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No crime in affirming it, if it be truth. I will, for once, allow his proposition. But, if it be false, then I affirm, that whoever advanceth fo feditious a falfhood, deferves to be hanged. Doth he mean by the house of Bourbon, the two kings of France and Spain? If so, I reject his meaning, which would insinuate, that the interests and designs of both those princes will be the same; whereas, they are more opposite than those of any two other monarchs in Christendom. This is the old foolish slander so frequently flung upon the peace, and as frequently refuted. These factious undestakers of the press, write with great advantage; they ftrenuously affirm a thousand falfhoods, without fear, wit, conscience, or knowledge ; and we, who anfwer them, must be at the ex-' pence of an argument for each ; after which, in the very next pamphlet, we see the fame affertions produced again, without the least notice of what hath been said to disprove them. By the house of Bourbon, doth he mean only the French King for the time being ? If so, and his affertion be true, then that Prince must either deal with the devil, or else the money and blood fpent in our ten years victories against him, might as well have continued in the purses and veins of her Majesty's subjects.
But the particular affertions of this author, are easier detected, than his general ones: I shall therefore proceed upon examining the former. For instance: I desire him to ask the Dutch, who can best inform him, why they delivered up Traer
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bach to the Imperialists ? for, as to the QUEEN, her Majesty was never once consulted in it; whatever his preceptors, the politicians of Button's coffee-house, may have informed him to the contrary.
Mr. Steele affirms, that “the French have be
gun the demolition of Dunkirk, contemptu“ously and arbitrarily, their own way.” The governor of the town, and those gentlemen entrusted with the infpection of this work, do afsure me, that the fact is altogether otherwise; that the method prescribed by those whom her Majesty employs, hath been exactly followed, and that the works are already demolished. I will venture to tell him further, that the demolition was so long deferred, in order to remove those difficulties, which the Barrier-treaty hath put us under; and the event hath shewn, that it was prudent to proceed no fafter, until those difficulties were got over. The mole and harbour could 'not be destroyed, until the ships were got out; which, by reason of some profound fecrets of state, did not happen until the other day. Who gave him those juft fufpicions, that the mole and harbour will never be destroyed? what is it he would now insinuate; that the ministry is bribed to leave the most important part of the work undone; or that the Pretender is to invade us from thence; or that the QUEEN hath entered into a conspiracy with her servants, to prevent the good effects of the peace, for no other end, but to lose
the affections of her people, and endanger herfelf?
Instead of any further information, which I could easily give, but which no honest man can want, I venture to affirm, that the mole and harbour of Dunkirk will, in a short time, be most effectually destroyed; and, at the same time, I venture to prophesy, that neither Mr. Steele, nor his faction, will ever confefs they believe it.
After all, it is a little hard, that the QUEEN cannot be allowed to demolish this town, in whatever manner she pleases to fancy. Mr. Steele muft have it done his own way, and is angry the French have pretended to do it theirs; and yet he wrongs them into the bargain. For my own part, I do seriously think the most Christian King to be a much better friend of her Majesty's, than Mr. Steele, or any of his faction. Besides, it is to be considered, that he is a monarch, and a relation; and therefore, if I were a privy counsellor, and my advice to be asked, which of those two GENTLEMEN BORN * should have the direction in the demolition of Dunkirk, I would give it for the former; because I look upon Mr. Steele, in quality of a member of his party, to be much more skilful in demolishing at home, than abroad.
There is a prospect of more danger to the balance of Europe, and to the trade of Britain, from the Emperor over-running Italy, than from France over-running the empire: that
Mr. Steele often styles himself fo.
his Imperial Majesty entertains such thoughts, is visible to the world : and although little can be faid to justify many actions of the French King, yet the worst of them have never equalled the Emperor's arbitrarily keeping the possession of Milan, directly contrary to his oath, and to the express words of the golden bull, which oblige him to deliver up every fief that falls, or else they muft all, in the course of time, lapse into his own hands.
I was at a loss, who it was that Mr. Steele hinted at some time ago, by “the powerful hand “ that deals out crowns and kingdoms all around “us:" I now plainly find, he meant no other hand but his own. He hath dealt out the crown of Spain to France; to France he hath given leave to invade the empire next spring, with two hundred thousand men; and now at last, he deals to France the imperial dignity; so farewel, liberty; Europe will be French. But in order to bring all this about, the capital of Austria, the residence of his Imperial Majesty, must continue to be visited by the plague, of which the Emperor muft die, and so the thing is done.
Why should not I venture to deal out one fceptre, in my turn, as well as Mr. Steele? I therefore deal out the empire to the Elector of Saxony, upon failure of iffue to this Emperor at his death; provided the whigs will prevail on the fon to turn papist to get an empire, as they did upon the father to get a kingdom. Or, if this Prince be not approved of, I deal it out, in his stead, to the Elector of Bavaria : and, in one or other of these, I dare engage to have all Christendom to second me, whatever the spleen, in the shape of politics, may dictate to the author of the Crisis.
The design of Mr. Steele, in representing the circumstances of the affairs of Europe, is to signify to the world, that all Europe is put in the high road to slavery, by the corruption of her Majesty's present ministers; and so he goes on to Portugal; which, “ having during the war supplied
us with gold, in exchange for our woollen ma“nufacture, hath only at present a suspension of
arms for its protection, to last no longer than “ till the Catalonians are reduced; and then the “ old pretensions of Spain to Portugal will be “revived :” and Portugal, when once enflaved by Spain, falls naturally with the rest of Europe into the gulf of France. In the mean time, let us fee, what relief a little truth can give this unhappy kingdom. That Portugal hath yet no more than a suspension of arms, they may thank themselves, because they came so late into the treaty; and, that they came so late, they may thank the whigs, whose false representations they were so weak to believe. However, the QUEEN hath voluntarily given them a guarantee to defend them against Spain, until the peace shall be made; and such terms, after the peace, are stipulated for them, as the Portuguese themselves are contented with.
Having mentioned the Catalonians, he puts the question, Who can name the Catalonians without a tear? That can I; for he hath told so ma