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The taking of Maestricht was the only advantage which he gained this campaign. A congress was opened at Cologne under the mediation of Sweden; but with small hopes of success. The demands of the two kings were such as must have reduced the Hollanders to perpetual servitude.

Churchill was despatched with a small company, and, after a short but desperate struggle, retook the post, won the marshal his wager, and gained for himself the applause and admiration of the whole army. Next year, at the siege of Maestricht, Captain Churchill again distinguished himself.

Towards the end of the summer and the commencement of the winter of 1695, negotiations for peace were set on foot by the King. Harlay, son-in-law of our enemy, was sent to Maestricht to sound the Dutch. But in proportion as they saw peace desired were they less inclined to listen to terms.

The deputies of Limburg and Luxemburg were the most emphatic in their opposition: "Suicide will follow fratricide," exclaimed a deputy of Maestricht, while a representative of Ruremonde urged armed resistance. "I would rather give my life a thousand times," protested a Luxemburger, "than a vote which would oppress my conscience until my last day." On March 12th, Mr.

Requesens, feeling the gravity of the occasion, had issued orders for an immediate levy of eight thousand cavalry in Germany, with a proportionate number of infantry. At the same time he had directed Don Bernardino de Mendoza, with some companies of cavalry, then stationed in Breda, to throw himself without delay into Maestricht.

It was now obvious to Louis, not only that he should not take Maestricht, but that his eventual junction with his brother was at least doubtful, every soldier who could possibly be spared seeming in motion to oppose his progress. He was, to be sure, not yet outnumbered, but the enemy was increasing, and his own force diminishing daily.

He was disappointed at the paucity of the troops which Louis had been able to collect, but he sent messengers immediately to him; with a statement of his own condition, and with directions to join him in the Isle of Bommel, as soon as Maestricht should be reduced. It was, however, not in the destiny of Louis to reduce Maestricht. His expedition had been marked with disaster from the beginning.

Levies of Walloons and Germans were made without delay by order of Archduke Albert and under guidance of Spinola, so that by midsummer the army was swollen to 18,000 foot and 3000 horse. With these the great Genoese captain took the field in the middle of August. On the 22nd of that month the army was encamped on some plains mid-way between Maestricht and Aachen.

The King preferred to begin with Luxemburg, attacking Charlemont or Namur, while the States ought at the same time to besiege Venlo, with the intention afterwards of uniting with the King in laying siege to Maestricht. He was strong enough, he said, against all the world, but he still preferred to invite all princes interested to join him in putting down the ambitious and growing power of Spain.

Louis XIV. was as yet ignorant what can be done amongst a proud people by patriotism driven to despair; the States General offered him Maestricht, the places on the Rhine, Brabant and Dutch Flanders, with a war-indemnity of ten millions; it was an open door to the Spanish Low Countries, which became a patch enclosed by French possessions; but the king wanted to annihilate the Hollanders; he demanded Southern Gueldres, the Island of Bonmel, twenty-four millions, the restoration of Catholic worship, and, every year, an embassy commissioned to thank the king for having a second time given peace to the United Provinces.

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