Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

any extracts from these Memoirs, which are apparently abridged in the language of the compiler. The third is supported by no references to authorities, and must therefore rest on the personal credit of the anonymous writer, unless as far as it may be supported either by intrinsic probability, or by coincidence with other creditable testimony. The proportion of these ingredients is very different, in different parts of the work. The occurrences from the birth of the King, to the Restoration of his brother, occupied the three first volumes of his original Memoirs; the first of two hundred and sixty-one pages, the second of a hundred and sixty, and the third of a hundred and fifty-two. Almost the whole of these three volumes of Memoirs appear to have been transferred into the narrative of which they form the first Vol. in MSS., closing at Vol. I, p.382 of this publication. His campaigns with the French and Spanish armies, amounting to more than a third of the whole, are avowedly related in his own words; and in the other parts of the narrative, the references to the Memoirs are so numerous and minute, that it is reasonable to consider the Memoirs as an authority for the whole relation. No other authority, at any rate, is quoted or referred to. The margin of few pages is without two references; that of some has four, five, or even seven. Perhaps this first volume may have been the abridgement of the King's Memoirs, composed by the Dutchess of York, and examined by Burnet. There are some circumstances which appear to countenance such a supposition. It can hardly be imagined that the King would destroy or neglect a narrative written by his wife. It is probable therefore, that it was one of the MSS. sent by him from London through the Tuscan Envoy at the time of the Revolution. It is certain that all these MSS. reached him at St Germains. From the note to Lord Holland's Introduction, it appears not to have been one of the MSS. lodged in the Scotch College at Paris, in virtue of James's warrant. Unless, therefore, it be the first volume of this MSS. there is no account of its fate. It is in other respects distinguishable from the sequel. It has few, if any allusions to succeeding events, and nothing of that anger and asperity which naturally pervaded the composition of a Jacobite emigrant in the reign of Queen Anne. It seems evidently not to be the production of the same person who compiled the greater part of the narrative. If it was written by the daughter of Lord Clarendon, it is no great praise to her to say, that she inberited somewhat more of her father's historical talent than fell to the share of her brother the second Earl. Her part (if she had any) must have closed at the Restoration; for immediately after is an account of her marriage, which she could

not have approved, and which must have been written after her death, and probably after the Revolution. From this period the narrative hitherto employed on personal adventures becomes political and acrimonious. From the Restoration to the Popish Plot, it is comprised in the disproportionate space of a hundred and fifty pages. It is distinguished from the preceding and succeeding parts, by the important peculiarity of containing no extracts from the King's Memoirs, and no marginal references to them or any other authority.

With the narrative of the Popish plot, recommence the quotations from the King's Memoirs, which more or less continue to the end of the work. It is observable, that the warrant for the removal of papers to St Germains, comprehends only papers of 1678 and the subsequent years. Finding an entirely new system of narration begin at this period, it is not unreasonable to suppose, that a new writer was employed on the succeeding, which is both the larger and the more important part. The references to the King's Memoirs in 1678, agree to the 7th and 8th volumes. To the 4th, 5th, or 6th, there are no references. From these three volumes, the writer of that part of the Life, which extends from 1660 to 1678, probably formed his narrative; but, as he did not condescend, like his predecessor and successor, to quote his authorities, the value of his relation is materially lowered, as indeed it seems more cursory and shallow than the rest of the work. It contains marks, too many to be enumerated, of having been written a considerable time after the events. They are minute, but, taken together, will appear decisive to a careful reader; and they point to a time subsequent to the Revolution. The account of the naval actions in the first and second Dutch wars; of James's change of religion; of the conversion and death of the Dutchess of York, and of his second marriage; and the scandalous anecdotes of Monmouth's birth, are likely to have been taken from the King's Memoirs.

That the relation of the secret treaty with France should have fallen to the lot of a compiler so careless as to afford us no means of ascertaining whether he borrowed his narrative of that most important transaction from the King's Memoirs, in whol. or in part, would have been an irreparable misfortune, if the testimony of Mr Hume, who certainly perused the original Memoirs, had not coincided with the account in this work. The extract in Macpherson contains nothing that he might not have found in the Life. Carte's notes of this treaty are so short, that they would be scarcely intelligible to any one who had not read a fuller account.

• In the beginning of 1669, the Duke of York sent for Father Simons, a learned English Jesuit, whom he wished to consult about

the

proper means of being reconciled to the Church of Rome. The Father very sincerely told him, that unless he would quit the com. munion of the Church of England, he could not be received into the Catholic Church. The Duke thought it might be done by a dispen. sation from the Pope, alleging the advantage to the Catholic religion, and, in particular, to those of it in England, if he might have such a dispensation for outwardly appearing a Protestant, at least till he could own himself publicly to be a Catholic, with more secusity to his own person, and advantage to them. But the good Father insisted, that even the Pope himself had not the power to grant it; for it was an unalterable doctrine of the Catholic Church, not to do ill that good might follow. What this good Jesuit thus said, was afterwards confirmed to the Duke by the Pope himself, to whom he wrote upon the same subject. ' Life James II: vol. I. p. 440, 441.

The Duke having been thus informed by this respectable and singular Jesuit, that he could not conscientiously profess a religion which he did not believe, no other expedient, unfortunately, occurred to him for the relief of his conscience, than that of a conspiracy, which would inevitably lead him through falsehood; fraud and blood, to impose on the majority of the people of England the necessity of practising that very hypocritical profanation against which he had himself been honestly warned. On the 25th of January 1669, the King, the Duke of York, the Lords Arundel and Arlington, with Sir Thomas Clifford, secretly met in the Duke's closet, to advise about the ways and methods for advancing the Catholic religion.'

• When they were met, according to the King's appointment, he declared his mind to them on the matter of religion, and repeated what he had newly before sayd to the Duke, how uneasy it was to him not to profess the faith he believed, and that he had called them together to have their advice about the ways and methods fittest to be taken for the settling of the Catholic religion in his kingdoms, and to consider of the time most proper to declare himself ; -telling them, withall, that no time ought to be lost; that he was to expect to meet with many and great difficultys in bringing it about, and that he chose rather to undertake it now, when he and his brother were in their full strength, and able to undergo any fatigue, than to delay it till they were grown older and less fitt to go thorow with so great a design. This he spake with great earnestness, and even with tears in his eyes; and added, that they were to go about it as wise men and good Catholics ought to do.

The consultation lasted long; and the result was, that there was no better way for doing this great work, than to do it in conjunction with France, and with the assistance of his Most Christian Majesty, The House of Austria nat being in condition to help in it; and, in pursuance of this resolution, Mons. de Croiry Colbert, the French Embassador, was to be trusted with the secret, in order to inform his master of it, that he might receive a power to treat about it with our King. The doing of this took up much time; for the treaty held on, not only here, but also Lord Arundel was sent into France, to conferr with that King, and to conclude the treaty: Sir Richard Beling was entrusted to draw the articles, and to do the part of a Secretary in that negociation.

[graphic]

• The treaty was not finaly concluded and signed till about the beginning of 1670, the purport of which was, that the French King was to give two hundred thousand pounds a year by quarterly payments, the first of which to begin when the ratifications were exchanged, to enable the King to begin the work in England : That when the Catholick religion was settled here, our King was to joyn with France in making war upon Holland : That in case of success, France was to have such a part as was stipulated; the Prince of Orange such a share ; and England was to have Sluce, Cassant and Walkeren, with the rest of the sea-ports as far as Maesland Sluce. The French had a great mind to have begun with the war of Holland first ; but Lord Arundel being sent again over into France, convinced that King of the necessity of beginning first with the Catholicity here: And so it was at last adjusted, and the first payments began according to the articles. .All this was transacted with the last secresy; and, in prepara. tion thereunto, Collonel Fitzgerald, lately come from Tanger, where he had been governor, was to have a new regiment of foot raised for him, and such officers chosen for it as might be confided in. His regiment was to put into Yarmouth, and he made governor of that import-, ant town. The Earle of Bath was governor of Plimouth, Lord Bellasis of Hull, Lord Widdrington of Berwick, all of them in whom the King might confide. The fleet and Portsmouth were in the Duke's hands ; nor was the generality of the Church-of-England men at that time very averse to Catholick religion. Many that went under that name had their religion to chuse, and went to church for company's sake. The fer troops that were on foot were look'd upon as well affected; and their officers, all except Collonel Russel, such as would serve the Crown without grumbleing or asking questions. The rigorous Church-of-England men were let loose, and encouraged, underhand, to prosecute according to the law the Nonconformists, to the end that these might be more sensible of the ease they should have when the Catholics prevailed. But how all this design came to faile, an account shall be given in its proper place. The Duke of Buckingham, finding himself every day sinking lower and lower in the King's esteem and confidence, and that his application to his R. H. by the Earle of Berkshire (who, as I should have said before, was introduced by the Earle of Peterborow) had no effect; and also finding that his rivall Lord Arlington had, in like manner, made his addresses to the Duke with better success; and knowing, withall, the great credit which Madame the Dutchess of Orleans had with our King, he thought VOL. XXVI. NO. 52.

Da

he could not be better supported or buoyd up, than by her favour towards him ; and the better to introduce himself, he entered into a treaty with Monsieur de Rouvigny (who was at that time the King of France's minister in England, who mistakingly thought that Duke to be still in his former favour with the King) about a stricter alliance between England and France, to be transacted with all secresy, only between that Duke on our King's part, and Madame for the King of France. In prosecution whereof, he sent over his great confident Sir Ellis Leighton, with recommendations from Monsieur de Rouvigny, to manage affaires with Madame. In the mean time, the King kept the secret, and suffered this mock treaty to go on, that he might the better cover the reall one, of which neither Madame nor that Duke had the least knowledge ; whose cheif drift in his own new project was to keep himself up at the head of the ministry.

This management was made a secret to his R. H. and to Lord Arlington. But after Sir Ellis was come back from France, and had settled a correspondence with Madame, his R. H. came acci. dentally to the knowledge of it, and at last received a full account of the whole transaction from Sir Ellis Leighton himself; and then gave

notice of it to Lord Arlington ; which served not a little to make the breach wider between him and the Duke of Buckingham, and to make him more firm in his R. H. interest, (whereunto Sir Thomas Clifford, that Lord's great friend, and a very stout and loyall man, did very much contribute), thō he still supported the creatures he had brought in, in opposition to the Duke. 1st Life James II. p. 442–445.

. About the beginning of May in the same year, Madame, the King's only sister now living, came to Dover to meet her brother, which she had long desired to do, and which was now made easy to her, upon the King of France's coming then into Flanders to visit his new conquests : But this her journey prov'd to be unfortunate in many respects, and not only hurtfull to our King's affaires in genc. rall, but particularly to those good measures (which) had been ta. ken as to the Catholick religion. I have already mentioned how the private treaty was signed and exchanged by the two Kings, and that some of the mony, in pursuance of it, had been paid to the King; for tho the French allways shewed a strong inclination to have their own work done first, and to begin with the war against Hol. land, yet that King yielded at last to the convincing reasons that were given him to the contrary, as has already been said. But now again, still looking upon it as more advantageous for their own temporall concerns, to change those measures then taken, and knowing the great influence which, in all likelyhood, Madame would have upon the King her brother, it was resolved, by his Most Christian Ma. jesty, to make use of her to bring that about which he so much desired : For which reason he consented to her journey, tho for. merly he had been adverse to her making a visite to her brother in England, as also Monsieur was, for reasons of his own.

She very

« FöregåendeFortsätt »