In The Amulet, Hendrik Conscience has worked up an incident which occurred at Antwerp in the 16th century into a story of great power and deep interest. It was a dark and bloody deed committed, but swift and terrible was the retribution, strikingly illustrating how God laughs the sinner to scorn, and how the most cunningly devised schemes are frustrated when He permits the light of His avenging justice to expose them in their enormity. On the contrary, it forcibly proves that virtuous actions, sooner or later, bear abundant fruit even in this world. If a man's sins bring upon his head a weight of woe, so do his good deeds draw down the benedictions of heaven and serve as a shield to protect him from his enemies. Hendrik Conscience won his place in the literature of the world, which he held to the end of his busy career; the titles of his books mount up to a hundred. But while he was hailed as a great author by all Europe, the deeper and more enduring value of his work, which is the rehabilitation of a language and the founding of a literature, was understood only in Belgium itself and in Holland.