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of such persons, it cannot be faid, properly speaking, to do them an injury. But, as it will be some fatisfaction to our people, to know by whom they have been so long abused, fo, it may be of great use to us, and our pofterity, not to trust the safety of their country in the hands of those, who act by such principles, and from such motives.
I have already observed, that when the counsels of this war were debated, in the late King's time, a certain great man was then fo averse from entering into it, that he rather chose to give up his employment, and tell the King he could serve him no longer. Upon that Prince's death, although the grounds of our quarrel with France had received no manner of addition, yet this Lord thought fit to alter his sentiments; for the scene was quite changed; his Lordship, and the family with whom he was engaged, by fo complicated an alliance, were in the highest credit poffible with the Queen. The treasurer's staff was ready for his Lordship; the Duke * was to command the army, and the Dutchess, by her employments, and the favour she was poffeffed of, to be always nearest her Majesty's person; by which, the whole power, at home and abroad, would be devolved upon that family. This was a prospect fo very inviting, that, to confess the truth, it could not be easily withstood by any, who have so keen an appetite for wealth or power. By an agreement, subsequent to the grand alliance, we were to assist the Dutch with forty thousand men, all
* Duke of Marlborough.
to be commanded by the Duke of Marlborough. So that, whether this war was prudently begun, or not, it is plain, that the true spring or motive of it, was, the aggrandizing a particular family; and, in short, a war of the general and the ministry, and not of the prince or people ; since those very persons were against it, when they knew the power, and, consequently, the profit, would be in other hands.
With these measures fell in all that set of people called the monied men; such as had raised vast sums, by trading with stocks and funds, and lending upon great interest, and premiums; whose perpetual harvest is war, and whose beneficial way of traffic muft very much decline, by a peace.
In that whole chain of encroachments made upon us by the Dutch, which I have above deduced; and under those several gross impositions from other princes, if any one should ask, why our General continued so easy to the last? I know no other way fo probable, or indeed fo charitable, to account for it, as by that immeasurable love of wealth, which his beft friends allow to be his predominant passion. However, I shall wave any thing that is perfonal upon this subject. I shall say nothing of those great prefents, made by feveral princes, which the foldiers use to call winterforaging, and said it was better than that of the fummer; of two and half per cent. fubtracted out of all the subsidies we pay in those parts, which amounts to no inconfiderable fum; and, lastly, of the grand perquisites in a long successful war, which are foamicably adjusted between him and the States. VOL. II.
But, But, when the war was thus begun, there soon fell in other incidents here at home, which made the continuance of it necessary for those, who were the chief advisers. The whigs were, at that time, out of all credit or consideration. The reigning favourites had always carried what was called the tory principles, at least as high as our conflitution could bear; and moft others in great employments, were wholly in the church interest. These laft, among whom were several persons of the greatest merit, quality, and consequence, were not able to endure the many instances of pride, insolence, avarice, and ambition, which those favourites began so early to discover, nor to see them presuming to be sole dispensers of the royal favour. However, their opposition was to no purpose; they wrestled with too great a power, and were foon crushed under it. For thofe in poffeffion, finding they could never be quiet in their ufurpations, while others had any credit, who were at leaft upon an equal foot of merit, began to make overtures to the discarded whigs, who would be content with any terms of accommodation. Thus commenced this Solemn League and covenant, which hath ever since been cultivated with so much application. The great traders in money, were wholly devoted to the whigs, who had first raised them : the army, the court, and the treasury, continued under the old despotic administration : the whigs were received into employment, left to manage the parliament, cry down the landed interest, and worry the church. Mean time, our
allies, who were not ignorant, that all this artificial structure had no true foundation in the hearts of the people, resolved to make the best use of it, as long as it should last. And the General's credit being raised to a great height at home, by our success in Flanders, the Dutch began their gradual impositions ; lessening their quotas, breaking their stipulations, garrisoning the towns we took for them, without supplying their troops ; with many other infringements : all which we were forced to submit to, because the General was made easy; because the monied men at home were fond of the war;
because the whigs were not firmly settled; and because that exorbitant degree of power, which was built upon a supposed necessity of employing particular persons, would go off in a peace. It is needless to add, that the Emperor, and other princes, followed the example of the Dutch, and succeeded as well, for the same reasons.
I have here imputed the continuance of the war to the mutual indulgence between our General and allies, wherein they both fo well found their accounts; to the fears of the money-changers, left their tables should be overthrown; to the designs of the whigs, who apprehended the loss of their credit and employments in a peace; and to those at home, who held their immoderate engrofsments of power and favour by no other tenure, than their own presumption upon the neceslity of affairs. The truth of this will appear indisputable, by considering, with what unanimity and concert these several parties acted, towards that great end. L12
When the vote passed in the houfe of Lords, against any peace, without Spain being restored to the Austrian family, the Earl of Wharton told the house, that it was indeed impoffible, and impracticable to recover Spain; but, however, there were certain reasons, why such a vote should be made at that time; which reasons wanted no explanation ; for the General and the ministry, having refused to accept very advantageous offers of a peace, after the battle of Ramillies, were forced to take in a set of men, with a previous bargain, to screen them from the consequences of that miscarriage. And, accordingly, upon the first fucceeding opportunity that fell, which was the Prince of Denmark's death *, the chief leaders of the party were brought into feveral great employments.
Thus, when the Queen was no longer able to bear the tyranny and insolence of those ungrateful fervants, who, as they waxed the fatter, did but kick the more ; our two great allies abroad, and our stock-jobbers at home, took immediate alarm; applied the nearest way to the throne, by memorials and messages, jointly directing her Majesty, not to change her fecretary or treasurer; who, for tbe true reasons that these officious intermeddlers demanded their continuance, ought never to have been admitted into the least degree of trust; fince what they did, was nothing less than betraying the interest of their native country, to those princes, who, in their turns, were to do what they could, to support them in power at home.
* Prince George of Denmark, husband to Q. Anne.