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 reviews were very favourable, on the whole; even The Saturday review1 was almost commendatory though it did not find the style satisfactory. Perhaps the most severe stricture was that the figurative language was uncultivated in tone, but the general attitude of the censor is quite different from that taken four years previous. The Westminster review was more lavish in its praise. The Edinburgh review was a trifle patronizing, but still Motley was given credit. The American reviews had no reservations in their praise of both works. It is a trifle amusing to note the conclusion of the comments—a long and serious article—on The rise of the Dutch republic in the North American: ‘upon the whole it seems to us that the first William was a greater man than his great-grandson and namesake.’ This sounds as though, indeed, the elder Prince of Orange had needed an introduction to the American public in 1856. In Holland the second book received the same greeting as did the first, a greeting marked by pride and pleasure that a stranger had devoted so much of his life to their affairs, tempered by some careful and discriminating criticism. Professor Fruin wrote: ‘We have delayed too long in noticing this important work. No one can put down the book until it is finished. Through the beautiful style, the vivid narrative, the artistic descriptions, this work shines out above the works on history in our own language.’ Fruin took Motley's notes and verified every reference: ‘Even where we differ from his opinion, we must do honour to his good faith, to his keen perception, to his industrious and accurate investigation.’ The review was another of Fruin's fine essays on Dutch history. Fruin once more criticized Motley's failure to differentiate the values of his authorities and considered him often tempted to expand a phase simply because he had a rich store of material bearing upon it, but without due regard to the need of that phase in the narrative. Letters between Leicester and his officers led him on to tell a detailed story of petty English quarrels which would have been more suitable for a separate publication. That Motley's vivid imagination inspired him with interlinear visions, hardly substantiated by a strict construction of the text, was gently intimated by Fruin with one
1 January, 1861.
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