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The Gueux in this place, who under the command of Bomberg had carried all things before them, were now so terrified at his approach that they quitted the town in haste. Noircarmes was received without opposition. The ambassadors of the duchess were immediately set at liberty. A strong garrison was thrown into Tornhut.

A general massacre of all the Catholics had been arranged by Orange, Horn, and Egmont, to commence as soon as the King should put his foot on shipboard to come to the country. This last remarkable fact Margaret reported to Philip, upon the respectable authority of Noircarmes. She apologized for having employed the service of these nobles, on the ground of necessity.

He had been fully authorized to do so, and subsequent events were to show, upon more than one dreadful occasion, how capable Noircarmes would have been of fulfilling this menace.

Not long afterwards, the Prince furnished his correspondent with a proof of his sincerity, by forwarding to him two letters which had been intercepted; from certain agents of government to Alva, in which Noircarmes and others who had so long supported the King against their own country, were spoken of in terms of menace and distrust.

Councillor Outreman, who had left the city before the siege, came into it again, on commission from Noircarmes. He was received with contempt, his proposals on behalf of the government were answered with outcries of fury; he was pelted with stones, and was very glad to make his escape alive. The pulpits thundered with the valiant deeds of Joshua, Judas Maccabeus, and other bible heroes.

The victim was innocent and a Catholic, but he was rich. He confessed to have been twice at the preaching, from curiosity, and to have omitted taking the sacrament at the previous Easter. For these offences he was beheaded, and his confiscated estate adjudged at an almost nominal price to the secretary of Noircarmes, bidding for his master.

One of them, said the informer, was richly dressed; and wore a gold-hilted sword with velvet scabbard. By the description, the mayor recognized Herlin the younger, and suspected his companions. They were all arrested, and sent to Noircarmes. The two Herlins, father and son, were immediately beheaded.

Aldegonde, Baron of Noircarmes, to whom, in the absence of the Marquis of Bergen, the government of that place was entrusted. A reformed preacher, La Grange, a Frenchman by birth, who by his eloquence had gained a complete command over them, urged them to insist on having churches of their own within the town, and to threaten in case of refusal to deliver it up to the Huguenots.

Upon the very first day after the unmasking of the batteries, the city sent to Noircarmes, offering almost an unconditional surrender.

But Noircarmes had discovered a few points where neglect had allowed the fosse to be filled almost up to the level of the natural surface, and of these he determined to avail himself in storming. He drew together all the scattered corps by which he had invested the town, and during a tempestuous night carried the suburb of Berg without the loss of a single man.