these countries, but the new sect, it was aware, was a vast, compact
republic, which extended its roots through all the monarchies of
Christendom, and the slighest disturbance in any of its most distant
members vibrated to its centre. It was, as it were, a chain of
threatening volcanoes, which, united by subterraneous passages, ignite
at the same moment with alarming sympathy. The Netherlands were,
necessarily, open to all nations, because they derived their support
from all. Was it possible for Philip to close a commercial state as
easily as he could Spain? If he wished to purify these provinces from
heresy it was necessary for him to commence by extirpating it in France.
It was in this state that Granvella found the Netherlands at the
beginning of his administration (1560).
To restore to these countries the uniformity of papistry, to break the
co-ordinate power of the nobility and the states, and to exalt the royal
authority on the ruins of republican freedom, was the great object of