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a contractor for bread to the army, stated that he had paid, as perquisite or bribe, to the Duke of Marlborough, the commander-in-chief, a sum of 332,425 guilders; and other contractors specifying additional items, the total sum so received was reported by the committee as amounting to £282,366. On hearing of this disclosure, Marlborough, who was at the Hague, wrote a letter to the commissioners. This letter commences with the curious acknowledgment that the rate of payment on which the total is calculated “is no more than what has always been allowed as a perquisite to the general or commanderin-chief of the army in the Low Countries, both before the Revolution and since." Then comes a significant qualification of the unhappy expression "perquisite. "I do assure you, at the same time, that whatever sums I have received on that account have constantly been applied to the service of the public in keeping secret correspondence and getting intelligence of the enemy's notions and designs.” 1

1 Parl. Hist., vi. 1051.

CHAPTER XVI.

The Treaty of Utrecht.

DEATH OF THE EMPEROR OF GERMANY-SUCCEEDED BY THE

ARCHDUKE CHARLES-HE NO LONGER A PRACTICAL COMPETITOR FOR THE CROWN OF SPAIN-PROSPECTS OF PEACEINTERESTS OF BRITAIN IN ADJUSTMENT OF TREATY-NAVY AND COLONIES—THE POSITION OF THE NORTHERN POWERS

SWEDEN AND CHARLES XII.-MARLBOROUGH'S VISIT TO HIM-PETER THE GREAT AND RUSSIA—NOT ADMITTED TO THE GRAND ALLIANCE DIFFICULTIES FROM THE ARREST OF

HIS AMBASSADOR IN LONDON THE CONFERENCE OF GERTRUYDENBERG THE CONFERENCE OPENED AT UTRECHT

REPRESENTATION OF THE COMMONS STIPULATIONS OF

THE TREATY.

THERE was nothing yet to assure the world, of any check on the succession of battles or any mitigation of the carnage that was draining Europe, when the death from natural causes of a man in his thirtythird year opened a new historical vista. On the 17th of April 1711 the Emperor Joseph died. He left two daughters, one of them afterwards married to Augustus, King of Poland—the other to Charles, Elector of Bavaria. Had either of these been married before their father's death, a force might have been brought into the election of emperor—there might have come such an event as that war in the middle of the eighteenth century, ending in the transference of the imperial succession from the house of Hapsburg to the house of Lorraine, by the election of the husband of Maria Theresa, the niece of the Emperor Joseph, and the daughter of him whom we have been accustomed to meet with the title of “King of Spain,” in the British nomenclature of the heroes of the war of the succession.

It is of rare occurence in history to find a casualty so fortunate in its influence. It had been found impossible to make Charles the actual King of Spain. It would have been a disaster had that throne been secured to him. It would now be a mighty political blunder to force him into it or let him take it. The union of Spain to the Empire would be to restore the days of Charles V. when the Empire threatened to absorb the separate European powers—it would create the very dangers that King Louis had been likely to achieve, with the centre of empire at Vienna instead of Paris. The danger was not in a king of the race of Bourbon reigning at Madrid. It mattered nothing to Britain of what race the king who reigned over Spain alone descended. The danger to Europe was that a king so ambitious as King Louis might bring it to pass that Spain and France were governed by one successor of the house of Bourbon. That danger was washed out in blood.

Had the Empire been hereditary and exempt from the Salic law, the elder daughter of the Emperor Joseph would have succeeded him. But there was still the form of an election, and to have promoted a girl to fill the throne of Charlemagne would have been to throw a weak hand into a perilous game. The contest was stiff enough when Theresa Maria brought into it her husband and champion, Francis of Lorraine. The imperial throne was an easy seat for Charles VI.; and the supine pomp of his nature, wasted in a contest where promptitude and hardihood were more in demand, was thoroughly suited to the lofty serenity that would be expected in a new Kaiser Karl. For all the respect that the German nature would bestow on such qualities it could also see their comical side ; and the ex-"King of Spain was celebrated in German history as him who had lost a coronation at Madrid, because the escort afforded to him was not equal to the augustness of the occasion.

Had there been the slightest misgiving among the Powers united in the Grand Alliance, founded on a supposition that they were still bound in honour to demand the throne of Spain for the Austrian claimant, a new force had gradually gathered to a strength that would have made the attempt hopeless. The Spanish people had pronounced for the French succession. A Philip V. came naturally into the dynasty of Spanish sovereigns. He had been several years in Spain, and had kept state in the capital. His enemies counted as chief among them the heretical monarchy of England, whence a sound son of the Church had been driven for no other reason than this soundness. If the Spanish people were not sufficiently instructed in the history of the period to find this out for themselves, the priests told it to them, along with many other things tending to strengthen their attachment to King Philip

To resist these conditions -- to fail indeed in promptly yielding to them—would be the opening of a fresh war on new issues. The original object of the war, so far as Britain was concerned, had dropped along with the danger that prompted it. That danger was the power of France waxing by victories and by absorption until it bid fair to establish, like imperial Rome, an empire over all the civilised world. The operative cause of the paralysis was one that good and generous men, even among the bitterest enemies of France, could not contemplate closely without horror and compassion—it was the clearing away of the male population on the battle-field. After the battle of Waterloo it was announced, on scientific physiological authority, that the children then coming into the world would not, when they grew to manhood, so replace the losses of France as to enable her to threaten her neighbours again. She must wait for a third generation, and, counting fifteen years to each, the world would be at least forty-five years older ere the new opportunity came. We know how thoroughly the event justified the prediction.

The sufferings on the British side were far more loudly proclaimed, but were far from reaching the extremities that paralysed France. Many of our young men were wiled, or, it might be said, trapped, into the military service of the country; but they were not driven to it in herds by the arbitrary rule of conscription. For the greater part of them they accepted the soldier's career, with its mingled enjoyments and miseries. And yet there was an element in the condition of the French peasantry that made military service a better bargain to them than it was to the English. These went forth from abodes of frugal comfort to the mottled life of excesses and

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