« AnteriorContinuar »
The seven preliminaries were no sooner made public, thart
they were severely animadverted upon in several pamphlets, Buys sent to and defended in others; and being communicated to the Einelands by states-general by the earl of Strafford, who arrived at the the states
Hague on the roth of O&tober, extremely alarmed the states, as not being a sufficient foundation, upon which a negotiation might be hazarded: they dreaded the fatal consequences of opening the general conferences, before the articles of fered by France were explained, and especially, before they knew at all what they were to trust to for their
own barrier, and for their commerce.
These confiderations made them, for some time, decline granting the passports to the French plenipotentiaries ; and, in order to prevail with the queen to have some regard to her allies, and particularly in the two great articles of their barrier and commerce, they sent over monsieur Buys, as envoy extraordinary, to intercede with her to alter her resolutions; and they made the same representations to the earl of Strafford, but all to no purpose (r). For as Mr. St. John declared, in his letter to that earl, of the 9th of October, “ Certain it is, that her ma“ jesty has so far determined upon her measures, that those « will deceive themselves, who may imagine by delay or “ other artifices to break them.” And again, November the 2d, to the fame earl, “ The queen will not finally con“ cert a plan for the prosecution of the war with the states, “ until they join with her in agreeing to open the confer
ences of peace.” And the earl acquaints Mr. St. John, November the 15th, " That he had now told them, her
majesty's order to him was to declare, that she would
“ look upon any delay as a refusal to comply with her prowho come “ pofitions.” In these circumstances the Dutch at last at laft to a complied to grant the passports, and agreed to open the ge
neral conferences at the time fixed by the queen, January
That the fortifications of (r) Buys, before he left the Dunkirk shall be demolished, and Hague, had boasted, that the the harbour ruined.
queen could not withstand his 5. That the Dutch may name eloquent remonftrances one mocommissioners, to treat with the ment.- He was mistaken; for French commissioners about re the queen told him with her gulating the necessary barriers. mouth, that she would have
6. That satisfaction and secu- peace; and that she infifted the rity shall be given to the rest of Dutch should immediately cease the allies at the general congress. to oppose the opening of the con
With such fictions, it was thought ferences. Torcy's Mem. Vol. II. proper to amule the people.
the ist, 1711-12 ; and, pursuant to this resolution of the 1711.
branch of the house of Bourbon.” So that hitherto
Upon the receipt of the preliminaries figned by monsieur The empe. Mesnager, which count Gallas transmitted to the new em- ror's letters peror at Milani, bis imperial majesty wrote a circular letter to the elec
tors, and to to the electors, and other princes of the empire, exhorting the states, them to persist in the engagements of the grand alliance, Nov. 7. and, at the same time, he wrote another letter to the states N. S. to the same effect, but with this additional desire, “ That “ they would join counsels with him to induce the queen “ of Great-Britain to reject thofe propofitions, and to con“ tinue the war ; or, if a negotiation with the enemy could “ not be avoided, that it might be on condition, that the “ preceding preliminaries, proposed most of them by the “ enemy himself, might remain fixed, and without altera“ tion: and that she would not trust the immortal glory " she had gained, and the certain welfare of her people, to “ the infidelity of the French promises.” Before this letter reached the Hague, count de Goes, the imperial plenipotentiary there, presented a memorial to the ftates, about the current report, “. That the queen of Great-Britain had acá « cepted the seven articles proposed by France, judging " them sufficient for proceeding to a general congress of peace; and pressed their high mightinesses to consent
“ thereto, and to grant their passports for the ambassadors “ of France. Wherefore he thought it his duty to ask of " their high mightinesses, Whether this report were true ? " And in case it was, to desire them not to come to any re" solution, but in conjunction with his imperial majesty,
or his ministers, conformable to the fixth article of the “ grand alliance." The states returned a civil answer, both to this memorial, and to the emperor's representations ;
but the letter, which the emperor wrote at the same time to the queen of Great-Britain, and which was delivered by monsieur Hoffman, did not meet with the like fa
vourable return. Many libels Many mercenary pens were set on work, to justify the against the proceedings of the new ministry, and to defame the allies,
more particularly the Dutch. This was done with much art, but with no regard to truth, in a pamphlet, intitled, « The conduct of the allies, and of the late ministry :' to which very full answers were written, detecting the thread of falshood that ran through the work (s). It was now faid, England was so exhausted, that it was impossible to carry on the war : and when king Charles was chosen em
(s) On the 23d of October, said persons were continued on being the first day of the term, their recognizances till the last fourteen booksellers, printers, or day of term. publishers, who had been lately Mr. Darby and Mr. Hurt were taken up and committed to the prosecuted on account of a trancustody of state-mesengers, by Ilation of a memorable passage in warrants from Mr. fecretary St. Tacitus about Cecilius Bassus's John, for printing and publish- deceiving the emperor Nero, ing pamphlets, libels, and ballads, with the promise of an immense some of which were indeed se- but imaginary treasure, which vere invectives against the mi was inserted in a
called the niftry, and others represented as Observator, and was designed as Such, appeared at the bar of the a reflection on the South - Sea court of queen’s-bench, where project. Others were prosecuted Mr. Nicholas Lechmere, council on more criminal accounts, viz. for Mr. Darby and Mr. Hurt, for publishing seditious ballads, two of the printers, pleaded with called, A Welcome to the Modal, great zeal against the severity of Credit restored, Mat's Peace, &c. committing people, without Notwithstanding these prosecu• telling them their crimes ;' tions, the pens of both parties urging, ' That at this rate the were still bufy; the one in ex• office of a secretary of state ploding, and the other in vindi• would become a Spanish in- cating the present negotiations of •quisition. But, at the request peace. of the attorney-general, all the
peror, it was also said, he would be too great and too dan 1711. gerous to all his neighbours, if Spain were joined to the emperor, and to the hereditary dominions. It was also zealously, though most falsely, infused into the minds of the people, that our allies, most particularly the Dutch, had imposed on us, and failed us on many occasions. The Jacobites did, with the greater joy, entertain this prospect of peace, because the dauphin had, in a visit to St. Germains, congratulated that court upon it; which made them conclude, that it was to have a happy effect with relation to the pretender's affairs.
Our court denied this ; and fent earl Rivers to Hanover, to assure the elector, that the queen would take especial care to have the succession to the crown secured to his family, by the treaty that was to be opened. This made little impreffion on that elector: for he faw clearly, that if Spain and the West Indies were left to king Philip, the French would soon become the superior power to all the rest of Europe ; that France would keep Spain in subjection, and, by the wealth they would fetch from the Indies, they would give law to all about them, and set what king they pleased on the throne of England. Earl Rivers ftaid a few days there, and brought an answer from the elector in writing ; yet the elector apprehended, not without reason, that it might be stifled: therefore his minister, the baron de The eleco Bothmar, who came over with the duke of Marlborough on the 18th of November, was ordered to deliver to Mr. St. morial. John a long memorial, representing the necessity of pre- Nov. 20. • serving a perfect union between the allies, while the peace
O, s, should be treating; of their giving each other a mutual <
guaranty upon what should therein be concluded; as also
the pernicious consequences, if Spain and the Indies were • left to the duke of Anjou.' (t) This memorial, a few
of Hanoyer's me
(t) It concludes thus : there and of her allies, with so many is ground to hope, that, by re- triumphs over their powerful maining firmly united, the allies enemy, to the end they may femay soon oblige France (with the cure themselves by a safe and adblessing of God) to agree to rea vantageous peace, from all they fonable conditions ; the extreme have to fear from him ; and it indigence that crown is in, and cannot be his pleasure, that an the need she has of peace, being enemy so exhausted, and vanquishvery certain, and confirmed from ed, as he has been on all occasions, all parts. The Almighty has thould at last carry his designs by blessed the arms of the queen this war, and get out of it by a VOL. XVII.
1711. days after it was delivered, was published in the Daily
Courant of December the 5th, and received with great applause by all the well-wishers to the protestant succession, who highly commended the elector of Hanover for his seasonable interposition in an affair, which fo nearly concerned him. But, on the other hand, as it directly condemned the present scheme of peace, it gave no small offence to the ministry, whose agents openly exclaimed against it, suggesting, that it was very impolite in his electoral highness, at this juncture, to intermeddle in the affairs of Great Britain, and seem to espouse a party. Others pretended, that this memorial had more the air of an original in English, than of a translation from the French ; and fo concluded, it was contrived in London by the leading men of the whigparty in concert with baron Bothmar, who was perfuaded to present it: but this was altogether groundless; for the memorial was drawn up in form at Hanover, by monsieur Robethon, according to the elector's orders and directions. Nay, some were so bold, as in a printed • letter from a sup
posed whig gentleman in the country, to a friend in town,' to question the genuineness of that memorial, and to laugh at it as a barefaced imposture;. with other fcandalous reflections on his electoral highness, and his envoy. As for the British minifters, they had no manner of regard to that representation ; nor would the queen perhaps ever have seen it, had it not been shewn to her in print by the duke of Somerfet, before it was laid before her by the secretary of state ; which could not be agreeable either to her, or to Mr. St. John, who expoftulated with the baron de Bothmar about
publishing his memorial. The parlia
The parliament having been prorogued to the 27th of ment pro- November, a council was held on the 26th at St. James's, the oth of whether it should be further prorogued, or only adjourned December. for a few days ; and it was at last carried for a prorogation Burnet, Hitt.ot Eur.
till the 7th of December. It seems the Dutch, before they gave their consent to the opening of a congress, were desirous to see first how the parliament was inclined; but the earl of Strafford, perceiving their design, told them plainly, that, till they agreed to treat, the leflion would not be
peace glorious to him, to the king to Spain, of imposing one ruin of the victorious allies, and upon Great-Britain, and of makto the destruction of the libertying the validity of the election of of all Europe ; in acquiring by the head of the empire depend this peace the power of giving a on his approbation