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tions. But here again a difficulty started: this step could not be taken without giving offence to the Dutch, who placed entire confidence in him; they were obliged, therefore, to wait for some convenient occasion. Upon his return from this campaign, he was accused of having taken a bribe of six thousand pounds a year from a Jew, who contracted to supply the army with bread; and the queen thought proper to dismiss him from all his employments. This was the pretext made use of; though his fall had been predetermined; and though his receiving such a bribe was not the real cause of his removal, yet candour must confess that it ought to have been so.

In the mean time, Prior, much more famous as a poet than a statesman, was sent over with proposals to France; and Menager, a man of no great station, returned with Prior to London, with full powers to treat upon the preliminaries.

The ministry having got thus far, the great difficulty still lay before them of making the terms of peace agreeable to all the confederates. The Earl of Stafford, who had been lately recalled from the Hague, where he resided as ambassador, was now sent back to Holland, with orders to communicate to the Pensionary Heinsius the preliminary proposals, to signify the queen's approbation of them, and to propose a place where the plenipotentiaries should assemble. The Dutch were very averse to begin the conference, upon the inspection of the preliminaries. They sent over an envoy to attempt to turn the queen from her resolution; but finding their efforts vain, they fixed upon Utrecht as the place of general conference, and they granted passports to the French ministers accordingly.

'The conference began at Utrecht, under the conduct of Robinson, bishop of Bristol, lord privy-seal, and the Earl of Stafford, on the side of the English; of Buys and Vanderdussen, on the part of the Dutch; and of the Marshal d'Uxelles, the Cardinal Polignac, and M. Menager, in behalf of France. The ministers of the emperor and Savoy assisted, and the other allies sent also plenipotentiarics, though with the utmost reluctance. As England and France were the only two powers that were seriously inclined to peace, it may be supposed that all the other deputies served rather to retard than advance its progress. They met rather to start new difficulties, and widen the breach, than to quiet the dissensions of Europe.

The English ministers, therefore, finding multiplied obstructions from the deliberations of their allies, set on foot a private negotiation with France. They stipulated certain advantages for the subjects of Great Britain in a concerted plan of peace.

They resolved to enter into such mutual confidence with the French, as would anticipate all clandestine transactions to the prejudice of the coalition.

A. D. 1712.

In the beginning of August, Secretary St. John, who had been created Lord Viscount Bolingbroke, was sent to the court of Versailles to remove all obstructions to the separate treaty. He was accompanied by Mr. Prior, and the Abbe Gaultier, and treated with the most distinguished marks of respect. He was caressed by the French king, and the Marquis de Torcy, with whom he adjusted the principal interests of the Duke of Savoy, and the Elector of Bavaria.

At length the treaties of peace and commerce between England and France being agreed on by the plenipotentiaries on either side, and ratified by the queen, she acquainted her parliament of the steps she had taken.

The articles of this famous treaty were longer canvassed, and more warmly debated, than those of any other treaty read of in history. The number of different interests concerned, and the great enmity and jealousy subsisting between all, made it impossible that all could be satisfied; and indeed there seemed no other method of obtaining peace but that which was taken: for the two principal powers concerned, to make their own articles, and to leave the rest for a subject of future dis


The first stipulation was, that Philip, now acknowledged King of Spain, should renounce all right to the crown of France the union of two such powerful kingdoms being thought dangerous to the liberties of Europe. It was agreed that the Duke of Berry, Philip's brother, and after him in succession, should also renounce his right to the crown of Spain, in case he became King of France. It was stipulated that the Duke of Savoy should possess the island of Sicily, with the title of king, together with Fenestrelles, and other places on the Continent; which increase of dominion was in some measure made out of the spoils of the French monarchy. The Dutch had that barrier granted them which they so long sought after; and if the crown of France was deprived of some dominions, to enrich the Duke of Savoy; on the other hand, the house of Austria was taxed, to supply the wants of the Hollanders, who were put in possession of the strongest towns in Flanders. With regard to England, its glory and its interest were secured. The fortifications of Dunkirk, a harbour that might be dangerous to their trade in time of war, were ordered to be demolished, and its port destroyed. Spain gave up all right to

Gibraltar, and the island of Minorca. France resigned her pretensions to Hudson's Bay, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland; but they were left in possession of Cape Breton, and the liberty of drying their fish upon the shore. Among these articles, glorious to the English nation, their setting free the French protestants, confined in the prisons and galleys for their religion, was not the least meritorious. For the emperor it was stipulated, that he should possess the kingdom of Naples, the duchy of Milan, and the Netherlands. The King of Prussia was to have Upper Guelder; and a time was fixed for the emperor's acceding to these articles, as he had for some time obstinately refused to assist at the negotiation. Thus Europe seemed to be formed into one great republic, the different members of which were cantoned out to different governors, and the ambition of any one state amenable to the tribunal of all. Thus it appears that the English ministry did justice to all the world; but their country denied that justice to them.

But while the whigs were attacking the tory ministers from without, these were in much greater danger from their own internal dissensions. Lord Oxford and Lord Bolingbroke, though they had started with the same principles and designs, yet having vanquished other opposers, now began to turn their strength against each other. Both began to form separate interests, and to adopt different principles: Oxford's plan was the more moderate; Bolingbroke's the more vigorous, but the more secure. Oxford, it was thought, was entirely for the Hanover succession; Bolingbroke had some hopes of bringing in the pretender. But though they hated each other most sincerely, yet they were for a while kept together by the good offices of their friends and adherents, who had the melancholy prospect of seeing the citadel of their hopes, while openly besieged from without, secretly undermining within.

This was a mortifying prospect to the tories; but it was more particularly displeasing to the queen, who daily saw her favourite ministry declining, while her own health kept pace with their contentions. Her constitution was now quite broken. One fit of sickness succeeded another; and what completed the ruin of her health, was the anxiety of her mind. These dissensions had such an effect upon her spirits and constitution, that she declared she could not outlive it, and immediately sunk into a state of lethargic insensibility. NotwithJuly 30,


standing all the medicines which the physicians could prescribe, the distemper gained ground so fast, that

the day after they despaired of her life, and the privy-council was assembled on the occasion.

All the members, without distinction, being summoned from the different parts of the kingdom, began to provide for the security of the constitution. They sent a letter to the Elector of Hanover, informing him of the queen's desperate situation, and desiring him to repair to Holland, where he would be attended by a British squadron to convey him to England. At the same time they dispatched instructions to the Earl of Staf ford, at the Hague, to desire the States-general to be ready to perform the guarantee of the protestant succession. Precautions were taken to secure the sea-ports; and the command of the fleet was bestowed upon the Earl of Berkeley, a profess ed whig. These measures, which were all dictated by that party, answered a double end. It argued their own alacrity in the cause of their new sovereign, and seemed to imply a danger to the state from the disaffection of the opposite interest.

On the thirtieth of July, the queen seemed somewhat relieved by medicines, rose from her bed about eight o'clock, and walked a little. After some time, casting her eyes on a clock that stood in her chamber, she continued to gaze at it for some minutes. One of the ladies in waiting asked her what she saw there more than usual; to which the queen only answered, by turning her eyes upon her with a dying look. She was soon after seized with a fit of the apoplexy: she continued all night in a state of stupefaction, and expired the following morning, in the forty-ninth year of her age. She reigned more than twelve years, over a people who were now risen to the highest pitch of refinement; who had attained, by their wisdom, all the advantages of opulence, and, by their valour, all the happiness of security and conquest.

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URSUANT to the act of succession, George the First, son of Ernest Augustus, first elector of Brunswick, and the Princess Sophia, grand-daughter to James the First, ascended the British throne. His mature age, (he being now fifty-four years old,) his sagacity and experience, his numerous alliances, the general tranquillity of Europe, all contributed to establish his interests, and to promise him a peaceable and happy reign. His abilities, though not shining, were solid: he was of a very different disposition from the Stuart family, whom he succeeded. These were known, to a proverb, for leaving their friends in extremity. George, on the contrary, soon after his arrival in England, was heard to say, My maxim is, never to abandon my friends; to do justice to all the world; and to fear no man." To these qualifications of resolution and perseverance, he joined great application to business. However, one fault with respect to England remained behind: he studied the interest of those subjects he had left, more than those he came to govern.

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The queen, had no sooner resigned her breath, than the privycouncil met, and three instruments were produced, by which the elector appointed several of his known adherents to be added as lords justices to seven great offices of the kingdom. Orders also were immediately issued out for proclaiming George King of England, Scotland, and Ireland. The regency appointed the Earl of Dorset to carry him the intimation of

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