Quotes and Images From Motley’s History of the Netherlands by John Lothrop Motley

Produced by David Widger QUOTES AND IMAGES FROM JOHN LOTHROP MOTLEY HISTORY OF THE NETHERLANDS By John Lothrop Motley LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Motley’s History of the Netherlands Title Page The Siege of Antwerp Prince William of Orange-Nassau (William the Silent) The Earl of Leichester Alexander Farnese, Prince of Parma John of Barneveld Bookcover The Hague
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Produced by David Widger



By John Lothrop Motley


Motley’s History of the Netherlands

Title Page

The Siege of Antwerp

Prince William of Orange-Nassau (William the Silent)

The Earl of Leichester

Alexander Farnese, Prince of Parma

John of Barneveld


The Hague

1566, the last year of peace

A pleasantry called voluntary
contributions or benevolences

A good lawyer is a bad Christian

A terrible animal, indeed, is an
unbridled woman

A common hatred united them, for a time at least

A penal offence in the republic to talk of peace or of truce

A most fatal success

A country disinherited by nature of its rights

A free commonwealth–was thought an

A hard bargain when both parties are

A burnt cat fears the fire

A despot really keeps no accounts, nor need to do so

A sovereign remedy for the disease of liberty

A pusillanimous peace, always possible at any period

A man incapable of fatigue, of
perplexity, or of fear

A truce he honestly considered a
pitfall of destruction

A great historian is almost a statesman

Able men should be by design and of
purpose suppressed

About equal to that of England at the same period

Absolution for incest was afforded at thirty-six livres

Abstinence from unproductive

Abstinence from inquisition into
consciences and private parlour

Absurd affectation of candor

Accepting a new tyrant in place of the one so long ago deposed

Accustomed to the faded gallantries

Achieved the greatness to which they
had not been born

Act of Uniformity required Papists to assist

Acts of violence which under pretext of religion

Admired or despised, as if he or she
were our contemporary

Adulation for inferiors whom they

Advanced orthodox party-Puritans

Advancing age diminished his tendency to other carnal pleasures

Advised his Majesty to bestow an annual bribe upon Lord Burleigh

Affecting to discredit them

Affection of his friends and the wrath of his enemies

Age when toleration was a vice

Agreements were valid only until he
should repent

Alas! the benighted victims of
superstition hugged their chains

Alas! we must always have something to persecute

Alas! one never knows when one becomes a bore

Alexander’s exuberant discretion

All Italy was in his hands

All fellow-worms together

All business has been transacted with open doors

All reading of the scriptures

All the majesty which decoration could impart

All denounced the image-breaking

All claimed the privilege of

All his disciples and converts are to be punished with death

All Protestants were beheaded, burned, or buried alive

All classes are conservative by

All the ministers and great
functionaries received presents

All offices were sold to the highest

Allow her to seek a profit from his

Allowed the demon of religious hatred to enter into its body

Almost infinite power of the meanest of passions

Already looking forward to the revolt of the slave States

Altercation between Luther and Erasmus, upon predestination

Always less apt to complain of
irrevocable events

American Unholy Inquisition

Amuse them with this peace negotiation

An inspiring and delightful recreation (auto-da-fe)

An hereditary papacy, a perpetual

An age when to think was a crime

An unjust God, himself the origin of

An order of things in which mediocrity is at a premium

Anarchy which was deemed inseparable
from a non-regal form

Anatomical study of what has ceased to exist

And give advice. Of that, although
always a spendthrift

And now the knife of another priest-led fanatic

And thus this gentle and heroic spirit took its flight

Angle with their dissimulation as with a hook

Announced his approaching marriage with the Virgin Mary

Annual harvest of iniquity by which his revenue was increased

Anxiety to do nothing wrong, the
senators did nothing at all

Are apt to discharge such obligations– (by) ingratitude

Are wont to hang their piety on the

Argument in a circle

Argument is exhausted and either action or compromise begins

Aristocracy of God’s elect


Arrested on suspicion, tortured till

Arrive at their end by fraud, when
violence will not avail them


As logical as men in their cups are
prone to be

As the old woman had told the Emperor Adrian

As if they were free will not make them free

As lieve see the Spanish as the
Calvinistic inquisition

As ready as papists, with age, fagot, and excommunication

As with his own people, keeping no
back-door open

As neat a deception by telling the

At a blow decapitated France

At length the twig was becoming the

Atheist, a tyrant, because he resisted dictation from the clergy

Attachment to a half-drowned land and to a despised religion

Attacked by the poetic mania

Attacking the authority of the pope

Attempting to swim in two waters

Auction sales of judicial ermine

Baiting his hook a little to his

Barbara Blomberg, washerwoman of

Batavian legion was the imperial body guard

Beacons in the upward path of mankind

Beating the Netherlanders into

Beautiful damsel, who certainly did not lack suitors

Because he had been successful (hated)

Becoming more learned, and therefore
more ignorant

Been already crimination and
recrimination more than enough

Before morning they had sacked thirty churches

Began to scatter golden arguments with a lavish hand

Beggars of the sea, as these
privateersmen designated themselves

Behead, torture, burn alive, and bury alive all heretics

Being the true religion, proved by so many testimonies

Believed in the blessed advent of

Beneficent and charitable purposes

best defence in this case is little
better than an impeachment

Bestowing upon others what was not his property

Better to be governed by magistrates
than mobs

Better is the restlessness of a noble ambition

Beware of a truce even more than of a peace

Bigotry which was the prevailing
characteristic of the age

Bishop is a consecrated pirate

Blessed freedom from speech-making

Blessing of God upon the Devil’s work

Bold reformer had only a new dogma in place of the old ones

Bomb-shells were not often used
although known for a century

Breath, time, and paper were profusely wasted and nothing gained

Brethren, parents, and children, having wives in common

Bribed the Deity

Bungling diplomatists and credulous

Burned, strangled, beheaded, or buried alive (100,000)

Burned alive if they objected to

Burning with bitter revenge for all the favours he had received

Burning of Servetus at Geneva

Business of an officer to fight, of a general to conquer

But the habit of dissimulation was

But after all this isn’t a war It is a revolution

But not thoughtlessly indulgent to the boy

Butchery in the name of Christ was

By turns, we all govern and are

Calling a peace perpetual can never
make it so

Calumny is often a stronger and more
lasting power than disdain

Can never be repaired and never
sufficiently regretted

Canker of a long peace

Care neither for words nor menaces in any matter

Cargo of imaginary gold dust was
exported from the James River

Casting up the matter “as pinchingly as possibly might be”

Casual outbursts of eternal friendship

Certain number of powers, almost
exactly equal to each other

Certainly it was worth an eighty years’ war

Changed his positions and contradicted himself day by day

Character of brave men to act, not to expect

Charles the Fifth autocrat of half the world

Chief seafaring nations of the world
were already protestant

Chieftains are dwarfed in the
estimation of followers

Children who had never set foot on the shore

Christian sympathy and a small
assistance not being sufficient

Chronicle of events must not be

Claimed the praise of moderation that their demands were so few

Cold water of conventional and
commonplace encouragement

College of “peace-makers,” who wrangled more than all

Colonel Ysselstein, “dismissed for a
homicide or two”

Compassing a country’s emancipation
through a series of defeats

Conceding it subsequently, after much contestation

Conceit, and procrastination which
marked the royal character

Conciliation when war of extermination was intended

Conclusive victory for the allies
seemed as predestined

Conde and Coligny

Condemned first and inquired upon after

Condemning all heretics to death

Conflicting claims of prerogative and conscience

Conformity of Governments to the
principles of justice

Confused conferences, where neither
party was entirely sincere

Considerable reason, even if there were but little justice

Considerations of state have never yet failed the axe

Considerations of state as a reason

Considered it his special mission in
the world to mediate

Consign to the flames all prisoners
whatever (Papal letter)

Constant vigilance is the price of

Constitute themselves at once universal legatees

Constitutional governments, move in the daylight

Consumer would pay the tax, supposing it were ever paid at all

Contained within itself the germs of a larger liberty

Contempt for treaties however solemnly ratified

Continuing to believe himself
invincible and infallible

Converting beneficent commerce into
baleful gambling

Could handle an argument as well as a sword

Could paint a character with the ruddy life-blood coloring

Could not be both judge and party in
the suit

Could do a little more than what was

Country would bear his loss with

Courage of despair inflamed the French

Courage and semblance of cheerfulness, with despair in his heart

Court fatigue, to scorn pleasure

Covered now with the satirical dust of centuries

Craft meaning, simply, strength

Created one child for damnation and
another for salvation

Crescents in their caps: Rather Turkish than Popish

Crimes and cruelties such as Christians only could imagine

Criminal whose guilt had been
established by the hot iron

Criminals buying Paradise for money

Cruelties exercised upon monks and

Crusades made great improvement in the condition of the serfs

Culpable audacity and exaggerated

Customary oaths, to be kept with the
customary conscientiousness

Daily widening schism between Lutherans and Calvinists

Deadliest of sins, the liberty of

Deadly hatred of Puritans in England
and Holland

Deal with his enemy as if sure to
become his friend

Death rather than life with a false
acknowledgment of guilt

Decline a bribe or interfere with the private sale of places

Decrees for burning, strangling, and
burying alive

Deeply criminal in the eyes of all
religious parties

Defeated garrison ever deserved more
respect from friend or foe

Defect of enjoying the flattery, of his inferiors in station

Delay often fights better than an army against a foreign invader

Demanding peace and bread at any price

Democratic instincts of the ancient
German savages

Denies the utility of prayers for the dead

Denounced as an obstacle to peace

Depths theological party spirit could descend

Depths of credulity men in all ages can sink

Despised those who were grateful

Despot by birth and inclination
(Charles V.)

Determined to bring the very name of
liberty into contempt

Devote himself to his gout and to his fair young wife

Difference between liberties and

Difficult for one friend to advise
another in three matters

Diplomacy of Spain and Rome–meant
simply dissimulation

Diplomatic adroitness consists mainly in the power to deceive

Disciple of Simon Stevinus

Dismay of our friends and the
gratification of our enemies

Disordered, and unknit state needs no shaking, but propping

Disposed to throat-cutting by the
ministers of the Gospel

Dispute between Luther and Zwingli
concerning the real presence

Disputing the eternal damnation of
young children

Dissenters were as bigoted as the

Dissimulation and delay

Distinguished for his courage, his
cruelty, and his corpulence

Divine right of kings

Divine right

Do you want peace or war? I am ready
for either

Doctrine of predestination in its
sternest and strictest sense

Don John of Austria

Don John was at liberty to be King of England and Scotland

Done nothing so long as aught remained to do

Drank of the water in which, he had

Draw a profit out of the necessities of this state

During this, whole war, we have never seen the like

Dying at so very inconvenient a moment

Each in its turn becoming orthodox, and therefore persecuting

Eat their own children than to forego one high mass

Eight thousand human beings were

Elizabeth, though convicted, could
always confute

Elizabeth (had not) the faintest idea of religious freedom

Eloquence of the biggest guns

Emperor of Japan addressed him as his brother monarch

Emulation is not capability

Endure every hardship but hunger

Enemy of all compulsion of the human

England hated the Netherlands

English Puritans

Englishmen and Hollanders preparing to cut each other’s throats

Enmity between Lutherans and Calvinists

Enormous wealth (of the Church) which engendered the hatred

Enriched generation after generation by wealthy penitence

Enthusiasm could not supply the place of experience

Envying those whose sufferings had
already been terminated

Epernon, the true murderer of Henry

Erasmus of Rotterdam

Erasmus encourages the bold friar

Establish not freedom for Calvinism,
but freedom for conscience

Estimating his character and judging
his judges

Even the virtues of James were his
worst enemies

Even to grant it slowly is to deny it utterly

Even for the rape of God’s mother, if that were possible

Ever met disaster with so cheerful a

Ever-swarming nurseries of mercenary

Every one sees what you seem, few
perceive what you are

Everybody should mind his own business

Everything else may happen This alone must happen

Everything was conceded, but nothing
was secured

Evil is coming, the sooner it arrives the better

Evil has the advantage of rapidly
assuming many shapes

Excited with the appearance of a gem of true philosophy

Excused by their admirers for their

Excuses to disarm the criticism he had some reason to fear

Executions of Huss and Jerome of Prague

Exorcising the devil by murdering his supposed victims

Extraordinary capacity for yielding to gentle violence

Fable of divine right is invented to
sanction the system

Faction has rarely worn a more
mischievous aspect

Famous fowl in every pot

Fanatics of the new religion denounced him as a godless man

Fate, free will, or absolute

Father Cotton, who was only too ready to betray the secrets

Fear of the laugh of the world at its sincerity

Fed on bear’s liver, were nearly
poisoned to death

Felix Mants, the anabaptist, is drowned at Zurich

Fellow worms had been writhing for half a century in the dust

Ferocity which even Christians could
not have surpassed

Few, even prelates were very dutiful to the pope

Fiction of apostolic authority to bind and loose

Fifty thousand persons in the provinces (put to death)

Financial opposition to tyranny is apt to be unanimous

Find our destruction in our immoderate desire for peace

Fishermen and river raftsmen become
ocean adventurers

Fitted “To warn, to comfort, and

Fitter to obey than to command

Five great rivers hold the Netherland territory in their coils

Flattery is a sweet and intoxicating

Fled from the land of oppression to the land of liberty

Fool who useth not wit because he hath it not

For myself I am unworthy of the honor (of martyrdom)

For faithful service, evil recompense

For women to lament, for men to

For us, looking back upon the Past,
which was then the Future

For his humanity towards the conquered garrisons (censured)

Forbidding the wearing of mourning at all

Forbids all private assemblies for

Force clerical–the power of clerks

Foremost to shake off the fetters of

Forget those who have done them good

Forgiving spirit on the part of the

Fortune’s buffets and rewards can take with equal thanks

Four weeks’ holiday–the first in
eleven years

France was mourning Henry and waiting for Richelieu

French seem madmen, and are wise

Friendly advice still more intolerable

Full of precedents and declamatory

Furious fanaticism

Furious mob set upon the house of Rem Bischop

Furnished, in addition, with a force of two thousand prostitutes

Future world as laid down by rival

Gallant and ill-fated Lamoral Egmont

Gaul derided the Roman soldiers as a
band of pigmies

German-Lutheran sixteenth-century idea of religious freedom

German finds himself sober–he believes himself ill

German Highland and the German

Gigantic vices are proudly pointed to as the noblest

Give him advice if he asked it, and
money when he required

Glory could be put neither into pocket nor stomach

God has given absolute power to no
mortal man

God, whose cause it was, would be
pleased to give good weather

God alone can protect us against those whom we trust

God of wrath who had decreed the
extermination of all unbeliever

God of vengeance, of jealousy, and of injustice

God Save the King! It was the last

Gold was the only passkey to justice

Gomarites accused the Arminians of
being more lax than Papists

Govern under the appearance of obeying

Great transactions of a reign are
sometimes paltry things

Great science of political equilibrium

Great Privilege, the Magna Charta of

Great error of despising their enemy

Great war of religion and politics was postponed

Great battles often leave the world
where they found it

Guarantees of forgiveness for every
imaginable sin

Guilty of no other crime than adhesion to the Catholic faith

Habeas corpus

Had industry been honoured instead of being despised

Haereticis non servanda fides

Hair and beard unshorn, according to
ancient Batavian custom

Halcyon days of ban, book and candle

Hanged for having eaten meat-soup upon Friday

Hanging of Mary Dyer at Boston

Hangman is not the most appropriate
teacher of religion

Happy to glass themselves in so
brilliant a mirror

Hard at work, pouring sand through
their sieves

Hardly a distinguished family in Spain not placed in mourning

Hardly a sound Protestant policy
anywhere but in Holland

Hardly an inch of French soil that had not two possessors

Having conjugated his paradigm

He had omitted to execute heretics

He did his best to be friends with all the world

He was a sincere bigot

He that stands let him see that he does not fall

He was not always careful in the
construction of his sentences

He would have no persecution of the
opposite creed

He came as a conqueror not as a

He who spreads the snare always tumbles into the ditch himself

He who would have all may easily lose all

He knew men, especially he knew their weaknesses

He had never enjoyed social converse, except at long intervals

He would have no Calvinist inquisition set up in its place

He who confessed well was absolved well

He did his work, but he had not his

He sat a great while at a time. He had a genius for sitting

He was not imperial of aspect on canvas or coin

He often spoke of popular rights with contempt

He spent more time at table than the
Bearnese in sleep

Heidelberg Catechism were declared to be infallible

Henry the Huguenot as the champion of the Council of Trent

Her teeth black, her bosom white and
liberally exposed (Eliz.)

Heresy was a plant of early growth in the Netherlands

Heretics to the English Church were

Hibernian mode of expressing himself

High officers were doing the work of
private, soldiers

Highborn demagogues in that as in every age affect adulation

Highest were not necessarily the least slimy

His inordinate arrogance

His own past triumphs seemed now his
greatest enemies

His imagination may have assisted his memory in the task

His insolence intolerable

His learning was a reproach to the

His invectives were, however, much
stronger than his arguments

His personal graces, for the moment,
took the rank of virtues

His dogged, continuous capacity for

Historical scepticism may shut its eyes to evidence

History is a continuous whole of which we see only fragments

History is but made up of a few
scattered fragments

History never forgets and never

History has not too many really
important and emblematic men

History shows how feeble are barriers of paper

Holland was afraid to give a part,
although offering the whole

Holland, England, and America, are all links of one chain

Holy Office condemned all the
inhabitants of the Netherlands

Holy institution called the Inquisition

Honor good patriots, and to support
them in venial errors

Hope delayed was but a cold and meagre consolation

Hope deferred, suddenly changing to

How many more injured by becoming bad copies of a bad ideal

Hugo Grotius

Human nature in its meanness and shame

Human ingenuity to inflict human misery

Human fat esteemed the sovereignst
remedy (for wounds)

Humanizing effect of science upon the barbarism of war

Humble ignorance as the safest creed

Humility which was but the cloak to his pride

Hundred thousand men had laid down
their lives by her decree

I did never see any man behave himself as he did

I know how to console myself

I am a king that will be ever known not to fear any but God

I hope and I fear

I would carry the wood to burn my own son withal

I regard my country’s profit, not my

I will never live, to see the end of my poverty

Idea of freedom in commerce has dawned upon nations

Idiotic principle of sumptuary

Idle, listless, dice-playing, begging, filching vagabonds

If he had little, he could live upon

If to do be as grand as to imagine what it were good to do

If he has deserved it, let them strike off his head

Ignoble facts which strew the highways of political life

Ignorance is the real enslaver of

Imagined, and did the work of truth

Imagining that they held the world’s
destiny in their hands

Impatience is often on the part of the non-combatants

Implication there was much, of
assertion very little

Imposed upon the multitudes, with whom words were things

Impossible it is to practise arithmetic with disturbed brains

Impossible it was to invent terms of
adulation too gross

In revolutions the men who win are
those who are in earnest

In character and general talents he was beneath mediocrity

In times of civil war, to be neutral is to be nothing

In Holland, the clergy had neither
influence nor seats

In this he was much behind his age or before it

Incur the risk of being charged with
forwardness than neglect

Indecision did the work of indolence

Indignant that heretics had been
suffered to hang

Individuals walking in advance of their age

Indoor home life imprisons them in the domestic circle

Indulging them frequently with oracular advice

Inevitable fate of talking castles and listening ladies

Infamy of diplomacy, when diplomacy is unaccompanied by honesty

Infinite capacity for pecuniary

Informer, in case of conviction, should be entitled to one half

Inhabited by the savage tribes called Samoyedes

Innocent generation, to atone for the sins of their forefathers

Inquisition of the Netherlands is much more pitiless

Inquisition was not a fit subject for a compromise

Inquisitors enough; but there were no light vessels in The Armada

Insane cruelty, both in the cause of
the Wrong and the Right

Insensible to contumely, and incapable of accepting a rebuff

Insinuate that his orders had been
hitherto misunderstood

Insinuating suspicions when unable to furnish evidence

Intellectual dandyisms of Bulwer

Intelligence, science, and industry
were accounted degrading

Intense bigotry of conviction

Intentions of a government which did
not know its own intentions

International friendship, the
self-interest of each

Intolerable tendency to puns

Invaluable gift which no human being
can acquire, authority

Invented such Christian formulas as
these (a curse)

Inventing long speeches for historical characters

Invincible Armada had not only been
vanquished but annihilated

Irresistible force in collision with an insuperable resistance

It was the true religion, and there was none other

It is not desirable to disturb much of that learned dust

It had not yet occurred to him that he was married

It is n’t strategists that are wanted so much as believers

It is certain that the English hate us (Sully)

Its humility, seemed sufficiently

James of England, who admired, envied, and hated Henry

Jealousy, that potent principle

Jesuit Mariana–justifying the killing of excommunicated kings

John Castel, who had stabbed Henry IV.

John Wier, a physician of Grave

John Robinson

John Quincy Adams

Judas Maccabaeus

July 1st, two Augustine monks were
burned at Brussels

Justified themselves in a solemn
consumption of time

Kindly shadow of oblivion

King who thought it furious madness to resist the enemy

King had issued a general repudiation of his debts

King set a price upon his head as a

King of Zion to be pinched to death
with red-hot tongs

King was often to be something much
less or much worse

King’s definite and final intentions, varied from day to day

Labored under the disadvantage of never having existed

Labour was esteemed dishonourable

Language which is ever living because it is dead

Languor of fatigue, rather than any
sincere desire for peace

Leading motive with all was supposed to be religion

Learn to tremble as little at
priestcraft as at swordcraft

Leave not a single man alive in the
city, and to burn every house

Let us fool these poor creatures to
their heart’s content

Licences accorded by the crown to carry slaves to America

Life of nations and which we call the Past

Like a man holding a wolf by the ears

Little army of Maurice was becoming the model for Europe

Little grievances would sometimes
inflame more than vast

Local self-government which is the
life-blood of liberty

Logic of the largest battalions

Logic is rarely the quality on which
kings pride themselves

Logical and historical argument of
unmerciful length

Long succession of so many illustrious obscure

Longer they delay it, the less easy
will they find it

Look through the cloud of dissimulation

Look for a sharp war, or a miserable

Looking down upon her struggle with
benevolent indifference

Lord was better pleased with adverbs
than nouns

Loud, nasal, dictatorial tone, not at all agreeable

Louis XIII.

Loving only the persons who flattered him

Ludicrous gravity

Luther’s axiom, that thoughts are

Lutheran princes of Germany, detested the doctrines of Geneva

Luxury had blunted the fine instincts of patriotism

Made peace–and had been at war ever

Made no breach in royal and Roman

Made to swing to and fro over a slow

Magistracy at that moment seemed to
mean the sword

Magnificent hopefulness

Maintaining the attitude of an injured but forgiving Christian

Make sheep of yourselves, and the wolf will eat you

Make the very name of man a term of

Man is never so convinced of his own

Man who cannot dissemble is unfit to

Man had only natural wrongs (No natural rights)

Man had no rights at all He was

Mankind were naturally inclined to

Manner in which an insult shall be
dealt with

Many greedy priests, of lower rank, had turned shop-keepers

Maritime heretics

Matter that men may rather pray for
than hope for

Matters little by what name a
government is called

Meantime the second civil war in France had broken out

Mediocrity is at a premium

Meet around a green table except as
fencers in the field

Men were loud in reproof, who had been silent

Men fought as if war was the normal
condition of humanity

Men who meant what they said and said what they meant

Mendacity may always obtain over
innocence and credulity

Military virtue in the support of an
infamous cause

Misanthropical, sceptical philosopher

Misery had come not from their being

Mistake to stumble a second time over the same stone

Mistakes might occur from occasional
deviations into sincerity

Mockery of negotiation in which nothing could be negotiated

Modern statesmanship, even while it
practises, condemns

Monasteries, burned their invaluable

Mondragon was now ninety-two years old

Moral nature, undergoes less change
than might be hoped

More accustomed to do well than to
speak well

More easily, as he had no intention of keeping the promise

More catholic than the pope

More fiercely opposed to each other
than to Papists

More apprehension of fraud than of

Most detestable verses that even he had ever composed

Most entirely truthful child he had
ever seen

Motley was twice sacrificed to personal feelings

Much as the blind or the deaf towards colour or music

Myself seeing of it methinketh that I dream

Names history has often found it
convenient to mark its epochs

National character, not the work of a few individuals

Nations tied to the pinafores of
children in the nursery

Natural to judge only by the result

Natural tendency to suspicion of a
timid man

Nearsighted liberalism

Necessary to make a virtue of necessity

Necessity of extirpating heresy, root and branch

Necessity of deferring to powerful

Necessity of kingship

Negotiated as if they were all immortal

Neighbour’s blazing roof was likely
soon to fire their own

Neither kings nor governments are apt to value logic

Neither wished the convocation, while both affected an eagerness

Neither ambitious nor greedy

Never peace well made, he observed,
without a mighty war

Never did statesmen know better how not to do

Never lack of fishers in troubled

New Years Day in England, 11th January by the New Style

Night brings counsel

Nine syllables that which could be more forcibly expressed in on

No one can testify but a householder

No man can be neutral in civil

No law but the law of the longest purse

No two books, as he said, ever injured each other

No retrenchments in his pleasures of
women, dogs, and buildings

No great man can reach the highest
position in our government

No man is safe (from news reporters)

No man could reveal secrets which he
did not know

No authority over an army which they
did not pay

No man pretended to think of the State

No synod had a right to claim
Netherlanders as slaves

No qualities whatever but birth and
audacity to recommend him

No generation is long-lived enough to reap the harvest

No man ever understood the art of
bribery more thoroughly

No calumny was too senseless to be

None but God to compel me to say more than I choose to say

Nor is the spirit of the age to be
pleaded in defence

Not a friend of giving details larger than my ascertained facts

Not distinguished for their docility

Not to let the grass grow under their feet

Not a single acquaintance in the place, and we glory in the fact

Not safe for politicians to call each other hard names

Not his custom nor that of his
councillors to go to bed

Not of the genus Reptilia, and could
neither creep nor crouch

Not strong enough to sustain many more such victories

Not to fall asleep in the shade of a
peace negotiation

Not many more than two hundred
Catholics were executed

Not upon words but upon actions

Not for a new doctrine, but for liberty of conscience

Not of the stuff of which martyrs are made (Erasmus)

Not so successful as he was picturesque

Nothing could equal Alexander’s
fidelity, but his perfidy

Nothing cheap, said a citizen bitterly, but sermons

Nothing was so powerful as religious

Notre Dame at Antwerp

Nowhere was the persecution of heretics more relentless

Nowhere were so few unproductive

O God! what does man come to!

Obscure were thought capable of dying natural deaths

Obstinate, of both sexes, to be burned

Octogenarian was past work and past

Of high rank but of lamentably low

Often much tyranny in democracy

Often necessary to be blind and deaf

Oldenbarneveld; afterwards so

On the first day four thousand men and women were slaughtered

One-half to Philip and one-half to the Pope and Venice (slaves)

One-third of Philip’s effective navy
was thus destroyed

One golden grain of wit into a sheet of infinite platitude

One could neither cry nor laugh within the Spanish dominions

One of the most contemptible and
mischievous of kings (James I)

Only healthy existence of the French
was in a state of war

Only true religion

Only citadel against a tyrant and a
conqueror was distrust

Only kept alive by milk, which he drank from a woman’s breast

Only foundation fit for history,–
original contemporary document

Opening an abyss between government and people

Opposed the subjection of the
magistracy by the priesthood

Oration, fertile in rhetoric and barren in facts

Orator was, however, delighted with his own performance

Others that do nothing, do all, and
have all the thanks

Others go to battle, says the
historian, these go to war

Our pot had not gone to the fire as

Our mortal life is but a string of
guesses at the future

Outdoing himself in dogmatism and

Over excited, when his prejudices were roughly handled

Panegyrists of royal houses in the
sixteenth century

Pardon for crimes already committed, or about to be committed

Pardon for murder, if not by poison,
was cheaper

Partisans wanted not accommodation but victory

Party hatred was not yet glutted with the blood it had drunk

Passion is a bad schoolmistress for the memory

Past was once the Present, and once the Future

Pathetic dying words of Anne Boleyn

Patriotism seemed an unimaginable idea

Pauper client who dreamed of justice at the hands of law

Paving the way towards atheism (by

Paying their passage through, purgatory

Peace founded on the only secure basis, equality of strength

Peace was desirable, it might be more dangerous than war

Peace seemed only a process for
arriving at war

Peace and quietness is brought into a most dangerous estate

Peace-at-any-price party

Peace, in reality, was war in its worst shape

Peace was unattainable, war was
impossible, truce was inevitable

Peace would be destruction

Perfection of insolence

Perpetually dropping small innuendos
like pebbles

Persons who discussed religious matters were to be put to death

Petty passion for contemptible details

Philip II. gave the world work enough

Philip of Macedon, who considered no
city impregnable

Philip IV.

Philip, who did not often say a great deal in a few words