had no fears for the result; and assuring his friends, who expressed much anxiety on the subject, that if Parma really did attempt the siege of Antwerp it should be his ruin. The plan was perfectly simple. The city stood upon a river. It was practicable, although extremely hazardous, for the enemy to bridge that river, and by so doing ultimately to reduce the place. But the ocean could not be bridged; and it was quite possible to convert Antwerp, for a season, into an ocean-port. Standing alone upon an island, with the sea flowing around it, and with full and free marine communication with Zeeland and Holland, it might safely bid defiance to the land-forces, even of so great a commander as Parma. To the furtherance of this great measure of defence, it was necessary to destroy certain bulwarks, the chief of (10th June, 1584) which was called the Blaw-garen Dyke; and Sainte Aldegonde was therefore requested to return to the city, in order to cause this task to be executed without delay.
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