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alone were to blame in the matter of the Partition treaty. The knowledge of this treaty had provoked such wrath at Madrid, that the Spanish ambassador at London published a declaration so insolent that William commanded him to leave,-a measure which was retaliated by the dismissal from Spain of the English and Dutch ambassadors.' The revelation of the secret of the treaty was attributed to Louis, as the readiest way to obtain something better than those Italian possessions of Spain which the treaty gave him. * The dying king was tormented, on one side, by the importunities of his queen and her confessor, to favour the emperor; on the other side, the Cardinal Porto-Carrero subdued the mind, always feeble, but now prostrate in superstition, by arts which Rome counts among its most precious accomplishments, The wretched prince was first terrified into the belief that his health was affected by sorcery; and the cardinal then procured a Capuchin monk, “ very intelligent and well practised in matters of enchantment and casting out devils,” to perform the rite of exorcism. Charles was persuaded that his health would be restored if he descended into the vaults of the Escurial, and looked upon the mouldering remains of his ancestors. The coffins of his mother and of his first wife were opened ; and when he saw the face of his loved queen, scarcely yet touched by corruption, he rushed away, exclaiming, “ I shall soon be with her in heaven." Enfeebled in body and mind, the poor king still clung to the idea that he ought to preserve the inheritance of Spain to the Austrian family from which he had sprung. The authority of the pope was called in to determine for him what he ought to do. Innocent XII. decided that the whole Spanish monarchy belonged by right of inheritance to the dauphin ; but to prevent the union of the crowns of Spain and France, it was desirable to give the succession to the duke of Anjou, the dauphin's second son. Thus fortified, Porto-Carrero, and Harcourt, the French ambassador, worked with unremitting energy The wretched man grew worse and worse. Ecclesiastics surrounded his bed to urge, under the penalties of divine wrath, obedience to the councils of the Vatican. The famous Testament which plunged Europe into a war of ten years was signed. The king exclaimed, “Now I am as one of the dead.” When the last breath had departed, after Charles had lingered four weeks,—the duke of Abrantes came forth from the Council, of which Porto Carrero had obtained from Charles the nomination as chief,-and announced that Philip, duke of Anjou, was the sole inheritor of the

"Louis," says John Bull, "revealed our whole secret to the deceased lord Strutt, who, in reward to his treachery, and revenge to Frog and me, settled his whole estate upoa the present Philip Baboon."-Arbuthnot.

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vast Spanish monarchy. Saint Simon relates an amusing incident which preceded the formal announcement. Blécourt, the ambassador of France, who was probably in the secret of the will, and count d'Harrach, the ambassador of the emperor, who thought that his master would be the fortunate heir, were anxiously waiting in the crowd around the council door. Abrantes came out; looked a moment at Blécourt; then turned his eyes another way, and fixing them on d'Harrach, moved towards him, embraced him, and thus spoke: “Sir, it is with much pleasure,”—bows and reciprocal embraces—“Yes, Sir, it is with extreme joy, that for the rest of my life," more embraces, “and with the greatest contentment that I part from you, and take my leave of the august House of Austria.”

On the 12th of November, the earl of Manchester, the English ambassador to France, wrote home, “I must now acquaint you that there is an end of our Treaty." The king of France had decided to accept the Will. One of his reasons was, that the emperor had not yet acceded to the Treaty. The emperor had in his posses sion a Will of the king of Spain, made in the previous June, which gave the inheritance to the archduke of Austria. He had to learn that Charles had cancelled that will, when he signed the Testament of the end of October. The exultation of the court of France was scarcely attempted to be concealed. Louis affected to doubt what his decision should be; and he went through the mockery of consulting his council. He then came forth, and addressed the boy-king. “Sir, the king of Spain has named you his successor. The nobles demand, the nation desires you, and I give my consent. You will reign over the greatest monarchy in the world.” The Spanish ambassador did homage to Philip V.; and when the youth parted from his affectionate grandfather, the superb monarch exclaimed, “The Pyrenees exist no longer.” William knew what the pretended separation of the Crowns of France and Spain really meant. He had arrived in London in November, where he received the news that Louis had broken his engagements. He immediately wrote to Heinsius: “I am perfectly persuaded, that if this Will be executed, England and the Republic are in the utmost danger of being totally lost or ruined."* In a letter, three days later, he says: My chief anxiety is to prevent the Spanish Netherlands from falling into the hands of France. You will easily conceive how this business goes to my heart.” | The most heroic period of the life of William was now to be entered upon--that period in which Burnet says—" there was a black appearance of a • Hardwicke Papers, vol. ii. p. 393.

1 Ibid., p. 395.

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new and dismal scene; ” but the period which called forth the most wonderful display of the energies of the king's character. William's conduct cannot be better described than in the magnificent words of Burke : “ In all the tottering imbecility of a new government, and with Parliament totally unminageble, he persevered. He persevered to expel the fears of his people, by his fortitude ; to steady their fickleness, by his constancy; to expand their narrow prudence, by his enlarged wisdom; to sink their factious temper in his public spirit. In spite of his people he resolved to make them great and glorious; to make England, inclined to shrink into her narrow self, the arbitress of Europe, the tutelary angel of the human race. In spite of the ministers, who staggered under the weight that his mind imposed upon theirs, unsupported as they felt themselves by the popular spirit, he infused into them his own soul; he renewed in them their ancient heart, he rallied them in the same cause. It acquired some time to accomplish this work. The people were first gained, and through them their distracted representatives."*

The Parliament which had been prorogued in April was dissolved in December, 1700. The Tory party were now in the ascendant, and they had all the advantages of government influence in the elections. The king, if we may judge from the first aspect of proceedings in the House of Commons, was the person in this kingdom who had the least control upon the temper of the people's representatives. Ralph, the laborious party-historian of these times, relieves his usual dreariness by the following anecdote : “ His majesty, in dismissing the Whigs, because they could no longer do his business in Parliament, had done enough to disoblige them, but not enough to gain the Tories; and so met with such treatment from both as once gave him occasion to say, in a pet, to Lord Halifax, “that all the difference he knew between the two parties was, that the Tories would cut his throat in the morning and the Whigs in the afternoon.'”+ The Houses met on the 6th of February. Godolphin was now at the head of the Treasury; Rochester was Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. Under the ministerial influence Harley was chosen Speaker by the new Parliament, by a majority double that of the Whig nominee. The speech of the king touched upon the two great events of the past yearthe death of the duke of Gloucester, and the death of the king of Spain. The loss of the duke of Gloucester “made it absolutely necessary that there should be a further provision for the Succession of the Crown in the Protestant lire." The death of the late * " Letters on a Regicide Peace," Letter I.

| Ralph, vol. ii. p. 90

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THE KING ASKS 'ASSISTANCE FOR THE STATES-GENERAL. 95

king of Spain " has made so great an alteration of affairs abroad, that I must desire you very maturely to consider their present state.” The House divided upon a motion arising out of the king's speech, carrying this Resolution only by a majority of twenty-one : * That they would stand by and support his majesty and his government, and take such effectual measures as may best conduce to the interest and safety of England, the preservation of the Protestant religion, and the peace of Europe.” Burnet says that a design was laid, to open the Session with a vote that the king be requested to own the king of Spain; but the opponents of William's policy thought better of the scheme when a member, Mr. Moncton, who was present at the discussion, said that if the vote were carried, he should expect the next vote would be for owning the pretended prince of Wales. * The king was, however, moving steadily forward to the completion of the great object of his policy. When he received the Address of the Commons in reply to his Speech, he laid before them a Memorial from the Envoy Extraordinary of the States General. It set forth that they had acknowledged the new king of Spain, under the condition that a negotiation should be entered into, in concert with their allies, to secure the peace of Europe. They prayed the king of England to send the necessary instructions to his minister at the Hague to act conjointly with them. But they added that, as French troops were moving towards their frontier, they requested the succour agreed to be provided for their defence, under a treaty made by England with the States in 1677. The Commons asked that the Treaty of 1677 should be laid before them. They then unanimously resolved to request the king to enter into such negotiations with the States General, and with other powers, as might conduce to the mutual safety of these kingdoms and the United Provinces, and promising their support in performance of the Treaty. William was unexpectedly gratified by this decision. “ Nothing," he said to the Houses, “can more effectually conduce to our security than the unanimity and vigour you have shown on this occasion.” From that hour the king calmly and resolutely looked upon the future. There was a slight change in the temper of the Commons, which he probably could trace to a higher cause than the change which he had made of his ministers. Public opinion was slowly but surely coming into operation. There were few organs of opinion besides party pamphlets; but the people had some knowledge of political events, even from their meagre newspapers.

Burnet's loose mode of narration would imply that this was mooted in Parliament, which Ralphi explicitly denies.

They thought for themselves, and they expressed their thoughts freely amongst themselves. In the heat of the contest between William and the House of Commons about disbanding the army, we are assured that the king“ was in truth more really beloved by the body of the people than he thought himself to be, or than his enemies seemed to believe he was.”* Swift, who, in 1701, looked upon politics from a higher elevation than the molehill of party, says, that one cause of the popular aversion to some of the preceedings of the Commons was, “a great love and sense of gratitude in the people toward their present king, grounded upon a long opinion of his merit, as well as concessions to all their reasonable desires, so that it is for some time they have begun to say, and to fetch instances, where he has in many things been hardly used." + We shall soon see this temper of the people coming into direct collision with their representatives.

It was on the 3rd of March that the portion of the king's speech which relates to the Protestant Succession was brought forward in the Commons. Burnet says: “ The manner in which this motion of Succession was managed did not carry in it great marks of sincerity. It was often put off from one day to another, and it gave place to the most trifling matters.” During the whole of March and April the two great parties were engaged in the most furious broils. It was perhaps fortunate that their attention was diverted from high matters that concerned the future, to temporary ebullitions of party rage. The nomination of the princess Sophia and her descendants might otherwise have been resisted by the furious Jacobites; and the clauses of the Act of Settlement which gave guarantees for constitutional freedom, in addition to the Bill of Rights, might have been opposed by the advocates of absolute government. There was comparatively little discussion about these conditions, “ for better securing the rights and liberties of the subject.” They were proposed by Harley; supported by the Tories; and not resisted by the Whigs,-although the clauses against the sovereign going out of his dominions without the consent of Parliament, and for preventing any foreigner holding office, had the appearance of a personal reflection upon

the

government of king William. The clause which disqualifies all holders of office, and all receivers of pensions, from sitting in the House of Commons, was repealed early in the reign of Anne. Burnet says, “those who wished well to the Act were glad to have it passed any way, and so would not examine the limitations that

Onslow's Note on Burnet, vcl. iv. p. 392.
† "Contests and Dissentions in Athens and Rome," chap. V.

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