The Lily of Leyden
For her sake I must not allow her torun that risk; no, the only safe course, as far as she is concerned, forme to follow is to remain either to gain her father's consent to ourimmediate union, or to persuade her to fly with me, while there is yettime, to a place of safety. She might be unwilling to go to the Hague,but I might take her to Delft or Rotterdam, where she would be equallysafe; and although she might at first regret having left her father andother friends in this city, a very few weeks will show her what amerciful escape she has had.
It may yet be some days before Valdez andhis army can reach the neighbourhood, I will remain and employ the timein endeavouring to persuade her to take the only step which can secureher safety. I cannot bear the thought that one so lovely should bedoomed to the fearful fate in which she will be involved when theSpaniards capture the city. While he re mained at home, his mind agitated by conflictingdoubts and fears, the rest of the inhabitants were engaged as has beendescribed. The commandant, accompanied by his son Albert, remainedchiefly on the ramparts; he had to inspect the firearms as they wererepaired or manufactured by the armourers, ceaselessly working day andnight, and he had likewise to examine the few recruits who could becollected from the country round to assist in the defence, and especialattention had to be given to the exercising of the men at the great gunsplaced in the various forts.
The burgomaster, among his many otherduties, daily visited the storehouses to see the progress made incollecting food, both for man and beast, and he also inspected the pensand sheds in which the cattle were placed as they were driven in, whilehe made preparation for all the various contingencies which might occur.
And, although he desired his daughter to set the example to the womenand girls of Leyden, remembering that she was utterly unused to manualwork, he, after a time, summoned her home to take the rest andrefreshment she required. She was rewarded with the consciousness that she hadperformed her duty, and she hoped to have strength to continue it, butshe was more out of spirits than was usual with her.
Some days hadpassed since her young cousin Berthold had accompanied Captain Van derElst to Rotterdam and they had not again made their appearance. Theburgomaster could not account for the delay, but felt sure that thePrince would immediately send them back with despatches confirming JohnVan der Does in his appointment as Commandant, and stating what plans heproposed for their relief.
The Lily cast many a glance over the plainin the hopes of seeing the two horsemen approaching; but thoughoccasionally trains of carts and baggage-horses laden with sacks ofcorn, and small herds of cattle were seen on the roads, the two absentones whose safe return would have relieved her anxiety failed to appear. As the foragers brought in word that parties of Spaniards who had comefrom the direction of the Hague had been met with, some fears wereentertained that Captain Van der Elst and Berthold might have falleninto their hands.
We shall see them in a day or two; though it is but naturalthat you should feel as anxious about your cousin Berthold as I do. They will arrive, I feel sure, before the Spaniards approach our walls,as the Prince, who keeps himself well acquainted with the enemy'smovements, will not detain them too long, so as to prevent them gettingin with safety. The burgomaster had thrown himself into an armchairthe first rest he had sought that day since early dawn, havingespecially desired his daughter to retire.
Scarcely, however, had hetaken his pen in hand to sign certain documents which had been broughtto him, than the bells of the nearest church struck a peculiar note,which was taken up by the others in different parts of the city in rapidsuccession. It was the tocsin peal, announcing the approach of anenemy, and summoning the citizens to the ramparts. The burgomasterimmediately rose, and sending word to Jaqueline on no account to leavethe house, set forth to the Stadhuis, where he knew that the principalmagistrates would quickly assemble.
The Lily of Leyden
As he was leaving the door of hishouse he was met by young Albert Van der Does. A body of troops has been seen approaching along thecauseway from the direction of the Castle of Valkenburg. From every direction people of all ranks werehastening through the streets, some girding on their swords as they lefttheir doors, while their wives or daughters handed to them theirfirearms. Many an eye was turned in the direction of the approachingtroops. They well know that it is the policy of theSpaniards just now to behave courteously to the English, and thesemercenaries would hope that their lives would be spared, though everyother man in the place were put to death.
No, no; even though ournumbers be few let us rather trust to the stubborn hearts of ourHollanders than to such men as those probably are. In ashort time the English commander, galloping ahead of his men, rode up tothe walls and in the name of William, Prince of Orange, demanded instantadmittance. In vain the English colonel pleaded that the lives of his whole bandwould be sacrificed if they were not admitted within, the city.
Thecommandant was firm in his resolution and declined their services, andthey at length finding that they pleaded in vain, forming themselvesinto compact order moved on till they reached the causeway leading tothe Hague. Visit store.
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The Lily Of Leyden by William Henry G Kingston
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