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had made from that prince. This declaration put an end
to the treaty. The States forbad their commissioners to June sign without new instructions; Charles expressed his 21, conviction that Louis sought only to divide, and by
dividing to oppress, the confederates; and the council unanimously adopted the advice of the duke of York, to enter immediately into the war. The period for disbanding the army was in consequence prolonged* ; four thousand men led by the earl of Ossory joined the Eng.
lish regiments in Flanders; another corps of equal force 27. held itself in readiness to embark under the command of July the duke ; and Temple hastened to the Hague, where, 16. in defiance of French influence, he concluded a treaty
stipulating that, unless France should recede from its new pretensions in favour of Sweden within fourteen days, the two powers should unite their forces to compel the acceptance of the proposals formerly made by the king of England, or such other conditions as the success of the confederates might entitle them to demand f.
* This prolongation revived a question of privilege between the houses. In the bill grantiug 200,0001. for the disbanding of the army, the lords introduced an amendment prolonging the time from three weeks to the end of July, even for the forces in England. The commons acknowledged the propriety of the delay, bui denied the right of the lords to make any al. terations in a money bill, and therefore, rejecting the amendment, substi: tuted a proviso to the same purpose. The lords rejected the proviso in return; and the commons passed a resolution that “all aids in parliament “ are the sole gift of the commons; that all bills for that purpose ought to “ begin with the commons; and that it is the undoubted and sole right of " the commons to direct, limit, and appoint in such bills the ends, con“siderations, conditions, and qualifications of such grants, which ought not "! to be altered by the house of lords." (C. Journ. July 3.) This doctrine was, however, denied by the lords. It was, they replied, founded solely on the act of Henry IV. entitled " Indemnity des seigneurs et com. " munes," which took, indeed, from the lords their former right of originating such bills, but left all other legislative rights as full and free to one house as to the other. The commons might keep it a verata quæstio, as long as they pleased; but the lords would never surrender the exercise of their hereditary privileges. Charles feared that he should lose the bill, and with it the sum of 200,0001., no trifliog consideration to the indigent monarch: but the lords left the bill at the conference, and refused to take any further notice of it: and the commons yielded so far as to introduce a new bill, of which the rejected amendment formed a part. In this state it passed both houses.
+ Temple, ii. 439–443. Jenkins, ii 389 Duinunt, vii. 348. Clarend. Corresp. I-21. Dairymple, ii. 181–188. Danby, 226. 228. 253. 291.
ars to me that the king was sincere in these proceedings, as he must PEACE SIGNED AT NIMEGUEN.
125 Though Louis was disconcerted by this display of spirit, so unexpected on the part of the English king, he did not despair of subduing the obstinacy of the States. With this view his commissioners at Nimeguen employed for thirteen days every art which diplomatic finesse could devise. They declared that the resolution of their master was irrevocably taken; they suggested forms of compromise, the substitution of an equivalent in favour of Sweden, the discussion of the subject at Ghent or St. Quintin in the presence of Louis: but on the fourteenth, July when every man looked forward to the renewal of hos- 31. tilities, they announced their willingness to yield, on condition that the peace were signed before midnight. Van Haren, one of the Dutch commissioners, hesitated, because he had understood that not only the peace with the States but also that with Spain was to be signed at the same time: his scruples, however, were removed by the authority of his colleague Van Beverning, and both in conjunction with Odyck, the third commissioner, subscribed the same evening two treaties, one of peace, and another of commerce, between France and the United Provinces, without any particular stipulation in favour of Spain. The intelligence excited surprise at the Hague: but it was believed that Beverning acted in pursuance of private instructions from the city of Amsterdam; and peace was so welcome to almost every class among his countrymen that he had little to fear from the resentment of those who sought a continuance of the war *.
have foreseen, what accordingly happened, that he would forfeit of course the 6,000,000 livres which had been promised to him by Louis.
• Temple, ii. 444–455. Jenkins, ii. 418-420. Dumont, vii, 350. It Fas proposed that Charles should guarantee the places in question to Sweden He was even induced to order Temple to go from the Hague to Nimeguen for that purpose. Thus the French party at the Hague was freed from the presence of a man whose influence they feared, and with the aid of De Crosse, the Swedish agent who brought the order, circulated a report that a secret understanding still existed between Charles and Louis. This, it was believed, led to the claadestine mission of Boreel from the city of Amsterdam to Van Beverning. Temple, ii. 445—419. Dalrymple, ii. 178. Danby, 256. 289.
To this event, so unexpected by the other powers of Europe, succeeded another which excited equal surprise. On the fourth day after the conclusion of peace, the prince of Orange fought the fierce and sanguinary battle of St. Denis. Of the few fortresses, which still remained in the possession of the Spaniards, Mons was the first in strength and importance; but on the east of Mons lay the hostile garrison of Binche, on the west that of St. Guislain; the country to the south was in the hands of the enemy; and early in the spring a strong corps, passing the river Haine, had formed an entrenched camp to the north, and intercepted the communication with Brussels. The blockade had already produced a scarcity within the walls; and in the councils of the confederates it was resolved to make the relief of Mons their first object after the termination of the armistice. With this view the prince, anticipating nothing less than the sig.
nature of the treaty, ordered bis forces to assemble on Aug. the 30th of July, and on the 4th of August led them 4.
against the enemy, who were commanded by the duke of Luxembourg. In the valley in front of their camp the French held two fortified positions, the abbey of St. Denis, and the ruins of a fortress called Casteau: the first after an obstinate struggle was carried by the prince of Orange, the second by the duke of Villa Hermosa ; but the enemy recovered the latter towards the evening, pursued the Spaniards into the plain, and would have cut off the retreat of the Dutch from St. Denis, had they not been kept at bay by the desperate resistance of the English auxiliaries under the earl of Ossory. During the night the two armies resumed their former positions *.
By many, this action, in which the lives of five thousand men were sacrificed, has been deemed a foul blot on the character of William t. That he was ignorant of the conclusion of peace no man could believe.
• For this battle see the memoirs of lord Castlehaven, who held a com. mand in the Spanish army, App. 52-56.
+ See Louis, iv. 171, 172. James, i. 511.
THE POWERS COXSENT.
The proceedings at Nimeguen, which were already known in London *, could not be unknown in the neighbourhood of Brussels; and his haste to commence the battle, though a British force of eight thousand men was on its march to his assistance, proved his anxiety to anticipate the arrival, if it had not already taken place, of contrary orders from the States.
But even ignorance in his circumstances could not form a valid excuse : to justify the renewal of hostilities, he ought to have known that the French had suffered the term of fourteen days to elapse without accepting the conditions of peace. It is not, however, difficult to discover the motives by which he was actuated. On the one hand, it was of the first importance to Holland that Mons should not fall into the possession of the French, and yet, though the garrison was reduced to extremity by famine, no provision had been made for its relief in the treaty: on the other a victory, obtained over the blockading army, would probably prevent the ratification of the peace, and give to William himself the undisputed ascendency over his political opponents •f. The attempt was therefore made ; and, though he gained no victory, the fortress at least was saved. The next morning the Aug. duke of Luxembourg announced to him the conclusion
5. of peace; the armies, after several conferences, separated,
9. that of the allies retiring towards Nivelles, that of France towards Ath, and the communication between Mons and the capital was once more restored I.
In England the duration of the session and the expectation of peace, had drawn from parliament several grants of money for the purpose of discharging the extraordinary expenses incurred by the preparations for
• See the Duke of York's letter of Aug. 4, in Dalrymyle, ii. 189, and Danby's of Aug. 5, Letters, 293.
+ Louis, iv. 167. Dalrymple, ii. 189, 190. Danby's Letters, 232. “ If “ God bless the prince in this one enterprise of Mons, he will be greater “ here than ever his ancestors were.” Temple, in Danby's Letters, 254.
Dumont, vii, 364,
July war. A prorogation followed: Charles found himself 15. at the head of a numerous army, with 800,0001. at his
command; and he resolved to keep his word to the prince of Orange, and to teach his brother of France the value of his friendship. Fresh bodies of troops were successively sent to Flanders; the Spaniards received assurances of the king's readiness to procure for them the conditions formerly offered at Nimeguen; and the States were summoned in pursuance of their late treaty, to unite with England for the purpose of compelling the French king to stand to his promise*. But it was too late to kindle again the dying embers of war. His interference, indeed, encouraged the Spaniards to demand more favourable conditions, and it gave so much confidence to the Antigallican party in the States, that the prince still cherished a hope of
recovering the ascendency; but Louis knew how to Aug. yield when it was for his interest. He had already 8.
ratified the peace on his part: his ambassadors were instructed to assume a tone of unusual moderation; 1. they receded from several of their demands; and every
subject of dispute with the Spanish ambassadors was referred to the decision of the Dutch. This policy suc
ceeded, and the confederacy was broken. Before the 7. expiration of the six weeks the Spanish ambassadors
reluctantly submitted to the terms dictated by their 1679. Jan, powerful enemy; in a few months the emperor and the 26. empire followed their example; and an end was put to
• Temple professes himself ignorant why Charles acted with so much vigour on this occasion; but says that he was advised afterwards that the king's object was to please the parliament on account of the discovery which was then made of the “plot.” That, however, is impossible. Por Hyde was despatched to Holland on the 12th of August (Dauby, 239. Dalrymple, 11 190), and it is certain that the first intimation of the plot was given to the king on the following day. From the letters of Danby and the Duke of York, it appears that the king could not learn the articles of the treaty signed by the Dutch, but knew that worse terms had been offered to the Spaniards than before ; that he believed Louis did not in tend to make a general peace; and that the account of the battle of St. Denis sent by the prince taught him to expect a second battle, and a con. tinuation of the war. Dauby's Letters, 232, 233. 256. 296.