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dikes of the sea and river, which mode of defense experience had shown to be very efficient in several previous instances. But the butchers opposed that plan, through fear of having their pasture grounds submerged. Some thought it impossible for the enemy to close the river. But the undertaking, though so difficult, was accomplished. A fortified bridge of boats was constructed, which was about half a mile in length. The Antwerpers hit upon an ingenious plan of demolishing the bridge. Fire ships, or explosive vessels, were sent in the direction of the bridge. One huge vessel of this description did great execution. She had seven thousand pounds of powder on board, and was charged with ponderous projectiles. A terrible explosion took place, in which all that boarded her, the block-house against which she struck, with its garrison, and a large portion of the bridge with the troops stationed upon it, were blown to atoms, and demolished. One thousand Spanish soldiers were destroyed in an instant, and a breach of two hundred feet was effected in the bridge. But through mismanagement, the advantage gained by that explosion was not turned to its proper account, and Antwerp soon fell into the power of the enemy. A strong peace party within its walls, and starvation, had a powerful influence in leading to a capitulation, by which it fell into the power of the enemy. Had the plans of Orange been carried out, which might have been done, essentially, that disastrous event would never have taken place. Aldegonde has been till now resting under severe censure for the course he took in connection with this siege; but Mr. Motley, by a presentation of facts which have never before come to the light, removes, in a great degree, the cloud that has been resting over him.
The Dutch Republic, having failed to receive assistance from France, began to look to another quarter. There was a hope that England might be secured as an ally. Queen Elizabeth had not been an indifferent spectator of the conflict going on in the Netherlands, and of the negotiations with France. She had not manifested the interest in favor of the Netherlands, that she probably felt. England, at that time, was not a strong power, and Elizabeth wished
to act cautiously in regard to giving offense to her powerful Spanish neighbor. But she soon saw clearly that the Netherlands must either fall into the power of Spain, or receive aid; that if the former took place, her own throne would be far less secure than before. She was evidently not displeased at the result of the application to France. Steps were immediately taken to intimate the willingness of the English government to become an ally. Elizabeth did not wish to accept the sovereignty of the Netherlands, though she had no objection to having the offer made to her, but she was disposed to render aid. Secretary Walsingham, too, felt a very deep interest, and brought his influence to bear in that direction. At an interview of the Dutch envoys with him at Greenwich, he expressed the strongest affection for the Provinces, and advised that one of the two envoys leave directly for home, to declare the Queen's inclination to afford aid for the protection of the civil and religious privileges of the people. The envoys likewise found the Earl of Leicester favorably disposed towards their cause.
After protracted negotiations, which, according to the account given by Mr. Motley, were far from being adapted to reflect honor on Elizabeth, a definite arrangement was agreed upon for the assistance of the Netherlands. She drove a hard bargain, and was determined not to lose money by the operation. She was to hold Flushing and Brill as securities until the money was repaid by the States. It was agreed to supply the provinces with a permanent force of five thousand foot and one thousand horse, at the Queen's expense. This seems quite small to us, but at that time, in view of the nation's strength, it was by no means an inconsiderable force. The Earl of Leicester was appointed Commander-in-Chief. He embarked with a fleet of fifty ships, and was attended by some of the first men in the country, such as Sir Philip Sydney and Sir Thomas Cecil. He was received with very high demonstrations of honor. His progress through the land was accompanied with banquets and festivities, in which no one could participate with greater pleasure and better grace than he. His procession, it was said, was attended
with even greater demonstrations than those of Charles V had ever been.
Soon after the Earl arrived in the Provinces he was offered the sole command of the army, which he accepted. That offer was evidently prompted by a conviction of the need of a central and controlling authority, and through a feeling of gratitude for the aid afforded them in their need. The Queen, however, was displeased at Leicester's accepting the command, though, at first, she had in a measure encouraged the offer and its acceptance; but when an effort was made to curtail his power on the part of those who conferred it, she was offended. She wrote letters to the Earl and to the States, in which he was severely censured. The effect was to neutralize the authority of Leicester, and to produce an unfavorable impression respecting the English. This effect was the more readily produced, as the Earl did not hear officially from home for several months after his arrival, and his soldiers suffered for food and clothing, as the necessary supply of money did not come from Elizabeth. Though his qualifications for the post to which the Queen appointed him were not of a very high order, yet, according to the facts stated by Mr. Motley, he did not deserve the censure which was cast upon him at the time. The ablest commander, if treated as he was after he left home, could not have done much better. He was recalled in the latter part of 1587, and Lord Willoughby took his place as commander of the Queen's forces. Little had been done thus far for the Netherlands by England, and Alexander of Parma was still active in prosecuting his plans for their subjugation.
During all this time preparations were in progress for the invasion of England. This was a favorite enterprise with the Pope and Philip. They felt that while the English government remained Protestant, a formidable obstruction stood in the way of prosecuting their plans. They concluded, therefore, that if England could be brought into subjection, the way was open for the complete extinction of heresy in Europe. The plan of the enterprise had been fully sketched for Philip at his request in 1586. Preparations were commenced on a grand scale. The dock-yards of Naples, Portugal, Spain, and of
other countries, displayed such a scene of activity as had never been witnessed in them before. The great objects of the military and naval preparations were kept secret. The preparations in Spain were ostensibly for an expedition to the Indies. The continuance of the civil war in France, and of the disturbed state of things in the Provinces, were regarded as essential conditions of success.
Secretary Walsingham, who took such deep interest in rendering English aid to the Netherlands, had minute information in regard to the stupendous preparations that were going forward for the invasion of England. He expressed his alarm to Elizabeth, and advised steps to be taken for defense. But Burleigh, the Lord Treasurer, who had great influence over the Queen, endeavored to lull her fears, which was the more easily done on account of her parsimony. He seems to have belonged to that class of prudent and respectable gentlemen, who think the world is very much indebted to them, when it really owes them little or nothing, and does not seriously feel their loss when they are out of office or when they die-who seem very wise and brave in time of peace, but in an emergency are good for nothing. England was, therefore, poorly prepared for such an invasion. The naval force of England at that time was the most reliable means of defense, at the head of which were some of the ablest commanders of the time, such as Drake and Howard.
In the month of May, 1588, the Armada sailed from Lisbon, after being blessed by Cardinal Archduke Albert, viceroy of Portugal. It consisted of one hundred and thirty-six ships, and thirty thousand men, consisting of Spanish troops, sailors, and galley slaves, not more than half of which number ever returned to Spain.
The description given by Mr. Motley of the Invincible Armada, of short but eventful history, is most glowing and thrilling. It far surpasses all the numerous accounts that have ever been given. He has brought to light many new facts, and so full and vivid is the narrative, that it strikes the mind with the force of a present reality. We give one extract
from the description of a scene that took place while the two fleets were lying in Calais Roads:
"At an hour past midnight, it was so dark that it was difficult for the most practiced eye to pierce far into the gloom. But a faint drip of the oars now struck the ears of the Spaniards as they watched from the decks. A few moments afterwards the sea became suddenly luminous, and six flaming vessels appeared at a slight distance, bearing steadily down upon them before the wind and tide. "There were men in the Armada, who had been at the siege of Antwerp, only three years before. They remembered, with horror, the devil-ships of Gianibelli, those floating volcanoes, which had seemed to rend earth and ocean; whose explosion had laid so many thousands of soldiers dead at a blow, and which had shattered the bridge and floating forts of Farnese, as though they had been toys of glass. They knew, too, that the famous engineer was at that moment in England.
'In a moment, one of those horrible panics, which spread with such contagious rapidity among large bodies of men, seized upon the Spaniards. There was a yell throughout the fleet, the fire-ships of Antwerp ! the fire-ships of Antwerp!' and in an instant every cable was cut, and frantic attempts were made by each galleon and galeasse, to escape what seemed imminent destruction. The confusion was beyond description. Four or five of the largest ships became entangled with each other. Two others were set on fire by the flaming vessels, and were consumed. Medina Sidonia, who had been warned, even before his departure from Spain, that some such artifice would probably be attempted, and who had even, early that morning, sent out a party of sailors in a pinnace, to search for indications of the scheme, was not surprised or dismayed. He gave ordersas well as might be that every ship, after the danger should be passed, was to return to its post, and await his further orders. But it was useless, in that moment of unreasonable panic, to issue commands."
The final defeat and dispersion of the Spanish Armada, due in such great measure to the winds and waves raised by Providence, was a blow struck at Papal and Spanish tyranny, from which it has never recovered.
We shall conclude this Article by glancing at the influence and relations of the struggle in the Netherlands, so vividly described by Mr. Motley. The cause of civil and religious freedom in other countries is greatly indebted to the men who then labored for the freedom of the Netherlands.
It had evidently a great influence on the English revolution, of which Oliver Cromwell was the hero. "There is no doubt," as a living writer has remarked, "that the patriots of England were stimulated to increased exertions, by their acquaintance with what had been and still was going on in the Low Countries. The echoes that the east wind wafted to their shores,