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Full Online Book HomeNonfictionsThe Revolt Of The Netherlands - Alva's Armament And Expedition To The Netherlands
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The Revolt Of The Netherlands - Alva's Armament And Expedition To The Netherlands Post by :frenzy Category :Nonfictions Author :Frederich Schiller Date :May 2012 Read :3071

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The Revolt Of The Netherlands - Alva's Armament And Expedition To The Netherlands

But it was otherwise determined in the council at Madrid. The minister, Granvella, who, even while absent himself, ruled the Spanish cabinet by his adherents; the Cardinal Grand Inquisitor, Spinosa, and the Duke of Alva, swayed respectively by hatred, a spirit of persecution, or private interest, had outvoted the milder councils of the Prince Ruy Gomes of Eboli, the Count of Feria, and the king's confessor, Fresneda. The insurrection, it was urged by the former, was indeed quelled for the present, but only because the rebels were awed by the rumor of the king's armed approach; it was to fear of punishment alone, and not to sorrow for their crime, that the present calm was to be ascribed, and it would soon again be broken if that feeling were allowed to subside. In fact, the offences of the people fairly afforded the king the opportunity he had so long desired of carrying out his despotic views with an appearance of justice. The peaceable settlement for which the regent took credit to herself was very far from according with his wishes, which sought rather for a legitimate pretext to deprive the provinces of their privileges, which were so obnoxious to his despotic temper.

With an impenetrable dissimulation Philip had hitherto fostered the general delusion that he was about to visit the provinces in person, while all along nothing could have been more remote from his real intentions. Travelling at any time ill suited the methodical regularity of his life, which moved with the precision of clockwork; and his narrow and sluggish intellect was oppressed by the variety and multitude of objects with which new scenes crowded it. The difficulties and dangers which would attend a journey to the Netherlands must, therefore, have been peculiarly alarming to his natural timidity and love of ease. Why should he, who, in all that he did, was accustomed to consider himself alone, and to make men accommodate themselves to his principles, not his principles to men, undertake so perilous an expedition, when he could see neither the advantage nor necessity of it. Moreover, as it had ever been to him an utter impossibility to separate, even for a moment, his person from his royal dignity, which no prince ever guarded so tenaciously and pedantically as himself, so the magnificence and ceremony which in his mind were inseparably connected with such a journey, and the expenses which, on this account, it would necessarily occasion, were of themselves sufficient motives to account for his indisposition to it, without its being at all requisite to call in the aid of the influence of his favorite, Ruy Gomes, who is said to have desired to separate his rival, the Duke of Alva, from the king. Little, however, as be seriously intended this journey, he still deemed it advisable to keep up the expectation of it, as well with a view of sustaining the courage of the loyal as of preventing a dangerous combination of the disaffected, and stopping the further progress of the rebels.

In order to carry on the deception as long as possible, Philip made extensive preparations for his departure, and neglected nothing which could be required for such an event. He ordered ships to be fitted out, appointed the officers and others to attend him. To allay the suspicion such warlike preparations might excite in all foreign courts, they were informed through his ambassadors of his real design. He applied to the King of France for a passage for himself and attendants through that kingdom, and consulted the Duke of Savoy as to the preferable route. He caused a list to be drawn up of all the towns and fortified places that lay in his march, and directed all the intermediate distances to be accurately laid down. Orders were issued for taking a map and survey of the whole extent of country between Savoy and Burgundy, the duke being requested to furnish the requisite surveyors and scientific officers. To such lengths was the deception carried that the regent was commanded to hold eight vessels at least in readiness off Zealand, and to despatch them to meet the king the instant she heard of his having sailed from Spain; and these ships she actually got ready, and caused prayers to be offered up in all the churches for the king's safety during the voyage, though in secret many persons did not scruple to remark that in his chamber at Madrid his majesty would not have much cause to dread the storms at sea. Philip played his part with such masterly skill that the Belgian ambassadors at Madrid, Lords Bergen and Montigny, who at first had disbelieved in the sincerity of his pretended journey, began at last to be alarmed, and infected their friends in Brussels with similar apprehensions. An attack of tertian ague, which about this time the king suffered, or perhaps feigned, in Segovia, afforded a plausible pretence for postponing his journey, while meantime the preparations for it were carried on with the utmost activity. At last, when the urgent and repeated solicitations of his sister compelled him to make a definite explanation of his plans, he gave orders that the Duke of Alva should set out forthwith with an army, both to clear the way before him of rebels, and to enhance the splendor of his own royal arrival. He did not yet venture to throw off the mask and announce the duke as his substitute. He had but too much reason to fear that the submission which his Flemish nobles would cheerfully yield to their sovereign would be refused to one of his servants, whose cruel character was well known, and who, moreover, was detested as a foreigner and the enemy of their constitution. And, in fact, the universal belief that the king was soon to follow, which long survived Alva's entrance into the country, restrained the outbreak of disturbances which otherwise would assuredly have been caused by the cruelties which marked the very opening of the duke's government.

The clergy of Spain, and especially the Inquisition, contributed richly towards the expenses of this expedition as to a holy war. Throughout Spain the enlisting was carried on with the utmost zeal. The viceroys and governors of Sardinia, Sicily, Naples, and Milan received orders to select the best of their Italian and Spanish troops in the garrisons and despatch them to the general rendezvous in the Genoese territory, where the Duke of Alva would exchange them for the Spanish recruits which he should bring with him. At the same time the regent was commanded to hold in readiness a few more regiments of German infantry in Luxembourg, under the command of the Counts Eberstein, Schaumburg, and Lodrona, and also some squadrons of light cavalry in the Duchy of Burgundy to reinforce the Spanish general immediately on his entrance into the provinces. The Count of Barlaimont was commissioned to furnish the necessary provision for the armament, and a sum of two hundred thousand gold florins was remitted to the regent to enable her to meet these expenses and to maintain her own troops.

The French court, however, under pretence of the danger to be apprehended from the Huguenots, had refused to allow the Spanish army to pass through France. Philip applied to the Dukes of Savoy and Lorraine, who were too dependent upon him to refuse his request. The former merely stipulated that he should be allowed to maintain two thousand infantry and a squadron of horse at the king's expense in order to protect his country from the injuries to which it might otherwise be exposed from the passage of the Spanish army. At the same time he undertook to provide the necessary supplies for its maintenance during the transit.

The rumor of this arrangement roused the Huguenots, the Genevese, the Swiss, and the Grisons. The Prince of Conde and the Admiral Coligny entreated Charles IX. not to neglect so favorable a moment of inflicting a deadly blow on the hereditary foe of France. With the aid of the Swiss, the Genevese, and his own Protestant subjects, it would, they alleged, be an easy matter to destroy the flower of the Spanish troops in the narrow passes of the Alpine mountains; and they promised to support him in this undertaking with an army of fifty thousand Huguenots. This advice, however, whose dangerous object was not easily to be mistaken, was plausibly declined by Charles IX., who assured them that he was both able and anxious to provide for the security of his kingdom. He hastily despatched troops to cover the French frontiers; and the republics of Geneva, Bern, Zurich, and the Grisons followed his example, all ready to offer a determined opposition to the dreaded enemy of their religion and their liberty.

On the 5th of May, 1567, the Duke of Alva set sail from Carthagena with thirty galleys, which had been furnished by Andrew Doria and the Duke Cosmo of Florence, and within eight days landed at Genoa, where the four regiments were waiting to join him. But a tertian ague, with which he was seized shortly after his arrival, compelled him to remain for some days inactive in Lombardy--a delay of which the neighboring powers availed themselves to prepare for defence. As soon as the duke recovered he held at Asti, in Montferrat, a review of all his troops, who were more formidable by their valor than by their numbers, since cavalry and infantry together did not amount to much above ten thousand men. In his long and perilous march he did not wish to encumber himself with useless supernumeraries, which would only impede his progress and increase the difficulty of supporting his army. These ten thousand veterans were to form the nucleus of a greater army, which, according as circumstances and occasion might require, he could easily assemble in the Netherlands themselves.

This array, however, was as select as it was small. It consisted of the remains of those victorious legions at whose head Charles V. had made Europe tremble; sanguinary, indomitable bands, in whose battalions the firmness of the old Macedonian phalanx lived again; rapid in their evolutions from long practice, hardy and enduring, proud of their leader's success, and confident from past victories, formidable by their licentiousness, but still more so by their discipline; let loose with all the passions of a warmer climate upon a rich and peaceful country, and inexorable towards an enemy whom the church had cursed. Their fanatical and sanguinary spirit, their thirst for glory and innate courage was aided by a rude sensuality, the instrument by which the Spanish general firmly and surely ruled his otherwise intractable troops. With a prudent indulgence he allowed riot and voluptuousness to reign throughout the camp. Under his tacit connivance Italian courtezans followed the standards; even in the march across the Apennines, where the high price of the necessaries of life compelled him to reduce his force to the smallest possible number, he preferred to have a few regiments less rather than to leave behind these instruments of voluptuousness.


(The bacchanalian procession of this army contrasted strangely enough with the gloomy seriousness and pretended sanctity of his aim. The number of these women was so great that to restrain the disorders and quarrelling among themselves they hit upon the expedient of establishing a discipline of their own. They ranged themselves under particular flags, marched in ranks and sections, and in admirable military order, after each battalion, and classed themselves with strict etiquette according to their rank and pay.)


But industriously as Alva strove to relax the morals of his soldiers, he enforced the more rigidly a strict military discipline, which was interrupted only by a victory or rendered less severe by a battle. For all this he had, he said, the authority of the Athenian General Iphicrates, who awarded the prize of valor to the pleasure-loving and rapacious soldier. The more irksome the restraint by which the passions of the soldiers were kept in check, the greater must have been the vehemence with which they broke forth at the sole outlet which was left open to them.

The duke divided his infantry, which was about nine thousand strong, and chiefly Spaniards, into four brigades, and gave the command of them to four Spanish officers. Alphonso of Ulloa led the Neapolitan brigade of nine companies, amounting to three thousand two hundred and thirty men; Sancho of Lodogno commanded the Milan brigade, three thousand two hundred men in ten companies; the Sicilian brigade, with the same number of companies, and consisting of sixteen hundred men, was under Julian Romero, an experienced warrior, who had already fought on Belgian ground.


(The same officer who commanded one of the Spanish regiments about which so much complaint had formerly been made in the States- General.)


Gonsalo of Braccamonte headed that of Sardinia, which was raised by three companies of recruits to the full complement of the former. To every company, moreover, were added fifteen Spanish musqueteers. The horse, in all twelve hundred strong, consisted of three Italian, two Albanian, and seven Spanish squadrons, light and heavy cavalry, and the chief command was held by Ferdinand and Frederick of Toledo, the two sons of Alva. Chiappin Vitelli, Marquis of Cetona, was field-marshal; a celebrated general whose services had been made over to the King of Spain by Cosmo of Florence; and Gabriel Serbellon was general of artillery. The Duke of Savoy lent Alva an experienced engineer, Francis Pacotto, of Urbino, who was to be employed in the erection of new fortifications. His standard was likewise followed by a number of volunteers, and the flower of the Spanish nobility, of whom the greater part had fought under Charles V. in Germany, Italy, and before Tunis. Among these were Christopher Mondragone, one of the ten Spanish heroes who, near Mithlberg, swam across the Elbe with their swords between their teeth, and, under a shower of bullets from the enemy, brought over from the opposite shore the boats which the emperor required for the construction of a bridge. Sancho of Avila, who had been trained to war under Alva himself, Camillo of Monte, Francis Ferdugo, Karl Davila, Nicolaus Basta, and Count Martinego, all fired with a noble ardor, either to commence their military career under so eminent a leader, or by another glorious campaign under his command to crown the fame they had already won. After the review the army marched in three divisions across Mount Cenis, by the very route which sixteen centuries before Hannibal is said to have taken. The duke himself led the van; Ferdinand of Toledo, with whom was associated Lodogno as colonel, the centre; and the Marquis of Cetona the rear. The Commissary General, Francis of Ibarra, was sent before with General Serbellon to open the road for the main body, and get ready the supplies at the several quarters for the night. The places which the van left in the morning were entered in the evening by the centre, which in its turn made room on the following day for the rear. Thus the army crossed the Alps of Savoy by regular stages, and with the fourteenth day completed that dangerous passage. A French army of observation accompanied it side by side along the frontiers of Dauphins, and the course of the Rhone, and the allied army of the Genevese followed it on the right, and was passed by it at a distance of seven miles. Both these armies of observation carefully abstained from any act of hostility, and were merely intended to cover their own frontiers. As the Spanish legions ascended and descended the steep mountain crags, or while they crossed the rapid Iser, or file by file wound through the narrow passes of the rocks, a handful of men would have been sufficient to put an entire stop to their march, and to drive them back into the mountains, where they would have been irretrievably lost, since at each place of encampment supplies were provided for no more than a single day, and for a third part only of the whole force. But a supernatural awe and dread of the Spanish name appeared to have blinded the eyes of the enemy so that they did not perceive their advantage, or at least did not venture to profit by it. In order to give them as little opportunity as possible of remembering it, the Spanish general hastened through this dangerous pass.

Convinced, too, that if his troops gave the slightest umbrage he was lost, the strictest discipline was maintained during the march; not a single peasant's hut, not a single field was injured; and never, perhaps, in the memory of man was so numerous an army led so far in such excellent order.


(Once only on entering Lorraine three horsemen ventured to drive away a few sheep from a flock, of which circumstance the duke was no sooner informed than he sent back to the owner what had been taken from him and sentenced the offenders to be hung. This sentence was, at the intercession of the Lorraine general, who had come to the frontiers to pay his respects to the duke, executed on only one of the three, upon whom the lot fell at the drum-head.)


Destined as this army was for vengeance and murder, a malignant and baleful star seemed to conduct it safe through all dangers; and it would be difficult to decide whether the prudence of its general or the blindness of its enemies is most to be wondered at.

In Franche Comte, four squadrons of Burgundian cavalry, newly-raised, joined the main army, which, at Luxembourg, was also reinforced by three regiments of German infantry under the command of Counts Eberstein, Schaumburg, and Lodrona. From Thionville, where he halted a few days, Alva sent his salutations to the regent by Francis of Ibarra, who was, at the same time, directed to consult her on the quartering of the troops. On her part, Noircarmes and Barlairnont were despatched to the Spanish camp to congratulate the duke on his arrival, and to show him the customary marks of honor. At the same time they were directed to ask him to produce the powers entrusted to him by the king, of which, however, he only showed a part. The envoys of the regent were followed by swarms of the Flemish nobility, who thought they could not hasten soon enough to conciliate the favor of the new viceroy, or by a timely submission avert the vengeance which was preparing. Among them was Count Egmont. As he came forward the duke pointed him out to the bystanders. "Here comes an arch-heretic," he exclaimed, loud enough to be heard by Egmont himself, who, surprised at these words, stopped and changed color. But when the duke, in order to repair his imprudence, went up to him with a serene countenance, and greeted him with a friendly embrace, the Fleming was ashamed of his fears, and made light of this warning, by putting some frivolous interpretation upon it. Egmont sealed this new friendship with a present of two valuable chargers, which Alva accepted with a grave condescension.

Upon the assurance of the regent that the provinces were in the enjoyment of perfect peace, and that no opposition was to be apprehended from any quarter, the duke discharged some German regiments, which had hitherto drawn their pay from the Netherlands. Three thousand six hundred men, under the command of Lodrona, were quartered in Antwerp, from which town the Walloon garrison, in which full reliance could not be placed, was withdrawn; garrisons proportionably stronger were thrown into Ghent and other important places; Alva himself marched with the Milan brigade towards Brussels, whither he was accompanied by a splendid cortege of the noblest in the land.

Here, as in all the other towns of the Netherlands, fear and terror had preceded him, and all who were conscious of any offences, and even those who were sensible of none, alike awaited his approach with a dread similar to that with which criminals see the coming of their day of trial. All who could tear themselves from the ties of family, property, and country had already fled, or now at last took to flight. The advance of the Spanish army had already, according to the report of the regent, diminished the population of the provinces by the loss of one hundred thousand citizens, and this general flight still continued. But the arrival of the Spanish general could not be more hateful to the people of the Netherlands than it was distressing and dispiriting to the regent. At last, after so many years of anxiety, she had begun to taste the sweets of repose, and that absolute-authority, which had been the long-cherished object of eight years of a troubled and difficult administration. This late fruit of so much anxious industry, of so many cares and nightly vigils, was now to be wrested from her by a stranger, who was to be placed at once in possession of all the advantages which she had been forced to extract from adverse circumstances, by a long and tedious course of intrigue and patient endurance. Another was lightly to bear away the prize of promptitude, and to triumph by more rapid success over her superior but less glittering merits. Since the departure of the minister, Granvella, she had tasted to the full the pleasures of independence. The flattering homage of the nobility, which allowed her more fully to enjoy the shadow of power, the more they deprived her of its substance, had, by degrees, fostered her vanity to such an extent, that she at last estranged by her coldness even the most upright of all her servants, the state counsellor Viglius, who always addressed her in the language of truth. All at once a censor of her actions was placed at her side, a partner of her power was associated with her, if indeed it was not rather a master who was forced upon her, whose proud, stubborn, and imperious spirit, which no courtesy could soften, threatened the deadliest wounds to her self-love and vanity. To prevent his arrival she had, in her representations to the king, vainly exhausted every political argument. To no purpose had she urged that the utter ruin of the commerce of the Netherlands would be the inevitable consequence of; this introduction of the Spanish troops; in vain had she assured the king that peace was universally restored, and reminded him of her own services in procuring it, which deserved, she thought, a better guerdon than to see all the fruits of her labors snatched from her and given to a foreigner, and more than all, to behold all the good which she had effected destroyed by a new and different line of conduct. Even when the duke had already crossed Mount Cenis she made one more attempt, entreating him at least to diminish his army; but that also failed, for the duke insisted upon acting up to the powers entrusted to him. In poignant grief she now awaited his approach, and with the tears she shed for her country were mingled those of offended self-love.

On the 22d of August, 1567, the Duke of Alva appeared before the gates of Brussels. His army immediately took up their quarters in the suburbs, and he himself made it his first duty to pay his respects to the sister of his king. She gave him a private audience on the plea of suffering from sickness. Either the mortification she had undergone had in reality a serious effect upon her health, or, what is not improbable, she had recourse to this expedient to pain his haughty spirit, and in some degree to lessen his triumph. He delivered to her letters from the king, and laid before her a copy of his own appointment, by which the supreme command of the whole military force of the Netherlands was committed to him, and from which, therefore, it would appear, that the administration of civil affairs remained, as heretofore, in the hands of the regent. But as soon as he was alone with her he produced a new commission, which was totally different from the former. According to this, the power was delegated to him of making war at his discretion, of erecting fortifications, of appointing and dismissing at pleasure the governors of provinces, the commandants of towns, and other officers of the king; of instituting inquiries into the past troubles, of punishing those who originated them, and of rewarding the loyal. Powers of this extent, which placed him almost on a level with a sovereign prince, and far surpassed those of the regent herself, caused her the greatest consternation, and it was with difficulty that she could conceal her emotion. She asked the duke whether he had not even a third commission, or some special orders in reserve which went still further, and were drawn up still more precisely, to which he replied distinctly enough in the affirmative, but at the same time gave her to understand that this commission might be too full to suit the present occasion, and would be better brought into play hereafter with due regard to time and circumstances. A few days after his arrival he caused a copy of the first instructions to be laid before the several councils and the states, and had them printed to insure their rapid circulation. As the regent resided in the palace, he took up his quarters temporarily in Kuilemberg house, the same in which the association of the Gueux had received its name, and before which, through a wonderful vicissitude, Spanish tyranny now planted its flag.

A dead silence reigned in Brussels, broken only at times by the unwonted clang of arms. The duke had entered the town but a few hours when his attendants, like bloodhounds that have been slipped, dispersed themselves in all directions. Everywhere foreign faces were to be seen; the streets were empty, all the houses carefully closed, all amusements suspended, all public places deserted. The whole metropolis resembled a place visited by the plague. Acquaintances hurried on without stopping for their usual greeting; all hastened on the moment a Spaniard showed himself in the streets. Every sound startled them, as if it were the knock of the officials of justice at their doors; the nobility, in trembling anxiety, kept to their houses; they shunned appearing in public lest their presence should remind the new viceroy of some past offence. The two nations now seemed to have exchanged characters. The Spaniard had become the talkative man and the Brabanter taciturn; distrust and fear had scared away the spirit of cheerfulness and mirth; a constrained gravity fettered even the play of the features. Every moment the impending blow was looked for with dread.

This general straining of expectation warned the duke to hasten the accomplishment of his plans before they should be anticipated by the timely flight of his victims. His first object was to secure the suspected nobles, in order, at once and forever, to deprive the faction of its leaders, and the nation, whose freedom was to be crushed, of all its supporters. By a pretended affability he had succeeded in lulling their first alarm, and in restoring Count Egmont in particular to his former perfect confidence, for which purpose he artfully employed his sons, Ferdinand and Frederick of Toledo, whose companionableness and youth assimilated more easily with the Flemish character. By this skilful advice he succeeded also in enticing Count Horn to Brussels, who had hitherto thought it advisable to watch the first measures of the duke from a distance, but now suffered himself to be seduced by the good fortune of his friend. Some of the nobility, and Count Egmont at the head of them, even resumed their former gay style of living. But they themselves did not do so with their whole hearts, and they had not many imitators. Kuilemberg house was incessantly besieged by a numerous crowd, who thronged around the person of the new viceroy, and exhibited an affected gayety on their countenances, while their hearts were wrung with distress and fear. Egmont in particular assumed the appearance of a light heart, entertaining the duke's sons, and being feted by them in return. Meanwhile, the duke was fearful lest so fair an opportunity for the accomplishment of his plans might not last long, and lest some act of imprudence might destroy the feeling of security which had tempted both his victims voluntarily to put themselves into his power; he only waited for a third; Hogstraten also was to be taken in the same net. Under a plausible pretext of business he therefore summoned him to the metropolis. At the same time that he purposed to secure the three counts in Brussels, Colonel Lodrona was to arrest the burgomaster, Strahlen, in Antwerp, an intimate friend of the Prince of Orange, and suspected of having favored the Calvinists; another officer was to seize the private secretary of Count Egmont, whose name was John Cassembrot von Beckerzeel, as also some secretaries of Count Horn, and was to possess themselves of their papers.

When the day arrived which had been fixed upon for the execution of this plan, the duke summoned all the counsellors and knights before him to confer with them upon matters of state. On this occasion the Duke of Arschot, the Counts Mansfeld, Barlaimont, and Aremberg attended on the part of the Netherlands, and on the part of the Spaniards besides the duke's sons, Vitelli, Serbellon, and Ibarra. The young Count Mansfeld, who likewise appeared at the meeting, received a sign from his father to withdraw with all speed, and by a hasty flight avoid the fate which was impending over him as a former member of the Geusen league. The duke purposely prolonged the consultation to give time before he acted for the arrival of the couriers from Antwerp, who were to bring him the tidings of the arrest of the other parties. To avoid exciting any suspicion, the engineer, Pacotto, was required to attend the meeting to lay before it the plans for some fortifications. At last intelligence was brought him that Lodrona had successfully executed his commission. Upon this the duke dexterously broke off the debate and dismissed the council. And now, as Count Egmont was about to repair to the apartment of Don Ferdinand, to finish a game that he had commenced with him, the captain of the duke's body guard, Sancho D'Avila, stopped him, and demanded his sword in the king's name. At the same time he was surrounded by a number of Spanish soldiers, who, as had been preconcerted, suddenly advanced from their concealment. So unexpected a blow deprived Egmont for some moments of all powers of utterance and recollection; after a while, however, he collected himself, and taking his sword from his side with dignified composure, said, as he delivered it into the hands of the Spaniard, "This sword has before this on more than one occasion successfully defended the king's cause." Another Spanish officer arrested Count Horn as he was returning to his house without the least suspicion of danger. Horn's first inquiry was after Egmont. On being told that the same fate had just happened to his friend he surrendered himself without resistance. "I have suffered myself to be guided by him," he exclaimed, "it is fair that I should share his destiny." The two counts were placed in confinement in separate apartments. While this was going on in the interior of Kuilemberg house the whole garrison were drawn out under arms in front of it. No one knew what had taken place inside, a mysterious terror diffused itself throughout Brussels until rumor spread the news of this fatal event. Each felt as if he himself were the sufferer; with many indignation at Egmont's blind infatuation preponderated over sympathy for his fate; all rejoiced that Orange had escaped. The first question of the Cardinal Granvella, too, when these tidings reached him in Rome, is said to have been, whether they had taken the Silent One also. On being answered in the negative he shook his head "then as they have let him escape they have got nothing." Fate ordained better for the Count of Hogstraten. Compelled by ill-health to travel slowly, he was met by the report of this event while he was yet on his way. He hastily turned back, and fortunately escaped destruction. Immediately after Egmont's seizure a writing was extorted from him, addressed to the commandant of the citadel of Ghent, ordering that officer to deliver the fortress to the Spanish Colonel Alphonso d'Ulloa. Upon this the two counts were then (after they had been for some weeks confined in Brussels) conveyed under a guard of three thousand Spaniards to Ghent, where they remained imprisoned till late in the following year. In the meantime all their papers had been seized. Many of the first nobility who, by the pretended kindness of the Duke of Alva, had allowed themselves to be cajoled into remaining experienced the same fate. Capital punishment was also, without further delay, inflicted on all who before the duke's arrival had been taken with arms in their hands. Upon the news of Egmont's arrest a second body of about twenty thousand inhabitants took up the wanderer's staff, besides the one hundred thousand who, prudently declining to await the arrival of the Spanish general, had already placed themselves in safety.


(A great part of these fugitives helped to strengthen the army of the Huguenots, who had taken occasion, from the passage of the Spanish army through Lorraine, to assemble their forces, and now pressed Charles IX. hard. On these grounds the French court thought it had a right to demand aid from the regent of the Netherlands. It asserted that the Huguenots had looked upon the march of the Spanish army as the result of a preconcerted plan which had been formed against them by the two courts at Bayonne and that this had roused them from their slumber. That consequently it behooved the Spanish court to assist in extricating the French king from difficulties into which the latter had been brought simply by the march of the Spanish troops. Alva actually sent the Count of Aremberg with a considerable force to join the army of the Queen Mother in France, and even offered to command these subsidiaries in person, which, however, was declined. Strada, 206. Thuan, 541.)


After so noble a life had been assailed no one counted himself safe any longer; but many found cause to repent that they had so long deferred this salutary step; for every day flight was rendered more difficult, for the duke ordered all the ports to be closed, and punished the attempt at emigration with death. The beggars were now esteemed fortunate, who had abandoned country and property in order to preserve at least their liberty and their lives.

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