Skip to main content

Full text of "History of the Rise and Progress of the Belgian Republic: Until the Revolution Under Philip II ..."

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 














Hsc tibia lint artes Roma, qnibiu mwuhoi gubemaa. 


Paroere nibjeccis, ec debeOaie tuberbot. 


Concordia parvae res cretcnm, ditcordu mazmnae £labiintnr. 



NO. 4^0^ STRAND^ 
Bif J. and W* Smith, King Street^ Seven Dials, 



The following historical essay^ which has 
been justly admired by foreign critics as a 
classical performance^ is offered to the pnb« 
lie by way of experiment^ whether a foreign 
production will flourish in a British soil; 
whether the beams of an ardent imagination 
be obscured^ or the lofty flights of a sublime 
genius be arrested in their progress to us* 
It is intended to serve as an introduction to 
Dr, Watson's celebrated History of Philip 
the Second^ devellops' the causes of the war 
in the most luminous manner^ and deline- 
ates the characters of the principal actors 
on the theatre of the Netherlands^ with 
much energy and eloquence, Schiller'* 


genias had much of the suhlime and of the 
beautiful^ like that of the late Edmund 
Burke. The finished portraits which Mr. 
Burke has drawn of many distinguished 
characters^ are^ in many respects^ similar to 
those of William prince of Orange^ and 
of Lamoral count of Egmont^ pourtrayed 
by the masterly hand of Schiller^ in the 
subsequent performance. With respect to 
my translation^ I hope that I have written 
it with that sort of correctness and taste^ 
which is the result of a long and complete 
acquaintance with the language of the ori- 
ginal; and should this performance acquire 
a like reputation in my native country which 
it has abroad^ then will my labour be amply 





of THE 



vyNE of those extraordinary revottttioti& 
in politics^ that have made the sixteenth, 
century the most illustrious sera in the 
Whals of mankind, is^ I apprehend^ that 
important crisis^ when the nohle structure 
of freedom was reared, on a solid and per** 
manent basis^ in the Provinces of B^ium. 
If the magnificent exploits of ambition^ uMi 



a raging lust of power and dominion^ chal- 
lenge our aU&iititiotij h0vr much more so 
mn event, wherein the human species, af- 
flicted by the scourge of oppression, strug- 
gle manfully for the reicovery of their most 
sacred privileges; a miraculous energy, and 
supernatural powets, being auxiUary to their 
righteous cause, whereby the mjghty re- 
sources of despair, ultimately triumph over 
the insidious -axX^y and faithless policy of 

It is an awful and comfortable reflection, 
that there is yet one remedy left s^inst the 
insolent claims of regal prerogative; fhat 
plans of the deepest contrtvance, for the 
sttbvereion of libei:iy amongst mankind, 
may be rendered abortive; that a deter* 
mined opjiosition caik mmerve ihe uplifted 
aim of a tyrant, and heroic obstinacy ex- 
baust all rthe dreadful mateiPtails and re- 


sources of arbitrary power. I Was never 
impressed with a lAore lively conviction 
of this solemn truths than l^y the history 
of that memorable rebellion^ which dis- 
memben^ the Uftited Provinces from the 
Spanish monarchy: on which account tt 
mppes^^d to me to be an undertaking highly 
meritorious and praiseworthy, to exhibit 
this monument of social union, in all its 
majesty and grandeur, before the eyes 6( 
the world ; that I might peradvehture ex* 
cite some pleasing emotions of sympathy 
in the breast of my readers, and adduce 
new and irrefragable proofs, what men may 
venture to undertake in a righteous cause^ 
mud what they may accomplish by unity 
and concert. 

It is not a surprising mixture of the mar- 
vellous and extraordinary, which allures me 
4o commemorate this event. In the history 

B 2 


i - • 

! of mankind^ revolutions are recorded more 

daring and arduous in the at^empt^ more 
splendid and glorious in the execution. 
Many governments have beeii blown up 
'"With a more tremendous explosion; others 
have advanced with more rapid strides to- 
wards the summit of power and glory. 
Neither are we to look for any of those sub- 
lime and stupendous characters^ of more 
than mortal mouldy nor any of those mar- 
vellous exploits with which ancient story so 
copiously abounds. Those times are past 
away; those men are no longer in being. 
Nursed in the soft cradle of luxury and re- 
finementj we have idly consumed those 
energies^ which past ages exercised, and 
which an imperious necessity demanded. 
With mute and languid stupefaction, we 
ga^ at those gigantic figures of antiquity^ 
in like manner as a decrepid old man suf- 


T€ys> with conscious infirmity^ the manly 
sports of youth. The history we have 
now in contemplation^ is of quite a dif- 
ferent citst and complexion. The people 
who mftke a principal figure on' this stage, 
were the most pacific in the European 
world, and the least susceptible of that 
heroism,^ which imparta an air of grandeur 
to actions of an ordiniiry size and magni- 
tude. The school of adversity infused into 
their minds a peculiar vigour and energy, 
and forced upon them a temporary great* 
ness, that nature had never designed for 
them, and which they were not destined 
to hehold again. That sort of energy 
which roused them to action, is, therefore, 
not dormant nor extinct amongst us; the 
si^al success that crowned their daring 
attempt, is likewise reserved in store for us» 
when a favorable conjuncture offers in 

a 11191 AH9 f«9«9£?S or 

tbe revolution of (^s> ai}4 simHiuf Cfta«e» 
QfJl foir the sam^ mea^uresj a^pd a like plan 
of operations. It isj therefore^ a totc^ ab«- 
jl^nce of ndagnanimity aqd h^roi^ virtue^ 
that ^Qveyg inatruction^ svig^ ^o^st^tut^s tb^ 
chief charaeteri^ic of tbis i^volkitioiir; imd 
1lrherel^k otbera propose ifi tbe#6^vei» aar 
liifik amti otoeotjt to shew ibe iwpemritgr 
of gi^aia9j <w^ fete Md fiwrtioieb X shatt 
^nm w^i^vr to ^ailiihit a pleAusej^ . wbei«M 
'ij^ ^Qce creates heroes^ a^d gediQa is &er 
afispiing of necessity* 

If we were^ on any oocasioDj authorized. 
W admit the intervention of a divine Pro- 
t^dence in the govemment of human affairs^ 
t^ present history might fornish us vith » 
fdan^Ue pietenoe ;. so qontradictoiy does it 
ai^eai to human reason^ and to all former 
e]q)erienGe« Philip the second^ the most 
powerful monarch o£ his age> whose aver*% 


grown empire ' menaced the liberties of 
Europe with destructioa; whose treasurer 
surpassed the aggregate siim of all the rer 
venues of other Christian potentates ; whose 
naval armaments overawed* the seaa: a 
monarchy whose dangerous schemes viexm 
assisted by powerful armies ; armies trained^ 
in long and bloody wars^ to the severity of 
Soman. taotic& ; inflamed with a fieroe nar 
(^onal prnk; date wiitfa'the remembrance 
of recent triumphs; impatient to reap new 
harvests of laurels and booty^ and ready tb 
ft>H6w whithersoever the enterprising genius 
of their leaders thought fit to conduct 
diem. This mighty mortal, being en- 
grossed • with the pursuit of a favouriOe 
scheme, an undertaking which filled up 
the measure of his long reign ; who solely 
applied all the powers and ener^es of his 
prodigious empire, to the accomplishment of 



this individual project^ which he was compeVi 
led to relinquish in the evening of his days : 
Philip the second^ I say^ was engaged 
in a warfare w\th a feeble confederacy 
of :nationsy • which he could not bring to 
a fortunate issue and conclusion* Now, 
what nations were those^ that opposed the 
schemes of his ambition ? In one quauciv 
we behold some rude unwarlike clans of 
inoffensive fishermen and shepherds^ in a 
remote corner of Europe, which their own' 
toil had wrung from the watery waste; the 
ocean being at oilce the source of all their 
comforts, and all their calamities; their 
most valuable possession, a needy inder 
pendance,: their supreme boast, a virtuous 
life. In their vicinity dwells a happy com- 
munity of merchants, cultivated by all the 
arts of polished life; rioting in the rich 
harvest of prosperous industry; vigilaut 



» • » • 

and circumspect in maintaiaing those lawSj 
from whence all these blessings were dfe- 
rived. Basking in the sunshipe of affluence 
and prosperity, they suddenly spurn the 
limits of that narrow sphere, wherein they 
had hitherto inechanically moved,' — ^and 
their breasts learn to glow with more ge- 
nerous desires, and more noble appetites*' 

The bright luminary of truth, which now 

■ • 
began to diffuse its light over the European 

world, illumiies this happy region with a 
cheerful ray; the enlightened citizen wel- 
comes the heavenly messenger, banished 
from the dreary abodes of abject misery 
and despair. A gay wanton spirit of ^n- 
terprize, the constant attendant on opu- 
lence and freedom, stimulates them to 
question the authority of opinions, sancti- 
fied by age and prejudice, and to break 
asutider those chains^ the dishonourable 


badges of setvitude. The scourge of the 
tyiant is brandished over their heads ; ar« 
bitrary power is preparing to overthrow the 
piUar^ of their happy constitution; their 
sjapreme magistrate^ the guardian of their 
laws, becomes their tyrant. Discovering 
the same liberal views of foreign policy, as 
of domestic ceconomy> they veB,ture to 
remonstrate; they produce tbe musty re« 


cords of an ancienl; charter, and remind 
the liord of both the Indies, on the natural 
rights of ma^n. 

A verbal process brings the matter to an 
i$sue. At Madrid this was termed rebel- 
lion^ which at Brussels was only regarded, 
as a mild meais^re of legislative policy. The 
grievances of Brabant, required gentle, re- 
medies, and concibatory measures: Philip 
sent them a butcher, and a blood thirsty 
liy Wit» A system of un^xamiJed tyranny 

rr - 

xeadered their lives «id profKit)? ioseciofw 
The desponding citazen, kftving the choiuft 
kft him of tiro different kioda o£ dcada^ 
Bobly rcaohws to seek an hoaouKable gorae 
m the field of batde. A nation o£ dppkn* 
andiveahhy iadiyidnals, are averse to nw; 
kol mmot and povarty bveeds warriMMk. Noii 
they «re no longer desiro«^ to preserve a^ 
exisi€QGe^ destitate of every thing tikia€ 
j^endered it demaUe* 

The conti^^n spreade like wild fire evaii 
te the remoteat provinces; a genemi stag- 
satipn ensues in the commercial world; the 
kwboors ure kfi; desolate; the indnstrioue 
aitis^at ahaaid<m» \a» workshop^ ^nd the 
pcnsant^ hdiolding his hopes of retuniing 
harvests blasted^ forsakes his run^ field, 
Mai^ bundireds emigrate to distant ediin* 
tiies^ in qn^st of new habital^ns ; the scaf^ 
fckb are ioabfued- wiAi bumwn gore^ and 



Other converts hasten to share the same 
fate : for that doctrine most assuredly be of 
divine origin^ the votaries of which resign 
their lives^ with such pious fortitude and 
tranquillity. Nothing mott was requisite 
than the plastic hand of the supreme archi* 
tect \ than that illustrious and trwiscendant 
genius> who improved this grand political 
crisis, and converted the fickle offspring of 
a blind chance, into the staUe and solid 
production of wisdom and sagacity. 

William the discreet, another Brutus, 
dedicates bis life and services to the glo- 
rious cause of freedom. Unmoved by any 
base considerations of personal interest, he 
makes a solemn renunciation of his criminal 
engagements with the crown; abandons^ 
with a noble and manly spirit, the honours 
of his zaAk and dignity; condescends to 
occupy the low station of an Uionble indin 



vidoal^ and assumes no higher character 
than that of a citizen of the world. The 
righteous cause is committed to the final 
arbitration of the sword ^ and to the dUbiotis 
event of battles ; but a soldiery, composed 
of mercenaries, hastily collected together, 
and an unwarlike peasantry, are too feeble 
to withstand the disciplined valour of a 
regular army. — Twice he ventures to take 
the field, with this disorderly rabble, against 
the veteran troops of the tyrant: both times 
he is deserted by his dastardly followers; 
but his constancy remains unshaken. 

Fhihp, himself, sends him fresh supplies 
and reinforcements, from that numerous 
class of individuals whom his sordid avarice 
had reduced to beggary. Vagrants, expel- 
kd from theiir native homes, look out for 
other habitations on the wide ocean, and 
Ij^ut the fierce lu&t of revenge^ and the 


ciavings of bunger^ by taking poss^ession of 

thex ships of tbeir adversary. Fi^eebiootera 

become nayal heiiQes; a navy is coUecte4 

IroiQ the arniaiinL^nta of pirates, and a re-^ 

public suddenly starts up lo the nudst o£ 

lK>g» and QM^i^sJfees. With one ^ort seveo^ 

provinces, hr^ajc loo^e fro«9 the ^haips of 

senritudie^ and £qxv^ a» aev iofanl; «tat6j 

guarded by uaaaiixMty^ by despair^ and bjf 

Hbe depi^edftti^Bs of their li^atery elemej»t« 

The pMblic Toiee depoe^s the t^«ax^> arid 

ibe Spanish name is. expunged &oia all the 

solemn aota ^ the k^;Mbtinr«. They haw 

mom tranfigiesasd beyond a possibility of 

paidon^ the lepubbo beooHies formidahk^ 

heeansa she caa make no letrogsade moTe«» 


Their wianimily is disturbed^ and tbeii 
eotmeils distracted by the warfare of fae^ 
tioas; nay^ even their own tiemendoaa 


^^sment^ the oqeaa^ iqppetirft to. faa^e entered 
in^ a kagoe witb their opporaaor^ and 
tlirefite«9 to overwbelm the infant state 
Drith a total overthrow. Sensible that tbnr 
pow^3 a^ not eottimeiisiirate mtb th^ task 
of supporting this heavy load of csloiiuijry 
tbey h&^, in. a seppUeant posture^ before 
the tiixooa of the mightiest mooaich in 
ElHCope^ and beseech bim to ease their 
shoiddeis of that sovereignty^ wbieh tbey 
can. HiO longer support with a suitable dig^ 
iHty. At leii§^> vidi. maek iinportan>ty**<«' 
so contemptible were the begidtnings of 
thi& siate^, tiial ti^ey did not even tempt the 
a,variGe of crowned heads— 4hey pievail 
upon ai stranger ta ^^eepifc this ambiguena 

Tliieir di;oopiiig spuata 9ie cheared with 
fresh hopes; but their evil destiny had 
planted ja w^ serpent in. their boso»> 


16 BtSE AND Plt06R£SB Ot 

under the fair form of a guardian angeT; 
and in that critical moment^ i^hen a mer* 
ciless foe w&s preparing to storm their 
gates^ Charles of Anjou^ with sacrilegious 
hands^ endeavours to violate that liberty 
which he was called to protect. The impious 
arm of an assassin snatches ^e able pilot 
from the helm of state; the measure of 
their woes seems already compleat; all their 
tutelar deities fled along with William of 
Orange: but the ship rides triumphant 
amidst the storm^ its crouded sails no 
longer require the guidance of an able 
navigator. Philip the second^ beholds the 
promising harvest of a villainous action 
blasted^ whereby he had fcH-feited the richest 
jewel of his diadem^ his royal honour ; and, 
what is still more^ perhaps^ the sunshine of 
his soul, his ease and tranquillity. 
A fierce and obstinate struggle ensuesi 


betwixt liberty and despotism ; Woody bat* 
ties Siti^ fought; an illustriotts race of heroes 
tread in succession the lists of glory. Flan*- 
ders and Brabant was the prolific soil^ in 
whose womb were formed the generals and 
eommanders of the subsequent century. 
The rich'produce of the plains are blighted 
by a long and destructive warfare. The 
victors and the vanquished are weltering in 
their bloody on the field of battle^ whilst 
liie infant maritime state^ arrests the flight of 
the sons of industry^ and raises the mag« 
nificietit structure of her own greatness 
upon the ruins of her neighbour. 

This war^ which had raged with unre^ 
mitting fury, during the space of forty 
years, and the happy conclusion of which, 
Philip was not destined to behold in his last 
moments, had converted one garden of 
£urope into a des^rtj and created anotjies 


Upon its ruins; had cut off the flower of 
the rising genesation^ and^ by diffusing 
wealth and opulence over one quarter of 
the worlds had reduced the mighty sove-* 
reign of Peru to want and beggary. 

This great monarchy who^ without impos- 
ing any extraordinary burdens upon the 
subject^ could dissipate an annual revenue 
of nine hundred tons of gold^ who raised a 

far greater sam by the Marions arts^ of en* 


lortiosi, left hia desolated kingdom loaded 
with an enormous debt of one hundred and 
forty millionth of ducats. An implacable 
aversion to liberty dilapidated all tiieae 
immense boards of treasure^ and consumed 
Ae youthful prime and vigour of royalty: 
but the Reformation flourished; amidst the 
ravages and desolation of wars ; and the 
infant Republic erected the standard of vic- 
toiyi reeking with the gore of her citizeni. 


Ti^is atraoge revolution^ in the aspect of 
afiiEdrs^seema to border upon a miracle; but 
a variety of causes oonspired to hasten tfaa 
downfall of this viighty empire^ and to ac« 
/celerate the progress of the rising, repuhlic. . 
If the collective force of his realm had. 
fvUen upon the United Provinces^ their dvil- 
and religious liberties would inevitably have 
bvm^ cfmthed by the r^dQ wd irresialiUti 
sl^li^ Hi» own 9«abitioQ prpyed an uaefuli 
9^ to iheir iwh^itjb by i^dnmag him 
t9 divide; his power. 

That invaluable mystery of pohtics^ to. 
^itortain a multitude of pensioned apies at 
all the courts of Europe ; the succours sent 
to the league ia France; the defection of 
the Moors of Grenada; the conquest of^ 
Portugal^ and the magnificent structure of 
the Escurial, drained those rich mines of 
treasure, till then deemed in eiihaustible^ and* 


relaxed the spirit and vigour of his op«- 
rations in the field; The German and 
Italian troops^ whom an insatiable lust of 
plunder alone had allured to join his stand- 
f^rd^ now^ that he was no longer able to 
advance their pay^ basely deserted their 
<!ommander8^ in the critical moment of 
action. These terrible ministers of opprefr> 
sion now converted their dangerous power 
against their legitimate sovereign^ and de- 
solated^ with hostile . fury^ those provinces, 
that had remained unshakcin in their loyalty 
and obedience. Finally^ that unfortunate 
expedition against Britain, on which, with 
t^e wild and desperate spirit of a furioua 
gamester, he had rashly staked the whole 
credit and safety of his realm, accomplished 
his ruin ; the tribute of both the Indies; and 
the flower of the Spanish veterans, perished^ 
i^pag with the Armada. 


Iq prc^ortion as the powers of the Spanish 
monarchy declined^ the Hepublic acquired 
new accessions of strength^ and fresh sup- 
plies of vital energy. By the new religion, 
l>y the tyranny of the inquisition^ by the 
insolence of a rapacious soldiery^ by the 
desolation of a destructive war, the Pro- 
vinces of Brabant, of Flaliders and Hene- 
gauj the grand arsenal and granary of the 
armies^ had been incessantly ravs^ed and 
depopulated^ and consequently it became 
more difficult every year^ to raise the neces- 
sary supplies and recruits for the army. 

The catholic Netherlands had lost above 


a million of their inhabitants^ and the fertile 
plains being converted into a wilderness^ 
did no longer suffice for the support and 
sustenance of the husbandman. Spain her- 
self could furnish a very small number of 
men. These countries, by a sudden flow 

1^ ttlSE AND ^ftOGBfiSS OV 

df wealth and prosperity, attended by their 
usod concomitants, luxury and idleness, 
had suffered greatly in their population, 
and they were not in a condition to suppoiit 
much longer those heavy transports of 
troops to the new world, and to the loit 
"tcottntries. Few amongst their number were 
so fortunate as to behold their native coun- 
try again, and these few, who had forsaken 
the habitations of their forefkthers in the 
prime and vigour of youth, returned again, 
labouring under the pressure and infirmities 
of a decrepid old age. The depreciated 
value of goH, now become more frequent, 
enhanced the price of soldiers; the charms' 
of a voluptuous life proved fktal to the 
vegetation of the opposite virtues. 

The affairs of the rebels wore quite a dif- 
ferent aspect. Many thousands of victims, 
whom the impolitic cruelty of the Viceroys, 


the war of the Hugonotsj and the terrors of 
the inquisition^ had expelled from the sou- 
thern provinces of the Low countries^ from 
France and other kingdoms^ all flocked to 
their standard. They raised levies through- 
out all Giristendom. The fanaticism of the 
oppressors^ ais well as of the oppressed, was 
equally propitious to their cause. The 
riding flame of * enthusiasm for a doctrine 
lately promulgated, revenge, famine and 
despair^ urged a number of adventurers from 
cvfery quarter of Europe, to espouse their 

All tile proselytes of the new doctrine, 
all those whom the recent smart of past 
rafferings, or a dread of impending danger 
had excited to rebel againist the tyrant, re- 
•olved to share the fortunes of the Republic. 

In HoHand, every injury inflicted by the 
fymnt was remunerated with the communion 


and privileges of a citizen. A vast con- 
course of men^ of all descriptions^ crouded 
into a country, wliere liberty waved hef 
sacred banners, where an asylum was pre«^ 
pared for the exiled votaries of religionj 
and where they wer^ assured of present 
security, and of future redress for their 
wrongs. When we reflect on the mighty 
influx . of all nations into ^olland> at the 
present day, who, on their first arrival in 
thi^ country, were reinstated in the posses- 
sion of all their natural rights; what are we 
to suppose, must have been the case at that 
time, when the remainder of Europe wag 
enslaved in the cruel chains of a spiritual 
servitude, whilst Amsterdam was almost tfaci 
only market, on which a free commerce and 
intercourse of opinions was countenanced 
and encouraged ? Many hundreds of fami«' 
Jies found security for ibeir property in % 


* * 

State^ whose powerful guerdons were the 
ocean^ and her own unanimity. 

The levies of the Republican army were 
effected^ without interrupting the peaceful 
labours of the husbandman. Amidst the 
tumult of war^ trade and commerce were 
in a prosperous and flourishing condition, 
and the peaceful citizen reaped the golden 
harvests of liberty^ purchased with the 
blood of aliens and foreigners. 

At a time when Holland was engaged in 
a fierce and bloody struggle for her own 
independance^ she was enlarging the boun- 
daries of her territory, and laying the foun« 
dations of a monarchy beyond the Atlantic 
ocean in the eastern world. But this is not 
all. Spain supported the heavy burden and 
charges of this war, with a lifeless mass of 
unproductive treasure, that never returned 
into the prodigal hand which had squan* 


tS Bl«6 A»9 PBOORS8S OF 

lier ed it away, bat only served to enbance 
the price of aU the Mces^aries of life in 
Europe* The natiooal bank of the Re- 
public^ was indaistry and commerce. The 
former was diminished^ and the latter was 
augmented by the lapse of time. 
. In proportion as the vital powers of the 
monarchy were consumed^ by the long du- 
ralioii of the war^ the Republic began to 
reap the bountiful harvest of her labours. 
It Was a plentiful crop^ sown in a happy 
soilj and yielding a hundred fold: the 
^ree> whose boughs Philip stript of their 
produce, was a huge unwieldy stem, with 
an axe applied to its root^ which was never 
to vegetate again. 

Philip's evil genius had ^cs«ed, that all 
those treasures which he dissipated with « 
prodigal band, in order to acceSerate the 
^ownfal jof his provinces, oidy sesrved to 


enrich ihem. Those copious streams of 
gold, which flowed incessantly from the 
kingdom of Spain, with a silent and steady 
. current, had diffused wealth and affluence 
over the European world. Earope received 
the multiplied articles of luxury, for the 
most part, from the Flemish, who where 
IV9W sovereigns of the commercial world,, 
and determined the price of commodities 
hy arhitraiy decrees. 

During the progress of this war, ]%ilip 
could not prohibit an illicit commerce he-* 
tween his subjects and the Republic, nay, 
he durst not even flatter himself with hopes 
of accomplishing snch a project* He fur- 
nished his rebellious subjects with the means 
of their own defence ; for the same war, 
the declared objeet of which was their final 
rom^ 4>peaed new dmnnds for the vent of 
thek commodities* The enormons snms ex** 


pended^ in order to equip his fleets and 
armies^ made their way into the coffers of 
that Republic^ which -had entered into a 
close alliance with the commercial towns of 
Flanders and Brabant. All the deep plans 
of revenge, which Philip meditated in the 
gloomy recesses -of his soul against his re- 
bellious subjects, proved favourable to their 
cause. He could take no effectual steps 
against the enemy, because he could not 
encompass his kingdom with a wall of cir- 
cumvallation. All the prodigious hoards of 
treasure, which a war of forty years had 
consumed, were soused "into the casks of 
the Danaids, and glided into a i)Ottomless 

The dilatory manner in which this war 
was conducted, was equally propitious to 
the cause of liberty ^ and prejudicial to the 
;affairs of the Spanish monarch* The main 


iody of his army was formed out of tho 
surviving relies of those victorious war* 
riors^ who bad beea crowned with laurels* 
Mid glgry^ during the auspicious reign of 
Charles the fifth; The infirmities of old 
age, and the fatigues of along warfare, gave 
them a just claim to repose; many amongst 
their number, who had amassed wealth 
daring their campaigns, ardently longed 
for an opportunity to revisit their native 
country, in order to spend the remainder 
of a laborious Ufe,. in ease and tranquillity^ 
Their former enthusiasm, the fire of their 
luartial genius subsided, and the severity of 
their discipline became relaxed, in propor* 
tion c^ they were^persuaded of their having 
fully absolved all the sacred obligations of 
duty and honour. Add to this^ soldiers 
who w^re accustomed to bear down all op^ 
position^ by the impetuosity of a regular 

c 3 

so mi SB jiKB nro«ftBss 09 

onsets most be weafy of a war^ in wbicli 
ifaey had to combat^ not dieir own species^ 
but the raging elements^ which offered 
^any severe trtalv for their patience^ but 
did not assuage their thirtt of glory^ and 
therein they had more hardships and diffi«< 
cnlties to surmount^ than ^dangers or perils 
to encounter. Neither personal valonr^ not 
kmg practice in the art of war^ cbpld arail 
any thing in a country^ Ibe natural position 
af which gave a manifest superiority to the 
most pusillaniiBOus of dieir adversaries. 
Iiasdy^ the uiiBehievous consequences of a 
single :d^at> overbalanced the advantages 
ef^loag' selves' of triumphs over anenemy> 
who fought on their native soil and ter^ 

The case of the rebek was just ihere** 
iperse of all this. During a tedious warfare^ 
tlie Weak must at length leam wisdom froni 

THE JB20XAI9 BKPS»&ie» 91 

Ae strong ; small defeats woiild make tbem 
familiar with danger, and petty txiumpha' 
serve to confirm tbeir confidence, and in- 
flame ifaeir courage* At the cQmmeace*> 
«ent of tlie war, the Republican armies 
hardly ventured to face the Spaniards in 
the open .field; its long continuance ren* 
dered them more hardy and enterprising* 
Jn proportion as the armies of the king 
grew weary of fighting his battles, the con* 
fidence :of the rebels was confirmed, by .a 
snore regular discipline and practice in the 
art<»fwan At length, after the expimtion 
4>f ^nearly half a century, masters and pnpsk 
\tfepa#ted, of their own accosd, from the 
theatre of action on equal terms. 

Moreover, a greater degree of union and 
consi^^ncy was conspicuous in the councils 
of the rebels, than in the cal^net of the 
Spanish monarch. 

c 4 


Before they had lost their sovereign^ tbc 
keys of administration had been lodged 
successively in five different hands. The 
indecision of the duchess of Parma^ had 
abused the cabinet of Madrid^ and the 
latter had^ during a short interval^ ineffec*** 
tually tried all the various maxims of policy^ 
and arts of government. 

The savage ferocity of the duke of Alba^ 
•the clemqncy of his successor Requescens^ 
the aitifice and craft of Don John of Au? 
stnsL,^ the lively spirit and jlruly Roman 
genius of the duke of Parma^ had diverted 
the cunent of the war into as many different 
channels^ and given it as many, contrary 
bearings and directions ; whilst the scheme 
of rebellion was invariably pursued^ on the 
original plan^ by that individual^ who alon^ 
had the ca^^city to comprehend it with ope 
intuitive glance. The most unluckly cir^ 


cumstance was, that the principles of their 
political arithmetic, were ill adapted to the 
times, when their application became ne- 

Whilst the disturbances were impending, 
the balance of power was evidently in favor 
of the Spanish monarch ; and nothing moie* 
was requisite, to stifle the rising flame of re- 
bellion, than a system of firm and Vigorous 
medsures; but the reins of government were 
entrusted to the weak management of a 
woman> who held them with a slack and 
feeble grasp. 

When the hurricane of civil discord had 
« actually begun to rage, and the scale of 
power verge towards an equipoise, 
both on the side of monarchy, and on the 
psnrt of the Republicans, a prudent system 
of conciliatory measures could alone have 
averted the horrors of war ; but the supreme 



power was delegated to a man^ who was 
destitute of the only ^irtues^ that would 
have qualified him for.this gtatioil. 

None of these advantages could elude 
the vigilance^ and escape the penetmtion of 
Willianij who^ with indefatigable zeal^ was 
SDtaking slow advances towards ikt mccom* 
plishment of his grand imdeitakiiig. 

But why did not Philip himielf Tepair to 
ibio Netherlands in this critical po^sre of 
affairs? Why should he ehuse to zeaort to 
the SKKt despeiate ronedscsj mther dian 
tiy the only experiment^ which could en-» 
Sur^ aoco^is i IThere ^ras : no resource left^ 
to curb ite ^exorbitant power and inso*^ 
lence of a Itcentiojus nobility^ Inrt ib^ 
tftonediate presence of theit sovereign. In 
thepresence of snajesty^ all the spbudoy 
of delegated greatiiess ivmild be edipsed^ 
all ibe ioflnfinee of sKbordiaate :autiht)riiy 


i>e diminished. Truths cow polluted in her 
.source^ flowed with a f<Hd and serpeti^ii^e 
current; tpwards the footstool of jojuitj \ ^ 
.Yfwat pf proper ^jcorreetivesj suffered .the 
)chi}d, of .chance to. a^ive at yeais of vo^ 
.pxxitj >and ^ discretion: }4^ oifn ^cQte disr 
:cem^ent yrquld q^ickly^have^distiogjaished 
.truth from falsehood; hjs.poliey^ and ixo^ 
his- fa^nmaaity^ wo^ld bave^jQrged bim topre*^ 
<«erve ;to the citate^ a n^illioii. of her diiizaui. 

It is;ff|r;m^e ea$y ton^ditale vusohiof 
«giUQst .^ i^hsQ^t enemjrj than to infliot 
fti^ iflJ0^/M9m:hiin^ jnhm he stands in our 
pres^n^e. At first ^he insuxf^ents appear^ 
)>ackwai4 jU> assiuM their real bbaracter^ 
IMkI tU^jr.eDideavoiired to f^bosM over their 
^^oe, by the :i^ciott$ plea of espousing^ 
.die oauae ^f . their jovere^, agaiost ;dit 
Jlimpation of his Viiieroys, 

Xbe loyal preseaot at BrnsseU wpaM 


d6 &I8E AND PROGBE88 Of 

have chased away this potent illusion. They 
had then been obliged to perform, virtually 
and substantiallyj what they had only be- 
fore promised nominally and imperfectly; 
or by throwing off the mask, make an open 
confession of their guilt, and pronounce 
sentence upon themselves. And how well 
had it fared with the Netherlands, if his 
presence had only removed those grievances 
under which they laboured, without his 
consent or connivance ! How greatly would 
it redound to his own advantage, had it 
only served to lead to an enquiry into the 
.application oi those sums, which being 
nomioaSy raised for the purposes of the 
war, were embezzled and dissipated by the 
jprodigal hands of his servants ! What his 
^deputy governors could only extort byconb- 
* pulsive measures^ would have been cbear- 
SuUy and liberally granted to.theic sovereign. 


The same mode of conduct, whereby the 
former had incurred general odium, and 
universal detestation, would have simply 
inspired sentiments of fear and dread to- 
wards the latter; for the abuse of original 
and legitimate power is less grievous, than 
that of delegated authority. His presence 
would have redeemed the lives of many 
thousands of his subjects, even had he not 
affected to display a greater moderation, 
than that of a provident and circumspect 
tyrant: if this had been too much conde- 
scension on; his part, then the sacred name 


of majesty alone,' arrayed in all its ter- 
rors, would have preserved a state in her 
aDe^ance, which a violent hatred and con- 
tempt of his satellites, had tempted to rebel 
against her liege lord. 

Inasmuch as the forlorn condition and 
abject servitude of the Netherlands^ became 

88 ,ltlBB-iUU> PBOGBESS Of 

the common cause. of h|imsu)ityji to ijl^nch 
1^ entertained a just sense of their natund 
rights ; on. the same groiii^ds^it is natural to 
suppo^^ that the contumacious spirit^ and 
defection of the low .countries, would pro- 
yoke a general confederacy pf all crowned 
heads^ in order toas^rt the jp.tegrity of 
their own prerqgati^, hy vindi^^atin^, th^t 
of their neighbour. 

But a jea}o\isy of the Spanish power^ 
overbalanced every consideration of poli- 
tical sympathy; jmd the first Europ^fm 
powers were, either sepr^tly or,openIyj de- 
voted to the cause of the .Repuhlicans. ' 

Maximilian the second, although closely 
allied with the Spani^ hquse hy the.pawer- 
iul bonds of Itsiudred, Kas iieprQached^.with 
much reason, on account of his attadhmei^t 
to the cause of ^e rebels. 

^y a tendear of,,hii^ood Q^ices^ as a ape- 


diator^ he: imparted a strong semblance of 
justiee to their complaiats ; and thereby 
eneonraged their atnbhom and lefractoiy 
disposition^ to assume a more lofty and in- 
solent tomt» 

Under a government better a&cted to* 
(wards . the Spanish .mooardiy, William of 
Orange would have foond- some dificulty in 
obtaining anch large supplies of csen and 
money, £rom the German empire. France^ 
"withoirt nominally readoding those con- 
ventions 'SttbsistiRg betwixt her ^nad Spaia, 
fumisbed Ibe insurgents tvith a leader^ in 
^be person of one of her prinoes: their 
soheme of operations was condncted 'Urith 
ike bleed and treasure of France. ^ 

The pdicy of Blieabeth, in affording 
protection to the malecontewts'i^ainst their 
legitimate sovereign^ irai dictated by a jost 
dAore of levange^ wA by an e^itiMe nMtt 

^40 A18B AMD PR0GBES8 Ot 

of retaliation; and although her support 
v(Ba not very liberal^ and barely sufficed to 
avert their approaching ruin^ yet it was a 
most seasonable relief^ at a time, when a 
ray of hope could alone revive their droop- 
ing spirits. ji 

In the commerce of the powerful and 
the weak, honour is rarely found on the 
catalogue of political virtues : a formidable 
rival seldom derives any benefit from those 
nice moral distinctions, which enjoin us to 
return like for like. Philip himself had 
proscribed all moral faith from the intefr 
course of the political world; he had d^« 
stroyed that chain of moral obligauOi|B, 
which hinds monarchs together, and hm 
substituted fraud and dissimulation, as the 
idol of cabinets. 

His acknowledged superiority, far from 
€onf?rrijQg any real happiness or r^pose> 


M^zs a constant source of uneasiness during 
hb life time; and engaged him in a perpe- 
ti»l warfare, by exciting a jealousy in the 
minds of others. Europe made him srnar^ 
severely for the abuse of a power, which 
in reality he had never exercised in its full 

If we compare with the disproportionefl 
force of the contending parties, which in first sight to confound us, this whole 
chaix^ of fortuitous and collateral circum- 
Btances, that proved equally advantageous 
to the ope, and fatal to the other, then all 
that staggered qur faith and appeared super* 
natural, is quickly removed;^^ and nothing is 
left but the marvellous and surprising: and 
we can de.termine, with tolerable accuracy^ 
what proportion of merit and glory falls to 
the share of the Republicans in this success* 

4t mSK A.ND M:00]|B8S OV: 

fttmggle for liberty aad independenee^ 
Kevertheless we must not i^agine^ that 
they had previously fprmed such an acen*^ 
rate estiaiate of their own stiengtb^ no^ 
that^ when they first embarked in this pe^^ 
rilouB navigation^ they knew what coorso 
to steer^ or to what ports they were bound » 
However perfect^ 'however bold and xe* 
gular it might appear in the execution^ yet 
did this glorious handy work of art^ not evea 
exist jn the idea of the original artifioev^ 
in like manner as ilife eriernal s<fcbi^m <if 4he 
churchy never once^entered into iheipiiid t)f 
Luther^ when he Apposed the doctrines <if 
absolution. What a wonderful contrast ib 
displayed in the mean procession of *tbosi 
humble mendicants at Brussels^ who> «witil 
the voice and attitude of entreaty, sue for 
a mitigation of their sufferings, as if tiiey 
were pleading for some special 'fieivor ; and 


%i% sovereign tnajesty of an independant 
Hepublic^ negotiating with crowned heads^ 
m with her own equals^ and by an arbitrary 
decree^ disposing of the sceptre of her £ox^ 
luer grants. 

Urged by the secret impulse of an over- 
ruling destiny^ the winged arrow pursued 
its tracks with a tublime flighty and swerved 
from the direction it had taken when first 

•liberty was engendered in the fertile 
womb df Brabant^ and being snatched in 
ber cradle -from the fond embr£(ces of^ her 
mother^ was transplanted into the happiet 
<3Kmes of Holland, 

Bftt we must not therefore undervalue 
this enterprise^ because the event did not 
justify the expectations of the projectors^ 
A more intimate acquaintance with the re« 
cords of antiquity^ and <^ modern timesj 


ought to guard us against falling into sucb 
an absurdity. 

A man fashions^ polishes and improves 
the rdugh stone^ whioh he finds dfi qhance 
directs; the present moment is his proper 
sphere of action: but the revolutions of 
history are subject to the blind controul o£ 
accidental causes. If those passions^ that 
took the lead on this occasion^ were not 
unworthy of the performance which was 
accomplished through their blind agency ; 
if those energies^ and that strange >conca«*^ 
tenation of single exploits, which produced 
this wonderful catastrophe^ were praise-*, 
worthy and meritorious; then we may 
assuredly derive an abundant source of 
entertainment^ instruction, and profit fronti 
this event : aud we are at liberty either to 
contemplate what we admire, as the off* 
spring of chance, or to transfer our wouder 
to a superior intelligence. 



The history of mankind is as invariable 
iu its principles^ as the laws of nature; and 
as simple in its machinery^ as the human 

. Similar causes produce similar effects. 
On the same amphitheatre, where th* 
inhabitants of the Low countries appear in 
arms against a Spanish usurper, their an- 
cestors, the Belgians and Batavians, had 
heretofore signalized their prowess against 
the Roman eagle. Like them, impatient 
of the yoke of arbitrary power, being 
governed by Viceroys, who adopt a like 
system of oppressive measures, with the 
same magnanimous disdain they burst asun- 
der the ignominious chains of servitude, 
and resolve to try their fortunes in the same 
unequal conflict. The vanity of cohque^st, 
a 'fierce and lofty spirit, inseparable from a 
long career of victory, equally distinguished 

46 nUZ AND PBOOftBSft ot 

the Rooiaiis of the first centory, and the 
Spftfiiardd of the sixteenth : a like valour 

and discipline fNrevailed in the armies of 


both; the same terror and dismay acc<mi* 
panied the progress of their arms. In both 
eases, we behold a superiority of force^ 
encountered by artifice and stratagem ; and 
perseverancOj aided by unanimity^ exhaust 
the resources of a prodigious power^ which 
was become feeble . by partial operations. 
In both cases^ private animosity excites a 
nation to rise in arins; one man, whose 
genius well accorded with the spirit of 
the times^ discloses to his fellow citizens the 
dangerous secret of their own strength^ and 
makes the silent murmurs of indignation 
burst forth in a furious storm of bloody and 
atrocious deeds* 

^' Bear witness, Batavians^ (thus did 
*' Claudius CivUia harangue his fellow citif 


'^ zens, in the labyrinth of the coniBecrated 
^ grove)^ do these Romans conduct diem- 
*^ selves towards us as allies and fellow 
*^ spIdicM, or do they not rather consider 
*^ OS in the light of abject and forlorn 
slaves? We ar6 delivered up to the 
rapacity of their officers and lieutenantsi 
wbo^ after having preyed upon our vitals^ 
and glutted their appetite for blood and 
plunder, are superseded by others, who 
^^ commit fresh acts of violence, to which 
^* they give a colouring of false ui^nes and 
specious titles. Whenever Rome conde^ 
scends to send us a Viceroy, we are 
^^ oppressed b^ the heavy charges of a 
** namerous retinue, and by a display of 
^^ arrogance still more intolerable* 

^' Those levies are now at handj which 
** shall make an eternal separation betwixt 
^^ fathers and children^ snatch brothers from 



*^ their frateraal embrace^ and submit the 
flower and pride of the rising generatioti 
to the arbitrary will and pleasure of 
** Rome. Now Batavians ! the happy mo- 
'' ment for action is arrived. Never were 
^' the afiairs of the Romans reduced to 
'^ such a low ebb as at present. 

^^ Do not be intimidated by the mock 
shadows and empty forms of those le- 
gions. . Yonder camp contains nothing 
but pillage and old men. We have 
batallions of infantry^ and squadrons of 
cavalry. Germany is ouis, and Ganl is 
impatient to be enfranchised from the 
yoke of bondage. Let Syria hug their 
'^ cha^ins^ and Asia^ and the provinces of 
'^ the East^ which are accustomed to the 
iron sceptre of kings and tyrants. There 
are many amongst our number who were 
'* bom^ before we yielded a yearly stipend 





THE B&LeiAN lREfU«tt*; 49 

** of tribiite to the Romanslr— Fortune and 
^' the god^ fetour the hrtLvel" Their hety 
^covenant is ratified by solemn vows, in Uk% 
manner ais the league of the Guises; likfe 
-the latter, tliey artfully eoter themselves 
with the cloak of submission, and with the 
mantle of a majestic -hame* 

The Cohorts 'fef Civilis 'swejir allegiance 
to V^pasian onthe banks of* th^ Rhine,' in 
'Me manner a^* the C^inpromse took the 
oath of fealiy to PhiKp the second. Tbe 
same theatre 'of action sug^sted the same 
pltos of defence, the. sam^ subterftige of 
despair. Both of them commit their despe- 
rate fortunes to the protection of a friendly 
.element. In a similar emergency, Civilis 
saved his island from destructidn, as Wil- 
liam did the City of Leyden, by a deluge 
of waters. The Batavian valour discloses 
the impotence of the proud tyrants of the 

do .Itl8£ AN0 PBOGRESS OV 

universe^ as the noble courage o( tbeif 
descendants exposes the grand and mag- 
ni6oent ruins of the Spaoisb monarchy to 
the astonished gaze of all Euix»pe« 

A like fertility of genius in the respective 
leaders of both agesj protracted the opera- 
tions of the wax to an unusual length and 
duration^ and rendered the issue of this 
warfare equally uncertain and ambiguous* 

One distinction only obtained. The wars 
of the Romans and Batavians^ were con* 
ducted with a spirit of bumanityj for they 
were not contending for religious opinioor. 



XjEFORE we enter into the details n^ 
this gTand RevolutioHi we must institute a 
previous enquiry into tl^^e ancient records of 
the country, and trace that form of govern- 
ment to its source, which existed at the 
j^riod of this memorable event.* 

The fir^t app^rance of this nation om 
the stage of history, is the awful prelude 
of its downfall ; the fanie of its conquieroiis 
redeems it from oblivion. ' • 

That large tract of territory, which is 
■ bonnded by Germany towards the east^, by 

9 • 

Trance towards the north, Ahd by the Nort^ 
Sea towards the south and west, isrgencraUy 

• Tacitus. Histor. Lib. ly* V: 

62 El5t A'Nt) Pt^OCKE^S OF. 

comprehended by us under the denomina- 
tion of the Netherlands ; and when the 
Romans invaded Gaul, was divided amongst 
three principal clans or dynasties, which 

deduced their origin, manners and s|niit 

» • » 

from Germany, .... - 

The Rhine fbnried its boundaries * ' The 
left banks of this river were occupied by 
the Belgiaris,t the right by the Frisians,:}: 
atid the Batnvians inhabited that island 
which then effected a junction of both its 
'arms with the ocean .§ Each of these coun*- 

* Caesar de bello GalIico» Lib. I. Tacit, de Morib. 
Oenn..aiid Hist. Lib. IV.* 

t That tract of lantJi vrbich now comprehends tlia 
catholic Netherlands, and the territory of the General 

-^X The modern Gfoningen, Esit aod West Fr id- 
l^nd», a part of IjlolUadt G elders. Utrecht, afid 

« 4 The . tipper part of Hollfmd» tJtfecht, Gelderff* 
and Overyssel*, the modern Cieves» between the Leek 
and the Waal. Nadonx otf inferior nOtc» were the 

firies was soeber or later subdued by the 
Romaiis^ but the conquerors haVe trans* 
mitted to tis an honourable testimony of 
^ir prowess and valour. The Belgians^ 
according to the authority of Caasar^ were 
the only gallic tribes that gave ah effectual 
ofaeck to the inroads of the Teutonians and! 
Cimbriaas.'^ AH those nations^ days Taci* 
tt», bordering upon the Rhine, yielded to 
the Batavtnns in point of magnanimity^ and 
Hemic ▼aknrtr.f 

♦ 1['hts fierce people furnished a tribute 
of soldiers, and, like the sword and javelin, 
were regarded as the instruments of destruc* 
tion. The Romans freely acknowledged, 

Cannlnelafiansy the Mattiacks. .tbe Maresatians, who 
inhabited a part of West Friesland, Holland* and 
Zealand, and may be classed along with the former,' 
Tacitus. Flistor* Lib, IV. C. 15. 66. dc Morib. Germ. 

• De bello GaUico. t Hist. Lib. IV. Cap. 12. * 


that the Batavi$in cavalry^ was the flowet 
of their army* During a. long- initenral they 
discharged the important function pf bodyi* 
guards to the emperors^ as the Swiss ia 
modem times* Their ferocious vaiour aip« 
palled the Dacians^ wheo> c;lad in cdm-, 
fleet armour^ they swam across the Danube* 
lliey were the same BatayianS) who ac- 
companied Agricola on bis expedition inta 
Britain, and assisted him in reducing that 
island.* Of all the others, the Frisiant 
were the last who were subdued, and thts 
first who recovered' their liberties. 

The marshy wildern^ they inhabited^ 
tempted the avarice of the conquerors at a 
later period^, and enhanced the price of 
conquest. Drusus, who carried the Roman 
arms into these parts, conducted a canal 

* Die Cassius. Lib. LXiX* Tacitus. Agricoloy 
fCap. dd. Taciti. AnnaL Lib. II. Cap. 15. 


from the Rhine to the Flevo, the ancient 
aame for the Zayder sea, whereby the 
Roman fleet' opened a passage into the 
Baltic^ and from thence through the en? 
trance of the Ems and the Weser, obtained 
an easy access into the interior of Ger^ 

Duving the lapse of four centuries^ we 
find the Batavians incorporated with the 
Roman armies, but shortly after the age of 
HonorinSj history consigns their name to 
dbfiTion. We find their island OTcrnrun with 
namerous tribes of the Franks, who were 
afterwards dispersed over the adjacent pro- 
vinces of Belgium. 

The Frisians had disowned the supremacy 
6f a feeble and remote power, and reassumed 
the character of an independent, nay, even 


* Tacti. Annal. II. Cap. 8. Sueton. in Claud. 
Cap. I. n. S. 


4f aa enterprisuig mj6q9^ g^0rded Vj' he^ 
own oustomg^ and a £eMr s&emoriQU. of ibe 
Rotnaai jui^sprudenee^ eulaf^ging l^e Iiqium 
4ane» of her territory beyood tbef kit baakt 
of the Bliine. Generally' wf^skmg, amoog^ 
»U the proirinces^f the Metbtchmdsj Ffiea-p. 
land has been the least affected by t^ uw^ 
road$ of foreign ponrera^ b(y forei^ ktw^s 
and customs ; and daring a long. suf^^siiKii 
of ages^ has preserved traces of her primi^ 
tive govemoonv of national spirit »,<i 
ancient manners^ which partly survive dixnth 
U> this very day* 

That memorable ara^ Mrhen a spirit of; 
migration had infected all nations, de-r 
stroyed the ancient governments of these 
countries: div^ra forms arose along with^ 
divers constitutions. 

The cities and encampments of the Ro* 
mans perished in the universal desol&tion^ 


and along with them those numerous 
monuments of their enlightened policy; 
wrought by the toil of foreign architects. 
The mounds were overwhelmed by the fury of 
^ir own torrents^ and by the depredatigns 
of a boisterous oceaa. Those stupendous 
monuments of human industry^ the artifi-* 
cial watercourses, exhaled their watery ele- 


ment; the rivers were turned out of theit 
channels ; the boundaries of the continent^ 
send of the ocean^ were confounded ; and the 
ziature of the soil underwent a total revolu-« 
tiott Blong With its possessors. The eternal 
drder and succession of time seemed in-', 
verted, and a new history commences with- 
a new generation. 


In the sixth and seventh centuries, the 
monarchy of the Franks, which flourished 
oil the ruius of the Roman Gatd, sub* 



jugated the low countries, and transplanted 
the Christian faith into these regions. 

At a later period^ Friesland was annexed 
to the crown of the Franks by Charles 
Martel, after an obstinate struggle^ and 
the conqueror propagated the doctrines of 
the gospel^ by the powerful ministry pf the 
sword. Charles the Great united all these 
protinces upderhis sway^ that now forcaed a 
part of ^tprpdigious monarchy^ which this 

■ ^ 

Blighty potentate created^ out of the pro« 
ViQce% 0^ XSenhany^ of ^rance^ and Lom* 
bai^y^ 9^ lifter this huge empire had been 
disorgani^d by his posterity^ tod had been 
^ttered down into several petl^ subdivi*. 
sibns, the Netherlands became successively 
trihuli9^ry to Germany, to Lothrain, and to 
the Kingdopi of the Franki^^ an^ they aro 
indiscriminately distinguished by the two<* ^ 


fold appellation of Frieslaod and of Lower 

• The feudal system, engendered in the 
jregions of the North, way imported by the 
Franks hi to these climes, and fared no better-. 


b^re, than m other countries, bur was' 
strangely vitiated and perverted. Thel 
more powerinl vassaU gradually renounced' 
their fealty to the crown, and the stewards' 
presently confiscated to their own use/ 
those domains which they administered a§^ 
a trust.* 

' But these rebellious vassals could hot^ 
assert their independent jurisdiction without 
the succour of their clients; and this could* 
not be purchased otherwise, than by creat- 
ing many subordinate fiefs and investures. 
By pious frauds, and donations, the clergy' 

* Geneml Hiatory of the United Nstherlands^ 
Part I. Book IV. and V. 



became a great and flourishing body^ and' 
exercised an independent jurisdiction withiq 
tbeir owa monasteries and episcopal sees. 
In the tenthj eleventh^ twelfth, and thir-^ 
teei^th centuries, tlie Netherlands were sue-* 
qessively dism^0p,bered into teMersA petty* 
priAcip9^Ues> th^ sovQi-eigoA o£ which be«r 
canie tributaries lo the imperial crown of 
Grefmimy> ^d t0 the kings of die Frank«j 
9y ijg^t of purc^afiCj by inheritance^ inter*- 
maijrUigesj a&d. also by conquest, many of 
them were again ingrafted upon one original; 
i^ock; imd, in the fifteenth century, we 
behold the house of Burgundy, sovereigns 
<€ the ^ealest pan of the Ne'lherliUMb *• 

Philip the, Good, duk^ of BiHrgutidyji 
l^adeilher^ bj& faix or [metuflsq^ive daims^ 
a^aes4y WAemd el^yeia proviiMfet^^ tc^;lw4 

• Grot. Annali Lib. I. p. d, 9. 


mcnarchy; to which bis 8on> Charles the 
Bolcl^ added two more by force of arms.f 

This great accession of t^vitory, rendered 
tb# dukes of Bw gundy . formidable rivab 
and neighbours to France; and instigated 
the turbttleat spirit of Charles the Bold, 
to project a grand scheme of conquestj, 
comptehending that vast tract of land which 
extends from the Zuyder sea and the month' 
of the Rhine, as far as the borders of Ai* 
sace. The- prodigious power of this prince, 
justified^ in a great meaJsure, his wild and 
dMng project. A fcmidable host was ready 
to e:itecttte his designs. In anxious suspense, 
Switzerland awaited the explosion of this 
portentous meteor, which tbreatmed to 
overwhelm her liberties; but a perfidious 
destiny turned her back upon him in three 
bloody conflicts, and the vain-glorious con-, 
queror suddenly disappeared, amidst the 


promiscuous heaps of the living and of the' 
dead •. 

Mary^ the sole legitimate descendant of 
C!harles the Bold^ the most opulent heiress ' 
amongst the illustrious dames of her age, 
the unhappy cause Of all those evils that 
befel these countries in the sequel> dow 

wholly engrossed the attention^ and in* 
flamed the expectation of her cotempora- 

' ^ A page» who had witnessed his MU and shortly 
after condacted the victors to the tpot» redeemed his 
corpse from oblivion. His body was dragged out of 
k marshy naked, disfigured with wounds, and con* 
gealed, and it wat recognised, with the utmost difiU- 
cttlty, merely by a deficiency of some teeth, and by 
his nails, which he used to wear longer than other 
men. Yet^ notwithstanding this evidence, there 
wc9« many wiio. doubted bis death, wjiich it tuffid* 
ently proved by a passage in a circular epistle^ wherein 
Lewis the eleventh exhorts th^ towns of Burgundy to' 
retnm. to. their aUegiaiice.*-*The passage ninsttiuss> 
** If duke Charles be still alivey and can be recogBised^. 
** then I fully absolve you from your allegiance to 
«'me..** Comines. Tom. DL Preuvesde Memoiresg' 
405. 497. 


ries* Two mighty potentates^ Lewis the- 
eleventh^ king of France^ as proxy for bia 
son the young Dauphin^ and Maximilian 
of Andtariit^ third son of the Emperor Fre- 
dericj appeared on the list of her nol^Ie 
suitors. On whieh soever her choice wonld 
ultimately devolvej he was to be the most 
powerful monarch in Europe; which nojTj 
for the first time^ began to be serioiisly 
alarmed about the balance of power. Lewis^ 
th^ most formidable swtor of the twOj 
might have supported his claims by force 
of arms, but the inhabitants of the Low 
Countries^ whiD influenced her choice^ trans- 
ferred their votes, from this drettied ally 
atid neighbour^ to Maximilian, whose ter* 
xitory, being more remote, rendered his 
powar Jess . Ibrmidable to their liberties. 
This fatal and deceitful stroke of policy, 
by a wonderful dispoution of Providence^ - 

dt StiS AHB PH06RESS Of - 

aerred only to accelerate those impending^ 
calamittety which it proposed to obviate and 
retard. On Philip the F4ir^ son of Maxi«- 
miliaa and Mary, his Spanish consort, con- 
ferred the gifk of that prodigious monarchy, 
i^f hick had teen founded shortly befote by 
Ferdinand and Isabella; and Chades b£ 
Austria, his son, possessed, by fight of in-, 
heri^ance^ the sovereign jurisdictioa over 
the kingdona of Spain, of the two Sicilies^ 
of the ntw worlds a«d of die Netherlands, 
la these conntxies, the eomnonalty were 
sooner emaaotpated hina. the hard durance 
of persOBid bondage, than ia the other 
feodal dynailties, and they quickly reco- 
vered aU the ri^its and privilege of civil 
society. The adranlageour positiob of a 
comtcy, sitoaded on the Nortb Sea, and on 
lar|^ navigable rivers, encouraged an early 
spirit of conunerce and entcrpiize, whereby 


men were induced to incorporate together 
in cities — industry flourished— aUens were^ 
allured by a piifospect of gi^in— and^affluencc; 
and prosperity were diffused throughout — 
However dishonest and illiberal the me*, 
chanic professions might appear to the. 
martial genius of those times> the, sol id 
benefits derived from thence^ could never- 
theless not escape the observation of the^ 
supreme magistcatiQ. The rapid progress of 
population, thetnanifold contributions whif^b 
they levied^ upon natives as well as fo-* 
xeigners^ under the various appellations of 
tolla^ house-rent, imposts on roads and 
bridges, market*dues, and rights of heredi* 
tary succession, were such mighty tempta**. 
tions to their rulers, that they could not be 
absolutelv indifferent to the causes from 
virhence they originated : their own avarice 
became a powerful advocate for commerce ; 


mTS£ Al^b ^ROGHESS or 

and, as is frequently the case, equal benefits, 
accrued^ from a savage ignorance, as from 
the most judicious and enlightened policy. 

In the sequel, they afforded patronage to 
tlbe merchants of Lomh^rdy— conferred 
many valuable charters, and an independent 
jurisdiction upoii the towns — ^whereby the* 
authority and* influence of the latter wai^ 
considerably enlarged. 

The petty feuds, in which the earls and 
dukes were incessantly engaged, against 
each other, or against their neighbours, 
induced them to solicit the benevolence of 
the towns, which latter availed themselves 
of this circumstance, in order to extort many 
important privileges in return for the sub- 
sidies they advanced. 

In pix>cess of time, these charters ac- 
cumulated, in proportion as the erusade^ 
rendered the equipage of the nobility more 

oostly and sumptuous; and a new channel 
lieing opened to the European markets^ £br * 
a traffic with eastern commodities^ luxury 
made rapid advances, and multiplied the 
wants and necessities of princes. Accord* 
ingly we find a m>rt of mixed government* 
established in these countries^ about the - 
twelfth century, wherein the authority of 
the sovereign whs greatly circnmscribed by 
the influence of the three estates, viz. the 
nobility, the clergyj and the towns. These 
orders, which were called estates, assembled 
whenever the urgent necessities df the pro- 
vince required* Without their concurrence, 
no legislative provisions were promnlgated— 
no wars carried on-^no contributions le*. 
Tied— no alterations made in the current* 
coin — and no foreigners were introduced 
into the administration of public affairs.-^ 
iin the provinces enjoyed the exercise o^ 

64 mi^B.AlfA PilQSBESi ^9 

these charters in aa etffoi degree ; in otber- 
rei^ectB^ a differeoce obttiiaect> according 
t<^ tbe. local circumstaaces. of the d«paKt<» 
meats. The governmeDt was hereditmry; 
but the son did not enter into tbe rigbtsjond 
|>ower of the father^ until the constitutional 
oatb was administered *•*— Necessity is tho 
supreme If^wgiver : in this^ con^titutiQn^ all 
those livaots, for wbiob legislative provisions 
w^re enacted, were of a commercial nature. 
Accord ingly> coituiteree was tbe key-stone 
of thia Republican goTenimeat> and its laws 
are of 4 feter date than its manufacturesk 
The last article in tbe constitution^ whereby 
foreignam $Me e:ickded from the exercise of 
hi^ offices^ is the natural retolt of the fore- 
leg premises. A relation^ so complex and 
afriificial^ as that of soTcyeign and subject, 
wluch vaded in every province, na}V often- 


• Gnoiios* Lib, I, S. 



times in one ^ngle* town^; required meii^ 
who combmed the most ;pdtrtotic zeal for 
Ae conservatita of these wide spread id- 
-tefests, with 'an accurate kiwrwledge of tWe 


same. ' • 

III a foreigner,- snch <jualifiicalions seldotii 
meet togeljher* Biit this legislative provl- 
mon likewise obtained m each individual 
province, soihtltno Fleming cbuld exercise 
-am office in Zealahd, and no natK-e of Hol- 
ilahd could find employment in Brabant^ 
nay/ it eontiniied 4n force, even after cfll 
•these provinces were united under one So- 
vereign. ^ 

Above all, Hrabattt enjoyed, in full inei* 

Astnr e, ^the t:hi4ccfst sweets ' end blessings ' if 

Uherty. JtsjirivilegesVere h^d in such hi^ 


testimatkln, ^hftt 'ma<iy mothers, ' when far 
^vanned 'iH'B state of pregnsmCy^ fepait^d 
«(^this country, m dtderto deposit here ifie 


fruit of their womb; that their chilcbea 
might becooie partakeni of iti. chartered 
rights; in lik^ manner^ says Strada, ss 
plants, engendered Jn an inhospitable 'cii«- 
mate, are improved and meliorated in a 
more genial soil. After the house of Bur- 
gundy had reduced many provinces under 
its sway, the separate provincial assemblies^ 
which had been hitherto independent tribn- 
nsds, were referred to t^e supreme co^l^t of 
judicature at Mecklin, which incoiporated 
all these. different members in,io one body^ 
and decided in all cases whatsoever, both 
civil and criminal, without appeal. The 
independent -sovereignty of the provinces 
was abolished, and the senate at Mecklia 
^jbeoaipe tl^e presence chamber of Majesty*; 
After the demise of Chairles $he Bold, 
(he esfat^s^ presei^tly began tQ.avaU tbam* 
selves of the. forlorn condition of tbb 


Dudiess, who was alarmed by the hostile 
prepi^rations o£ France^ and absolutely lay 
at the. mercy of that .power."* 

The ^s^tes of Holland and Zealand oom«- 
pelled her to sign a charter^ whereby they 
reserved, to . themselves the exercise of the 
most weighty and valuable privilegejt* The 
insglence of the natives of Ghent rose to 
such a pitch, that some q{ the favorites of 
Maiy, who bad the ill fortune to dispiease 
themj were dragged by main fotce into the 
royal presence, and beheaded befose her 
eyes. During the short period of her ad- 
ministration, previous to the consummation 
of her nuptials^ th^ cpm|non-wealth ac- 
jquired suph a share of pqwer and authority, 
as nearly. to assupe ^e form and.^pirlt o£ ft 
Republic. After the death of his cm9^f% 

'' ^-Memoires de Philippe de Comines. Tom. I. 

Maxitnilmn seused the veins of Miniini*- 
tiation dnrittg the minority ^ his Mm* . 

The estates highly TtseutiMl this invasion 
4if' dietr pr^i'ogatiTej and did no€ fbrtHally 
ikcfaiawledge bis authority^ but would only 
allow him to assume the title of Vioeroy ad 
ititerim, after '^e had previously subtertbed 
daertacn eonditions^ with the sanction of a 
jK>lemii oath; * After his accession to the 
'digd^t^ ei 'King c4 the Romans^ -Maxi* 
niilialiiiiraiiily imagined thiit he could violate 
diis constitiitiott. -He loaded the country 
•with additional taxes^ heaped honours and 
ipreferments upOiil natives of Germany and 
^rgundy/ and introduced foreign -troops 
ioto the provinces. : Bat the jtelbusy of bh 
HukgdetB kept pace wilh the powlerof tlieir 

I Tli^.populace flew to arms when h& made 
his solemn entry into the town of Brtigges 


attended by a numerous retinue of fo« 
reigners^ seized his person and kept him a 
close prisoner in the castle. Notwithstsnd^ 
ittg the powerful intercession of the Roman 
and Imperial courts^ he was not set &t large 
before ample security was given for the per- 
formance of the siSpulated conditions. The 
strict faith and honour manifested in the 
protection of persons and property^ being 
derived from the happy influeuce of mild 
laws^ and an equitable administration of 
Justice^ assisted the efforts of industry and 
ingenuity. Having always to contend with 
the ocean^ and with the outlets of rapid 
rivers, which cotnmitted incessant depreda- 
• tion^ upon the level part, of the countgr, 

the fury of which could not be otherwise 


^repelled than by mounds and canals : this 

^people was early initiated in the useful study 

of natural causes, beipg accustomed to face, 


tt RUE Aim MtOGft&SS Ol^ 

with intrepidity^ a boisterous element ; ancT^ 
like the ancients^ deriving wholesome lesscma 
from the Nile^ diey employed their inge<» 
nuity and powers of invention^ in d^nstruct^ 
ing artiflcild bulwarks. 
• The natural fertility of the soil, equally 
favorable to agriculture and pasturage^ 
greatly encouraged population. An advan- 


tageou« position on tliesea^ and on the large 
'navigable rivers of France and Germany, 
whidi here^ for the most part, empty ijbemi- 
•elves into the ocean; a vadt number of 
artificial canals, made navigation flourish, 
«nd • the intercourse of the interior being 
greatly facilitated thereby, a spirit of 
eommerce soon prevailed amongst these 

Tlie neighbouring shores o( Britain and 
of Denmark, were the first coasts whidi 
their ships expiUyred. The English wool 

tkB BELGIAN RfiPUfi^C. 7# 

-%liich they imported on their return^ kept^ 

in copstaat employ many thousands of in- 

"dustrious manufacturers at Bruges^ Ghent> 

•and Antwerp; and^ as early as the middle 

of the twelfth century^ cloths of Flemish 

manufacture were generally worn through* 

-out France and Germany, As early as the 

eleventh century^ we fi^d Frisian ships i^ 

^the Beltj nay^ even in the Levant. This 

enterprising nation had conceived the da* 

ring project of steering under the North* 

^ole, without a compass^ as &r as the 

northern point of Russia.* 

From the Vindovian towns^,. the low couv- 

^tiies had derived a share in the Levaut 

trade^ which was then ean-ied on^ from the 

'Black sea^ thriMigh the Russkiii empire to 

^<the Baltic. When ift^s- trade waa verging 

• Fischer's Hiatory of German Commerce^ Vpl. I. 
'^Fage 447 • 



towards a decline, the Crusades having 
opened a new passage to the Indian com* 
jnodities through the Mediterranean, after 
the Italian towns had monopolized this lu- 
crative branch of commerce, and the great 

* Hansa association was formed in Germany, 
then the Netherlands became the principal 
staple for the commercial intercourse of 
the North and South. The use of the 
compass was not yet thoroughly understood, 
and that ancient and tedious practice of 

* sailing along the coasts, still prevailed. 

The sea ports of the Baltic were gene* 
rally frozen up in the winter months, and 
inaccessable to vessels of every isize dnd 
description.* For this reason, ships that 
tould not perform the tedious voyage from 
the Mediteranean to the Belt during the 

♦ Flscber*8 History of German Commerce, VoL L 

. F^gc 447. 


term of one season^ sought in pretence 
a place of rendezvous, that formed a cen- 
tral point for all parties. The inhabitants 
of the low countries, having behind them a 
vast continent, with which they corresponded 
through the medium of large and navigable 
rivers, and having easy access to the ocean 
on the North and West, by means of spa* 
eious and commodious harbours, seemed 
peculiai'ly adapted for the general resort of 
nations, and for the centre of commerce. 
Docks were constructed in the principal 
towns of the Netherlands. The Portuguese, 
the Spaniaras, the Italians^ Britons^ 6er^ 
mans, Danes and Swedes erowded into this 
country, with the produce of eyery quarter 
of the globe. The eager competition of 
the merchants, depreciated .the value of 
the merchandize; the vicinity of the market 
was a powerful incentive to industry. The 

» E 3 



large negociationa transacted in various 
coiDs^ introduced a new species of traffic^ 
the dealings in exchange^ whereby the 
capital of wealth greatly accumulated. Tho 
rulers of the land^ who now entertained a 
inore just sense of their true interests^ gav0 
a liberal patronage to the merchant^ by tH^ . 
grant of many valuable chartersj^ and gua^ 
hintied the security of commerce by the 
aolenm faith of advantageous treaties* 
. In the fiftemth ceittory, several diatmei 
provinces having been united under otie 
]ord patamount^ their destructive fends sub^ 
stded^ atfd their jarring interests were hap- 
pily accommodated under one general 
jurisdiction. Commerce flourished^ during 
a long ift^rval of peace^ which their rulers 
imposed upon the neighbouring princes^ by 
a prapo^erance of powqr and authority. ' 


The flag of Burgundy overawed tbf 

Their enterprizes were conducted with 
more vigour under the auspices of their 
sovereign^ which made the single efforts of 
an humble individual^ the common cause 
q{ a powerful state* By this mighty pa* 
tronage^ they were soon in a condition to 
withdraw themselves from the Hansa asso- 
ciation, and even ventured to molest tb^ 
trade of this jealous and inveterate rival on 
the open seas. The. Hansa merchantmQii 
being excluded from the Spaniisb pof|% 
iffrerCj hpwever relunctantly^ at length com-< 
pelled to ftequent the fws of Brabant, anit 
to take in stores of Spanish commodities, 
iiroin the magazines of the Netherlands. 

In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, 
Bruges in Flanders became the staple of 

* Memoiret de Comines. Lib. III. Cap. V. 




European commerce^ and the prlncrpal 
market for all nations. In the year 146B^ 
one hundred and -6ft j sail of merchantmen 
were registered, which entered at one time 
into the harbour of Sluys. Independant 
of the large depots of the Hansa asso- 
ciation, there was established here many 
trading companies, with their counting- 
houses, many factories, and mercantile fa- 
milies from all quarters of Europe. This 
wt6 the grand emporium of the produce of 
the North, for the commerce of the South ; 
and of the provinces of the South, and of 
the Levant, for the Northern trade. They 
were conveyed through the Sound iii Hansa 
bottoms, and were transported on the 
Rhine to upper Germany, or, by land-car* 
xiage to Brunswick and Luneburg. 

By a revolution, frequently remarked i» 
the progress ofltuman affairs^ this sudden 


THE Bt£0IAN BEWUlK^. 6f 

flow of prosperity/ vmB 4}tiick)f )f<liloW^ by 
a torrent of hixtiry and & general eitead^ 
nacy of manners.: Th^ sedntrtm exam|dit 
of Philip the Good^ofly semd to^aecelo^ 
rate this tragtoal ^event* The courts of'^i 
dukes of Qangolidy was the most 'fi|dendid< 
and magidficieiit of - all Earopeaii courts*-^ 

• * _ , 

Italy itself not eitcepted*' The smnptudus \ 
apparel of the grandees^ which served as a 
pattern to the 'Spaniards m^tei ages/ and 
was adopted along with other fashions of 
Btrgnndy by the Austrian cpuyt^ descended 
to the inferior classes of the peoipte Jvho ar-^ 
rayed their bodiesin robes of siffi ^lidirclvet.* 

■( .*» 

* ^Philip the Good Wai^ too prod^-fo amass trea* 
•ar^: iieveFtheless^' Charles the S<H\tl found; siiiiongst 
other effects of tbtf deeeased^ a ^r^ter quantity of' 
<pkte, jewels, hocikn, tapestry, and; ^Hnen; than what 
^ee wed thy ^ potentates- of those times possessed! 
and he found, moreoYer, a treasure of three hundred 
tb<S^]sand dollars in specie. The treasures of 'thfs • 
prince were scattered orer the plains ' of ^ransoo^ - 

ft Bltl AMA MQOBBtt or 

OMMiaoi («(i Mtbor.. who sojotiVbAd in 
Ae NftherliiiKls totowdv^ue iDiddk^ ifae 
fifikendi fiestiirj) tcffi ut^ ihat affluence 
wm sMttekkd bjr p«icb and dsimtatiom 
The iraoilgr of dreat wsb aoeora{>amed ia 
iKHh j«K«i vidi' tbe grMsi^ prodigaiityv 
Mo t^tlKr Mti^ eter eafesricxl ths* kcraries of 
tbe tuMe lo til^h a lidtcnbttsr extreme* The 
f r<^n)64)A049s uUfefcptiniS' el heth fiesoet m 
yiibli^ ha^hit^ tmA eAeJr fc^uetet hiterriev% 


^urteoy aiOd ^ Nancy. A Swiss sqUict dmr tlMit 
'costly diamotid ring off the finger 6f Charles the 
Boid^ pmtit IM iMig been estimated tlie largest iA 
l^Tope« fif^ is tfUl aK;couBted<t)i« second jeiv^l ^fiif 
French diadem ; but was sold by the ignorant captor 
ibrpqe^ui. :]^^ Swiss f^dmHiod the sttt^Titkey 
fcund Ibntiiv i^^^ goU.^rc^^pcf I WtOB^Ml 
piecea tbe cfi^tly tents of g^4 itnfis; the valve of 
the boot^ that w^ made» in g^ld^ silver, and jewfjl^^ 
ivas estimated ^t three millions^ Charles and }/^ 
«rmj hadtalfenthefield* not.lik&soldiersb who'ifj^foe 
jpr^pariog for a batUcv but like proud coaqueroi«f^jvilK^ 
^orp themselvo^ with the s^ipils of victory* 

. I 

THE BiiLGtABr iKBtirteric. 83 

ihat tend to inflame cupidity and Ia<^i vidus* 
ne^9, had extbgtiished every sense of Uto- 
desty and decorum; and tbia disorder wa^ 
Jnot merely confined to the higher ranks of 
the community ; &e vulgar h^id of females 
ilbaad^niddthemselveS'tdMiekltte exc^M^,. 
withont -rcfserve or moderatiob.* 

Never^idess, art not these teveU of in- 
temperaitfce and superfitdty^ far ttiore gr&te« 
fal to iJie phitenthropie spectator, thstn 
the wretchedabdteaiioiisness of beggary, ot 
the rude virtue of a savage ignorance, and 
of a supine lethargy, trherein the remaitidet 
of Europe lay entranced. iTie Burgundian 
^ra illuminesi those dark ages with a chear- 
fial ray, in like manner as a genial summer's 
day, suspends the dreary horrors of winter. 

■ • • 

* lleaiiirtt «k M. nilippe de Comiats, Tom« I 
Lib. I. Cap. d. Lib. V. Cap. 9- Page »91 . Fischer's ^ 
History of German Conmierce, Vol. II. Page 18$. ^. 


M misE Aim PROGRESS or 

However^ thia high spring tide of pros* 
perity accomplished the ruia of the towns 
of Flanders. , . . 

Ghent. and Brugesi^ intoxicated with the 
lich hiessing of liberty^ ^onunenced bosti- 
. Udes against Philip the Good, the migbtjr 
sovereign of eleven principalities; a rash 
and \irild project, which prpved equally fatal 
in the event. The town of Ghent alone lost 
3nany thousands <^ her citizens, and was 
obliged to appease the wrath . of the con- 
queror, hy a contribuLipn of four hundred 
thousand florins in gold, All the supreme 
magistrates of tbis city, and all persons of 
high rank and dignity, were compelled tp 
undergo the cruel pmiance of marching out 
of the town upwards of a French mile^ 
stript to their shirts, barefoot, and with their 
heads uncovered, in order to meet the duke. 
On ibis occasion, many valuable privileges 



were wrested from them ; wfaicbwas a fatal 
blow to their commercial interest. In the . 
year 1482, they engi^ed in a war neariy as 
disastrous as the former, witib Maximilian 
c^ Anstria, in order to make hMxesignr the 
power of regency, during the minofity of 
his son. la, I487> the town of Bruges de* 
tatned the piersoo- of the sirchdidie in close 
confinemetit; and signed a warrant for the 
execution of several of his miinaters. The 
emperor^ Frederic the Third, adVisQced to- 
wards their territory with a powerfnl army, 
4a order to ^avenge the wrongs of his son^ 
and bloclcaded the harbour of Sluys during 
a period of ten years, whereby her com* 
merce was totally suspended. In this un- 
dertaking, he. received the mbst effectual 
support from Antwerp and Amsterdam, who 
had long beheld the prosperous condition of 
the Flemish towns with a secret jealousy. 

86 mifs AHO KBoomus or 

The Italian merchants began to find a gale tof 
ibcir silk manniactores at Antwerp, and tbe 
flemish clothiers^ iwfao vere established im 
England; consigned dieif goods to the same 
jnarket ; wkereby the city of Bruges was de^ 
pri ved o£ :two important branches of her com«- 
Bierce. TBeir lofty artogancse had heretofore 
given offence to theHansa sosoci^tion^ mhidk 
BOW forsook thipif) and removed dieir maga^ 
sines to Antnirerp^ In 15 16> a general easigra^ 
tton of ail focifgn nurchants ensuad^ iHth 
t\us exceptknpqf-a 6em l^niardd; but they 
fleseended from, the j^nncle ^ prosperity^ 
fn the same aiaMnev lis they bad fbrmetfy 
monntedy by a. slow stndrtgtilar gfadatieik.* 
.in dse slxte^mb eentury^ Antwerp etk** 
gsossed all that ^^ommerce, which luxury had 
expelled from her native seat 'in the Flemish 

■ * 

• Anderson, Vol. HI. Pages SOD. 314. 315. 316. 

towns; and during the reign of Charles 
the Fifths became the finost Ikely and 
flonriebbg ctly in Chiisteiidom* A met, 
like die Sciieldty wluidi Mmmnnicates vith 
the jnOftbem ocean hjr a ^^oad aad ccmti* 
^Otts.oiitfet, h^ng fiotgeoc ]bo the sai^ie 
fluctuation of tides^ and . leao ctovey # bi]|^» 
hf the- laigest hifipdeii ^ %o the very 
voBb «6 the city, iMde }t a geoerid xtA^ 
de2v0«B''l<»r Idl vessek -thAt werie hoand ^to 
this^o^tt. National iadmstcy ba4: nien to 
the highest pitch at the e^mebcement tif 
this ceii^ufy. ^ ., 

.By the growth of flax> :aad:agriciikiire» 
hy pae^urs^^ hua<ing tttd.fiaUo^ Apt 
eouiitry people acq^ifed nohc^) by actSj 
BifU|u£»etures 4nd cemneroe, the t»wnS^ 
people accumulated wealth* Shortly after- 
wards^ the monqfactuies <tf Flandors and 

88 B18E AND VllOORBSS'or 

Brabant were conveyed to the fthoret of 
Arabia;, India and Persia. 

The mariner of the Low Countries was 
distinguished by this peculiar characteristic^ 
that he undertook hb naval eitpeditions at 
all seasons of the year^ and never consumed 
the wioter in poit. 

After the discovery of the paMnge* round 
the African pioaiontoYy^ «id after tbe 'Poiv» 
tnguesehad supplanted thenativds'of^e Le^ 
van tin tbe eastern trade^ that deadly blow; 
wiier«by tbe Italian- republics had been 
crushed^ made no impression upon the Low 
Coodtrieb: the 'Port ugit^se established theirs 
warefapascfriri Brabant, and .the gums aa^ 
9pices of Calictil, were exposed td sale on 
Ae mart of Antwerp.* . This city was Bke* 

* The value of the spices and drugs, \vhicB were 
oonsigaed from Lkbon to this places amounted^ ae* 
cordiog to the computation of Guicciardini, to the 
sum of one million of crowns. 



wise the staple for the West-Indian commo- 
dities^ witli which the Spanish indolence 
remunerated the industry of the Belgian 


The investments of eastern productions^ 
tempted many eminent mercantile houses 
in Germany^ and^ amongst others^ those of 
Fugger and Welser at Augsburg^ to fix their 
residence here. A company of English 
merchants had established their magazines 
in this city. In this place^ all the varioiM 
treasures of nature and art were displayed 
in the gi'eatest profusion. It w^s a magni-^ 
ficent exhjibitipo of the works of the Ci^ator 
and of l|uman industry. 

Their celebrity was quickly diffused 
throughout the whole universe. A com« 
pany of Turkish merchants intimated a 
desire to form an establishment here^ in 
order to convey the productions of the 


eastern world to this market^ through the 
channel of Greece. Their monied trans - 
actions^ likewise, accumulated along with 
their trade in manufactures. Their bills 
were negociated in every quarter of thf 
globe. It is pretendedj that the dealings 
that were^carried on at Antwerp^ in thespaee 
of one moiyth, were more extensive than 
Aose that were transacted at Venice, dur* 
iag the brightest period of her prosperity^ 
to the dot^rse -of two jetas/^ 
' In the year 1491, the Hansa tlssociation 
MA their solemn convocation in this city, 
which hdd been formerly Ihe^case at Lubeck. 
In 1531, the exchange was built, ^e most 
jnagnificentedifii^e in ancient Europe, which 
literally fulfilled the proud boast of its in«» 
scription. Houses, which ahout a century 

• Fischer's Hi^tQry gf Geroiw Trades, Vol, Ih 
i^agc 693. 


ago, yielde4 an atin«ial rent of one hun<- 
clred crowns, were now advanced in price 
from eight hundred to one thousand.* The 
population pf the city amounted to one 
liundred thousand aouls. The influx of 
people, who poured into this town, woul^ 
almost exceed, belief. Two hundred and 
fifty masts were frequently crowded into 
the harbour at one time ; no day passed, 
on which the arrivals and departareft of 
TesseU; did not aoiount to above five hun* 
clfed iail ; on market dayd, tb^y Were avig^ 
mented to the number of eight or nine 
hundred. Every day, above two hundred 
carriages drove out of the gates of the cilyt 
two thousand waggon loads of goods ar** 
rived every week from Germany, France, 
and Lothrain, without including the carta 
and vehicles for the transport of corn, which 

* Anderson, Vol Id. Pa|^ 174* 843. 5419. 


were computed at the number of ten thon« 
sand. Thirty thousand hands were em^ 
ployed by the English factory of specula«» 
tive merchants. The government received 
an annual revenue 0f two millions hf 
market dues^ tolls and excise, which wai^ 
a much larger sum in those times than 
in our days. We may form some idea of 
the wealth of this nation^ when we are told 
that the extraordinary taxes^ that were le« 
vied by Charles the Fifths in order to cany 
on his extensive wars^ amounted to the 
enom^ous sum of forty millions in Gold *• 
. H]^ Bdgians derived this high flow of 
pro^rity from their chartered rights^ and 
from the advantageous position of their 
country. A feel^le administration of jus- 

. * General History of the United NetUerlandsy Vol. 
II. Page 562. Fischer's History of German Com- 
merce, Vol. n. Page fiQ9, 


ticc, and the arbitrary power of a rapacious 
monarchy would quickly have destroyed all 
those blessings, which a bountiful Provi- 
dence had shbwered down upon them in 
such abundance. The inviolable sanctity 
of the laws alone guarantees to the citizen 
the security of his property, and inspires 
him with that happy confidence which is 
the soul of activity. 

The genius of this people being arrived at 
the meridian of its gloiy, under the happy 
influence of a commercial spirit, and by an 
iotercourse with many nations, flourished in 
a bright series of useful discoveries; in the 
prolific womb of aflluence and liberty, all 
the sublime arts were formed and devel- 
loped. From the happier climes of Italy, 
which tasted once more the rich blessings 
of the golden age, under the tutelar genius 
^f Cosmo de Medicis^ the Belgians trans* 


planted the arts of paiDtiag, of arcbitec-p 


ture^ of etchings and engravings into their 
native land^ which acquired a fresh bloom 
in a foreign soil. The Flemish school^ a 
daughter of the Italian^ with a generous 
strife and emulation, disputed with her pa-* 
rent the possession of the glorious prize; 
and both, in conjunction, prescribed laws 
to Europe, in the common^wealth of the 
fine arts. It would be superfluous to enter 

into a detail of all those arts and manufac** 


tures, upon which the Netherlands have 
raisefd the solid fabric of their greatness 
down to this very day* The manufacturefr 
of tapestiy; the art of painting with oil 
colours ; of glazing ; nay, even watches and 
8un*dials> were, as Guicciiu:dini informs us, 
of Flemish extraction. To .their ingenuity 
we axe -indebted for the happy improvj^ipen^ 
fi[ the Qompass; the $evQral. points pf w)iicb 


Are <}enot€d by the familiar terras of their 
language. In the year 1492 the art of 
printing was discovered at Harlem^ and it 
was so willed, by a sovereign decree of fate, 
that this useful art should confer the hies* 
sings of liberty upon the land of her nati-* 
vity. With the most fertile genius for ori- 
ginal inventions, they associated a happy 
talent for improving and meliorating those 
that were extant. There are few mechanic 
cal arts and manufactures, which are not 
either the productions of these climes, or 
have been carried here to a higher degree of 
perfection. Hitherto the united provinces 
had been the most prosperous state in Eu- 
rope. None of the dukes of Burgundy had 
ever presumed to invade their liberties; nay, 
they had ever been respected by the turbu* 
lent ,and ambitions spirit of Charles the 
Bold, whilst he was forging the chains of 

p8 ftlSE And PRbGRESS ot 

servitude for a neighbouring Republic. All 
these potentates werfe early taught t(/ consl- 
der the government of a Republic> as the 
ultimate scope of their ambition ; and none 
of the provinces, subject to their authority, 
were so constituted as to inspire them with 
different maxims of policy. Moreover, 
these princes had no other resources, besides 
what they derived from the Netherlands: 
their armies were levied in the. country; 
their revenues were the chearfiil subsidies, 
granted them by the Estates. Now th^ face 
of affairs was suddenly changed. They 
were now placed under the authority of a 
master, who possessed other means and 
engines of power; who could employ a 
foreign force against them.* 

* The strange affiliation of two such nations, as 
^e Belgians and the Spaniards, so diametrically oppOf . 
site in (btk genius and dispositions, could never sub* 

tHE B19LQ1A^N BfiPfJBLIC. gif 

Charles the Fifth governed Spain with an 
Ahsolute sway ; in the Netherlands he occu* 

sist for any length of time. I cannot refrain from 
inserting here, that remarkable parallel betwixt tliem« 
which Grotius has drawn, in his nervous and e'mpba* 
ileal language. The Belgians, says he, could easily 
cultivate a friendly correspondence with the neigh- 
bouring ikations, as the latter were of the same ex- 
traction, and were arrived at the same climax of re* 
finement, by treading in the same steps. But the 
Belgians and Spaniards disagree in most particulars, 
and whenever they hapj^n to come in contact with 
each otlier, the shock prodaced by this collision, is 
the more rude and violent. Both had acquired re- 
nown in war many centuries ago, save only, that the 
former had been long disused to arms, in the bosom 
of peace and tranquillity; and the latter had con* 
stantly exercised their martial geuilis in the Italian 
and Afj'ican canrpaigns. The love of gain breeds 
pacific dispositions in the mind of the Belgian j but 
he is no less apt to resent injuries. No nation is less 
infected with the vanity of conquest, but none guard 
their property with a more obstinate valour. Hence;, 
those numerous cities crowded together on a narrow 
surface of land ; overstocked by their own population, 
and by foreign colonists, defended by the sea and by 
large rivers. Hence it was, that during the lapse of 


pied no higher station^ than that of first 
citizen of the state. 

^ght centuries after the influx of the Northern bar- 
bariansy no foreign arms could make any impression 
upon them. Spain* on the contrary, successively 
bowed under the sceptre of new masters ;-*after she 
latterly fell a prey to the Goths, her ancient character 
and manners had suffered, more .or less, from every 
invader. Notwithstanding this base alloy and foreign 
mixture, the Spanish nation is still described as being 
the most patient of fatigue; the most intrepid in dan- 
gers; equally covetous of riches and glory; affecting a 
haughty and supercilious carriage towards others ; de- 
yout even to superstition ; mindful of past favors; but 
.so intemperate and revengeful when victorious, that it 
ivould seem, as if the sacred laws of conscience and of 
.Iionor, were not binding towards a foe. Not so the 
Belgian.— He is cunning but not treacherous: being 
placed in a central position, betwixt France and Ger- 
many, he associates the virtues and vices of lx>th coun- 
tries, in a bland mixture. He is not easily deceived, 
and is not ofiended with impunity. He does not yield 
to the Spaniard in point of devotion: the arms of the 
Normans could never compel him to abjure Chris- 
tianlty, after he had embraced her doctrines. No 
heresy, tliat the church condemns, ever polluted 
the purity of his faith. Nay, his pious munificence 


The servile obedience of the 80Qtheri;t 
parts of his realoij naturally made him. slight 
the privileges of the suhjept: in the Low 
countries he was frequently taught to treat 
them 'with a becoming reverence. In pro- 
portion as his unbounded lust of aristocracy 
was fiilly gratified in the former case^ an4 
inspired him with exalted notions of his 

was so greats that it became expedient to curb the 
avarice of the clergy by special edicts. Both nations 
are remarkable for their attachment to their sove- 
reign, with this distinction, that the Belgians raise 
the fabric of the laws above the head of the monarch. 
Of all the natives of Spain, * the Castilians mntt he 
governed with the most wise and cautious policy; but 
those privileges, which they claim for themselves, 
they are not willing to communicate to others. 
Hence it is, that their common sovereign is4livolved 
in a perplexing dilemma, and is obliged to divide hU 
care and attention so equally between the two nations, 
that the superior privileges of die Castiiian do tfot 
give offence to the Belgian, nor the equal prerogative 
of the latter, excite the jealous* pride of the former. 
Crotiiy Anna!. Belg^ |.sb« I. Page 4. 5« seq. 

F 2 

'4t)0 klSfi A^B PIIO«A8»S OP 

i6wn dignity^ the to^k of descending to the 
t^tttftfkr^ level of humanity, became mott 
\itL\ti((A nmd grievous, and oonitrraed bim 
itt n reftoloUdti t6 Mrtrcome diose obstadci • 
It supposes no ordinary ishaive of virtue^ 
to submit^ tvi^diout a smiggk^ to a power 
'that tfffo&efs oor fevoorite wishes : Boeiier 
than acquiesce in the decvees of fate, tve 
cfausc to convert the blind goddess into a 
free tnoial aginit, whom we fcan resist: 

. • * • ' 

hnm imlidgL UMire S9t, when the freedom af 
our will is counteracted by the operations rtf 
4 liiftHlAr principle. 

' The ip^orbftatit powt^rtyf Chai*le« inflaitH^ 
tb« jealousy of the Belgians/ a passion that 
^'Ts thfe' wrctifftfffy «yfftptom of imbecility. 
!ih£y had never, on ' any former occasion, 
4teeii 'flidfe «ciUt9taD«8 ^biatut 4heiir oonsliHi- 
tion^ more scrupulous concerrring tlte prcr©^ 
gative ,of thM^ sovorejgn ; OfeOfe diffu^^ ^r 


circumstaDtial in their public councilsw 


I>uxiag his reign^ we behold the most furi*- 
cvts paroxysms of a republican spirit^ am) 
the arrogant claims of the people assuming 
the shape of an abusc^ which imparted a 
aemblanc^ of justice to die innovations of 
legal atithorit;y% 

A moDarch will ever r^sord civil lilisrtjr 
^ $0Bk intern! part of bis terriitory^ of which 
be has made a fottnal sunvnder^ and must 
attempt n, recovery. A ehizen is accus*- 
toosed to consider the power of the sover 
reign^ as i^ InriouB torrent, committing d#> 
predattonv ovl his chartered rights* The in^ 
baibitants of die Low Coontcies^ oppoised a 
rampart of maands to die inroads dl the 
ocean, and a bulwark of chartered rights 
to the power of their princea. The annab 
of mankind exhibit a perpetual struggle be- 
tween aristocracy and liberty, for the possea- 




sion of 'this territorial jurisdiction; in like 
manner^ as the science of nature^ displays a 
bniforin strife between solid bMies> and the 
jarring elements, concerning the bounda- 
ries of space. 

. The Netherlands were quickly sensible 
that they were become the province of a 
moaarchyl . As long as their ancient rulers 
were goTcmed by rid other passion than by 
a zeal for their welfeie^ tbdr condition bore 
a near resemblance to the happy tranquil- 
lity of a domestic circle. The restless am- 
bition of Charles the Fifth. obliged them to 
^akc an active share in the busy scenes of 
^e political world. They how formed ^a 
subordinate member of an enormous body 
politic; their existence was concentered in 
the *^ soul of their, regent; and their moral 
agency was totally suspended. As^ during 
his whole administration^ he waA constantly 


verging beyond the boundaries of his pro- 
per sphere^ and was engaged in a series of 
political actions^ it was of the utmost con- 
sequence to him^ that he should have an ab- 
solute command over the several members 
of his own body^ in order to impart alacrity 
and energy to their movements. He could 
iiot^ therefore^ entangle himself in the wind* 
ing labyrinth of their individual organiza- 
tion^ nor inspect into, the minutiae of thieir 
civil privileges^ with such a laborious rc- 
searjch as their occasions required. With 
one broad-cast swing of his imperial arm^ 
he quickly demolished the frail cobwebs of 
a puny generation of insects. It became 
expedient to I'ender the application of their 
powers more easy and regular by unanimity. 
The tribunal at Mechlin bad bepn hitherto 
^n independant court of judicature; he 
subjected it to the controul of a royal com- 

F 4 


missioti^ which was established ftt Brnggcli*, 
'ftnd was the faithful organ of his imperial 

He introduced foreigners into the sanctu* 
ary of their constitution^ on whom be be- 
stowed the most important offices of state. 
Men, who bad no other patronage than the 
fitniles of royalty, must prove bad guardians 
of those laws, of which they had a very im- 
perfect knowledge. The extraordinary dis- 
bursements of his warlike reign, required 
extraordinary resources.^ In open violation 
of their most sacred privileges, he loaded 
the provinces with oppressive taxes; the 
estates, in order to save appearances, com* 
))lied with what his moderation forbore to 
enforce by violent measures: the whole 
iMiries of his administration is a dull recital 
of pecuniary requisitions, remonstrances, 
and final concessions. Contrary to the 


principles of the coustituticm^ he introduced 
foreign troops into their territpryj, levied 
soldiers throughout the provinces, and in- 
volved them in wars, which, if dot destine* 
tive, wet^e at least wholly incompatible witk 
their interests, and which they did not ap«- 
prove. In his magisterial capacity, he pro«^ 
Bounced sentence ^upon the misdemeanours 
of a free state, and the dreadful fate of 
Ghent, loudly announced thiC grand revo- 
lution, which their cottstittrtion had. lately 
undergone. Some authors even accuse him 
of having endeavoured to remove, by stealth,, 
the most important documents of their 
charters, from those monasteries and ar- , 
chives where they had been deposited; ii 
mean and cowardly action, unworthy of 
such a mighty monarch, but which affords 
a clear presumption^ that those doeuments 


106 R18B AND PB06BE8S OF 

had filled his mind with serious apprehen- 

The sovereign consulted the welfare of 
his state^ in so far as it was subservient to 
his views of aggrandizement; the judicious 
policy of Charles^ was not willing to sus* 
pend the animal functions^ nor destroy the 
organization of the body politic^ when a 
vigorous exertion of its vital powers became 
necessary. Happily for the cause of hu- 
manity^ the opposite schemes of ambi- 
tion^ and of the most pure and disinterested 
philanthropy^ oftentimes lead to the same 
general result^ and the well being of a 
state^ which is the ultimate scope of a Mar- 
cus Aurdius^ is occasionally promoted by a 
Lewis^ and an Augustus. But the territory 
of a provident tyrant^ oftentimes wears the 
smiling face of that happy country, the 
legislator^ of which was a sage philoso^ 


ph^r; and this fallacious appearance may 
easily mislead the judgment of an his* 
torian. But let him only once remove 
this fraudulent veil^ and he will behold 
a new scene^ that will teach him how 
little the interests of individuals are conr 
suited^ when the monarch prosecutes his 
schemes of aggrandizement; and what » 
wide difference there is, betwixt a powerful 
and a happy commonwealth. Charles wa» 
perfectly sensibly that commerce, was thQ 
vital principle of a state, and that liberty 
was the main pillar of comAierce. He ^id 
not violate the sanctuary of liberty, because 
he required the active operations of the vital 

Not more just, but more politic, than his 
son, he wisely adapted his state-maxims to 
the moment, and scene of action, and at 
Antwerp he repealed an edicts vrhich he 



uTOuld have enforced^ vith all the tenors of 
arbitrary power^ at Lisbon or Madrid. 

That which serves to render the adminis- 
tration of Charles^ of great interest and im- 
portance in the history of the Netherlands^ 
is that memorable revolution in the churchy 
that occurred during this period^ and of 
which tre must give a more circumstantial 
detail^ as it was the primary cause of the 
jiabsequent revolt. During his reign, arbi- 
trary power invaded the sanctuary of theix 
constitution, exhibited a specimen of her 
tremendous art, and in some measure 
exculpated her own injustice, by inflaming 
the turbulent spirit of a tepubHcan go- 
vernment. As soon as the latter dege- 
nerated into anarchy a»d rebellion, the 
piterogative of the monarch assumed the 
most formidable appearance.* 



P^oTHiNG can be more easy apd natural^ 
than a transition from civil to religious li- 
berty. An individual, or a commanity, 
ivho, under the mild influence of a happy 
constitution, are become acquainted \rith 
the dignity of human nature, having tho- 
roughly imbibed the spirit of those laws, 
which are the supreme oracles of distribu- 
tive justice, and which they have peihaps 
framed tliemselves; their intellectual facul- 
ties being more vigorous from constant exer- 
cise, and their organs of sense more acute 
and distinguishing, from a delicious and 
voluptuous life; whose natural spirit has 
been exalted and sublimated by internal se- 
curity and affluence: such an individual. 


and such a community^ I say^ are of all 
others the jnost averse to bend under the 
galling yoke of an oppressive hierarchy, 
tind the most eager to vindicate their li- 
liberty. Another circumstance was also fa* 
vourable to the interests of the new religion. 
Italy ^ in those times, the imperial seat of 
intellectual refinements— where political fac- 
tions had hitherto raged with unremitting 
fury — ■• where a torrid zone inflames the 
blood with the most disorderly appetites- 
Italy, it may be objected, was the only 
country in Europe free from this spirit of 
innovation. But the romantic genius of 
this nation being enkindled by the genial 
rays of a serene sky ; being alike transported 
with the magnificent scenery of nature^ 
arrayed in immortal youth and beauty, and 
with the pleasing sorceries of art ; and 
being pampered with a continual feast of 


sensual joys — ^was happily formed to em- 
brace a religion^ which captivates the sensed 
by an external pomp, indulges the fancy 
in a boundless range over a terra incognita 
of mysteries, and whose doctrines amuse 
the intellectual eye, by a gay assemblage of 
images. Now, on the other hand, a com- 
munity, which the busy cares and drudgery 
of social life had confined to the narrow 
sphere of a terrestrial world, that did not 
stray in a gay paradise of fiction, but moved 
within a limited circle of definite notions, 
and neglecting the fertile regions of imagi- 
nation, was wholly occupied with enlarging 
the boundaries of reason; such a commu- 
nity is more apt to embrace a doctrine 
that countenances a free enquiry, does not 
so vehemently espouse the tenets of mys- 
ticism as those of a pure morality, and 
which is more readily apprehended by rea- 


son, than conjectured by intuition: — Ta 
speak in plain terms^ the Catholic religion 
ibccords better with the genius of a nation 
of artists, and the Protestant persuasion 
with the dispositions of a mercantile people. 
Having established these premises, the 
doctrines which Ltither and Calvin propa* 
gated in Oermanj and Switzerland, wonld 
necessarily produce a more abundant crop 
in the happier climes of the Netherlands. 

The cbjannel, which conducted them 
thither, is no other than that, whereby the 
plague is wafted over from the eastern 
world, whereby wisdom and folly are smug- 
gled over to us; the channel of commerce— 
The first germs of this doctrine were scat- 
tered abroad by Protestant merchants, wha 
had formed an establishment at Antwerp 
and Amsterdam. Tlie Swis& and German 
troops, whom Charles had introduced into 

"Hie BELGIAN kfiPUBUC, 1)3 

these countries, a vast ttumber of French, 
English, and German refugees, who sought 
protection within the liberties of Flaftd^:«> 
fyom the naked sword of p^rseciitiott. Which 
was braadifibed over theic heads in theiy 
native land^ assisted their growth aod Te« 

At that time, a great niubber of thii 
Bdgio nohSity pitosecatedl islam studies at 
OeiMnra ; the aeadettiy at LDwen, Whidi was 
established m the sequel by I)onai> aal 
hemg as yet in repute : the new religioiit 
tenets that were inculcated here, were 
transplanted by the youK)g students into 
their native soil. These £rst germs might 
have been easily smothered in a oommtmity^ 
excluded from a social intercourse with (o* 


reigners. The confluence of so many dif- 
ferent nations into the trading ports of 
Holland and Brabant, concealed their early 


progress from the inspection of goveni'^ 
ment^ and fomented their vegetation under 
the shade of obscurity. 

A difference of opinion could easily, gain 
ground^ where no common national cha- 
racter^ no congenial manners or laws pre* 
vailed. Lastly^ in a country^ where in* 
dustiy was the mbst illustrious virtue^ and 
beggary the most scandalous vice^ an insti* 
lution^ like tlie oirder of the monks, which 
encouraged sloth and idleness^ must have 
long been odious and intolerable. The new 
Heligion, which opposed this institution 
with the most furious zeal^ had conae'* 
quently this peculiar advantage^ that it 
was in unison with the public opinion. 
Satires and lampoons, fiiU of the most 
bitter invectives, the circulation of which 
was greatly facilitated by the newly-in- 
vented art of printing ; as also many stroll*^ 


ing companies of orators^ who lashed the 
vices of the age ia theatrical farces^ or ia 
poetical compositions, did not a little con* 
duce towards tindermining the foundations 
oflhe Roman churchy and towards pre* 
paring the public mind for tb« reception 
of the new religion.* 

Their early triumphs were ^accomplished 
with inconceivable rapidity; during a short 
interval, the accession of converts to the 
new doctrine was prodigious; but the .fo- 
reigners greatly over-balanced the national 
proselytes in point of number. During 
this mighty schism of the church, Charles 
the Fifth adopted a system of conduct, 
which arbitrary monarchs have invariably 
pursued on like occasions, and opposed 
the most insurmountable barriers to the 

♦ General History of the Netherlands, Vol. II. 

see the Note to Page S99, 

116 RISE AND i^RocnEds ov 

swelling tide of innovation. Thatbniwaipk, 
which htkd hitherto fbmied an everioBthig 
barrier betwixt tnrth and hirman reason, 
wa* too hastily removed, that the raging 
torrent eould te eonfined within the boun- 
dariw of fts native bed. Th© spirit of li* 
berty, and of a free enqnhy, which onghtnot 
to ha>e strayed beyond the limits' of moral 
science, being once aronsed, began freely 
i!o discuss the sacred! rights of kings. Hav- 
ing fractnred an iron sceptre, they pro- 
ceeded in the work of destruction, and en- 
deiivonred to dissolve the most s&cred and 
legitimate bonds. The fitudy of iSht sacred 
writings, being now more general and fre- 
quent, whilst it afforded intellectual fight 
and nourishment to the candid votaries of 
truth, it also administered the most virulent 
poison to the visionary sectaries ^of fsnati* 


The righteous cause had been compelled 
to erect the bloody standard of rebelUon, 
which was attended by a train of mischiev* 
ous consequences that are inseparable from 
tlie lot of humanity. Kepi'obatesj with 
whom they had no visible communion^ save 
only in the -criminal means that were em- 
ployed, emboldened^ by this apparent al- 
liance, joined thdr confedejacyj and both 
parties were confounded together. Luther 
bad vehemently opposed the idolatrous woi- 
ship of the saints : every* daring offender, 
who violated the sanctuary of their temples 
-and convents^ and despoiled their altars, 
was accounted a Lutheran* A factioi(S 
spirit, rapine^ /raud and incontinence, wore 
alike his livery; the most atrocious villains, 
in ttie presence of the supreme magistrate, 
professed their zeal and attachment to. this 
persuasion. The refojirmation bad degx^ed 


the Roman Pontiff to the low estate of a 
sinful mortal: a famished troop of ban- 
ditti, impelled by the fierce cravings of 
hunger, breathe fury and destruction against 
all the established orders of Society. It is 
natural, that a doctrine, which appeared to 
countenance crimes of the blackest dye^ 
should provoke the indignation of a mo- 
narch, who had already decreed its over-* 
throw; and it will not appear extraordinary, 
that he should employ those weapons with 
which it had furnished him for its own de- 

Charles, doubtless, regarded himself as 
absolute sovereign of the Netherlands, since 
he did not think proper to communicate to 
these countries, those religious privileges 
which he had guaranteed, by a solemn com- 
pact, to the German empire. 

During that period, when a powerful 


confederacy of our princes had compelled 
him to subscribe to the free exercise of tb^ 
new religion, he lighted up the flames of 
persecution in the Low Countries by the most 
sanguinary edicts. 

The perusal of the Old and New Testa* 
ment; all public and private conventicles 
whatsoever^ of a religious nature ; all dis- 
cMMurses on such-like topics during meals^ 
oir in domestic cixclesj were prohibited 
under the most severe penalties. 

In all the provinces, special courts of 
enquiry were established, in order to en- 
force a rigorous execution of these edicts. 
Whoever harboured heterodox opinions, 
was, without respect to rank or dignity, in<- 
Stan tly dismissed from his employments. Any 
person, upon conviction of his having disse- 
minated heresies, received sentence of death : 
the male convicts suffered by the sword of 


the executioner, the females were interred 
alive. Backsliding heretics were committe<l 
to the flames. The apostacy of a criminal 
could not obtain a remission of bis dreadful 
sentence; whoever soleHinly abjured bis 
<jrr<meous opinions, was only entitled to a 
more merciful kind of death. 

The feudal tenures of an unhappy suf- 
•ferer were regarded as confiscated property, 
contrary to a standing law of the realm, 
whereby the lieir was entitled to a restitth* 
tton, on the payment of a small fine. 

Contrary to an invaluable privilege of a 
Dutch citizen, whereby it was enacted, that 
h^ was not amenable to a foreign jurisdic^ 
-tion, the unhappy delinquents were trans** 
ported beyond the protection of their na- 
tive laws, and were tried and condemned by 
a foreign legisJatare. Thus religion con- 
ducted despotism into the sanctuary of. 

liberty, and urged it to profane her sacred 
riles trithout danger or resistance. Charles 
the Fifth> encouraged by the progress of 
his victorious arms in Germany, conceived 
himself armed with sufficient powers to 
make the most 4aring inuovatiohs, and be* 
gnn to form the dangerous project of intro* 
duchig the Spanish Inquisition into the Ne<- 
therlands. The bare sound of this tremen- 
dous institution produced a universid stagf- 
lation in the affairs of commerce. The 
principal foreign merihants were already 
preparing to emigrate. No purchases or 
sales were made any longer. The rents of 
dwelling-houses were reduced ; the labours 
of the industrious mechanic were suspended. 
The wealth of the citizen was dissipated. A 
total ruin of this illustrious seat of com- 
merce must infallibly faave^sued^ bad not 
Charles been over-ruled by the pmdent re* 



monstrances of liis regenj;, and induced te 
relinquish his dangerous schemes. The tri<» 
bunal was admonished to be merciful to<^ 
wards foreign merchants^ and the formid* 
able name of the Inquisition now assumed 
the milder appellation of «a spiritual juris- 

But^ in the other provinces^ this tribunal 
continued to rage with all that savage bru- 
tality for which it is remarkable. It hath 
been computed^ that during the reign of 
Charles^ no less than five hundred thousand 
;mortals have perished by the hands of the 
executioner^ for the sake of religion. On 
a supeificjal survey of the arbitrary con- 
duct of this monarchy we are at a loss to 
assign a reason, why that flame of rebellion^ 
which raged with such fury during the reign 
of his successor, was stifled and suppressed 
during hk ykdministration. A more iol>%r 

tue BELGIAN BEPUBllC. 1^3 

frnd dispassionate enquiry will elucidate thit 
point. The preponderance of his power 
in Europe had raised the commerce of the 
Low Countries to such a pitch of grandeur 
aiid prosperity as they had never known be* 
fore. Wafted by the majesty of his nanie^ 
their ships rode triumphantly into every 
port: they over-awed the ocean^ and con- 
cluded advantageous treaties of commerce 
with foreign powers. 

Under his auspices^ they supplanted, thq 
Hansa association in their monopoly of the 
Baltic trade. Tlie new worlds Spain^ Italy 
and Germany^ which, along with them^ 
owned the supremacy of the same lord pa- 
ramount, might be regarded as integral 
parts of their own territory, imd opened 
new channels for their conmiercial specula- 
tions* He had, moreover, incorporated the 
remaining six provinces With the hereditary 

1^4 ItiSK ANA ^KOOACSS 01» 

{>os8e99i(ms in Burgundy^ and added an er- 
^nt of t<rritoryj and a share of political in«- 
fliience to thia state, which placed it nearly 
ibpon a level with the first European tno* 

By ti)is policy, he soothed and flattered 

* He was also desirous, at one time, to establish a 
monarchy here; but the essential distinctions that ob- 
tained in the provinces, tirfaicb varied from each other. 
Dot only in their constitution and manners, but like- 
wise in weight and measures, induced him to lay 
aside thi& design. lie might hdve rendered' them 
a more important service by means of the treaty of 
Burgundy, in which their relation to the German 
empire was exactly ascertained. It was stipulated in 
tbirtr^ty, that they ivere to furnish a contingent to- 
wards the common necessities of the German empire* 
as large again as that of an Elector ; in case of a war 
>fi^ith the TaVks, they were to cofmibute tbree tiOHM 
k» much. Jo return foir all this, they were assured of 
the protection of this mighty empire* and all their 
privileges were to be counter-securtd. The tevolu- 
tioA that took place undei* bis successor, atoulM this 
contract* which scarcely deserves to be mentioned, 
because no solid benefits accrued from thence. 


«feeir national pride. After Guilders, Uteech t^ 
Friesland and Groningen were annexed to 
his jurisdiction^ all those petty, feuds and 
hostilities subsided in these provinces^ 
whereby their commerce bad been hitherto 
molested ; during a long interval of tran- 
quillity^ they began to reap the fruits of, 
Aekr industry. 

Charles may^ therefore, be undoubtejdly 
styled the benefactor of these n^tionji. TH^^ 
8{dendo]: of his vi6loriea bad 4az2l^4^ w4» 
confounded their senses ; the glory of thevr.* 
apvereign, . ^hich was communicated to 
AaoEi, relaxed tbeir repoblicnn vigikne^; 
the' glorions wreath of unfadirig laurt^U, 
which adorned the broir of th^ mighty 
conqueror of Gennany, of France, Italy 
and Africa, intimidated tlie spirit of fac- 
tion. Moreover, who is there, that is a 
irtranger to the commanding influence of 

G 3 


aa individual (whether he be prince or sub- 
ject) who has once got a firm ht>Id on our 
admiration. His frequent jcurneys to these 
parts^ which^ according to bi» own confes- 
sion^ he visited ten different times^ over- 
awed the malecont^nts ; the repeated ex- 
amples of a vindictive and speedy adminis- 
^tion of justice^ armed the supreme powera 
with the efficacious aid of terror* Lastly, 
Charles was born in ihe Netherlands^ and. 
conceived an affection for a people, in whose, 
midst he had passed the prime of his youth.^ 
Their manners delighted him; their ea$y>. 
unaffected carriage and coaversation, formed 
an agreeable contrast with the haughty mien 
and austere gravity of his Spanish subjects. 
He conversed in their language, and regu- 
Wed the oeconomy of his private life ac-< 
cording to their customs. At Brussels, 
those cumbersome formalities were abo- 


lishcd, that form an everlasting barrier 
between prince and subject. No mercenary 
sltanger precluded- their approach to the 
footstool of their sovereign ; they obtained 
access to his person through the medium of 
their 6wn countrymen, whom he honoured^ 
^ith special marks of his confidence. . > 
He conversed i;eith them in the most af-: 
fectionate and unreserved ^manner. His ad- 
dress was winnings his discoarse^ courteous^ 
and obliging.. By these smd^U compliances^ 
he secored their affections ; and^ at the very: 

moment^ when bis sacrilegious arm was in- 
vading the sanctuary of their propertiets— ^ 

when his armies were ravaging their fields — 
when they were groaning under the oppres- 
sion of hts viceroys — and were butchered by 
his executioners, their hearti were won by 
the gracious smiles of royalty. 

Charles would gladly have bequeathed to . 




Philip this valuable patrimony of the affec- 
tionate regards of his people. With this 
View, he brought him from Spain^ and in* 
troduced him at Brussels to his future sub^ 
jects. During the awful solemnity of his 
abdication^ he recommended these cotm- 
tries to the paternal care of his son^ as the. 
richest jewek of his orown^ and earnestly 
admonished him to preserve an invieJaU^: 
regard for their constitution. 

la every particular^ that regards huma-. 
Bity^ Philip < the Second was jiiH tbe re- 
verse of his father. With the s^ipe inordi'- 
nate share of ambition^ he was leasrconver'i^ 
sant with llie dignity of hnmaa nature^ aad 
bad formed the most absurd and extrava- 
gant ideas of regal prerogative^ according 
to which, meit were considered merely as 
the passive tools of arbitrary power, being 
liable to the most severe animadversion for 
every extraordinary exertion of their deli- 


berative capacity as free moral ageiits. A 
Spaniard by birtb^ and accvstomed to the 
1»arbarous discipline of a monkish educa- 
tion^ he expected from others the same an-it 
sterity and reserve, which were become con- 
genid to big own disposition. The lively 
genius of die Belgians was not more re^ 
pugnant to his temper and habits^ than their 
privileges were boKtile to his ambitious 
views. He conversed in no other language 
be^efi the Spanish^ would suffer none but 
Spaniards: to approach his person^ and dis<» 
covered a superstitious predilection for their 
customs. In vain did the Flemish towns:^ 
through which he passed, vie with each 
other in the pomp and magnificence of the 
f ^tes they gave, in order to commemorate 
his arrival.* 

f Ou thii occasion, the town of Antwerp alone es- 
pendeiif ihe sum of S60,000 florins ip gold. Vide 
Meteren. Vol. I. Book I. 21, 22. 



Philip's eye remained sullen and gloomy : 
liis features were not brigbiened with a sin* 
gle smile of approbation^ by all the loud 
and sincere acclamations of joy. The 
scheme of Charles wholly miscarried when 
he introduced his representative to tlie 
Flemish. They would have endured bis 
yoke with less impatience^ bad he never 
once entered their territory; but they could 
read their future destiny in the lines of his 
countenance; his appearance at Brussels 
estranged their s^ecti^s from his person* 
The gracious condescen8i<m of the Emperor 
towards this nation^ only served to render 
the haughty carriage of bis son still more 
odious and disgusting. They now beheld 
with their own eyes^ the tremendous author 
of their calamities. They were disarmed 
of those terrors by his presence^ which ab- 
seenee and soUiude would have inspired. 



His ibrm ajud image was ever prcffent to 
their memory; a frail mortal like them- 
selves. That fatal plot^ which he alreadj 
began to meditate against their liberties^ 
was insenbed in the most legible cbaraicters 
on his countenance. They were duly pre<- 
pared to meet a tyrant^ and providied with 
the means of resistagce* 

The imperial crown of the Netherlands^ 
was the first diadem which Charles the 
Fifth resigned. At Brussels^ in the pre- 
sence of a solemn convocation^ he absolved 
the States General from their oath of alle- 
giance^ and transferred it to King Philip 
his son. On this occasion he concluded his 
address to his representative In the following 
terms : — 

If my demise had placed these conn*' 

tries under your sway^ such a valuable 
'^ inheritance would nevertheless have stilt' 

o 6 




^ gives me the great«sl claims upilin yxmr 
** gralitode. But now that I resign them to 
^ yoQ ¥y ft iM^limtary act, now that I antiei- 
'^ patt my dejp«urtttre from the world, in or^ 
^ dev to facilitate yoor aceeasion to this 
*^ dignity, I beseech you to dieeharge that 
'* debt to diese natiooB, which you haye 
*' contracted towards me» 

Otber princes think it a peculiar feli- 
city, to bequeath that crown to their 
''childMn, whidi death is prepiuring to 
^ ramh from them ; I am willing to tojoy 
this satisfaction during my life time. I 
am desiroas to live, and 46 be a spectator 
of your reign. 
^' Thow are few who ba^e establisliied 
'' such a precedent, and few will chose ta 
^' imitate my example. 

^ B«t my leotKtu^ will be commendable, 
^ M yxmr ftMw life jualifiim my expecta- 









^f tioiu ; if yott are constimtly swayed by 
^' those wbe and moderate counsels^ i^ch 

yon have hkherto adopted^ and if you 

preserve an inviolable attachment tot 
*^ that holy and orthodox £iith, which is 
^^ the main pillar of your throne. 

** I have nothing farther to add than this. 
'' May heaven also reward yon with a son^ 
'' to whom you can delegate your power by 
^* choiee^ and not by necessity." 

After the emperor had condoded this ad* 
chress^ Philip dropt upon his knee before 
him^ seizi^d'his hand^ pressed it to his lips^ 
and received Us paternal Uesstag. A tear 
stole from hU eyelids for the last time. All 
the bysoanders wept. It was an hour never 
to b^ forgotten. 

This affecting farce was shortly afterwards 
sucbeieded by another. Philip received the 
Koina^e.of the Estates; the coronation oath 




was administered to him^ which was con* 
ceived in the following terms:— 
^' I, Philip^ by the grace of God, prince 
of Spain, of both the Sicilies, &c. do 
solemnly swear and stipulate that I will be 
a good and jnst Lord, in these conn- 
'/ tries, counties and duchies; that I will 
truly and faithfully maintain and uphold 
al} those privileges and liberties of (mj 
** nobility, towns, communities and sub- 
'' jects, which they have inherited from my 
*^ forefathers; and moreover all those cus^ 
'^ toms, usages and rights, which they have 
^' and possess^ severally and collectively; 
^^ and will moieoTer do every thing, what* 
^\ soever is the bouodenduty of a good and 
^' just Prince and Lord. So help me God 
" and all his saints !** 

The dread which ^e arbitittry power of 
the Emperor had inspired^ aikl the jealousjn 


of the Estates against his son^ are very 
plainly insinuated^ in framing this oath, 
which was conceived in far more cautious 
and explicit terms, than that which had 
been formerly administered to Charles the 
Fifth, and to the Dnkes of Burgundy. Philip 
was now compelled to pledge his royal word 
for the maintenance of their ancient cus- 
toms and usages; a stipulation that had 
never been exacted before. In the oath 
which the Estates deposed, no other allegi- 
ance is stipulated, than what is consistent 
with the standing charters of the realm. His 
deputy governors were to expect submission 
and support, provided they discharged their 
trust in a legal manner. Lastly, in this 
oath, Philip is simply styled the natural 
Prince and not the Lord or Sovereign, con- 
fermably to the desires of the Emperor. A 
f Iain proof how little they confided in the 


justice and magnanimity of their new so- 

After this laat business was adjusted^ 
Charles the Fifth abandoned his palace at 
Brussels^ and fixed his residence at a private 
house, nntil the time of his departure for 
his future retreat. There he found an 
asylum for his ambitious mind, which was 
Bot prepared to encounter another storm of 

That inyisible Being, who superintends 
the rcvohitioiis of history, is sometimes 
pleased to sport with the self-sufficient va- 
nity of mankind, and to weigh, in his own 
balance, actions, to which we apply the 
epithets of excellent and divine. TTiat re- 
markable life, which diverted the current of 
history Hito a new channel, wherein it was 
to remain for many ages, was concluded 
with a tragical and penitential episode. The 


mighty labours of many years were crowned 
with a sorry penitence^ and with the ingra- 
titude of an individual^ to whose sole emo« 
kiment they had been dedicated. 

Philip the Second ascended the throne of 
ibe Nelherlanda^ during the most shining 
mra of their prosperity. He was the first 
of thfiir faincee^ who^ on bi» accessiony 
possessed the integrid tenitorial jttrisdietioit 
of these provinces. They now compre^ 
heoded seventeen dietricte^ via. the four 
Duchies of Brabant^ Limburg> Luxemburg, 
and Gueidef»; the seven counties of Artois, 
df Hennegvo^ of Flandera Namur^ Ztit- 
phen^ Holland sifdZiealand ; the margravate 
of Antwerp^ and the five lordships of Fries^i 
land^ Mecheluj Utrecht, Overyssel and Gro- 
ningen; which altogether, constituted a 
mighty and powerful state, that, for stabi- 
lity and opulence,^ was upon a kvel with 


every other European monarchy. Their 
commerce had reached the ultimate climax 
of its greatness. Their treasury were all 
ahove ground^ hut they were moreiralaable 
and inexhaustible tbaa his American mines. 

These seventeen districts^ wbich^, takea 
collectively, scarcely comprized a fiffli part 
of Italy, and did not exceed three hundred- 
Flemish miles in extent, yielded an annual 
revenue to their sovereign^ not much infe- 
rior to what Britain formerly contributed,- 
before her monarchs l)ad annexed the eccle- 
siastical domains to the crown lands. 

Three hundred and fifty towns, engaged 

with restless activity in the pursuits of la- 

boui*> and of a voluptuous life ; many of 
them impregnable without ramparts, and 

inaccessible without bulwarks; of consider- 
able boroughs, three thousand and six hun- 
dred; of petty villa|;es, manors and strong 


castles^ a countless number^ imparted to 
this empire the chearful aspect of one in- 
dividual and Nourishing district* 

The nation had now ascended the meri- 
dian of its glory ; by industry and affluence 
the genius of the citizen was exalted^ his 
reason enlightened, bis a&ctions ennobled. 
The florid bloom of the country commnni'^ 
cated a kindred blopm and vigour to the 

fair productions of the mind. A happy^ 

• * 

temperature of bloody produced by the 
asperity of a bleak climate^ modulated 
the rage of the passions ; equanimity, so- 
briety, and exemplary patience^ the in* 
-valuable gifts of the northern climes; inte- 
grity, justice and candoiur, the necessary 
virtues of their profession, and the amiable 
offspring of liberty, truth, benevolence, and 
a fierce patriotic spirit, were blended to« 
gether in the composition of their character^ 

140 Al» AN0 Pft09RB»S OP 

with some portion of human frailties. N^ 
nation in the universe is more easily go- 
vemed by vise and moderate counsels^ nor 
is any more averse to* the faithless policy of 
arbitrary power. The voice <^ the pec^k 
does no where pass sentence npon their 
xulersj in snch a clear wid nneqnivoeal 
maimer; on tkis amphitheatre> a liberal and 
mligiiteaed policy can exhibit the Bkost 
apt^lime specimens of art> and a sel^h, de* 
ftnerate d/wpotist^ i&stire to meei witli.Ae 
most formidabh opposition. 

A statOj thttv constituted^ eonld display 
the moiit miraoalpus enprgies, if a sndden 
eatergeney aroused her kteiit- powers to ac^ 
tion, if a wise and provident administration 
unlocked tlie floodgates of ber resources. 

Charles the Fifth bequeathed to his sue*' 
oessor^ a share of power in these provinces^ 
qot much inferior to that of a limited mo* 

ttt£ BELGIAN ftfi:i^UfitlC. 141 

liRrchy. Regal prerogative had acquired a 
visible ascendaficy crrer RepubUcan ioflu'* 
ence^ and the moveirieiits of ^this complex 
4nachiiieiy cddd tfow be conducted with ats 
mach ease and rapidity^ as those of an ab- 
solute government. A numerous nobility, 
whcise power had been heiwtofore predo- 
miiiant^ cbearfally accompanied their sove- 
reign in his wars, or courted, the benevo*- 
lence and gracious smiles of Royalty in the 
ciTil charges of the state. 

The ingenious policy o( die crown had 
devised a new species of iinaginary wealth, 
of which she had the exclusive gift and mo- 
Bopdly. An upstart rao^ of passions, and 
other idea.4 conoeming f oirtune, proscribed 
the barbarouB simplicity of republican vir<- 
tue. Pilde was supjJlanted by vanity, li- 
berty by honour, a needy independance by 
a smiHt>g and affluent servitude: To enslave 


their countary as the absolute represeatatives 
of an absolute monarcb^ was a far more 
powerful temptation to tlie avarice and am- 
bition of the Grandees^ than to share alon^ 
with their master a paul try dividend of the 
sovereignty, in the general assembly of the 
States. Moreover, a considerable part of 
the nobility laboured under pecuniary em- 

As if he were willing to confer special 
honours upon them, Charles the Fifth had 
crippled all his formidable vassals, by sump- 
tuous and cumbersome embassies. Thus, 
William of Orange was dispatched to Ger- 
many with the Imperial crown, and the 
count of Egmont was sent, to England, in 
•order to conclude the marriage contract 
with queen Mary. In the sequel, both of 
them accompanied the duke of Alba to 
France, in order to establish a treaty of 

rHB BELOfAN REl^UBLie. I4i^ 

mntilty, and-to eflfect an alliance betwixt their 
monarch and madam Elizabeth. The ex* 
pences of this journey amounted to three 
hundred thousand florins^ towards which 
the king did not contribute a single mite. 
When the prince of Orange succeeded the 
duke of Savoy, as generalissimo of the ar- 
mies, he was obliged to defray all the ex- 
penses connected with this dignity^ When 
foreign ambassadors or princes came* to 
Brussels, the inhabitants of the Low Coun- 
tries were under the necessity of support- 
ing the majesty of their monarch, who al- 
ways took a solitary repast, and never gave 
public entertainments. 

The Spanish policy had devised, a still more 
ingenious contrivance, in order to expa- 
triate the 'inost wealthy families. Every 
year, one of the Spanish grandees made 
bis appearance at Brussels, where he lived 

144 Risk AND raooftEss OF 

in sQch splendour, and displayed such 
mnnificence, tbat he anticipated bis reve.» 
nues. At Brussek, it would have been ab-- 
counted the greatest opprobrium to have 
yielded the precedence to a foreigner in this 
particular. Every one strove to outshine 
him, and their fortones were dissipated by 
this vain rivalship; whilst the Spaniard 
made a timely retreat to his native country, 
where, by a rigid osconomy of four years, 
he retrieved tlie waste and prodigality of 
one twelvemonth. It was the foible of the 
Belgian nobility, to vie with every foreigner 
in parade add magnificence, and the go* 
vemment knew how to furofit by this cir- 

Nevertheless, these arts did not eventu- 
ally prove so advantageous as they bod 
presumed ; these pecuniary incumbraooes 
|>repared the minds of the nobilitj ^Ibr 



innovations; be<:;au8e in^ the genend wreck, 
he, who has akeady lost every thing, ha^ 
an to gain, and nothing to lose. 

* It was very naitaral that the clergy should 
he the main pillars of regal prerogative.' 
Hie bright lera of their prosperity was 
coeiral with the age of mental darkness, and 
in like manner as the monarch, thev raised 
the fabric of their greatness upon ignqxancc 
and vclupluousness. Abject servitude ren* 

ders the consoWions of religion more ne« 
cessary and indispensible; a blind, acqui- 
escence in the prerogative of a tyrant pre-. 
pares the miuds for a blind and superstitious 
&ith, and hierarchy repays with usury the 
sei-vices of despotism. In parliament, the 
bishops and prelates became zealous advo- 
cates for majesty, and were always ready to 
sacrifice die interests of the citizen, to the 
emolument of the churchy and to the poll- 


14$ BUIB.AifO rlO0BE$t dff 

tiotl viem of tke . m^naich. Brave and 


nttmeiou ganitons oter-^awed the towns» 
which were moreover at variaiicQ widi each 
other, owing to feligiovi feudcii and the War- 
fare of factiotis. How litrle was therefore 
wanting to support this preponderance! and 
what a fatal mistake must not liave been 
committed in order to lose it. 

How great soever the influence of Philip 
Blight be in these provinces^ the Spanish 
nionarchy had acquired an equal preponde- 
ranee in everj other quarter of Europe* 
!No state durst enter into any competition 
with Spain. France^ her most formidable 
rivals was exhausted by a destrodive warfare^ 
and by intestine factions^ which exaj|ted 
their heads^ under the feeble administration 
of a minor; and was approaching with 
rapid strides towards that fatal catastrophe^ 
when this country became the theatre af 

r^E BELGIAN ]llS^VmC« W 

tlie most enormous crimes, and of iheHitat 
dreadful cakmitiet. In Eaglaiid', EltM* 
beth had hitkeito heen scarcely able to 
defend ber tottering throne, against the 
furious assault of factions, or to guard her 
new church establishment against the insi- 
dious arts of the old religion. Her king^ 
dom still expected her mighty fiat^ in order 
to emerge from that obscurity in whidh it 
lay, and to display the vital energies, which 
it afterwards borrowed from the injudicious 
jk>licy of a vanquished rival. 

The imperial dynasty of Germany, was 
dosely allied to the Spanish house, by the 
powerful bonds of blood and political in- 
terest; and the attention of the house of 
Austria, was diverted from the regions of the 
vrest, towards the eastern part of Europe^ 
by the victorious progress of Solimad: gra- 
titude and fear fixed the Italian ptinces in 


it i 

M8'' ftiSBf AND' PROaRESS O^ 

Ae HiteYeSls'ef Philip, and the coRclavc 
was governed by his creatures. 
riarcliies of the North, ware Still wrapt in 
night and obscurity,' or they had jafit begun, 
to vindicate their political existence, and 
were excluded from the federal system of, 

European monarchies. The most consum- 

, % . 

mate generals^ numerous armies, accus-. 

tomed to victory, a formidable navy, the 
golden liarvests that were annually imported 
from the West Indies ; all these were power- 
ful and irresistible engines, had they beeo 
wielded by the firm grasp of a spirited mo- 
narch. Under such auspicious stars did 
Philip commence his reign ! 

Before we examine the transactions of 
his.i^ign, we must iin>t explore the inm^st^ 
recesses^of his soul, and there we shall dis- 
cover the secret cliie to his subsequent poli- 
tical life. Joy and benevolence were wholly 


waatinig ia the composition of his charac- 
,ter. His early habits of education^ and the 
temperature of his bloody suppressed tlie 
influence of the former affection : the latter 
was not likely to be produced bj^ a com- 
merce with men^ who had dissolved all the 
tender and affectionate bonds of humanity ; 
.the vacuity of his mind w^s wholly jQU- 
. grossed by t^p ideas, a narrow, selfi^i 
principle, and the iqea of a superioj* uitel- 
• ligeuce* Egottsm and* Bseligion were the 
..summary contents and title'^piige lo the his* 
tory of his life. . Ha was a monjirch .and'.a 
i.cbrialian, and equally defective in. both 
these characters: in the former case, be- 
' cause bis inteHectual eye constantly soared 
. above, and never descended beneath the 
limits of his own' sphere. His religious 
creed was gloomy and unmerciful,* because 
his deity was a tremendous being: he 

H 3 

150 BiBE AK0 Fitoemeas tm 

bad nothing to hope from his beneVKV 
lenccj but much to apprehend from. hi» 
anger. To an humble individual, the Di^ 
'Vine Nature appears cloatbed in theamiable-^ 
attributes of mercy and salvation ; to him it 
appeared surrounded with all the terrors of a 
torrible apparition^ which suspended and 

^circumseribed the exercise of his tervestrial 
omnipotence. His Teneration for this Be* 
ing, yr9» the more profound itnd e^alted^ 
as no xiortal possessed any i^are in liis i^ 
g«rds. He w>rsbi|>ped the Almigfaty with 
fear and tremblings because the .Aimigbly , 

•al^ne was capable of insj^mg bim wldi 
sentiments of t^ror. 

Charles was an enthusiast in the cause ef • 
Religion, because she was subservient to 
his views; Philip, because she was t^e 
main pillar of 1^$ faith. For the sake 
of a single heresy, Charks devolled many 


thousands of victims to the fary of th« 
.flames and of the sword ; by violating the 
sanctity of the Roman Pontiff, he ridi- 
culed that doctrine which he had endea* 
Youred to establish by the effusion oT hu- 
man blood. Philip entered with the greatest 
diffidence and reluctance upon a most le- 
gitimate war with the Pope^ and chear- 
fully abandoned all the acquisitions of his 
victerious arms^ ki like -manner as a re- 
pentant criminal makes a restitution of hn 
apoil. The tyranny of the emperor was de- 
Mbefaleand systemaftie-*-th»t of his soii> was 
puarely sentimental. 

The former possessed a mighty and capa* 
clous soul; but was, perhaps, for this very 
reason, the worst man of the two : the mind 
^ the latter was narrow and illiberal, but 
was, however, more just and equitable. — 
Nevertheless, mcthinks, both these men 

u 4 


might have been less culpable; and yet, ^ 
upon the whole^ have pursued the same 
system of measures. What we frequently 
ascribe to the moral agency of an indivi- 
dual^ is oftentimes notliing more than the 
infirmity and unhappy subterfuge of human 
satuie^ A monarchy^ of such unwieldy dh- 
mensions^ was a too powerful temptation to 
human pride^ a too mighty task for the li- 
mited powers of humanity. To reconcile 
the idea of universal happiness with the 
most perfect liberty^ is alone within the 
competence of that infinite mind^ which 
can equally communiciite its presence to 
all modes of being throughout the uni* 
verse. But what course does a man pur- 
sue, when ticting as the deputy and repre- 
sentative of his Maker ? A man endeavours 
to remedy the circumscribed condition of 
his nature by classification ; and imitating 


the example of a nataral historian^ he es- 
tablishes certain symboid> aQd'Cbamcieris- 
tical distinctioiM^ to whith all indtvidiials 
must conform ; whereby he supplies'tte de- 
fect of a comprehensive 'Snrvey, aiideil- 
larges -the limited sphere of his apprehen- 
sion: all this is accomplished by religiM. 
She finds hope and fear implanted in every 
human breast; by acqiiiring^ an ascendancy 
over those passions, by diverting these af- 
fections towards .a 'single object, she vii*- 
tually transforms the free moral agency of 
many millions into one abstract essence. 
The mind of the monnrch is no longer per- 
ple^^ed by the infihif^^ variety of humane 
. There is now a general criterion of moral 

excellence and defonaoitv, which he can 


display or remove at pleasure, and which 

H 5 * 

154 BISB ANB nO«.Kn9 OF 

•pcrfiBCtlyicooopEtrtfiet irttk hit^ Tievs^ eva^ 
^hfive irhW^^ {MMCttee is wilbdrawo* 

4ft ^Ictfi4 bMfiffr Is ^QwfbroHfi^ wherc- 
^ Ave prqgrest i>f liberty i$ divested: «a 
.mrfM wd «»cM Uipe t» now fkuwn^ in wbidi 
.|Art^-ei^QCi|iitrK^ ino^iia of tb^ limaa will 
ppiat finally coioyeide. The intimate object 
4^ 4espoii9m am) <of fvrie^torafli, is mufor- 
siii^ ; ^tt4 UQifonmiy is 4 j^owoffDl e^txi" 
liary to bttoaii imperfectioo. PJiitip M0d«- 
•anly betaajaae 4^ greater tyxaiit ^m bis &- 
ijier^ becaiuse his geoiiis was mw^ iM^row 
aod i^'c^imseribed^ ^f eouwe be was ob- 
liged t/o^ adhere to geaeial ru)es with a Hiore 
3c;riyp«ilt>i^s obsewa^e^ ]>ecause he «Q«ld 
dot descend to the endless modifications ^f 
^ a subordinate i^cies^ of io^ividaals. 

Mom, wJukt geuemX ^oi^idlvy can we dmr 
firpm aj[l. these preasisei^ i 
Philip the Second fud^avonred to intro-^ 

the: «uaiA9f BXroilLIO. 165 

^uce vnifonni^ iaHo the nwcUmiy.of idi^ 
gioD^ afi well aiFof the cmstitii|ioQ# befamie^ 
be couU Aot govern witbpul iblf poiiiflij^. 
— NeTerlhetess, ke would hsuv 4imti»ftd 
a greater df^gpree of modera^po aiidi g]vh 
mea^y, upon his accesli^n to the tlwoae^ 
had be comoieiioed h^ rejgq at a naore ewly 
:perio4-^ In the general -opinion that hft^ 
ik^n. formed c^mcemiiig this mon^rch^ fioe 
ciropiaiatance adems to have been oraitted^ 
whiob ia of cenaiderable importaiice in the 
secret history of his moral and intellectual 
qualities. Philip had altnost cooapleated 
the thirtieth year of his age, before he svs< 
cended the Spanish throne, and the ripe- 
aiess of his judgment had long anticipated 
i3^ maturity of manhoods A mUkd like hif ^ 
Ibat vap conscious ȣ its owi^. strengtl^, 
jpould scarcely brook a servile state of sub- 
jection ;-*the superior geaius aii4 ascend^ 



ancy of that great monarch his father^ mm 
an intolerable burden to the self-suffieient 
pride of the son'r the active share he was 
permitied to take in the administratioa of 
the empi^e^ was just enough ta disengage 
his nrind iVom the influence of meaner pas- 
sions, and to confirm the severe austerity 
of his character ; but it likewise served to 
inflame his thirst of arbitrary power. When 
he came into the actual possession of his 
dignity, 4t had already lost the charms of 

The happy illhsion of a young monarchy 
when he first tastes the pleasures of royalty, 
that pleashig reverie wherein he is entranced, 
which makes the soul alive to tender and 
benevolent impressions, from whence thfe 
human species has derived many benefits 


and valuable institutions^ this happy revc^^* 
lution in Philip's life had already elapsed. 


or Iiad perhaps never taken place. His 
cbardcter was already steeled to a sufficient 
degree of consistency^ and his firm and 
. steady principles withstood the genial sallies 
of benevolence. A probationary term of 
. fifteen tears had been allotted him for pre- 
paring his mind for this' grand revolation; 
and^ imtead of betraying any symptoms of 
a juvenile levity in his elevation — ^instead 
of being intoxicated by the delusive charm» 
of royalty during the early period <^ his 
reign — he preserved a suffici^it degree of 
gr^^vity and composijure^ to exert his prero* 
rgative-vi.its full plenitude^ and^ by i$xer- 
. cising i( to the utmost extent^ he n^a4e 
himself ample amends for this long- term of 

No sooner did Philip the Second b<^old 
himself securely established in the posses- 
sion of his hereditary kingdomi> by the 

158 miSB AHft ntoGJtBS& or 

peace of Chateaa Caminresis^ thaafae vliolly 
Implied Us mind to tibe paiwit -of bb fa- 
irourite scheme^ of regenerating the 4^ucch 
ottabiiihneiit, and thttB realized thje appve- 
beniions of his Belgian subjeots. 

TboM ediotB, whioh bis father bad pro- 
ittolgaled agaiMt beMtios^ were now put in 
ibvoewilh Aeiitiiiottrigoar; and ini^mtOiis 
'Iribnmds^ wbidi possessed all the essential 
afttiibntes of an i/iqnisition^ except h<^ 
Bame^ guarantied the earecattoh ef Aese 
ifangnioM'y deofees. Sat be oonceiTed^ that 
-ht only partially aoGompUsbed hk puipese^ 
as k>fig as -the SpaniA. inqnisition was not 
intradneed into these kingdoms in hef g€- 
^fluineform-^-^scbemey which bad already 

miscarried^ during the reign of liis father* 

This Spanish inquisition ts mi institntion 

tt a pecnliar east and ordcr^ t>f wbtdi we 

'4ind no aieb^pe in Ae revolution of fbrmef 

Bge», and which cannot be compared mth 
mny spiritttal or tempond junsdiction what- 
soever. At aU times there hare hcen inqui- 
sitions^ nvhenerer Reasosi> with unhallowed 
feet^ invaded the sanctQary of Religiosi^ 
'inAievesoever a spirit^ scepticism and inno* 
vatton pvcvmiled : Vat it was first towaids 
llie middle of the f hirteenth oentttry^ alll^r 
4ome symptoms 6f apostacy had alaomed 
the jeaJousy of a vrgifatnt hierardiy^ thdt 
Innocent the Third erected a special tri- 
'banal to try religious causes^ and thns dtt« 
miembered^ in an arbitrary manner^ the 
^os% mstntetion and disd|^e of the 
"^^f f^^^ ^hetr jadidal and «nc(!tf aterial 
capacity. In order to rest assaned^ :that 
the gen^ voice «f natmpe^ and the tender 
sentiments of hmnanity^ would' not relax or 
imidgaae the ; stem severity «f its sanguine^ 
edkts^ he 'Cseluded the bishops a^d the 


secular dergy from ^ share in this tribuna]^ 
nrho were too much attached to the cause 
• of humanity, by the bonds of civil life; 
. and placed it wholly in the hands of monks, 
a mis-begotten race of mortals, who had 
.renounced all the gentle affections of na- 
ture, and had prostituted their services to 
the Roman See* Germany, Italy, Spain, 
Portugal and France, acknowledged the 
supremacy of this tribunal. A monk, of 
.the order of St. Francis, assisted at that 
tremendous court of enquiry, which ful- 
minated the dreadful sentence against the 
knights templars ; a few states only were 
excepted from its jurisdiction, or succeed^ 
in placing it under the. coatroul of the civil 
powers. ' Previous to- tb^ reign of Cliarles 
the Fifth, the Netherlands had enjoyed an 
exemption from this dreadful plague > their 
bishops exercised the ghostly discipline of 


the church'; and, in extraordinary cases, 
they had recourse to foreign tribunals : the 
Freiich provinces made their appeals to 
Paris, and the German districts, to Co- 
. logn'e. 

But the inquisition, of which we are hovr 

speaking, being engendered in the West 

of J^lurope^ was dissimilar in its origin^ ami 

. of quite another shape and complexion, 

' In Grenada, tlie last imperial throne of the 

Moors, had been overwhelmed with a tre- 

' mendous coacussioii,' and the fortuntes of 

jOiHstianity prevatled over the idolatrous 

"Worship of the Saracens. But, during thlB 

. infancy of this {Mriititive Christian monarchy^ 

the doctrines of Christiimity were hitherto 

but imperfectly established, and» amidit 

the impare association of heterogenous laws 

. and jpufntoms, the - Religions had not been 

.^p^gQat^d nor sublimated. The flaming 


swoxxl 5)f persecution ha3^ indeed, expa* 
triated many thousandi of families, and 
driven them to the African shores; but a 
fax greater number, rather than endure an 
eternal absence from the land of their na- 
tivity, redeemed themselves fr<mi this cruel 
hardship, by the farce of a dissembled con- 
version, and continued to offer up. oblations 
to Mahomet and Moses on Christian altars. 
JU long. as the votaries of i^eligion tiHm6d 
-jtbeic faces towards Meoca, the kingdom 4^f 
Grraiada was not aubdned; asiong as the 
CHOW Christian f^tm^lytc ciMiitinued to be « 
'Turk, or a 3f ussukaan, within the sanctoaiy 
of his own household, hia fidelity to tbe 
dirone^ and to ih^ Roman See, was equally 
.precarious. It was no substantial reiovam^ 
^tion to haw forced vpon ikitt ief«actoyy 
people the 4b3eievfial forms of a new per* 
ciMfiion, ^r to have n^tach^ ihrai ^ .fhe 


new churchy by the weak appendages of 
outward ceremonials : it became expedient^ 
to eradicate the principles of the ancient 
religion^ and to overcome those inveterate 
px^judicesj which^ by the alow progressive 
operation of many ages^ had been closely 
interwoven with their manners^ their lan- 
guage^ and their lawsj and had remained 
in foice and energy, ^y the secret influences 
of 4ieir aoil and atmosphere* If tht ehiirch 
^|9ere dcsirons to gam a signal triomfh ovtr 
iftfidelily, and to secure her new acquisU 
tions from apostacy, by an unalienable 
tenure^ she had no othctr rescopce than fci 
imdermine those ftmdameiitaj piUars spoQ 
'which the ancient ftith wiui established^ 
wd to deface the whole form of that 
moral character to which it dosely aid« 
bered: it was r^nisite to aaadeate ita«i« 
4ical iQvolntions ftom the uimott vecesiia 

>64 RISE AND 3PKat;REss or 

and winding labyrinth of the soul, to 

punge every trace and lineament thereof 

from the sphere of civil and domestic life, 

to banish from the mind the images of 

memory, nay, if posaible, to destroy the 

sensitive faculty of receiving impresstons. 

Our country, our family, our conscience, 

and our honour^ the sacred affections of 

natui^e and of society^ are always the pri« 

:mitive and arigiaal stock on which rdigion. 

,5re en^iafted, from whiefa they derive, awl 

. to which they communicate energy. Tliis 

union was now to be dissolved ; the aQcieot 

.religion was to be torn asunder from the 

saored affections of nature, although this 

violent operation should prove fatal to those 

holy sentiments. Thus that inquisitton was 

reared, whiehi in order \to distinguish it 

from the.tai^re humane; tribunals, that bear 

the same title, we. have denominated the 

Snanish incuisitlon. 


: The (founder of this institution was. the 
Candinal Ximenes. Torquemada^ a domi* 
Dican friar^ opened her dreadful sessions: 
with great solemnity^ promulgated her* sta*> 
tutesj and bequeathed to his whole order* 
the everlasting malediction of human kind. 
The tremendous engine of despotism anclv 
hierarchy^ soon became the powerful instru- 
ment of avarice. The enormous stims^ tliat 
flowed into the royal exchequer from the 
confiscated domains^ were a too mighty 
temptation to Ferdinand, The inquisitioa 
furnished him with a key to the coffers of 
all his subjects^ in like manner as it was the 
organ of his power^ and the indissoluble 
bond, whereby the great and the powerful. 
were enchained to the throne of majesty. 
This tribunal was reared upon everlasting 
foundations, because it was sustained by 
the irresistible energies of those two leading 
passions that are predominant in our nature. 

l66 XISB Alio PtOOBSSt OP 

The grand object, which this instittitiott 

proposed to accomptiftb, vms to bring reason 

under the threidoin of a superstitions MA, 

and to destroy the freedom of the mind by 

a dull uniformity ; the mighty engines which 

she employed were terror and dismay. She 

explored the inmost recesses of the though ts, 

and her jurisdiction extended owr the invt«* 

sible empire of the inind. All the passions 

were enlisted under her banners. Friend* 

ship, conjugal love, and all the sacred af^ 

fections of nature, were rendered subservient 

to her purposes : her snares lurked in the 

cup of pleasure, and embittered all the com* 

forts of social life. There, where she could 

not introduce her emissaries, she held the 

conscience in subjection by terror ; a secret 

pre*sentiment of her omnipresence fettered* ' 

the freedom of the will, even in the wind- 

iog labyrinth of the soul. All the senti- 

ments of hitmaoity vrete over-awed^ and 
sobject to the controul of an arbitmry 
^reed ; a^ heretic could do loager make any 
appeal to the equitable tribunal of his owa 
species : on the least syniptom of infidelity> 
all those saored bonds^ whereby he was at<» 
tached to humanity^ were suddenly snapt 
asunder. That wholesome and instinctive 
horror^ with which the Author of our being 
has wisely armed us against crimes of the 
blackest dye^ was now sacrilegiously con- 
verted^ by the priei^tcraft;> to their own base 
purposes; a modest scruple^ concerning the 
infallibility of the pope^ was liable to as se* 
vere animadyersion as the most enormous 
crimes^ such as parricide and sodomy* No 
destiny whatsoever could remove their vic- 
tims beyond the reach of their persecution : 
they wteaked: their vengeance upon the dead^ 
aod ufKm pictures ; nay^ ev^n the grave it- * 


self did not afFord an asylum from the arm 
of the inQUtsition ; and the guilt of the 
fathers was yisited upon their descendants^ 
through many generations. 
. The impiety of the judgments that 
Mrere uttered, was only surpassed by the 
savage barbarity with which they were car- 
ried into execution. - This tribunal .appals 
the sensesj by a strange assemblajge of new 
and infernal horror3, derived from those 
ludeous phantoms that dwell in a distem- 
pered and puerile imagination,, and aggra- 
vates the dismay of th^ present moment^ 
with all the fantastic imagery of the world . 
tp come. By associating the ridiculous, 
ajong with the terrible, and by amusipg the 
eye with the curious pageantry of ttiQ pro- 
cession, it diminishes the eifect of pity^ by 
the powerful stimulus of an opposite q^^- 
lion. Sympathy is drowned in deri^oa and.. 


t^ontempt. The criminal is conducted^ ia 
solemn etate^ to the place of execntion : a 
purple and bloody banner is waved before 
him ; the procession moves slowly onwards, 
Accompanied by loud peals from all the 
bells : the priests, arrayed in theif robes of 
office, advance foremost, and chauot a sa* 


cred anthem. 

Next follows the unhappy victim, gor*- 
geously apparelled in yellow robes, on which 
black and diabolical figures are painted. 
On his head, he bears a paper cap, to 
which is tagged the figure of a man : livid 
flames of fire roll about this phantom: 
hideous daemons hover ovier its head. The 
image of his crucified Redeemer is earned 
reversed before the son of everlasting per- 
dition ; the glorious work of redemption ii 
become superfluous to him. His mortal 
body is consigned to the fire, and his imr 


mortal soul to the flames of hell, tlis 
mouth IS gagged with a bandage^ which 
precludes the possibility of assuaging his 
anguish by plaintive moans^ of exciting the 
slumbering voice of compassion by his 
doleful tale^ or of divulging the secrets of 
the holy tribunal. 

Next follow the clergy, clad in festal 
robes, the magistracy, and the nobility; the 
holy fathers^ who sat in judgment upon 
him, bring up the rear of this infernal pro- 
cession. You would >suppose that this were 
some corpse, they were conducting to the 
grave ; but it is the living form of a human 
being, with whose agonies they are going 
to feast the eves of the multitude. These 
massacres are generally reserved for high 
festivals, and a certain number of these 
wretches is crouded together for this pur- 
pose in the dungeons of the holy office, in 


order to enhance the glory of the spectacle 
by the multitude of victims : at such times 
the monarch himself is present. He takes 
his seat on a chair^ somewhat lower than 
that of the grand Inquisitor^ to whom he 
yields the precedence on such occasions; 
and who would not tremble in the presence 
of a tribunal, by which die splendour of 
majesty is eclipsed! 

That grand revolution in the Church, 
accomplished by Luther and Calvin, made 
those causes operate {(gain that Irad given 
rise to the establishment of the Inquisition, 
and a tribunal, that had been formerly 
erected in order to regenerate the Kingdom 
of Grenada, by the expulsion of a small 
remnant of Jews and Saracens, was now 
become absolutely necessary for the welfare 
of the whole catholic Christendom. All the 
inquisitions in Portugal, in Italy, Germany, 



and France^ assumed the form of the 
Spanish tribunal — it followed the Enropeana 
into India^ and at Goa a most iniquitous 
court was established^ a bare recital of 
whose proceedings is sufficient to petrify us 
irith horror. In all those countries visited 
by this plague, desolation marked its pro- 
gi-ess ; but it liath no where committed such 
dreadful ravages as in Spain. 

Those victims are already forgotten whom 
she hath immolated; the generations of 
men are renewed, and those countries 
flourish again, that have been ravaged and 
depopulated by her finy; but ipany ages 
tvill elapse, before her vestiges are^^ eradi- 
cated from the features of the Spanish cha- 
racter. — She has arrested a generous and 
enlightened nation, in its progi'ess towards 
the summit of perfection; has banished 
genius from ^ region where it had been 


liithertx) indigenous ; and hath diffused a 
mournful ck\m, and melancholljr silence^ 

.such 9» lA wottt to reside on the tomb-stones 

* • ■ . 

of departod floulS| over the minds of a 
p€SQp)e^ who werej beyond all others of our 
hamispb^r^i, i^echimically formed fo^ joy- 
ous and delightful sensations* 
f Charley, cpnstitated the first Inquisitor tfi 
Brabant^ in tbey^ar. U22. Some priests werr 

associated i4oi% ^U)^ ^ f^^^^r ^ ^^ ^' 
ciid colleague?; but he himsdf was of ihe 
lay <Mrder. After tb^ demise of Adrian the 
Si:i(tb, bis successor^ Cle^iens the Sey^tl^^ 
ordc^ine^ thrive Inquisitor? for the proYiacqs 
of tl^Q Low Count^ie^; but thisnyn^bcr was 
again reduced to two by Paul tl^e Third, 
' who e^soif^ised tl^i^ir functions during th^ 
commencement of the disturbances. In 
the y^ai* 1530^ with 1;he {^sent an^ con- 
nivance of tb? J^tates^ those edicts a^ain^t 

1 S 

174 mSE AND pnoGBisss of 

heretics were issued, that served as a 

'ground work to all subsequent dfecrees, and 

iii which mention is expressly made of the 

inquisitioii.' In' the yfear 1550, Charles the 

Rfth was under the riecessrfy of reviving 

and enforcing these edicts with additional 

vigour, on account ^of the rapid progress of 

the new 4Sects, and it was- on this occasion 

that the city of Ant\^erp opposed the es- 

tahlishifient of the inquisition, and dhtained 

an exemption from her jurisdiction. Ne*- 

* » 

vertheless, in the Netherlands this inqui* 

sition Was more consonant to the genius of 

the country; and more humane ^han th* 

Spanish tribunal, and was moreover not 

placed under the controul of foreigners, 

lior much' less- under that of Dominican 


It litferally fulfilled the spirit of those 

edicts, which served it in the stead of a 


Standing norm^ and were of public noto- 
riety ; being, for this very reason, ^less liable 
to objection, because, however severe they 
might be, they seemed less liable to arbi- 
trary constructions, and were not mantled 
in a veil of mystery, like the Spanish inqui- 
iition. But the policy of Philip the Second 
was preparing to introduce this inhuman 
tribunal into the Netherlands, because it 
appeared to him to be the most appropriate 
vehicle for corrupting the genius of this 
people, and for rendering their stubborn 
and refractory dispositions^ more tractable 
and propitious to the usurpations of arbi-* 
trary power. He commenced bis operations 
by rigorously enforcing the ordonnanqes of 
his father, by enlarging and consolidating 
the powers of inquisitors, and by making 
them less dependent upon the civil juris- 
diction. Nothing, but a name^ and Domi- 

l 4 


nicaa friars^ was wanting^ in order to con- 
vert this tribunal into a Spanish inquisition^ 
The slightest presumption of guilt was a 
signal to the arm of justice^ for snatching a 
citizen from the the bosom of traoqaiUiQ^ 
from his domestic circle; and the mos^ nn^^ 
gatpiy evidence was his death warranto and 
infallible passport to the agonies of the 
laok. The goddess of Justice no longer 
extended her tutelar {»atronage to this uii*« 
happy client. Reprobates and ' ftoiatics 
arraigned him at the bar of an invisibk 
world, and tried him by laws that wera 
vever framed for human beings. The de« 
linquent was equally a stranger to his ac-< 
cuser^ and to the nature of his crime ; a 
wicked and diabolical artifice^ whereby the 
unhappy wretch^ in the ravings of the most 
exqulste torture^ or weary of the protracted 
term of his miserable existence^ was com*. 

peUed to aanQuoce mii^^mewioifsj whicli 
were never p«rpetrate<J, or we^e s^ltogethef 
uDknpWft tc» cbe jttdg^. The <:Ualteljt of 
ib& <uriauiuil if^e 6oa&^^t^ci> ai^d the iqr 
formers w^r^ ini^mxiified: ^ a( ri^priey^ 
and bylibtp^^ewaardsu Np cl]^ter#^ rigbt»r 
DO temporti jtiriidictipn efturded an R$y)mKi 
4^n8t tb^ ho]^ office. U^, wlio came 
within faer £^fiu»p, wais remaved beyond the 
reach of the ^'m\ f>owers« The latter had 
jio share iu t^e: adniiaifttratioa : o|! ju^tici^ 
hut was only empk^ed as a passive mi- 
giae for. tb^ ey^cntion of her saQguioary 
decrees. The eviU resulting from this in- 
lititatioii ymr^ droadful . and incialcalable. 
.The wel&re and fottane^ nay, even dae 
Hfe^ of an unim'peached eharacter> lay at 
the mercy of the most profligate and abaQ^ 
do^d. villains/ 
The irresiatible temptation of a sore and 

I 5 


invisible revenge^ was ik>w bflPered to every 
treacherous fbe, to every jealot* rival. Tlie 
security o{ property was destroyed; the 
unstispecting faith of social intercourse ^as 
suspended; all^ the bonds of reciprocal in- 
terest were snapt asunder ; the ties of blood 
and of afFection^ \vere dissOHod; the bur- 
rent of social life was empoitotied by the 
venom 0f jealousy; the apprehefisiod of an 
'insidioiia ^y, lurking in secret ambuisb^ 
intimidated -the looks, and hushed the tre- 
-mulous «Qceinti of the .voice. A man no 
longer suspected honesty in others^ and was 
bimtolf excommunicated from any claim to 
this noble virtue. An honest^ fa^me ; aU 
£Gftderal and fraternal associattons whatso- 
ever; the sacred obligation of an 'oatli^; 
every thing that is accounted holy amongst 
mankind^ was fallen into disrepute.- This 
xruei calamity befel a 'laYge and flourishing 


towQ^ inhabited by one huadred thousand 
industrious citizens^ who were uaited to- 
gether by the sole' bonds of mutual faith 
and . confidence. Each individual^ equally 
necessary and useful to the otber^ but all 
equally decei^ul and ambiguous. All of 
them connected^ together by a spirit of 
commerce, and disunited by fear. All the 
pillars of social union were overthrown^ 
where social union was the foundatioa of 
existence and duration. 

No v:€a;ider> tiierefore^ , that such, anini* 
quitouS' tribunal, which th^ patient spirit. 
of the Spaniards could ^scarcely endure, 
Hhould. app^dx Intolerable to. the indepen- 
^^pt.mind^ pf Republicans. . But the terror 
tvhicb itinspined, was augmented by the 
Spaqish .^^rmies,* that were still quartered- 
upon thi^ country^ after, the oohblusionoff 
the p^a^e^ and: cpntmcy to the constitutioa 



of the empire, were ^ciintoned in the £rot^ 
tier towns» Tkis innovalion had not ex- 
cited martnors against Charles the Fifths 
because it was deemed expedient at that^ 
time, and becaose they relied upon his 
good inteations. These. troops were now 
regarded as the formidable armaments of 
oppression, and (be dreadful engines of an' 
odious hierarchy. A large body of cavalry^ 
^ontarily raised by the natives^ tvas suffi- 
cient for {he defence of the CQunliy^ and 
rendered the services of tfiese foi^ignera 
^petfluDus. The licentious and Htpaeiouf 
dispositions of the Spaniards, lo Whotti 
long arrean of pay were now dne^* land -who 
subsisted upon the plund^ of Ih^ •di%i29en4> 
iikfemed the. indignation of tii^ people, and 
reduced the conimoiaalty to- the tttmost e%^ 
kremity of despair. Wh^ the goi;«f^s»ene 
Wi» . aflecwards nMhictd, b^' thegeherali dh^ 


contents^ to witbdrovr its armies fiom this 
country^ and to remove diem to the islands of 
Zealand^ the insolence of the soldiery rose to 
suoh a pitBch, that the nalives discontinued 
their nsefal labours^ and neglected llieir- 
mounds ; chasing rather to yield their coun- 
try a pr^ to tiie inroads of the ocean^ than - 
any longer to endare the l^rntal usage of 
these satages. Philip' was desirous to ]nrO^ 
long the stay of his Spaniards in the cdmi^ 
try^ in order to enforce his edicts^ and td! 
impart stability to those itkiorations which- 
he was preparing' to make in the 'constitu-^ 
tkm ci the Low Comitriesw^^They giia^ 
mnteed the tranqniUity .of t6e country^ 
and held it in sabjectiOft He therefor^ 
emplbyed every expedient, in order td 
evade . tl^e iaiportanity o^ the Eistates^ who 
insisted apou the retnoval df the t!k>op^/ 
and he iiad reeourse-to afl the v^ions attrt 


of uilrigue md periuasioB^ to accomplish 
his purpose. He sbmetimes expressed his 
apprehensions of ' a sudden inva^on from 
FrancCj which was then distracted hy 
a warfare of factions^ and could . scarcely 
defend hei*^df against her own' intestine 
eaei^ies: sometimes he was en^iged in 
inaking prj^parations for the reception of 
his son Don Caxlos^ had never 
hi^n, his real itilQtition toi^uffer him to de« 
port &pm the. kingdom of Castile. . The 
arrears of hi^folfji^fs Wj^re pot to he levied 
ufifa the c^^Qtty » ' but to b^: paid, out of 
bin. own treasury.; That he might provide 
him^^If witfe a plea for prolonging their 
Btfiyj h^ purppsely .withbdd their iaiteails^ al- 
though, be Wfc^uld otherwise have given • them 
|l)epTefe|'ien^|^ naJional troops^ who 
w.^^ already p^id in advance. - In order to 
^§t ih§' :appr6b^!M9tons of the liatibnj and 


to appease the general iadignatioD^ he made 
a voluntary offer cf the stipteme command 
over his forces to the two favourites of .the 
people, WflTiam of Orange, and the Cpunt 
of £gmont:; but the latter declined this 
Appointment, with the generous declaration, 
tiatat they could never prevail upon "them- 
sdves. tb' act. against the! laws of ; flreiif 
countryl In proportioa as the monilrch 
discf^rered a strong ; desire to Iceep- liis 
Spaniards in the coatitry, the Estates <ab- 
scinatciy insisted upon their Temoval.^ tu 
the subsequent asgenlbly of the Esta^ii; 
Philip, ^hen surrounded by his courtier^, 
was uncteceived with regard to the le^l 
truth, by ! a candid ' declaration, worthy df 
the republican spiriL.. .>. > ; • 

. '^ Why/are iheae ftnreign.itfms. employed 
" in our def^ftc^i" ^id itbe Syndibua of 
Ghent. '' Is it. In order to expose our 

184 A .RISB A3II> FBOOBEtS 0r. 

^^ weakness and incitpacitj to defend cnir-* 
f^ selves^ before the eyes erf the worid? Why 
^' have ^ made peace, if we must fitill be 
'^ oppressed with the licaTy bnsdens of a 
'^ war esiabfishmeht i During the progress 
f' of the war, oar patience ivas exercised 
^' by an imperious necessity; in.tiie bosoflS 
'/! of peace and tranqinllttj, we labour tm« 
^' der sJl the calamities of war ? Or. does 
f' your Majesty siippose, tiiat onr pp^reiai 
^' are sufficient to^rartmw thie lideiftioosness 
f f! of thb diaonfafly mbble^ when your ovm 
'* pnesenee cannot <ke«p tbeugi in awe i^ 
f5.7nio8e men> tb«< stand before you, art 
ff your own aulajects froni Camlxvay and 
f ^ Antweipy who complain of their vioknot 
'' and injustice. Thionnlle> and 3M[arieB-« 
^' burg are. oonrerted into a w>Idem€88, 
*^ and bare yon gmnted ws a peace 6&Iy 



^' thai our cities might be destroyed^ which 
*' mtist certainly be the case^ if you do not 
deliver ma, from this dreadful plague \ Da 
you wish to protect us from an inviwion \ 
'' This cautious policy is laudable^ but th^ 
*^ rumour of their armaments is only a disr 
^/ tant prelude to actual hostilities. Why 
*^ are foreign mercenaries hired at such aa 
^' enormous expence^ who cannot be influr 
enced by any regard for a country^ which 
they must shortly abandon i There stil| 
remain many brave iMitional troops, ^^Ji 
to obey your orders, to whom ypur &•• 
^' ther committed the protection of th^ 
'^ commonwealth in far more critical times* 
Why should that loyalty be suspected^ 
which they have inviolably preserved to* 
*' wards your ancestors? Are they not in a 
'' condition to support the war^ till such 
'^ time xis your allies may be enabled t<^ 





*' join their standard^ or yourself may send 
" them timely reinforcemeats ?" 

Such arguments were so powerful and 
convincing, that the king was at a loss for 
some time, before he could return an an* 
sswer. At length, he exclaimed, '^ I am a 
'' ibreigner myself, why do ye not also 
*' banish me from your country?*' He in- 
stantly descended from the throne> and 
quitted the assembly; but the presumption 
of the orator was overlooked. Two days 
afterwards^ he notified to the Estates, tbatj 
had he received a -more early . intimation^ 
that these troops were an incumbrance upon 
the country, he would have taken the ne- 
cessaiy steps for holding {hem in readiness 
to accompany him on his rieturn to Spain. 
Now, indeed, it was too late to effect this 
purpose, as they could not be dismissed be« 
fore their arrears were discharged ; but he 


sokmnly pledged his royal word, that their 
stay should not be protmcted beyond the 
term of four months. Nevertheless^ in- 
stead of the limited term of four months^ 
these troops continued in the country dur- 
ing the space of eighteen mouths; and 
would, perhaps, have remained, there for a 
longer pei^od, if the exigencies of the 
«tat0 had not required their presence in 
another quarter. 

' The arbitrary appointin^it of foreigner* 
ti the most weighty offices of the state, 
t>ccasiofled fresh complaints against the go- 
•vernment. Of all the charters of the pro- 
ifinces, * there was none more odious to the 
'Spaniards than thi^, which Isxcludes fo- 
reigners from holding important trusts ; and 
there was also none which they were mofe 
«trong1y disposed to abolish. Italy, both 
the Indies, and all the Provinqes of their 


enormous moniu:cby> lay qpen to the 
schemes of their avarice and ambition ; one 
ooly, the mosi opalem of allj wps inacce«r 
Mi^le to thehr viewi of aggraiiduemen^ 
being secured by the impregoable t>ulwari^ 
of a sacred law* Tbey convinced their 
monarch by the most powerful argumenti^ 
ibat bia prerogative wo^ld never be fuUy 
isstablished in tbc)se*eountries^ as long 9fi he 
did not employ foreign topis for this pur* 
pose/ Th(i bi^b^. of Arraa^ a nfttive of 

3uiguiidy> . bad hftea uikjuslly elenrated to 
ibis dignity in FlsjKiders ; and now a Casti^ 
lian^ the count of Feria^ wai destined to 
have A seat and vote in 'the national ai«em« 
biy. But ihi^ [project m^t with a more 
formidable iQpposi;ti0n^ than; the cpurtiers 
expected; and. the .scbeaaes of. aj^^bitrary 
ipower Were dUcfonoert^d ' by the |^trioti<p 

. i. 


arts of William of Orange, and by the in- 
flexible obstinacy of the £states. 

Under such inauspicious omens did Philip 
commence his reign in the Netherlands, 
and such was the nature of their complaints, 
when he was preparing to leave them ! He 
had long been impatient to quit a country, 
where he was an absolute stranger; where 
he found such strong opposition to his fa- 
vourite wishes; and where such harsh moni- 
tors so frequently reminded his arbitrary 
genius, on the sacred laws o( liberty. The 
peace with France, rendered a longer stay,. 
uni>ecessary ; the warlike preparations of 
Soliman, required his presence in the south, 
and Spain herself began to deplore the loifg 
absence of her' monarch. The only con- 
sideration, which now engrossed his atten- 
tion, was the appointment of a viceroy for 
his provinces. Emanuel Philibert, duke of 


Savoy> had filled this station ever since the 
ahdication of Mary, queen of Hungary; 
but^ by the presence of the monarchy it was 
now become rather a nominal^ than a real 
dignity. His absence rendered it the most 
important trust in the empire^ and the ulti- 
mate scope for the ambition of a subject. 
It was now become vacant by the departure 
of the duke^ who was reinstated in the pos- 
session of his hereditary dominions by the 
peace of Chateau Cambresis. 

Philip was greatly perplexed in his choice 
of a regent, by reason of the extraordinary 
powers, with which the latter must be 
vested ; the capacity and experience, neces- 
sary for such a high and dif&cult station; 
but more especially on account of the dan- 
gerous schemes, which the government 
meditated against the liberties of the coun- 
try, and the execution of which solely de- 


vblved upon the governor. The dignity of 
governor was not comprehended in the act 
of the legislature^ whereby foreigners were 
excluded from the offices of state. As all 
the seventeen provinces could not, at one 
and the same time, claim him for their own 
countryman, it was thought fit that he 
should not belong to any of them ; for a 
native of Brabant regaixls the prerogative 
of a Fleming, whose territory is only half 
a mile distant from his own, with the same 
jealousy as that of a JSicilian, who inhabits 
another soil and climate. But here the 
interest of the crown, appeared to favour a 
native of the Low Countries. For example, 
a native of Brabant, who enjoyed the un-* 
suspecting confidence of his own country, 
would, in case he should prove a traitor, 
have already accomplished half his villainy^ 
before a foreigner, unacquainted with th6 


mechanism of the state, could overconie 
that jealous vigilance with which all his mo- 
tions would be watched. 

If government accomplished her views 
in one province, an opposition on the part 
of die remainder would be an audacity, that 
would fully justify a most vigorous pro- 
cedure. In that indivisible body, which 
was now formed out of the aggregate sum 
of all the provinces, their individual orga- 
nization was dissolved; the submission of 
one, was a standing norm to all the others, 
and that prerogative, which any subordi* 
nate province could not vindicate, was irre- 
coverably lost to all the remainder. 

Of all the Belgian nobility, \ who could 
lay claim to the regency, the regards and 
expectations of the nation were principally 
fixed upon the Count of Egmont, and the 
Prince of Orange, who were alike entitled 


to this high dignity by the same illustrious 
descent^ by the same shining merits^ and 
by an equal share in the affections of the 
people. By an eminent rank^ both these 
competitors were immediately placed under 
the eye of Royalty^ and when the Mo- 
narch surveyed the most distinguished 
characters of his kingdom^ and was de- 
liberating about a worthy choice^ it must 
ultimately devolve upon either of these two. 
Whereas^ during the progress of this his- 
tory^ we shall have frequently occasion to 
make mention of their- names^ we cannot 
make our readers too early acquainted with 
the outlines of their character. 



William the Firsts Prioce of Orange^ 
descended from the illastrious House of 
Kassau in Germany^ which had flourished 
during the lapse of eight centuries^ had^ 
for sometime^ disputed the supremacy of 
the Austrian dynasty^ and had filled the 
imperial throne of Germany with one of 
its brancb«s. Exclusive of several extea* 
me domains in the Netherlands^ whereby 
he became a citizen of this republic^ and a 
vassal of the Spanish monarchy^ he also 
possessed the independent principality of 
Orange in France^ which had been be- 
queathed him by the last will of Renatus 
of Chalons. 
William was the son of a countess of 


StoQberg^ and was bom ia the year 1533, 
at BtUenbtirg, in the coiinty of Nas- 
sau. His father, a count of Nassau, of 
tiie same name, had adopted the P^testant 
religion, and educated his son in the doc- 
trines of that persuasion ; but Charles the 
Fifth, who discovered an early predileotion 
fyt this youth, brought him to Court, at a 
very early age, and initiated him in the 
principles of the Roman church. 

The monarch, whose sagacity predicted 
liie future greatness of this boy, retained 
him about his person, during the space of 
ninie years; condescended to instruct him 
in state affairs, and honoured him with a 
confidence far above his age. He alone 
cfnjoyed the privilege of remaining in the 
presence of the emperor, when he gave au- 
dience to foreign ambassadors ; a proof that 
he had already begua> in his juvenile 



yearSr to merit ihe sorname of the Dis- 
cteet, wfaich he obtamed in the sequeh 
The emperor was not even ashamed , openly 
to affinn, on a certain occasion^, that this 
young man had frequently suggested plans 
to him^ which would otherwise have es- 
caped his own sagacity. What high expec- 
tations might not rationally be entertained 
concerning the intellectual improvement of 
a man formed in such a school^ as also con- 
cerning t^e moral dispositions of his heart; 
who^ although he had been accustomed 
from his infancy to be near the -person of 
a modarch^ had nevertheless preserved his 
honour and integrity without stiun or ble- 
mish ! William had compleated the twenty- 
third year of his age^ when Charles resigned 
the reins of government^ and had been al- 
ready honoured by the emperor with two 
marks of bis esteem. He distin- 


guished him above all the gra,ndees of his 
courts by the honourable commission of 
being bearer of the imperial crown to his 
brother Ferdinand. 

When the duke of Savoy, who com- 
manded the imperial army in the Nether- 
lands, was recalled to Itiily by the exigency 
. of his own domestic affairs, the emperor 
appointed him generalissimo of his forces^ 
contrary to the remonstrances oF his coun- 
. sellors, who were of opinion^ that it was 
highly injudicious to oppose a stripling to 
the experienced commanders of France. 
Absent, and without any recommendation, 
the emperor gave him the decided prefer- 
ence to an illustrious race of' heroes, and 
the event did not induce him. to repent his 

The distinguished favors which this prince 
had received at the hands of the father, 

K 3 


wbH already a sufficient reason, why he 
should incur the displeasure of his 90m. 
It seemSf Philip had set it down, as an in- 
variable rule of conduct, to avenge the 
wrongs of the Spanish nobility, on account 
of the predilection which Charles had al- 
ways maiufested towards the Bdgian gran- 
dees. But he was more strongly influenced 
by sonxe; privi^te motives, whiCh alienated 
his affections from the prince. 

William of Oiange wa^ of those wan and 
meagre physiognomies, who, as Caesar in- 
forms us, are ever wakeful, pensive and 
scheming, and who inspired the most in- 
trepid and magnanimous ' of all mortals, 
with sentiments of teiror and dismay. The 
steady composure of an unruffled counte- 
nance concealed an ardent soul, endued 
with restless energy, which never discom- 
posed that outward vizor beneath 



toiled^ and was alike inaccessible to the 
shafts of love^ and to the arts of dissimu* 
lation : it harboured a capacious^ fertile and 
indefatigable mind^ sufficiently ductile to 
be moulded into all forms whatsoever^ yet 
sufficiently cool and recollected^ not to be- 
wilder itself in any sort of disguise ; firm 
enough to support with coi^stancy every 
turn of fortune* No one ^ver possessed a 
more admirable talent than William^ for 
divining the characters and winning the 
affections of mankind; not^ (bat after the 
fashion of courts^ his lips betrayed a ser- 
vility and complaisance^ which his proud 
-heart tacitly disclaimed ; but because he 
was neither sordid nor profuse in distribut- 
ing the m^rks of his benevolence^ and by 
a prudent management of those resources^ 
whereby we confer obligations on nian- 



kindj he constantly kept in reserve a large 
fund for future oocamons. 

The conceptions of his mind were slow 
•and tardy^ yet noble and sublime; the de- 
cisions of his judgment were.cOol and deli* 
berate^ but accomplished with unshaken 
constancy and invincible perseverance* 

The original scheme^ which he bad 
once embraced^ no obstacles coiild defeat, 
no chain of fortuildus contingencies de- 
stroy^ for he had anticipated them all^ be- 
fore they had actually taken place. Alike 
superior to the pangs of terror and the tu* 
mults of joy, he was however subject to a 
sentiment of fear ; but his fear was a pre- 
sentiment of danger, and he was cool and 
intrepid amidst the din of war, because he 
had felt alarms during a calm interval of 
repose. William displayed an. unbounded 


generosity in dissipating his wealthy but a 
rigid oeconomy in the application of his 
time. The hours of a frugal repast^ were the 
sole intervals of his leisure ; hut these were 
exclusively dedicated to his friends^ his 
family, and the cordial overflowings of his 
heart; a modest repose he enjoyed from 
patriotic cares. Then it was^ that his coun* 
tenance bespoke animation^ and his spirits 
we^e exhilarated by the pleasures of the 
hottle^ which was seasoned by temperance 
and the placid sunshine of his soulj and no 
gloomy cares durst now intnide upon the 
vacant hilarity of his mind. 

His household establishment was splen* 
did: a numerous retinue of domestics; the 
rank and dignity of those^ who surrounded 
his person^ made his habitation vie in gran* 
deur and magnificence with the residence 
o£ a sovereign prince* An degant hospita^ 

s 5 


lUjj that grand political engine of a d^na- 
gogue^ reigned throughout his palace. 
Foreign princes and ambassadors found a 
reception and entertainment here^ «far be- 
yond any thing that the opulent provinces 
of Belgium could afford, A devQut sub- 
mission towards the existing government . 
counterbalanced the blame and odiura^ 
which this munificence might have ejccit^ 
as to the rectitude of his designs. 

But hh liberality secured the afiiectiops 
of the commonalty^ who are never so highly 
gratified as when they behold the wealth of 
their country exhibited with a vain ostenta- 
tion to the astonished gasse of foreigners : 
and the elevated station^ wherein fortune 
had placed him^ enhanced the merit of the 
condescension^ which he.displayed. 

No one was ever better qualified to co&« 
duct a conspiracy thagi William. 



A cooaprebenshre and intaitive glance 
into the past> the pr^ent and the future ;*^ 
. happy talent for improving every favourable 
conjuncture; a supreme influence ov«r the 
luinds ai|4 aifectiona of men ; prodigious 
plans^ the contexture and symmetry of 
,whick were not nevealed to aoy mortal 
.bettdes their sagacious projector; bold cal- 
culations, wound up in the vast chain of. 
futurity: all which were under the controul 
and management of a sublime and exaked 
•virtue, that walked at the utmost verge and 
extreosity, with steadfast composure.- S!uch 
^a character would appear incomprehen*' 
slble to b11 his cotemporaries, save <xi]y to 
.-die most consummate judge of the human 
heart, the most jealous and distrustful of all 
sumaxohs of his age. 

Philip the Second, at oue glance, fiSfy 
comprehended a character, which, of all 

K 6 


l^ood dispositions^ approached the nearest 
to his own. Had he not so thoroughly 
diTined his character^ it would appear abso- 
lutely unintelligible^ why he should not 
lepose the most unlimited confidence in a 
maUj who possessed^ in an- eminent degree, 
those qualifications^ which he esteemed 
most, and knew best how to appreciate^ 
But there was a still more important point 
of approximatioiij wherein a resemblance 
prevailed betwixt them. 
; William h^d been instructed in the sci- 
ence of politics by the same master^ and 
thete.was reason to apprehend that he waa 
the best, scholar t)f the twoi It was net 
bf^paitiie be was conversant with the ideal 
prince of Machiavell^ but because be had 
profited by the living precepts and eTawipte 
-of a monaFcb> wbosje life was apl^tctical 
jcom^tieat upon tb^ fpmer^ that he became 


•acquainted with those tremeQctous arts, 
whereby empires rise or fall. 

. Philip had now to cope with an antago- 

.ni«t^ who was thoroughly initiated in the 

same political doctrines^ and who could em- 

• ploy all the nefarious arts of policy^ in the 

-'cupport of a righteous cause. This last ciir« 

, cumstance fully enahle^ us to comprehend^ 

'why^ of all others^ he should conceive the 

,mo8t mortal jealousy^ and the most violent 

iantipathy against this man* It happened 

. imfortunately^ that^ whilst the emperor was 

rearing a beautiful flower for his son^ he 

^likewise generated the worm> that corrodefl 

. its tender bl(^»K)ms. 

The jealousy already conceived against 
this princCi was greatly fomented by the 
ambiguous opinions entertained^ concerning 
his religion. William remained a faithful 
follower of the Roman Pontiffj during the 


life-time of his benefactor, the emperor; 
but there was reason to apprehend, that 
the predilection, early implanted in his 
tender mind, for the doctrines of reforma- 
tion, had never been thoroughly eradicated. 
To what religious denominations soever he 
might have professed his attachment, at 
certain periods of his life, it was evident, 
that he was never perfectly reconciled to 
any. We behold him, in his latter days, 
embracing the doctrines of Calvin, with 
the same indifference, with which he had 
formerly abjured the Lutheran faith, and 
espoused' the religion of the church of 

Rome. He rather defended the political 
and natural rights of the Protestants, than 

their opinions, against the 'Spaniards. It 

was not a' communion of faith, but of ra#- 

iferings, whereby they were united in one 

common cause. 


These general grounds of jealousy were 
apparently confirmed by an accidental dis- 
covery 6f bis real sentiments* William had 
been detained in France^ as hostage for ti>e 
performance of the articles signed at Cha- 
teau Cambresis^ in which he had taken an 
active share ; and> through the indiscretion 
of Hpnry the Seconflj who vainly imagined 
that he had to do with a confidential mi- 
nister of the Spanijih. monarchy was made 
privy to a secret plot^ that was carried oa 
betwixt the French and Spanish court^^ 
.against the Protestant subjfscts of the two 
kingdp^is. The prince hastened ^%9 com- 
municate this important piece of in^ell;- 
.gence to his friends^ who were mat^jrially 
concerned therein ; and, by an unlucky aq- 
.cidentj his correspondence on the subjept was 
-cofiveyed into the hands of the king of Spai^. 
Philip wa^ less surprized at thi^ discovery of 
William's sentiments^ than exasperated at the 

908 BISE AK]> mOCRESS ^v 

failure c£ his plot : but the Spanish gran- 

dtes, whose implacable jealousy could never 

.forgety that the greatest monarch of the 

earth had reclined upon the bosom of the 

'prince> during the last solemn act of his 

reign^ did not neglect this favourable oppot- 

tunity to alienate the affections of their king 

from a traitor^ who had divulged an impcur- 

- iant mystery of state. 

No less illustrious than William^ by a 
noble birth and lineage^ was Lamoral^ 
count of EgmoiJt^ and prince of Gavre^ a 
descendant of those ancient dukes of Guel- 
dc^rs^ who had signalized their prowess and 
valour against the arms of the house of Au- 
stria. The fame of his progenitor^ is cele- 
brated in the annals of the country; during 
the reign of Maximilian^ one of his an- 
cestors had enjoyed the supreme magistracy 
of Holland. Egmont's nuptials with Sa- 


bina, duchess of Bavariftj reflected addi- 
tional lastte on his noble birth, and aug- 
mented his influence and authority by pow- 
erful alliances. In the vear 1546. Charles 
the Fifth conferred upon him the order of 
the golden ileece ; in the military school of 
this emperor, he reaped the first fruits, and 
early laurels of bis future fame ; in the fields 
of St^ Queniin and Gravel ingen, he was 
-distinguished as the hero of his age. 

Each individual blessing, resulting from 
peace, which a commercial people enjoy« 
in a supreme measure, revived a recollection 
of those victories, whereby it had been ob- 
tained : and the Flemish vanity, likeafondpa- 
rent, exulted over this illustrious son of their 
country, whose fame reverberated throughout 
all Europe. Nine children, whose tender 
bloom and early progress had been remarked 
with solicitude by his fellow citizens, mul<* 


tipH^d and coosoUdated those affectionate 
ties subsisting betwixt him and hh coontry ; 
and the public affection surveyed^ with pe* 
cuTiar complacency^ tho$e pledges whom 
he held most dear and valuable* 

Whenever Egmont appeared in publioj 
it was a prelade to some solemn spectacle 
or scene of triumph; all the bystander^ 
who gazed at him^ recpuptftd the eventful 
story of hi^ lifp • bid eji^ploits w^e cele* 
br^ted by th? loquacity of bis comrades ; 
.mothers shewed him to their children at thp 
equestrian games. 

A courteous, noble, and gracious de- 
meanor, the bright ornaments of chivalry, 
adorned his merits with unspeakable grace: 
a friendly salute, or an affectionate squeeze^ 
.conveyed a sure pledge of his benevolence 
.'to his fellow citizens. His open countenance 
was an index of his ingenuous soul ; his 


secrets were not more discreetly treasured 
up by his caodour, than his wealth by his 
benevolenee^ and his ideas were as readily 
coi!Qmunicated as they were conceived. -His 
religion was mercifui and {diilanthropicj but 
was fiEir from being pure^ because she bor- 
Towed her light from his feelings^ and not 
'Acm his reason ; a siddier's creeds volttptu- 
ous and accommodating^ devoted to the 

• • • » 

eanse of the churchy in like manner as his 
i;werd to the service of his monarchy because 
it was a trusty armour wherewith he must 
be girded in the dreadful emergency of a 
battle : and because the acquisitions of the 
memory are more rapid than those of the 
judgment. Egmont was swayed by his 
conscience, rather than by principle: his 
reason had not framed her own code of 
laws, but merely learnt it by rote ; on ^hibh 
account, the bare sound of an action wais 

£1(2 BISE AND PROOBBtft 09 

sufficient to make bim condemn the action 
itielf. In bis judgment^ men were abso- 
lutely good or bad^ altbough tbey might 
not actually possess either of those attri- 
butes; in his system of morality^ no me- 
dium obtained be.lwixt virtue and vice; for 
.'which reason^ a single good quality often* 
4imes co^^^rmad his opinion coBcemiag mx 

JEgmcmt.possesafed all those, sublime qun^ 
li^ies^ that constitute c^n heroic charact^ ; 
hft was a more accqmplisbed soldier than 
th^. prince^ but greatly inferior to him as a 
politician : the latter had forme^ an accu*- 
.rate estimate of human life ; Egmont surt- 
^Toyed it through the magic lantborn of a 
seductive imagination. Men, who, by the 
munificence of fortune, have been elevated 
to a, pinnacle of . prosperity, which tbey 
have not ascended by dint of their own su- 


perlative merits, are very apt to forget the 
necessary concatenation betwixt cause and 
effect, and to impute the eternal order and 
unchangeable laws of nature to a miraculous 
and irresistible destiny, whereby they are 
exalted to a state of phrenzy, and induced, 
like CflBsar, blindly to confide in their for- 
tune. Such a character was Egmont. Full 
of a vain conceit of imputed merits, which 
the fond partiality of his fellow citizens had 
greatly over-rated, he was wholly absorbed 
by these delicious sensations, as if he were 
entranced in some pleasing reverie. He 
was a stranger to fear, because he placed 
his sole dependence upon that deceitful 
boon, which chance had given him in tb6 
public affection ; and he firmly believed in 
the existence of honour and justice, be- 


cause he basked in the sunshine of pros- 

^14 BISEi AND P«06BB6» OF 

Nay even the most flagrant proofs of the 
Spanish duplicity could not arouse him 
from this fatal security^ and on the scaffold, 
he was still animated by a ray of hope. By 
a tender solicitude for the interests of his 
family^ bis patriotism was overruled by 
meaner regards. Because his property and 
personal safety were endangered^ he durst 
not sacrifice every thing to the welfare of hin 
country. William of Orange renounced 
his allegiance to the throne^ because arbi- 
trary power was a severe restraint upon his 
proudj independent mind : not that he was 
void of ambition^ but because his lofty 
ambition would not receive any favours, 
nor acknowledge any obligations whatsoever ; 
for this very reason^ he conferred the boon 
of liberty upon others; Egmont possessed 
vanity; on which account^ he courted the 
smiles of royalty. 


The former was a citizen of the world ; 
Egmont supported no higher character than 
that of a native of Flanders. 

Philip the Second had stiU a mighty debt 
to discharge towards the hero of St. Qnen- 
tin^ and the regency of the Netherlands. 
appeared to be the only appropriate reward 
for such transcendant merit. Birth and dig* 
nity^ the voice of the nation^ and personal 
abilities, pleaded with equal force and ve- 
hemence for Egmont, as wSll as for Wil- 
liam; and, if either of them was over- 
looked, the other seemed to be the only 
personage worthy to supply his place. 
Two such competitors, whose merits were 
nearly upon a level, might have greatly 
embarrassed Philip in his choice, if he had 
ever seriously harboured a design to fix upon 
either of the two. But those superior qua- 
lifications, whereby their respective claims 

816 RISK ANi^ FK0ORB88 OF 

were supported, were powerful motives for 
their exclusion ; and the national wishes for 
their elevation^ determined him, finally to 
reject and degrade them. Philip bad no oc-> 
casion for a governor, who possessed an ab- 
solute command over the affections, and all 
the energies of the empire, and upon whose 
gratitude the public had such strong claims, 
by this testimony of its affection. 

By his descent from the dukes of Guelders, 
Egmont inherited afamily grudge against the 
Spanish house, and it seemed highly im- 
politic, to place the supreme power in the 
hands of a man, who might entertain a 
secret desire to avenge the wrongs of his 
forefatliers upon the son of their oppressor. 


The setting aside of their favourites,. could 
give no just cause of offence to the people^ 
or to the parties themselves; for, it was 
pretended, that the king was induced to 


exclude them both^ because he was uii« 
wiUing to give either of the two the pre- 
ference before the other. Notwitbstmiding 
the failure of his ambitious views with re- 
gard to the regency, the prince of Orange, 
still cherished some hopes of being able to 
establish his influence and authority in tho. 
Netherlands. Amongst other candidates 
for this high office, Christina, duchess of 
Lothrain, and cousin-german to the kiag 
was also one, who had rendered many im* 
portant services to the crown, by acting as 
mediatrix during the treaty of Chateaa 
Cambresis. William entertained a secret 
partiality for her daughter, and was in 
hopes of obtaining her hand, by interpos- 
ing his good offices for the mother: but he 
was not aware that his good will, was acta* 
ally prejudicial to her cause. 
The duchess Christina was rejected, not 



€0 much as was pretended^ because she was 
a vassal of France, and for this reason^ 
obnoxious to the Spanish court ; but in rea- 
lity, because she was covntenanced by the 
natives and by the prince of Orange. . 

Whikt the Public were a» yet kept in 
mixious suspense, who should be their fu- 
ture sovereign, all of a sudden, Margaret 
of Anjou made her appearance on their 
territory, whom the king had eaUed from 
the remote kingdom of Ita1y> in order to 
invest her with the regency 'of the Nether-: 

Margaret was the illegitimate offspring of 
Charles the Fifth, and of a noble Flemish 
lady, V^ngeeat, and was bom in the year 
I599i. Out of regard to the reputation of 
the fantly, she was at first brought up in 
obscurity, but her mother, who was more 
strongly lAfluented by the dictates of ^a- 



Inty, than by the punctilios of honour^ was 
not oyer nice or scnipnlous in concealing 
tlie mystery of her origin ; and a princely 
education soon proclaimed her to be of 
imperial extraction* For the benefit of her 
education^ she was placed under the super* 
intendance of her aunt Margaret^ at Brus-< 
sels^ who, at that time^ administered the 
regency of the Low Countries; but she 
lost her guardian in ber eighth year^ and 
this trust devolved upon Mary^ queen of 
Hungary^ a sister of the Bmperor. At the 
age of four years^ she wa3 already be- 
trothed to a prince of Ferrara^ but this 
match was broken off in the sequel^ and 
Alexander of Medicis^ the new duke of 
Florence^ was destined to be her spouse; 
with whom her nuptials were actually coH* 
9ummated at Naples^ aftSsr the return of the 
^peror from bin victorious campaign ia 



Africa. In the first ^^ear of this disastrous- 
marriage^ her spouse^ by whom she was ne^ 
ver sincer€ily beloved^ was snatched from 
her side^ by an untimely end ; and her per* 
son was sacrificed, for a ^ird time, to the 
ambitious views of her father. Octavius 
Farnese, a stripling, wno ]^d just com« 
pleated the thirteenth year of his age, and 
grandson to Paul the Third, received along 
with his consort the gift of the duchies of 
Parma and Piacenza; and by a strange and 
unaccountable destiny, at the age of pu- 
berty, Margaret was contracted to aboy^ 
in like manner, as she had been formerly^ 
during her infancy, sold to a man. 

Her masculine genius rendered this alli-^ 
ence still more absurd ; for her dispositions 
were all manly, and the whole oeconomy of 
h^r life, was a satire upon her sex. 

After the example of her governess^ the 


queen of Hungary, and of her great proge- 
nitor, Mary duchess of Burgundy^ to whom 

these diversions had proved fatal; she was 
passionately addicted to the pleasures of 
the chace, and had acquired^ in the pursuit 
of her favorite amusement, such bodily 
vigour, that she could support ail the fa- 
tigues and hardships inseparable from this 
manner of life, with a degree of fortitude, 
supcirior to that of the male sex. 

Her caiTiage was wholly devoid of female 
grace, insomuch that one would not have 
supposed her to be a masculine female, but 
rather a man disguised in woman's apparel ; 
and nature, whose laws she bad thus grossly 
violated, resented this affront, by afflicting 
her with the podagra, a masculine disease. 
To these rare qualifications was superadded 
a strong dose of monkish • superstition, 
which was infused into her soul^ by her 

L 3 

'2£8 JUS& AN0 rROOREftS 0^ 

ghostly monitor and instructot^^ Ignatiuf 
Loyola, Amongst other penitential acts of 
Christian piety^ with i;irhich she mortifie<i 
her vanity^ one of the most remarkable 
^as^ that during the passion week> shf 
constantly washed the feet of a certain 
number of paupers^ who had been previ* 
ously instructed not to cleanse themselves t 
waited upon them at table like a menkl 
servant^ and dismissed them with rich pre- 

Nothing more is requisite tbaa this last 
4rait in her character^ in order to accomit 
for that extraordinary distindion whidi tbf 
monarch was pleased to confer npen hms, 
preferably to all her riTals ; for in this diioice 
be hud nothing to apprehend from the na* 
tiooual partiality towards bxx, but his paredv- 
lectkm for her was likewise justified by 
maxinis of sound .policy, Margaret .vas 


born and educated in tbe Netherlands* 
She liad consumed the prime of her youth 
in this country^ and had adopted many of 
.the national manliers. Two regents^ under 
frhose tuition she was brought up^ had gra* 
dually initialed her in those political princi- 
ples> by which the singular genius of the 
nation ought to be governed ; and in this 
particular she had a perfect model aod ar- 
cfaetype^ whereby to regulate her conduct. 

She was not deficieiH^ in proper talents 
for the adminisln^on of public ^airs i for 
•he )iad profited by the insiructions of her 
gnardiaos; and in the Italian school^ she 
afterwards became a still more accomplished 
adept in the arts of govemmeat. 

The Low Countries had^ for some time, 
been accustomed to a female gorenunent ; 
and Philip was in hopes that the keen edge^ 
and rough tw^per of those tools with which 

Tf 4 



he was about to make his cruel incisions^ 
would be somewhat mollified in the hands 
of a woman. 

It is also pretended, that he was influ- 
enced in his choice by a deference towards 
bis father, who was still alive, and had a 
great affection for his daughter-: it is also 
probable, that he was desirous to qualify 
the severity of a mortifying refusal, which 
he gave to the duke of Parma, who was 
soliciting some favor at his hands; by this 
instance of regard for his spouse. 

As the territory of the Duebess lay in the 
centre of his Italian ddtfiiftions^ and was 
constantly exposed to the invasion of his 
arms, he could, with the greater safety, 
invest her with such extraordinary powers. 
As a farther security for her good conduct, 
her son, Alexander Famese, was retained at 
his court. AH these conside^tions pleaded 


sufEciently'ia her behalf; but they became 
still more decisiyej by the powerful inter^ 
cession of the bishOp of Arras^ and of the . 
duke of Alba. The latter iftts influencedj^ 
hy jealousyand animosity against her rival 
competitors ; the former already anticipated 
the accomplishment of his amlMtious views^ 
from the irresolute and fickle temper of the 
ducjiess. V 

At the head of a splendid . retinue, 
Philip received the new regent on ' the 
confines of the country, and conducted . 
her id gr^t state to Ghent, where the 
Staties General were then assembled. As' 
he intended to absent himself from th^^ 
country for some time, he was willing to 
gratify the wishes of the nation, by con«» 
yoking a general parliament, in order to^ 
give a legal sanction to the regulations 
wj^ch be h^d (dready established » He now 

h 3 ' . 

nade his last sofkinii a|q[>(earaiioe befdre the 
nadres of the Lor Countries^ who were 
henceferwaxd to learn tlie ordcles of their 
destiny from ea obscure ancl-rettiote q^arter^ 
at if liiey iMied ftom the t^ ^'ons of the 
Mwer world. 

In order to enhance the glory of tbif 
spectacle^ he invested eleven knights with 
the iUustrioiu order of the golden fleece 
Ins sister wi» seated beside him ttpOn an ele- 
vated chair^ and he introduced her to the 
people as tiieir fntiire sovereign. 

All the national comfMnts coaeeimiiig the 
refigioas edicts^ concerning the InquisitioB^ 
the detention of the l^anish troops^ -and 
the illegal appointm^t of foresgners to high 
offices^ were revived daring this parliaoieBty 
and agitated widi much aerimony on both 
sides ^ some 4[>f them were artfully evafded 
at apparently abolished; others we^e re* 

ject^d in the most peremptory xaanaet. M 
be was a fttranger to the Teraacnkyr Umgue, 
^e monarch eemmnnicated his sentiments 
tbxough the organ of the bishop of Anas, 
enumerated^ with much ostentation, aU the 
blessings they derived from his government, 
assured them ei a continuance of his gra* 
eioos legartls, luid admomsbed them, ia tb* 
most pathetic and impressive manner, to 
extirpate heresy^ and to maintain the pure 
doctrines of the Orthodox faith. On his 
jpart^ he solemnly assured theiK^^ that the 
Spanish troops should evacuate the Mather* 
lands in the course of a few monllis^ if they 
would <mly allow him a shdrt respite, it 
order to cover the defioit m his finances, 
occasioned by the hea^ry charges of the late 
war^ and to discharge the arrears 4n€f to his 
troops; The adts of the legislature were to 
reviain in force; they were not to be op* 

L 6 


pressed with taxes above their ability; and 
the office of the Inquisition was \o be ad*, 
ministered widi ' <slemency and . moderation. 
With regard to the choice of a regent^ he 
had principally consulted the wishes of the 
nation^ and had conferred this dignity upon 
a native^ who was acquainted with their 
manners and customs^ and was attached to 
them by the lionds of patriotic affectiom 
He wonld therefore admonish them^ to be 
grateful for this choice^ and to manifest the 
tame loyalty towards his sister^ which diey 
would testify to his own person. If^ he 
added^ any unforeseen difficulties should 
prevent my retorn^ I will sepd you my sor^ 
prince Charles, who shall reside at Brussels. 
Some resolute members of this assembly 
ven^ured^ to make one effort more for the 
. expiring interests of religious liberty. /They 
were of opinion^ that every commuc^ty 


ought to be treated accordiilg to its {lecaliftr 
genius and character> in like manner^ fe» a:ii 
individual^ according to the .habit and coft* 
stitution of his body. The southern mo^ 
narchies^ for example^ ^ig'^^ ^^ happily 
constituted, under a certain modification oS 
restraint^ which the northern climes would 
not tolerate. A Flemings they added« 
would never consent to bear a-yoke^ to^ 
which a Spaniard would submit without re^ 
pining^ and would rather proceed to extre*^ 
mities^ if force were employed agaiosl^ him. 
Their reasonings were supported by some 
of the royal counsellors^ who strongly urged 
the policy of mitigating the rigpur of those 
edicts. But Philip remainied inflexible. 
'^ He had rather not govern at all^" was hi$ 
attswer^ " than reign over heretics." 

According to a regulation already intro-* 
duced by Charles the Fifths three legislative 

Mmicilij Of QviiMreme eliambers^ were super* 
gMed to the powen <9f the regent^ and took 
n active share aloiig with the fcrnier in 
die admifiistratioii of public affairs. Dar- 
ing Philip's stay in the Netherlands^ these 
legidatite assemblies had k>st a considerable 
part of their influence^ and the first of the 
iferree^ the National Council^ was totally 
suspended. Now^ that he quitted the reins 
of government^ they resumed their forme^ 
Amotions. Those^ who obtained a seat in 
die national council^ which deliberated 
concerning peace and war^ as ateo concern- 
ing foreign relations^ were the bishop of 
Arras, the prince of Orange^ the count of 
Egmont, the president of the privy couttcil, 
Viglius van Zuichem, van Aytta, and Ae 
count of Barlalmont, president of the council 
6f finance. AH the knights of the gddea 
fleece^ aU the privy counsellors^ and mi^ 


fliflters of foatioe> as &ko tde memben o^ 

die giaiid smate at Me6liHn> which bad 

been placed under ifae ccmtroul of the priry 

coundl at Brusseh^ by Chartes the fifths 

obtained a siiait and vote ia the nataonal 

cotmcil^ if the regent thought proper to rt^ 

quire their attendance. The management 

of the royal revenues and crown Iand& waa 

vested in the council of finance ; and the 

privy eoimeil was oecupied with the regofa- 

tion of the police^ and with the adnrinistnH 

tioe of justice ; abd issued rtffd paitetttsaiid 

gmnts of pardon. 

The magistracies of the several ptoviBce» 
wore either filled by new appofntments^ ot 
the ancient governors were confirmed m 
A&x di^ty» 

Fkoidars and Aitois were delegated to 
die count of Bgmont; HoQand^ Zealand^ 
Vtiecht aad West Friesland> along with 


the Gooniy of Burgundy^ to the prince of 
Orange. The cottot of Aremberg obtained 
the magistracy of East Frieslaud^ Ovexyssel 
and Groningen; the count of Mansfeld that 
of Luxembourg ; Namur was given to Bar- 
laimont; Hennegau^ Chateau Cambresis^ and 
Valenciennes^ to the marquis of Bergen ; 
Toumay and its dependencies, to the baroa 
of Montjgny. 

Other provinces were assigned to go* 
Temors> who are less deserving of notice. 

Philip of Montmorency^ count of Hoome^ 
who was succeeded in the magistracy of 
Zutpben and Guelders, by the count of 
Megen, was confirmed in his rank of high 
^miral of the nai^y^ Each of the pro* 
tincial governors was at th^ same time 
knight of the golden fleece^ and piember of 
the national council. Each of them . had 
the supreme inspection . over the soldiery 


raised for the security of hid province, over 
tlie police, and the administration of jus* 
tice ; save only in Flanders, where the go- 
vernor could not interfere in legal concerns. 
Brabant was absolutely placed under the 
jurisdiction of the regent, who, according 
to ancient usage, established her residence 
at Brussels. The appointment of the prince 
of Orange to his magistracies, was, indeed; 
contrary to the constitution of the land; 
because he was a foreigner; but several 
domains, which be possessed in diffeient 
provisiies, or which ^ he adminisiered ia 
tnist for hisi spn, his long residence in the 
country, ,a;nd, above all^ ihe extraordinaiy 
confidence which the public reposed in h» 
patriotic senttm^ts, gave him more smb^ 
stantial claims, in default of a nominal, title. 
The miittaiy force of the Low CountrieHi 
consisted originally in three thousand horse^ 

IBS4 All! JkJUB rA0«E£i8 or 

but at present amounted to little more than 
two thousand^ and was divided into fonr^ 
teen squadrons; tbe supreme command of 
wbich was assigned to the provinoial go^ 
vernors> and moreoirer to the dnke of 
Arschot^ the counts of Ho<^strai|en> Bossu^ 
Roeox> and Broederodc* This caralry^ 
which was dispersed throughout the seten* 
teen pro^incesy was pnly ready to act upon 
|i sudden emergency; and although it was 
ifisuffiGient for any entarprize of mommtj 
jret it waa folly adequate to maintain At 
intemal securi^ of duf country. The oou^ 
sage of these soldiers was approved^ their 
military renown wai established l^youghoiit 
all JEurope, In addition to this catalry^ it 
was proposed to levy a body of infantry^ 
but the States would not consent to it. 
Amongst the foreign troops, some German 
iwgimeats were kept in pay> to whom largt 

frrears were now due. The four thousand 
Spaniards, against whom such heavy com*^ 
plaints had been, Uy in garriaoii. 
Upon the confines of the country, and, wer« 
placed under the orders of two Spanisl^ 
officers, Mendoza and Rovero* 

Amongst the Belgian nobility who were 
honourably distinguished by the monarch 
in these new appointments, the names of 
the Count of Egmont, and of William of 
Orange are the most conspicuous. How* 
ever inveterate that animosi^ might bep 
wluch he bad conceive^ against these two 
competitors, and in particular against thf 
last of th^, yet did he condescend to ho« 
nour them with these public marks of fa^ 
vour, because his plans of revepge were not 
fully ripe for execution, and because they 
were adored by the people with the most 
jmperstitiouA veperation. Tb^ir territorisil 


revenues were exempted from taxes; the 
most lucrative magistracies were delegated 
to them; they were highly flattered by a 
signal^ if not a candid proof of his confi«> 
dence^ when he made them a voluntary 
offer of the command over his Spanish 
forces. But at the very moment whilst he 
was heaping publie favours upon the prince, 
he privately inflicted the most cruel injury 
upon him. Apprehensive, lest an alliance 
i^ith the powerful house of Lothrain might 
render this dangerous ,vassal more bold and 
enterprizing, he contrived to frustrate his 
liopes of obtaining a princess of that house ; 
s[n injury which William could never for- 
give. Nay, his enmity to the latter, made 
him once lay aside his arts of dissimulation, 
and betrayed him into some unguarded 
expressions, that were not congenial to the 
dispositions of Philip. When he was pre* 


l^ing to embark at Vlie&singen^ being stir- 
rounded by the nobles of the land^ he so 
far forgot himself^ as publickly to reproach 
the prince with being the author of all the 
disturbances. The prince answered^ with 
apparent composure^ that what had hap« 
pened, had been done by the Estates of 
their own accord^ and was conformable to 
the strictest principles of justice. '^ No, 
'** returned the monarch, seizing his hand, 
'^ and shaking it with much vehemence; 
*' not by the Estates, but by yourself, by 
*' yourself alone!" The Prince wvls con- 
founded, and without waiting for the de* 
parture of the King, wished him a good 
journey, and returned to town. Thus pri- 
vate enmity rendered that animosity in- 
curable, which [this just and worthy cha- 
racter had already conceived against the 
oppressor of a free nation^ and hastened 

fld8 aiB£ Amp ^tkQQBBS4. 

the accompIiflhiQCSit of tbat graad Revolo^ 
tion, which severed seven coidy gemft from 
the Spanish diadem* 


Brinted 6if X and W» Smithy 
King Stre€tt Seven Dfais^