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a treaty between Louis XIV. and Charles, for introducing into England the Catholic religion by foreign force; and, by foreign force also, and foreign money, for establishing a complete and perfect despotism in this country. It is impossible, says Lord John Russell, alluding to this treaty, to read it without indignation at the unprincipled ambition, the shameless venality, and the cool hypocrisy of Charles. For the sake of public tranquillity, the specious and professed object of all coercive measures, an army of Frenchmen was to be introduced into England, to force the nation to embrace a religion which it detested; and the holy name of God was profaned for the purpose of sanctioning the subjugation of a free people by the assistance of a foreign power! It was to oppose this infamous project that Lord Russell left the tranquillity of private life, and did not hesitate to plunge into the perilous vortex of political contention; in which his endeavour to prevent the objects of this treaty from being attained guided his conduct, and was finally the cause of his death. Here we cannot refrain from quoting the noble biographer's vindication of party connections.
• There are persons who think the name of Party.implies blame; who, whilst they consider it natural and laudable that men should combine, for any other object of business or pleasure, and whilst they are lavish in bestowing their confidence on government, which must in its nature be a party, find something immoral and pernicious in every union of those who join together to save their country from unnecessary burdens or illegal oppression. To such persoris Lord Russell's conduct must appear indefensible.
• But to all those who allow that party may sometimes be useful, and opposition often even necessary, I may safely appeal for the justification of his conduct. To overthrow a scheme so formed as that of Charles and James, it was not sufficient to give honest, but unconnected votes in the House of Commons. It was necessary to oppose public discussion to secret intrigue, and persevering union to interested combination: it was necessary to overlook the indiscreet violence of partisans, to obtain the fruits of the zeal from which it sprung: it was necessary to sink every little difference in the great cause of the Protestant religion, and our ancient freedom: in fine, it was the duty of the lovers of their country to counteract system by system, and numbers by numbers. It may likewise be remarked, that the manner in which this party opposed the crown, was characteristic of the nation to which they belonged. In any of the continental monarchies, a design on the part of the king to alter the religion and the laws of the kingdom, would have been met either with passive submisa sion, insurrection, or assassination. For in those countries, men who did not dare to speak the truth to their sovereign, were not afraid to take up arms against him. But in England the natural and constitutional method of resisting public measures hurtful to the liberty or welfare of the people, is by a parliamentary opposition. This was the only course which Lord Russell and his friends ever thought of adopting; and they did it under circumstances extremely discouraging, for they could expect littie support in a parliament chosen in the heat of the Restoration, and still less assistance from a press restrained by the curb of a Licence Act.'
It was fortunate for England that Charles was so notorious a hypocrite that no human being could ever trust him without the certainty of being cheated. Like two fickle lovers, therefore, Louis and Charles were always pouting and quarrelling, or kissing and making it up. It was a favourite object with Louis to crush the republic of Holland : in this object Charles was to assist him: he robbed his own subjects by shutting up the Exchequer; and, in time of peace, he piratically attacked the homeward-bound Smyrna fleet of the Dutch merchants, as it passed through the Channel, in order to obtain money for the purpose. All would not do: the Whigs pursued their opposition with such steadiness and spirit, that, in the parliament of January, 1674, it was resolved to proceed to the redress of grievances, and to the removal of evil counsellors: the Cabal was ruined: peace was made with Holland; and the new levies of the army were disbanded. These measures were not very palatable to Charles, and he accordingly prorogued parliament for fourteen months; having received a sum of money expressly for that purpose from Louis, who was afraid that parlianient might compel the King to make war against him. Charles would gladly have dispensed with parliaments altogether: but still the threat of assembling them served as a means of obtaining money from Louis, who was at this time endeavouring to over-run the Netherlands. At one and the same instant, therefore, the double deceiver obtained money from parliament to oppose Louis, and received a pension from Louis to enable him to dispense with parliaments, and on condition of preserving his neutrality! Even Mr. Home cries open shame on this scandalous transaction.
* An act had passed for a war with France, on the 20th of March, 1678, and an army raised in pursuance of it was afterward kept up. Among the papers of Montague, the British ambassador at Versailles, which were seized by the House of Commons, was found one addressed to him by Lord Danby, containing the following passage, and dated March 25., five days subsequently to that measure !" In case the conditions of peace shall be accepted, the King expects to have six millions of livres yearly,
By the marriage of the Prince of Orange with the Duke of York's daughter, Charles thought that he should allay the public suspicions both as to his religion and his French alliance, which he knew had been the chief causes of his failure in the project of introducing arbitrary government. This was in 1677. Lord Feversham was appointed to propose to the Court of Versailles the terms of peace on which the King and the Prince of Orange had agreed as necessary to the security of the Netherlands. The terms were good, but the language in which the British minister was instructed to urge them was humiliating and disgusting. Louis was angry, refused them, and stopped Charles's pension, while he prepared to carry on the war with Holland. In this extremity, Charles was obliged to summon his parliament, which met January 28, 1678; and he told them that he expected a plentiful supply, being now engaged to join the confederates. The popular party, however, suspecting his sincerity, feared that he was still in concert with Louis; that, when the supply was given, the money would be used to subdue the people of England; and that, when the army should be in sufficient number to keep the country in awe, the leaders of opposition would be arrested. These suspicions were strengthened by the authority of Algernon Sidney; who being lately returned from France, was readily believed when he declared his conviction that “it was all a juggle,” and that the two courts were in complete confidence.
We have deemed it necessary to be thus particular, that our readers might the better understand the object of those intrigues which so violently shocked the sensibility of Sir John Dalrymple. We see that Louis, disgusted at the marriage of the Prince of Orange with the Duke of York's daughter, withdrew the pension from Charles; and that Charles became enraged in his turn, and, though parliament did not believe him, seemed to be really desirous of entering into measures against the court of France. Louis then took the alarm, and used his utmost endeavours to prevent the accomplishment of Charles's ostensible designs. Lord Russell, Sidney, and the English patriots, actuated by a different motive, were equally anxious to thwart the views which they more than suspected their sovereign of entertaining. They knew the for three years, from the time that this agreement shall be signed between his Majesty and the King of France; because it will be two or three years before he can hope to find his parliament in humour to give him supplies, after your having made any peace with France.” At the bottom were these words, - This letter is writ by my order. C. R.”
iniquity iniquity of bis schemes: he had already pawned his royal word to them and broken it: they could, therefore, place no reliance on the sincerity of his present professions with regard to France; and they foresaw that, if he was trusted with an army, he would apply it to the destruction of the civil and religious liberties of their country. Here was a coalition of interests, then, between the English patriots and the court of France; and they had this common object, namely, to prevent Charles from gaining the command of a powerful army. The Whigs were, consequently, justified in their endeavour to employ this coalition to a valuable purpose; and whoever reads the dispatches of Barillon, with attention, will be convinced that the object of Lord Russell and his friends, in negotiating with France, was not to betray the nation, but to save it from a relentless and unmitigated despotism. — After all, what was the nature of this negotiation ? Barillon thus writes to his master, March 14. 1678, (see Dalrymple’s Memoirs]: “ M. de Rouvigny has seen Lord Russell and Lord Hollis, who were fully satisfied with the assurance which he gave them that the King (of France) is convinced it is not his interest to make the King of England absolute master in his kingdom; and that his Majesty would contribute his endeavours to bring about the dissolution of this parliament,” &c. &c. — “ Lord Russell told him that he would engage Lord Shaftesbury in this affair, and that they would work under-hand to hinder an augmentation of the sum which has been offered for carrying on the war," &c. &c. — “ He gave M. de Rouvigny 10 understand, that he suspected your Majesty approved of the King of England's declaring war against you, only to give him an opportunity of obtaining money, and under a promise that, as soon as he had received the money, he would conclude a peace. M. de R. told him that, to shew him clearly the contrary,
I was ready to distribute a considerable sum in the parliament to prevail with it to refuse any money for the war, and solicited him to name the persons who might be gained. Lord Russell replied that he should be very sorry to have any commerce with persons capable of being gained by money: but he appeared pleased to see, by this proposal, that there is no private understanding between your Majesty and the King of England to hurt their constitution : he told M. de Rouvigny that he and all his friends wanted nothing farther than the dissolution of the parliament; that they knew it could only come írom the help of France,” &c. &c. Here, then, we learn from Barillon’s dispatch that the object of this intrigue, which gave such a shock to Sir John Dalrymple's nerves, was to prevent Charles from obtaining a powerful army, and to procure the dissolution of parliament; - and of what parliament? Of the second Long Parliament, to dissolve which Lord Russell had already made an unsuccessful motion in the House for an address to the throne, about a year before, and which had now sat seventeen years ! Mr. Hume, Vol. VIII. p. 89., says of this parliament that, in all their variations, “they seemed to be more governed by humour and party-views than by public interest, and more by public interest than by any corrupt or private influence.” Now the fact is just the reverse. Rapin, a very trust-worthy historian, says of it that, “ at first, this trade [of purchasing the King's creatures, either with ready money or pensions] was secretly carried on, but after Clifford's advancement to the treasury, it was practised so openly that every man's name and price were publicly known.” Vol. II. p.701. folio.
66 Not less than a third of the members," says Lord John Russell, quoting Marvel and Temple, “ were placemen or pensioners. Lord Clifford had introduced, or more properly extended the practice of buying downright one man after another. Many of the more indigent class trafficked their votes for a dinner at Whitehall, and a gratuity on extraordinary occasions ; others had the expences of their elections paid from the Treasury; and it was common for those who had been chosen on popular grounds, after a few violent speeches, to sell themselves to the court.” Such was the parliament which Lord Russell and his friends were anxious io have dissolved; the dissolution of which they had in vain attempted by an address to the throne ; and which dissolution, according to Barillon, “they knew could only come from the help of France.” Desperate diseases require desperate remedies.
• The concert between the popular party and France was a concert only in name. The opposition continued, as before, pursuing their own purpose, which, so far from being French, was the preservation of the English religion and laws. They promised, it is true, to prevent, if possible, the war with France, but it was their bounden duty to do so. They had every reason to suppose that war was intended as a death-blow to liberty. The only offer which Rouvigny made to assist them in their endeavours with money, was indignantly refused. I need not point out to my readers, that this refusal shows Lord Russell to have been quite free from the general corruption of the age. But it is material to observe, that it proves him to have been unsuspicious of the rest of his party. It is clear, therefore, that the aim and end of Lord Russell was to preserve the constitution, and that he was not swayed by interest in pursuing that end. How then can he be called an enemy to his country?
* But if Lord Russell did not alter his line of conduet to please the King of France, it may be asked what were the objects of the