The World's Greatest Books, Vol XII.
Arthur Mee

Part 4 out of 6

corporate body, it had enervated and deformed it, or dislocated and
disjointed it.

Corporations and local bodies, thus deprived of, or diverted from, their
purpose, had become unrecognisable under the crust of the abuses which
disfigured them; nobody, except a Montesquieu, could comprehend why they
should exist. On the approach of the revolution they seemed, not organs,
but excrescences, deformities, and, so to say, superannuated
monstrosities. Their historical and natural roots, their living germs
far below the surface, their social necessity, their fundamental
utility, their possible usefulness, were no longer visible.

_II.--The Body-Social of a Despot_

Corporations, and local bodies being thus emasculated, by the end of the
eighteenth century the principal features of modern France are traced; a
creature of a new and strange type arises, defines itself, and issues
forth its structure determining its destiny. It consists of a social
body organised by a despot and for a despot, calculated for the use of
one man, excellent for action under the impulsion of a unique will, with
a superior intelligence, admirable so long as this intelligence remains
lucid and this will remain healthy; adapted to a military life and not
to civil life and therefore badly balanced, hampered in its development,
exposed to periodical crises, condemned to precocious debility, but able
to live for a long time, and for the present, robust, alone able to bear
the weight of the new dominion and to furnish for fifteen successive
years the crushing labour, the conquering obedience, the superhuman,
murderous, insensate effort which its master, Napoleon, exacts.

However clear and energetic the ideas of Napoleon are when he sets to
work to make the New Regime, his mind is absorbed by the preoccupations
of the sovereign. It is not enough for him that his edifice should be
monumental, symmetrical, and beautiful. First of all, as he lives in it
and derives the greatest benefit from it, he wants it habitable, and
habitable for Frenchmen of the year 1800. Consequently, he takes into
account the habits and dispositions of his tenants, the pressing and
permanent wants for which the new structure is to provide. These wants,
however, must not be theoretic and vague, but verified and defined; for
he is a calculator as close as he is profound, and deals only with
positive facts.

To restore tranquillity, many novel measures are essential. And first,
the political and administrative concentration just decreed, a
centralisation of all powers in one hand, local powers conferred by the
central power, and this supreme power in the hands of a resolute chief
equal in intelligence to his high position; next, a regularly paid army,
carefully equipped, properly clothed, and fed, strictly disciplined, and
therefore obedient and able to do its duty without wavering or
faltering, like any other instrument of precision; an active police
force and _gendarmerie_ held in check; administrators independent of
those under their jurisdiction--all appointed, maintained, watched and
restrained from above, as impartial as possible, sufficiently competent,
and, in their official spheres, capable functionaries; finally, freedom
of worship, and, accordingly, a treaty with Rome and the restoration of
the Catholic Church--that is to say, a legal recognition of the orthodox
hierarchy, and of the only clergy which the faithful may accept as
legitimate--in other words, the institution of bishops by the Pope, and
of priests by the bishops. This done, the rest is easily accomplished.

The main thing now is to dress the severe wounds the revolution has
made--which are still bleeding--with as little torture as possible, for
it has cut down to the quick; and its amputations, whether foolish or
outrageous, have left sharp pains or mute suffering in the social

Above all, religion must be restored. Before 1789, the ignorant or
indifferent Catholic, the peasant at his plough, the mechanic at his
work-bench, the good wife attending to her household, were unconscious
of the innermost part of religion; thanks to the revolution, they have
acquired the sentiment of it, and even the physical sensation. It is the
prohibition of the mass which has led them to comprehend its importance;
it is the revolutionary government which has transformed them into

From the year IV. (1795) the orthodox priests have again recovered their
place and ascendancy in the peasant's soul which the creed assigns to
them; they have again become the citizen's serviceable guides, his
accepted directors, the only warranted interpreters of Christian truth,
the only authorised dispensers and ministers of divine grace. He attends
their mass immediately on their return, and will put up with no other.

Napoleon, therefore, as First Consul, concludes the Concordat with the
Pope and restores religion. By this Concordat the Pope "declares that
neither himself nor his successors shall in any manner disturb the
purchasers of alienated ecclesiastical property, and that the ownership
of the said property, the rights and revenues derived therefrom, shall
consequently remain incommutable in their hands or in those of their

There remain the institutions for instruction. With respect to these,
the restoration seems more difficult, for their ancient endowment is
almost entirely wasted; the government has nothing to give back but
dilapidated buildings, a few scattered investments formerly intended for
the maintenance of a college scholarship, or for a village schoolhouse.
And to whom should these be returned, since the college and the
schoolhouse no longer exist? Fortunately, instruction is an article of
such necessity that a father almost always tries to procure it for his
children; even if poor, he is willing to pay for it, if not too dear;
only, he wants that which pleases him in kind and in quality, and,
therefore, from a particular source, bearing this or that factory stamp
or label.

The state invites everybody, the communes as well as private persons, to
the undertaking. It is on their liberality that it relies for replacing
the ancient foundations; it solicits gifts and legacies in favour of new
establishments, and it promises "to surround these donations with the
most invariable respect." Meanwhile, and as a precautionary measure, it
assigns to each its eventual duty; if the commune establishes a primary
school for itself, it must provide the tutor with a lodging, and the
parents must compensate him; if the commune founds a college or accepts
a _lycee,_ it must pay for the annual support of the building, while the
pupils, either day-scholars or boarders, pay accordingly.

In this way the heavy expenses are already met, and the state, the
manager-general of the service, furnishes simply a very small quota; and
this quota, mediocre as a rule, is found almost null in fact, for its
main largess consists in 6,400 scholarships which it establishes and
engages to support; but it confers only about 3,000 of them, and it
distributes nearly all of these among the children of its military or
civil employees, so that the son's scholarship becomes additional pay
for the father; thus, the two millions which the state seems, under this
head, to assign to the _lycees,_ are actually gratifications which it
distributes among its functionaries and officials. It takes back with
one hand what it bestows with the other.

This being granted, it organises the university and maintains it, not at
its own expense, however, but at the expense of others, at the expense
of private persons and parents, of the communes, and, above all, at the
expense of rival schools and private boarding-schools, of the free
institutions, and all this in favour of the university monopoly which
subjects these to special taxation as ingenious as it is multifarious.
Whoever is privileged to carry on a private school, must pay from two to
three hundred francs to the university; likewise, every person obtaining
permission to lecture on literature or on science.

_III.--The New Taxation, Fiscal and Bodily_

Now, as to taxes. The collection of a direct tax is a surgical operation
performed on the taxpayer, one which removes a piece of his substance;
he suffers on account of this, and submits to it only because he is
obliged to. If the operation is performed on him by other hands, he
submits to it voluntarily or not; but if he has to do it himself,
spontaneously and with his own hands, it is not to be thought of. On the
other hand, the collection of a direct tax according to the
prescriptions of distributive justice is a subjection of each taxpayer
to an amputation proportionate to his bulk, or at least to his surface;
this requires delicate calculation and is not to be entrusted to the
patients themselves; for not only are they surgical novices and poor
calculators, but, again, they are interested in calculating falsely.

To this end, Napoleon establishes two divisions of direct taxation: one,
the real-estate tax, which has no bearing on the taxpayer without any
property; and the other the personal tax, which does affect him, but
lightly. Such a system favours the poor; in other words, it is an
infraction of the principle of distributive justice; through the almost
complete exemption of those who have no property, the burden of direct
taxation falls almost entirely on those who own property. If they are
manufacturers, or in commerce, they support still another burden, that
of the license tax, which is a supplementary impost proportioned to
their probable gains. Finally, to all these annual and extra taxes,
levied on the probable or certain income derived from invested or
floating capital, the exchequer adds an eventual tax on capital itself,
consisting of the _mutation_ tax, assessed on property every time it
changes hands through gift, inheritance, or by contract, obtaining its
title under free donation or by sale, and which tax, aggravated by the
_timbre_, is enormous, since, in most cases, it takes five, seven, nine,
and up to ten and one-half per cent, on the capital transmitted.

One tax remains, and the last, that by which the state takes, no longer
money, but the person himself, the entire man, soul and body, and for
the best years of his life, namely, military service. It is the
revolution which has rendered this so burdensome; formerly it was light,
for, in principle, it was voluntary. The militia, alone, was raised by
force, and, in general, among the country people; the peasants furnished
men for it by casting lots. But it was simply a supplement to the active
army, a territorial and provincial reserve, a distinct, sedentary body
of reinforcements, and of inferior rank which, except in case of war,
never marched; it turned out but nine days of the year, and, after 1778,
never turned out again. In 1789 it comprised in all 75,260 men, and for
eleven years their names, inscribed on the registers, alone constituted
their presence in the ranks.

Napoleon put this military system in order. Henceforth every male
able-bodied adult must pay the debt of blood; no more exemptions in the
way of military service; all young men who had reached the required age
drew lots in the conscription and set out in turn according to the order
fixed by their drafted number.

But Napoleon is an intelligent creditor; he knows that this debt is
"most frightful and most detestable for families," that his debtors are
real, living men, and therefore different in kind, that the head of the
state should keep these differences in mind, that is to say, their
condition, their education, their sensibility and their vocation; that,
not only in their private interest, but again in the interest of the
public, not merely through prudence, but also through equity, all should
not be indistinguishably restricted to the same mechanical pursuit, to
the same manual labour, to the same indefinite servitude of soul and

Napoleon also exempts the conscript who has a brother in the active
army, the only son of a widow, the eldest of three orphans, the son of a
father seventy-one years old dependent on his labour, all of whom are
family supports. He joins with these all young men who enlist in one of
his civil militias, in his ecclesiastical militia, or in his university
militia, pupils of the Ecole Normale, seminarians for the priesthood, on
condition that they shall engage to do service in their vocation, and do
it effectively, some for ten years, others for life, subject to a
discipline more rigid, or nearly as rigid, as military discipline.

_IV.--The Prefect Absolute_

Yet another institution which Napoleon gave to the Modern Regime in
France is the Prefect of a Department. Before 1870, when this prefect
appointed the mayors, and when the council general held its session only
fifteen days in the year, this Prefect was almost omnipotent; still, at
the present day, his powers are immense, and his power remains
preponderant. He has the right to suspend the municipal council and the
mayor, and to propose their dismissal to the head of the state. Without
resorting to this extremity, he holds them with a strong hand, and
always uplifted over the commune, for he can veto the acts of the
municipal police and of the road committee, annul the regulations of the
mayor, and, through a skilful use of his prerogative, impose his own. He
holds in hand, removes, appoints or helps appoint, not alone the clerks
in his office, but likewise every kind and degree of clerk who, outside
his office, serves the commune or department, from the archivist down to
and comprising the lowest employees, such as forest-guards of the
department, policemen posted at the corner of a street, and
stone-breakers on the public highway.

Such, in brief, is the system of local and general society in France
from the Napoleonic time down to the date 1889, when these lines are
written. After the philosophic demolitions of the revolution, and the
practical constructions of the consulate, national or general government
is a vast despotic centralised machine, and local government could no
longer be a small patrimony.

The departments and communes have become more or less vast
lodging-houses, all built on the same plan and managed according to the
same regulations, one as passable as the other, with apartments in them
which, more or less good, are more or less dear, but at rates which,
higher or lower, are fixed at a uniform tariff over the entire
territory, so that the 36,000 communal buildings and the eighty-six
department hotels are about equal, it making but little difference
whether one lodges in the latter rather than in the former. The
permanent taxpayers of both sexes who have made these premises their
home have not obtained recognition for what they are, invincibly and by
nature, a syndicate of neighbours, an involuntary, obligatory
association, in which physical solidarity engenders moral solidarity, a
natural, limited society whose members own the building in common, and
each possesses a property-right more or less great according to the
contribution he makes to the expenses of the establishment.

Up to this time no room has yet been found, either in the law or in
minds, for this very plain truth; its place is taken and occupied in
advance by the two errors which in turn, or both at once, have led the
legislator and opinion astray.

* * * * *


Frederick the Great

Frederick the Great, born on January 24, 1712, at Berlin,
succeeded to the throne of Prussia in 1740, and died on August
17, 1786, at Potsdam, being the third king of Prussia, the
regal title having been acquired by his grandfather, whose
predecessors had borne the title of Elector of Brandenburg.
Building on the foundations laid by his great-grandfather and
his father, he raised his comparatively small and poor kingdom
to the position of a first-class military power, and won for
himself rank with the greatest of all generals, often matching
his troops victoriously against forces of twice and even
thrice their number. In Thomas Carlyle he found an
enthusiastic biographer, somewhat prone, however, to find for
actions of questionable public morality a justification in
"immutable laws" and "veracities," which to other eyes is a
little akin to Wordsworth's apology for Rob Roy. But whether
we accept Carlyle's estimate of him or no, the amazing skill,
tenacity, and success with which he stood at bay virtually
against all Europe, while Great Britain was fighting as his
ally her own duel in France in the Seven Years' War,
constitutes an unparallelled achievement. "Frederick the
Great" was begun about 1848, the concluding volumes appearing
in 1865. (Carlyle, see LIVES AND LETTERS.)

_I.--Forebears and Childhood_

About the year 1780 there used to be seen sauntering on the terrace of
Sans-Souci a highly interesting, lean, little old man of alert though
slightly stooping figure, whose name among strangers was King Friedrich
II., or Frederick the Great of Prussia, and at home among the common
people was _Vater Fritz_--Father Fred. A king every inch of him, though
without the trappings of a king; in a Spartan simplicity of vesture. In
1786 his speakings and his workings came to _finis_ in this world of
time. Editors vaguely account this man the creator of the Prussian
monarchy, which has since grown so large in the world.

He was born in the palace of Berlin, about noon, on January 24, 1712; a
small infant, but of great promise and possibility. Friedrich Wilhelm,
Crown Prince of Prussia, father of this little infant, did himself make
some noise in the world as second king of Prussia.

The founder of the line was Conrad of Hohenzollern, who came to seek his
fortune under Barbarossa, greatest of all the kaisers. Friedrich I. of
that line was created Elector of Brandenburg in 1415; the eleventh in
succession was Friedrich Wilhelm, the "Great Elector," who in 1640 found
Brandenburg annihilated, and left it in 1688 sound and flourishing, a
great country, or already on the way towards greatness; a most rapid,
clear-eyed, active man. His son got himself made King of Prussia, and
was Friedrich I., who was still reigning when his grandson, Frederick
the Great, was born. Not two years later Friedrich Wilhelm is king.

Of that strange king and his strange court there is no light to be had
except from the book written by Frederick's little sister, Wilhelmina,
when she grew to size and knowledge of good and evil--a flickery wax
taper held over Frederick's childhood. In the breeding of him there are
two elements noticeable, widely diverse--the French and the German. Of
his infantine history the course was in general smooth. The boy, it was
said, was of extraordinary vivacity; only he takes less to soldiering
than the paternal heart could wish. The French element is in his
governesses--good Edict-of-Nantes ladies.

For the boy's teachers, Friedrich Wilhelm has rules for guidance strict
enough. He is to be taught useful knowledge--history of the last hundred
and fifty years, arithmetic, fortification; but nothing useless of Latin
and the like. Spartan training, too, which shall make a soldier of him.
Whereas young Fritz has vivacities, a taste for music, finery, and
excursions into forbidden realms distasteful and incomprehensible to
Friedrich Wilhelm. We perceive the first small cracks of incurable
division in the royal household, traceable from Fritz's sixth or seventh
year; a divulsion splitting ever wider, new offences super-adding
themselves. This Fritz ought to fashion himself according to his
father's pattern, and he does not. These things make life all bitter for
son and for father, necessitating the proud son to hypocrisies very
foreign to him had there been other resource.

The boy in due time we find (at fifteen) attached to the amazing
regiment of giants, drilling at Potsdam; on very ill terms with his
father, however, who sees in him mainly wilful disobedience and
frivolity. Once, when Prussia and Hanover seem on the verge of war over
an utterly trivial matter, our crown prince acquires momentary favour.
The Potsdam Guards are ordered to the front, and the prince handles them
with great credit. But the favour is transitory, seeing that he is
caught reading French books, and arrayed in a fashion not at all
pleasing to the Spartan parent.

_II.--The Crown Prince Leaves Kingship_

The life is indeed so intolerable that Fritz is with difficulty
dissuaded from running away. The time comes when he will not be
dissuaded, resolves that he will endure no longer. There were only three
definite accomplices in the wild scheme, which had a very tragical
ending. Of the three, Lieutenant Keith, scenting discovery, slipped over
the border and so to England; his brother, Page Keith, feeling discovery
certain, made confession, after vigilance had actually stopped the
prince when he was dressed for the flight. There was terrible wrath of
the father over the would-be "deserter and traitor," and not less over
the other accomplice, Lieutenant Katte, who had dallied too long. The
crown prince himself was imprisoned; court-martial held on the
offenders; a too-lenient sentence was overruled by the king, and Katte
was executed. The king was near frenzied, but beyond doubt thought
honestly that he was doing no more than justice demanded.

As for the crown prince himself, deserting colonel of a regiment, the
court-martial, with two dissentients, condemned him to death; sentence
which the Junius Brutus of a king would have duly carried out. But
remonstrance is universal, and an autograph letter from the kaiser
seemingly decisive. Frederick was, as it were, retired to a house of his
own and a court of his own--court very strictly regulated--at Cuestrin;
not yet a soldier of the Prussian army, but hoping only to become so
again; while he studied the domain sciences, more particularly the
rigidly economical principles of state finance as practised by his
father. The tragedy has taught him a lesson, and he has more to learn.
That period is finally ended when he is restored to the army in 1732.

Reconciliation, complete submission, and obedience, a prince with due
appreciation of facts has now made up his mind to; very soon shaped into
acceptance of paternal demand that he shall wed Elizabeth of
Brunswick-Bevern, insipid niece of the kaiser. In private correspondence
he expresses himself none too submissively, but offers no open
opposition to the king's wishes.

The charmer of Brunswick turned out not so bad as might have been
expected; not ill-looking; of an honest, guileless heart, if little
articulate intellect; considerable inarticulate sense; after marriage,
which took place in June 1733, shaped herself successfully to the
prince's taste, and grew yearly gracefuller and better-looking. But the
affair, before it came off, gave rise to a certain visit of Friedrich
Wilhelm to the kaiser, of which in the long run the outcome was that
complete distrust of the kaiser displaced the king's heretofore
determined loyalty to him.

Meanwhile an event has fallen out at Warsaw. Augustus, the physically
strong, is no more; transcendent king of edacious flunkies, father of
354 children, but not without fine qualities; and Poland has to find a
new king. His death kindled foolish Europe generally into fighting, and
gave our crown prince his first actual sight and experience of the facts
of war. Stanislaus is overwhelmingly the favourite candidate, supported,
too, by France. The other candidate, August of Saxony, secures the
kaiser's favour by promise of support to his Pragmatic Sanction; and the
appearance of Russian troops secures "freedom of election" and choice of
August by the electors who are not absent. August is crowned, and Poland
in a flame. Friedrich Wilhelm cares not for Polish elections, but, as by
treaty bound, provides 10,000 men to support the kaiser on the Rhine,
while he gives asylum to the fugitive Stanislaus. Crown prince, now
twenty-two, is with the force; sees something of warfare, but nothing

War being finished, Frederick occupied a mansion at Reinsberg with his
princess, and things went well, if economically, with much
correspondence with the other original mind of those days, Voltaire. But
big events are coming now. Mr. Jenkins's ear re-emerges from cotton-wool
after seven years, and Walpole has to declare war with Spain in 1739.
Moreover, Friedrich Wilhelm is exceedingly ill. In May 1740 comes a
message--Frederick must come to Potsdam quickly if he is to see his
father again. The son comes. "Am not I happy to have such a son to leave
behind me?" says the dying king. On May 31 he dies. No baresark of them,
nor Odin's self, was a bit of truer stuff.

_III.--The Silesian Wars_

Shall we, then, have the philosopher-king, as Europe dimly seems to half
expect? He begins, indeed, with opening corn magazines, abolishing legal
torture; will have freedom of conscience and the Press; encourage
philosophers and men of letters. In those days he had his first meeting
with Voltaire, recorded for us by the Frenchman twenty years later; for
his own reasons, vitriolically and with inaccuracies, the record
amounting to not much. Frederick was suffering from a quartan fever. Of
which ague he was cured by the news that Kaiser Carl died on October 20,
and Maria Theresa was proclaimed sovereign of the Hapsburg inheritance,
according to the Pragmatic Sanction.

Whereupon, without delay, Frederick forms a resolution, which had sprung
and got to sudden fixity in the head of the young king himself, and met
with little save opposition from all others--to make good his rights in
Silesia. A most momentous resolution; not the peaceable magnanimities,
but the warlike, are the thing appointed for Frederick henceforth.

In mid-December the troops entered Silesia; except in the hills, where
Catholics predominate, with marked approbation of the population, we
find. Of warlike preparation to meet the Prussians is practically none,
and in seven weeks Silesia is held, save three fortresses easy to manage
in spring. Will the hold be maintained?

Meanwhile, France will have something to say, moved by a figure not much
remembered, yet notable, Marshal Belleisle; perhaps, after Frederick and
Voltaire, the most notable of that time. A man of large schemes,
altogether accordant with French interests, but not, unfortunately, with
facts and law of gravitation. For whom the first thing needful is that
Grand Duke Franz, husband of Maria Theresa, shall not be elected kaiser;
who shall be is another matter--why not Karl Albert of Bavaria as well
as another?

After brief absence, Frederick is soon back in Silesia, to pay attention
to blockaded Glogau and Brieg and Neisse; harassed, however, by Austrian
Pandours out of Glatz, a troublesome kind of cavalry. The siege of
Neisse is to open on April 4, when we find Austrian Neipperg with his
army approaching; by good fortune a dilatory Neipperg; of which comes
the battle of Mollwitz.

In which fight victory finally rested with Prussians and Schwerin, who
held the field, Austrians retiring, but not much pursued; demonstration
that a new military power is on the scene (April 10). A victory, though,
of old Friedrich Wilhelm, and his training and discipline, having in it
as yet nothing of young Frederick's own.

A battle, however, which in effect set going the conflagration
unintelligible to Englishmen, known as War of the Austrian Accession. In
which we observe a clear ground for Anglo-Spanish War, and
Austro-Prussian War; but what were the rest doing? France is the author
of it, as an Anti-Pragmatic war; George II. and Hanover are dragged into
it as a Pragmatic war; but the intervention of France at all was
barefacedly unjust and gratuitous. To begin with, however, Belleisle's
scheming brings about election to kaisership of Karl Albert of Bavaria,
principal Anti-Pragmatic claimant to the Austrian heritage.

Brieg was taken not long after Mollwitz, and now many diplomatists come
to Frederick's camp at Strehlen. In effect, will he choose English or
French alliance? Will England get him what will satisfy him from
Austria? If not, French alliance and war with Austria--which problem
issues in treaty with France--mostly contingent. Diplomatising
continues, no one intending to be inconveniently loyal to engagements;
so that four months after French treaty comes another engagement or
arrangement of Klein Schnelendorf--Frederick to keep most of Silesia,
but a plausible show of hostilities--nothing more--to be maintained for
the present. In consequence of which Frederick solemnly captures Neisse.

The arrangement, however, comes to grief, enough of it being divulged
from Vienna to explode it. Out of which comes the Moravian expedition;
by inertness of allies turned into a mere Moravian foray, "the French
acting like fools, and the Saxons like traitors," growls Frederick.

Raid being over, Prince Karl, brother of Grand Duke Franz, comes down
with his army, and follows the battle of Chotusitz, also called of
Czaslau. A hard-fought battle, ending in defeat of the Austrians; not in
itself decisive, but the eyes of Europe very confirmatory of the view
that the Austrians cannot beat the Prussians. From a wounded general,
too, Frederick learns that the French have been making overtures for
peace on their own account, Prussia to be left to Austria if she likes,
of which is documentary proof.

No need, then, for Frederick to be scrupulous about making his own
terms. His Britannic Majesty is urgent that Maria Theresa should agree
with Frederick. Out of which comes Treaty of Breslau, ceding Silesia to
Prussia; and exceeding disgust of Belleisle, ending the first Silesian

With which Frederick would have liked to see the European war ended
altogether; but it went on, Austria, too, prospering. He tries vainly to
effect combinations to enforce peace. George of England, having at last
fairly got himself into the war, and through the battle of Dettingen,
valorously enough; operations emerging in a Treaty of Worms (September
1743), mainly between England and Austria, which does _not_ guarantee
the Breslau Treaty. An expressive silence! "What was good to give is
good to take." Is Frederick, then, not secure of Silesia? If he must
guard his own, he can no longer stand aside. So the Worms Treaty begets
an opposition treaty, chief parties Prussia, France, and Kaiser Karl
Albert of Bavaria, signed at Frankfurt-on-Maine, May 1744.

Before which France has actually declared war on England, with whose
troops her own have been fighting for a not inconsiderable time without
declaration of war; and all the time fortifications in Silesia have been
becoming realities. Frederick will strike when his moment comes.

The imperative moment does come when Prince Karl, or, more properly,
Traun, under cloak of Prince Karl, seems on the point of altogether
crushing the French. Frederick intervenes, in defence of the kaiser;
swoops on Bohemia, captures Prag; in short, brings Prince Karl and Traun
back at high speed, unhindered by French. Thenceforward, not a
successfully managed campaign on Frederick's part, admirably conducted
on the other side by Traun. This campaign the king's school in the art
of war, and M. de Traun his teacher--so Frederick himself admits.

Austria is now sure to invade Silesia; will Frederick not block the
passes against Prince Karl, now having no Traun under his cloak?
Frederick will not--one leaves the mouse-trap door open, pleasantly
baited, moreover, into which mouse Karl will walk. And so, three weeks
after that remarkable battle of Fontenoy, in another quarter, very
hard-won victory of Marechal Saxe over Britannic Majesty's Martial Boy,
comes battle of Hohenfriedberg. A most decisive battle, "most decisive
since Blenheim," wrote Frederick, whose one desire now is peace.

Britannic Majesty makes peace for himself with Frederick, being like to
have his hands full with a rising in the Scotch Highlands; Austria will
not, being still resolute to recover Silesia--rejects bait of Prussian
support in imperial election for Wainz, Kaiser Karl being now dead. What
is kaisership without Silesia? Prussia has no insulted kaiser to defend,
desires no more than peace on the old Breslau terms properly ratified;
but finances are low. Grand Duke Franz is duly elected; but the empress
queen will have Silesia. Battle of Sohr does not convince her. There
must be another surprising last attempt by Saxony and Austria; settled
by battles of Hennensdorf and Kesselsdorf.

So at last Frederick got the Peace of Dresden--security, it is to be
hoped, in Silesia, the thing for which he had really gone to war;
leaving the rest of the European imbroglio to get itself settled in its
own fashion after another two years of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.

Frederick now has ten years of peace before him, during which his
actions and salutary conquests over difficulties were many, profitable
to Prussia and himself. Frederick has now, by his second Silesian war,
achieved greatness; "Frederick the Great," expressly so denominated by
his people and others. However, there are still new difficulties, new
perils and adventures ahead.

For the present, then, Frederick declines the career of conquering hero;
goes into law reform; gets ready a country cottage for himself, since
become celebrated under the name of Sans-Souci. General war being at
last ended, he receives a visit from Marechal Saxe, brilliant French
field-marshal, most dissipated man of his time, one of the 354 children
of Augustus the Physically Strong.

But the ten years are passing--there is like to be another war. Peace of
Aix-la-Chapelle, made in a hurry, had left some questions open in
America, answered in one way by the French, quite otherwise by English
colonists. Canada and Louisiana mean all America west of the
Alleghanies? Why then? Whomsoever America does belong to, it surely is
not France. Braddock disasters, Frenchmen who understand war--these
things are ominous; but there happens to be in England a Mr. Pitt. Here
in Europe, too, King Frederick had come in a profoundly private manner
upon certain extensive anti-Prussian symptoms--Austrian, Russian,
Saxon--of a most dangerous sort; in effect, an underground treaty for
partitioning Prussia; knowledge thereof extracted from Dresden archives.

_IV.--The Seven Years' War Opens_

Very curious diplomatisings, treaties, and counter-treaties are going
on. What counts is Frederick's refusal to help France against England,
and agreement with George of England--and of Hanover--to keep foreign
troops off German soil? Also Kaunitz has twirled Austrian policy on its
axis; we are to be friends with France. In this coming war, England and
Austria, hitherto allies, to be foes; France and Austria, hitherto foes,
to be allies.

War starts with the French capture of Minorca and the Byng affair, well
known. What do the movements of Russian and Austrian troops mean?
Frederick asks at Vienna; answer is no answer. We are ready then; Saxony
is the key to Bohemia. Frederick marches into Saxony, demands inspection
of Dresden Archives, with originals of documents known to him; blockades
the Saxons in Pirna, somewhat forcibly requiring not Saxon neutrality,
but Saxon alliance. And meanwhile neither France nor Austria is deaf to
the cries of Saxon-Polish majesty. Austrian Field-Marshal Browne is
coming to relieve the Saxons; is foiled, but not routed, at Lobositz;
tries another move, executing admirably his own part, but the Saxons
fail in theirs; the upshot, capitulation, the Saxon troops forced to
volunteer as Prussians.

For the coming year, 1757, there are arrayed against Frederick four
armies--French, Austrian, Russian, Swedish; help only from a Duke of
Cumberland on the Weser; the last two enemies not presently formidable.
He is not to stand on the defensive, but to go on it; startles the world
by suddenly marching on Prag, in three columns. Before Prag a mighty
battle desperately fought; old Schwerin killed, Austrian Browne wounded
mortally--fatal to Austria; Austrians driven into Prag, with loss of
13,000 men. Not annihilative, since Prag can hold out, though with
prospect of famishing.

But Daun is coming, in no haste--Fabius Cunctator about to be
named--with 60,000 men; does come to Kolin. Frederick attacks; but a
blunder of too-impetuous Mannstein fatally overturns the plan of battle;
to which the resulting disaster is imputed: disaster seemingly
overwhelming and irretrievable, but Daun does not follow up. The siege
of Prag is raised and the Prussian army--much smaller--retreats to
Saxony. And on the west Cumberland is in retreat seawards, after
Hastenbeck, and French armies are advancing; Cumberland very soon
mercifully to disappear, Convention of Kloster-Seven unratified. But
Pitt at last has hold of the reins in England, and Ferdinand of
Brunswick gets nominated to succeed Cumberland--Pitt's selection?

In these months nothing comes but ill-fortune; clouds gathering; but all
leading up to a sudden and startling turning of tables. In October,
Soubise is advancing; and then--Rossbach. Soubise thinks he has
Frederick outflanked, finds himself unexpectedly taken on flank instead;
rolled up and shattered by a force hardly one-third of his own; loses
8,000 men, the Prussians not 600; a tremendous rout, after which
Frederick had no more fighting with the French.

Having settled Soubise and recovered repute, Frederick must make haste
to Silesia, where Prince Karl, along with Fabius Daun, is already
proclaiming Imperial Majesty again, not much hindered by Bevern.
Schweidnitz falls; Bevern, beaten at Breslau, gets taken prisoner;
Prussian army marches away; Breslau follows Schweidnitz. This is what
Frederick finds, three weeks after Rossbach. Well, we are one to three
we will have at Prince Karl--soldiers as ready and confident as the
king, their hero. Challenge accepted by Prince Karl; consummate
manoeuvring, borrowed from Epaminondas, and perfect discipline wreck the
Austrian army at Leuthen; conquest of Silesia brought to a sudden end.
The most complete of all Frederick's victories.

Next year (1758) the first effective subsidy treaty with England takes
shape, renewed annually; England to provide Frederick with two-thirds of
a million sterling. Ferdinand has got the French clear over Rhine
already. Frederick's next adventure, a swoop on Olmuetz, is not
successful; the siege not very well managed; Loudon, best of partisan
commanders, is dispatched by Daun to intercept a very necessary convoy;
which means end of siege. Cautious Daun does not strike on the Prussian
retreat, not liking pitched battles.

However, it is now time to face an enemy with whom we have not yet
fought; of whose fighting capacity we incline to think little, in spite
of warnings of Marshal Keith, who knows them. The Russians have occupied
East Prussia and are advancing. On August 25, Frederick comes to
hand-grips with Russia--Theseus and the Minotaur at Zorndorf; with much
ultimate slaughter of Russians, Seidlitz, with his calvary, twice saving
the day; the bloodiest battle of the Seven Years' War, giving Frederick
new views of Russian obstinacy in the field. The Russians finally
retire; time for Frederick to be back in Saxony.

For Daun has used his opportunity to invade Saxony; very cleverly
checked by Prince Henri, while Frederick is on his way back. To Daun's
surprise, the king moves off on Silesia. Daun moved on Dresden.
Frederick, having cleared Silesia, sped back, and Daun retired. The end
of the campaign leaves the two sides much as it found them; Frederick at
least not at all annihilated. Ferdinand also has done excellently well.

_V.--Frederick at Bay_

Not annihilated, but reduced to the defensive; best of his veterans
killed off by now, exchequer very deficient in spite of English subsidy.
The allies form a huge cordon all round; broken into at points during
the spring, but Daun finds at last that Frederick does not mean any
invasion; that he, Daun, must be the invader. But now and hereafter
Fabius Cunctator waits for Russia.

In summer Russia is moving; Soltikoff, with 75,000 men, advancing,
driving back Dohna. Frederick's best captains are all gone now; he tries
a new one, Wedell, who gets beaten at Zuellichau. Moreover, Haddick and
Loudon are on the way to join Soltikoff. Frederick plans and carries out
his movements to intercept the Austrians with extraordinary swiftness;
Haddick and Austrian infantry give up the attempted junction, but not so
swift-moving Loudon with his 20,000 horse; interception a partial
failure, and now Frederick must make straight for the Russians.

Just about this time--August 1--Ferdinand has won the really splendid
victory of Minden, on the Weser, a beautiful feat of war; for Pitt and
the English in their French duel a mighty triumph; this is Pitt's year,
but the worst of all in Frederick's own campaigns. His attack now on the
Russians was his worst defeat--at Kunersdorf. Beginning victoriously, he
tried to drive victory home with exhausted troops, who were ultimately
driven in rout by Loudon with fresh regiments (August 9).

For the moment Frederick actually despaired; intended to resign command,
and "not to revive the ruin of his country." But Daun was not capable of
dealing the finishing stroke; managed, however, to take Dresden, on
terms. Frederick, however, is not many weeks in recovering his
resolution; and a certain astonishing march of his brother, Prince
Henri--fifty miles in fifty-six hours through country occupied by the
enemy--is a turning-point. Soltikoff, sick of Daun's inaction, made
ready to go home and England rejoiced over Wolfe's capture of Quebec.
Frederick, recovering, goes too far, tries a blow at Daun, resulting in
disaster of Maxen, loss of a force of 12,000 men. On the other hand,
Hawke finished the French fleet at Quiberon Bay. A very bad year for
Frederick, but a very good one for his ally. Next year Loudon is to
invade Silesia.

It did seem to beholders in this year 1660 that Frederick was doomed,
could not survive; but since he did survive it, he was able to battle
out yet two more campaigns, enemies also getting worn out; a race
between spent horses. Of the marches by which Frederick carried himself
through this fifth campaign it is not possible to give an idea. Failure
to bring Daun to battle, sudden siege of Dresden--not successful,
perhaps not possible at all that it should have succeeded. In August a
dash on Silesia with three armies to face--Daun, Lacy, Loudon, and
possible Russians, edged off by Prince Henri. At Liegnitz the best of
management, helped by good luck and happy accident, gives him a decisive
victory over London's division, despite Loudon's admirable conduct; a
miraculous victory; Daun's plans quite scattered, and Frederick's
movements freed. Three months later the battle of Torgau, fought
dubiously all day, becomes a distinct victory in the night. Neither
Silesia nor Saxony are to fall to the Austrians.

Liegnitz and Torgau are a better outcome of operations than Kunersdorf
and Maxen; the king is, in a sense, stronger, but his resources are more
exhausted, and George III. is now become king in England; Pitt's power
very much in danger there. In the next year most noteworthy is Loudon's
brilliant stroke in capturing Schweidnitz, a blow for Frederick quite
unlooked for.

In January, however, comes bright news from Petersburg: implacable
Tsarina Elizabeth is dead, Peter III. is Tsar, sworn friend and admirer
of Frederick; Russia, in short, becomes suddenly not an enemy but a
friend. Bute, in England, is proposing to throw over his ally,
unforgivably; to get peace at price of Silesia, to Frederick's wrath,
who, having moved Daun off, attacks Schweidnitz, and gets it, not
without trouble. And so, practically, ends the seventh campaign.

French and English had signed their own peace preliminaries, to disgust
of Excellency Mitchell, the first-rate ambassador to Frederick during
these years. Austria makes proffers, and so at last this war ends with
Treaties of Paris and Hubertsburg; issue, as concerns Austria and
Prussia, "as you were before the war."

_VI.--Afternoon and Evening of Frederick's Life_

Frederick's Prussia is safe; America and India are to be English, not
French; France is on the way towards spontaneous combustion in
1789;--these are the fruits of the long war. During the rest of
Frederick's reign--twenty-three years--is nothing of world history to
dwell on. Of the coming combustion Frederick has no perception; for what
remains of him, he is King of Prussia, interesting to Prussia chiefly:
whereof no continuous narrative is henceforth possible to us, only a
loose appendix of papers, as of the extraordinary speed with which
Prussia recovered--brave Prussia, which has defended itself against
overwhelming odds. The repairing of a ruined Prussia cost Frederick much
very successful labour.

Treaty with Russia is made in 1764, Frederick now, having broken with
England, being extremely anxious to keep well with such a country under
such a Tsarina, about whom there are to be no rash sarcasms. In 1769 a
young Kaiser Joseph has a friendliness to Frederick very unlike his
mother's animosity. Out of which things comes first partition of Poland
(1772); an event inevitable in itself, with the causing of which
Frederick had nothing whatever to do, though he had his slice. There was
no alternative but a general European war; and the slice, Polish
Prussia, was very desirable; also its acquisition was extremely
beneficial to itself.

In 1778 Frederick found needful to interpose his veto on Austrian
designs in respect of Bavarian succession; got involved subsequently in
Bavarian war of a kind, ended by intervention of Tsarina Catherine. In
1780 Maria Theresa died; Joseph and Kaunitz launched on ambitious
adventures for imperial domination of the German Empire, making
overtures to the Tsarina for dual empire of east and west, alarming to
Frederick. His answer was the "Fuerstenbund," confederation of German
princes, Prussia atop, to forbid peremptorily that the laws of the Reich
be infringed; last public feat of Frederick; events taking an unexpected
turn, which left it without actual effect in European history.

A few weeks after this Fuerstenbund, which did very effectively stop
Joseph's schemes, Frederick got a chill, which was the beginning of his
breaking up. In January 1786, he developed symptoms concluded by the
physician called in to be desperate, but not immediately mortal. Four
months later he talked with Mirabeau in Berlin, on what precise errand
is nowise clear; interview reported as very lively, but "the king in
much suffering."

Nevertheless, after this he did again appear from Sans-Souci on
horseback several times, for the last time on July 4. To the last he
continued to transact state business. "The time which I have still I
must employ; it belongs not to me but to the state"--till August 15.

On August 17 he died. In those last days it is evident that chaos is
again big. Better for a royal hero, fallen old and feeble, to be hidden
from such things; hero whom we may account as hitherto the last of the

* * * * *


History of Greece

George Finlay, the historian of Greece, was born on December
21, 1799, at Faversham, Kent, England, where his father, Capt.
J. Finlay, R.E., was inspector of the Government powder mills.
His early instruction was undertaken by his mother, to whose
training he attributed his love of history. He studied law at
Glasgow and Goettingen universities, at the latter of which he
became acquainted with a Greek fellow-student, and resolved to
take part in the struggle for Greek independence. He proceeded
to Greece, where he met Byron and the leaders of the Greek
patriotic forces, took part in many engagements with the
Turks, and conducted missions on behalf of the Greek
provisional government until the independence of Greece was
established. Finlay bought an estate in Attica, on which he
resided for many years. The publication of his great series of
histories of Greece began in 1844, and was completed in 1875
with the second edition, which brought the history of modern
Greece down to 1864. It has been said that Finlay, like
Machiavelli, qualified himself to write history by wide
experience as student, soldier, statesman, and economist. He
died on January 26, 1875.

_I.--Greece Under the Romans_

The conquests of Alexander the Great effected a permanent change in the
political conditions of the Greek nation, and this change powerfully
influenced its moral and social state during the whole period of its
subjection to the Roman Empire.

Alexander introduced Greek civilisation as an important element in his
civil government, and established Greek colonies with political rights
throughout his conquests. During 250 years the Greeks were the dominant
class in Asia, and the corrupting influence of this predominance was
extended to the whole frame of society in their European as well as
their Asiatic possessions. The great difference which existed in the
social condition of the Greeks and Romans throughout their national
existence was that the Romans formed a nation with the organisation of a
single city. The Greeks were a people composed of a number of rival
states, and the majority looked with indifference on the loss of their
independence. The Romans were compelled to retain much of the civil
government, and many of the financial arrangements which they found
existing. This was a necessity, because the conquered were much further
advanced in social civilisation than the conquerors. The financial
policy of Rome was to transfer as much of the money circulating in the
provinces, and the precious metals in the hands of private individuals,
as it was possible into the coffers of the state.

Hence, the whole empire was impoverished, and Greece suffered severely
under a government equally tyrannical in its conduct and unjust in its
legislation. The financial administration of the Romans inflicted, if
possible, a severer blow on the moral constitution of society than on
the material prosperity of the country. It divided the population of
Greece into two classes. The rich formed an aristocratic class, the poor
sank to the condition of serfs. It appears to be a law of human society
that all classes of mankind who are separated by superior wealth and
privileges from the body of the people are, by their oligarchical
constitution, liable to rapid decline.

The Greeks and the Romans never showed any disposition to unite and form
one people, their habits and tastes being so different. Although the
schools of Athens were still famous, learning and philosophy were but
little cultivated in European Greece because of the poverty of the
people and the secluded position of the country.

In the changes of government which preceded the establishment of
Byzantium as the capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine, the Greeks
contributed to effect a mighty revolution of the whole frame of social
life by the organisation which they gave to the Church from the moment
they began to embrace the Christian religion. It awakened many of the
national characteristics which had slept for ages, and gave new vigour
to the communal and municipal institutions, and even extended to
political society. Christian communities of Greeks were gradually melted
into one nation, having a common legislation and a common civil
administration as well as a common religion, and it was this which
determined Constantine to unite Church and State in strict alliance.

From the time of Constantine the two great principles of law and
religion began to exert a favourable influence on Greek society, and
even limited the wild despotism of the emperors. The power of the
clergy, however, originally resting on a more popular and more pure
basis than that of the law, became at last so great that it suffered the
inevitable corruption of all irresponsible authority entrusted to

Then came the immigration and ravages of the Goths to the south of the
Danube, and that unfortunate period marked the commencement of the rapid
decrease of the Greek race, and the decline of Greek civilisation
throughout the empire. Under Justinian (527-565), the Hellenic race and
institutions in Greece itself received the severest blow. Although he
gave to the world his great system of civil law, his internal
administration was remarkable for religious intolerance and financial
rapacity. He restricted the powers and diminished the revenues of the
Greek municipalities, closed the schools of rhetoric and philosophy at
Athens, and seized the endowments of the Academy of Plato, which had
maintained an uninterrupted succession of teachers for 900 years. But it
was not till the reign of Heraclius that the ancient existence of the
Hellenic race terminated.

_II.--The Byzantine and Greek Empires_

The history of the Byzantine Empire divides itself into three periods
strongly marked by distinct characteristics. The first commences with
the reign of Leo III., the Isaurian, in 716, and terminates with that of
Michael III., in 867. It comprises the whole history of the predominance
of iconoclasm in the established church, of the reaction which
reinstated the Orthodox in power, and restored the worship of pictures
and images.

It opens with the effort by which Leo and the people of the empire saved
the Roman law and the Christian religion from the conquering Saracen. It
embraces the long and violent struggle between the government and the
people, the emperors seeking to increase the central power by
annihilating every local franchise, and to constitute themselves the
fountains of ecclesiastical as completely as of civil legislation.

The second period begins with the reign of Bazil I., in 867, and during
two centuries the imperial sceptre was retained by members of his
family. At this time the Byzantine Empire attained its highest pitch of
external power and internal prosperity. The Saracens were pursued into
the plains of Syria, the Bulgarian monarchy was conquered, the
Slavonians in Greece were almost exterminated, Byzantine commerce filled
the whole of the Mediterranean. But the real glory of the period
consisted in the respect for the administration of justice which
purified society more generally than it had ever done at any preceding
era of the history of the world.

The third period extends from the accession of Isaac I., in 1057, to the
conquest of the Byzantine Empire by the Crusaders, in 1204. This is the
true period of the decline and fall of the Eastern Empire. The
separation of the Greek and Latin churches was accomplished. The wealth
of the empire was dissipated, the administration of justice corrupted,
and the central authority lost all control over the population.

But every calamity of this unfortunate period sinks into insignificance
compared with the destruction of the greater part of the Greek race by
the savage incursions of the Seljouk Turks in Asia Minor. Then followed
the Crusades, the first three inflicting permanent evils on the Greek
race; while the fourth, which was organised in Venice, captured and
plundered Constantinople. A treaty entered into by the conquerors put an
end to the Eastern Roman Empire, and Baldwin, Count of Flanders, was
elected emperor of the East. The conquest of Constantinople restored the
Greeks to a dominant position in the East; but the national character of
the people, the political constitution of the imperial government, and
the ecclesiastical hierarchy of the Orthodox Church were all destitute
of every theory and energetic practice necessary for advancing in a
career of improvement.

Towards the end of the thirteenth century a small Turkish tribe made its
first appearance in the Seljouk Empire. Othman, who gave his name to
this new band of immigrants, and his son, Orkhan, laid the foundation of
the institutions and power of the Othoman Empire. No nation ever
increased so rapidly from such small beginnings, and no government ever
constituted itself with greater sagacity than the Othoman; but no force
or prudence could have enabled this small tribe of nomads to rise with
such rapidity to power if it had not been that the Greek nation and its
emperors were paralysed by political and moral corruption. Justice was
dormant in the state, Christianity was torpid in the Church, orthodoxy
performed the duties of civil liberty, and the priest became the focus
of political opposition. By the middle of the fourteenth century the
Othoman Turks had raided Thrace, Macedonia, the islands of the Aegean,
plundered the large town of Greece, and advanced to the shores of the

At the end of the fourteenth century John VI. asked for efficient
military aid from Western Europe to avert the overthrow of the Greek
Empire by the Othoman power, but the Pope refused, unless John consented
to the union of the Greek and Latin Churches and the recognition of the
papal supremacy. In 1438 the Council of Ferrara was held, and was
transferred in the following year to Florence, when the Greek emperor
and all the bishops of the Eastern Church, except the bishop of Ephesus,
adopted the doctrines of the Roman Church, accepted the papal supremacy,
and the union of the two Churches was solemnly ratified in the cathedral
of Florence on July 6, 1439. But little came of the union. The Pope
forgot to sent a fleet to defend Constantinople; the Christian princes
would not fight the battles of the Greeks.

Then followed the conquest, in May 1453, of Constantinople, despite a
desperate resistance, by Mohammed II., who entered his new capital,
riding triumphantly past the body of the Emperor Constantine. Mohammed
proceeded at once to the church of St. Sophia, where, to convince the
Greeks that their Orthodox empire was extinct, the sultan ordered a
moolah to ascend the Bema and address a sermon to the Mussulmans
announcing that St. Sophia was now a mosque set apart for the prayers of
true believers. The fall of Constantinople is a dark chapter in the
annals of Christianity. The death of the unfortunate Constantine,
neglected by the Catholics and deserted by the Orthodox, alone gave
dignity to the final catastrophe.

_III.--Othoman and Venetian_

The conquest of Greece by Mohammed II. was felt to be a boon by the
greater part of the population. The sultan's government put an end to
the injustices of the Greek emperors and the Frank princes, dukes, and
signors who for two centuries had rendered Greece the scene of incessant
civil wars and odious oppression, and whose rapacity impoverished and
depopulated the country. The Othoman system of administration was
immediately organised. Along with it the sultan imposed a tribute of a
fifth of the male children of his Christian subjects as a part of that
tribute which the Koran declared was the lawful price of toleration to
those who refused to embrace Islam. Under these measures the last traces
of the former political institutions and legal administration of Greece
were swept away.

The mass of the Christian population engaged in agricultural operations
were, however, allowed to enjoy a far larger portion of the fruits of
their labour under the sultan's government than under that of many
Christian monarchs. The weak spots in the Othoman government were the
administration of justice and of finance. The naval conquests of the
Othomans in the islands and maritime districts of Greece, and the
ravages of Corsairs in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, reduced
and degraded the population, exterminated the best families, enslaved
the remnant, and destroyed the prosperity of Greek trade and commerce.

Towards the end of the seventeenth century ecclesiastical corruption in
the Orthodox Church increased. Bishoprics, and even the patriarchate
were sold to the highest bidder. The Turks displayed their contempt for
them by ordering the cross which until that time had crowned the dome of
the belfry of the patriarchate to be taken down. There can be no doubt,
however, that in the rural district the secular clergy supplied some of
the moral strength which eventually enabled the Greeks successfully to
resist the Othoman power. Happily, the exaction of the tribute of
children fell into disuse; and, that burden removed, the nation soon
began to fed the possibility of improving its condition.

The contempt with which the ambassadors of the Christian powers were
treated at the Sublime Porte increased after the conquest of Candia and
the surrender of Crete in 1669, and the grand vizier, Kara Mustapha,
declared war against Austria and laid siege to Vienna in 1683. This was
the opportune moment taken by the Venetian Republic to declare war
against the Othoman Empire, and Greece was made the chief field of
military operations.

Morosini, the commander of the Venetian mercenary army, successfully
conducted a series of campaigns between 1684 and 1687, but with terrible
barbarity on both sides. The Venetian fleet entered the Piraeus on
September 21, 1687. The city of Athens was immediately occupied by their
army, and siege laid to the Acropolis. On September 25 a Venetian bomb
blew up a powder magazine in the Propylaea, and the following evening
another fell in the Parthenon. The classic temple was partially ruined;
much of the sculpture which had retained its inimitable excellence from
the days of Phidaeas was defaced, and a part utterly destroyed. The Turks
persisted in defending the place until September 28, when, they
capitulated. The Venetians continued the campaign until the greater part
of Northern Greece submitted to their authority, and peace was declared
in 1696. During the Venetian occupation of Greece through the ravages of
war, oppressive taxation, and pestilence, the Greek inhabitants
decreased from 300,000 to about 100,000.

Sultan Achmet III., having checkmated Peter the Great in his attempt to
march to the conquest of Constantinople, assembled a large army at
Adrianople under the command of Ali Cumurgi, which expelled the
Venetians from Greece before the end of 1715. Peace was concluded, by
the Treaty of Passarovitz, in July 1718. Thereafter, the material and
political position of the Greek nation began to exhibit many signs of
improvement, and the agricultural population before the end of the
eighteenth century became, in the greatest part of the country, the
legal as well as the real proprietors of the soil, which made them feel
the moral sentiment of freemen.

The increased importance of the diplomatic relations of the Porte with
the Christian powers opened a new political career to the Greeks at
Constantinople, and gave rise to the formation of a class of officials
in the Othoman service called "phanariots," whose venality and illegal
exactions made the name a by-word for the basest servility, corruption,
and rapacity.

This system was extended to Wallachia and Moldavia, and no other
Christian race in the Othoman dominions was exposed to so long a period
of unmitigated extortion and cruelty as the Roman population of these
principalities. The Treaty of Kainardji which concluded the war with
Russia between 1768 and 1774, humbled the pride of the sultan, broke the
strength of the Othoman Empire, and established the moral influence of
Russia over the whole of the Christian populations in Turkey. But Russia
never insisted on the execution of the articles of the treaty, and the
Greeks were everywhere subjected to increased oppression and cruelty.
During the war from 1783 to 1792, caused by Catherine II. of Russia
assuming sovereignty over the Crimea, Russia attempted to excite the
Christians in Greece to take up arms against the Turks, but they were
again abandoned to their fate on the conclusion of the Treaty of Yassi
in 1792, which decided the partition of Poland.

Meanwhile, the diverse ambitions of the higher clergy and the phanariots
at Constantinople taught the people of Greece that their interests as a
nation were not always identical with the policy of the leaders of the
Orthodox Church. A modern Greek literature sprang up and, under the
influence of the French Revolution, infused love of freedom into the
popular mind, while the sultan's administration every day grew weaker
under the operation of general corruption. Throughout the East it was
felt that the hour of a great struggle for independence on the part of
the Greeks had arrived.

_IV.--The Greek Revolution_

The Greek revolution began in 1821. Two societies are supposed to have
contributed to accelerating it, but they did not do much to ensure its
success. These were the Philomuse Society, founded at Athens in 1812,
and the Philike Hetaireia, established in Odessa in 1814. The former was
a literary club, the latter a political society whose schemes were wild
and visionary. The object of the inhabitants of Greece was definite and

The attempt of Alexander Hypsilantes, the son of the Greek Hospodar of
Wallachia, under the pretence that he was supported by Russia, to upset
the Turkish government in Moldavia and Wallachia was a miserable fiasco
distinguished for massacres, treachery, and cowardice, and it was
repudiated by the Tsar of Russia. Very different was the intensity of
the passion with which the inhabitants of modern Greece arose to destroy
the power of their Othoman masters. In the month of April 1821, a
Mussulman population, amounting to upwards of 20,000 souls, was living
dispersed in Greece employed in agriculture. Before two months had
elapsed the greater part--men, women, and children--were murdered
without mercy or remorse. The first insurrectional movement took place
in the Peloponnesus at the end of March. Kalamata was besieged by a
force of 2,000 Greeks, and taken on April 4. Next day a solemn service
of the Greek Church was performed on the banks of the torrent that flows
by Kalamata, as a thanksgiving for the success of the Greek arms.
Patriotic tears poured down the cheeks of rude warriors, and ruthless
brigands sobbed like children. All present felt that the event formed an
era in Greek history. The rising spread to every part of Greece, and to
some of the islands.

Sultan Mahmud II. believed that he could paralyse the movements of the
Greeks by terrific cruelty. On Easter Sunday, April 22, the Patriarch
Gregorios and three other bishops were executed in Constantinople--a
deed which caused a thrill of horror from the Moslem capital to the
mountains of Greece, and the palaces of St. Petersburg. The sultan next
strengthened his authority in Thrace and in Macedonia, and extinguished
the flames of rebellion from Mount Athos to Olympus.

In Greece itself the patriots were triumphant. Local senates were formed
for the different districts, and a National Assembly met at Piada, three
miles to the west of the site of the ancient Epidaurus, which formulated
a constitution and proclaimed it on January 13, 1822. This constitution
established a central government consisting of a legislative assembly
and an executive body of five members, with Prince Alexander
Mavrocordato as President of Greece.

It is impossible here to go into the details of the war of independence
which was carried on from 1822 to 1827. The outstanding incidents were
the triple siege and capitulation of the Acropolis at Athens; the
campaigns of Ibrahim Pasha and his Egyptian army in the Morea; the
defence of Mesolonghi by the Greeks with a courage and endurance, an
energy and constancy which will awaken the sympathy of free men in every
country as long as Grecian history endures; the two civil wars, for one
of which the Primates were especially blamable; the dishonesty of the
government, the rapacity of the military, the indiscipline of the navy;
and the assistance given to the revolutionaries by Lord Byron and other
English sympathisers. Lord Byron arrived at Mesolonghi on January 5,
1824. His short career in Greece was unconnected with any important
military event, for he died on April 19; but the enthusiasm he awakened
perhaps served Greece more than his personal exertions would have done
had his life been prolonged, because it resulted in the provision of a
fleet for the Greek nation by the English and American Philhellenes,
commanded by Lord Cochrane.

By the beginning of 1827 the whole of Greece was laid waste, and the
sufferings of the agricultural population were terrible. At the same
time, the greater part of the Greeks who bore arms against the Turks
were fed by Greek committees in Switzerland, France, and Germany; while
those in the United States directed their attention to the relief of the
peaceful population. It was felt that the intervention of the European
powers could alone prevent the extermination of the population or their
submission to the sultan. On July 6, 1827, a treaty Between Great
Britain, France, and Russia was signed at London to take common measures
for the pacification of Greece, to enforce an armistice between the
Greeks and the Turks, and, by an armed intervention, to secure to the
Greeks virtual independence under the suzerainty of the sultan. The
Greeks accepted the armistice, but the Turks refused; and then followed
the destruction of the Othoman fleet by the allied squadrons under
Admiral Sir Edward Coddrington at Navarino, on October 21, 1827.

In the following April, Russia declared war against Turkey, and the
French government, by a protocol, were authorised to dispatch a French
army of 14,000 men under the command of General Maison. This force
landed at Petalidi, in the Gulf of Coron. Ibrahim Pasha withdrew his
army to Egypt, and the French troops occupied the strong places of
Greece almost without resistance from the Turkish garrisons.

France thus gained the honour of delivering Greece from the last of her
conquerors, and she increased the debt of gratitude due by the Greeks by
the admirable conduct of her soldiers, who converted mediaeval
strongholds into habitable towns, repaired the fortresses, and
constructed roads. Count John Capodistrias, a Corfiot noble, who had
been elected President of Greece in April 1827 for a period of seven
years by the National Assembly of Troezen, arrived in Greece in January
1828. He found the country in a state of anarchy, and at once put a stop
to some of the grossest abuses in the army, navy, and financial

_V.--The Greek Monarchy_

The war terminated in 1829, and the Turks finally evacuated continental
Greece in September of the same year. The allied powers declared Greece
an independent state with a restricted territory, and nominated Prince
Leopold of Saxe-Coburg (afterwards King of the Belgians) to be its
sovereign. Prince Leopold accepted the throne on February 11, but
resigned it on May 17. Thereafter Capodistrias exercised his functions
as president in the most tyrannical fashion, and was assassinated on
October 9, 1831; from which date till February 1833 anarchy prevailed in
the country.

Agostino Capodistrias, brother of the assassinated president, who had
been chosen president by the National Assembly on December 20, 1831, was
ejected out of the presidency by the same assembly in April 1832, and
Prince Otho of Bavaria was elected King of Greece. Otho, accompanied by
a small Bavarian army, landed from an English frigate in Greece at
Nauplia on February 6, 1833. He was then only seventeen years of age,
and a regency of three Bavarians was appointed to administer the
government during his minority, his majority being fixed at June 1,

The regency issued a decree in August 1833, proclaiming the national
Church of Greece independent of the patriarchate and synod of
Constantinople and establishing an ecclesiastical synod for the kingdom
on the model of that of Russia, but with more freedom of action. In
judicial procedure, however, the regency placed themselves above the
tribunals. King Otho, who had come of age in 1835, and married a
daughter of the Duke of Oldenburg in 1837, became his own prime minister
in 1839, and claimed to rule with absolute power. He did not possess
ability, experience, energy, or generosity; consequently, he was not
respected, obeyed, feared, or loved. The administrative incapacity of
King Otho's counsellors disgusted the three protecting powers as much as
their arbitrary conduct irritated the Greeks.

A revolution naturally followed. Otho was compelled to abandon absolute
power in order to preserve his crown, and in March 1844 he swore
obedience to a constitution prepared by the National Assembly, which put
an end to the government of alien rulers under which the Greeks had
lived for two thousand years. The destinies of the race were now in the
hands of the citizens of liberated Greece. But the attempt was
unsuccessful. The corruption of the government and the contracted views
of King Otho rendered the period from the adoption of the constitution
to his expulsion in 1862 a period of national stagnation. In October
1862 revolt broke out, and on the 23rd a provisional government at
Athens issued a proclamation declaring, in his absence, that the reign
of King Otho was at an end.

When Otho and his queen returned in a frigate to the Piraeus they were
not allowed to land. Otho appealed to the representatives of the powers,
who refused to support him against the nation, and he and his queen took
refuge on board H.M.S. Scylla, and left Greece for ever.

The National Assembly held in Athens drew up a new constitution, laying
the foundations of free municipal institutions, and leaving the nation
to elect their sovereign. Then followed the abortive, though almost
unanimous, election as king of Prince Alfred of England. Afterwards the
British Government offered the crown to the second son of Prince
Christian of Holstein-Gluecksburg. On March 30, 1863, he was unanimously
elected King of Greece, and the British forces left Corfu on June 2,

* * * * *


The Rise of the Dutch Republic

John Lothrop Motley, historian and diplomatist, was born at
Dorchester, Massachusetts, now part of Boston, on April 15,
1814. After graduating at Harvard University, he proceeded to
Europe, where he studied at the universities of Berlin and
Goettingen. At the latter he became intimate with Bismarck, and
their friendly relations continued throughout life. In 1846
Motley began to collect materials for a history of Holland,
and in 1851 he went to Europe to pursue his investigations.
The result of his labours was "The Rise of the Dutch
Republic--a History," published in 1856. The work was received
with enthusiasm in Europe and America. Its distinguishing
character is its graphic narrative and warm sympathy; and
Froude said of it that it is "as complete as industry and
genius can make it, and a book which will take its place among
the finest stories in this or any language." In 1861 Motley
was appointed American Minister to Austria, where he remained
until 1867; and in 1869 General Grant sent him to represent
the United States in England. Motley died on May 29, 1877, at
the Dorsetshire house of his daughter, near Dorchester.

_I.--Woe to the Heretic_

The north-western corner of the vast plain which extends from the German
Ocean to the Ural Mountains is occupied by the countries called the
Netherlands. The history of the development of the Netherland nation
from the time of the Romans during sixteen centuries is ever marked by
one prevailing characteristic, one master passion--the love of liberty,
the instinct of self-government. Largely compounded of the bravest
Teutonic elements--Batavian and Frisian--the race has ever battled to
the death with tyranny, and throughout the dark ages struggled
resolutely towards the light, wresting from a series of petty sovereigns
a gradual and practical recognition of the claims of humanity. With the
advent of the Burgundian family, the power of the commons reached so
high a point that it was able to measure itself, undaunted, with the
spirit of arbitrary power. Peaceful in their pursuits, phlegmatic by
temperament, the Netherlanders were yet the most belligerent and
excitable population in Europe.

For more than a century the struggle for freedom, for civic life, went
on, Philip the Good, Charles the Bold, Mary's husband Maximilian,
Charles V., in turn assailing or undermining the bulwarks raised age
after age against the despotic principle. Liberty, often crushed, rose
again and again from her native earth with redoubled energy. At last, in
the sixteenth century, a new and more powerful spirit, the genius of
religious freedom, came to participate in the great conflict. Arbitrary
power, incarnated in the second Charlemagne, assailed the new
combination with unscrupulous, unforgiving fierceness. In the little
Netherland territory, humanity, bleeding but not killed, still stood at
bay, and defied the hunters. The two great powers had been gathering
strength for centuries. They were soon to be matched in a longer and
more determined combat than the world had ever seen.

On October 25, 1555, the Estates of the Netherlands were assembled in
the great hall of the palace at Brussels to witness amidst pomp and
splendour the dramatic abdication of Charles V. as sovereign of the
Netherlands in favour of his son Philip. The drama was well played. The
happiness of the Netherlands was apparently the only object contemplated
in the great transaction, and the stage was drowned in tears. And yet,
what was the Emperor Charles to the inhabitants of the Netherlands that
they should weep for him? Their interests had never been even a
secondary consideration with their master. He had fulfilled no duty
towards them; he had committed the gravest crimes against them; he was
in constant conflict with their ancient and dearly-bought political

Philip II., whom the Netherlands received as their new master, was a man
of foreign birth and breeding, not speaking a word of their language. In
1548 he had made his first appearance in the Netherlands to receive
homage in the various provinces as their future sovereign, and to
exchange oaths of mutual fidelity with them all.

One of the earliest measures of Philip's reign was to re-enact the dread
edict of 1550. This he did by the express advice of the Bishop of Arras.
The edict set forth that no one should print, write, copy, keep,
conceal, sell, buy, or give in churches, streets, or other places any
book or writing by Luther, Calvin, and other heretics reprobated by the
Holy Church; nor break, or injure the images of the Holy Virgin or
canonised saints; nor in his house hold conventicles, or be present at
any such, in which heretics or their adherents taught, baptised, or
formed conspiracies, against the Holy Church and the general welfare.
Further, all lay persons were forbidden to converse or dispute
concerning the Holy Scriptures openly or secretly, or to read, teach, or
expound them; or to preach, or to entertain any of the opinions of the

Disobedience to this edict was to be punished as follows. Men to be
executed with the sword, and women to be buried alive if they do not
persist in their errors; if they do persist in them, then they are to be
executed with fire, and all their property in both cases is to be
confiscated to the crown. Those who failed to betray the suspected were
to be liable to the same punishment, as also those who lodged, furnished
with food, or favoured anyone suspected of being a heretic. Informers
and traitors against suspected persons were to be entitled on conviction
to one-half of the property of the accused.

At first, however, the edict was not vigorously carried into effect
anywhere. It was openly resisted in Holland; its proclamation was flatly
refused in Antwerp, and repudiated throughout Brabant. This disobedience
was in the meantime tolerated because Philip wanted money to carry on
the war between Spain and France which shortly afterwards broke out. At
the close of the war, a treaty was entered into between France and Spain
by which Philip and Henry II. bound themselves to maintain the Catholic
worship inviolate by all means in their power, and to extinguish the
increasing heresy in both kingdoms. There was a secret agreement to
arrange for the Huguenot chiefs throughout the realms of both, a
"Sicilian Vespers" upon the first favourable occasion.

Henry died of a wound received from Montgomery in a tournay held to
celebrate the conclusion of the treaty, and Catherine de Medici became
Queen-Regent of France, and deferred carrying out the secret plot till
St. Bartholomew's Day fourteen years after.

_II.--The Netherlands Are, and Will Be, Free_

Philip now set about the organisation of the Netherlands provinces.
Margaret, Duchess of Parma, was appointed regent, with three boards, a
state council, a privy council, and a council of finance, to assist in
the government. It soon became evident that the real power of the
government was exclusively in the hands of the Consulta--a committee of
three members of the state council, by whose deliberation the regent was
secretly to be guided on all important occasions; but in reality the
conclave consisted of Anthony Perrenot, Bishop of Arras, afterwards
Cardinal Granvelle. Stadtholders were appointed to the different
provinces, of whom only Count Egmont for Flanders and William of Orange
for Holland need be mentioned.

An assembly of the Estates met at Ghent on August 7, 1589, to receive
the parting instructions of Philip previous to his departure for Spain.
The king, in a speech made through the Bishop of Arras, owing to his
inability to speak French or Flemish, submitted a "request" for three
million gold florins "to be spent for the good of the country." He made
a violent attack on "the new, reprobate and damnable sects that now
infested the country," and commanded the Regent Margaret "accurately and
exactly to cause to be enforced the edicts and decrees made for the
extirpation of all sects and heresies." The Estates of all the provinces
agreed, at a subsequent meeting with the king, to grant their quota of
the "request," but made it a condition precedent that the foreign
troops, whose outrages and exactions had long been an intolerable
burden, should be withdrawn. This enraged the king, but when a
presentation was made of a separate remonstrance in the name of the
States-General, signed by the Prince of Orange, Count Egmont, and other
leading patricians, against the pillaging, insults, and disorders of the
foreign soldiers, the king was furious. He, however, dissembled at a
later meeting, and took leave of the Estates with apparent cordiality.

Inspired by the Bishop of Arras, under secret instructions from Philip,
the Regent Margaret resumed the execution of the edicts against heresies
and heretics which had been permitted to slacken during the French war.
As an additional security for the supremacy of the ancient religion,
Philip induced the Pope, Paul IV., to issue, in May, 1559, a Bull
whereby three new archbishoprics were appointed, with fifteen subsidiary
bishops and nine prebendaries, who were to act as inquisitors. To
sustain these two measures, through which Philip hoped once and for ever
to extinguish the Netherland heresy, the Spanish troops were to be kept
in the provinces indefinitely.

Violent agitation took place throughout the whole of the Netherlands
during the years 1560 and 1561 against the arbitrary policy embodied in
the edicts, and the ruthless manner in which they were enforced in the
new bishoprics, and against the continued presence of the foreign
soldiery. The people and their leaders appealed to their ancient
charters and constitutions. Foremost in resistance was the Prince of
Orange, and he, with Egmont, the soldier hero of St. Quentin, and
Admiral Horn, united in a remarkable letter to the king, in which they
said that the royal affairs would never be successfully conducted so
long as they were entrusted to Cardinal Granvelle. Finally, Granvelle
was recalled by Philip. But the Netherlands had now reached a condition
of anarchy, confusion, and corruption.

The four Estates of Flanders, in a solemn address to the king, described
in vigorous language the enormities committed by the inquisitors, and
called upon Philip to suppress these horrible practices so manifestly in
violation of the ancient charters which he had sworn to support. Philip,
so far from having the least disposition to yield in this matter,
dispatched orders in August, 1564, to the regent, ordering that the
decrees of the Council of Trent should be published and enforced without
delay throughout the Netherlands. By these decrees the heretic was
excluded, so far as ecclesiastical dogma could exclude him, from the
pale of humanity, from consecrated earth, and from eternal salvation.
The decrees conflicted with the privileges of the provinces, and at a
meeting of the council William of Orange made a long and vehement
discourse, in which he said that the king must be unequivocally informed
that this whole machinery of placards and scaffolds, of new bishops and
old hangmen, of decrees, inquisitors and informers, must once and for
ever be abolished. Their day was over; the Netherlands were free
provinces, and were determined to vindicate their ancient privileges.

The unique effect of these representations was stringent instructions
from Philip to Margaret to keep the whole machinery of persecution
constantly at work. Fifty thousand persons were put to death in
obedience to the edicts, 30,000 of the best of the citizens migrated to
England. Famine reigned in the land. Then followed the revolt of the
confederate nobles and the episode of the "wild beggars." Meantime,
during the summer of 1556, many thousands of burghers, merchants,
peasants, and gentlemen were seen mustering and marching through the
fields of every province, armed, but only to hear sermons and sing hymns
in the open air, as it was unlawful to profane the churches with such
rites. The duchess sent forth proclamations by hundreds, ordering the
instant suppression of these assemblies and the arrest of the preachers.
This brought the popular revolt to a head.

_III.--The Image-Breaking Campaign_

There were many hundreds of churches in the Netherlands profusely
adorned with chapels. Many of them were filled with paintings, all were
peopled with statues. Commencing on August 18, 1556, for the space of
only six or seven summer days and nights, there raged a storm by which
nearly every one of these temples was entirely rifled of its contents;
not for plunder, but for destruction.

It began at Antwerp, on the occasion of a great procession, the object
of which was to conduct around the city a colossal image of the Virgin.
The rabble sacked thirty churches within the city walls, entered the
monasteries burned their invaluable libraries, and invaded the
nunneries. The streets were filled with monks and nuns, running this way
and that, shrieking and fluttering, to escape the claws of fiendish
Calvinists. The terror was imaginary, for not the least remarkable
feature in these transactions was that neither insult nor injury was
offered to man or woman, and that not a farthing's value of the immense
amount of property was appropriated. Similar scenes were enacted in all
the other provinces, with the exception of Limburg, Luxemburg, and

The ministers of the reformed religion, and the chiefs of the liberal
party, all denounced the image-breaking. The Prince of Orange deplored
the riots. The leading confederate nobles characterised the insurrection
as insensate, and many took severe measures against the ministers and
reformers. The regent was beside herself with indignation and terror.
Philip, when he heard the news, fell into a paroxysm of frenzy. "It
shall cost them dear!" he cried. "I swear it by the soul of my father!"

The religious war, before imminent, became inevitable. The duchess,
inspired by terror, proposed to fly to Mons, but was restrained by the
counsels of Orange, Horn, and Egmont. On August 25 came the crowning act
of what the reformers considered their most complete triumph, and the
regent her deepest degradation. It was found necessary, under the
alarming aspect of affairs, that liberty of worship, in places where it
had been already established, should be accorded to the new religion.
Articles of agreement to this effect were drawn up and exchanged between
the government and Louis of Nassau and fifteen others of the

A corresponding pledge was signed by them, that as long as the regent
was true to her engagement they would consider their previously existing
league annulled, and would cordially assist in maintaining tranquillity,
and supporting the authority of his majesty. The important "Accord" was
then duly signed by the duchess. It declared that the Inquisition was
abolished, that his majesty would soon issue a new general edict,
expressly and unequivocally protecting the nobles against all evil
consequences from past transactions, and that public preaching according
to the forms of the new religion was to be practised in places where it
had already taken place.

Thus, for a fleeting moment, there was a thrill of joy throughout the
Netherlands. But it was all a delusion. While the leaders of the people
were exerting themselves to suppress the insurrection, and to avert
ruin, the secret course pursued by the government, both at Brussels and
at Madrid, may be condensed into the formula--dissimulation,
procrastination, and, again, dissimulation.

The "Accord" was revoked by the duchess, and peremptory prohibition of
all preaching within or without city walls was proclaimed. Further, a
new oath of allegiance was demanded from all functionaries. The Prince
of Orange spurned the proposition and renounced all his offices,
desiring no longer to serve a government whose policy he did not
approve, and a king by whom he was suspected. Terrible massacres of
Protestant heretics took place in many cities.

_IV.--Alva the Terrible_

It was determined at last that the Netherland heresy should be conquered
by force of arms, and an army of 10,000 picked and veteran troops was
dispatched from Spain under the Duke of Alva. The Duchess Margaret made
no secret of her indignation at being superseded when Alva produced his
commission appointing him captain-general, and begging the duchess to
co-operate with him in ordering all the cities of the Netherlands to
receive the garrisons which he would send them. In September, 1567, the
Duke of Alva established a new court for the trial of crimes committed
"during the recent period of troubles." It was called the "Council of
Troubles," but will be for ever known in history as the "Blood Council."
It superseded all other courts and institutions. So well did this new
and terrible engine perform its work that in less than three months
1,800 of the highest, the noblest, and the most virtuous men in the
land, including Count Egmont and Admiral Horn, suffered death. Further
than that, the whole country became a charnal-house; columns and stakes
in every street, the doorposts of private houses, the fences in the
fields were laden with human carcases, strangled, burned, beheaded.
Within a few months after the arrival of Alva the spirit of the nation
seemed hopelessly broken.

The Duchess of Parma, who had demanded her release from the odious
position of a cipher in a land where she had so lately been sovereign,
at last obtained it, and took her departure in December for Parma, thus
finally closing her eventful career in the Netherlands. The Duke of Alva
took up his position as governor-general, and amongst his first works
was the erection of the celebrated citadel of Antwerp, not to protect,
but to control the commercial capital of the provinces.

Events marched swiftly. On February 16, 1568, a sentence of the
Inquisition condemned all the inhabitants of the Netherlands to death as
heretics. From this universal doom only a few persons, especially named,
were excepted; and a proclamation of the king, dated ten days later,
confirmed this decree of the Inquisition, and ordered it to be carried
into instant execution, without regard to age, sex, or condition. This
is probably the most concise death-warrant ever framed. Three millions
of people, men, women, and children, were sentenced to the scaffold in
three lines.

The Prince of Orange at last threw down the gauntlet, and published a
reply to the active condemnation which had been pronounced against him
in default of appearance before the Blood Council. It would, he said, be
both death and degradation to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the
infamous "Council of Blood," and he scorned to plead before he knew not
what base knaves, not fit to be the valets of his companions and

Preparations were at once made to levy troops and wage war against
Philip's forces in the Netherlands. Then followed the long, ghastly
struggle between the armies raised by the Prince of Orange and his
brother, Count Louis of Nassau, who lost his life mysteriously at the
battle of Mons, and those of Alva and the other governors-general who
succeeded him--Don Louis de Requesens, the "Grand Commander," Don John
of Austria, the hero of Lepanto, and Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma.
The records of butcheries and martyrdoms, including those during the
sack and burning of Antwerp by the mutinous Spanish soldiery, are only
relieved by the heroic exploits of the patriotic armies and burghers in
the memorable defences of Haarlem, Leyden, Alkmaar, and Mons. At one
time it seemed that the Prince of Orange and his forces were about to
secure a complete triumph; but the news of the massacre of St.
Bartholomew in Paris brought depression to the patriotic army and
corresponding spirit to the Spanish armies, and the gleam faded. The
most extraordinary feature of Alva's civil administration were his
fiscal decrees, which imposed taxes that utterly destroyed the trade and
manufactures of the country.

There were endless negotiations inspired by the States-General, the
German Emperor, and the governments of France and England to secure
peace and a settlement of the Netherlands affairs, but these, owing
mostly to insincere diplomacy, were ineffective.

_V.--The Union of the Provinces_

In the meantime, the union of Holland and Zealand had been accomplished,
with the Prince of Orange as sovereign. The representatives of various
provinces thereafter met with deputies from Holland and Zealand in
Utrecht in January, 1579, and agreed to a treaty of union which was ever
after regarded as the foundation of the Netherlands Republic. The
contracting provinces agreed to remain eternally united, while each was
to retain its particular privileges, liberties, customs, and laws. All
the provinces were to unite to defend each other with life, goods, and
blood against all forces brought against them in the king's name, and
against all foreign potentates. The treaty also provided for religious
peace and toleration. The Union of Utrecht was the foundation of the
Netherlands Republic, which lasted two centuries.

For two years there were a series of desultory military operations and
abortive negotiations for peace, including an attempt--which failed--to
purchase the Prince of Orange. The assembly of the united provinces met
at The Hague on July 26, 1581, and solemnly declared their independence
of Philip and renounced their allegiance for ever. This act, however,
left the country divided into three portions--the Walloon or reconciled
provinces; the united provinces under Anjou; and the northern provinces
under Orange.

Early in February, 1582, the Duke of Anjou arrived in the Netherlands
from England with a considerable train. The articles of the treaty under
which he was elected sovereign as Duke of Brabant made as stringent and
as sensible a constitutional compact as could be desired by any
Netherland patriot. Taken in connection with the ancient charters, which
they expressly upheld, they left to the new sovereign no vestige of
arbitrary power. He was the hereditary president of a representative

The Duke of Anjou, however, became discontented with his position. Many
nobles of high rank came from France to pay their homage to him, and in
the beginning of January, 1583, he entered into a conspiracy with them
to take possession, with his own troops, of the principal cities in
Flanders. He reserved to himself the capture of Antwerp, and
concentrated several thousands of French troops at Borgehout, a village
close to the walls of Antwerp. A night attack was treacherously made on
the city, but the burghers rapidly flew to arms, and in an hour the
whole of the force which Anjou had sent to accomplish his base design
was either dead or captured. The enterprise, which came to be known as
the "French Fury," was an absolute and disgraceful failure, and the duke
fled to Berghem, where he established a camp. Negotiations for
reconciliation were entered into with the Duke of Anjou, who, however,
left for Paris in June, never again to return to the Netherlands.

_VI.--The Assassination of William of Orange_

The Princess Charlotte having died on May 5, 1582, the Prince of Orange
was married for the fourth time on April 21, 1583, on this occasion to
Louisa, daughter of the illustrious Coligny. In the summer of 1584 the
prince and princess took up their residence at Delft, where Frederick
Henry, afterwards the celebrated stadtholder, was born to them. During
the previous two years no fewer than five distinct attempts to
assassinate the prince had been made, and all of them with the privity
of the Spanish government or at the direct instigation of King Philip or
the Duke of Parma.

A sixth and successful attempt was now to be made. On Sunday morning,
July 8, the Prince of Orange received news of the death of Anjou. The
courier who brought the despatches was admitted to the prince's bedroom.
He called himself Francis Guion, the son of a martyred Calvinist, but he
was in reality Balthazar Gerard, a fanatical Catholic who had for years
formed the design of murdering the Prince of Orange. The interview was
so entirely unexpected that Gerard had come unarmed, and had formed no
plans for escape. He pleaded to the officer on duty in the prince's
house that he wanted to attend divine service in the church opposite,
but that his attire was too shabby and travel-stained, and that, without
new shoes and stockings, he was unfit to join the congregation. Having
heard this, the prince ordered instantly a sum of money to be given to
him. With this fund Gerard the following day bought a pair of pistols
and ammunition. On Tuesday, July 10, the prince, his wife, family, and
the burgomaster of Leewarden dined as usual, at mid-day. At two o'clock
the company rose from table, the prince leading the way, intending to
pass to his private apartments upstairs. He had reached the second stair
when Gerard, who had obtained admission to the house on the plea that he
wanted a passport, emerged from a sunken arch and, standing within a
foot or two of the prince, discharged a pistol at his heart. He was
carried to a couch in the dining-room, where in a few minutes he died in
the arms of his wife and sister.

The murderer succeeded in making his escape through a side door, and
sped swiftly towards the ramparts, where a horse was waiting for him at
the moat, but was followed and captured by several pages and
halberdiers. He made no effort to deny his identity, but boldly avowed
himself and his deed. Afterwards he was subjected to excruciating
tortures, and executed on July 14 with execrable barbarity. The reward
promised by Philip to the man who should murder Orange was paid to the
father and mother of Gerard. The excellent parents were ennobled and
enriched by the crime of their son, but, instead of receiving the 25,000
crowns promised in the ban issued by Philip in 1580 at the instigation
of Cardinal Granvelle, they were granted three seignories in the Franche
Comte, and took their place at once among the landed aristocracy.

The prince was entombed on August 3 at Delft amid the tears of a whole
nation. Never was a more extensive, unaffected and legitimate sorrow
felt at the death of any human being. William the Silent had gone
through life bearing the load of a people's sorrows upon his shoulders
with a smiling face. The people were grateful and affectionate, for they
trusted the character of their "Father William," and not all the clouds
which calumny could collect ever dimmed to their eyes the radiance of
that lofty mind to which they were accustomed in their darkest
calamities to look for light.

The life and labours of Orange had established the emancipated
commonwealth upon a secure foundation, but his death rendered hopeless
the union of all the Netherlands at that time into one republic.

* * * * *

History of the United Netherlands

"The History of the United Netherlands, 1584-1609," published
between 1860 and 1867, is the continuation of the "Rise of the
Dutch republic"; the narrative of the stubborn struggle
carried on after the assassination of William the Silent until
the twelve years' truce of 1609 recognised in effect, though
not in form, that a new independent nation was established on
the northern shore of Western Europe--a nation which for a
century to come was to hold rank as first or second of the sea
powers. While the great Alexander of Parma lived to lead the
Spanish armies, even Philip II. could not quite destroy the
possibility of his ultimate victory. When Parma was gone, we
can see now that the issue of the struggle was no longer in
doubt, although in its closing years Maurice of Nassau found a
worthy antagonist in the Italian Spinola.

_I.--After the Death of William_

William the Silent, Prince of Orange, had been murdered on July 10,
1584. It was natural that for an instant there should be a feeling as of
absolute and helpless paralysis. The Estates had now to choose between
absolute submission to Spain, the chance of French or English support,
and fighting it out alone. They resolved at once to fight it out, but to
seek French support, in spite of the fact that Francis of Anjou, now
dead, had betrayed them. For the German Protestants were of no use, and
they did not expect vigorous aid from Elizabeth. But France herself was
on the verge of a division into three, between the incompetent Henry
III. on the throne, Henry of Guise of the Catholic League, and Henry of
Navarre, heir apparent and head of the Huguenots.

The Estates offered the sovereignty of the Netherlands to Henry; he
dallied with them, but finally rejected the offer. Meanwhile, there was
an increased tendency to a rapprochement with England; but Elizabeth had
excellent reasons for being quite resolved not to accept the sovereignty
of the Netherlands. In France, matters came to a head in March 1585,
when the offer of the Estates was rejected. Henry III. found himself
forced into the hands of the League, and Navarre was declared to be
barred from the succession as a heretic, in July.

While diplomacy was at work, and the Estates were gradually turning from
France to England, Alexander of Parma, the first general, and one of the
ablest statesmen of the age, was pushing on the Spanish cause in the
Netherlands. Flagrantly as he was stinted in men and money, a consummate
genius guided his operations. The capture of Antwerp was the crucial
point; and the condition of capturing Antwerp was to hold the Scheldt
below that city, and also to secure the dams, since, if the country were
flooded, the Dutch ships could not be controlled in the open waters.

The burghers scoffed at the idea that Parma could bridge the Scheldt, or
that his bridge, if built, could resist the ice-blocks that would come
down in the winter. But he built his bridge, and it resisted the
ice-blocks. An ingenious Italian in Antwerp devised the destruction of
the bridge, and the passage of relief-ships, by blowing up the bridge
with a sort of floating mines. The explosion was successfully carried
out with terrific effect; a thousand Spaniards were blown to pieces; but
by sheer blundering the opening was not at once utilised, and Parma was
able to rebuild the bridge.

Then, by a fine feat of arms, the patriots captured the Kowenstyn dyke,
and cut it; but the loss was brilliantly retrieved, the Kowenstyn was
recaptured, and the dyke repaired. After that, Antwerp's chance of
escape sank almost to nothing, and its final capitulation was a great
triumph for Parma.

The Estates had despaired of French help, and had opened negotiations
with England some time before the fall of Antwerp had practically
secured the southern half of the Netherlands to Spain. It was
unfortunate that the negotiations took the form of hard bargaining on
both sides. The Estates wished to give Elizabeth sovereignty, which she
did not want; they did not wish to give her hard cash for her
assistance, which she did want, as well as to have towns pawned to her
as security. Walsingham was anxious for England to give the Estates open
support; the queen, as usual, blew hot and cold.

Walsingham and Leicester, however, carried the day. Leicester was
appointed to be general, and Philip Sidney was sent to be governor of
Flushing, at about the time when Drake was preparing for what is known
as the Carthagena Expedition. The direct intervention of the English
government in the Netherlands, where hitherto there had been no state
action, though many Englishmen were fighting as volunteers, was
tantamount to a declaration of war with Spain. But the haggling over
terms had made it too late to save Antwerp.

Leicester had definite orders to do nothing contradictory to the queen's
explicit refusal of both sovereignty and protectorate. But he was
satisfied that a position of supreme authority was necessary; and he had
hardly reached his destination when he was formally offered, and
accepted, the title of Governor-General (January 1586). The proposal had
the full support of young Maurice of Nassau, second son of William the
Silent, and destined to succeed his father in the character of

Angry as Elizabeth was, she did not withdraw Leicester. In fact, Parma
was privately negotiating with her; negotiations in which Burghley and
Hatton took part, but which did not wholly escape Walsingham. Parma had
no intention of being bound by these negotiations; they were pure
dissimulation on his part; and, possibly, but not probably, on
Elizabeth's. Parma, in fact, was nervous as to possible French action.
But their practical effect was to paralyse Leicester, and their object
to facilitate the invasion of England.

_II.--Leicester and the Armada_

In the spring, Parma was actively prosecuting the war. He attacked
Grave, which was valorously relieved by Martin Schenk and Sir John
Norris; but soon after he took it, to Leicester's surprise and disgust.
The capture of Axed by Maurice of Nassau and Sidney served as some
balance. Presently Leicester laid siege to Zutphen; but the place was
relieved, in spite of the memorable fight of Warnsfeld, where less than
six hundred English attacked and drove off a force of six times their
number, for reinforcements compelled their retreat. This was the famous
battle of Zutphen, where Philip Sidney fell.

But Elizabeth persisted in keeping Leicester in a false position which
laid him open to suspicion; while his own conduct kept him on ill terms
with the Estates, and the queen's parsimony crippled his activities. In
effect, there was soon a strong opposition to Leicester. He was at odds
also with stout Sir John Norris, from which evil was to come.

Now, the discovery of Babington's plot made Leicester eager to go back
to England, since he was set upon ending the life of Mary Stuart. At the
close of November he took ship from Flushing. But while Norris was left
in nominal command, his commission was not properly made out; and the
important town of Deventer was left under the papist Sir William
Stanley, with the adventurer Rowland York at Zutphen, because they were
at feud with Norris. Then came disaster; for Stanley and York
deliberately introduced Spanish troops by night, and handed over
Deventer and Zutphen to the Spaniards, which was all the worse, as
Leicester had ample warning that mischief was brewing. Every suspicion
ever felt against Leicester, or as to the honesty of English policy,
seemed to be confirmed, and there was a wave of angry feeling against
all Englishmen. The treachery of Anjou seemed about to be repeated.

The Queen of Scots was on the very verge of her doom, and Elizabeth was
entering on that most lamentable episode of her career, in which she
displayed all her worst characteristics, when a deputation arrived from
the Estates to plead for more effective help. The news of Deventer had
not yet arrived, and the queen subjected them to a furious and
contumelious harangue, and advised them to make peace with Philip. But
on the top of this came a letter from the Estates, with some very plain
speaking about Deventer.

Buckhurst, about the best possible ambassador, was despatched to the
Estates. He very soon found the evidence of the underhand dealings of
certain of Leicester's agents to be irresistible. He appealed
vehemently, as did Walsingham at home, for immediate aid, dwelling on
the immense importance to England of saving the Netherlands. But
Leicester had the queen's ear. Charges of every kind were flying on
every hand. Buckhurst's efforts met with the usual reward. The Estates
would have nothing to do with counsels of peace. At the moment they were
appointing Maurice of Nassau captain-general came the news that
Leicester was returning with intolerable claims.

While this was going on, Parma had turned upon Sluys, which, like the
rest of the coast harbours, was in the hands of the States. This was the
news which had necessitated the appointment of Maurice of Nassau. The
Dutch and English in Sluys fought magnificently. But the dissensions of
the opposing parties outside prevented any effective relief. Leicester's
arrival did not, mend matters. The operations intended to effect a
relief were muddled. At last the garrison found themselves with no
alternative but capitulation on the most honourable terms. In the
meanwhile, however, Drake had effected his brilliant destruction of the
fleet and stores preparing in Cadiz harbour; though his proceedings were
duly disowned by Elizabeth, now zealously negotiating with Parma.

This game of duplicity went on merrily; Elizabeth was intriguing behind
the backs of her own ministers; Parma was deliberately deceiving and
hoodwinking her, with no thought of anything but her destruction. In
France, civil war practically, between Henry of Navarre and Henry of
Guise was raging. In the Netherlands, the hostility between the Estates,
led by Barneveld and Leicester continued. When the earl was finally
recalled to England, and Willoughby was left in command, it was not due
to him that no overwhelming disaster had occurred, and that the splendid
qualities shown by other Englishmen had counter-balanced politically his
own extreme unpopularity.

The great crisis, however, was now at hand. The Armada was coming to
destroy England, and when England was destroyed the fate of the
Netherlands would soon be sealed. But in both England and the
Netherlands the national spirit ran high. The great fleet came; the
Flemish ports were held blockaded by the Dutch. The Spaniards had the
worse of the fighting in the Channel; they were scattered out of Calais
roads by the fireships, driven to flight in the engagement of
Gravelines, and the Armada was finally shattered by storms. Philip
received the news cheerfully; but his great project was hopelessly

Of the events immediately following, the most notable were in
France--the murder of Guise, followed by that of Henry III., and the
claim of Henry IV. to be king. The actual operations in the Netherlands
brought little advantage to either side, and the Anglo-Dutch expedition
to Lisbon was a failure. But the grand fact which was to be of vital
consequence was this: that Maurice of Nassau was about to assume a new
character. The boy was now a man; the sapling had developed into the

_III.--Maurice of Nassau_

The crushing blow, then, had failed completely. But Philip, instead of
concentrating on another great effort in the Netherlands, or retrieval
of the Armada disaster, had fixed his attention on France. The Catholic
League had proclaimed Henry IV.'s uncle, the Cardinal of Bourbon, king
as Charles X. Philip, to Parma's despair, meant to claim the succession
for his own daughter; and Parma's orders were to devote himself to
crushing the Bearnais.

And this was at the moment when Barneveld, the statesman, with young
Maurice, the soldier, were becoming decisively recognised as the chiefs
of the Dutch. Maurice had realised that the secret of success lay in
engineering operations, of which he had made himself a devoted student,
and in a reorganisation of the States army and of tactics, in which he
was ably seconded by his cousin Lewis William.

While Parma was forced to turn against Henry, who was pressing Paris


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