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same time of the queen's death, no man can tell what might have been the event.

But this attempt, to whatever purposes intended, proving wholly abortive, by the vigilance of those in power, the duke's arrival was without any noise or consequence; and upon consulting with his friends, he soon fell in with their new scheme for preventing the peace. It was believed by many persons, that the ministers might with little difficulty have brought him over, if they had pleased to make a trial; for, as he would probably have accepted any terms, to continue in a station of such prodigious profit, so there was sufficient room to work upon his fears, of which he is seldom unprovided, (I mean only in his political capacity,) and this infirmity very much increased by his unmeasurable possessions, which have rendered him, ipsique onerique timentem. But reason, as well as the event, proved this to be a mistake for the ministers, being determined to bring the war to as speedy an issue, as the honour and safety of their country would permit, could not possibly recompense the duke, for the mighty incomes he held by the continuance of it. Then, the other party had calculated their numbers; and by the accession of the earl of Nottingham, whose example they hoped would have many followers, and the successful solicitations of the duke of Somerset, found they were sure of a majority in the House of Lords: so that, in this view of circumstances, the duke of Marlborough thought he acted with security, as well as advantage. He therefore boldly fell, with his whole weight, into the design of ruining the ministry, at the expense of his duty to his sovereign, and the welfare of his country, after the mighty obligations he had received from both. WHIG and TORY were now

no longer the dispute; but THE QUEEN, OF THE DUKE OF MARLBOROUGH. He was at the head of all the cabals and consults with Bothmar, Buys, and the discontented lords. He forgot that government of his passion, for which his admirers used to celebrate him; fell into all the impotences of anger and violence, upon every party debate: so that the queen found herself under a necessity, either, on the one side, to sacrifice those friends, who had ventured their lives, in rescuing her out of the power of some, whose former treatment she had little reason to be fond of; to put an end to the progress she had made towards a peace, and dissolve her parliament; or, on the other side, by removing one person from so great a trust, to get clear of all her difficulties at once. Her Majesty therefore determined upon the latter, as the shorter and safer course; and, during the recess at Christmas, sent the duke a letter, to tell him she had no farther occasion for his service.

There has not perhaps in the present age, been a clearer instance, to show the instability of greatness, which is not founded upon virtue; and it may be an instruction to princes, who are well in the hearts of their people, that the overgrown power of any particular person, although supported by exorbitant wealth, can, by a little resolution, be reduced in a moment, without any dangerous consequences. This lord, who was beyond all comparison the greatest subject in Christendom, found his power, credit, and influence, crumble away on a sudden; and except a few friends or followers by inclination, the rest dropped off in course. From directing in some manner the affairs of Europe, he descended to be a member of a faction, and with little distinction even there: that virtue of subduing his resent

ments, for which he was so famed when he had little or no occasion to exert it, having now wholly forsaken him, when he stood most in need of its assistance; and, upon trial, was found unable to bear a reverse of fortune, giving way to rage, impatience, envy, and discontent.








THE House of Lords met upon the 2d day of January, according to their adjournment; but, before they could proceed to business, the twelve new created peers were, in the usual form, admitted to their seats in that assembly; who, by their numbers, turned the balance on the side of the court, and voted an adjournment to the same day with the Commons. Upon the 14th of January, the two Houses met; but the queen, who intended to be there in person, sent a message to inform them, "That she was prevented by a sudden return of the gout; and to desire they would adjourn for three days longer, when her majesty hoped she should be able to speak to them." However, her indisposition still continuing, Mr Secretary St John brought another message to the House of Commons from the queen, containing

the substance of what she intended to have spoken: "That she could now tell them, her plenipotentiaries were arrived at Utrecht; had begun, in pursuance of her instructions, to concert the most proper ways of procuring a just satisfaction to all powers in alliance with her, according to their several treaties, and particularly with relation to Spain and the West Indies: That she promised to communicate to them the conditions of peace, before the same should be concluded: That the world would now see how groundless these reports were, and without the least colour, that a separate peace had been treated: That her ministers were directed to propose, that a day might be fixed for the finishing, as was done for the commencement, of this treaty; and that in the mean time, all preparations were hastening for an early campaign, &c.

Her majesty's endeavours towards this great work, having been in such a forwardness at the time that her message was sent, I shall here, as in the most proper place, relate the several steps, by which the intercourse between the courts of France and Britain was begun and carried on.

The marquis de Torcy, sent by the most Christian king to the Hague, had there, in the year 1709, made very advantageous offers to the allies, in his master's name; which our ministers, as well as those of the States, thought fit to refuse; and advanced other proposals in their stead; but of such a nature as no prince could digest, who did not lie at the immediate mercy of his enemies. It was demanded, among other things, "That the French king should employ his own troops, in conjunction with those of the allies, to drive his grandson out of Spain." The proposers knew very well, that the enemy would never consent

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