanied by the concession of all their demands, were unlikely to find acceptance
Albert and Isabel did not make their joyeuse entrée into Brussels until the close of 1599. During the absence of the Archduke the Spanish armies had been under the command of the Admiral of Aragon, Mendoza, who, making the duchy of Cleves his head-quarters, had mastered Wesel, Rheinberg and other strong places on the Rhine. The eastern Provinces were still mainly Catholic, and contained many Spanish sympathisers ; but, in spite of disputes and discontents in Friesland, and still more in Groningen, Maurice at the head of a small army more than held his own. The difficulty of raising taxes in these Provinces, and also in Drenthe, Overyssel, and Gelderland, inclined the States General and the States of Holland during 1599 to content themselves with defensive warfare. In the following year, however, it was determined to raise a large force for offensive operations, and to undertake an invasion of Flanders with a view to the capture of Dunkirk. This seaport had for years been a nest of audacious pirates, who, by lying in wait for the Dutch merchantmen in the narrow seas, had become a constantly increasing menace and danger to navigation. All efforts to check the corsairs by armed force had proved in vain, though in the fierce fights which took place no quarter was given or taken. For the extirpation of the pirates by means of a land attack, an army of 12,000 men was embarked at Rammekens June 21, 1600, under the command of the Stadholder. The plan was to convey the troops by sea direct to Ostend, which had always throughout the war remained in the hands of the States, and was their sole possession in Flanders ; hence to march straight along the sea-shore and, after capturing Nieuport, to use it as a base for the further advance on Dunkirk.
Curiously enough, this bold scheme of operations was proposed and carried out by the States General-in other words, by Oldenbarneveldt, who was supreme in that Assembly-in spite of the opposition of Maurice and William Lewis, both of whom, together with all the other experienced military leaders, were adverse to so extremely hazardous an enterprise. Oldenbarneveldt had persuaded their High Mightinesses that the moment was opportune for such a stroke, because a large part of the Archduke's troops were in open mutiny for lack of pay, and it was known that he had no funds for satisfying them. Maurice, on the other hand, believed it unsafe to denude the United Provinces of their entire field army, and expose it, when far away from its base in an enemy's country, to the risk of being cut off and possibly destroyed. The States General, however, persisted ; and Maurice now set to work with his usual thoroughness. At his request, however, a deputation of the States General took up their residence in Ostend, to share the responsibility of the commander. Difficulties arose from the outset. Prevented from sailing by contrary winds, the army was forced to land
Meanwhile the Archdukes had not been idle. By lavish promises Albert and Isabel succeeded in winning back the mutineers ; and with great rapidity 10,000 foot and 1500 cavalry were gathered together, all of them seasoned troops. With this army the Archduke quickly followed on the tracks of Maurice, seized Oudenburg by surprise on July 1, and thus cut off the communications of the Stadholder with Ostend and the United Provinces. The news of the rapid approach of the enemy was brought to Maurice by a fugitive. It found the States' army separated into two parts by the tidal creek which formed the harbour of Nieuport, and which could only be crossed at low water. A few miles to the north a small marshy stream over which on the previous morning Maurice had thrown a bridge at Leffingen, entered the sea. He now despatched his cousin Ernest Casimir with 2000 infantry, Scots and Zeelanders, and four squadrons of cavalry, to seize the bridge and hold it against the Archduke, until he was able to extricate the main body of the States1 army from their dangerous position. When Ernest Casimir arrived at Leffingen, the bridge was already in Albert's hands ; but he drew up his small force in battle order on the downs to check the further advance of the Spaniards. Then ensued one of those unaccountable panics which sometimes seize the bravest soldiers. The Dutch cavalry turned their backs at the first onset ; and their example infected the infantry, who, throwing away their arms, rushed along the downs and on to the beach in headlong flight. Upwards of 800 were butchered or drowned, the chief loss falling upon the Scots. The sight of vessels putting out of the harbour of Nieuport, and the argument that never yet had Nether-landers withstood the Spanish veterans in the open field, determined Albert to give the order to advance. Meanwhile the ebb had enabled Maurice to march his troops across the haven and draw them up in line of battle on the downs. The ships that had been seen by the Spaniards were his transports, sent by him out of the harbour probably to save them from the risk of being set on fire by the garrison of Nieuport, while he and his army were fighting on the downs. At 2 o'clock in the afternoon of July 2 the battle was formed. A brilliant charge of the States' cavalry under Lewis Günther of Nassau opened the proceedings, and then the solid mass of the Spanish and Italian foot, veterans who had conquered in many a hard-fought field, fell upon the vanguard of Maurice's army, consisting of 2600 English and 2800 Frisians under Sir Francis Vere. For more than three hours every hillock and hollow of the sandy dunes was contested on both sides hand to hand ; backwards and forwards the conflict flowed, until at last the gallant Vere himself was carried from the field severely wounded. Then the Englishmen and Frisians slowly gave way, foot by foot, with their faces still to the foe.
Lewis Giinther's cavalry attempted to relieve them by a fierce charge ; but it was driven back in confusion, and when the Archduke, who had been in the thick of the fight all day, ordered up his reserves, the States' army began to retire in disorder. All seemed lost. But Maurice, conspicuous by his orange plumes, threw himself into the ranks of the fugitives, and succeeded in rallying a portion of his troops. The effect was instantaneous, for their adversaries in their turn were thoroughly worn out by their two battles in the same day. A momentary pause in their advance enabled Maurice, with the keen eye of a great captain, to hurl upon their flank three squadrons of cavalry that he had kept as a last reserve. Scarcely offering any resistance the army of the Archduke fell into inextricable confusion, turned their backs and fled. Albert himself only just succeeded in making his escape to Bruges. Of his army 5000 were killed, above 700 were made prisoners, among them a number of distinguished officers, including Mendoza, and 105 standards were taken. Thus Maurice and his army were saved from the very jaws of destruction. But though the fame of the victory, which showed that even in the open field the dreaded Spanish infantry were not invincible, spread through Europe, it was in reality a barren triumph. In spite of the opposition of the States, Maurice resolved to run no more risks. He led back his army to Holland, and attempted no further active operations. At this time were sown the seeds of the unhappy dissension between the Stadholder and the Advocate.
During the next three years the siege of Ostend (July 15, 1601-September 20, 1604) occupied the energies of both combatants. The Archduke Albert had made up his mind to capture this seaport, which in the hands of the Dutch was a perpetual thorn in the side of Flanders. But the town was open to the sea, and was continually supplied from Zeeland with provisions, munitions, and reinforcements. Its first Governor, Sir Francis Vere, was followed by a succession of brave and capable men, the majority of whom died fighting. Never was a more valorous defence, never a more obstinate attack. It was a long story of mines and counter-mines, of desperate assaults and bloody repulses, of fort after fort captured, only to find fresh forts and new lines of defence constructed by the indefatigable garrison. The efforts of Maurice in 1601 were confined to the recapture of the Rhine fortresses, Rheinberg and Meurs. In 1602 the important stronghold of Grave on the Meuse surrendered to him after a two months' siege. In the autumn of 1603 Marquis Ambrosio de Spinola assumed command of the Spanish forces before Ostend. He was a rich Genoese banker, who, though without any experience of war, had offered his services and his money to the Archdukes, promising them that he would take Ostend. He kept his word. With a reckless expenditure of life, what was left of the town fell piece by piece into his hands. At length, in April, 1604, the Stadholder yielded somewhat sullenly to the pressing requests of the
States General, and led an army of 11,000 men into Flanders, seeking to relieve the pressure upon Ostend, by laying siege to the equally important seaport of Sluys. It fell into his hands in August. Ostend was now at its last gasp, and the Stadholder was ordered to essay its relief by a direct march against Spinola's investing army. Maurice and William Lewis protested, but their protests were overruled. Before, however, they began to march southwards, Ostend had been surrendered, September 20. The town had already ceased to exist; and Spinola found himself after all the master of a heap of confused and hideous ruins. The siege had lasted three years and seventy-seven days, and had cost the Archdukes, according to some authorities, the lives of more than 70,000 soldiers. The gallant defenders had succeeded in draining away the main strength of the Belgian forces, and in exhausting the resources of the Brussels treasury ; and before they had surrendered the poor little town on the sand dunes with its miserable harbour, the States had in Sluys possessed themselves of another Flemish seaport, far more commodiously situated, arid enabling them to command the southern entrance to the Scheldt. Sluys was strongly garrisoned ; and Frederick Henry, Maurice's younger brother, now twenty years of age, was appointed its Governor.
The military events of the next two years require but the briefest notice. The States were now isolated. James I of England had concluded a treaty of friendship with the Archdukes. Henry IV of France was lukewarm. Maurice was now confronted by an active and exceedingly able young general, Spinola, whose army had confidence in its leader, and, being regularly paid at his cost, followed him cheerfully. The policy of the Stadholder, who since the Nieuport campaign had been on far from friendly relations with Oldenbarneveldt and the States General, was strictly defensive. Yet such was the skill and vigour of Spinola that even in this Maurice was scarcely successful. The two armies faced each other for some time in the neighbourhood of Sluys, when, at the end of July, the Marquis made a sudden and rapid march northwards towards Friesland. Spinola captured Oldenzaal and Lingen before Maurice was able to relieve these towns ; and, had he pressed on to Coewarden, it would probably have fallen into his hands, and the north-eastern Provinces would have lain at his mercy. But he paused in his march, perhaps from lack of supplies, and finally retreated towards the junction of the Rühr with the Rhine. While halting here, an attempt was made by Maurice on October 8,1605, to surprise an isolated body of Italian cavalry. But a sudden panic seized the States' troops, and despite the desperate exertions of Frederick Henry, who, at the risk of his life, succeeded in rallying some of the flying troops, a sharp and humiliating reverse closed the campaign. The events of 1605 certainly damaged the Stadholder's reputation.
A severe illness kept Spinola from the front the whole of the next spring ; but in June he set out with the intention of forcing the passage
The operations of the East India Company had been on a large scale, and had been attended with much success. Not merely had the monopoly of Spain and Portugal in the Orient been invaded, but their dominion there had been seriously shaken. A great fleet of seventeen vessels under the command of Admiral Warwyck and Vice-Admiral de Weert sailed in 1602, and was absent for more than five years. All the principal islands of the Malay Archipelago, as well as Ceylon, Siam, and China, were visited. In 1604 another expedition of thirteen ships, under Steven van der Hagen, was sent to Malabar and the Moluccas. Factories were established and ports built at Amboina, Tidor, and other places ; and the fleet returned in 1606 with a very rich cargo of cloves and other spices. On his return voyage van der Hagen met at Mauritius a third outward-bound fleet of the Company, under Cornelis Matelief. This force consisted of eleven small armed ships, manned by 1400 sailors. In the summer of 1606 Matelief laid siege to the Portuguese fortress of Malacca, situate in a commanding position at the southernmost extremity of the Malay Peninsula. Here he was attacked on August 17 by Alphonso de Castro, the Spanish Viceroy of India, at the head of a vastly superior fleet, consisting of eighteen galleons and galleys, carrying 4000 to 5000 soldiers and sailors. A fierce but indecisive action resulted in the first instance in the raising of the siege of Malacca. On hearing, however, that de Castro had sailed away, leaving only ten ships in the roadstead of Malacca for the defence of the place, Matelief returned, and, on September 31, fell Upon the Spaniards. One of the most complete victories in naval records was the result. Every single vessel of the enemy was destroyed or burnt, while the Dutch scarcely lost a man. After visiting China, and establishing the authority of the Company at Amboina, Tidor, Ternate, Bantam, and other places, Matelief left the further conduct of affairs in Eastern waters to Paul van Kaarden, who met him at Bantam at the head of yet another fleet, while he himself returned home with five ships, laden with spices, bringing into the midst of peace negotiations the great tidings of his adventures and victories.
Nor were the maritime triumphs of the Netherlander confined to distant oceans. As their fleets returned, laden with rich cargoes, along the West Coast of Africa, they had to run the gauntlet of Spanish and Portuguese squadrons, suddenly putting out from Lisbon or Cadiz or other Iberian ports. After voyages extending over two or more years the East Indiamen, by the time they passed the Straits, were no longer in good seaworthy condition or fighting trim, and thus ran a constant risk of falling an easy prey to their enemies. In 1607 news reached the States of the gathering of a large Spanish fleet at Gibraltar, supposed to be destined for the East Indies ; and under pressure from the directors of the East India Company the States determined to equip a large expedition with the object of either intercepting this fleet or attacking it in the Spanish harbour. Early in April twenty-six vessels set sail under the command of Jacob van Heemskerk, the hero of the Nova Zembla wintering, and one of the bravest and most skilful of Dutch seamen. He was a man gentle and quiet in private life, but the joy of battle was as the very breath of his nostrils. He found anchored in Gibraltar Bay the entire Spanish fleet of twenty-one vessels, ten of them great galleons, beside which the Dutch ships seemed mere pigmies. The Spanish Admiral d'Avila was likewise an experienced veteran, who had fought at Lepanto. Heemskerk at once gave the order to attack, and directed that each of the great galleons should be assailed by two Dutch ships, one at each side. Heemskerk laid his own flagship alongside that of d'Avila, and so opened the fight. At the very beginning of the struggle both Admirals were killed. But Heemskerk's death was concealed, and his comrades carried out his instructions, and fought with desperate resolution-in his own ship to avenge his loss, in the others as if the eye of their chief had been still upon them. The victory was complete, and the Spanish fleet was annihilated. Between two and three thousand of their crews perished. On the Dutch side no ship was destroyed, and only about a hundred sailors were killed. This crushing and humiliating disaster to the Spanish arms had a powerful effect in hastening forward the negotiations for peace, in which both parties, now thoroughly weary of war, were at the time seriously engaged.
The first step had been taken by the Archdukes, who secretly despatched Father Neyen, Albert's Franciscan confessor, to open relations with Oldenbarneveldt and the Stadholder. The States, however, refused to enter into negotiations of any sort, unless they were treated as a free and independent Power. The Archdukes therefore at length consented to negotiate with the United Provinces "in the quality and as considering them free Provinces and States, over which they had no pretensions," subject to the ratification of the King of Spain within three months. They offered to negotiate either on the basis of a peace, or for a truce for twelve, fifteen, or twenty years. Meanwhile, it was arranged
At the very beginning of the negotiations it was clear that in the United Provinces there was much division of opinion. On the side of peace stood Oldenbarne veldt, and with him a majority of the burgher regents, who believed that the land could no longer bear the burden of taxation, and that the prosperity which had attended commerce in war-time would be largely increased by peace, so long as sufficiently favourable terms as to liberty of trading could be secured. At the head of the war party was Prince Maurice, with William Lewis of Friesland, the military and naval leaders, and a considerable number of the leading merchants. Maurice had lived in camps from boyhood ; his fame had been won, not in the Council Chamber, but at the head of armies. Peace for him meant enforced idleness and great loss of emoluments. Still, though not uninfluenced by personal motives, both he and William Lewis were far too good patriots not to put on one side any purely selfish reasons for opposing that which they believed to be to the advantage of the land. But they and those who thought with them did not trust the Spaniard. They did not believe that peace could be obtained without closing the Spanish Indies, East and West, to Dutch trade ; and, with numbers of their countrymen, they dreaded lest the southern Netherlands should once more become formidable commercial rivals, and Antwerp again, as a seaport, vie with and perhaps surpass Amsterdam.
At last, in October, 1607, it was signified that the King agreed to treat with the States as independent parties, but on condition that religious liberty to Catholics should be conceded during the negotiations. The document was in many points far from pleasing to the States, but by the exertions of the French Ambassador, President Jeannin, and his. English colleague, difficulties were smoothed away, and at last, on February 1, 1608, the envoys from Brussels arrived in Holland, with a brilliant retinue. At the head of the deputation were Spinola and Richardot, the president of the Archduke's Privy Council. The stately procession was met near Ryswyk by the Stadholders, Maurice and William Lewis of Nassau, attended by a splendid suite. The two famous Generals greeted one another with much ceremony and courtesy, and side by side made their entry into the Hague. The States General appointed as Special Commissioners to represent the United Provinces, Count William Lewis of Nassau and Walraven, Lord of Brederode, and with them were associated a deputy from each of the seven Provinces under the leadership of Oldenbarneveldt, as the representative of Holland. The envoys of France, England, Denmark, the Palatinate, and Brandenburg took an active part in the discussions; and it was largely owing to the skill and sagacity of Jeannin that in spite of almost insuperable difficulties an agreement was eventually arrived at.
The admission of the independence and sovereignty of the United Provinces met with less opposition on the part of the Archdukes than was expected. Their policy, though not openly avowed, was to conclude a truce, not a peace, and thus to leave the dispute as to the sovereignty over the Provinces to the arbitrament of a future war. It was a concession intended to be temporary, made with the object of gaining time for recruiting their ruined finances and gathering fresh resources, so as to renew hostilities at a favourable opportunity. Richardot raised no difficulties as to the declaration of independence ; indeed, he said plainly, that he had full powers to treat with them "as free States," or as a kingdom, if they pleased so to name themselves. The objection raised by the Dutch against the use of the seal of the seventeen Provinces by the Archdukes caused more difficulty, but on this point also Richardot at length gave way. The avowed object was still to conclude a definite peace; for Maurice and his party had declared themselves absolutely opposed to a truce, and the Spanish-Belgian representatives were too clever diplomatists to show their hand at so early a stage of the discussions. The two thorny questions related to freedom of trade in the Indies, and to liberty of public worship to the Roman Catholics in the States.
At first the question as to religious liberty was allowed to fall into the background; and for week after week the right of trading in the Indies was acrimoniously discussed. Public opinion in the Provinces, and especially in Holland, was deeply stirred; a long series of pamphlets issued from the printing-press against the peace; the traders and the Calvinist preachers were all strongly on the side of Maurice ; and Olden-barneveldt was roundly accused of being a traitor in the pay of Spain. Even had he felt disposed to yield as to the Indian trade-and there is nothing to show that his determination to uphold freedom of commerce ever wavered-the Advocate, with all his self-will and firmness of purpose, dared not hold out against the public voice. The Spaniards, on the other hand, would not yield in a matter touching the traditional principles of their policy. A deadlock ensued. The time of the armistice expired and had to be renewed. Several of the foreign envoys left the Hague. President Jeannin went to Paris to consult the King, and Father Neyen journeyed to Madrid. On his return it was found that the King of Spain insisted on closing the Indies to foreign traders, and also on the reestablishment of public Roman Catholic worship. But on each of these points the deputies of the States were likewise steadfast; the negotiations appeared to be broken off; and both sides were preparing for a renewal of the war, when a proposal was made by the envoys of France and England to act as mediators on the basis of a twelve years1 truce. The real author of the proposal was the resourceful President Jeannin. Peace was plainly impossible. But Jeannin hoped to induce the Dutch to agree to a truce on condition
The suspension of hostilities recognised the status quo as regarded territorial possessions ; and all points on which the States had insisted were conceded. The treaty was concluded with them " in the quality of free States over which the Archdukes made no pretensions." No mention was made of granting liberty of worship to Roman Catholics ; but, in a secret treaty consisting of a single clause, the King of Spain promised that during the truce he would cause no impediment to the traffic of the Dutch in whatever place it might be carried on. To save Spanish pride the word "Indies" was never mentioned, though it was implied. The concession of freedom of trade thus wrung from Philip III was one that nothing but dire necessity would ever have induced a King of Spain to grant.
The immediate effect of the truce was an increase of Oldenbarneveldt's influence over the policy and government of the new Republic, which now for the first time took its place in the European system " as a free and independent State." To the Advocate's statecraft had been very largely due the building up of the Commonwealth during the quarter of a century after the murder of William the Silent. He was now, during the opening period of the twelve years' truce, by his consummate skill in the conduct of foreign affairs, to secure for the United Provinces a weight and influence in the councils of Europe out of all proportion to the size or population of the new-born State.
A critical question arose for settlement almost immediately after the signing of the truce. The death in March, 1609, of Duke John William of Jiilich and Cleves without male heirs brought a number of claimants for the vacant succession into the field ; and the principal competitors, the Elector of Brandenburg and the Count Palatine of Neuburg, came to an understanding to occupy the disputed territory jointly, whence they were known as " the Possessors." The Dutch, whose interest in the
The new French government was well-disposed to Spain and Austria ; and a complete change of policy took place. The States thus escaped being drawn into a large war; but it was felt that it was impossible for them to allow the duchies to fall into the hands of an Austrian prince. Maurice therefore in the early summer marched into the country and laid siege to Jiilich. Though the place was strong, it capitulated on September 1 ; and the Archduke left the territory. Not till 1613 was the interference of the Dutch in the affairs of the duchies again called for. In that year, as was sooner or later to be expected, the "Possessors" fell out; and Neuburg called in Catholic aid for the maintenance of his rights. Hostilities ensued, and Maurice and Spinola once again found themselves face to face in the field. There was, however, no actual fighting ; and the dispute was settled without serious consequences by the treaty of Xanten (November 12, 1614), by which a division of the duchies was made between the two rivals.
The relations of the Republic with England had meanwhile required delicate handling. The wide extension of Dutch commerce caused no small jealousy and envy to Englishmen. English trade had also been growing, though to a far less extent than that of their neighbours ; and Dutch and English traders had met in rivalry on many distant seas. At the time of the signature of the truce, the burning question between the two nations was that of fishing rights. At the beginning of the seventeenth century the herring fishery employed more hands in the Provinces than any other occupation ; and many thousands of households lived by it. The right to fish on the English coast had been conceded by ancient treaties, and had been unchallenged since its confirmation by the well-known Magnus Intercursus of 1496. But since, in the last years of Elizabeth, English fishery had grown, quarrels frequently arose between the fishermen ; and the claims of England to the dominium
The sphere of Oldenbarneveldt's diplomatic activity was by no means confined to the immediately neighbouring States. An alliance was concluded with the Hanse towns ; and in 1615 an army of 7000 men under Frederick Henry advanced into Germany and raised the siege of Brunswick, which was beleaguered by Christian IV of Denmark. The object of this alliance was to secure a still greater hold over the Baltic
A sad reverse to this picture of advancing influence and prosperity is offered by the story, during the same period, of the internal affairs of the Republic. It must be remembered that in 1609 there existed no such thing as a Dutch nation, but, instead of it, only a congeries of provinces and town corporations, each of them with sovereign attributes, held together by the loosest political ties. Moreover, while this many-headed government knew no supreme controlling authority, the great mass of the people had no voice in the control of their own affairs. A large majority, possibly two-thirds, of the entire population adhered to the ancient Catholic faith, and submitted to exclusion by an intolerant Protestant minority from all political rights and from the exercise of public worship. Nor had even this Protestant population any real voice, as such, in the government of the country. There was no such thing as popular election. The town corporations, the ultimate depositaries of sovereign power, were close, self-coopting oligarchies, in no sense representative even of the Protestant inhabitants.
The situation was redeemed from impracticability, and the machinery of public administration made to work, partly because the Dutch people were by nature patient, plodding, and easily led, keen as to trade and material welfare rather than politics,-partly because the administrative and executive power had during the years of stress and struggle, which followed the departure of Leicester, come into the hands of two men, Oldenbarneveldt and Maurice of Nassau. The cessation of the war in 1609 found them face to face, suspicious of each other's aims, and treating one another in their public relations with a cold aloofness that might quickly be changed into open enmity. But Maurice, slow and inert by nature, and averse from politics, was not the man to take the initiative in opposition to the Advocate. Some years before this he might have become sovereign of the Netherlands, with the help of Oldenbarneveldt himself and the universal assent of the people, had he cared to push himself forward ; and now he had no wish to interfere
The Protestantism of the northern Netherlands had always been Calvinistic, but not of one pattern. From the first there had been two schools of opinion-the rigidly orthodox Calvinists, who called themselves " Reformed " and were known by those of the opposite party as " precisians" ; and the liberal or " evangelical1' party, who were commonly spoken of as "Politicals" or "Libertines." To this moderate "Libertine" school William the Silent himself had belonged ; and it counted among its sympathisers Oldenbarneveldt, and a considerable number of the "regents." The adherence of these two great leaders to the "Libertines" was due not so much to religious conviction, as to a statesmanlike desire for toleration in matters of faith, so far as was consistent with the national safety, in order to preserve the supremacy of the civil power over Church and State. In opposition to this party stood the large majority of the preachers and of the Reformed congregations throughout the Provinces who held predestinarian doctrines of the strictest type, and who, in the very spirit of absolute intolerance which they had so loudly condemned when exercised against themselves by the Church of Rome, would have persecuted and deprived of civic rights those who refused to subscribe to the theological dogmas and tenets set forth in the Netherland Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism. The desire of this party was that a National Synod should be summoned, which should decide authoritatively on all points of controversy and create a Reformed State Church, which would have supreme control of religion throughout the land. The "Libertines" on the other hand dreaded such a consummation, and, relying upon the provisions of Article 13 of the Union of Utrecht, insisted on the independence of the Provincial Churches, and even in this case preferred that the "classis"" rather than the " synod " should be the unit, and that the bond between the separate congregations should be loosened rather than tightened.
From the days of Leicester the strife had gone on, until at last it was brought to a head by the rivalry of two professors of theology at Leyden, Gomarus and Arminius, the protagonists of the two Schools. Franciscus Gomarus had held his chair already for eight years, when Prince Maurice through the influence of his chaplain, the eloquent and learned Johannes Uyttenbogaert, obtained from the Curators of the University in 1602 the nomination of Jacobus Arminius, for many years
Oldenbarneveldt had been greatly perturbed by these Church quarrels. As to the particular points of dispute, he probably had formed no very definite conclusions. But all his sympathies, as statesman and politician, were with the Remonstrants, in the first place because theirs was the broader and more tolerant creed, and still more,
The passing of this resolution, though undoubtedly intended to be a measure of conciliation, acted as a declaration of war. Obedience was refused in Amsterdam and elsewhere by the Gomarists, supported by the Town Councils. A deputation was sent by the States to Amsterdam, with de Groot at its head, to secure obedience to the law in the commercial capital; but by a small majority the Town Council refused to cooperate. But, whatever the opposition, the Advocate was resolved to carry matters with a high hand, and, where it should be necessary, in accordance with the Church ordinance of 1591, to enforce obedience to the authority of the State. The beginning of 1617 thus saw the country on the verge of civil war. The Contra-Remonstrant Ministers were driven from Rotterdam and other places, where the Town Councils were Arminian ; and in the Hague a well-known preacher, Rosaeus, being forbidden the use of his pulpit, established himself, accompanied by his congregation, close by at Ryswyk.
But now a difficulty confronted the Advocate. Popular riots broke out in many places. It became evident that his policy could not be carried out without the employment of military force, and military force could only be employed with the consent and aid of the Stadholder, who was Captain-General of the forces of the Union. But Maurice, after long hesitation, had made up his mind to join the enemies of Oldenbarneveldt. Despite the alienation which had been growing up between him and the Advocate for a considerable number of years, Maurice was very loth to stir up civil war and to take up the sword against the great statesman, who had been his father's friend, and whose weighty services to the national cause he fully recognised. He was long undecided and halting between two opinions ; for his friend and Court Chaplain, Uyttenbogaert, was the leading spirit among the Remonstrants, and he himself is reported to have said on one occasion " that he was a soldier, and not a theologian," and on another " that he did
The situation was full of strange anomalies. The two Stadholders working together, who were determined that a National Synod should be summoned, commanded in the States General the votes of four out of the seven Provinces. In May, 1617, the States General agreed, by a bare
Maurice was at length provoked to declare himself openly the champion of the Contra-Remonstrants. On July 9 forcible possession was, by direction of the Prince, taken of the Cloister Church at the Hague, for the use of the proscribed sect; and a fortnight later, July 23, the Prince, accompanied by his cousin Count William Lewis and a large retinue, attended divine service there. This direct challenge to the States of Holland the Advocate did not hesitate to take up. On August 4 he proposed to the States a momentous resolution, known as the Scherpe Resolutie. It was passed on the following day, the Prince himself being present in the Assembly, and was a thorough-going assertion of the sovereignty of the Province of Holland. Assent was refused to the summoning of a Synod, whether national or provincial, as infringing the rights and supremacy of the States in matters of religion. The regents of the cities were admonished to maintain the peace, and to enrol men-at-arms, when required for their security. All officials, soldiers in the pay of the Province, deputed councillors, and magistrates, were to take an oath of obedience to the States " on pain of dismissal," and were to be accountable not to the ordinary tribunals, but to the States of Holland only. Maurice was very angry, for as Stadholder he was the servant of the Provincial States, and was bound to aid in carrying out their will. It was a reductio ad absurdum of the position that as Captain and Admiral-General of the Union he was the servant of the States General, and bound to execute the orders of their High Mightinesses. To complicate matters, the minority in the States of Holland, headed by Reinier Pauw speaking in the name of Amsterdam, uttered a strong protest against the action of the majority ; and practically there was no power but the sword to compel these recalcitrant corporations to carry out the Resolution. Indeed, they openly announced their intention of disregarding it.
The " Sharp Resolution " passed, Oldenbarneveldt on the plea of ill-health betook himself to Utrecht, leaving de Groot and the deputed Councillors in charge of affairs at the Hague. There can be little doubt that his object was to strengthen by his presence and counsel the hands of his supporters in the States of the only Province which had continued firm on the side of Holland. He did not return to the Hague till November 6. Meanwhile levies of waardgelders had been raised in several cities. This led to action being taken by the States General. Urged by the two Stadholders, their High Mightinesses sent letters of warning both to the Provincial States and the several towns, in which they pointed out the dangerous consequences that might follow. Still the levies went on, although both sides hesitated to proceed
At last the States General determined upon decisive action. Legally, they had no right to enforce their will upon a sovereign Province ; but matters had come to a dead-lock; and on their side, in the ultimate resort, was the power of the sword, in the person of the Prince of Orange, whose honoured name and high deeds secured for him the willing obedience of the soldiery. On July 9, 1618, the question of the waardgelders was discussed at the Assembly of the States General, and on July 23 it was resolved that a Commission, with Maurice at its head, should be sent to Utrecht to demand and, if necessary, to compel the disbanding of the levy. In reply to this challenge the States of Holland sent another Commission, headed by de Groot and Hoogerbeets, to support the Utrechters and urge them to maintain their rights. It arrived on July 24, followed on the next day by the Commissioners of the Generality, with the Prince and a body of officers. As neither party showed signs of yielding, Maurice, on the evening of July 81, entered the town at the head of a body of troops. Early next morning he summoned the waardgelders to lay down their arms. He was at once obeyed. There was no opposition. De Groot and his colleagues hurried away; the members of the Municipal Council fled ; and the Provincial Estates gave in their submission. In his capacity as Stadholder the Prince at once proceeded to appoint a new Municipal Council of Contra-Remonstrants, and to effect changes in the constitution of the States, which gave the majority to the same party. The vote of Utrecht was henceforth in favour of the summoning of a National Synod. Holland was isolated and stood alone.
This was the beginning of the end. Obstinate spirits in the Remonstrant towns of Holland were still for resistance. On August 20,
The arrests had no sooner been made, than Maurice set out upon a tour through the towns of Holland, attended by a strong retinue, and proceeded to effect such changes in the magistracies as would secure Contra-Remonstrant majorities in the corporations and in the Provincial States. Schoonhaven, Brill, Schiedam, Gorinchem, Oudewater, Delft, Leyden, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam were visited in turn, and duly purged. When the States of Holland met in November a vote of thanks was passed to the Prince, and full powers were granted him for the completion of his work. Dissension had been crushed. The holding of the National Synod was unanimously approved throughout the seven Provinces. The Contra-Remonstrants were everywhere in the ascendant.
During the months that followed the arrests, the Advocate, de Groot, and Hoogerbeets-Ledenburg had committed suicide-were kept in the strictest confinement. The trial began in November. Each of the prisoners was examined separately before a Commission appointed by the States General on all the events, not only of the past few years, but of their whole public careers. The examination of Oldenbarneveldt was especially severe, and his treatment cruelly unjust. He appeared more than sixty times before the Commissioners, and was allowed neither to consult his papers nor to put his defence in writing. He had to trust to his memory for all the complicated details of the public affairs in which for upwards of forty years he had been the chief actor.
At last, on February 20,1619, the States General nominated a Court composed of twenty-four judges. Half of them were Hollanders. It was not in any sense a regular Court, and nearly all its members were personal enemies of the accused. The Advocate strongly protested against its composition, and claimed his right to be tried by the sovereign Province of Holland, whose servant he had been. It was in vain ; nor could anything have exceeded the rigour of the proceedings which followed. The prisoners were allowed no advocates, nor the use of books, pen, or paper. The trial was merely a preliminary to condemnation. On Sunday, May 12, sentence of capital punishment was pronounced.
Simultaneously with the trial of the political prisoners the great National Synod, whose convention they had so long and resolutely opposed, had met at Dort. The Synod met for the first time on November 13, 1618, and held 154 sessions. It was an imposing assembly, consisting of more than 100 members Twenty-eight of these were foreign divines from England, Scotland, the Palatinate, Hesse, Switzerland, Geneva, Brandenburg, East Friesland, and Bremen. The rest were Netherlanders, fifty-eight preachers, professors, and elders, and eighteen commissioners of the States General. The President was Joannes Bogerman, preacher at Leeuwarden. One of their first steps was to summon before them representatives of the Remonstrants, to make their defence. On December 6 a deputation of twelve, with Simon Episcopius at their head, appeared ; and a fierce and wordy contest took place between the champions of the five and the seven points, which occupied nine sessions But the Remonstrants refused to acknowledge the authority of the Synod as a Court competent to pronounce judgment on such doctrinal matters, and after a long series of violent altercations they were ordered by the President to withdraw. They immediately held what was styled an " anti-synod " at Rotterdam, and protested both loudly and publicly against the opinions and the tyranny of their opponents. In their absence the work at Dort proceeded steadily; and on April 28,1619, the Canons that had been drawn up were signed by all the members. The Remonstrants were pronounced heretics and teachers of false doctrines, and unfit to fill any post in the churches, universities, or schools. On May 1 the Netherlands Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism were approved without change, as setting forth, shortly but completely, the principles of the orthodox Reformed faith. A week later (May 6) the results of the deliberations were proclaimed in the Great Church before a vast gathering of people ; and amidst festivities and much speech-making the Synod was dissolved. There was indeed much ground for rejoicing on the part of the Contra-Remonstrant party. They had crushed their adversaries, and were henceforth dominant in the State. No less than 200 Remonstrant preachers were dismissed, and large numbers of them driven into exile. Like the Catholics, the Arminians were now placed under a ban, and were forbidden to hold meetings for public worship.
The condemnation of the Advocate followed immediately upon the close of the Synod's labours. In the then embittered state of party feeling probably most men expected that the sentence of the packed court would be a severe one ; but few were prepared for a sentence of death. Many of the judges had hesitated long before pronouncing for capital punishment; but the unbending attitude of the Prince of Orange proved decisive. Louise de Coligny and the French Ambassador, du Maurier, did their utmost to induce him to intervene on behalf of Oldenbarneveldt. But Maurice's mind had been thoroughly poisoned
On the evening of Sunday, May 12, Oldenbarneveldt was informed that he was condemned to death, and that after a public reading of the sentence execution would follow on the following morning. The prisoner received the news with surprise and anger ; but he soon recovered his calmness, and asked for pen, ink, and paper, that he might write a farewell letter to his wife and children. The greater part of the night he spent in earnest conversation with the preacher Walaeus, who had been sent from Dort to offer his ministrations. The Advocate remained firm in the unqualified assertion of his entire innocence of the charges brought against him, and protested in the strongest manner against the illegality of the Court and the injustice of its sentence. He requested Walaeus to see Maurice and to ask the Prince to forgive him for any injuries that he might have done to him, and to extend his protection to his children. For a moment this message from the man who had been so many years his friend and counsellor touched the Prince, and he asked whether the Advocate had said anything about pardon. Walaeus was obliged to confess that he had not, and the interview closed. At 8 o'clock on the Monday morning the prolix sentence recounting the grounds of condemnation was read to Oldenbarneveldt in the ancient hall of the Counts of Holland in the Binnenhof, in front of which a rough scaffold had been erected during the night. The outer court was densely crowded with people as the old man, leaning on a stick, appeared on the scaffold. His head was struck off at one blow. His last words-" Men, do not believe that I am a traitor to the country. I have always acted uprightly as a good patriot, and as such I shall die "-express the verdict of posterity upon his character and conduct.
The papers of Oldenbarneveldt all fell into the hands of his deadly foes, and were by them closely scrutinised with a view to discovering some proof of his guilt. Not a single vestige of evidence has ever been produced to show that the Advocate at any time was in collusion with his country's enemies or betrayed its interests. On the contrary, later researches and investigations have proved conclusively that Oldenbarneveldt in his forty-three years of service played a part in the long struggle of the war of independence second only to that played by William the Silent, and that he was one of the ablest and most influential statesmen of his time. He had his faults. His enemies were not without grounds in ascribing to him haughtiness, avarice, intolerance of other people's opinions, greed of power. The force of circumstances drove him on to take up a position and to commit acts which, though defensible from the strictly legal point of view, undoubtedly tended to weaken the bond of national unity, and to endanger the permanence of the Union. But he met his fate, not because he so strenuously upheld the rights of provincial
The sentence upon de Groot and Hoogerbeets was delayed for a few days, in the hope that they might be induced to plead guilty and sue for pardon. But though de Groot had in the earlier stages of his imprisonment shown signs of weakness, both now stood firm, and on May 18 were condemned to perpetual imprisonment. Some two years later (March 21, 1621) de Groot by means of an audacious stratagem devised by his wife, succeeded in making his escape from the castle of Loevestein, and betook himself to France.
The death of Oldenbarneveldt and the complete overthrow of his party left the Prince of Orange (he had succeeded to that title on the death of his brother Philip William in February, 1618) sovereign of the United Netherlands in all but name. He might have had the title as well as the power; but he was unmarried, and was indifferent about the matter. He had never cared for the details of politics, and he now left the management of affairs in the hands of those who had taken the leading part in the opposition to the Advocate, foremost among whom were Francis van Aerssens and Reinier Pauw. These men were determined to reap to the full the fruits of victory. All over the country the Remonstrants were driven from their pulpits, and prominent adherents of Oldenbarneveldt deprived of their offices ; the post of Advocate was abolished and never revived, his place being filled by a functionary styled Raadpeiiswnaris, whose term of office was to be for five years instead of for life, and whose powers were much restricted.
The year 1620 was marked by the death of two prominent members of the House of Nassau. The widow of William the Silent, who had been deeply afflicted by the tragic end of her old and faithful friend, died at Fontainebleau in March. William Lewis expired suddenly in October, to the deep grief of Maurice, who succeeded him in his dignities as Stadholder in Groningen and Drenthe; in Friesland his place was taken by his younger brother, Count Ernest Casimir of Nassau.
In August, 1621, the Twelve Years' Truce came to an end, and after certain overtures for peace had been made by the Archdukes, which contained quite unacceptable conditions, war once more broke out, and Maurice took the field against his old adversary Spinola. But owing to the deaths in this year of Philip III, King of Spain, and of Archduke Albert, operations dragged for some time sluggishly along. In 1622 Maurice gained the only success of his last years, by relieving Bergen-op-Zoom, which Spinola was besieging. He sorely missed at the head of
The health of the Prince of Orange was at this time seriously impaired; and he neither showed the same endurance as before in bearing the fatigues of campaigning, nor the same vigour and skill in his conduct of the war. Misfortune dogged his steps ; and in 1624 the town of Breda, an ancestral possession of his family, was taken by Spinola under his eyes. Deeply mortified, Maurice now fell seriously ill ; and it was evident that his days were numbered. His last cares were to secure that his titles, dignities, and estates should pass to his younger brother Frederick Henry, to whom at his request the States General in the spring of 1625 had confided the command of the forces. The two brothers, despite a temporary estrangement, due to the leaning of the younger to the Remonstrant doctrines and the party of Oldenbarneveldt, had always been deeply attached to each other. Neither of them had shown any inclination for wedlock; but now Maurice on his bed of sickness used all his influence to bring about the marriage of Frederick Henry with the Countess Amalia of Solms. He was anxious to secure the prospect of the family succession, and is reported to have threatened even to disinherit his brother unless he complied with his wishes. The preliminaries were quickly arranged ; and the wedding took place at the Hague on April 4,1625. On the 23rd of April Maurice died, in the 58th year of his age, prematurely worn out by the hardships and privations of a life spent from his youth up in the camp and at the head of armies. He was perhaps the most accomplished soldier of his time, but as a politician weak, hesitating, and easily led, and he passed away under a cloud, for the splendour of his great achievements was overshadowed by the dark memory of the catastrophe of 1619.