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to allow such sums of money, as should be sufficient for the carry. ing on the charges of that war.
Yet these reasonings were not so plausible, but that most con. sidering men easily saw through them. Those, that loved the Pro. testant interest, could not with patience endure to see the triple league, which was the greatest fence of their religion, against the growing greatness of France, broken, and new leagues made with the king, whose aim at an universal monarchy was then as visible, though the effects of it had not been near so fatal as they are now. Therefore, other methods were followed at home; the Dissenters were caressed, and a declaration of indulgence was set out, wherein the king expresses so very great zeal for the Protestant religion, ' which he had so eminently professed in his most desperate condi. tion abroad among Roman Catholick princes *, that he allowed to the Protestant Dissenters the publick and free exercise of their religion, in houses set apart for that purpose, which was only granted to Roman Catholicks in their own houses. And, lest this might have too much alienated the church of England, whose members bore so great a sway in that parliament, that a breach with them, at that time, might have stopped his designs upon Holland, in a great mea. sure, by their refusing to pay the charges of the war, he declares in the next session of parliament +, This indulgence should not any way prejudice the church, but that he would support its rights and it, in its full power.'
His declarations, both at the time when this war was on foot, and even afterwards, as long as he lived, were outwardly so very pas. sionate and warm for the Protestant religion, and the preservation of the English Government, that, unless such frequent repetitions of that, which, in good manners, none would seem to question, might look like overdoing, and so breed suspicions, nothing could have ever shaken that opinion, which was so firmly grounded in the hearts of all his subjects. He professed I, that he should esteem it the most unpardonable crime which could be committed against him. self, to raise any suspicions of his unsteadiness in the Protestant religion in the minds of his people; and this restrained almost all his subjects, who were so dazzled with his other royal endowments, that they could never be persuaded to suspect so much artifice in a prince, whose natural goodness, and sweetness of temper, did so eftectually charm all those who had the honour to be near his person.
But though these repeated protestations had wrought so intire a confidence in the minds of his people, that they rested satisfied in the sincerity of his intentions, and interpreted all those actions which tended to the supporting of the Popish interest in England to his tenderness towards the Duke of York ll, whom he resolved nefer to abandon $, notwithstanding the importunities of his people,
Vit. the King's Declaration of Indulgence, December 26, 1662. 1 feb. , 1672.
Declaration of Indulgence, December 26, 1662.
To the mercy of the parliament, and Protestant subjects of England, who, for the safety of the king and country, required his exclusion froin the throne, at the demise of his brother the king.
and the safety of himself and his kingdoms, seemed to require it : Yet the King of France was go tender of his honour, as to conceal these private treaties and alliances, which, at his sollicitations, the king entered into, against the United Provinces, and to the destruction of the Protestant religion, and the overthrow of the English liberties. But he consented so far to the publication of an account of the war with Holland, and of the reasons and motives which engaged the two Kings to carry it on, that the Abbot Primi, who put out the book in the Italian tongue, was employed by Mr. Colbert de Croissy, and a pension was allowed him for his pains, in publishing it also in French : which book was published by authority at Paris, in the year 1682. It is well known, how severe that government is in matters of that nature, where nothing is ever publickly set forth of any importance, as to the Church or State, but what perfectly agrees with the inclinations and interests of those who are there so very absolute. It was publickly known at Paris, that Mr. L'Abbe Primi had a pension from Mr. Colbert de Croissy : And, when men are employed by ministers of state, to publish accounts of the transactions of the government, their writ. ings are rather looked upon as apologies, than histories. It makes no real difference, whether what a man writes, in such a case, be a translation or an original, he will be supposed to have endea, voured to please those who employed him; and all the fair protes. tations of sincerity, and faithfulness, and skill, which such a man can use, will be only looked upon as words of course, when once the reasons of his setting up for an historian are publickly known. The original of Count St. Majolo was printed in Italian; and the privilege ran as well to the printing it in Italian as French. How. soever, I do judge, that the name of Count St. Majolo, was a kind of trick of the Abbot Primi, to talk of secret alliances, of breaking leagues, of his master's persuading the King of England to seize the Dutch Smyrna fleet, and of several other secrets in the nego. tiations of Holland, England, and France, in his own name. For, when all is laid upon a foreigner, one may speak with great assurance, and the Count St. Majolo will then answer for the very things for which Monsieur L'Abbe receives his pension.
If our minister at Paris, when this book first appeared, had not, by a timely and a diligent application, procured its being stopped, we might, without question, have had several other important se crets published in the following books (for we have only two books of ten printed) which now we can only conjecture at. But the earnest complaints of my Lord Preston, who was then Envoy from King Charles the Second, at Versailles, prevailed so far, that the book was immediately stopped, and the edition totally suppressed, so that very few had ever heard of it, and much fewer, especially in England, had seen it. And to put a face upon the matter, Monsieur L'Abbe was thrown into the Bastile; from whence, after a mockimprisonment of nine or ten days, he was let out again. All that were at Paris, at that time, knew the story; and all, that were at all acquainted with the arbitrary severity of the French govern.
ment could easily see through the grimace; which was the better covered, because Count St. Majolo was to bear all the blame; who, if he be not related to Puffendorf's Monzambano, (another Italian Count, also) yet his testimony might easily be over-ruled, and so could furnish those persons with a ready excuse, whose interest it was, that such agreements, which were contrary to their open
and publick protestations, should either never be known, or, if once divulged, not believed.
I shall not stand to compare the matters of fact which are here set down, with those reports which at that time passed current in England; they are things which fall within most people's memory*; my business is only to give such an account of our proceedings, as was published at Paris with the privilege of the King of France, as fully granted, as in any other case whatever. Our authort tells us, that the growing greatness of the King of France, after the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle was concluded, by the mediation of the King of England, was so very terrible to the Queen-mother of Spain, who was guardian to her son, Charles the Second, King of Spain, that she employed her ablest ministers, to persuade England, Holland, and Sweden, to join in an alliance, for the preservation of the Peace, and the reciprocal security of each others kingdoms.
The Hollanders, he tells us, greedily embraced it, and ran into the triple league with great readiness, not much concerning them. selves with France, which, they thought, could make no great opposition to them by sea; and, by land, they were so fortified by the natural fences of their dikes, that they apprehended, on that side, no sort of danger.
A constant series of success against the Spaniards, who declared them a sovereign and independent republick in 1648, pushed them on to great insolencies against the King of France I: They inter. posed in the affairs of Germany, as if they had been immediately concerned $: They determined peace or war amongst their reighbours, as they thought would be most for their own interest: They threatened to ruin the kingdom of France, by prohibiting any commerce with French manufactures, and scattered medals and pictures, very derogatory to the honour of the French King. Their busying themselves so much with the affairs of Germany, was a means to engage the Bishop of Munster to keep up his army, after he had concluded a peace with the Duke of Brunswick Wolfem. huttel, and to declare against the incroachments of the Hollanders upon the empire || : Which opportunity the French King laid hold of, to make an alliance with him, and the princes of the House of Furstemberg, and the Bishop of Strasburgh, against Holland; by which means, he secured the passes upon the Rhine and the Maese, which lay convenient for the setting upon the Hollanders by land, who till then bad thought themselves secure from any attacks on that side 1
This being published in the year 1689.
Page 450 | Page 40.
+ Page 18, 19.
* Page el.
He engaged the Emperor also to a neutrality, and persuaded him to ratify those alliances which the French King had already made with the bishops of Munster and Strasburgh, and the princes of the House of Furstemberg*, with assurances that he would not concern himself in those quarrels, unless either the Empire or the King of Spain should be invaded.
The King of England was already very much dissatisfied with the Hollanderst, and was willing enough to disengage himself from the triple league. For the Hollanders had refused to stand to those regulations about the East India trade, which had been concluded upon at Breda; and their vessels would not lower their topsails to the English men of war, and they disputed the sovereignty of the sea, unless the King of England would declare for them against France, in case of a breach ; which things were very dishonourable for the English nation, and were great instances of the treachery of the Hollanders, and of the small assistance which the English could promise to themselves from their friendship I.
« Colbert de Croissy, the French Ambassador at London, urged $ all these things to the Kings of England; he put him in mind of the medals which the Hollanders published, wherein they attributed to themselves all the glory of concluding the peace of Aix la Chapelle, which had been obtained by the King of England's mediation; and told him, that this was the time wherein he might take his revenge upon a nation, which had so little respect for kings; and that he never could expect a more favourable oppor. tunity ||, since several German princes had already entered into a league, and the King of France was sufficiently powerful to sa. tisfy all his confederates in the prosecution of this war, both as
to their advantage and credit 1. These things engaged the King of England to sign a secret treaty with France; and, to make it the more firm, Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans, a princess, whose wit was equal to her beauty, sister to the King of England, and sister-in-law to the King of France, went over into England in 1670, and proposed a treaty to her brother, in the name of the most Christian King, wherein she proffered to secure to him an absolute authority over his parliament, and the re-establishment of the Roman Catholick Religion in his three kingdoms of Eng. land, Scotland and Ireland. But, she said, that, before this could be effected, there was an absolute necessity of abating the haughtiness and power of the Hollanders, who only studied to fo. ment divisions amongst their neighbours; and to reduce them to the single province of Holland, of which the Prince of Orange should
• Page 57. 58, † Page 58. Page 59. $ Page 60. | Page 61. Ce qui engagea ce prince à signer une traité secret avec la France ; & pour asseurer encore d'avantage Henriette d'Angleterre, Duchesse d'Orleans, princesse qui avoit autant d'esprit que de beauté, sæur du Roy d'Angleterre, et belle sæur du Roy de France, passa en Angleterre ep 1670, et proposa au roy son frère, au nom du roy tres-Chrétien, de lui asseurer un autorité absolue sur son parlement, et de restablir la religion Cathulique dans les Royaumes d'Angleterre, d'Escosse, et d'Irlande. Mais elle disoit que pour en venir à bout, il faloit avant toutes choses abaisser l'orgueil et la puissance des Hollandois qui ne songevient qu'à nettre la division parmi leurs voisins; et les reduire à la seule province d'Hollande, de laquelle le Prince u'Orange seroit Souverain, ou au moins Gouverneur perpetuel, ce qui ne seroit pas difficile à deux grands roys puissants et bien unis, et que par ce moyen le Roy d'Angleterre auroit la Zelande, pour lui servir de retraite en cas de basoin, er que le reste des Pays-bars
be Sovereign, or, at least, perpetual Governor; which would not be difficult for these two mighty kings, when once well united, to accomplish: So that, by this means, the King of England might have Zealand to retire to, if there should be occasion; and that the rest of the Low-Countries should remain to the King of France, whenever he should be able to conquer them.
When the King of France had thus secured himself by these alli. ances, he immediately began his preparations for war, and filled his stores, and raised men, some publickly, and some underhand, all over France, in Switzerland, Italy, and England.
Though these negotiations, and especially with England, were carried on with all the secrecy that matters of that importance re. quired *, yet the Hollanders had such notices given, as did exceed. ingly surprise them. They could not imagine that the English would quit the triple league; they said, this was a report raised by the French to amuse mankind withal +; they thought, that the present conduct of the King of England gave convincing proofs to the contrary: he had just before dismissed out of his port a fleet of Dutch merchantmen, and some Amsterdam vessels besides, and recalled Sir George Downing, his minister at the Hague, for speaking with too much warmth to the States-General I; so that,
in short, he seemed in all his actions to declare, that his intena * tions of keeping up a good correspondence with Holland were sin,
oere. However, the breaches every day grew wider and wider between France and Holland; and matters were carried so far on both sides, that the French King resolved to begin the war the next spring \l; and in the mean time he took secret measures with the
King of England S, to set upon them together, and to surprize them both by sea and land **. As for the King of England, he was exceedingly perplexed; there was need of money to carry on the design, and that secretly too ++: he could raise none at home without calling a parliament, and that could not be done without acquainting all Europe with his designs; there was also great
fear of opposition, both from the misunderstandings, which in that tumultuous assembly do for the most part arise between the two houses, and from the intrigues of the Hollanders. For which reasons the King of France furnished him with such sums of money, as were sufficient to send out a considerable fleet; and he advised the King of England (the better to conceal their agreements) to keep a fair correspondence outwardly with the
Dutch, to appear firm to the triple league, and declare that he set out a fleet for no other reasons, but because his neighbours,
Page 65. + Page 75. Page 76. In the Year 1672. Page 87. ** Le Roy d'Angleterre de son coté estoit embarasse, il faloit du secret & de l'argent pour faire reussier l'enterprise, & il ne pouvoit rien tirer de ses peuples qu'en con Parlement, ce qui faisoit connoitre ses desseins à toute l'Europe, outre que cette assemblée tumultueuse par la mauvaise intelligence qui est ordinairement entre les deux chambres & par les intrigues des Hollandois pouvoit s'y opposer; mais le Roy tres-Chrétien luy envoya des sommes suffisantes pour mettre en nur un flotte considerable, & luy conseilla pour mieux cacher leur union de temoigner aux Hollandois qu'il vouloit bien vivre avec eux, de paroitre ferme dans les traitez de Triple Alliance, & de publier qu'il ne vouloit avoir un flotte qu parce ques ses voisins, & particulierement les Francois, faisoient de graads armemens dans tous le ports qu'ils avoit en sur l'ocean, tt Page 88.