Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

THE

HISTORY

OF

MY OWN TIMES.

wed

BOOK VII. CONTINUED. (From the middle of the year 1710 to the con

clusion of the peace of Utrecht.) I HAVE now completed my first design in writ- 1710. ing, which was to give a history of our affairs for The history fifty years, from the 29th of May 1660: so if I con-continu fined myself to that, I should here give over: but peace. the war seeming now to be near an end, and the peace, in which it must end, being that which will probably give a new settlement to all Europe, as well as to our affairs, I resolve to carry on this 549 work to the conclusion of the war. And therefore I begin with the progress of the negotiations for peace, which seemed now to be prosecuted with warmth. All the former winter, an intercourse of letters Negotia

tions for a was kept up between Pettecum and Torcy, to try peace. if an expedient could be found to soften that article for the reduction of Spain to the obedience of king Charles; which was the thirty-seventh article of the preliminaries : it still was kept in agitation, upon

[ocr errors]

1710. the foot of offering three towns to be put into the

hands of the allies, to be restored by them when the affairs of Spain should be settled; otherwise to be still retained by them. The meaning of which was no other, than that France was willing to lose three more towns, in case king Philip should keep Spain and the West Indies : the places therefore ought to have borne some equality to that for which they were to be given in pawn; but the answers the French made to every proposition shewed they meant nothing but to amuse and distract the allies. The first demand the allies made, was of the places in Spain then in the hands of the king of France; for the delivering up these might have been a good step to the reduction of the whole : but this was flatly refused; and that the king of France might put it out of his power to treat about it, he ordered his troops to be drawn out of all the strong places in Spain, and soon after out of that kingdom, pretending he was thereby evacuating it; though the French forces were kept still in the neighbourhood : so a show was made of leaving Spain to defend itself. And upon that, king Philip prevailed on the Spaniards to make great efforts, beyond what was ever expected of them. This was done by the French king to deceive both the allies and his own subjects, who were calling loudly for a peace: and it likewise eased him of a great part of the charge that Spain had put him to. But while his troops were called out of that kingdom, as many deserted, by a visible connivance, as made up several battalions: and all the Walloon regiments, as being subjects of Spain, were sent thither : so that king Philip was not weakened by the recalling the French

as

troops; and, by this means, the places in Spain could 1710. not be any more demanded. The next, as most important towards the reduction of Spain, was the demand that Bayonne and Perpignan might be put into the hands of the allies, with Thionville on the side of the empire. By the two former, all communication between France and Spain would be cut off, and the allies would be enabled to send forces thither with less expense and trouble: but it was said, these were the keys of France, which the king could not part with; so it remained to treat of towns on the frontier of the Netherlands; and even there 550 they excepted Doway, Arras, and Cambray: so that all their offers appeared illusory; and the intercourse by letters was for some time let fall. But in the end of the former year, Torcy wrote to Pettecum, to desire, either that passes might be granted to some ministers to come to Holland, to go on with the negotiation, or that Pettecum might be suffered to go to Paris, to see if an expedient could be found : and the States consented to the last. In the mean while king Philip published a manifesto, protesting against all that should be transacted at the Hague to his prejudice; declaring his resolution to adhere to his faithful Spaniards : he also named plenipotentiaries to go in his name to the treaty, who gave the States notice of their powers and instructions; and, in a letter to the duke of Marlborough, they gave intimations how grateful king Philip would be to him, if by his means these his desires might be complied with; as the like insinuations had been often made by the French agents : but no notice was taken of this message from king Philip, nor was any answer given to it. Pettecum, after some days' stay

« PreviousContinue »