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obstinate in their claims; the elector was unable to contend with either of them; and the king of England, though sufficiently disposed to adopt any measure for preserving the balance of power, was in no condition to begin a new war. From a laudable, but perhaps too violent jealousy of liberty, the English parliament had passed a vote, soon after the peace of Ryswick, for reducing the army to seven thousand men, and these to be native subjects'; in consequence of which, when supported by a bill, the king, to his great mortification, was obliged to dismiss even his Dutch guards.

Thus circumstanced, William was ready to listen to any terms calculated to continue the repose of Europe. Lewis XIV. though better provided for war, was no less peaceably disposed; and sensible that any attempt to treat with the emperor would be ineffectual, he proposed to the king of England, a partition of the Spanish dominions, at the same time that he sent the marquis d'Harcourt, as his ambassador to the court of Madrid, with a view of procur ing the whole. Leopold also sent an ambassador into Spain, where intrigues were carried high on both sides. The body of the Spanish nation favoured the lineal succession of the house of Bourbon; but the queen, who was a German princess, and who, by means of her creatures, governed both the king and kingdom, supported the pretensions of the emperor: and all the grandees, connected with the court, were in the same interest.

A. D. 1698.

Meanwhile a treaty of partition was signed, through the temporizing policy of William Lewis, and by England, Holland, and France. In this treaty it was stipulated, that, on the eventual demise of the king of Spain, his dominions should be divided among the competitors for his crown in the following manner. Spain, her American empire, and the sovereignty of the Nether

1. Journals, Dec. 26, 1697.


lands, were assigned to the electoral prince of Bavaria: to the Dauphin, the kingdom of Naples and Sicily, the ports, on the Tuscan shore, and the marquisate of Final, in Italy; and on the side of Spain, the province of Guipuscoa, with all the Spanish territories beyond the Pyrenees, on the mountains of Navarre, Alva, and Biscay. To the archduke Charles, the emperor's second son, was allotted the dukedom of Milan'.

The contracting powers mutually engaged to keep the treaty of partition a profound secret during the life of the king of Spain. But that condition, though necessary, was not easily to be observed. As the avowed design of the alliance was the preservation of the repose of Europe, it became necessary to communicate the treaty to the emperor, and to gain his consent to a negociation, which deprived him of the great object of his ambition. This difficult task was undertaken by William, from a persuasion of his own influence with Leopold. In the meantime intelligence of the treaty was privately conveyed from Holland to Madrid. The Spanish ministry were filled with indignation, at finding a division of the monarchy made by foreigners, and that even during the life of their sovereign. The king immediately called an extraordinary council, to deliberate on so unprecedented a transaction; and the result, contrary to all expectation, but perfectly conformable to the laws of sound policy, was a will of Charles II. constituting the electoral prince of Bavaria his sole heir, agreeable to the testament of Philip IV. in favour of the decendants of Margaret, his second daughter, to the utter exclusion of the offspring of Maria Theresa, her eldest sister, and the whole house of Bourbon, also excluded by the Pyrenean treaty3.

The king of Spain unexpectedly recovered from his illness, in some degree, and the hopes and fears of Europe were suspended for a time. Meanwhile England and Hol3. Voltaire, Ibid.

2. De Torcy, vol. i. Voltaire, Siecle, chap. xvi.


land had every reason to be pleased with the will, which was infinitely more favourable to a general balance of power than the partition treaty; but the sudden death of the FEB. 8. electoral prince of Bavaria, not without strong A. D. 1699. suspicions of poison, revived all their former apprehensions. Lewis and William again negociated, and a second treaty of partition was privately signed, by England, Holland, and France, notwithstanding the violent remonstrances of the court of Madrid against such a measure.

By this treaty, which differed materially from the former, it was agreed, that on the eventual decease of Charles II. without issue, Spain and her American dominions should descend to the archduke Charles, second son of the emperor; that Naples, Sicily, the marquisate of Final, the towns on the Italian shore, and the province of Guipuscoa, should fall to the share of the dauphin, together with the duchies of Lorrain and Bar, which their native prince was desired to exchange for the duchy of Milan; and that the county of Binche should remain, as a sovereignty, to the prince of Vaudemont. In order to prevent the union of Spain and the Imperial crown in the person of ONE prince, provision was made, that in case of the death of the king of the Romans, the archduke, if raised to that dignity, should not succeed to the Spanish throne. In like manner it was particularly stipulated, that no dauphin or king of France should ever wear the crown of Spain; and a secret article provided against the contingency of the emperor's refusing to accede to the treaty, as well as against any difficulties that might arise, in regard to the exchange proposed to the duke of Lorrains.

From thus providing for the repose of the south of Europe, the attention of William was suddenly called toward the North, where two of the most extraordinary men that ever appeared upon the stage of human life, were rising into

4. De Torcy, vol. i.

5. De Torcy, ubi sup.

notice :

notice; Peter I. of Russia, and Charles XII. of Sweden. Peter, whom we shall afterward have occasion to consider in the character of a legislator, had already rendered himself formidable by the defeat of the Turks, in 1696, and the tak ing of Asoph, which opened to him the dominion of the Black Sea. This acquisition led to more extensive views. He resolved to make Russia the center of trade between Europe and Asia : he projected a junction of the Dwina, the Wolga, and the Tanais, by means of canals; and thus to open a passage from the Baltic to the Euxine and Caspian seas, and from these seas to the Northern Occan". The port of Archangel, frozen up for almost nine months in the year, and which cannot be entered without a long, circuitous, and dangerous passage, he did not think sufficiently commodious; he therefore resolved to build a city upon the Baltic Sea, which should become the magazine of the North, and the capital of his extensive empire7.

Several princes, before this illustrious barbarian, disgusted with the pursuits of ambition, or tired with sustaining the load of public affairs, had renounced their crown, and taken refuge in the shade of indolence, or of philosophical retirement; but history affords no example of any sovereign, who had divested himself of the royal character, in order to learn the art of governing better: that was a stretch of magnanimity reserved for Peter the Great. Though almost destitute himself of education, he discovered, by the natural force of his genius, and a few conversations with strangers, his own rude state and the savage condition of his subjects. He resolved to become worthy of the character of a MAN, to see men, and to have men to govern. Animated by the noble ambition of acquiring instruction, and of carrying back to his people the improvements of other nations, he accordingly quitted his dominions, in 1697, as a private

6. Voltaire's Hist. Russ. tom. i. composed from the most authentic materials, chiefly furnished by the court of Petersburgh.

7. Id. Ibid.


gentleman in the retinue of three ambassadors, whom he sent to different courts of Europe.

As soon as Peter arrived at Amsterdam, which was the first place that particularly attracted his notice, he applied himself to the study of commerce and the mechanical arts; and, in order more completely to acquire the art of shipbuilding, he entered himself as a carpenter in one of the principal dock-yards, and laboured and lived, in all respects, as the common journey men. At his leisure hours he studied natural philosophy, navigation, fortification, surgery, and such other sciences as may be necessary to the sovereign of a barbarous people. From Holland he passed over to England, where he perfected himself in the art of ship-building. King William, in order to gain his favour, entertained him with a naval review, made him a present of an elegant yacht, and permitted him to engage in his service a number of ingenious artificers. Thus instructed, and attended by several men of science, Peter returned to Russia, after an absence of near two years, with all the useful, and many of the ornamental arts in his train3.

The peace of Carlowitz, concluded soon after the return of the czar, seemed to afford him full leisure for the prosecution of those plans which he had formed for the civilization of his subjects. But Peter was ambitious of the reputation and the fortune of a conqueror. The art of war was a new art, which it was necessary to teach his people; and valuable acquisitions, he thought, might easily be obtained, by joining the kings of Poland and Denmark against Charles XII. of Sweden, yet in his minority. Beside, he wanted a port on the eastern shore of the Baltic, in order to facilitate the execution of his commercial schemes. He therefore resolved to make himself master of the province of Ingria, which lies to the north-east of Livonia, and had formerly been in the possession of his ancestors. With this

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