« PreviousContinue »
The Emperor, as we have already faid, was, by ftipulation, to furnish ninety thousand men against the common enemy, as having no fleets to maintain, and, in right of his family, being most concerned in the success of the war. However, this agreement hath been so ill observed, that, from the beginning of the war to this day, neither of the two last Emperors had ever twenty thousand men, on their own account, in the common cause, excepting once in Italy, when the imperial court exerted itself in a point they have much more at heart, than that of gaining Spain, or the Indies, to their family. When they had succeeded in their attempts on the side of Italy, and observed our blind zeal for pushing on the war at all adventures, they foon found out the most effectual expedient to excuse themselves. They computed easily, that it would cost them less, to make large presents to one single person, than to pay an army, and turn to as good account. They thought they could not put their affairs into better hands, and therefore wisely left us to fight their battles.
Besides, it appeared, by several instances, how little the Emperor regarded his allies, or the cause they were engaged in, when once he thought the empire itself was secure. It is known enough, that he might, several times, have made a peace with his discontented subjects in Hungary, upon terms not at all unbefitting either his dignity or interest: but he rather chose to facrifice the whole alliance to his private passion, by entirely subduing and ensaving a miserable people, who had
but too much provocation to take up arms, to free themselves from the oppressions under which they were groaning ; yet this must serve as an excuse for breaking his agreement, and diverting so great a body of troops, which might have been employed against France. · Another instance of the Emperor's indifference, or rather dislike, to the common cause of the allies, is the business of Toulon. This design was indeed discovered here at home, by a person, whom every body knows to be the creature of a certain great man, at least as much noted for his skill in gaming as in politics, upon the base mercenary end of getting money by wagers, which was then so common a practice, that I remember a gentleman in business, who having the curiosity to enquire how wagers went upon the Exchange, found some people, deep in the secret, to have been concerned in that kind of traffic, as appeared by premiums named for towns, which no-body but those behind the curtain could suspect. However, although this prospect had gotten wind by so scandalous a proceeding; yet Toulon might probably have been taken, if the Emperor had not thought fit, in that very juncture, to detach twelve or fifteen thoufand men to seize Naples, as an enterprise that was more his private and immediate interest. But it was manifeft, that his Imperial Majesty had no mind to see Toulon in possession of the allies; for, even with these discouragements, the attempt might yet have succeeded, if Prince Eugene had not thought fit to K k 2
oppose oppose it, which cannot be imputed to his own judgment, but to some politic reasons of his court. The Duke of Savoy was for attacking the enemy as soon as our army arrived; but when the Mareschal de Threffe’s troops were all come up, to pretend to besiege the place, in the condition we were at that time, was a farce and a jest. Had Toulon fallen then into our hands, the maritime power of France. would, in a great measure, have been destroyed.
By a much greater instance than either of the foregoing, how little the Emperor regarded us or our quarrel, after all we had done to saye his; Imperial crown, and to affert the title of his brother to the monarchy of Spain, may be brought from the proceedings of that court not. many months ago. It was judged, that a war carried on upon the side of Italy, would cause a great diversion of the French forces, wound them in a very tender part, and facilitate the progress of our arms in Spain, as well as Flanders. It was proposed to the Duke of Savoy, to make this diverlion; and pot only a diversion during the summer, but the winter too, by taking quarters on this side of the hills. Only, in order to make him willing and able to perform this work, two points were to be settled : first, it was necessary to end the dispute between the imperial court and his Royal Highness, which had no other foundation than the Emperor's refusing to make good fome ar. ticles of that treaty, on the faith of which, the Duke engaged in the presegt war, and for the exe
cution whereof, Britain and Holland became guarantees, at the request of the late Emperor Leopold. To remove this difficulty, the Earl of Peterborough was dispatched to Vienna, got over fome part of those disputes to the fatisfaction of the Duke of Savoy, and had put the rest in a fair way of being accommodated at the time the Emperor Joseph died. Upon which great event, the Duke of Savoy took the resolution of putting himself at the head of the army, although the whole matter was not finished, since the common cause required his assistance; and that, until a new Em... peror were elected, it was impossible to make good the treaty to him. In order to enable him, the only thing he asked, was, that he should be reinforced by the imperial court, with eight thoum. sand men before the end of the campaign. Mr. Whiteworth was sent to Vienna, to make this proposal; and it is credibly reported, that he was. impowered, rather than fail, to offer forty thoufand pounds for the march of those eight thousand men, if he found it was want of ability, and not inclination, that hindered the sending them. But he was so far from succeeding, that it was said the ministers of that court did not so much as give him an opportunity to tempt them with any particular sums; but cut off all his hopes at once, by alledging the impossibility of complying with the Queen's demands, upon any consideration whatsoever. They could not plead their old exeuse, of the war in Hungary, which was then: brought to an end. They had nothing to offer, Kk. 3
but fome general speculative reasons, which it would expose them to repeat; and so, after much delay, and many trifling pretences, they utterly refused so small and seasonable an assistance : to the ruin of a project, that would have more terrified France, and caused a greater diversion of their forces, than a much more numerous army in any other part. Thus, for want of eight thousand men, for whose winter-campaign the Queen was willing to give forty thousand pounds; and for want of executing the design I lately mentioned, of hindering the enemy from erecting magazines, towards which her Majesty was ready, not only to bear her own proportion, but a share of that which the States were obliged to; our hopes of taking winter-quarters in the north and south parts of France, are eluded, and the war left in that method which is like to continue it longest. Can there an example be given, in the whole course of this war, where we have treated the pettiest prince, with whom we had to deal, in so contemptuous a manner? Did we ever once consider what we could afford, or what we were obliged to, when our assistance was desired, even while welay under immediate apprehensions of being invaded?
When Portugal came as a confederate into the grand alliance, it was stipulated, that the Empire, England, and Holland, should each maintain four thousand men of their own troops in that kingdom, and pay between them a million of pattacoons to the King of Portugal, for the support of twenty eight thousand Portuguese; which number