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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 author + 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 themselves 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 J: They interposed in the affairs of Germany, as if they had been immediately concerned §; They determined peace or war amongst their neighbours, 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- buttel, 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 had thought themselves secure from any attacks on that side f,
• Thif Wins; publish*! in the year ICSi t Vw 18, IB. J Page SI.
i Page 4b, I P»[;c ii. 1 lv ... M
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 Hollanders^, 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:):.
'Colbert de Croissy, the French Ambassador at London, urged Sj '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 a» 'to their advantage and credit 5.' 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 England, 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 foment divisions amongst their neighbours; and to reduce them to the single province of Holland, of which the Prince of Orange should
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V Ce qui eugagen re printe a signer une traits secret avec Ta France; fit pour asseurer encore d'avantace Henriette d'Angleterre, Duchesse d'Orlcans, princesse qui avolt autant d'esprit que de beaute", steur du Hoy d'Angieterre, et belle inur tin Roy de France, passu en Ancleterre en 1670, et proposa au roy son frere, au nnrn du roy trts-Chretieu, de ln» asseurer un aulorite absolue surson partcment, etde restablir la religion Cathuliquc flans lei Royaumes d'Angleterrr, d'Eicosse, et dMrlande. Mais clledisoit que pour en venir a bout, il Ctloit nvant tomes choses abaisser I'orgueit ct la puissance des rlollantiois qui ne sonEeoient qu»a inettre la division parmi lenrs voisins; et les reduire a la seule province d'Hollautlc, de laquelle le Prince u'Orange scroit Souveraln, on au moins Ooaterneur perpetuel, ce qui ne seroit paa difficile a deux grands rovs puisaants et bien unis, etqueparce moyen le Hoy d'AneU■terrt auroit la Zelamie, potir lni servir de retraite en cas tie baxoln, et que le reste des Ptvya-wa* demeureroit au Buy de France, a'il pouvoit s'en rendie maistre.
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 alliances, 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 required*, yet the Hollanders had such notices given, as did exceedingly 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 pre
* sent conduct of the King of England gave convincing proofs to the 'contrary: he had just before dismissed out of his port a fleet of 4 Duteh 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 J; so that,
* in short, he seemed in all his actions to declare, that his inten
* tions of keeping up a good correspondence with Holland were sin
* cere.' 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 ||; 'and in the mean time he took secret measures with the
King of England ^, 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, 1 and especially the French, who made great preparations in all 'their ports upon the ocean, strengthened themselves so very consi'derably by sea *.
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** Le Hoy d'Angleterrc de son cote esiuit erabarasse, il faloit du secret & de I'argent pour faire reusaier l'enterprisc, & il ne pouvoit rien tirer de set peuples qu'en convoquant son Parlement, ce qui taisoit connoitre ses desscins a toute PEurope, outre que cette assembles lumultueuse par la mauvaise intelligence qui est ordinairement entre les deux chambres & par lea intrigues des Hollandois pouvoit B'v opposerj mais le Hey tres-Chretien luy envoya des sommes sufnsantes pour mettre en mitr un flotte considerable, k luy conseilla pour raicux cacher leur union de temoigner aux Hollandois qu'il routoit bien vivre avec Imx. de paroitre ferine dans les traitez de Triple Alliance, & de publier qu'il ne vouloit avoir un flotte qu parce ques ses voisins. & particulierement les Francois, faisoieat da gCMidfi jtfOK'HKiu dans tous le ports qu'ila avuit en sur l'ocean. ft Page 8tf.
Yet all this was not carried on so secretly, but their own residents at London, and the ministers of other princes in King Charles's court, gave the Hollanders such sure advertisement of his altering his measures, that they found it past all question. Pensioner de Witt fell in a swoon in the Stadt-house, upon the reading of a letter, which gave him an account of it +; and, as soon as he had recovered himself, he proposed to send the Heer Meerman into England, to renew the old alliances; who was immediately seconded by the Marquis del Freno, the Spanish minister j, who was sent thither on purpose to join with him in making use of all sorts of arguments, which might oblige the King of England to break off his Hew treaty with France ||.
But, all these applications proving ineffectual, all things tended to a war: it was known that the King of England had declared for France; and that, being provoked with the usage which his subjects had received at Surinam, he had renewed a treaty with France against Holland, and had promised to begin the war, provided that his most Christian majesty would declare war against the States in the beginning of May §.
And though the earnestness which the King and the Duke of York shewed in the prosecution of this business was extraordinary, though they set out ships, and manned them with all the industry and application possible; 'yet, because the government of Eng'land was mixed**, or composed of kings, lords, and commons, 'and that in the great concerns of the nation, or in raising of mo. 'ney, there was a necessity of a parliament; 'which is, like the 'people of whom it is made up, not always of the same mind++^ 1 and that the variableness of their climate is even visible in their 'councils; and, besides, since the Duchess of Orleans died soon 'after her return to France; for these reasons the King of France 'did not much rely upon any assistance from England, and so took 'his measures in such a manner, that the King of England might 'be assured they must succeed, in case he should fail him; and 'therefore he would not suffer the rage of the English against the 'Dutch at that time to cool, but he rather endeavoured to plunge
*them into a war, by such an action as might correspond to their 'earnest desire of being revenged.'
And this design soon succeeded; for, the French having notice of the return of the Dutch Smyrna fleet, which were then at sea, they immediately acquainted the King of England with it J J, 'and 'told him, that this was a favourable opportunity for him to engage
*the English in a certain war: they told him, that such a prize 'would furnish him with more money in one day, than he could 'get from his parliament in a year Xt 5 and? perhaps, so great a
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'prize night put him, during the whole course of the war, in 'such a condition, as that he would not stand in need of his par'liament; and that he ought not to let slip such an opportunity, 'because he certainly knew, that, what success soever it might 'have, yet his people, who always carried themselves very high up'on i prosperous turn of affairs, who were sensible of affronts,
*would spare for nothing which might carry on the war, wherein
*they might expect to humble the Dutch, and to revenge the wrongs 'of their merchants, and of their nation in general, upon those
* who would dispute the sovereignty of the sea with them.'
Upon these solicitations the king consented, and sent Sir Robert Holmes with nine men of war into the channel, to expect the coming of the Smyrna fleet*. And it had this effect, that though the Dutch (who had some notice of it before) did, in a thick foggy night, escape without any very considerable loss; yet this engaged the English to a war, which was immediately hereupon openly proclaimed by the King of England, against the States-General; which was earnestly pressed by Mr. Colbert de Croissy, who advised him not to delay the striking so signal, as well as so unexpected a stroke +.
How far the causes alledged in the declaration of war, which followed soon after, and the reasons by which the king endeavoured to persuade his parliament to a hearty concurrence with him in it, agreed with these motives, every man may judge. Whoever considers the carriage of the King of France, in other things, will not wonder at such a piece of treachery, as the publication of these secrets was, whilst King Charles II. was alive: and I believe, that the sending a man to the Bastile for ten days, who was notoriously known to have been employed for this very purpose, did convince as few people of the falsehood of these pretended alliances, as the sending of Mr. Skelton to the tower by King James II. did; which was so very like, that one would think the mock proceedings against Mr. L' Abbe Primi, gave a pattern to the King of England, to animadvert upon his own minister, who, by the confession of the French resident at the Hague, acted, by his majesty's order, only the second part of what the Abbot wrote.
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