« PreviousContinue »
joint command of Pen and Venables, through
and France thereby enabled to give the law to Chris-
Yet the prone toments were
pers, vol. ä.
general, ces ; andared the sono
1. Spain was not then viewed in that weak state which she afterwards appeared. Cromwell's parliaments were not over complaisant to him, nor prone to approve his actions meerly as such. Yet the parliament, says Mr. Thurloe in a letter to general Montague, dated Whitehall, O&tober 25, 1656, declared themselves cordially and unanimously concerning the Spanish war, having after two days debate declared their approbation thereof nemi. (x) Orne contradicente: and this before they heard one titte of monde's your success (u). The same gentleman writing to the State Pa.. general, Auzuf 28, preceding, says, “ The Spaniard.
* P. 15 hath had great success in Flanders this year against the « French. To that of raising the siege of Valenciennes, he had added the taking of Conde, and is very likely
to lodge himself this year in France; so that the car• dinal hath not been able to draw any army to the sea
coast, as was intended, being scarce able to defend his (*) Id. po • own country (x).
2. There was not in fact that inequality between the two crowns which the objectors suppose. It is well known that through several preceding reigns, 'twas the house of Austria only had been formidable; that injured our royal family in the Palatinate ; and alone threatned the liberties of Europe. France had not yet given occasion to her neighbours to fear. A long war had been now carried on between the two crowns, with various success. If Spain was weakned by the revolt of Portu
gal and Catalonia, 'tis certain France was distracted with domestic contentions even in Paris itself, as well as other parts of the kingdom : contentions the more dangerous, as persons of the most elevated rank and greatest power were concerned in them. So that Spain carried on the war on a foot of equality, not of defence. If the Prince of Conde had cut off their best veterans at Rocray, he now himself headed their troops with the acknowledged reputation of being the best general in Europe, though Turenne figured in the field, and had performed deeds of renown - This equality is visible through several campaigns ; but the raising of the fiege of Arras on one side, and that of Valenciennes on the other, proves it beyond doubt; to which may be added,
that even after the taking of Mardyke in pursuance of (y) Ram- the league with England, by Turenne, the French met fay's Life of Turenne, with several loses (y). We seem therefore to de. rol. i. p. ceive ourselves with our after knowledge, when we 303. 8vo. blame Cromwell for overturning the ballance of power. Lond. 1735
se 3. It should be observed, that Cromwell held the bal.
lance of power in his own hands the more firmly, by his French league. We see from Thurloe's account with what caution be engaged in it. The treaty was but for a year, 'till Dunkirk ihould be conquered for England by the help of Erance, and when Cromwell had got it, he was at liberty, if he saw fit, at the end of that year to make a peace with Spain, and use this very town against France. The English troops conquered little or nothing for the French crown; but France by giving England a footing on the continent just on the confines of the two contending parties, enabled it to hold the ballance of power so much the more steadily between them, and become so much the more formidable to France as well as Spain. He found the scales even, and in poffelling himself of Dunkirk, he made the French give him hold of the handle of the ballance to keep them fo.
If any after this, should condemn Cromwell for weakning the Spaniards by making this conquest of Dunkirk, what must they think of Charles II. who by the advice of his chancellor Hyde fold it to France, and thereby
threw so great a weight into that scale, which then ap-
4. The Pyrenean treaty placed the two crowns in pro-
That whenever Spain paffed the bounds of the Pyre- (z) See Bit • nean treaty, he would become as good a Frenchman as Wm Tem• he was then a Spaniard (2). These facts I think pole fully shew, the Pyrenean treaty to have been weil cal- 128. 8vo. culated for the repose of Europe, and for the advantage of the contracting powers. However, it was not Cromwell's league that produced this treaty and its fatal consequences, as Lord Boling broke suggests. The proposal of giving the infanta to Lewis XIV. was rejected by Spain, when there was no other heir to that throne; it (a) See tua was accepted when a son was born to ascend it (a). renne'sLife, The consequences of this marriage were indeed fatal to vol. i. po Europe. But they arose from the ill conduct of Spain, 327 and the injustice, ambition, and perjury of Lewis, who with the zeal of a bigot, the superstition of a priest, and the sensuality of an epicurean, delighted in facrificing the blood of millions, to his own foolish idea of glory. I will conclude this note with observing that Cromwel's irresolution and delay in choosing his fide in the war seem justiy censurable ; more especially as he neglected to close in with the offers made him by France, even after he had determined, and sent his fleet for the West Indies. Bourdeaux, the French embassador's letters, · Cs
ating powerced this treagents. I
a variety of causes was (EEE) unsuccessful ;
are full of the delays he met with in his negotiation for this purpose; and Mr. Thurloe points out the wrong measures taken on this occasion, when he says above, • France offered a sum of money, in case England would « declare war against Spain in any part of the world; • but many difficulties and delays falling out in this • treaty, the fleet was sent away into the Wifi Indies, " and a war followed thereupon between England and • Spain, without the least communication of counsells 6 with France, whereby France had its end for nothing.'
(EEE) The expedition to Hifpaniola miscarried.] Cromwell's instructions to general. V enables, commander of the land forces sent to America, are to be seen in Burcheit. From these it appears that no particular place was the object of their destination, but much was left to the prudence of the commanders. Reasons are therein mentioned for attempting the iflands, or leaving these, to attack the main land, more especially Carthagena ; whereby, if conquered, they might be masters of the Spanish treasures which come from Peru by way of Pa
nama in the South-Sea, to Porto Bello, or Nonibre de diss () Burchett, in the North-Sea (b). But where, after all, the descent P: 387.
was to be made, the generals with the commissioners, or any two of them, were, on proper consultation, to determine. So that Lord Clarendon was much miltaken in saying, “ Their orders from Cromwell were very par
ticular and very positive, that they should land at (c) Vol.vi. such a place, which was plainly enough described to p. 578. ' them (c). The fleet left England, December 19,
1654, and arrived at Barbadoes, January 29, 1654, O. S. Here it was supposed they fhould meet with many things they stood in need of. But their expectations were not answered. Even a sufficient quantity of arms and ammunition were wanting. • A sad mat
ter,' says Vinables in a letter to Montague, written from Barbadoes February 28, following, ' when we must at6 tempt so high with little or nothing, or return home
and subjected the nation to disgrace; yet the
e and do nothing! which few of us had a great deal
more chearfully hear the news of death than be guilty ¢ of.' The progress and ill success of the feet and ar. my, I will relate in the words of Venables. "We left, < says he, Barbadoes the last of March, and came to St. $ Christophers, where we found a regiment formed; S and not staying to anchor, we failed thence without ¢ setting foot on shore, and in a fortnight's time came " to Hispaniola, where we landed upon Saturday the ( 14th of April, near forty miles to the west of Santo « Domingo. The reason was, our pilots were all ab
sent; the chief had outstayed his order, being sent out
to discover, and none with us save an old Dutchman, S that knew no place but that: whereas we resolved to
have landed where Sir Francis Drake did, except forcI ed off by a fort (said to be there ;) and then in such " a case to have gone to the other. Fron, our landing 5 we marched without any guide, save heaven, through 6 woods; the ways fo narrow, that 500 men might # have extreamly prejudiced 20000 by ambushes; but < this course the enemy held not, save twice. The < weather extream hot, and little water; our feet sco:ch"ed through our shoes, and men and horse died of
thirst: but if any had liquor put into their mouths, s presently after they sell, they would recover, else die « in an instant. Our men the last fortnight at sea had
bad bread, and little of it or other victuals, notwith* standing general Penn's order; so that they were very $ weak at landing; and some, instead of three days pro6 vifion at landing, had but one, with which they marchsed five days, and therefore fell to eat limes, oranges,
lemons, &c. which put them into fluxes and fevers. • Of the former, I had my share for near a fortnight, " with cruel gripings, that I could fcarce Itand. Col. * But'er was ordered to land to the east of the city, < but could not; and therefore he and the Christopher's o regiment under col. Holdip were landed where we first