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William the Silent

Geburtstag: 24. April 1533
Todesdatum: 10. Juli 1584

William I, Prince of Orange , also known as William the Silent or William the Taciturn , or more commonly known as William of Orange , was the main leader of the Dutch Revolt against the Spanish Habsburgs that set off the Eighty Years' War and resulted in the formal independence of the United Provinces in 1581. He was born into the House of Nassau as Count of Nassau-Dillenburg. He became Prince of Orange in 1544 and is thereby the founder of the Orange-Nassau branch and the ancestor of the monarchy of the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, he is also known as Father of the Fatherland .

A wealthy nobleman, William originally served the Habsburgs as a member of the court of Margaret of Parma, governor of the Spanish Netherlands. Unhappy with the centralisation of political power away from the local estates and with the Spanish persecution of Dutch Protestants, William joined the Dutch uprising and turned against his former masters. The most influential and politically capable of the rebels, he led the Dutch to several successes in the fight against the Spanish. Declared an outlaw by the Spanish king in 1580, he was assassinated by Balthasar Gérard in Delft in 1584. Wikipedia

Zitate William the Silent

„One need not hope in order to undertake, nor succeed in order to persevere.“

—  William the Silent

As quoted in O Canada: An American's Notes on Canadian Culture (1963) by Edmund Wilson

„I am in the hands of God, my worldly goods and my life have long since been dedicated to his service.“

—  William the Silent

Response after hearing he had been declared an outlaw by Philip II, as quoted in The Rise of the Dutch Republic (1859) by John Lothrop Motley
Kontext: I am in the hands of God, my worldly goods and my life have long since been dedicated to his service. He will dispose of them as seems best for his glory and my salvation. … Would to God that my perpetual banishment or even my death could bring you a true deliverance from so many calamities. Oh, how consoling would be such banishment — how sweet such a death! For why have I exposed my property? Was it that I might enrich myself? Why have I lost my brothers? Was it that I might find new ones? Why have I left my son so long a prisoner? Can you give me another? Why have I put my life so often in danger? What reward can I hope after my long services, and the almost total wreck of my earthly fortunes, if not the prize of having acquired, perhaps at the expense of my life, your liberty? If then, my masters, you judge that my absence or my death can serve you, behold me ready to obey. Command me — send me to the ends of the earth — I will obey. Here is my head, over which no prince, no monarch, has power but yourselves. Dispose of it for your good, for the preservation of your republic, but if you judge that the moderate amount of experience and industry which is in me, if you judge that the remainder of my property and of my life can yet be of service to you, I dedicate them afresh to you and to the country.

„I have heard that tomorrow they are to execute the two prisoners, the accomplices of him who shot me. For my part, I most willingly pardon them.“

—  William the Silent

Asking that two assassins who had tried to kill him be spared torture, as quoted in William the Silent, Frederic Harrison p. 109
Kontext: I have heard that tomorrow they are to execute the two prisoners, the accomplices of him who shot me. For my part, I most willingly pardon them. If they are thought deserving of a signal and severe penalty, I beg the magistrates not to put them to torture, but to give them a speedy death, if they have merited this. Good-night!

„It is not possible for me to bear alone such labours and the burden of such weighty cares as press on me from hour to hour, without one man at my side to help me.“

—  William the Silent

As quoted in William the Silent (1897) by Frederic Harrison, p. 75
Kontext: It is not possible for me to bear alone such labours and the burden of such weighty cares as press on me from hour to hour, without one man at my side to help me. I have not a soul to aid me in all my anxieties and toils.

„We must have patience and not lose heart, submitting to the will of God, and striving incessantly, as I have resolved to do, come what may.“

—  William the Silent

Letter to his brother, Louis of Nassau, as quoted in William the Silent (1897) by Frederic Harrison, p. 93
Kontext: We must have patience and not lose heart, submitting to the will of God, and striving incessantly, as I have resolved to do, come what may. With God’s help, I am determined to push onward, and by next month I trust to be at our appointed rendezvous. Watch Alva closely, and contrive to join me as arranged.

„I have come to make my grave in this land.“

—  William the Silent

William as he led his army into the Netherlands (1572) as quoted in William the Silent, William of Nausau, Prince of Orange, 1533-1584 (1944)

„Our friends and allies are all turned cold.“

—  William the Silent

Letter to his brother, Louis of Nassau, as quoted in William the Silent (1897) by Frederic Harrison, p. 93

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„I will say no more, than that I will act as I shall answer hereafter to God and to man.“

—  William the Silent

After his wedding ceremony, on marrying his second wife, who was a Lutheran, as quoted in William the Silent (1897) by Frederic Harrison, p. 32

„This mercy will be your ruin; you will be at the bridge across which the Spaniards will enter this land.“

—  William the Silent

Statement to his friend, the Count of Egmont, as quoted in William the Silent (1897) by Frederic Harrison p. 76

„The end will show the whole truth.“

—  William the Silent

To his brother Louis, commenting on The Count of Egmont's visit to Philip II about the problems in the Netherlands (1565), as quoted in William the Silent (1897) by Frederic Harrison, p. 22

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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