Meantime, the old wounded gate-opener, bleeding and crippled, crept into a dark corner, and laid himself down, unnoticed, to die. Soon afterwards Hohenlo galloped into the town, clad in complete armour, his long curls floating in the wind, with about two hundred troopers clattering behind him, closely followed by five hundred pike-men on foot.

Riding, hunting, and hawking, seemed to be his chief delight at the Hague, in the intervals of military occupations. He rarely made his appearance in the state-council during the winter, and referred public matters to the States-General, to the States of Holland, to Barneveld, Buys, and Hohenlo.

As for the reconciliations and love-days you have made there, truly I have liked well of it; for you did sow me your disposition therein before, and I allowed of it, and I had received letters both from Count Maurice and Hohenlo of their humility and kindness, but now in your last letters you say they have uttered the cause of their mislike towards me, which you forbear to write of, looking so speedily for my return."

Norris, Hohenlo, Wilkes, Buckhurst, were all denounced to the Queen as calumniators, traitors, and villains; and it may easily be understood how grave and extensive must have been the effects of such vituperation upon the mind of Elizabeth, who, until the last day of his life, doubtless entertained for the Earl the deepest affection of which her nature was susceptible.

At a somewhat later moment it will be seen what came of these secret designs. For the present, Leicester was very angry with Paul for daring to suspect him of such treachery. The Earl complained, too, that the influence of Buys with Hohenlo and young Maurice of Nassau was most pernicious. Hohenlo had formerly stood high in Leicester's opinion.

Upon the great subject of the sovereignty, therefore, she was unable to adopt the resolution so much desired by Leicester and by the people of the Provinces; but she answered the Earl's communications concerning Maurice and Hohenlo, Sir John Norris and the treasurer, in characteristic but affectionate language.

Vpon the breach betwixt Don Iohn and the States, he was made Colonel generall of all the English forces there present, or to come, which he continued 2 yeeres: he was then made Marshal of the field vnder Conte Hohenlo: and after that, General of the army in Frisland: at his comming home in the time of Monsieurs gouernment in Flanders, he was made lord President of Munster in Ireland, which he yet holdeth, from whence within one yere he was sent for, and sent Generall of the English forces which her maiestie then lent to the Low countries, which he held til the erle of Leicesters going ouer.

"He is both a valiant man and a wise man, and the painfullest that ever I knew," he said; adding as a secret that "five hundred Englishmen of the best Flemish training had flatly and shamefully run away," when the fight had been renewed by Hohenlo and Norris.

A sharp vigorous campaign, heartily carried on against him by Leicester and Hohenlo, with plenty of troops and money at command, would have brought the heroic champion of Catholicism to the ground. He was hemmed in upon all sides; he was cut off from the sea; he stood as it were in a narrowing circle, surrounded by increasing dangers.

The fortune of the day was changed, and in a few minutes Hohenlo and Norris would have crossed the river and entered Grave, when the Spanish companies of Bobadil and other commanders were seen marching along the quaking bridge. Three thousand men on each side now met at push of pike on the bank of the Meuse.