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to Philip in the war of the Nether. the vessel. The building was filled lands. But, wearied with expecta- with iron chains and hatchets, metal tion, the offended artist left the and stone bullets, nails, knives, and Count, with the determination of con- other instruments of destruction ; vincing the Spanish monarch, in the while the other parts of the vessels, most effectual manner, of the value which were not occupied by the of those services which he had so powder chamber, were also filled little known how to estimate. He with stones, and the whole covered had recourse to Elizabeth, Queen of with planks. Several openings were England, the declared enemy of left in the chamber, for the admis-, Spain, who, after witnessing some sion of the trains by which it was to proofs of his art, dispatched him to be kindled. A piece of machinery Antwerp. In this city he took up was also placed in the chambers, his abode, and in the present ex- which, after a certain period, struck, treinity devoted to its defence all his out sparks, so as to explode the vesskill, his energy, and his zeal. sels, supposing the trains to give
As soon as he learned that the way. To mislead the enemy into project of erecting the bridge was the belief that these machines were seriously contemplated, and that the intended only to set the bridge on work was approaching its comple- fire, a firework was fixed upon the tion, he requested of the Magistrates top, formed of sulphur and pitch, two large vessels, from one hundred and constructed so as to burn for an and fifty to five hundred tons bur- hour. Still farther, to distract the den, in which he proposed to lay attention of the enemy from the real mines. He also demanded fifty seat of danger, he prepared thirtyboats, which, being fastened to two schuyts, (or small Hat-bottomed gether with chains and cables, and boats,) containing merely fireworks, armed with axes, might be put in and constructed with no other inmotion with the ebbing of the tide; tention than that of deceiving the and, in order to complete the de- enemy. These fire-ships were to be struction which the fire-ships had be despatched towards the bridge in four gun, might be directed in a wedge separate squadrons, at the distance like form against the bridge. But of half-an-hour from each other, and he had to deal with men who were to keep the enemy engaged for two completely incapable of comprehende whole hours ; so that, exhausted by ing an idea of an extraordinary na- firing and fruitless expectation, they ture, and who, even where the safe might be induced to relax their vity of their country was at stake, gilance, when the real fire-ships arcould never forget the calculating rived. He prepared also some other habits of commerce. His plan was ships, in which powder was concealfound too expensive, and it was with ed, to destroy the floating-work bedifficulty, at last, chat two smaller fore the bridge, and to make way for vessels, of seventy or tighty tons, the larger vessels. By this skirmish and a quantity of boats, were allow- of the outposts, he hoped to engage ed him.
the enemy's attention in that direcWith these two vessels, one of tion,-to allure them forward, and which he called the Fortune, the thus to expose them to the full and other the Hope, he proceeded thus:- deadly operation of his mines. He erected within the hold a hollow The night betwixt the fourth and chamber of free-stone, five feet in fifth of April was fixed on for the breadth, four and a half in height, execution of this great undertaking. and forty in length. This chamber Some dark rumours of the intended was filled with sixty hundred weight attempt had spread through the of the finest gunpowder of his own Spanish camp, particularly after invention, and covered with large several divers from Antwerp had slabs and millstones, as heavily as the been discovered endeavouring to cut vessel would bear. Above these was the cables of the vessels. A serious erected a building of similar stones, attack, therefore, was expected: they which converged towards a point, were mistaken only as to its nature, and rose six feet above the deck of expecting to combat with men, raVOL. XVIII.
ther than with the elements. With to the guidance of the waves, moved this view the Prince caused the off as rapidly as possible, in boats guards along the whole bank to be which had been prepared for the doubled, and moved the greater part purpose. of his troops to the neighbourhood Their course, however, was broof the bridge, where he himself took ken : the vessels, unguided by any his station,-thus exposing himself one on board, drove, scattered or the more to danger, the more he la- single, against the floating work, boured to avert it. Scarcely was it where they continued hanging, or dark when three flaming vessels dashed sideways against the bank. were seen floating downwards from The foremost powder-ships, which the town, then three others, and had been intended to destroy the afterwards three more. The whole floating work, were driven, by the Spanish camp were called to arms, force of a tempest, which sprang up and the bridge, along its whole at that moment, towards the Flanlength, crowded with soldiers. Mean- ders side ; and even the great firetime the number of the fire-ships in- ship, named the Fortune, struck the creased, as they floated, sometimes ground before reaching the bridge, in pairs, sometimes three together killing, in its explosion, several down the stream, being at first guid- Spanish soldiers in the neighbouring ed by mariners on board. But the battery. The other, and the larger Admiral of the Antwerp fleet, Jacob vessel, named the Hope, narrowly Jacobson, had either purposely, or escaped a similar fate. The current from negligence, so arranged mat- drove her against the floating work ters, that the four squadrons were on the Flanders side, where she reallowed to follow each other at too mained hanging; and had she taken short intervals, while the two large fire at that moment, the effect of the fire-ships followed too fast upon the explosion would have been almost test, and thus the whole order of the entirely lost. But, deceived by the attack was destroyed.
flames which this machine threw out The moment approached, and the like the other fire-ships, the enemy darkness of the night heightened the conceived it to be merely an ordinary effect of the extraordinary scene. As vessel, intended for the purpose of firfar as the eye could follow the course ing the bridge. And as they had seen of the stream, all was fire, the fire- the other fire-ships extinguished, one ships burning as fiercely as if the after the other, without any farther vessels themselves had been actually effect, they forgot their fears, and in flames. All around the surface began to ridicule those hostile preof the river shope in light,--the parations which had been announced dykes and batteries along the bank, with so much pomp, and which had the colours, weapons, and armour of come to so pitiful a conclusion. the soldiers, who lined the river. Some of the boldest had thrown side, as well as the bridge, were themselves into the stream, to inclearly distinguishable by its glare. spect the fire-ship more narrowly, With mingled feelings of pleasure and to extinguish it, when it suddenand of terror, the soldiers contem- ly broke by its weight through the plated this strange spectacle, which doating-work which had repelled it, seemed at first rather to resemble and drove with terrible force against some triumphant fête, than a hostile the bridge. All was instantly in preparation, but which filled the commotion, and the Duke called out mind with a strange and indescrib- to the sailors to keep off the maable fear, by the contrast between chine with poles, and to extinguish its outward appearance and its real the flames ere they should reach the purpose. When this burning fleet timbers. approached within about two thou- He was standing at that importsand paces of the bridge, the work- ant moinent at the farther end of the men kindled their matches, impelled scaffolding, on the left, where it the two larger vessels, containing formed a bastion in the water, and the mines, into the very middle of was 'united to the bridge of ships. the stream, and, abandoning the rest By his side stood the Nargrave of Rysburg, General of the cavalry, and from the bridge. Six ships were Governor of the province of Artois, burned, and several dashed to pieces. (who had formerly been in the ser- But still more dreadful was the carvice of the States, but, from a de nage which this murderous engine fender of the Republic, had now be, had made among the soldiers. Five come her worst enemy,) Baron Von hundred, or, according to some ac, Billy, Governor of Friezland, and counts, eight hundred men, fell a General of the German regiments, sacrifice to the explosion, besides Generals Cajetan and Guasto, with those who escaped with mutilated or several of his principal officers,-al! injured limbs. The most opposite forgetful of their own danger, and modes of death were united in that anxious only to avert the general tremendous moment.
Some were misfortune. At this moment a Spa, consumed by the flame of the volnish ensign approached the Prince of cano, others suffocated by the waters Parma, and conjured him to retire of the river, or the poisonous sulfrom a spot where his life was in phureous vapour; some drowned in imminent and visible danger. He the stream ; some buried beneath repeated his request more pressingly, the hail of the falling masses of as the Duke paid no attention, and rock ; , some pierced with the knives at last, falling at his feet, implored or axes, or shattered by the balls him, in this single instance, to be which had sprung from the bowels advised by his servants. While he of the engine ; some, who were spoke, he had seized the Duke by found dead, without any visible inthe cloak, as if to draw him from the jury, must have been killed by the place by force ; and he, rather over- mere agitation of the air. The sight, powered by the boldness of this man, inmediately after the explosion of than convinced by his reasons, be the mine, was tremendous. Some gan to move, accompanied by Guasto were seen sticking among the pillars and Cajetan, towards the shore. of the bridge, some labouring beScarcely had he time to reach Fort neath the masses of stone, some St. Maria, at the farther end of the hanging in the sails of the vessels ; bridge, when an explosion was heard on every side was heard a heartbehind him, as if the earth had piercing cry for help, but every one burst, or the vault of heaven had was too deeply engaged with his own given way.
The Duke, with his safety, and the call was answered whole
army, fell to the ground as only by an impotent wailing. dead, and several minutes elapsed Many of the survivors were saved before any one recovered his recol- by wonderful accidents. An officer, lection,
named Tucci, was lifted like a feaBut what a scene appeared when ther into the air by the whirlwind, recollection returned ! The waters suspended for some time aloft, and of the Schelde had been divided by then dropped into the stream, where the explosion to their lowest depths, he saved himself by swimming. and driven like a wall over the Another was caught up, by the force mound which opposed them, so that of the explosion, on the Flanders all the fortifications along the bank side, and deposited on that of Brawere inundated to the depth of se- bant, where he rose with merely a veral feet. The earth shook for three slight contusion on the shoulder, and miles round. Nearly the whole of who afterwards described his progress the left scaffolding, against which through the air as resembling that of the fire-ship had been driven, with a body shot from a caynon. The part of the bridge of ships, had been Duke of Parma had never been so burst asunder, shattered, and with near death as at that moment, when all who were upon it, masts, cannon, the difference of half a minute decidand men, hurled into the air. Even ed his fate. Scarce had he set foot the enormous blocks of stone, which in Port St. Maria, when he was covered the mines, had been blown, lifted as by a whirlwind, and struck by the force of the explosion, ipto senseless to the ground by a plank the neighbouring fields, so that many which lighted on bis head and shoulof them were afterwards dug up at der. For some time, indeed, it was the distance of a thousand paces believed he had been killed, as several recollected having seen him on Lillo, to put the auxiliary fleet of the bridge but a few minutes before Zealand into immediate motion. The the deadly explosion. He was found, Admiral of Antwerp, at the same at last, raising himself up with his time, received orders, as soon as the hand on his sword, between his signal was given, to set sail instantly conductors, Cajetan and Guasto, and and attack the enemy in their first the intelligence restored life to the confusion. But although a temptwhole army. But it were vain to ing reward was offered to the sailors attempt to describe his sensations, who were sent out, they could not when he contemplated the wreck be persuaded to venture into the which a single moment had caused neighbourhood of the enemy, and in the work of so many months. they returned, without effecting their The bridge on which his whole hope purpose, with the intelligence, that rested was torn in pieces, great part the bridge remained uninjured, and of his army destroyed, others maime that the fire-ships had produced no ed and rendered useless for a time i impression. Even the next day no several of his best officers killed, and, better attempt was made to learn the as if the present misfortune were not true state of the bridge ; and when enough, he received at the same mo- they saw, that, notwithstanding the ment the painful intelligence that favourable wind, no attempt was the Marquis of Rysburg, in whom, made by the fleet at Lillo, they were of all his officers, he reposed the confirmed in the belief that the firegreatest confidence, was no where to ships had failed. No one reflected be found. The worst still remained that this inactivity of the confedebehind, namely, that the arrival of rates, which misled the inhabitants the hostile fleets of Antwerp and of Antwerp, might also keep back Lillo was every instant to be expect the Zealanders at Lillo, as was really ed, while the disabled situation of the case. So signal a failure could the army would render it impossible occur only in a Government without for him to make any resistance. The authority, and without independence, bridge had been completely separa- guided by a tumultuous population, ted, and there was nothing to pre- whom it ought to have commanded. vent the fleet of Zealand from sail. The more inactive, "however, they ing through : while the confusion of shewed themselves against the ene the troops was at the time so great, my, the more their rage seemed inthat it was impossible to issue orders, flamed against Gianibelli, whom the or to obey them ; some of the corps enraged populace would willingly wanting their officers, many of the have torn to pieces. The engineer officers unable to find their corps, or was for two days in the most immito discover the place which they had nent danger, till, on the third mornoccupied, amidst the universal ruin. ing, a messenger from Lillo, who had All the fortifications, too, on the swam through under the bridge, bank were inundated,--the cannon brought accounts of the real destrucsunk under water,-and the matches tion which had taken place, but at and powder rendered useless. What the same time of its complete restoa moment for the enemy, had they ration. known how to avail themselves of This rapid repairing of the bridge the opportunity !
was really a miraculous effort of the It will scarcely be believed, how- Prince of Parma. Scarcely bad he ever, that this attempt, which had recovered from the shock, which succeeded so much beyond expecta- seemed to have ruined all his plans, tion, was rendered useless to Ant- when he foresaw, with admirable werp, merely because it was
presence of mind, all the evil conseknown. As soon as the explosion of quences which might ensue. The the mine was heard in the town, St. absence of the hostile fleet at this Aldegonde had indeed sent out seve- decisive moment awakened his hopes ral vessels towards the bridge, with anew. The wretched condition of orders to shoot up fireballs and burn the bridge seemed still to be a secret ing arrows as soon as they had suc- to the enemy; and although it was cessfully passed through, and then, impossible that the work of many with this intelligence, to sail on to months could be restored in a few
hours, much would be gained if he disaster. Still the Archimedes of could give to it an appearance of being Antwerp was not disconcerted by all repaired. All were instantly at work these failures. He prepared two to remove the fragments, to erect large vessels, armed with iron hatanew the timbers which had been chets, and similar instruments, in overthrown, to unite those which order to break through the bridge had been fractured, and to fill up the by force. But when the moment gaps with ships. The Duke him- for launching them came, no one self assisted in the labour, and his could be found to man them. The example was followed by all the engineer was therefore obliged to inofficers. The common soldiers, ani. vent some means of giving to his mated by the sight, exerted them- engines such a direction, as to enable selves to the utnost; the work was them, without a steersman, to keep carried on duritg the whole night the middle of the stream, and not, amidst the continual noise of trum- like the former, to be dashed by the pets and drums, which were station- wind against the bank. One of his ed along the whole bridge, to drown workmen, a German, hit upon a sinthe sound of the workmen. At gular invention, if we may venture break of day, few traces of the de- to relate it, differently from Strada. struction which had taken place He placed a sail under the vessel, so during the night were to be seen ; as to be acted upon by the water, as and although the bridge was only ordinary sails are by the wind, and apparently repaired, its appearance in such a manner as that the ship deceived the messengers, and the at- should be impelled along by the tack was put the Prince contrived to meantime, whole force of the stream. The
the consequence shewed that his calcurepair real, and also to introduce lation was correct, for the vessel, some changes into the structure of with her sails thus reversed, not only the bridge. To protect it from fu- kept exacuy the centre of the curture attacks of a similar kind, a part rent, but drove against the bridge of the bridge of ships was made with such impetuosity, that the enemoveable, so that it might be re- my had no time to open it, and it moved if necessary, and a free pas- was actually driven asunder. All sage opened to the fire-ships. The these successful attempts, however, loss of men which he had sustained, were unavailing, being undertaken the Prince supplied by means of at random, and followed up by no garrisons from the neighbouring sufficient force. No use was made places, and of a German regiment of another fire-ship, which Gianibelli which fortunately joined him at this had prepared after the manner of moment from Ghent. He filled up the first, which had proved so the places of the officers who were successful, and which he had filled missing, and among these the Spa- with four thousand pounds weight nish ensign, who had saved his life, of powder; for a new mode of atwas not forgotten.
tempting their deliverance had now The inhabitants of Antwerp, on occurred to the inhabitants of Antlearning the real success of their fire. werp. ships, now applauded their inventor Despairing, after so many failures, as zealously as they had formerly of being able to open up by force been inclined to treat him with harsh- the passage of the river to the fleet, ness, and urged him to new attempts. they determined to dispense, if pos. Gianibelli now received the number sible, with the river entirely. They of vessels which he had in vain re- remembered the example of the city quested at first. He prepared them of Leyden, which, when besieged by in such a manner as to be driven the Spaniards ten years before, had with irresistible force against the been saved by a well-managed inunbridge ; and the bridge was actually dation of the surrounding country, a second time broken through. The and this example they resolved to imiwind, however, was then unfavour- tate. Between Lillo and Stabroek, in able to the Zealand fleet, so that it the territory of Bergen, a broad and could not advance, and thus the somewhat sloping plain stretches to · Prince again had time to repair the Antwerp, only protected by numerous