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A Hero and Some Other Folks by William A. Quayle

Motley has written The Rise of the Dutch Republic


Macaulay

has written the life of William III with such warmth, glow, fullness, and art as to have rendered other biographies superfluous. The history of William III was the history of England during his reign. He was England at its best. William the Silent was the Netherlands at their best. Motley has written "The Rise of the Dutch Republic," and in so doing has written a glowing narrative of the origin of the Netherland Republic; and has besides, in the same breath, given a biography of William the Silent. What nobler eulogy could be pronounced than to say a man's life was his country's history during his lifetime? Motley's thrilling narrative is the worthiest life of William written. Read Motley, and the last greatest word shall have been told you regarding this hero of the sixteenth century. In Prescott's "Philip the Second" may be found an incomplete characterization of the prince, without the unfavorable attitude toward Philip or the laudatory view of William presented in Motley. These two American historians have approached their theme with such ampleness of scholastic research and elaborate access to and use of the correspondence of Margaret, Parma, Alva, Granvelle, Don John of Austria, William, and Philip, as practically to exhaust the sources of information on this tragic reign, at the same time shutting off much of possibility from the future historian. William has at last, in Motley, found a biographer for whom any illustrious character might be thankful. So elaborate
and complete were these researches that Miss Putnam, in her "William the Silent," has scarcely developed a single new fact, and has in all cases conceded the thoroughness and sufficiency of Motley's investigations. The present writer's apology for attempting what has been done so incomparably well is, that he feels an essay of moderate length, which, because of its brevity, may find an audience, is a desideratum in English literature, this essay to point out the heroic proportions of William; enough so, if may be, to lend eagerness to those who read, so they may be decoyed into perusing Motley's noble histories. I would help a reader of this essay to see the theater and actors, and to that end lift this curtain.

Philip having, on August 26, 1559, sailed from Flushing, Spainward, William's lifework properly began. At this date, his attitude has not developed, but stands as a block of marble a sculptor has chiseled enough to show a statue is intended, but not sufficiently to disclose the sculptor's purpose. One thing alone was definite and unalterable, to combat the introduction of the Inquisition and the extermination of the Protestant Netherlanders by aid from the Spanish soldiery. The first checkmate given Philip's nefarious scheme was when the States-General compelled his removal of the troops, though at this time William was still Catholic in religion and a loyal subject of Philip, being in


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