By the spring of 1595, Philip seemed to be surviving on willpower alone. His doctors marvelled at his courage and endurance; after he had weathered twenty-seven continuous days of fever in April–May 1595 they let it be known that ‘his body is so withered and feeble that it is almost impossible that a human being in such a state should live for long’.1 A year later, in April 1596, an attack of gout deprived him of the use of his right arm. He sank into deep depression; noting that an eclipse of the sun was due, he solemnly recalled that his father, his mother and other members of his family had died at such a time.2 But battered though he was, Philip would not give up on his wars; he would make a settlement for his son, but he would do it on his own terms and even now, with his life ebbing away by the day, he would do it in his own time.
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