THE RISE OF THE DUTCH REPUBLIC.

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616 ページ - The history of the rise of the Netherland Republic has been at the same time the biography of William the Silent. This, while it gives unity to the narrative, renders an elaborate description of his character superfluous. That life was a noble Christian epic ; inspired with one great purpose from its commencement to its close ; the stream flowing ever from one fountain with expanding fulness, but retaining all its original purity.
626 ページ - His temperament was cheerful. At table, the pleasures of which, in moderation, were his only relaxation, he was always animated and merry ; and this jocoseness was partly natural, partly intentional. In the darkest hours of his country's trial he affected a serenity which he was far from feeling ; so that his apparent gayety at momentous epochs was even censured by dullards, who could not comprehend its philosophy, nor applaud the flippancy of William the Silent. He went through life bearing the...
622 ページ - of this man. The efforts made to destroy the Netherlands by the most laborious and pains-taking of tyrants were counteracted by the industry of the most indefatigable of patriots. Thus his eloquence, oral or written, gave him almost boundless power over his countrymen. He possessed, also, a rare perception of human character, together with an iron memory which never lost a face, a place, or an event, once seen or known. He read the minds, even the faces, of men, like printed books. No man could...
111 ページ - In the city-hall many were consumed, while others leaped from the windows to renew the combat below. The many tortuous streets which led down a slight descent from the rear of the town-house to the quays were all one vast conflagration. On the other side the magnificent cathedral, separated from the Grande Place by a single row of buildings, was lighted up, but not attacked, by the flames. The tall spire cast its gigantic shadow across the last desperate conflict. In the street called the Canal au...
610 ページ - O my God, have mercy upon my soul! O my God, have mercy upon this poor people!" These were the last words he ever spoke, save that when his sister, Catherine of Schwartzburg, immediately afterwards asked him if he commended his soul to Jesus Christ, he faintly answered, "Yes.
509 ページ - All mankind know," said the preamble, "that a prince is appointed by God to cherish his subjects, even as a shepherd to guard his sheep. When, therefore, the prince does not fulfil his duty as protector; when he oppresses his subjects, destroys their ancient liberties, and treats them as slaves, he is to be considered, not a prince, but a tyrant. As such, the estates of the land may lawfully and reasonably depose him, and elect another in his room.
618 ページ - He was, besides, largely indebted to every one of his powerful relatives : so that the payment of the encumbrances upon his estate very nearly justified the fears of his children. While on the one hand, therefore, he poured out these enormous sums like water, and firmly refused a hearing to the tempting offers of the royal government, upon the other hand he...
618 ページ - He was besides largely indebted to every one of his powerful relatives, so that the payment of the incumbrances upon his estate very nearly justified the fears of his children. While on the one hand, therefore, he poured out these enormous sums like water, and firmly refused a hearing to the tempting offers of the royal government, upon the other hand he proved the disinterested nature of his services by declining, year after year, the sovereignty over the provinces; and by only accepting, in the...
113 ページ - Six millions, at least, had thus been swallowed ; a destruction by which no one had profited. There was, however, much left The strong boxes of the merchants, the gold, silver, and precious jewelry, the velvets, satins, brocades, laces, and similar well concentrated and portable plunder, were rapidly appropriated. So far the course was plain and easy, but in private houses it was more difficult The cash, plate, and other valuables of individuals were not so easily discovered. Torture was, therefore,...
620 ページ - The quickness of his perception was only equaled by the caution which enabled him to mature the results of his observations. His knowledge of human nature was profound. He governed the passions and sentiments of a great nation as if they had been but the keys and chords of one vast instrument; and his hand rarely failed to evoke harmony even out of the wildest storms. The turbulent city of Ghent, which could obey no other master, which even the haughty Emperor could only crush without controlling,...

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