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their Conquests, by the total Defeat of their Fleet in 1718.
But notwithstanding this narrow Escape, the Em. peror, as if infatuated, instead of taking Warning thereby, proceeds yet further, and by an unseafo. nable Stiffness, in refusing a certain Investiture, which was but a Marcer of mere Form, and ferring up the Ofend Company, not only disobliged our So. vereign, but the whole British Nation, together with the States of Holland, and the King of France, And to say the Truth, it was but a scurvy Return, for all the Blood and Treasure lavished by the Eng. lish in his Quarret in Queen Anne's Reign, besides the recent Service he had received from them, in recovering for him the fertile Inand of Sicily, and thereby securiog to him the Kingdom of Naples, which must have followed of course.
In short, it was an irretrievable Mistake, for tho' the Affair of the Company was soon given up, it was too late to regain our intire Confidence ; for the Minister who then had the Direction of Affairs, and who, if he was not an actual Pensioner of France, which there is great Reason to suspect, was, at least, so much afraid of a Rupture with her, or so much the Dupe of Cardinal Fleury's Professions, that he served him to all Intents and Pur. poses as ffectually as if he was so, not only made use of the Pretence of the formidable Power of the House of Austria, to avoid affording them that Arsistance to which we were bound by folemn Trea. ties, but even to enter into a Confederacy with France against them. The Dutch likewise, being cooled in their Affection for thar Family, by the late Artempe to set up an East India Company in the Austrian Dominions, became intirely indifferent as to what betel them, insomuch that they were left destitute of any Allies, to support themselves fingly against all their Enemies. H 3
This was an Opportunity that had long been earnestly wished for ; it was, therefore, no Wonder it was readily and even greedily laid hold on, the first plausible Pretence that offered ; which was in the Year 1333, upon the Death of the late King Auguftus of Poland : An Event which had been long expected, and for which France had been accordingly long providing. And, in effect, the first Step that Court cook chereupon, was to set up Stanislaus, Father-in-law to Lewis XV. as a Candidate for the Polih Crown. Now hereby they laid an almost inevitable Snare for the Emperor, into which it was scarce possible for him to avoid falling. On one hand, if he opposed the Election of Stanislaus, now so nearly allied to the French King, it was to be represented as an unpardonable Affront, which thar Monarch could not in Honour put up: On the other hand, if he suffered him to be quietly choren, and advanced to char Throne, he would be hemmed in, in a manner, by France, and her Allies, who would at any Time have an Opportunity of pouring their Troops in upon him on every Side. What could the Emeror do in so perplexing an Alternative? He wisely chose the juftest and most prudent, which was, to leave the Poles ia Possession of their native Right of electing their own Mo. parhs, wiihout intermeddling therewith, any otherwise ihan by revailing on Prince Lubomirski, to throw his Interest into the Scale of the other Candidate, namely, Augustus, the present Sovereign of Poland, and Son to the late King.
France, therefore, being left at Liberty to pro. mote the Advancement of Stanislaus as much as The pleased, without Opposition from the Emperor, it was plain the could have no reasonable Ground of Complaint against him, whether She succeeded therein or not. Neverthele!s, on the Cza. rina's interposing in Behalf of Auguftus, and backing that Interposition with a strong Body of Troops,
by which Means Stanislaus lost his Election, this Miscarriage of the latter was imputed by France to the Arcifices of the Emperor, and made use of as a Pretence to attack him almost on every Side at once, in conjunction with the Queen of Spain, and the King of Sardinia,
It was not to be expe&ed, as his Dominions lay so distant from each other, that this Prince could long make Head against so powerful a Confederacy ; accordingly in two or ihree Campaigns, he loft almost all Footing in Italy, besides Fort Kehl, and Philipsburgh in the Empire; and was glad to clap up a dishonourable Peace, by perswading his Son-in-law, the Duke of Lorrain, to an immediate Cession of ihac Dutchy, iu Exchange for a precarious Reversion of the Dutchy of Tuscany, which ic; would be in the Power of France or Spain to take from him when they pleased. Behold here, the bitter Firf-Fruirs of his Invasion of another's Rights, and Violation of a solemn Treaty! Had he not disobliged the King of Sardinia formerly, by wresting Sicily from him, France and Spain could never have made such a rapid Progress in Italy and the Em. pire; and had he not done the same by Great Brie tain and Holland in setting up the Oftend Company, they would probably have affifted him in repelling Force by Force.
But this is not all, the worst is fill behind. It was natural for the Emperor to be greatly morti. fied at fo disadvantageous á Treaty ; the Loss of the two Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, with the whole Milaneze, and Lorrain, ewo of the most va- luable Dutchies in Europe, Tuscany excepted, was sufficient to put him out of Humour, and to make him ready, like a drowning Man, to catch at any
Twig which would save him from sinking. In this critical Juncture, a Rupture happening between the Muscovites and Turks, wherein the former bad
gained considerable Advantages, the Emperor was invited and follicited by the Czarina, to lay hold of that Opportunity to humble the common Enemy of Christendom, and indemnify himself for his former Losses, at the Expence of the Infidels.
The Temptation was frong to any Man who consulted only his present Interest, without any Regard to Justice, or folemn Contracts, when they any way clashed therewith ; and it was the more so, as the Turks having been already greatly weakened by an unsuccessful War carried on against the Persians, and by several Advantages gained over them by the Muscovites, it was genesally believed (so short-fighted are Mankind !) the Germans would march to certain Conquest. In effect, this was what his Ministry were continually representing to the Emperor ; so that at last they perswaded him, upon fome frivolous Pretences, to proceed to open Hoftilities against the Turk, who had maintained the Treaty of Paffarowitz inviolably about twenty Years, and never given him, nor the Empire, the least Cause of Offence.
• One would have thought, however, that a Prince who was himselt Sovereign of Hungary, and whole exten Give Territories bordered equally upon Turkey and Poland, and who mult consequently be suppored to have been conversant in the Histories of those Nacions, should have remembered the unhappy and deplorable Fate of Uladislaus, on an Occafion almoft similar to this, and Thould have been warned thereby not to tread in bis Steps, left he Thould share in his Punishment. But, as he did not, though his Chaftisement was somewhat more mild, yer he met with a very severe Rebuke at the Fland of Providence.
With three powerful Armies that marched into the Turkish Territories, confident of Success, the
Imperialips were so far from gaining any considerable Advantages, though the infidels had their Hands full at the same Time of the Muscovites, that they met with many shocking Repulles, and were not able to maintain their own Ground; so that be. ing driven from Place to Place, and greatly weakened by continual Losses, his Imperial Majesty was ac last glad shamefully to clap up a separare Peace, dishonourably leaving his faithtul Ally the Czarina, and compounding for the Security of his remaining Dominions, by the Surrender of Belgrade, one of the strongest and most important Fortresses in his Dominions, and by giving up a considerable Frontier to the Infidels.
It may well be imagined, such a Train of Misfortunes, one upon the Heels of another, niuft sen. fibly have affected this unhappy Prince ; but if we add thereto, that upon an imparcial Review of his paft Conduct, unless he was wilfully blind to his own Errors, to call them no worse, he must be forced to acknowledge, he had brought all these Ca. lamiries upon himselt ; and that the last in particular, was owing to a most notorious Breach of public Faith, and consequently a signal Transgression of the Third Commandment, it must certainly be a considerable Aggravation of his Sorrows, as he might read his Sin in his Punishment.
The wresting Sicily from the King of Sardinia, was followed by the Lors not only of that Island, but of Naples and the Milaneze also, without ha. ving Sardinia in their room ; the ferting up of the Ostend Company, which was likewise contrary to Treaty, was followed by the Loss of the Confidence and Friendship of Great Britain and Holland, who, instead of incerposing, stood quiet Spectators of his Misforrunes ; if it may not likewise be added, that his Daughter's Loss of Flanders ai present, is originally owing to the fame Cause, Then, to com.