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her rapacious German favourites; and the court of Vienna took no care to conciliate her affections. On the other hand the marquis d'Harcourt, the French ambassador, by his generosity, affability, and insinuating address, contributed greatly to remove the prejudices entertained by the Spaniards against his nation, and gained a powerful party to his master's interest at the court of Madrid17.

The Spanish grandees, as a body, were induced to favour the claims of the house of Bourbon; but its best friends were the clergy. Cardinal Portocarrero, archbishop of Toledo, taking advantage of the superstitious weakness of his sovereign, represented to him, that France only could maintain the succession entire; that the house of Austria was feeble and exhausted, and that any prince of that family must owe his chief support to detestable heretics. He advised his catholic majesty, however, to consult the pope on this important subject; and Charles, notwithstanding his sickness, wrote a letter with his own hand, desiring the opinion of that infallible judge. Of a case of conscience, Innocent XII. made an affair of state. He was sensible, that the liberties of Italy depended in a great measure upon restraining the power of the house of Austria: he therefore declared, in answer to the devout king, that the laws of Spain, and the welfare of all Christendom, required him to give the preference to the family of Bourbon. The opinion of his Holiness was supported by that of the Spanish clergy; and Charles, thinking the salvation of his soul depended on following their advice, secretly made a will, in which he annulled the renunciations of Maria Theresa, and nominated the duke of Anjou, second son of the Dauphin, his successor in all his dominions 8. The preference was given to this young prince, in order to prevent any alarm in Europe at the union of two such powerful monarchies as those of

17. De Torcy, vol. i. Voltaire, Siecle, chap. xi.

18. Id. Ibid.


France and Spain; to preserve the Spanish monarchy entire and independent, yet do justice to the rights of blood.

Though this will of the king of Spain was not made known to any of the rival powers, the Spanish succession, as the death of Charles II. was hourly expected, engaged the solicitude of all. But the attention of William, the grand mover of the European system, was called off, before that event took place, to the succession of England, in consequence of the sudden death of the duke of Gloucester, the only surviving child of the princess of Denmark, and the last male heir in the protestant line. Catholics were excluded from succeeding to the English crown, by the former act of settlement: it therefore became necessary now to proceed to protestant females; and as there remained no probability of William or the princess of Denmark having any future issue, the eventual succession to the crown was settled, by act of parliament, on the princess Sophia, duchess dowager of Hanover, and the heirs general of her body, being protestants1. She was grand-daughter of James I. by the princess Elizabeth, married to the unfortu nate elector Palatine, who was stript of his dominions by the emperor Frederic II.

A. D. 1701.

This settlement of the crown was accompanied with certain limitations, or provisions for the security of the rights and liberties of the subject, which were supposed to have been overlooked at the revolution. The principal of these were, that all affairs relative to government, cognizable by the privy council, should be submitted to it, and that all resolutions therein taken, should be signed by the members who advised or consented to them; that no pardon should be pleadable to any impeachment laid in parliament ; that no person, who should possess any office under the king, or receive a pension from the crown, should be capable of

19. Journals, April 14, 1701.


sitting in the house of commons; that the commissions o the judges should be rendered permanent, and their salaries be ascertained and established; that, in the event of the crown descending or being transferred to a foreigner, the English nation should not be obliged, without the consent of parliament, to enter into any war, for the defence of territories not depending on the kingdom of England; and that whosoever should come to the possession of the throne, should join in communion with the church of England20.

Whilst the English were thus settling the succession to their crown, and coolly providing for the security of their liberties, all the free states on the continent were thrown into alarm, by the death of Charles II. of Spain, and his will in favour of the house of Bourbon. Lewis XIV. seemed at first to hesitate, whether he should accept the will, or adhere to the treaty of partition. By the latter, France would have, received a considerable accession of territory, and have had England and Holland for her allies against the emperor; by the former, she would have the glory of giv ing a master to her ancient rival, and the prospect of directing, through him, the Spanish councils, at the hazard of having the emperor, England, and Holland for her enemies. This danger was foreseen; but Lewis could not resist the vanity of placing his grandson on the throne of Spain. He accepted the will by the advice of his council; and the duke of Anjou, with the universal consent of the Spanish nation, was crowned at Madrid, under the name of Philip V.

The French monarch, in order to justify his conduct to the king of England and the States-General of the UnitedProvinces, who affected to be highly offended at his breach of faith, very plausibly urged, that the treaty of partition was not likely to answer the ends for which it had been negociated; that the emperor had refused to accede to it; that it was approved by none of the princes to whom it had been

20. Ibid.

21. De Torcy, tom. i.


communicated; that the people of England and Holland had expressed their dissatisfaction at the prospect of seeing France put in possession of Naples and Sicily; that the Spaniards were so determined against the division of their monarchy, that there would be a necessity of conquering them, before the treaty could be executed; that the whole Spanish succession would have devolved upon the archduke Charles, if France had rejected the will: the same courier, who brought it, having orders to proceed immediately to Vienna, with such an offer, in case of the refusal of the court of Versailles; that the conservation of the peace of Europe was what his most christian majesty considered to be the chief object of the contracting parties; and that, true to this principle, he had only departed from the words, that he might the better adhere to the spirit of the treaty22.

Though these reasons were by no means satisfactory to William or the States, they cautiously concealed their resentment, as they were not in a condition to support it by any decisive measure. And it has been asserted, with some appearance of truth, that, if they had permitted Philip V. peaceably to have enjoyed the Spanish throne, he would have become, in a few years, as good a Spaniard as any of the preceding Philips, and have utterly excluded the influence of French councils from the administration of his government; whereas the confederacy that was afterward formed against him, and the war by which it was followed, threw him wholly into the hands of the French, because their fleets and armies were necessary to his defence, and gave France a sway over the Spanish councils, which she has ever since retained23.

It must, however, be confessed, that independent of prejudice or passion, war was become unavoidable. The securing of commerce and of barriers, the preventing an union of the two powerful monarchies of France and Spain in

22. Burnet, book vi. De Torcy, tom. i.

23. Bolingbroke, Sketch of the Hist. and State of Europe.


any future period, and the preserving to a certain degree at least, an equilibrium of power, were matters of too much moment to England, Holland, and to Europe in general, to be rested on the moderation of the French, and the vigour of the Spanish councils, under a prince of the house of Bourbon, and a grandson of Lewis XIV. yet in his minority. Aware of this, and conscious of their own inability to defend their extensive dominions, the Spaniards resigned themselves entirely to the guardianship of the French monarch. The regency commanded the viceroys of the provinces to obey his orders: a French squadron anchored in the port of Cadiz; another was sent to the protection of the Spanish settlements in America; and, under pretence that the states were making preparations for war, the court of France was empowered to take possession of the Dutch barrier in Flanders24.


The elector of Bavaria, uncle to Philip V. and governor of the Spanish Netherlands, introduced on the same day, at the same hour, French troops into all the barrier towns in Flanders, and seized upon the Dutch forces that were in garrison, to the number of twenty-two battalions. Overwhelmed with consternation at this event, especially when they reflected on their own defenceless condition, and the facility of an invasion from France, the States instantly agreed to acknowledge the new king of Spain; and the French monarch, on receiving a letter to that purpose, ordered their troops to be set as liberty. The king of England still continued obstinate; but having in vain attempted to draw the parliament, which consisted chiefly of tories, and is supposed to have been under the influence of French gold, into his hostile views, he at last found it necessary to acknowledge the duke of Anjou as lawful sovereign of Spain, though Lewis refused to give any

24. Mem. de Noailles, tom. i. Burnet, book vi.

25. Duke of Berwick's Mem. vol. i. Burnet, book vi.

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