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How the Dutch were drawn to have a part in either of these two alliances, is not very material to enquire, since they have been so wise as never to observe them; and, I suppose, never intended it; but resolved, as they have since done, to fhift the load upon us.
Let any man read these two treaties from the beginning to the end, he will imagine, that the King of Portugal and his ministers sat down and made them by themselves, and then sent them to their allies to fign; the whole spirit and tenor of them, quite through, running only upon this single point, what we and Holland are to do for Portugal, without any mention of an equivalent, except those ten ships, which, at the time when we have greatest need of their assistance, are obliged to attend upon their own coasts.
The barrier-treaty between Great Britain and Holland, was concluded at the Hague, on the 29th of October, in the year 1709. In this treaty, neither her Majesty, nor her kingdoms, have any interest or concern, further than what is mentioned in the second and the twentieth articles : by the former, the States are to aflift the Queen, in defending the act of succession ; and by the other, not to treat of a peace, till France hath acknowledged the Queen, and the succession of Hanover, and promised to remove the Pretender out of that king's dominions.
As to the first of these, it is certainly for the safety and interest of the States General, that the protestant succession should be preserved in Eng. land; because such a popish prince as we apprehended, would infallibly join with France, in the ruin of that republic. And the Dutch are as much bound to support our succession, as they are tied to any part of a treaty or league offensive and defensive against a common enemy, without any feparate benefit upon that confideration. Her Majesty is in the full peaceable poffefsion of her kingdoms, and of the hearts of her people; among whom, hardly one in five thoufand is in the Pretender's interest. And whether the assistance of the Dutch, to preserve a right fo well established, be an equivalent to those many unreafonable exorbitant articles in the rest of the treaty, let the world judge. What an impression of our settlement must it give abroad, to see our ministers offering such conditions to the Dutch, to prevail on them to be guarantees of our acts of parliament! Neither perhaps is it right, in point of policy or good sense, that a foreign power should be called in, to confirm our succession, by way of a guarantee, but only to acknowledge it; otherwise, we put it out of the power of our own legislature to change our succession, without the consent of that prince or state, who is guarantee, how much soever the necessities of the kingdom may require it.
As to the other article, it is a natural confequence that must attend any treaty of peace we can make with France; being only the acknowledgment of her Majesty, as Queen of her own dominions, and the right of succeslion by our own Ii 3
laws, laws, which no foreign power hath any pretence to dispute.
However, in order to deserve these mighty advantages from the States, the rest of the treaty is wholly taken up, in directing what we are to da for them.
By the grand alliance, which was the foundation of the present war, the Spanish Low Countries were to be recovered and delivered to the King of Spain ; but by this treaty, that Prince is to possess nothing in Flanders during the war; and after a peace, the States are to have the military command of about twenty towns, with their dependencies, and four hundred thousand crowns a year from the King of Spain; to main. tain their garrisons. By which means, they will have the command of Flanders, from Newport on the sea, to Namur on the Maese, and be en.. tirely masters of the Pais de Waas, the richest part of those provinces. Further, they have lis liberty to garrison any place they shall think fit, in the Spanish Low Countries, whenever there is an appearance of war; and consequently, to put garrisons into Oftend, or where else they please, upon a rupture with England.
By this treaty, likewise, the Dutch will, in effect, be entire masters of all the Low. Countries; may impose duties, restrictions in commerce, and prohibitions at their pleasure; and in that fertile country, may set up all sorts of manufactures, particularly the woollen, by inviting the disobliged manufacturers in Ireland, and the French
refugees, refugees, who are scattered all over Germany. And as this manufacture encreaseth abroad, the clothing people of England will be necessitated, for want of employment, to follow; and in few years, by help of the low interest of money in Holland, Flanders may recover that beneficial trade which we got from them. The landed men of England will then be forced to re-establish the staples of wool abroad; and the Dutch, instead of being only the carriers, will become the original poffessors of those commodities, with which the greatest part of the trade of the world is now carried on. And as they increase their trade, it is obvious, they will enlarge their strength at fea, and that ours must leffen in proportion.
All the ports in Flanders are to be subject to the like duties, that the Dutch shall lay upon the Scheld, which is to be closed on the side of the States : thus, all other nations are, in effect, shut out from trading with Flanders. Yet, in the very fame article, it is said, that the States Mall be favoured in all the Spanish dominions, as much as Great Britain, or as the people most favoured. We have conquered Flanders for them, and are in a worse condition, as to our trade there, than ber fore the war began. We have been the great support of the King of Spain, to whom the Dutch have hardly contributed any thing at all; and yet they are to be equally favoured with us in all his dominions. Of all this, the Queen is under the unreasonable obligation of being guarrantee, and that they fhall possess their barrier, and their four
hundred thousand crowns a year, even before a peace.
It is to be observed, that this treaty was only signed by one of our plenipotentiaries *; and I have been told, that the other was heard to say t, he would rather lose his right-hand, than set it to such a treaty. Had he spoke those words in due season, and loud enough to be heard on this side the water, considering the credit he had then at court, he might have saved much of his country's honour, and got as much to himself; therefore, if the report be true, I am inclined to think he only SAID it. I have been likewise told, that some very necessary circumstances were wanting in the entrance upon this treaty; but the ministers here, rather chose to facrifice the honour of the crown, and the safety of their country, than not ratify what one of their favourites had tranf. acted.
- Let me now consider, in what manner our al. lies have observed those treaties they made with us, and the several ftipulations and agreements pursuant to them.
By the grand alliance between the Empire, England, and Holland, we were to assist the other two, totis viribus, by fea and land. By a convention subsequent to this treaty, the proportions which the several parties should contribute towards the war, were adjusted in the following manner: the Emperor was obliged to furnish ninety thousand
men * "Lord Townshend. See John Bull, part I. chap. 15. Vol. VII. + Duke of Marlborough.