Such was the general admiration felt in Spain and elsewhere for the military talents of the prince, that he would probably be appointed commander-in-chief of the forces against Mahomet. Van der Meulen duly reported all these ingenious schemes to the States, but the sturdy republicans only laughed at them.

This was a certain Van der Meulen, an Antwerp merchant who, for religious reasons, had emigrated to Leyden, and who was now invited by the cardinal archduke to Brussels to confer with his counsellors as to the possibility of the rebellious States accepting his authority. For, as will soon be indicated, Philip had recently resolved on a most important step.

Next day was occupied in sewing up and concealing his papers, including a long account of his examination, with the questions and answers, in his Spanish arm-chair. Next day van der Meulen said to the servant, "I will bet you a hundred florins that you'll not be here next Thursday." The faithful John was delighted, not dreaming of the impending result.

Van der Meulen remarked to Richardot that in all their talk about a general peace nothing had been said of the Queen of England, to whom the States were under so great obligations, and without whom they would never enter into any negotiations.

As soon as he appeared at the door, he was informed that there had been a misunderstanding, and he was requested to wait a little. Half an hour later he was once more summoned, the provost-marshal and Captain van der Meulen reappearing to escort him. "Mr. Provost," said the prisoner, as they went down the narrow staircase, "I have always been a good friend to you."

As soon as he appeared at the door, he was informed that there had been a misunderstanding, and he was requested to wait a little. Half an hour later he was once more summoned, the provost-marshal and Captain van der Meulen reappearing to escort him. "Mr. Provost," said the prisoner, as they went down the narrow staircase, "I have always been a good friend to you."

"I have bad news for you, Francesca, I'm sorry to say," Henry announced. Had he heard, too? "Henneberg has been here and looked at the picture," he continued, seating himself by her side, "and though he admired it immensely as a work of art he gave me a disagreeable surprise by assuring me that it's not a genuine Van der Meulen. It's a splendid copy, but still, unfortunately, only a copy."

And the Van der Meulen, at which Comus had looked with impious appraising eyes, was the most sacred of them all.

Looking at Semendria from one of the three land sides, you have a castle of Ercole di Ferrara; looking at it from the water, you have the boulevard of a Van der Meulen. The Natchalnik accompanied me in a visit to the fortress, protected from accident by a couple of soldiers; for the castle of Semendria is still, like that of Shabatz, in the hands of a few Turkish spahis and their families.

Next day was occupied in sewing up and concealing his papers, including a long account of his examination, with the questions and answers, in his Spanish arm-chair. Next day van der Meulen said to the servant, "I will bet you a hundred florins that you'll not be here next Thursday." The faithful John was delighted, not dreaming of the impending result.