Bakhuysen himself, who said: ‘Motley's work seems to me to make such an excellent foundation for the history of the growth of the Commonwealth of the United Netherlands that it seems almost a duty to bring forth one's own possessions in order to rear up a structure on this foundation.’ Fruin repeated the words at the beginning of his review. He added a cordial appreciation of the industry and conscientiousness of the American.
We have discovered no unused source. . . . I take it for granted that everyone has read the work of the American. . . . It would be a scandal if our countrymen neglected to read what the foreigner counted of sufficient importance to discuss. . . . Motley shines in narrative [Hij is een bekwam stylist] but he is less fortunate in his explanations of cause and effect. What the witnesses whom he summons testify, he narrates better than they can tell, but he fails to weigh their personality and trustworthiness with sufficient accuracy. The ‘how’ is good, the ‘why’ defective. He is far behind Ranke in his comprehension of the beginnings of the revolt.Then the Dutch historian proceeded to write one of the most valuable articles that ever came from his pen, Het voorspel van den tachtigjarigen oorlog. Herein he carefully reviewed the ground with exact references to his authorities and gave a less passionate and less biassed picture than Motley of Philip's relations to the Netherlands and to the thread of events that preceded the final outbreak. Motley could not complain of lack of appreciation in the Netherlands, and had reason to flatter himself that his work was a spur to the Netherlanders to look to their own dykes and consider carefully what was true among their writers of the sixteenth century and what needed to be winnowed. Besides, there was an interest aroused in the texts, and several valuable works, used by Motley in manuscript, were printed within a few years after the publication of his work. Now nearly everything important is in print, and the stimulus to the incessant output during the last half century was certainly largely due to the American. Scarcely taking breath after the publication of this first great effort, the author plunged into the sequel and brought out two volumes of The United Netherlands in 1860. This time neither publisher nor public was shy. The English