Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/484

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person at Bruges and promised-sincerely or not-to enter into peace negotiations with France. But the Ghent democracy, brooking no delay, sent forth a force which seized Courtray, obliging it to take the oath to Duke Philip and Ghent, and holding it against Philip of Cleves. On February 1, 1488, the trades of Bruges in their turn took up arms, and the Carpenters occupied the gate towards Ghent. Then ensued the strangest and most humiliating episode in the whole history of Maximilian's experiences in the Netherlands. The market-place was turned into a fortified camp, and for the better part of four months the Roman King was detained, first in his own lodging; then, as an actual prisoner in the Cranenburg, a house by the market; afterwards, when his soldiery had been driven out of the city, in the fortified mansion of Ravenstein. Bruges itself, afraid of Antwerp and plied with advice by Ghent (whence at one time several thousands arrived before the gates, • and later Coppenole appeared to proclaim the Peace of Arras), passed gradually into a state of terrorism, during which a series of executions of the King's followers took place under his very eyes. In the midst of these proceedings the Brughelins sent forth their levies against Maximilian's garrisons in other towns, seizing Middelburg and putting several nobles of his party to death; while the Ghenters on their own account committed similar excesses. Maximilian, although he at first gave fair words to the trades and afterwards made a pathetic appeal for consideration, bore himself throughout with courage and dignity.

At last, after Pope Innocent VIII had issued his censures at Bruges, it became known there that the Emperor in person was marching upon Flanders for the delivery of his son. Hitherto the States assembled round Duke Philip at Malines had transacted in a very business-like way with the other States at Ghent; but by the middle of May it was understood that now or never an arrangement must be made with the captive King. He was liberated on condition that he would withdraw from Flanders within four days of his deliverance, and that he approved, as did his son-in-law the King of France, the solemn League and Union entered into on May 1 by the States of several of the provinces for the sake of peace and good government, and for the maintenance of the Treaty of Arras.

He had thus yielded everything. But, though he had sworn a solemn oath and accepted a heavy pecuniary payment, it was felt that the nodus materiae lay in the question of hostages; nor was it till Philip of Cleves had arrived at Bruges in this capacity that the King was at last allowed to depart. On May 24 the Emperor arrived at Louvain at the head of a well-appointed army, and Maximilian, as a prince of the Empire (not "for his own quarrel"), felt himself compelled to take part in the punitive campaign against Flanders. On both sides the necessity was put forward of protecting the rights of Duke Philip; and, after the Germans and Walloons had seized Deinze,