The Siege of Leyden

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D. C. Heath & Company, 1901 - Leiden (Netherlands) - 80 pages
 

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Page 54 - Aa; but since then, all had been dark and mournful again, hope and fear, in sickening alternation, distracting every breast. They knew that the wind was unfavorable, and at the dawn of each day every eye was turned wistfully to the vanes of the steeples. So long as the easterly breeze prevailed, they felt, as they anxiously stood on towers and housetops, that they must look in vain for the welcome ocean. Yet, while thus patiently waiting, they were literally starving; for even the misery endured...
Page 57 - I know that we shall starve if not soon relieved ; but starvation is preferable to the dishonored death which is the only alternative. Your menaces move me not; my life is at your disposal; here is my sword, plunge it into my breast, and divide my flesh among you. Take my body to appease your hunger, but expect no surrender, so long: as I remain alive.
Page 63 - Boisot anchored his fleet within a respectful distance, and spent what remained of the day in carefully reconnoitring the fort, which seemed only too strong. In conjunction with Leyderdorp, the head-quarters of Valdez, a mile and a half distant on the right, and within a mile of the city, it seemed so insuperable an impediment that Boisot wrote in despondent tone to the Prince of Orange. He announced his intention of carrying the fort, if it were possible, on the following morning, but if obliged...
Page 58 - From the ramparts they hurled renewed defiance at the enemy. "Ye call us rat-eaters and dogeaters," they cried, "and it is true. So long, then, as ye hear dog bark or cat mew within the walls, ye may know that the city holds out. And when all has perished but ourselves, be sure that we will each devour our left arms, retaining our right to defend our women, our liberty, and our religion against the foreign tyrant. Should God, in His wrath, doom us to destruction, and deny us all relief, even then...
Page 64 - Yonder," cried the magistrate, stretching out his hand toward Lammen, " yonder, behind that fort, are bread and meat, and brethren in thousands. Shall all this be destroyed by the Spanish guns, or shall we rush to the rescue of our friends ? " " We will tear the fortress to fragments with our teeth and nails," was the reply, " before the relief, so long expected, shall be wrested from us.
Page 50 - The great dyke having been thus occupied, no time was lost in breaking it through in several places, a work which was accomplished under the very eyes of the enemy. The fleet sailed through the gaps ; but, after their passage had been effected in good order, the Admiral found, to his surprise, that it was not the only rampart to be carried. The prince had been informed, by those who claimed to know the country, that when once the Land-scheiding had been passed, the water would flood the country as...
Page 54 - Meantime, the besieged city was at its last gasp. The burghers had been in a state of uncertainty for many days ; being aware that the fleet had set forth for their relief, but knowing full well the thousand obstacles which it had to surmount. They had guessed its progress by the illumination from the blazing villages ; they had heard its salvos of artillery, on its arrival at North Aa ; but since then, all had been dark and mournful again, hope and fear, in sickening alternation, distracting every...
Page 64 - Burgundy, fell with a loud crash. The horror-struck citizens thought that the Spaniards were upon them at last; the Spaniards imagined the noise to indicate a desperate sortie of the citizens. Everything was vague and mysterious. Day dawned,' at length, after the feverish night, and the Admiral prepared for the assault. Within the fortress reigned a death-like stillness, which inspired a sickening suspicion. Had the city, indeed, been carried in the night; had the massacre already commenced ; had...
Page 48 - Scarred, hacked, and even maimed, in the unceasing conflicts in which their lives had passed; wearing crescents in their caps, with the inscription, " Rather Turkish than popish"; renowned far and wide, as much for their ferocity as for their nautical skill — the appearance of these wildest of the " sea-beggars " was both eccentric and terrific.
Page 67 - Zealanders, emaciated burgher guards, sailors, soldiers, women, children, — nearly every living person within the walls, all repaired without delay to the great church, stout Admiral Boisot leading the way. The starving and heroic city, which had been so firm in its resistance to an earthly king, now bent itself in humble gratitude before the King of kings. After prayers, the whole vast congregation joined in the thanksgiving hymn. Thousands of voices raised the song, but few were able to carry...

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