The Legend of Ulenspiegel by Charles de Coster Book II Chapter 5

King Philip, dark and gloomy, dabbled with paper with no respite all day long, and even by night, and scribbled over papers and parchments. To them he confided the thoughts of his hard heart. Loving no man in his life, knowing that no man loved him, fain to bear his immense empire alone, a dolorous Atlas, he bowed beneath the burden. Phlegmatic and melancholy of temperament, his excessive toil devoured his weak body. Detesting every bright or merry face, he had conceived hatred for our country because of its gaiety; for our traders because of their wealth; for our nobles because of their free speech, frank ways and manners, the sanguine mettlesomeness of their gallant joviality.

He knew, for he had been told, that long before Cardinal de Cousa had indicted the abuses of the Church and preached the need for reforms, the revolt against the Pope and the Romish Church, having been manifested throughout our country under different kinds of sect, was in every head like boiling water in a tight shut kettle.
Obstinate and mulish, he thought that his will ought to lie heavy on the whole world like the will of God; he desired that our countries, little used to ways of servile obedience, should bow beneath the old yoke without obtaining any reform. He wanted his Holy Mother the Catholic Church, Apostolic and Roman, to be one, entire and universal with neither modification nor change, and with no other grounds for wanting this except that he did want it so. Acting in this like an unreasonable woman, tossing and turning by night on his bed as though a couch of thorns, incessantly tormented by his thoughts.

“Yea, Master Saint Philip, yea, Lord God, were I to be forced to make of the Low Countries a common grave and throw into it all the inhabitants, they shall come back to you, my blessed patron, and to you, Madame Virgin Mary, and to you, all ye Saints of Paradise.”

And he sought to do even as he said, and thus he was more Roman than the Pope and more Catholic than the councils.

And Ulenspiegel and Lamme, and the people of Flanders and the Low Countries, full of anguish, imagined that they could see from far within the gloomy haunt of the Escurial, that crowned spider, with long legs and open claws, spreading out his web to entangle them around and suck the best of their heart’s blood.

Although the Papal Inquisition had, under the reign of Charles, killed at the stake, by burying alive, and by the rope, a hundred thousand Christians; though the goods of the poor condemned folk had found their way into the coffers of the Emperor and the King, as the rain flows into the drain, Philip deemed that it was insufficient; he imposed new bishops upon the country and proposed to introduce into it the Spanish Inquisition.

And the town heralds everywhere read out to the sound of trump and tambourine proclamations decreeing to all heretics, men and women and girls, death by fire to those who did not abjure their error, by the rope to those who should abjure. Women and girls would be buried alive, and the executioner should dance upon their bodies.

And the flame of resistance ran throughout the whole land.