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There was some sharp skirmishing between Hohenlo and Haultepenne, in which the latter, one of the most valuable and distinguished generals on the royal side, was defeated and slain; the fort of Engel, near Bois-le-Duc, was taken, and that important city itself endangered; but, on the other hand, the contingent on which Leicester relied from the States to assist in relieving Sluys was not forthcoming.

From the prisoners, especially from the galley-slaves, who had no reason for disguising the condition of the place, he now learned that there were plenty of troops in Sluys, but that there was already a great lack of provisions. They had lost rather than gained by their success in introducing reinforcements without supplies.

There was one great sea-fight off Sluys, when the king sat in his ship, in a black velvet dress, and gained a great victory; but it was a good while before there was any great battle by land so long, that the king's eldest son, Edward Prince of Wales, was sixteen years old.

I say not to return here, for that would indeed be an act of folly, since Ghent will have to surrender at once, and without conditions, as soon as the news comes that the battle is lost. Therefore your best plan would be to ride for Sluys, and there take ship again.

They talk, you know, of invading England, and after his experience at Sluys I do not think he will be wasting his force by knocking their heads against stone walls.

The San Mateo, which was one of those that grounded between Ostend and Sluys, fought to the last, and kept Francis Vere's three ships at bay for two hours, until she was at last carried by boarding. Left to themselves at the end of the day, the Spaniards gathered in what order they could, and made sail for the north.

Four or five miles further towards the west, two nearly parallel streams, both navigable, called the Sweet and the Salt, ran from Dam to Sluys. It was a necessary but most delicate operation, to tie up these two important arteries.

Of this army they hoped to induce the Queen to furnish 5000 English footmen and 500 horse, to be paid monthly by a treasurer of her own; and for the assistance thus to be furnished they proposed to give Ostend and Sluys as pledge of payment.

Medina Sidonia was to proceed straight from Lisbon to Calais roads: there he was to wait: for the Duke of Parma, who was to come forth from Newport, Sluys, and Dunkerk, bringing with him his 17,000 veterans, and to assume the chief command of the whole expedition.

He advised Walsingham to advance men and money, upon the security of Sluys and Ostend. "I dare venture my life," said he, with much energy, "that were Norris, Bingham, Yorke, or Carlisle, in those ports, he would keep them during the Spanish King's life."