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MOTLEY, John Lothrop



The Rise of the Dutch Republic

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Nevertheless, he ( Charles the Bold) imagined himself governed by a profound policy. He had one dominant idea, to make Burgundy a kingdom. From the moment when, with almost the first standing army known to history, and with coffers well filled by his cautious father’s economy, he threw himself into the lists against the crafty Louis, down tot he day when he was found dead, naked deserted, and with his face frozen into a pool of blood and water, he faithfully pursued this thought. His ducal cap was to be exchanged for a kingly crown, while all the provinces which lay between the Mediterranean and the North Sea, and between France and Germany, were to be united under his sceptre. The Netherlands, with their wealth, had been already appropriated, and their freedom crushed. Another land of liberty remained, physically the reverse of Holland, but stamped with the same courageous nationality, the same ardent love of human rights. Switzerland was to be conquered. Her eternal battlements of ice and granite were to constitute the great bulwark of his realm. The world knows well the result of the struggle between the lord of so many duchies and earldoms, and the Alpine mountaineers.

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