Inquiry into the Irish forfeitures-§ XXVI. The commons pass a bill of resumption-§ XXVII. And a severe bill against Papists§ XXVIII. The old East India company re-established-§ XXIX. Dangerous ferment in Scotland-§ XXX. Lord Somers dismissed from his employments-§ XXXI. Second treaty of partition§ XXXII. Death of the duke of Gloucester-§ XXXIII. The king sends a fleet into the Baltic, to the assistance of the Swedes§ XXXIV. The second treaty of partition generally disagreeable to the European powers-§ XXXV. The French interest prevails at the court of Spain-§ XXXVI. King William finds means to allay the heats in Scotland-§ XXXVII. The king of Spain dies, after having bequeathed his dominions, by will, to the duke of Anjou-§ XXXVIII. The French king's apology for accepting the will-§ XXXIX. The states-general own Philip as king of Spain-§ XL. A new ministry and a new parliament-§ XLI. The commons unpropitious to the court-§ XLII. The lords are more condescending-§ XLIII. An intercepted letter from the earl of Milfort to his brother-§ XLIV. Succession of the crown settled upon the princess Sophia, electress-dowager of Hanover, and the Protestant heirs of her body-§ XLV. The dutchess of Savoy protests against this act-§ XLVI. Ineffectual negotiation with France-§ XLVII. Severe addresses from both houses in relation to the partition-treaty-§ XLVIII. William is obliged to acknowledge the king of Spain-§ XLIX. The two houses seem to enter into the king's measures-§ L. The commons resolve to wreak their vengeance on the old ministry-§ LI. The earls of Portland and Orford, the lords Somers and Halifax, are impeached-§ LII. Disputes between the two houses-§ LIII. The house of peers acquits the impeached lords-§ LIV. Petition of Kent-§ LV. Favourable end of the session- LVI. Progress of prince Eugene in Italy§ LVII. Sketch of the situation of affairs in Europe—§ LVIII. Treaty of alliance between the emperor and the maritime powers-§ LIX. Death of king James-§ LX. The French king owns the pretended prince of Wales as king of England-§ LXI. Addresses to king William on that subject-§ LXII. New parliament-§ LXIII. The king's last speech to both houses received with great applause— § LXIV. Great harmony between the king and parliament—§ LXV. The two houses pass the bill of abjuration—§-LXVI. The lower house justifies the proceedings of the commons in the preceding parliament§ LXVII. Affairs of Ireland-§ LXVIII. The king recommends a union of the two kingdoms-§ LXIX. He falls from his horse-§ LXX. His death- LXXI. And character.

§ I. WHEN the king opened the session of parliament on the 3d day of December, he told them the war was brought to the end they all proposed, namely, an honourable peace. peace. He gave them to understand there was a considerable debt on account of the fleet and army; that the revenues of the crown had been anticipated; he

expressed his hope, that they would provide for him during his life, in such a manner as would conduce to his own honour, and that of the government. He recommended the maintenance of a considerable navy, and gave it as his opinion, that for the present, England could not be safe without a standing army. He promised to rectify such corruptions and abuses as might have crept into any part of the administration during the war ; and effectually to discourage profaneness and immorality. Finally, he assured them, that as he had rescued their religion, laws, and liberties, when they were in the extremest danger, so he should place the glory of his reign in preserving and leaving them entire to latest posterity. To this speech the commons replied in an address, by a compliment of congratulation upon the peace, and an assurance that they would be ever ready to assist and support his majesty, who had confirmed them in the quiet possession of their rights and liberties, and, by putting an end to the war, fully completed the work of their deliverance. Notwithstanding these appearances of good humour, the majority of the house, and indeed of the whole nation, were equally alarmed and exasperated at a project for maintaining a standing army, which was countenanced at court, and even recommended by the king, in his speech to the parliament. William's genius was altogether military. He could not bear the thoughts of being a king without power. He could not, without reluctance, dismiss those officers who had given so many proofs of their courage and fidelity. He did not think himself safe upon the naked throne, in a kingdom that swarmed with malecontents, who had so often conspired against his person and government. He dreaded the ambition and known perfidy of the French king, who still retained a powerful army. He foresaw that a reduction of the forces would lessen his importance both at home and abroad; diminish the dependance upon his govern

ment; and disperse those foreigners in whose attachment he chiefly confided. He communicated his sentiments on this subject to his confidant, the earl of Sunderland, who knew by experience the aversion of the people to a standing army; nevertheless, he encouraged him with hope of success, on the supposition that the commons would see the difference between an army raised by the king's private authority, and a body of veteran troops maintained by consent of parliament, for the security of the kingdom. This was a distinction to which the people paid no regard. All the jealousy of former parliaments seemed to be roused by the bare proposal and this was inflamed by a national prejudice against the refugees, in whose favour the king had betrayed repeated marks of partial indulgence. They were submissive, tractable, and wholly dependant upon his will and generosity. The Jacobites failed not to cherish the seeds of dissatisfaction, and reproach the whigs who countenanced this measure. They branded that party with apostacy from their former principles. They observed, that the very persons who, in the late reigns, endeavoured to abridge the prerogative, and deprive the king of that share of power which was absolutely necessary to actuate the machine of government, were now become advocates for maintaining a standing army in time of peace; nay, and impudently avowed, that their complaisance to the court in this particular, was owing to their desire of excluding from all share in the administration, a faction disaffected to his majesty, which might mislead him into more pernicious measures. The majority of those who really entertained revolutionprinciples opposed the court, from apprehensions that a standing army, once established, would take root, and grow into a habitual maxim of government; that, should the people be disarmed, and the sword left in the hands of mercenaries, the liberties of the nation must be entirely at the mercy of him by whom those merce

naries should be commanded. They might overawe elections, dictate to parliaments, and establish a tyranny, before the people could take any measures for their own protection. They could not help thinking it was possible to form a militia, that, with the concurrence of a fleet, might effectually protect the kingdom from the dangers of an invasion. They firmly believed, that a militia might be regularly trained to arms, so as to acquire the dexterity of professed soldiers: and they did not doubt they would surpass those hirelings in courage, considering that they would be animated by every concurring motive 'of interest, sentiment, and affection. Nay, they argued that Britain, surrounded as it was by a boisterous sea, secured by floating bulwarks, abounding with stout and hardy inhabitants, did not deserve to be free, if her sons could not protect their liberties without the assistance of mercenaries, who were, indeed, the only slaves in the kingdom. Yet, among the genuine friends of their country, some individuals espoused the opposite maxims. They observed, that the military system of every government in Europe was now altered: that war was become a trade, and discipline a science not to be learned but by those who made it their sole profession; that, therefore, while France kept up a large standing army of veterans, ready to embark on the opposite coast, it would be absolutely necessary, for the safety of the nation, to maintain a small standing force, which should be voted in parliament from year to year. They might have suggested another expedient, which in a few years would have produced a militia of disciplined men. Had the soldiers of this small standing army been enlisted for a term of years, at the expiration of which they might have claimed their discharge, volunteers would have offered themselves from all parts of the kingdom, even from the desire of learning the use and exercise of arms, the ambition of being concerned in scenes of actual service, and the chagrin of little disap

pointments, or temporary disgust, which yet could not have impelled them to enlist as soldiers on the common terms of perpetual slavery. In consequence of such a succession, the whole kingdom would soon have been stocked with members of a disciplined militia, equal, if not superior, to any army of professed soldiers. But this scheme would have defeated the purpose of the government, which was more afraid of domestic foes than of foreign enemies; and industriously avoided every plan of this nature, which could contribute to render the malecontents of the nation more formidable.

§ II. Before we proceed to the transactions of parliament in this session, it may not be amiss to sketch the outlines of the ministry, as it stood at this juncture. The king's affection for the earl of Portland had begun to abate, in proportion as his esteem for Sunderland increased, together with his consideration for Mrs. Villiers, who had been distinguished by some particular marks of his majesty's favour. These two favourites are said to have supplanted Portland, whose place in the king's bosom was now filled by Van Keppel, a gentleman of Guelderland, who had first served his majesty as a page, and afterward acted as private secretary. The earl of Portland growing troublesome, from his jealousy of this rival, the king resolved to send him into honourable exile, in quality of an ambassador extraordinary to the court of France; and Trumbal, his friend and creature, was dismissed from the office of secretary, which the king conferred upon Vernon, a plodding man of business, who had acted as under-secretary to the duke of Shrewsbury. This nobleman rivalled the earl of Sunderland in his credit at the council-board, and was supported by Somers, lord-chancellor of England, by Russel, now earl of Orford, first lord of the admiralty, and Montague, chancellor of the exchequer. Somers was an upright judge, a plausible statesman, a consummate courtier, affable, mild, and insinuating. Orford

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