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[138] thoughtful, unobtrusive labour, and unless we are strangely mistaken, unless we are ourselves altogether unfit for this office of criticising which we have undertaken, the book is one which will take its place among the finest histories in this or in any language. . . . All the essentials of a great writer Mr. Motley eminently possesses. His mind is broad, his industry unwearied.

Froude did not like Motley's estimate of Queen Elizabeth, adding: ‘It is ungracious, however, even to find so slight a fault with these admirable volumes.’ This gentle animadversion is amusing, because all the eminent authorities on the period treated do just what Froude does. They like the way Motley has navigated the whole sea of difficulties but think he has lost his way on their private pools. In Holland and Belgium at the time of the appearance of The rise of the Dutch republic there were, among other scholars, three eminent archivists and one rising historian: Groen van Prinsterer, Bakhuysen van der Brink, and Professor Fruin in Holland, and Gachard in Brussels. They all received the book with pleasure as well as with profound surprise that any foreigner had cast his plummet down their deeps with so much assiduity. Mingled with their real and cordial approval there was a reserve on the part of each regarding the treatment of his own particular thesis. Groen thought that Motley did not really feel the Protestant impulse in all that happened; Bakhuysen considered that he did not understand phases of the relations with Germany; Gachard, himself less fervent in his opinions than the Hollanders, criticized Motley's partisanship; while Fruin, the first man to hold a chair at Leyden University exclusively devoted to ‘Vaderlandsche Geschiedenis,’ criticized the whole work on a larger and more ample scale. He thought that the author did not grasp fully the actual development of the congeries of provinces, found many weak spots in the generalizations, and held that, closely as Motley had followed original authorities, he had erred seriously in not testing the exact weight and authenticity of the witnesses whom he had summoned to help him tell his tale.

The English original excited immediate interest in Holland, but the most exhaustive reviews were reserved until the Dutch version appeared in 1859, made by no less an authority than

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