The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1577 part 1

John Lothrop Motley
The Rise of the Dutch Republic,
1577 part 1

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Title: The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1577
Author: John Lothrop Motley
Release Date: January, 2004 [EBook #4827] [Yes, we are more than
one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on March 26,

Edition: 10
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII


This eBook was produced by David Widger

[NOTE: There is a short list of bookmarks, or pointers, at the end of the
file for those who may wish to sample the author's ideas before making
an entire meal of them. D.W.]

Edition, Vol. 27
By John Lothrop Motley

1577 [

Triumphal entrance of Don John into Brussels--Reverse of the picture
--Analysis of the secret correspondence of Don John and Escovedo
with Antonio Perez--Plots against the Governor's liberty--His
desponding language and gloomy anticipations--Recommendation of
severe measures--Position and principles of Orange and his family--
His private views on the question of peace and war--His toleration to
Catholics and Anabaptists censured by his friends--Death of
Viglius--New mission from the Governor to Orange--Details of the
Gertruydenberg conferences--Nature and results of these
negotiations--Papers exchanged between the envoys and Orange--Peter
Panis executed for heresy--Three parties in the Netherlands--
Dissimulation of Don John--His dread of capture.

As already narrated, the soldiery had retired definitely from the country
at the end of April, after which Don John made his triumphal entrance
into Brussels on the 1st of May. It was long since so festive a May-day
had gladdened the hearts of Brabant. So much holiday magnificence
had not been seen in the Netherlands for years. A solemn procession of
burghers, preceded by six thousand troops, and garnished by the free
companies of archers and musketeers, in their picturesque costumes,
escorted the young prince along the streets of the capital. Don John was
on horseback, wrapped in a long green cloak, riding between the
Bishop of Liege and the Papal nuncio. He passed beneath countless
triumphal arches. Banners waved before him, on which the battle of
Lepanto, and other striking scenes in his life, were emblazoned.
Minstrels sang verses, poets recited odes, rhetoric clubs enacted
fantastic dramas in his honor, as he rode along. Young virgins crowned
him with laurels. Fair women innumerable were clustered at every
window, roof, and balcony, their bright robes floating like summer
clouds above him. "Softly from those lovely clouds," says a gallant
chronicler, "descended the gentle rain of flowers." Garlands were
strewed before his feet, laurelled victory sat upon his brow. The same
conventional enthusiasm and decoration which had characterized the
holiday marches of a thousand conventional heroes were successfully
produced. The proceedings began with the church, and ended with the
banquet, the day was propitious, the populace pleased, and after a
brilliant festival, Don John of Austria saw himself Governor-General of
the provinces.
Three days afterwards, the customary oaths, to be kept with the
customary conscientiousness, were rendered at the Town House, and
for a brief moment all seemed smiling and serene.
There was a reverse to the picture. In truth, no language can describe
the hatred which Don John entertained for the Netherlands and all the
inhabitants. He had come to the country only as a stepping-stone to the
English throne, and he never spoke, in his private letters, of the
provinces or the people but in terms of abhorrence. He was in a
"Babylon of disgust," in a "Hell," surrounded by "drunkards,"
"wineskins," "scoundrels," and the like. From the moment of his arrival
he had strained every nerve to retain the Spanish troops, and to send
them away by sea when it should be no longer feasible to keep
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