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person in life, particularly with respect to a marriage that is concluded, are approved by universal custom. That the example of almost all the world is for the validity of renunciations; and that too, though no oath should intervene, even notwithstanding the minority of the person, when they are made by a general consent, and for the publick good : that, in the oaths made by heirs, there is implied a solemn consent of their fathers, and an imprecation against them; so that they are as inuch obliged in conscience to see the thing performed, as those who formerly swore and promised it. That succession is conveighed to children by a certain instinct of nature, and not by any law of nature. That some things are founded on some natural reasons, yet not so as they cannot be changed, altered, or revoked. That one civil law may be abolished by another. That laws are arbitrary to those, in favour of whom they were made, &c.'
Should one be at the pains to read all the books that have been writ these thirty years*, he shall find that the French have been fickle and inconstant, and that they have no regard to treaties, laws, or latter wills, when they find it their advantage to break or oppose them. And this certainly should excite all the powers of Europe, who have any regard to their own welfare, in the present juncture of affairs, to take just measures in favour of the house of Austria, against the power and avarice of France.
The French put a malicious gloss upon the prudent and wise constitution, which is to be seen in the canon law, touching renunciations confirmed by oath, Cap. Quamvis de Pactis; as if the author of the said constitution, either out of vain glory, or out of a design to strengthen the papal authority, had made that exorbitant decretal, and had endeavoured, by a new law, to confirm that dignity to which the see of Rome has attained, by cunning and deceit.
The Pyrenean treaty, which was so prodigal of the Spanish dominions to the French, and the sacredness of repeated oaths, by which France has more than once renounced all claim to the succession of Spain, now complain of being maltreated and trampled under foot, and of being quite altered and deformed by law quirks and school quibbles.
The present Pope ought to resent the contempt that is thrown on his predecessor, and on the see of Rome; since the contract of marriage, which is now thought null, had the apostolical benediction to give it the more force, and make it more solemn and sacred.
The French violate treaties, deny kings the power of making laws, slight wills and testaments, d, in a word, overturn ali those things upon which the peace and security of society and government is founded. They have no regard to the publick good of Europe, and, provided they can but raise the glory and power of France, they do not care if the whole universe besides should perish.
• Anno 1701.
The way to the universal monarchy is now more open to the King of France than ever, and it cannot be thought he will stop in his career which he has begun with so much craft and success, unless all the rest of Europe, sensible of the injuries done them by France, do stir up themselves, and, without losing time, examine what they are obliged to do in favour of the house of Austria, lest it should be deprived of its ancient patrimony, and lest Italy, England, Portugal, the United Provinces, and the rest of Germany, be robbed of their beloved liberties, and of their riches and glory.
We heartily condole the fate of Spain, that it has been so vil. lainously seduced to act after such a mean and sordid way, as it has done of late. That Spain, which has so long discovered the snares, and resisted the cruel designs of France, should now basely submit to it, yield herself a slave, and quite lose her former greatness and glory; which she must certainly do, if she do not suddenly and vigorously assist the house of Austria.
We do not in the least doubt, but that the evident danger, which the dominions and trade of other nations are in, will persuade them to act with all their might, in favour of the just cause of the house of Austria, and make them join together for their own safety and tranquillity.
Neither can we doubt, but that his holiness, according to his great prudence, does perceive the little regard the French have for keeping of peace, or observing of covenants and oaths ; how much they profane the name of God and the holy gospel; how haughty they are in their threats; how insupportable their government is; how treacherously active they are in foreign courts; and what they are capable to undertake, if the Spaniards, who so long nobly resisted them, continue ingloriously to submit to them, and keep their neck under that intolerable yoke.
We deplore the scandal that must follow thereupon; we foresee the approaching danger of our neighbours, and severe calamities, which threaten some remote nations.
The Emperor Leopold, who was always peaceable, and a lover of justice, is enemy to none but the Turks, and that too only when they provoke him. He is the avenger of the Christian dignity, and a religious observer of laws, treaties, and oaths. But what should he du now, when he is robbed of his patrimonial right, which, upon many accounts, belongs to the house of Austria, and so insolently invade the fiefs of the empire? The other princes of Europe, who have been injured by France, must certainly see that there is no more effectual way to secure their peace and prosperity, than by bringing France down, and opposing of it with all their force.
For my part I stop here, and advise them only upon the account of the dangers with which they are threatened, and upon account of their safety, which is now in a very tottering condition, to remember what has been said of old, • To make use of the present time.' Time runs away with rapidity and swiftness, and when men neglect the first opportunity, they scarce ever find such a onc again.
CITIES OF LONDON AND PARIS, In Relation to the present Posture of Affairs, rendered into Verse, and made
applicable to the Disturbances which now seem to threaten the Peace of Europe. Written by a Person who has no Money to pay Taxes in Case of a War. [From a Folio Edition, containing thirteen Pages, printed in London, 1701.)
REFACES have formerly been made use of to clear up some
obscurities which have crept into the body of the books they belonged to, and let the reader into the author's design. But as there is no occasion for such a plea, either to vindicate my present intentions, or illustrate what is so obvious to every man's understanding, that has any knowledge from the news papers of the publick transactions, I shall forbear making comments in prose, upon that which is no otherwise clouded with verse, than the common performances that run about the town so merrily, as
pieces of scandal have of late. I ought, indeed, to account for my making cities speak, when their
inhabitants have tongues loud and capable enough of expressing their dissatisfactions at some proceedings, which are like to embroil them in a new war, and be very burthensome to their pockets, wbich they, probably, might wish to have loaden with more agreeable things than taxes, which are the likeliest methods imaginable to make them too light for those whom they belong to. But since Chaucer's birds and beasts have lately been talkative, and spoke their minds with a sort of assurance and freedom, I presume I may take the liberty to give stones the same privilege, which is altogether as poetical. But as some expressions, probably, may give occasion to some people who are subjects for satyre, and make them very ready to run down and decry them, so I must let them know something of my sentiments, and acquaint them, that its two combatants business to try which can cut deepest, and it has been the custom of every Roman gladiator, to take care, Ne parma caderet, that he should not drop his guard, and lay himself open to his enemy's attacks. This, I hope, will excuse the freedom one city takes with another; and since he, who has set them together by the ears, has taken care, like a true-born Englishman, to state the case so, as to make his own countryman's side the strongest, it is hoped, the English reader will give the design his favourable interpretation,
especially since the aut or has as little to get by a war (being no military man) as he has hitherto got by the peace.
THOU City, whose aspiring turrets rise,
Yonder 's a land , from whence your monarch drew
• In situation and greatness.
Philip, Dake of Anjou, now King of Spain. 1 Holland.
* See this well explained in the Rights of the House of Austria to the Spanish saceession, beginning on page 483, in this volume.
Alluding to the bloody Bartholomew massacre of the Protestants at Paris, at a time when all seemed to live in peace. 1 Universal monarchy.
i This is the doctrine of absolute monarchs, who pretend to an hereditary right, not only to the crown, but to the liberties and
properties of their subjects, by divine right, or that they are commissioned by God to inslave their subjects.