The Life and Death of John of Barneveld, Advocate of Holland, 1609-10

Published: 1873
Language: English
Wordcount: 35,233 / 111 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 27.9
LoC Category: CT
Downloads: 331
mnybks.net#: 5100
Genres: Biography, History
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Excerpt

and Struggle for his Succession--The Elector of Brandenburg and Palatine of Neuburg hold the Duchies at Barneveld's Advice against the Emperor, though having Rival Claims themselves-- Negotiations with the King of France--He becomes the Ally of the States-General to Protect the Possessory Princes, and prepares for war.

I propose to retrace the history of a great statesman's career. That statesman's name, but for the dark and tragic scenes with which it was ultimately associated, might after the lapse of two centuries and a half have faded into comparative oblivion, so impersonal and shadowy his presence would have seemed upon the great European theatre where he was so long a chief actor, and where his efforts and his achievements were foremost among those productive of long enduring and widespread results.

There is no doubt whatever that John of Barneveld, Advocate and Seal Keeper of the little province of Holland during forty years of as troubled and fertile an epoch as any in human history, was second to none of his contemporary statesmen. Yet the singular constitution and historical position of the republic whose destinies he guided and the peculiar and abnormal office which he held combined to cast a veil over his individuality. The ever-teeming brain, the restless almost omnipresent hand, the fertile pen, the eloquent and ready tongue, were seen, heard, and obeyed by the great European public, by the monarchs, statesmen, and warriors of the time, at many critical moments of history, but it was not John of Barneveld that spoke to the world. Those "high and puissant Lords my masters the States-General" personified the young but already majestic republic. Dignified, draped, and concealed by that overshadowing title the informing and master spirit performed its never ending task.

Those who study the enormous masses of original papers in the archives of the country will be amazed to find how the penmanship, most difficult to decipher, of the Advocate meets them at every turn

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