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message, lately sent to them, for a supply to pay off the fleet, should not be observed. * Parliament was upon this prorogued for ten days. This quarrel with the Commons seems to have made Charles determine to close the breach with France, which he had taken care not to make irreparable.
M He now concluded a formal treaty.
He accepted six millions of livres for himself; but he refused to put his name to the conditions, that he should disband his army and prorogue his Parliament. The royal conscience was completely relieved, however, when it was expressed, that he should receive the money upon disbanding the army and proroguing the Parliament. To such a quibble was all his virtue reduced! t He was, however, allowed to retain S000 troops for Ostend, and after long discussion, 3000 more for Scotland. The Parliament was to be prorogued for four months.t
* Reresby. f Dal. p. 165.
X He endeavoured to employ Sir W. Temple in this negotiation; but that upright man was so offended, that, after evading the employment by feigning sickness, he retired to his house at Sheen, and wrote to the Lord Treasurer, to offer his resignation of his embassy at Nimeguen, and an abandonment of the promise he had received to be Secretary of State. Barillon. Dal. App. p. 170. Temple's Works. Temple tells us, that he heard on good authority, that the King expressed such indignation at one article of the private
When the Parliament met, the King May 21' told them that events had driven things violently on towards a peace, but he was resolved to save Flanders, either by a war or by a peace; and therefore desired to keep up his army and navy. The Commons prayed him to declare immediate war, and upon his refusal, voted that the army should be disbanded; but the King, finding that he had money to pay the troops, retained them for some time longer. The rest of the summer passed in new preparations for hostilities, and new jealousies on the part of the Commons. Sir John Reresby tells us that the rumour of war was revived in June, but that he often saw the King, the Duke, and Barillon together at the Duchess of Portsmouth's, laughing at those who believed it. *
It is melancholy to record the general results of this session. A needless burden of 600,0001.; a standing army not only useless but dangerous;
treaty, proposed by Barillon, that he said he never would forget it as long as he lived. Swift, who edited Temple's Memoirs, tells us, the article proposed was, that Charles should never keep above eight thousand men of standing army in the three kingdoms, and that Charles said in a rage, "God's fish! does my brother of France think to serve me thus? Are all his promises to make me absolute master of my realms come to this? or does he think that a thing to be done, with eight thousand men?" * Reresby, p. 207.
pensions received by the King from France, and a peace concluded abroad, leaving Flanders exposed to a hazard, from which, after so many successful wars, it has not yet been relieved. Such are the bad effects to the nation of being governed by a King in whom his parliament can place no confidence.
The various events of the negociation at Nimeguen; the artificial difficulties raised by the French; the embassy of Sir William Temple, and the mission of Du Cros are more fit subjects for general history than biography. Perhaps I have already detailed too minutely the progress ef public affairs. But the conduct of the party to which Lord Russell belonged could not be explained, without presenting a view of the times; and it will be presently seen, that his own character has been attacked upon the ground of his behaviour during a part of this session.
DISCOVERIES OF DALRYMPLE.— Rouvigny's INTERVIEWS • WITH LORD RUSSELL.
I Have hitherto postponed an account of the interviews between Lord Russell and the French minister, because, from the manner in which this subject has been treated, the narrative will necessarily be mixed with controversy.
Many years have elapsed since Sir John Dalrymple communicated to the world the discoveries he had made in the depot des affaires etrangeres at Versailles. The intrigues between the courts of France and England, which had already been partly detected by means of Danby's letters, which were openly detailed in a work published at Paris in 1682 *, and which,
* See a translation of this work, which is a history of the second Dutch war, in the State Tracts published after the Revolution. It is there entitled "The History of the War of Holland, written originally in Italian by the Count de Mayole, and printed at Paris in 1682, with the French King's Privilege, but soon after supprest, almost all Copies destroyed, and the Author sent to the Bastile at the Complaint of my Lord Preston, the English Ambassador then residing at Paris. Never before published in English."
since that time, have been recorded by all historians, could create little surprise. But the very shadow of a connection between Lord Russell and France excited, as might be expected, astonishment, sorrow, and * indignation. To heighten the effect of the discovery, Sir John declared that he " felt very near the same shock as if he had seen a son turn his back in the day of battle/' He pronounced these intrigues to be of a tendency nearly as dangerous as those of the princes. And he drew from tlrem this sweeping inference, that "no party in tlus country has a right to assume over another from the merit of their ancestors; it being too plain, from the following papers, that Whigs and Tories, in their turns, have been the enemies of their country."
However gratifying such reflections must always be to selfish politicians, and to those who ~- doubt all public virtue, I hope to prove that this instance, at least, will afford no foundation for their malignity. In doing this, I shall not throw any doubt upon the accuracy of the historian or the honesty of the ambassador. I am willing to allow, for the present, that the stream of history has flowed with undiminished purity
* See Hume's note upon this subject, vol. viii.