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the opening gates, with the terrible sentence ringing in his

ears:

Sept. 6. The fall of Heidelberg.

"Woe to the wretch, that ever he was born,

Who durst not draw the sword before he blew the horn.”

Already the stroke which James dreaded had fallen upon the Palatinate. The siege of Heidelberg, interrupted by the necessity of watching Mansfeld's steps, had been recommenced by Tilly on August 15. That commander had, however, under-estimated the difficulties of his task, and the artillery of which he could dispose was so weak that during the first three days of its employment he only succeeded in killing a cat and two hens. During the succeeding fortnight the attack made little progress, and the besieged were beginning to speak more hopefully of their prospects. An attempt made on September 5 to carry the place by storm ended in complete failure; but that very evening the more powerful artillery of which Tilly was in need reached the camp of the besiegers. During the whole of the next morning the fortifications by which the western suburb was defended were subjected to a crushing fire, and it so happened that on that very day the money with which the garrison was paid had come to an end. The German mercenaries being what they were, the mere offscourings of the armies of Mansfeld and the Margrave of Baden, were mutinous and discontented. When, therefore, the enemy made a rush to storm the walls, it was found that in many places the defenders, instead of meeting the attack, threw down their arms and cried for quarter, The governor, Van der Merven, seeing that the suburb was lost, attempted to open negotiations with Tilly for the surrender of the town itself; but the keys of the place had been mislaid, and before they could be found the gate was blown open by the assailants, and the town was in their hands. Collecting such forces as he could, and surrounded by a huddled crowd of citizens and peasants, Van der Merven took refuge in the castle. Those who remained without were subjected to all those atrocities which in that age were the lot of a town taken by storm. Women were outraged, men were cut down in the streets, or

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THE FALL OF HEIDELBERG.

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tortured to force them to reveal the places in which their real or supposed wealth was hidden.

The castle was incapable of prolonged resistance. A strong outwork on the eastern side had been committed to the charge Surrender of of two English and Dutch companies under the comthe castle. mand of Sir Gerard Herbert, a kinsman of the Earl of Pembroke. Nowhere did the enemy find so stout a resistance; but the little force was terribly outnumbered. Herbert, in whose hands four pikes had been broken, was killed by a shot, and the party, bringing away with them their guns and the bodies of the slain, retreated grimly into the fortress. It was in vain that they attempted to continue the struggle. The frightened citizens, who had fled for refuge to the castle, clung round the remains of Herbert's band, and refused to allow them to exasperate the enemy by firing another shot. Under these circumstances the governor replied to Tilly's summons by a request to be allowed to consult with Vere at Mannheim. Vere could give him no hope of support, and on the 9th the castle surrendered to the Bavarian commander. The troops were allowed to march out with the honours of war, on condition that they were not to join their comrades at Mannheim or at Frankenthal. The citizens were left to their fate.1

The siege of Mannheim commenced.

Tilly marched straight upon Mannheim. Placed at an angle between the Rhine and the Neckar, that renowned fortress was only accessible on its southern side, and was for this reason justly regarded as the strongest post in that part of Germany. To Vere these advantages were likely to prove of small avail. His provisions and his money were running low; his men, exposed without hope of succour to the fury of the enemy, were showing signs of a thoroughly mutinous spirit. An unusually dry summer had lowered the water in the fosse, and his soldiers, even if they had been inspired with the confidence which had animated the burghers of Leyden, were far too few to man the vast extent 1 Theatrum Europæum, i. 647. Van der Merven's Relatio Historica. Verantwortung der Stadt Heidelberg. Londorp, ii. 743. Vere to Calvert, Sept. 7. Chichester's relation of the loss of Heidelberg, Sept. 14. Burlamachi to Calvert, Sept, 12, 14, S. F. Germany.

of fortification entrusted to his care. His first thought, therefore, was to call in Sir John Burroughs with the garrison of Frankenthal, in order that he might oppose to the enemy the utmost possible resistance at the point where resistance was likely to be of most avail. That, as a military man, he had judged correctly is beyond a doubt; but the citizens of Frankenthal refused to be abandoned. Sprung from the Protestant refugees who had fled from Alva's cruelties in the Netherlands, they were bound together by a bitter hatred against the foe, which was hardly shared by the German inhabitants of Heidelberg or Mannheim. Every man amongst them had arms in his hands, and they were proud of the part which they had taken in the short siege of the preceding year. The moment, therefore, that Burroughs showed signs of moving they gave him plainly to understand that not a single soldier should leave the town alive. They were fighting for a common cause; and they must live and die together.

Vere's des

tion.

no man's

Under these circumstances, Vere reluctantly abandoned his intention. "I believe," he wrote to Calvert, estate can be more miserable. I am as careful as perate posi- may be to smother these my opinions, knowing it a great weakness to suffer them to appear. But to your Honour, to whom it is proper to be informed in a business of this weight, I hold it fit to be rather free than otherwise. I endeavour myself, so far as means will give me leave, to keep the enemy at a far distance; but if he press strongly upon me, as I perceive he goes about, I shall then be forced, to my great grief, to draw my small numbers into a straiter room, for such is the vastness of the town and works, in many places unfinished, and by the now dryness of the ditches much weakened, as would require an army to defend them." 1

Vere could, at least, find some relief in the punctual performance of his duty. To Chichester, condemned to pass his time in enforced idleness at Frankfort, even this at Frankfort. solace was denied. Charged with the mission of protesting at Ratisbon against the Emperor's audacity in daring

Chichester

Vere to Calvert, Sept. 23, S. P. Germany.

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CHICHESTER DESPAIRS.

363

to consult the Princes of the Empire on a German question, instead of making a private arrangement with the King of England, he had been compelled by a taunting message from the governors of Worms and Spires to leave Frankenthal for the neutral territory of the Imperial city. They wished to know, they said, what he was doing amongst their master's enemies. If he were an ambassador, why did he not deliver his message to the Emperor? He was now subjected to gibes of an opposite description. Men did not shrink from saying to his face that all the misery around had been caused by the King of England's negotiations. If Frederick had not been forced to dismiss Mansfeld, his army might, 'by living upon the Bishops' countries and United Catholics, have ruined them, and have been at hand to have succoured and relieved his distressed towns and country.' Chichester knew not what to do. There was no certainty whether the Emperor would go to Ratisbon or not. He therefore took the resolution of despatchNethersole's ing Nethersole to England to lay the state of affairs mission. before the King. Nethersole had accompanied Frederick in his ride across France in the spring, and had only left him when he retreated for the last time into Alsace. He was therefore in a position to give an accurate account of all that had passed, and he would be certain not to be remiss in the conveyance of Chichester's warning, that vigorous and immediate action was indispensable, if the Palatinate was not to be abandoned altogether. He was to pass through the Hague on his way, and to consult with Elizabeth and the Prince of

Orange.1

1 Chichester to Calvert, Sept. 14, S. P. Germany.

364

The new earls.

CHAPTER XLII.

THE MISSION OF ENDYMION PORTER.

ON September 24 Nethersole landed in England. The bitter tidings of the fall of Heidelberg had preceded him by four days. James's mind was distracted with other matters, and he had no immediate attention to bestow on so distasteful a subject. As if he had foreseen that it would be a long time before the clouds with which the sky was overcast would roll away, he had signalised by a grand creation of peers the breathing-time whilst the courier with the evil news was still on the way. Digby was rewarded for his many services with the earldom of Bristol. Doncaster was consoled for his late diplomatic failure with the earldom of Carlisle. Cranfield, snarling like a watch-dog over the Treasury, had quarrelled with Digby about his allowances before he started, till the harsh words "traitor's blood," and "pedlar's blood," flashed forth on either side, and had lately made an unprovoked attack upon Williams, bringing against him charges of malversation, which were proved to be utterly without foundation. Yet, crossgrained and ill-tempered as he was, his fidelity to his master's interests was unimpeached, and he now stepped forth with the lofty title of Earl of Middlesex. When such promotions were in the air, the Villiers family could hardly be forgotten, and Buckingham's brother-in-law, Fielding, was entitled to style himself Earl of Denbigh.

Serious as was the aspect of the times to ordinary Englishmen, there was high festivity at Court. Buckingham had just completed the purchase of the splendid mansion of New Hall, in Essex, from the Earl of Sussex, and the King, who had gone down to take part in the revelries with

James at
New Hall.

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