« PreviousContinue »
REMARKS on the BARRIER-TREATY, &c.*
the following treaty, and one who was ignorant of our affairs, or our geography : he would conceive their High Mightinefles, the States-General, to be some vaft powerful commonwealth, like that of Rome; and HER MAJESTY to be a
prety * Dr. Swift commenced the champion of Q. Anne's Tory ministry, as early as the month of November' 1710, under the title of The Examiner, (Vol. III.) Besides which, he wrote several other papers, in defence of the Queen, the constitution, and the ministry; particularly, Sime advice to the members of the Oftober club [Ibid.] The conduit of the allies, (above, p. 344 ) Remarks on the barrier-treaty ; The public spirit of the Whigs (above, p. 286) (a treatise wherein we may observe how well the Doctor was acquainted with the several interests and designs of all the princes in Europe ;) The preface to the Bishop of Sarum's introduction, (Vol. X.) and, Some free thoughts on the present state of affairs (Vol. VI.) 'These are a course of writings not to be considered in the light of occasional pamphlets, or little paltry journals, thrown into the world by some hackney-jade, in the defence of corruption, and to serve the iniquitous designs of a party. No; these writings are to be considered, and read over and over again, as lectures of true, unprejudiced, constitutional politics, calculated to expose the enemies of the public, and to maintain, at once, the honour of the crown, and the liberties of the people of England. I cannot but think, whoever is totally unacquainted with these political tracts, might be tempted to revise them carefully, were it only for the sake of extracting some points of hiftory, which, to many thousands of the present age, are somewhat more than paradoxes.- -Whoever pretends to write the history of Q. Anne's reign, without revising diligently the works
prety prince, like one of those to whom that re. public would sometimes send a diadem for a preient, when they behaved themselves well, otherwise could depofe at pleasure, and place whom they thought fit in his stead. Such a man would think, that the States had taken our prince and us into their protection; and, in return, honoured us so far, as to make use of our troops, as some small affistance in their conquefts, and the enlargement of their empire, or to prevent the incursions of Barbarians upon fome of their out-lying provinces. But how muft it found in an European ear, that Great-Britain, after maintain: ing a war for so many years, with so much glory and success, and fuch prodigious expence; after saving the Empire, Holland, and Portugal, and almost recovering Spain, should, towards the
close of this great author, will produce nothing better than fome lame, partial, infignificant Grub-street performance, like the rest of those vile accounts, which have already, in defiance of truth, been imposed upon the world. I am sure, the present generation of men, that is, the present generation of landed men,
in fact, the only proprietors of the whole kingdom, feel it to their cost, that Swift's reasonings are just, and that all his
Swift.-- -Mr. Swift thinks the Dean's political traéts should have been ranged in his works, in the order in which he has mentioned them, and that his several poems, relative to those times, and which, in truth, greatly illustrate his political tracts, ought to be read in the following order, viz. The virtues of Sid Hamet the magiảian's rod, (Vol. VIII.) The fable of Midas (Ibid.) Atlas, or, The minister of state (Ibid.) Horace, epift. vii. bcok 1. imitated, and addressed to the Earl of Oxford (ibid.) Horace, filt. vii. book 2. part of it imit ated (Ibid.) The author on himself (Ibid.) The faggot (ibid.) To the Earl of Oxford in the Tower (Ibid.)
accounts are true.
close of a war, enter into a treaty with seven Dutch provinces, to secure to them a dominion much larger than their own, which she had conquered for them; to undertake for a great deal more, without ftipulating the least advantage for herself; and accept, as an equivalent, the mean condition, of those States affiling to preserve her Queen on the throne, whom, by God's ailistance, she is able to defend against all her Majesty's enemies and allies put together?
Such a wild bargain could never have been made for us, if the States had not found it their interest, to use very powerful motives with the chief advisers, (I say nothing of the person inimediately employed ;) and if a party here at home had not been resolved, for ends and purposes very well known, to continue the war as long as they had any occafion for it.
The counter-project of this treaty, made here at London, was bad enough in all conscience : I have said something of it in the preface ; her Majesty's ministers were instructed to proceed by it in their negotiation. There was one point in that project, which would have been of confequence to Britain, and one or two more, where the advantages of the States were not so very exorbitant, and where some care was taken of the house of Austria. Is it possible, that our good allies and friends could not be brought to any terms with us, unless by striking out every particular that might do us any good, and adding still more to those whereby so much was aiready granted ? VOL. II.
For instance, the article about demolishing of Dunkirk, surely, might have remained; which was of fone benefit to the States, as well as of mighty advantage to us; and which the French king hath lately yielded, in one of his preliminaries, although clogged with the demand of an equivalent, which will owe its difficulty only to this treaty.
But, let me now consider the treaty itself: among the one and twenty articles, of which it conhits, only two have any relation to us ; importing, that the Dutch are to be guarantees of our succession, and are not to enter into any treaty, until the Queen is acknowledged by France. We know very well, that it is, in consequence, the interest of the States, as much as ours, that Britain should be governed by a Protestant prince. Befides, what is there more in this guarantee, than in all common leagues, offenfive and defensive, between two powers, where each is obliged to defend the other against any invader, with all their strength ? Such was the grand alliance between the Emperor, Britain and Holland; which was, or ought to have been, as good a guarantee of our succession, to all intents and purposes, as this in the barrier-treaty; and the mutual engagements in such alliances have been always reckoned fufficient, without any separate benefit to either party.
It is, no doubt, for the interest of Britain, that the States should have a sufficient barrier against France ; but their High Mightinesses, for some few years past, have put a different meaning upon the word barrier, from what it
formerly used to bear, when aplied to them. When the late king was prince of Orange, and commanded their armies against France, it was
once imagined, that any of the towns taken should belong to the Dutch; they were all immediately delivered up to their lawful monarch; and Flanders was only a barrier to Holland, as it was in the hands of Spain, rather than France. So, in the grand alliance of 1701, the several powers, promising to endeavour to recover Flanders for a barrier, was understood to be the recovering those provinces to the king of Spain; but, in this treaty, the style is wholly changed: here are about twenty towns and forts, of great importance, with their chatellanies and dependencies (which dependencies are likewise to be enlarged as much as poflible), and the whole revenues of them to be under the perpetual military government of the Dutch ; by which that republic will be entirely masters of the richest part of all Flanders; and, upon any appearance of war, they may put their garrisons into any other placé of the Low-Countries.; and further, the king of Spain is to give them a revenue of four hundred thousand crowns a year, to enable them to maintain those garrisons.
Why should we wonder, that the Dutch are inclined to perpetuate the war, when, by an article in this treaty, the king of Spain is not to polefs one Jingle town in the Low-Countries, until a peace be made. The Duke of Anjou, at the beginning of this war, maintained fix and thirty thousand men