صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

help complimenting him, with having the ho. nour which never any other minifler had be. fore him, of drawing the flates to a resolution and conclusion in five days, upon a matter of the greatest importance, and an assistance of the greatest expence they had ever been engaged in ; and all directly against the nature of their constitution ; which enjoined them to have recourse to their provinces : adding, That now it was done, it looked like a mira.

cle.

Upon the conclusion, two letters were writ; one from De Wite to the earl of Arlington, and the second from the states-general to the king of Great-Britain ; of which fome notice ought to be taken.

The former says, “ As it was impossible to send a minister of greater capacity, or more proper for the temper or genius of this nation than Sir William Temple; fo, I believe, no other person, either will, or can, more equitably judge of the disposition wherein he has found the states, to answer the good intentions of the king of Great Britain."

In the states letter, they tell the king, " As it is a thing without example, that, in so few days, three such important treaties have been concluded, so, we can say, That the address, the vigilance, and the fincerity, of Sir William Temple, are also without example. If your majesty continues to make use of such ministers, the knot will grow too fast ever to be untyed.” And yet Sir William Temple, Vol. VIIT.

D

with

with no less wit than modefty, gave another turn to it in a letter to Monsieur Gourville, saying, " They will needs have me pass here for one of great abilities, for having finished and signed, in five days, a treaty of such importance to Christendom : but I will tell you the secret of it ; To draw things out of their centre, requires labour and address to put them in motion ; but to make them return thither, nature helps so far, that there needs no more than just to set them a going.'

But, as this memorable treaty is well known to have been the master-stroke of policy of that reign, the influence of which has been felt in Europe from that time to this, we think it will not be disagreeable to our readers if we present them with another letter of Sir William Temple's, written to lord Arlington, then fecretary of state upon that occasion. It is dated from the Hague, on the twenty-fourth of January, N. S. 1668; and, as it thews Sir William's excellent talent at literary compofitions, so it gives an entertaining and satisfactory account of the progress and completion of the famous triple alliance.

My Lord, UPON last Friday, at night, I gave your lord ship the account of what advance I had then made in my negotiation, and of the point where it was then arrested, with defires of his majesty's pleasure; whereupon having spent

that

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

that whole day in debates, I had little time left for that letter, but intended to make some amends for the hafte of it, within two days, by a dispatch with the yatcht; and, though delayed a little longer, will not, I hope, be more unwelcome by bringing your lord ship a fuller and final account, which may be allowed to surprize you a little there, since it is looked upon as a miracle here, not only by those that hear it, but even by the commissioners them selves, who have had the whole transaction of it ; which I shall now acquaint your lordship with.

Upon my two first conferences with Monfieur de Witt, which were the Tuesday and Wednesday, I found him much fatisfied with his majesty's resolution concerning our neighbours; but of the opinion, that the condition of forcing Spain was necessary to our common end, and to clear the means towards it from all accidents that might arise. For the defensive league he was of his former opinion, that it hould be negotiated between us ; but upon the project offered his majefty at Schevelin, by which all matter of commerce might be so adjusted, as to leave no seeds of any new quarrels between the nations.

After two very long conferences upon these points, we ended with some difference upon the necessity of concluding both parts of my projects at the same time ; but, for the rest, with great confidence and satisfaction, in one

D 2

another's

another's fincere and frank way of treating fince the first overtures between us.

The first time I saw him, he told me, I came upon a day he should always esteem very happy, both in respect of his majesty's resolutions, which I brought, and of those the ftates had taken, about the disposal of the chief commands in their army, by making prince Maurice and Monsieur Wurtz campmasters-general, and the prince of Tarante and Rkingrave generals of the horse, each to command in the absence of the other.

He told me all the detail of that difpofition, but the rest I remember not well. I laid hold on this occafion, as indeed I thought was necefsary, to say what his majesty gave me order concerning the prince of Orange; which he took very well, and said, was very obliging to the states; that, for his own part, he never failed to see the prince once or twice a week, and grew to have a particular affection for him; and would tell me plainly, that the states defigned the captain-generalfhip of all the forces for him, so soon as by his age he grew capable of it.

The next day was my audience, which paffed with all the respect that could be given his majesty's character; and the next morning began my conference with the eight commil fioners of secret affairs. I exposed my powers, and saw theirs; in pursuit whereof 1 offered them the project of the defensive league

as

as that which was to be the foundation of all farther negotiations, and without which, perhaps, neither of us dould be very forward to speak our minds with confidence and freedom, in what concerned our neighbours, being likely therein to shock so many great powa ers abroad. I told them, for the rest, his ma.. jefty having relolved, as far as he could in honour, to comply with the fease of the itates, in the ofices of mediation between the two crowns; I was firit to expect from them the knowledge of the itates resolution, in case they. were already agreed.

I I took this course in my first proposals, because I found here that the provinces were not yet resolved upon theirs, five of them only having fallen upon that of Monsieur de Witt; but Zealand being of opinion to agree with France for dividing Flanders; and Utrecht for fuffering France only to retain the last year's conquelt, by way of compromis, till their pretensions were adjudged before competent arbiters, to be agreed by the two crowns, or by the joint mediaiors: and I was in hopes, that, knowing his majesty's resolutions to join with them, before they were agreed among themselves, it might produce some countels among them a little more favourable to Flan. ders, and consequently more honourable to his. majesty.

After my proposals, Monsieur de Witt was, by the reit or the commisioners, desired to

{peaker

« السابقةمتابعة »