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give explanations and to obtain reinforce- | own cousin, should be played off against ments, he was forthwith assassinated by the authority of Philip II. the direct orders of Philip and Perez; and the appeals of the hapless governor of the Netherlands for money, for support, for counsel, for encouragement, were left unanswered. It was as if Philip, disgusted by his want of success, or alarmed by signs of independence and ambition, was content to leave him to perish. The visions of glory and ambition which had crowded around his earlier years were fast passing away; and disappointment and defeat marked the remaining months of his life.
Nor was this all. Besides the Austrian archduke, a French claimant to the government of the Netherlands appeared in the person of the Duke of Anjou - the most contemptible member of an odious race - who in the intervals of his absurd courtship of Queen Elizabeth engaged in deep intrigues with the Flemish insurgents, to which Orange was also a party. The train had been laid by Queen Margaret of Navarre, who was passionately attached to her brother, when she paid her stately visit to Don John at Namur; Driven to extremity, and believing that the plot was encouraged by Catherine de his own life was threatened, Don John Medicis, the queen's mother; and Anjou seized by a ruse the fortress of Namur, arrived at Mons at the head of levies where, as, the king's representative, he raised from the royal troops of Henry had a very good right to command. An III. Another enemy was in the field, and attempt, which failed, was made to obtain the breach widened between the royal possession of Antwerp. Letters from houses of Spain and France. It is satisDon John to the king were intercepted, factory to know that Queen Elizabeth which proved that he had lost all confi- emphatically condemned both the advendence in the States. "God knows," he ture of Matthias and the projected French wrote, "how much I desire to avoid ex-alliance. She informed the Estates that tremities, but I know not what to do with men who show themselves so obstinately rebellious." But he clearly foresaw the imminent necessity of exchanging the pen for the sword, and he earnestly prepared for the inevitable contest.
if it were persisted in she would withdraw her friendship, and even take up arms against them.
Mr. Motley, in his history of "The Rise of the Dutch Republic," has devoted several chapters to the administration of the Whilst these events were occurring or Netherlands by Don John of Austria. in preparation, two underplots were car. Many of his statements are singularly inried on which bore a singular relation to accurate, and his whole work is animated the great contest between Orange and by a fierce hatred of Don John, which Don John of Austria. The ascendency breaks out in coarse invective. To Mr. of Orange had awakened the fears of the Motley he is "the double-dealing bastard Catholics in southern Flanders and the of a double-dealing emperor; "frenzied jealousy of the great nobles. The rift with furious passion, irritable, sanguinary, which was soon to separate the western and unjust. What in Orange is described Catholic provinces from the Dutch Prot- as "slight dissimulation " is denounced in estant confederacy, and restore the former Don John as "odious deceit." Mr. Motportion of the Netherlands to the domin-ley is a very intemperate writer, whose ion of Spain, became apparent, and by a views and expressions are not unfre. strange device the young archduke Mat- quently colored at the expense of truth. thias, brother to the emperor Rudolph, No one can read the more careful and was invited to place himself at the head dispassionate pages of Sir William Stirof the Estates in Brussels. He accepted ling Maxwell without forming a very difthe invitation, escaped from Vienna, and ferent estimate of the character and posiarrived in the Low Countries. Orange tion of Don John of Austria. It is was equal to the occasion; he saw that impossible to doubt, on the evidence of the lad might be made his tool, and used these volumes, that the young governor by himself against the Spaniards. He of the Netherlands entered upon his artherefore received the archduke at Ant-duous task with a sincere and honest werp with all honor, and eventually placed desire to pacify the country by liberal him in a chair of state at Brussels. That concessions to the civil and religious was all that Matthias ever attained to; rights of the people; that he deplored the power he had none; but it was an artful severities of Alba and the atrocities of addition to the perplexities of Don John the Spanish troops, whom he soon agreed that a representative of the German to send away altogether; and that he acbranch of the house of Austria, and his │tually surrendered everything short of his
own liberty and life (which were threat- that six or seven thousand of the Netherened), and the king's sovereignty, to the landers fell on that day, though the vicmaintenance of peace. It was Orange tory cost the Spaniards but a handful of who was resolved to make peace impossi- men. Immediately the towns of Louvain, ble. It was Orange who was intriguing Tirlemont, Aerschot, Nivelles, and half a with France and Austria, and who raised dozen more, submitted to the conqueror. the terms of compromise (which had been The battle of Gemblours can hardly be accepted by both parties) until they be said to add to the military fame of Don came impossible. It was under the influ- John, for it was won by the dash and ence of Orange that, on December 7, prowess of his cousin, the prince of Par1577, the States-General declared that ma, who, at the head of six hundred Don John was no longer stadtholder, gov- troopers, forded a miry ravine, outflanked ernor, nor captain general, but an infractor the enemy, and decided the victory. "Tell of the peace he had sworn to maintain, Don John," exclaimed the young hero, and an enemy of the fatherland. So much who was reconnoitring the position, "that, is acknowledged by Mr. Motley himself. like the ancient Roman, I am about to "To this point," he says, "had tended all plunge into a gulf, and by the aid of God, the policy of Orange, faithful as ever to and under the auspices of the house of the proverb with which he had broken Austria, to win a great and memorable off the Breda conferences, that war was victory.' Alexander Farnese kept his preferable to a doubtful peace." Orange word. Such were the men and the forces may have been right from his point of which Don John refused till the last mo view, though his policy led very shortly to ment to use. War being declared, it was great military disasters, and to the ulti-carried on with the sanguinary ferocity of mate severance of the provinces. What the age. During the spring Elizabeth he had in view was the Protestant cause urged Don John to grant a susceance of and the independence of Holland. But arms," and Mr. Fenton, the queen's agent, he was resolved that Don John should made the following report on the position not have fair play; that the system of of the governor: conciliation should not be tried; and that. Don John remaineth in that part of Hainault every artifice should be employed to tra- that bordereth upon France, and commandeth duce and resist it. Don John himself was sixteen walled towns. His whole camp cona man of a courteous, kindly, and liberal taineth eighteen thousand men for the fight, not cruel, not unjust; his ambi- viz., three thousand horsemen and the residue tion was lofty, and he looked to the pacifi- footmen. Of these he maketh special account cation of the Netherlands as the road to of six thousand being Spaniards of the old higher things. No doubt when he saw nations and customs, and of resolution and hands; the residue are mercenaries of sundry his efforts met by contumely and violence, valor doubtful. He lieth not encamped in any he conceived a strong resentment against one place, but has disparted his companies into his enemies. But he seems to have shown garrisons within the towns he hath won, by an extraordinary amount of self command which impediment he is not able to put an under great provocation, and it was only army to the field, nor advance any great exploit in his secret despatches to Madrid, which of war, having withal no store of great artillewere intercepted and made public, that heries, field pieces, nor gunpowder. exhaled his bitter disappointment. The pecteth a provision of these munitions from unanswerable defence of his policy and Luxemburg. He entertaineth great intelliconduct appears to us to be that, although gence with certain particulars in the Council arms were his profession, although he he hath contracted with the Duke of Bransof the Estates, by whom gaining the factions was trained to war and excelled in it, al-wick for four thousand reitres and two thouthough he had far more to fear from the national party in the closet than in the field, it was only as the very last resort, and when all other means were exhausted, that he engaged in hostilities. When that day came, and the commander, at the head of the king's troops, was able to meet his enemies, the result was not doubtful; they were dispersed like smoke on the field of Gemblours by the superiority of the Spanish arms. It is said
• Motley, vol. iii., p. 289.
sand lance-knights, who, as soon as they arrive, he meaneth to take the field and march, pretending to bestow in his towns the lanceknights and revoke to the camp his own companies. But I hear that by the Diet of Worms the Duke of Brunswick is forbidden to make any levies against the Estates. Such places as Don John taketh by composition he observeth the country where he commandeth liveth in no justly his covenants with; every particular in less freedom and security than if there were no war at all. The husbandman under his protection laboreth the ground in safety, and bring. ing victuals to his camp he receiveth his money
the troops in and around the town of Namur. Don John took up his quarters there towards the middle of September.
in quietness and returneth without fear of vio- | entertainment comparable to him. lence. He punisheth with death all sorts of pride do not overthrow him, he is like to pillage and insolvency, not sparing in that become a great personage." As for the crime any nation or nature of soldiers, of terms, Walsingham said to the prince, what merit soever. By these humilities he maketh deep impression on the hearts of the it is only by pure menace that we have exthey are too hard; but, bad as they seem, people, and so changeth the course of the war that he beginneth to make less in the popular torted them from the Estates." sort the hatred universally borne to the nature said Don John, " you may tell them to of the Spaniards. He is environed with a keep their offers to themselves. Such grave council, with whom he useth to counsel terms will not do for me." This is altouching all expeditions and directions of the most the last recorded utterance of the war. These are of his Privy Council: "the ill-starred prince whose life began in all Prince of Parma, Ottavio Gonzaga (he gov- the radiance of glory, and ended in all the erneth him most), Don Gabriel Nino, Doctor gloom of defeat and despair. Ten years del Rio, Count Barlaymont, Count Charles of embrace the whole career of Don John of Mansfeldt, Don Lopus, Don P. de Taxis, Monsieur de Billi, and Mondragone. These in all Austria, marked without intermission by their behavior do wonderfully reverence him, the vicissitudes of fortune and of fame. and by their example he is honored with a But it was not the pride of empire that wonderful obedience of the inferiors." (Vol. was to lay Don John of Austria low. A ii., p. 304.) humbler and a sadder fate was at hand. After the rupture of the last negotiations Yet at this very time Philip was in- Don John had withdrawn his army to an triguing against his brother: he secretly entrenched camp at Bouges, near Namur, offered to the Estates to place the Prince a position which commanded a long reach of Parma or even the archduke Matthias of the river Meuse. It had been occuin his place; in March Escovedo was pied by his father when hard pressed by murdered; Don John himself would the force of Henry II., and it was chosen gladly have accepted any change; in his for sanitary as well as strategical reasons, more sombre moments he was for retira pestilence having broken out amongst ing to some wild hermitage amongst the Sierras of Spain; his life was attempted by two assassins from England; and his health began to fail. In July another battle was fought at Rijnemants, with far less decisive results, for the Spanish troops were opposed, not to the burgher levies of the Netherlands, but to some of the French Huguenots under François de la Noue, and to a body of English troops commanded by Sir John Norris, reinforced by a Scotch detachment, who met the enemy by first singing a psalm and rushing to battle nearly naked. The victory was claimed by both sides, the action being, in fact, indecisive. This was the last appearance of Don John of Austria in the field. Sick in body and soul, anxious and yet hopeless, he consented to reopen negotiations for peace, and to receive the envoys of the Estates. But the conditions dictated by Orange were impossible. They required that the governor, then at the head of a powerful army, should evacuate the country. Walsingham and Cobham, the English envoys, were with him when the proposals arrived. "In conference with him," Walsingham wrote to Lord Burghley on August 27, "I might easily discern a great conflict in himself between honor and necessity. Surely I never saw a gentleman for personage, speech, wit, and
He had been again attacked by the fever, which indeed had been for weeks lingering in his system. His last illness was reckoned by those about him to have commenced on September 17. He thought the change of air he was nearer his works and his daily duty. might do him good; and, besides, at the camp So great was his weakness that he was carried up the hill from Namur on a camp-bed borne on men's shoulders. His arrival, very unexpected, had not been prepared for. Refusing to allow any of the superior officers to be disturbed on his account, he desired to be carried to the quarters of the regiment of Figueroa, one of whose captains, Bernadino de Zuñiga, established himself in a ruined grange, and an was attached to his household. Zuñiga had old pigeon-house attached thereto was selected as the only apartment available for Don John. The place was hastily cleaned; its rough walls were clothed with some rich armorially embla. zoned hangings, and damask curtains were placed over the holes which served as windows. A wooden staircase was constructed in place of the ladder by means of which it had been formerly reached. In this forlorn loft he continued for some days to write despatches and transact the business of the army from his sickbed. By a curious coincidence, on the same day when his disorder returned his old friend and comrade Serbellone, the engineer, was prostrated by a similar ailment. The attacks
of the disease were in both cases intermittent, and recurring as it happened at coincident intervals of time. The engineer's fever appeared to be the more severe, and he was, besides, up. wards of seventy, and broken with campaigning and captivity. The doctors thought ill of the old soldier's chances of recovery, but for the young general they did not at first feel any apprehension.
king. He informed him that he was confined to his chamber with fever, and that he was as much reduced as if he had been ill a month. "I assure your Majesty," he said, "that the work here is enough to destroy any constitution and any life." He had often warned the king that the French were busy in tampering with what remained of loyalty in the provinces. The success of these secret practices During the intervals between his attacks was now apparent, and Anjou at the head of Don John continued his usual correspondence. an increasing force was fairly established in The letters written from Bouges give a very the country. The inhabitants were everywhere gloomy picture of his feelings and his life. In alarmed, and many disaffected. With his his mind diseased he suffered more than in small and dwindling force it was impossible his fevered frame. Hopes long deferred now for him to hazard any important attack on the seemed to his excited imagination utterly de-enemy, and even remaining stationary he could stroyed. He felt himself forsaken and betrayed hardly hope long to keep open the communiby the king whom he had so ardently and un- cations by which alone money and supplies scrupulously served. could reach him. The pest was consuming his army. He had twelve hundred men in hospital, besides those who were laid up in private houses; and he had neither means of meeting the emergency nor money to obtain them. The enemy, finding his operations in the field suspended, had cut off his waterway by the Meuse to Liege, and had advanced to Nivelle and Chimay, on the same stream. He would give his blood rather than annoy the king with such tidings, but he felt it to be his duty to tell the plain truth. He suggested that special envoys should be sent to Paris to remonstrate against the proceedings of Anjou, and to the Pope to ask for the duke's excommunication. "Thus I remain," he said, “perplexed and confused, desiring more than life some decision on your Majesty's part, for which I have begged so many times." ders for the conduct of affairs," that was his first wish, and it wounded him to the soul to find them so long delayed. Was he to attack the enemy in Burgundy, or on some other side; or was he to remain where he was awaiting orders? And he was deeply pained at being disgraced and abandoned by the king, whom he had served as a man and a brother with all love and fidelity and heartiness. "Our lives are at issue on this stake," he said, "and all we desire is to lose them with honor."
His Majesty," thus he wrote to his friend Don Pedro de Mendoza, the Spanish agent at Genoa, on September 16, "his Majesty is resolved upon nothing; at least I am kept in ignorance of his intentions. Our life is doled out to us here by moments. I cry aloud, but it profits me little Matters will soon be disposed, through over-negligence, exactly as the devil would most wish them. It is plain we are left here to pine away to our last breath. God direct us all as he may see fit; in his hands are all things." On the same day he wrote also to his old naval companion, Giovanni Andrea Doria, at Genoa. "I rejoice to see by your letter," he said, "that your life is flowing on with such calmness while the world around me is so tumultuously agitated. I consider you most fortunate that you are passing the remainder of your days for God and yourself; that you are not forced to put yourself perpetually in the scales of the world's events, nor to venture yourself daily in its hazardous game." Himself he described as surrounded with countless enemies, who were now pressing upon him within half a mile of the spot which he had selected for his final stand, and which he looked upon as his last refuge. Fighting a battle was for him out of question; he did not believe he could hold out for above three months; and he received no aid from the Government at home, who could not or would not see that in the loss of the present chance all would be lost. The Duke of Anjou was strengthening himself in Hainault, and in the background was the French king professing amity but preparing to invade Burgundy if fortune favored his brother. Again and again have I besought his Majesty," he added, "to send me his orders, which shall be executed if they do not come too late. They have cut off our hands; nothing now remains but to stretch forth our heads also to the axe. I grieve to trouble you with my sorrows, but I trust to your sympathy as a man and as a friend. I hope that you will remember me in your prayers, for you can put your trust where in former days I could never put mine."
Four days later, on September 20, he wrote his last letter to the gloomy, obdurate, silent
When Philip received that pathetic letter, he drew his pen beneath the words entreating for "orders for the conduct of affairs," and wrote on the margin, "The underlined question I will not answer." When he made this cruel annotation it was already decreed that he was to be troubled no more with such passionate appeals. The hand which had penned the passage was cold in death. (Vol. ii., p. 330.)
From the commencement of his illness Don John despaired of his recovery. On September 28 he received the holy com munion, and transferred to the prince of Parma his civil and military authority. Alexander was by his side, and performed to the last all the offices of friendship and affection. He confessed himself de
voutly, gave some parting directions to
of the objects of his ambition, dissolved his forces. Ghent, the centre of the revolutionary party, broke out in anarchy and violence. Catholic and Protestant renewed their internecine feuds, and by these religious dissensions the union of the Provinces and Estates was broken up, never to be renewed. The Walloon provinces formed a separate treaty between themselves, and entered into negotiations with Parma. Thenceforth it was with the united provinces of Holland alone, cemented by the compact of Utrecht, which was signed only three months after the death of Don John of Austria, that the contest was carried on. That no doubt was the foundation of the glorious Protestant commonwealth of the Netherlands, which for many a long year defended and at last won its independence. But the confederacy of the States which had opposed Don John was at an end, and the final separation of the Netherlands into their Catholic and Protestant elements was completed by the administration of Alexander Farnese and the death of Orange.
From Macmillan's Magazine. THE WIZARD'S SON.
Sir William Stirling Maxwell has not thought it necessary to review the character of the prince to whom he has devoted this splendid monograph. The interest he felt in it himself is best shown by the industry and ability with which he has recorded the events of his life. Don John of Austria was not a man of political genius or of rare intellectual power; he had not the imperial grasp of his father, or the subtlety of his brother, or the resources of his cousin and successor, Alexander Farnese. But he had in him, far more than these his kinsmen, some. thing of an heroic fire. His own inspirations were brave and manly; if he failed it was as the instrument and the victim of a system of policy based on "the right of God's anointed kings to misgovern their subjects." He passed through life in a treacherous and cruel age unstained by perfidy or crime; and he retained to the last unshaken fidelity to a sovereign little worthy of so brave and noble a kinsman. There are few princes or soldiers or cour-of the steam-yacht that lay opposite the tiers of the sixteenth century of whom as much can be said.
The darkest hour precedes the dawn, and the moment at which Don John of Austria expired was that at which the cause of Spain appeared to be most hopeless. It might be a curious subject of historical enquiry how it came to pass that the Prince of Parma succeeded in re-establishing the authority of Spain over a considerable portion of the Low Countries, where his predecessor had egregiously failed. But within a few weeks of the death of Don John the horizon cleared, and events occurred which materially weakened the enemies of the Spanish crown. The Duke of Anjou, disappointed
THE party at Birkenbraes was always large. There were, in the first place, many people staying in the house, for Mr. Williamson was hospitable in the largest sense of the word, and opened his liberal doors to everybody that pleased him, and was ready to provide everything that might be wanted for the pleasure of his guests carriages, horses, boats, even special trains on the railway, not to speak
house, and made constant trips up and down the loch. His liberality had sometimes an air of ostentation, or rather of that pleasure which very rich persons often take in the careless exhibition of a lavish expenditure, which dazzles and astonishes those to whom close reckonings are necessary. He had a laugh, which, though perfectly good-natured, seemed to have a certain derision in it of the precautions which others took, as he gave his orders. “Lord, man, take a special!