Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

gospel; the canon of the mass, and the royal honour; by all which, both parties were to swear in the form of the Pyrenean peace, cannot admit or suffer that the words should say one thing, and the sense another.

The meaning and intention of those that contracted, and the perpetual exclusion of the line of France, are clearly to be seen by the publick reasons, and by the treaty confirmed and ratified by the French King,

The same Catholick King, Philip IV. who must be allowed to have understood the sense of this agreement, repeats it plainly in his will, made the fourteenth of December, 1665.

That King appoints several and different things in bis will concerning the succession of Spain ; he also relates several things about the danger that threatened Spain and all Christendom, by reason of the marriages made with the royal family of France, unless there was a bar put to hinder the accession of any, that was or should be born of them, to the crown of Spain*. He gives a full account of all the care and precautions which he was obliged to use with his sister Anna, with Maria Teresa his daughter, and with his own wife Elisabeth of Bourbon, to the end that no child of France, whether male or female, should by any manner of way, or on any occasion, come to enjoy the states and dominions of Spain. He mentions word by word the articles that had been lately made to avoid all occasions, which might give even the most remote grounds to fear, that the crown of Spain should be united to that of France. He particularises some lines of succession t; and though he knew very well that his daughter could not fail to have a numerous issue by King Lewis, his son-in-law, since she was fruitful, and had already brought forth the Dauphin and two daughters; yet, not forgetting the Pyrenean peace and agreements 1, he excludes the posterity of France from coming, in any manner of way, to the possession of the Spanish dominions; not only the males, in whose persons both kingdoms might be united, but also the females, who, by reason of the Salique Law, could not be allowed to reign in France, and consequently could not unite Spain to it, though they were admitted to that succession. But be rather turns himself to his own family of Austria, and invites the children of his sister Mary, who had died in 1646, after having had several children by the Emperor Ferdinand the Third; and among others, the most august Leopold ş. Nay, he goes farther, and, that the French line might be absolutely excluded from the kingdoms and dominions of Spain, he appoints, that, in case the house of Austria came to be extinct, the succession should fall to the posterity of Catharine of Savoy, his aunt, who had died in 1597.

Is not this truly verified by the present intrigues between France and the French King of Spain ? Has not France managed all the councils of Spain, since Philip's reign, to the service of France; and to assist her in the rain of all neighbouring states, and the acquiring universal monarchy. + See the will.

Viz. The renunciation of the infanta Maria Teresa, and the treaty that confirmed the same. Grandfather of the present Queen of Hungary, &c.

All which is a clear and certain proof of the exclusion of the French line, and of the undoubted right of the bouse of Austria.

The lately deceased King Charles * was not a stranger to so authentick testimonies of the truth; the perpetual renunciation of his sister, and of her posterity, was notorious. The will of his father Philip did particularly nominate a successor of the house of Austria. Charles himself honoured the Emperor Leopold, and considered bim as his relation by the father's side, as his uncle by the mother's side, as the eldest of the house of Austria as to both branches, and as apparent successor, by virtue of the will of his father; as bountiful and kind by reason of the part he had lately given him in the kingdom of Hungary; not to mention several other reasons that he had to honour and esteem him; yea, being yet alive, he gave him a very ample power over the forces of Spain.

Nevertheless, according to the revolutions and turns of the world, some of the Spanish ministers, won by the brightness of a certain neighbour's † gold, used all means to incline the weak and languishing King † another way, to take him off from his own family, and wheedle him over to the French side, which he formerly looked upon with great aversion. They || themselves acknowledged and supposed the validity of the Infanta Maria Teresa's renunciation, and of King Philip's will, with all things which had been done for excluding of the heirs of France; but ihe reason of all they make to be this, viz. the fear of the union of both crowns; which fear now ceasing, and the union being hindered, there should be way made for the accession of the children of France to the crown of Spain.

Then they forge a will, which, by the help of some lawyers, they put into form, in favour of the Duke of Anjou || || ; and press the dying King to sign it, when his heart was parched and consumed, and his brain dissolved into phlegm; a fine piece of work this; which will raise the wonder of future ages, both in schools and courts; especially if one would but consider the sequel and coherence of the whole affair, which is in other places sufficiently notorious, as well as those circumstances already related.

By the former will of Philip IV. the case is clear, certain, and without limitation for an heir of the house of Austria ; in the late will of Charles the Second, they feign a limitation, which is incon sistent with it both in words and sense. The son claims in the last a power to make a will, which they, that forged the second, endeavour to take away from the father.

The renouncing of the sister and the aunt contains an universal, unlimited, and direct exclusion; but the pretended will of Charles will needs say, that it has an oblique restriction in it, directly contrary to those terms and intentions above alledged. The former solemn acts declare for the house of Austria, and, in order to their greater force and certainty, they are established as fundamental laws. But is it to love the house of Austria, and to strengthen its security, the depriving it of the kingdoms already so renowned for the name of Austria, in the grandfather's time, and the nominating French successors ? Reason therefore thoroughly concurs with the letter, for a total exclusion of the French posterity; and it is not true, that in the treaties of contracts between Spain and France, no more than in the testament of Philip, the union of crowns was the sole and only reason.

• The Socond of Spain. † French, | Charles the Second of Spain. | The French Ministry,

10 The present King of Spain.

For why should it else bave been necessary to give it away to the females or younger family? When in France it goes to the eldest, and the females are for ever excluded the crown of France; this would be in vain to fear the union of the two crowns, in a person which is absolutely uncapable of either.

The Duke of Orleans, one of the sons of Anne of Austria, was heretofore passed by in silence, and, by virtue of his mother's contract of marriage, has always been neglected; which, in the mean time, would be contrary to all this, if regard was had only to the fear of uniting the two crowns.

And, in the last place, the crafty inventor of the late will has been so bold, as to do a manifest injury to the most serene daughters of the Emperor Leopold; inasmuch as he endeavours to exclude all and every of them from the pretended will, although he has not the least ground to fear in them the throne of France and Spain uniting by inheritance.

It is, therefore, evident, that the predecessors of the late King of Spain have had some other motive, than that of the sole fear of the union; they having bent 'their whole care to prevent any Prince of France from coming to the throne of Spain, upon the account of the publick tranquillity, and for the particular benefit of the house of Austria.'

And, if we examine the danger of the said union, what is there to assure the present Spaniards against the union, which they never cease exclaiming against ? Is it the faith of France so often given, and so often broken? Is it the gravity of the Spaniards, which by the arts of its enemies is grown as fickle and as variable as a weather-cock, tossed by frequent and sudden whirlwinds ? Is it the trouble or the contempt of a crown, in the vacancy of a neiglıbour. ing one, which lies perpetually at catch against the neighbouring states, till they are reduced into provinces?

But these last things are of a private concern, whereas the other things mentioned before are of a publick, and may be of pernicious consequence for the future, whatever way we consider them here. The force of peace, treaties, religion, and the very laws of Spain lie at the stake, and are called in question.

The French writers themselves cannot deny this, not even the Archbishop of Ambrun, who has made himself famous among them, by a libel beretofore published, under the title of ‘ A Defence of the Right * of the most Christian Queen.'

Of Maria Teresa, which she, with the consent and approbation of her intended consort, had renounced before marriage.

That author writing in the said work with great care against the Spaniards, in favour of the French army, wbich then invaded Flanders, and not thinking it fit that he should be thought to reflect upon the Pragmatick * Sanction of Spain, he endeavours to elude it by all possible means, and magisterially to instruct the Spaniards in what was hurtful or profitable to them. The said sanction, with the other laws of Spain, are in a book, intituled, Nueva Recepilation, or A new Collection printed at Madrid, 1640. This sanction, in most express terms, excludes the French from the succession of Spain, so that it leaves no power to Lewis the Fourteenth, and his brother, nor to any of their children, to succeed to the kingdom of Spain, or any of the states depending thereon.

The said Archbishop acknowledges very well the express terms of that law, and puts himself to a deal of pains to overthrow so strong a bulwark.

He repeats the quirks and shifts of some lawyers, which the Flemish † and Spaniards had already answered so fully, that the French might be ashamed to mention them again; and, that he might seem to say something of his own, he endeavours, in whole chapters, and at the end of his libel, to disprove the reasons of the usefulness of that law drawn from the publick interest of Europe ; saying, that it wanted the authority of a legislator, and the solemnity of a publication; as if the publick was only concerned in increasing the power of France, without any regard to the house of Austria, and the quiet of Europe; wbence it would follow, that no monarch could establish any constitutions without the approbation of France, though they were never so conform to the most ancient customs of former ages. It is enough that, in that sanction of Spain, the friendship and honour of the house of Austria did prevail, after they had before been confirmed by agree. ments, which the French had made and swore to. It is enough that the said pragmat'ck sanction bas been made and published by a wise and prudent King, on the request and by the advice of the states of the kingdom, according to the custom of their ancestors, as also according to other laws of a later date.

This author forgets himself, and condemns the Salique Law, and the authority of his own Kings, if he denies the force of this sauction, in the form and matter of which, all the former customs have wholly ceased.

The aversion of the French to the female sex has not always been so strong, as to exclude them with their children and relations from the succession; and nevertheless what the Salique Law, brought in by process of time, has forbid, is as clear as the sun.

The French authors are not ignorant of the solemn act which has been made not many ages since, which forbids to admit the daughters of France, who are in the appenage of a royal brother, to the succession after his death, though till then they had some part in it.

• You see that the house of Austria has been deluded before now by a Pragmatick Sanction, thro' the policy and power of France.

+ Under the Spanish yoke.

In the first family of the Kings of France, the younger brothers had also their part in the crown so far, that even bastards were not excluded. Thus Clovis, who was the first Christian King, being dead, his four sons divided the kingdom in as many parts. Childebert had that of Paris; Clodomer that of Orleans ; Clotarius that of Soison ; and Theodorick their natural brother had that of Metz. At length, these four kingdoms being united in Clotarius, by the death of the rest, his four sons made a like division of it, each of them retaining the title of King of France.

This way of division continued likewise in the second family of the Kings of France almost to its end, and all the children of the Kings of France were called Kings. Yet none can say, that those things have been unjustly changed afterwards, and that they ought not to have been altered.

Hugh Capet, who brought the sceptre to the third family, was the first that made the law, and gave place to Appenages, as may be seen by an act of 1282, pronounced only in the presence of thirty nobles; yet the female heirs did not think themselves excluded by the act, until the reign of Philip le Bel, who expresly declared against their succession.

It were easy to remark several like changes touching the form of laws in ancient times, in the history of France. Now, what Frenchman dare accuse these changes of injustice, or declare them null? Or, who will accuse their kings of want of natural affection in excluding their daughters, even against their will, and without having renounced their right to it? Who dare declare the present laws of no force, because they differ from the ancient ones ? Not to speak of those shadows of power in modern Parliaments, which make it clearly appear, that it were ridiculous in France to make the ancient laws the standard of the present ones.

Wherefore the Archbishop of Ambrun does but beat the air, when he speaks in a florid, but empty stile, against the aforesaid sanction; prostituting, by that means, the royal sincerity, and the sacredness of oaths, in the opinion of all those who are not blinded with partiality. But the evidence and the reasonableness of that law appears to all the world.

Kings should have but one tongue, and one pen, and there is nothing that shines more brightly in a prince than honesty and sincerity. Things that are promised, agreed upon, and sworn to, if ever they ought to be observed, they should be so, without doubt, by those whom we reverence, and esteem, as gods on earth. It is not lawful that what proceeds out of their lips should not take effect. The contracts of kings are not liable to school disputes, they despise the sophisms of the rabble; and they require an observation so much the more sincere, by how much they are agreeable to the matter of renunciations, to the laws of nations, to the decrees of the common law, and to the statutes of ecclesiastical canons.

The French, Flemish, and Spanish lawyers, and some of other nations, do teach, “That stipulations made of the inheritance of a

« ForrigeFortsæt »