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A new Treaty of Partition was concluded between France, England, and Holland. It was agreed that Spain, the Indies, and the Netherlands, should descend 10 the Archduke Charles. In return for this great concession made by the Bourbons to a rival house, it was agreed that France should have the Milanese, or an equivalent in a more commodious situation ; if possible, the province of Lorraine.
Arbuthnot, some years later, ridiculed the Partition Treaty with exquisite humor and ingenuity. Everybody must remember his description of the paroxysm of rage into which poor old Lord Strutt fell, on hearing that his runaway servant, Nick Frog, his clothier, John Bull, and his old enemy, Lewis Baboon, had come with quadrants, poles, and inkhorns, to survey his estate, and to draw bis will for him. Lord Mahon speaks of the arrangement with grave severity. He calls it 'an iniquitous compact, concluded without the slightest reference to the welfare of the states so readily parcelled and allotted ; insulting to the pride of Spain, and tending to strip that country of its hard-won conquests. The most serious part of this charge would apply to half the treaties which have been concluded in Europe quite as strongly as to the Partition Treaty. What regard was shown in the treaty of the Pyrenees to the welfare of the people of Dunkirk and Roussillon, in the treaty of Nimeguen to the welfare of the people of Franche Comté, in the treaty of Utrecht to the welfare of the people of Flanders, in the treaty of 1735, to the welfare of the people of Tuscany? All Europe remembers, and our latest posterity will, we fear, have reason to remember, how coolly, at the last great pacification of Christendom, the people of Poland, of Norway, of Belgium, and of Lombardy, were allotted to masters whom they abhorred. The statesmen who negotiated the Partition Treaty, were not so far beyond their age and ours in wisdom and virtue, as to trouble themselves much about the happiness of the people whom they were apportioning among foreign masters. But it will be difficult to prove that the stipulations which Lord Mahon condemns, were in any respect unfavorable to the happiness of those who were to be transferred to new rulers. The Neapolitans would certainly have lost nothing by being given to the Dauphin, or to the Great Turk. Addison, who visited Naples about the time at which the Partition Treaty was signed, has left us a frightful description of the misgovernment under which that part of the Spanish Empire groaned. As to the people of Lorraine, a union with France would have been the happiest event which could have befallen them. Louis was already their sovereign for all purposes of cruelty and exaction. He had kept the province during
. many years in his own hands. At the peace of Ryswick, indeed, the Duke had been allowed to return. But the conditions which had been imposed on him, made him a mere vassal of France.
We cannot admit that the Treaty of Partition was objectionable because it 'tended to strip Spain of hard-won conquests. The inheritance was so vast, and the claimants so mighty, that without some dismemberment, it was scarcely possible to make a peaceable arrangement. If any dismemberment was to take place, the best way of effecting it surely, was to separate from the monarchy those nations which were at a great distance from Spain ; which were not Span
l ish in manners, in language, or in feelings; which were both worse governed and less valuable than the old provinces of Castile and Arragon; and which, having always been gov. erned by foreigners, would not be likely to feel acutely the humiliation of being turned over from one master to another.
That England and Holland had a right to interfere, is plain. The question of the Spanish succession was not an internal question, but an European question. And this Lord
Mahon would admit. He thinks, that when the evil had been done, and a French Prince was reigning at the Escu. rial, England and Holland would be justified in attempting, not merely to strip Spain of its remote dependencies, but to conquer Spain itself; that they would be justified in attempting to put, not merely the passive Flemings and Italians, but the reluctant Castilians and Asturians, under the dominion of a stranger. The danger against which the Partition Treaty was intended to guard, was precisely the same danger which afterwards was made the ground of war. It will be difficult to prove, that a danger which was sufficient to justify the war, was. insufficient to justify the provisions of the treaty. If, as Lord Mahon contends, it was better that Spain should be subjugated by main force, than that she should be governed by a Bourbon, it was surely better that she should be deprived of Lombardy and the Milanese, than that she should be governed by a Bourbon.
Whether the treaty was judiciously framed, is quite another question. We disapprove of the stipulations. But
. we disapprove of them, not because we think them bad, but because we think that there was no chance of their being executed. Louis was the most faithless of politicians. He hated the Dutch. He hated the Government which the Revolution had established in England. He had every disposition to quarrel with his new allies. It was quite certain that he would not observe his engagements, if it should be for his interest to violate them. Even if it should be for his interest to observe them, it might well be doubted whether the strongest and clearest interest would induce a man so haughty and self-willed, to cooperate heartily with two governments which had always been the objects of his scorn and aversion.
When intelligence of the second Partition Treaty arrived at Madrid, it roused to momentary energy the languishing
ruler of a languishing state. The Spanish ambassador at the court of London was directed to remonstrate with the government of William ; and his remonstrances were so insolent that he was commanded to leave England. Charles retaliated by dismissing the English and Dutch ambassadors. The French King, though the chief author of the Partition Treaty, succeeded in turning the whole wrath of Charles and of the Spanish people from himself, and in directing it against the maritime powers. Those powers had now no agent at Madrid. Their perfidious ally' was at liberty to carry on his intrigues unchecked ; and he fully availed himself of this advantage.
A long contest was maintained with varying success by the factions which surrounded the miserable King. On the side of the Imperial family was the Queen, herself a Princess of that family ; with her were allied the confessor of the King, and most of the ministers. On the other side, were two of the most dexterous politicians of that age, Cardinal Porto Carrero, Archbishop of Toledo, and Harcourt, the ambassador of Louis.
Harcourt was a noble specimen of the French aristocracy in the days of its highest splendor, - a finished gentleman,
a brave soldier, and a skilful diplomatist. His courteous and insinuating manners, his Parisian vivacity tempered with Castilian gravity, made him the favorite of the whole court. He became intimate with the grandees. He caressed the clergy. He dazzled the multitude by his magnificent style of living. The prejudices which the people of Madrid had conceived against the French character, the vindictive feel. ings generated during centuries of national rivalry, gradually yielded to his arts; while the Austrian ambassador, a surly, pompous, niggardly German, made himself and his country more and more unpopular every day.
Harcourt won over the court and the city : Porto Carrero managed the King. Never were knave and dupe better suited to each other. Charles was sick, nervous, and extravagantly superstitious. Porto Carrero had learned in the exercise of his profession the art of exciting and soothing such minds; and he employed that art with the calm and demure cruelty which is the characteristic of wicked and ambitious priests.
He first supplanted the confessor. The state of the poor King, during the conflict between his two spiritual advisers, was horrible. At one time he was induced to believe that his malady was the same with that of the wretches described in the New Testament, who dwelt among the tombs ; whom no chains could bind, and whom no man dared to approach. At another time, a sorceress, who lived in the mountains of the Asturias, was consulted about his malady. Several persons were accused of having bewitched him. Porto Carrero recommended the appalling rite of exorcism, which was actually performed. The ceremony made the poor King more nervous and miserable than ever. But it served the turn of the Cardinal, who, after much secret trickery, succeeded in casting out, not the devil, but the confessor.
The next object was to get rid of the Ministers. Madrid was supplied with provisions by a monopoly. The government looked after this most delicate concern, as it looked after everything else. The partisans of the House of Bourbon took advantage of the negligence of the administration. On a sudden the supply of food failed. Exorbitant prices were demanded. The people rose. The royal residence was surrounded by an immense multitude. The Queen harangued them. The priests exhibited the host. All was in vain. It was necessary to awaken the King from his uneasy sleep, and to carry him to the balcony. There a solemn promise was given, that the unpopular advisers of the crown should be forthwith dismissed. The mob left the