Henry St. John Bolingbroke.

The works of the late Right Honourable Henry St. John, lord viscount Bolingbroke (Volume 3) online

. (page 30 of 30)
Online LibraryHenry St. John BolingbrokeThe works of the late Right Honourable Henry St. John, lord viscount Bolingbroke (Volume 3) → online text (page 30 of 30)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


restored, and almost a new constitution formed,
or an old one revived by the treaties of West-
phalia; nay the imperial eagle was not only fallen,
but her wings were clipped.

As to Spain ; the Spanish branch was fallen <is
low twelve years afterward, that is, in the year
one thousand six hundred and sixty. Philip the
second left his successors a ruined monarchy.
He left them something worse ; he left them his
example and his principles of government, founded
in ambition, in pride, in ignorance, in bigotry,
and all the pedantry of state. I have read some-
where



464 ON THE STUDY OF HISTORY!

where or other, that the war of the Low Countries
alone cost him, by his o>vn confession, five hun-
dred and sixty-four millions, a prodigious sum in
what species soever he reckoned. Philip the third
and Philip the fourth followed his example and his
principles of government, at home and abroad,
j^t home,' there was much form, but no good
order,, IIQ ceconomy, nor wisdom of policy in the
state. The church continued to devour the state*
and that monster the inquisition to dispeople the
country, even more than perpetual war, and all
the numerous colonies that Spain had sent to the
West-Indies : for your lordship will find that Phi-
lip the third drove more than nine hundredthousand
Moriscoes out of his dominions by one edict, with
such circumstances of inhumanity in the execution
of it, as Spaniards alone could exercise, and that
tribunal, who had provoked this unhappy race to
revolt, could alone approve. Abroad, the conduct
of these princes was directed by the same vvi(d spi-
rit of ambition : rash in undertaking, though slow to
execute, and obstinate in pursuing,, though unable
to succeed, they opened a new sluice to let out the
little life and. vigour- that remained in their mo-
narchy. Philip the second is said to have been
piqued against his uncle Ferdinand, for refusing
to yield the empire to him on the abdication of
Charles the fifth. Certain it is, that as much as
he loved to disturb the peace of mankind, and to
meddle in every quarrel that had the appearance
of supporting the Roman and oppressing every

other



LET. VI. PERIOD OP MOST UTILITY. 465

other church, he meddled little in the affairs of
Germany. But, Ferdinand and Maximilian dead,
and the offspring of Maximilian extinct, the kings
of Spain espoused the interests of the other branch
of their family, entertained remote views of ambi-
tion in favour of their own branch, even on that
side, and made all the enterprises of Ferdinand
of Gratz, both before and after his elevation to
the empire, the common cause of the house of
Austria. What completed their ruin was this:
they knew not how to lose, nor when to yield.
They acknowledged the independency of the
Dutch commonwealth, and became the allies of
their ancient subjects at the treaty of Minister :
but they would not forego their usurped claim on
Portugal, and they persisted to carry on singly the
war against France. Thus they were reduced to
such alowness of power as can hardly be paral-
leled in any other case : and Philip the fourth was
obliged at last to conclude a peace, on termsy re-
pugnant to his inclination, to that of his people,
to the interest of Spain, and to that of all Europe,
in the Pyrenean treaty*

As to France j this sera of the entire fall of the
Spanish power is likewise that from which we
may reckon that France grew as formidable, as we
have seen her, to her neighbours, in power and
pretensions. Henry the fourth meditated gretit
desists, and prepared to act a great part in,
Europe in the very beginning of this period, when
Kavaillac stabbed him. His designs died with

VOL. III. HH him,



466 ON THE STUDY OF HISTORY:

him, and are rather guessed at than known;
for surely those which his historian Perefixe and
the compilers of Sully's memorials ascribe to him,
'of a Christian commonwealth divided into fifteen
states, and of a senate to decide all differences,
and to maintain this new constitution of Europe,
are top chimerical to have been really his: but
his general design of abasing the house of Austria,
and establishing the superiour power in that of
Bourbon, was taken up, about twenty years after
'his death, by Richelieu, and- was pursued by him
and by Mazarin with so much ability and success,
that it was eifected entirely by the treaties of
Westphalia and by the Pyrenean treaty ; that is,
at the end of the second of those periods I have
presumed to propose to your lordship.

When the third, in which we now are, will end,
and what circumstances will mark the end of it,
1 know not : but this I know, that the great events,
and revolutions, which have happened in the
course of it, interest us still more nearly than
those of the two precedent periods. I intended to
have drawn up an clenchus or summary of the
three, but I doubted, on further reflection, whe-
ther my memory would enable me to do it with
exactness enough : and I saw that, if I was able to
do it, the deduction would be immeasurably long.
Something of this kind however it may be reason-
able to attempt, in speaking of the last period:
which mny hereafter occasion a further trouble to
your lordship.

But



LET. VI. PERIOD OP MOST UTILITY. 467

But to give you some breathing-time, I will
postpone it at present, and am in the mean
while,

My Lord,

Yours, &c.



END OF THE THIRD VOLUME.






Printed by Luke Hansard & Son,
near Lincoln's- Inn Field*.



UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY, LOS ANGELES

COLLEGE LIBRARY

This book is due on the last date stamped below.



Book 81ip-35m-9,'62(D2218s4)4280



UCLA-College Library

DA 27 B63 1809 v.3



L 005 662 321 8



College
Library



DA
27
B63
1809
v. 3



UC SOUTHERN REGIONAL LIBRARY FAOLIT




A 001 005 738 8






Online LibraryHenry St. John BolingbrokeThe works of the late Right Honourable Henry St. John, lord viscount Bolingbroke (Volume 3) → online text (page 30 of 30)