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siveness. At such times the style is eager, mettlesome, impetuous, it glows with intensity of feeling.

Motley was not a 'fine' writer in the sense of being visibly scrupulous about the choice of words and the balance of sentences. He impresses one as of the opinion that a man can ill afford to give too much time to the problem of expression. But he is far from being indifferent to the reader. He is not merely willing, he prefers to please, provided that in so doing he is not diverted from his main purpose. The prevailing characteristics of his style are a natural dignity and a manly negligence.

He imparts vividness by means of detailed conversations among the actors of the historic drama. These colloquies have at times the air of being inventions of the historian, like the speeches in Xenophon. Conscious that a device intended to give reality might affect the sceptical mind quite otherwise, Motley more than once explained that 'no historical personage is ever made, in the text, 'to say or write anything, save what, on ample "evidence, he is known to have said or written.'

The reader who turns from Prescott to Motley at once discovers that the younger historian weaves a dense, firm web. Appropriating an admirable figure invented by Henry James and used with respect to Balzac's style, it may be said that if Motley's work is not at every point cloth of gold, it has at least a metallic rigidity.



The struggle of the Dutch for religious and political liberty was to have been only an episode' in Prescott's Philip the Second. Motley's broad treatment of the theme requires nine octavo volumes. The Rise of the Dutch Republic (in three volumes) covers the time between the abdication of Charles the Fifth and the murder of William of Orange. The History of the United Netherlands (in four volumes) takes up the narrative at the death of William and carries it on to the end of the Twelve Years' Truce. John of Barneveld, is the natural sequel' to the two preceding works, and a necessary intro'duction 'to the history of the Thirty Years' War.

These works from first to last are marked by passionate admiration of the spirit which makes for liberty. Admitting the turbulent character of that spirit in the early history of the Netherlands, the historian does not deplore it. Sedition and uproar meant life. Those violent little commonwealths 'had blood in their veins! They were compact ‘of proud, self-helping muscular vigor.' And to Motley "the most sanguinary tumults which they

ver enacted in the face of day were better than the order and silence born of the midnight darkness of despotism.'

The treatment then is strongly partisan. There is a fervor in the account of the deeds and sufferings of those patriots who thought no sacrifice too great if thereby the sum total of human liberty was increased.

Motley does not pretend that the leaders in this struggle were always disinterested. The motives swaying humanity are wondrously complex. But after all deductions are made, it was a struggle of light against darkness, and with such a struggle it was possible to sympathize unqualifiedly. There are cool-blooded critics who view such an attitude with disdain. This, they say, is not the temper in which history should be written. History must be calm, impartial, scientific. Perhaps the reasonable reply is that history must be of many sorts and the product of many types of mind; that one sort never really excludes the other. Also it is well to remember that a great historical master of our time,' and one whose creed was by no means narrow, pleaded always for this deep and passionate motive in the work, and laughed at the modern Oxford product which can balance questions but is able to accomplish nothing.

Motley's historic canvas is crowded with figures. The eye

is at first drawn toward the personages, the military, ecclesiastical, and princely chiefs, William of Orange (who is Motley's hero), Egmont, Alva, and Granvelle; but the eye does not

J. R. Green.

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rest on these alone. Surrounding them are the multitudes of aspiring, suffering people becoming more and more a preponderant force in the life of the nation, refusing to be disposed of in the lump, or driven about like a flock of sheep to be sheared or slaughtered at the whim of a monarch. Here lies Motley's sympathy. His indignation

. flames out when misery is brought upon thousands, by the caprice of kings or the selfishness of secular and ecclesiastical politicians. Note his sarcasm on the battle of Saint Quentin, a game in which the 'players were kings and the people were stakes — ‘not parties.' Note his fine scorn of that type of government which was administered exclusively for the benefit of the government.' Note his loathing for that type of vanity which presumes to dictate how a man shall worship God. The temper in which Motley writes is admirably epitomized in the picture of Caraffa, as papal legate, making his entry into Paris, showering blessings upon the people, while the friends who were near‘est him were aware that nothing but gibes and 'sarcasms were falling from his lips. It would ‘no doubt have increased the hilarity of Caraffa '... could the idea have been suggested to his 'mind that the sentiments, or the welfare of the 'people throughout the great states . . . could ‘have any possible bearing upon the question of 'peace or war. The world was governed by other influences. The wiles of a cardinal - the arts


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‘of a concubine — the speculations of a soldier of

fortune — the ill temper of a monk — the mutual 'venom of Italian houses — above all, the per‘petual rivalry of the two great historical families 'who owned the greater part of Europe between “them as their private property — such were the 'wheels on which rolled the destiny of Christendom. Compared to these, what were great moral and political ideas, the plans of statesmen, the hopes of nations ? Time was to show. ... Mean'while a petty war for petty motives was to precede 'the great spectacle which was to prove to Europe 'that principles and peoples still existed, and that 'a phlegmatic nation of merchants and manufac'turers could defy the powers of the universe, and ‘risk all their blood and treasure, generation after 'generation, in a sacred cause.':

The historian is a hard hitter. The enemies of liberty and their agents are not spared. Philip, Granvelle, Alva, and a score besides are characterized in withering terms. Of Philip, for example, Motley says: “It is curious to observe the minute reticulations of tyranny which he had begun al'ready to spin about a whole people, while cold, venomous, and patient he watched his victims from the center of his web.' The historian is fiery in denouncing the tortuous and Machiavellian politics of the Sixteenth Century. It was an age when honesty, plain speaking, and respect for

Dutch Republic, i, 162.


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