im. Led by Condé and Turenne, the ablest captains of the age, a vast host poured across the Rhine. The Dutch were waked from the vain dreams of a French alliance, into which they had been lulled by the chiefs of the great merchant class which had risen to power on the fall of the House of Orange, only to find themselves helpless. Town after town opened its gates to the invader: three out of the seven provinces of the Federation were already in his hands: his watch-fires were seen from the walls of Amsterdam. In the first mad paroxysm of their despair the people rose against their leaders. De Ruyter, who had borne their flag to victory on many a hard fought day, was insulted in the public streets: the Grand Pensionary, John De Witt, and his brother Cornelius were brutally murdered before the palace of the States-General at the Hague. The office of Stadtholder was re-established; and the common voice called back to it a prince of that House which twenty years ago had been excluded for ever from the affai
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