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I do certainly believe, that many of our inhabitants, and also all good patriots, will judge it convenient to find out all those gorer. nors which are guilty of betraying our native country, and by some severe punishment, inflicted on them and their instruments
, as, Momba, D'Ossery, and other governors, commanders, cap. tains, and other officers, and make them an example to others.
But, as to the latter part, I do not altogether approve of their opinion ; nevertheless, with submission to better judgments, my sentiment only is, that it would be convenient to make a strict en. quiry into the camp-proceeding of the governors, and such as bore the chiefest commands, and had the charge of defending cities and fortresses, as, Momba, Van Zanten, Bassem, D'Ossery, and the like: Ås also those persons, whether officers, or others, that have been assisting to the governors, in executing of their treacheries
, and had dail, correspondence with the enemy.
And by punishing all such persons severely, according to their demerits, make them examples to others.
But there ought not so particular a regard to be taken of other captains, and meaner officers, who cannot be said to have had the least knowledge of their unfaithful governors designs; and would have undoubtedly behaved thencive must loyally, had they been encouraged thereto by their governors, and not been deluded to act those things which they were made believe would be for the benefit of the country, but proved prejudicial; for which, if any should be punished, most of all the captains and other officers, in what garison soever, would be liable thereto. And those captains, which should be punished more than others, would be unjustly dealt withal; or the state constrained to an execution of so many
honest peo. ple, which heretofore have behaved themselves like loyal soldiers, for the defence of their country, and now only brought thereto by the treacherous, though sceming fair, pretences and delusions of their base governors.
We have also oftentimes seen that military persons, and other inferior officers, being accused of some committed abuses, and freed from their punishments out of a particular favour, have taken an occasion in all future opportunities to use more than ordinary endeavours for the good and benefit of the state: Of which there are many examples, whereof one is manifested at this time in Captain Buket.
I should judge, that some means might be found, who, amongst the regents, is guilty of high-treason, and consequently deserring of punishment.
Especially if we consider those maxims that are used, and also necessary in our government; that is, that only a few are to be admitted into the council for private concerus, either one out of every province, or else more or less according as the business requires. Besides which persons, none may have the least knowledge of things of greatest consequence, especially in times of war, when the welfare of the state doth not a little depend, that the regents designs against the enemy may be kept secret, and not divul
ged and brought to the ears of the enemy. Which private consul. tations were well observed by the Council Pensionary, who permitted his creatures to be of the privy-council, and excluded seve. ral good patriots, who his excellency judged would oppose him in the carrying on of his wicked designs; and those, which he could not exclude, he wrought so upon, that he made them to vote such things as his wisdom thought fit.
And therefore those loyal regents, which sat at the helm, might now easily, being under the conduct of his Highness the Prince of Orange, find out with what malice their wicked brother counsellors have ordered all things to the ruin of our country, and the furthering of the enemies designs.
Whether in their ill care for the fortresses, badly storing the magazines, granting of unlawful pass-ports for the transporting ammunition to the enemy, bad management, and preventing the raising of levies, detaining of our ambassadors, and ratifications of the treaties, the ill performance of them; moreover in the strange conduct of their appointed governors, commanders, and others; and the like base carrying on of affairs.
For, if once the thread be found, the bottom will soon be unwound.
Yet, notwithstanding all which, my judgment is, that the pubJick inquisitions and the punishments ought to be referred, since undoubtedly it will be of a dangerous consequence; partly because that by the manifold difficulties, which in all
appearance would accrue, the loyal regents, fathers of our native country, would be prevented from using other means, which, in this conjuncture of time, are more necessary to oppose the enemy; and partly, that, when the treason is found out, the punishments must necessarily follow.
Which my fore-mentioned opinion I leave to every one's serious consideration : How it is possible, that the executing of the punishments, which undoubtedly would be inflicted on several of the supremest governors, which have so long managed the helm of our government, could be effected, without fear of great inconvenience to this state, which in this conjuncture must by all means possible be prevented.
Those, that please to read the History of Barnevelt, will find, that it is not to be done without great difficulties; which necessarily ought to be diverted and referred to some other and more convenient time, when either all things may be buried in oblivion, or else the traitors condemned to lose their heads, for betraying our native country, as the lords magistrates shall think fit.
And therefore is it not abominable that private persons dare daily presume to do justice, nay to inflict sufficient punishments on all and every one, whom they but in the least suspect to have been concerned in the ill management of affairs? Which doth no way beseem them. But we will hope that the prudence of the Lord Stadtholder will prevent the same for the future.
I am very sensible, that many patriots, by this delay of punish
ing the traitors, fear that, if the treacheries go unpunished, the state will be left in a great labyrinth, and in danger of being wholly delivered up into the enemies hands; because, when those wicked traitors are accused of their villainies, and see, as it were, their punishments before their eyes, they will use all means possible to make morc and more confusion in the finances, of which there is yet a great complaint, and increase all other disorders; whereby the enemy may get footing also in the remaining provinces, in hopes that, by that means, they shall escape their deserved punishment. Which fears of the loyal patriots are not without some reason ; since an eminent person was yesterday pleased to tell me, that, in case the confusion in the finances, and the bad payment of monies, which, by the wicked directions of the Compt governors, hath been so long in practice, be not suddenly remedied, it would prove very prejudicial to the state. On which I answered his excellency (wherewith also, according to my judgment, all patriots may be satisfied)' that his highness was not made a Stadtholder to catch flies; and, though he did not as yet proceed on an inquisition and sudden punishment of the traitors, yet we might well think, that his Highness the Prince of Orange would, with the help of mapy loyal regents, endeavour, hy all means possible, to gain an exact knowledge of that malicious governing, which hath reduced our state to so deplorable and sad a condition; and that also he will take such care, that all those Compt governors shall be bereared of all publick employment, but especially for ever excluded out of the privy-council, so to prevent all future miscarriages of affairs, and settle all things in such order, as shall be most beneficial to the state.'
Let us now think on some means, whereby our native country may be brought to enjoy its former freedom, and to know the light of the Gospel, which, in many of the torn-off members of this state, is already sufficiently extinguished.
We have, heretofore, by establishing that cursed edict, not only refused to acknowledge our real governor and chief magistrate of our country, to which nature and the formerly-received benefits obliged, and sufficiently might have forced us to, but also despised and excluded him with many oaths. Oh horrid action!
Do we not see and read, that, when we despise and disown our just and loyal magistrates, God sends wicked and tyrannical regents in their places ?
"I gave thee a king in mine anger, and took him away in my wrath.' llos. xiii. 11.
Did there ever any greater destruction happen amongst any peo, ple, than amongst those which had shewn themselves ungrateful to their princes, and deposed those, to whom they owed their preservation ?
If any where, then, it may well be said to be here, that God, being justly iircensed, hath, in his wrath, given a great part of our Netherlands to a king.
God grant, that, as that sin of ungratefulness, practised by our
magistrates, which hath chiefly occasioned a curse upon our country, is removed by a miraculous providence, viz. our magistrates suddenly revoking that wicked and perpetual edict, shewing a sin. cere sorrow for that basc act, to which they were deluded by the wicked directions of the fore-mentioned Conipt governors, he will also be pleased to remove all other troubles from us! And grant likewise, that our subjects may repent of those horrid and crying sins, of which they are guilty, and thereby have incurred God's just displeasure.
A BRIEF VIEW OF THE BEHAVIOUR OF THE STATES-GENERAL OR THE UNITED PROVINCES, TOWARDS THE KINGS OF
By WILLIAM DE BRITAINE.
Et genus humanum & mortalia temnitis arma,
At sperate deas.
London: Printed in 1672. Quarto, containing 35 Pages.
To his Royal Highness the Duke of York.*
Could I but use my pen, as you your sword,
# The Dutch
• Lord High Admiral of England. VOL. VII.
And now, great Prince, may you victorious be,
THE dominion of the Belgick provinces being devolved to Philip
the Second, king of Spain, who designing to himself the western monarchy, and (the best medium to that end) was to reduce those provinces to a kingdom. But they being fortified with great privileges, and many of them inconsistent with monarchy; it was adjudged by sober persons it would prove a work of great diffi. culty, and that he would never effect that he aimed at. Besides, the reformation of religion, which then began to grow to some strength, moved the king to reduce them back to the church of Rome, by the power and terror of the inquisition : Which when the people violently opposed, the king then resolved to bring them by Spanish rhetorick (that is by sword and cannon) to obedi. ence.* To that end, King Philip sends the Duke of Alva (an old and expert captain) with a puissant army to be his viceroy amongst them. No sooner was he settled in his new government, but he established the Bloet-rod, as they term it, a Council of Blood, made up most of Spaniards.
Anno 1567, he took off the heads of the Counts of Horn, Egmont, and of divers other persons of quality ; cittadels were erect. ed, and taxes imposed upon the people to support them : The political government of the country in many things altered, and the people spoiled not of their privileges only, but of their liberties.Amongst the reformed he brought in the inquisition, and therein behaved himself very tyrannically. This poured oil on the fire, formerly kindled, and put all into a combustion ; about five-thousand families quitted their country, some flying into Germany, others into France, and most into England, where they were received with all kindness and civility ; churches were appointed them, they being of the reformed religion, and many noble and great pri. vileges were bestowed
them. During those troubles, the Prince of Orange and Count Lodo. wick, his brother, were very active, and gave the Duke of Alva employment.
All Holland, except Amsterdam, followed the fortune and side of the prince, together with all the towns of Zealand, except Middleburg.
Anno 1573, the Duke of Alva was recalled; afterwards Don Lewis of Requisens was appointed governor: After him, the Prince of Parma, who brought the Hollanders into a worse case than ever.
See the wicked practices of the Spaniards against the Netherlands, on page 172, Vol. V.