Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/475

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of the Chancellor and twenty-three other members named for life by the sovereign, nobles and trained lawyers in equal proportions, and assigned on a fixed scale to each of the provinces of the land. Every precaution was used for ensuring a paramount regard on the part of the Council for the privileges and usages of provinces and towns, and every facility provided for the assembling on their own motion of the States of the whole of the ducal dominions-the States-General.

The Great Privilege was supplemented by several special applications of its principles to the needs of particular provinces. These were the Flemish Privilege, obtained on the same day by the Four Members of Flanders, upon whose unanimous consent it made any future constitutional change depend, while no Flemish business was to be transacted except on Flemish soil and in the Flemish tongue; the Great Privilege of Holland and Zeeland (February 17), which contained similar provisions and granted full liberty to the towns to hold "Parliaments" of their own, in conjunction with the other States of the Netherlands or not; the Great Privilege of Namur (May), and the Joyeuse Entree granted to Mary on the occasion of her being acknowledged at Leuven as Duchess of Brabant (May 29), which, while returning to the usages confirmed at the accession of Philip the Good, added new liberties and doubled the measure of restrictions upon the ducal, power.

Thai fear of France rather than any affection for the Burgundian dynasty, or even any warmth of feeling towards Mary herself, had induced the representatives of the vier landen to come to terms with her, was shown by the military preparations upon which they simultaneously agreed. In place of the ducal army which had ceased to exist, 100,000 men were to be levied, of whom Flanders contributed more than one-third, and the rest in proportion. Raised by means of half-obsolete feudal obligations, or as communal or rural militia, this army, though its numbers were helped out by a system of substitutes, proved inadequate to its purpose; but the fact of its levy not the less shows that the mind of the Netherlands had been made up to resist the French advance.

Meanwhile Mary, still uncertain in which direction to turn for preservation, had sent an embassy to Louis XI, apparently just before her relations with the Flemish towns had been settled. She had little personal advice to depend upon. Her step-mother, the high-spirited Duchess Dowager Margaret, still relied on delusive hopes of English support. Mary's kinsman, Adolf, Lord zum B^ivenstein and brother of the Duke of Cleves, was both loyal to her and popular with her subjects, but as yet chiefly intent upon securing her hand for his own son. The time for taking the matronly advice of her former governess, Jeanne de Commines, Dame de Hallewin, had not yet