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succession, and what part does my little Franculus esuriens act upon so sudden a change?
Why, out he sets as briskly as can be 'with a new memorial, fawns and hectors, en bon Francoise, desires your patience a little, while his master, like a true son of old Eunius, steals away half a dozen kingdoms and dukedoms; and then promises (believe him if you dare) to be a very good Musselman,till the next opportunity t
There is a certain very worthy gentleman, and true Englishman too, who was aware of this, and gave us his advice, in very honest terms, in the year 98, but Thrift and Distrust, two wary Devils, opposed his design; and what the force of foreigners, in ten years war, could never do, the folly of a few true-born Englishmen effected in a trice; viz. subdued the hero, and ridiculed the politician.
We chose, at that time, rather to trust our good neighbour with a standing force of 150,000 foreigners, than, at the end of the war, suffer 10 or 20,000 swords and musquets to continue in the hands of our own countrymen, for fear, I suppose
That Englishmen should Englishmen subdue.
I confess they have a pretty good hand at betraying their country, but, for my part, I was for trusting them at that time, and ever shall, before any foreigners.
§. But our fleet was disarmed, and our land forces reduced, from 84 to 7000 men, that is full. And when we had stripped ourselves thus naked, and invited the Assyrians into our land, you will ask me, how it came to pass, that we have not had a second invasion from Normandy or Picardy, and that the French have not, before this, taken up their quarters within the weekly bills, and with our friends at Rochester and Sittingborn. Why truly, I must tell you, not for want of good will, and good opportunity too (we thank our masters) but they had other game in chace; the lingering sickness of the late King of Spain put Versailles in a constant alarum every post; for Spain and the Indies, ever since 1660, were decreed for usurpation §; and if your Montaltoe's and Portocarrero's had failed of their treason, the ratio ultima regum was at hand; viz. a good train of artillery, and an 100,000 men. When this morsel was swallowed, it would be time enough to look after England, and the out skirts of Europe: who, in the mean time, are to be hushed, if possible, with specious proposals and golden mountains, till my little master | is well settled at Madrid. And then her highness the Duchess of Burgundy will put in her claim to the crown of England, and we may defend the Protestant heir or possessor if we can, when her grandfather¶ has over-run Italy and the
* Hungry Frenchman, who grasps at all power.
To take what more he can get from you.
By the King of Frauce.
The Duke of Anjou,
T The King of France.
Netherlands, and taken possession of all the ports in Holland. has already made such quick approaches towards that unfortunate country, that the people are in the highest consternation; and, if we suffer them to be devoured, the next step he takes will be for England.
And he has so many and so considerable reasons to invade us at this very juncture, that some mysteries of state, undiscoverable at present, or a mighty infatuation alone can hinder him. The people on our coasts are so sensible of their defenceless condition, especially since the French troops entered so unexpectedly, and all at one moment, into all the frontier towns in the Spanish Flanders, that they expect every morning to hear they have put garrisons into Dover, Rye, and Shoreham, and it is almost as easy and quick a passage from Calais and Dunkirk, to Harwich, Dunwich, and Yarmouth. The passage between us and them is so short, that five or six hours is time enough to execute such a design in any part of Kent.
Julius Cæsar, who had but indifferent pilots, and vessels that were ill sailors, came over in a night: and William the Conqueror crossed a wider part of the Channel, viz. from Bologn to Pevensey, in a few hours, and both of them succeeded so well by the folly and divisions of our ancestors, that it is our good luck if our enemies do not take the advantage of our present circumstances, to make a trial of our boasted English valour, and see, how many of the fourteen hundred thousand names, contained in the Associations lodged in the Tower of London, dare shew their faces in the field against the Marshal de Bouffleurs at the head of twenty or thirty thousand veterans.
I pretend not to the skill of a marshal, and you do not mistake me, I am sure, for a conjurer in affairs of state; and yet I will venture to affirm, upon the little experience I have had in a military station, and a pretty long acquaintance with the humour of a people under a panick fear, that, were I of the interest and religion, and in pay of Monsieur at Versailles, I should no more question the success of invading England, at this time, till about a month or six weeks hence, than I do my meeting with you next year at Tunbridge Wells in the season.
And, upon peril of my head, I would undertake, as old as I am, to land with about twenty thousand foot, and two thousand dragoons on next Monday morning in any part of Kent, or Sussex, from Dover to Chichester, and with little or no opposition continue my march towards your populous city, and quarter my troops in London, Westminster, and Southwark, by Saturday next, so as to hear high mass on Sunday morning, at St. Paul's, and dissolve your Parliament the Monday following.
This you may think a little unlikely, and I wish it were morally impossible; but, I think, I can make it appear a very feasible enterprise. I will suppose then the Marshal de Boufflers at Dunkirk, or Calais, this very Saturday night, embarking his men, and setting sail at one or two in the morning, with a fresh gale at east,
what shall hinder him from crossing the Channel in five or six hours, but a tempest, or a fleet, in that very place? The first we cannot expect, and the latter we have not ready, so that, land he will in spite of our barks and our fishermen of Kent. When his troops are debarqued, we will suppose they rest them one day, and, by that time, it may be, another reinforcement arrives; what now will hinder him from bending his march directly for London, and coming thither in the time before mentioned, but a sufficient body of men to meet him by the way? And nothing but an equal force will do, for the battle of Cressy is long since forgotten, and the name of an Englishman, I will assure you, is no such bugbear to a Frenchman at this time of day.
But where are the forces we shall draw together? As for the Dutch, Hannibal is at their gates, and they cannot spare a single battalion, and, if they could twenty, Monsieur Boufflers may march to York, before they can all embark, for they do not lie ready quartered in their ports, as the French do in theirs. And for our handful of 7000 standing forces, if you fill all the northern and western garrisons with our militia, it will be a fortnight, at least, before they can meet in a body on Hounslow Heath, which will be too late. And then for our militia of London and Westminster, which may make a body of ten or twelve thousand men, and can soonest assemble themselves; do you imagine, they will march towards Dover, and with the assistance of a little mob, venture to give battle to disciplined troops? If they should have so much courage, and so little discretion, I expect little more from such an attempt, than what was done by eight or ten thousand club-men, who rose in the late civil war in the counties of Wilts, Somerset, and Dorset, and were dispersed by half a dozen troops of the Parliament horse. The City militia, I believe, is our best; but what discipline can men have, who appear in arms but once a year, march into the Artillery-ground, and there wisely spend the day in eating, drinking, and smoaking; in storming half a score sir-loins of beef and venison-pasties; and, having given their officers a volley or two, and, like so many idle boys with snow-balls, fooled away a little gunpowder, return home again as ignorant as they went out, and as fit to fight the French at Blackheath, as one of our little yatchts is to engage the Britannia.
And, besides this, which I have not represented to the worst disadvantage, there are other prodigious difficulties that would perplex us upon such an invasion. We have so many Cataline's and Portocarrero's amongst us, that would not fail to betray us; so many religious bigots that are bewitched with a tender conscience for the right of old Pharaoh*; so many hardy villains, and desperate miscreants, that are for plunder, and a prevailing power †;i and so many lukewarm heartless coxcombs, that will stand still to
The family of the Stewarts.
+ It is a general observation in all rebellions, that the mobile take part with a powerful invader, because they have nothing to lose, and hope to better their con. dition upon the ruin of those that maintain their religion and laws.
see themselves undone, or run away by the light of their own houses; and so very few, whatever they pretend, that will stand by the king with their lives and fortunes, and fight for their religion, laws, and liberties; in short, we are so crumbled into factions, civil and religious, so debauched from the old English virtue and valour, and so destitute of the true love to our country and real principles of honour, so ripe for a civil war at home, and so exposed to an invasion from abroad; that our enemies are altogether infatuated, if they do not lay hold on this opportunity, in a week or two; and we are all utterly undone if they do, unless a miracle be wrought to save us.
England is now the only nation in Europe, that hath any remains of substantial liberties; for arbitrary power, like a mighty deluge, has in a manner overspread the face of the whole earth, and is ready to break in upon us with an irresistible fury, unless we make ready to withstand it. Holland stands now exposed to military execution, and so do the counties of Kent and Surrey, who have forty or fifty thousand men ready to land upon them at a day or two's warning from Boulogne, Calais, Gravelin, Dunkirk, Newport, and Ostend; there is but a hair's breadth betwixt us and ruin.
We have been so long fitting ourselves by our vices and our treachery for conquest and slavery, that I fear you have scarce ten thousand men left in city and country, that have spirit and bravery enough to march to our assistance, whenever we have occasion. You will be sure to have as early notice, as is possible, for our fears make us as watchful, as we hope you are indefatigable to provide for our security.
We cannot forget how the French troops treated the inhabitants of the Palatinate, in 1688, when they intirely ruined a country on both sides the Rhine, as large as Kent and Sussex; burnt down to the ground above two hundred burghs, and the three famous and populous cities of Worms, Spires, and Heidelburg; put the people to the sword in divers towns, and spared not the Popish temples and cathedrals, and this without provocation from the people or their prince. What sort of usage think you then may we expect at Dover and Winchelsea, &c. and you too in London, who are Englishmen, rebels, and hereticks, as bad as we. Our enemies have a particular eye upon your factious city, and the wealth of the Bank and Lombard Street, which the hungry priests and soldiers frequently talk of at Calais and Dunkirk with great indignation, but with some kind of assurance of late, that England will shortly receive her old master § and the Popish religion again.
Which I heartily wish may be prevented by the wisdom and prudence of the King and present Parliament.
Mo-ds, Febr. 14, 1700.
If overcome by the French invasion.
All which ports were then in the power of the French.
I am, Sir,
See the Emperor's letter to King James II, at St. Germains, in Vol. I. Page 23. § A Popish prince, then King James II,
HOUSE OF AUSTRIA
Published, by Order of his Imperial Majesty Leopold, and translated from the Original, printed at Vienna, MDCCI.
HE most illustrious and potent Prince, Charles the Second, King of Spain, had scarce given up his last breath, when all Europe, which was already very attentive on this sad event, found that Spain, for the future, was to embrace the ways and customs of France. And that, by an uncommon trick of state, a forged will was produced, which invited to the succession of all the kingdoms, dutchies, and principalities of Spain, not an indisputable relation, and withal the eldest of the family, but an ally of sixteen years, descended from a woman excluded from all manner of pretension to those dominions, and this contrary to oaths and treaties; contrary to a former disposition of the father and grandfather, and to the rights of birth in such a degree, as, according to the laws of Spain, was to succeed whenever the line male was extinct; contrary to the nearest affinity by the female side; and, which seems to be most considerable, contrary to the quiet and happiness of all Europe: which proves, as well in general as particular, that the crown of Spain should not have fallen to Philip of Bourbon, Duke of Anjou, but to Leopold + of Austria, Emperor of the Romans.
To make this clear, let us take a view of affairs as they have past. Philip the First, as every one knows, lived above two ages ago, and was the son of the Emperor Maximilian, the happy offspring of the family of Austria. He had two sons, viz. Charles, who was the elder, born at Ghent in Flanders; and Ferdinand, who was the younger, born at Medina in Spain: the latter was the first Emperor of his name; and the former was the fifth of his name as Emperor, but the first as King of Spain. The partition, which was made of those dominions between the two brothers at Worms, in the year 1521, was such, that Charles, who was the eldest, was to have Spain, together with Burgundy and all Flanders; and that Ferdinand, who was the younger, and almost a child, should have the territories that are in Germany. Ferdinand rested content with his brother's happy lot, who was already be
The present King of Spain, a Frenchman.
+ Grandfather to the present Queen of Hungary and Bohemia.