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interest between the two peoples; it had taken the character of a war of family against family. The house of Hapsburg again wrestled body to body against the house of Bourbon. The ardour of William III animated the coalition, and one of the articles of the treaty assured the Spanish monarchy to the emperor and to his posterity, to the exclusion of the house of France.* This war lasted nine years, and ended with the peace of Ryswick, in 1697. It marked the period when the ascendant movement of French prosperity was arrested.

However, the league of 1689 was now dissolved, and Louis XIV resumed his old projects of partition of the Spanish monarchy; but he no longer found as favourable dispositions as in 1668. It was no longer possible to come to an understanding with the emperor; Louis XIV came to an understanding with Holland and England. The prince of Bavaria was to have the royalty of the Peninsula, the Low Countries, and the Indies; the dauphin of France, the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, with the ports of Tuscany, the marquisate of Final, and Guipuscoa; the Milanese was offered to the archduke Charles. This treaty is of the 11th October, 1698.†

The electoral prince of Bavaria dying in 1699, a new treaty of partition was necessary. The same powers which had made that of 1698, concluded that of the 25th March, 1700, which went nearer to satisfy all the interests, since the houses of Austria and France remained henceforth alone in presence, to dispute the principal lots of the inheritance. The archduke Charles was substituted for the prince of Bavaria; and France was to have in addition to her first share, Lorraine and Bar, in exchange for which the house of Lorraine would have had the duchy of Milan.

The house of Hapsburg was thus to form a second Spanish branch, and the equilibrium of Europe rested

* See Dumont, loc. cit. tom. vii. part 2, p. 230.

† See Dumont, loc. cit. tom. vii. part 2; and the Mémoires of Lamberty, tom. i. p. 12.


on the same basis as formerly. The successibility of the house of France to the Spanish crown was not prohibited, but it was said that the sovereignty of Spain and the Indies should never appertain to a prince who should be at the same time emperor or king of the Romans, king of France or dauphin.* This article of the treaty of 1700 is worthy of remark, as explaining admirably well the meaning of the renunciations. The houses are not excluded, but only the sovereigns and heirs presumptive of Austria and France. During this period, from the marriages to the death of Charles II king of Spain, the question passed, as we see, through different phases, and from one extreme to the other. We shall see these vicissitudes reproduced until the moment of the definitive solution. It is not, in fact, at once, that we arrive at the just measure and truth in political affairs, as in the other affairs of mankind. Truth only acquires its predominant force by that slow and painful elaboration which shows in detail the dangers and vices of error. The single interest of France was to convert Spain from a hostile territory to a friendly territory; the single interest of Europe was to avoid the union of the two crowns; but an operation so simple in appearance, became complicated with all the great passions which agitate empires.


The partition of March 25, 1700, excited earnest reclamations. Louis XIV negociated to obtain the approbation of the parties interested. The most dissatisfied were, the emperor, who had received in 1689 the guarantee of the Spanish succession, and the king of Spain, whose states were divided during his lifetime without deigning to consult him. The irritation of Charles II was extreme when he learnt the partition of 1698; it was at its height when he was informed

* See the treaty in Dumont, loc. cit. p. 477; comf. Lamberty, Mémoires, tom. i. p. 97, and Mably, Droit public de l'Europe, tom. ii. p. 63.

of that of 25 March, 1700. He had made a first will by which he constituted the electoral prince of Bavaria his universal heir, in order to punish the emperor, who had wrested from the empress Marie Antoinette a renunciation of her rights; but he had had the weakness to destroy this act, at the solicitation of Austria. He re-established his testamentary dispositions when he was made acquainted with the treaty of partition of the year 1698. The unforeseen death of the prince of Bavaria, in 1669, threw him into a great embarrassment. After having long hesitated, the national sentiment, loudly pronounced in favour of the house of France, gained the better in his heart over the resentment which he might cherish against Louis XIV for provoking the partitions which had offended him, and over the family affection which carried him towards the house of Austria. He consulted the most influential men of his kingdom, as well as the pope, and then made, on the 2nd of October, 1700, a will of which the following were the most important clauses:


Having remarked, in conformity with the result of all the consultations held by our ministers of state and justice, that the reasons for which the infantas lady Anne and lady Maria Theresa, queens of France, my aunt and sister, have renounced the succession to these kingdoms, were only founded on the danger and prejudice which this kingdom would incur, if it should chance to be united with that of France; and having considered that the fundamental reason no longer subsisted, the right of succession having devolved on the nearest relation, according to the laws of this kingdom, and that this case is now verified in the person of the second son of the dauphin of France; therefore, conforming myself to the said laws, I declare for my successor, if God take me away without leaving children, the duke of Anjou, second son of the dauphin; and in consequence of that, I establish and name him to succeed in all my kingdoms and states, without excepting any of them.

"I command and order all my subjects and vassals of all my kingdoms and states, that, the case happening that I die without leaving children, they recognise and receive him for their king and natural lord, and that without delay they put him actually in possession of those, provided that he make and take the usual oaths to observe the laws, ordinances, and customs of my said kingdoms and states.

"And, my intention being that, for the good of my subjects and for the peace of Christendom and of all Europe, this monarchy be for

ever separated from the crown of France, I declare that if the duke of Anjou should happen to die or to be called to the succession of France, preferring the enjoyment of that crown to that of Spain, then the succession of the monarchy shall be under the same conditions, devolved to the duke of Berry, third son of the dauphin; and in case the duke of Berry should die or inherit the crown of France, I declare and name to the succession the archduke, second son of the emperor my uncle, excluding, for the same reasons and for the same inconveniences, contrary to the interests of my subjects, the eldest son of the said emperor my uncle.

"And in case that the archduke should also die, I declare and name to the said succession the duke of Savoy and his children. And it is my will, that this be executed by all my subjects in the manner that I ordain; for it is expedient for their good that they suffer not the monarchy to be divided or diminished, but that it remain in the same state in which my ancestors have gloriously established it.

"And, as I have much at heart and wish uniquely the maintenance of the peace and union so profitable to christendom, between the emperor my uncle and the very Christian king, I pray and exhort them that this union be more firmly cemented by the bond of marriage between the duke of Anjou and the archduchess, in order that Europe may enjoy the repose which is necessary for it."*

Charles II died on the 1st of November, 1700, twenty-nine days after having made this will, which surprised everybody, and Louis XIV himself. The Spanish interest had simply prevailed over the Austrian interest in the mind of the dying king; but England and Holland believed that they had been tricked. This will made an unexpected and forced alteration in the position of the powers, and of Louis XIV in particular. Louis knew that the general opinion in Spain was favourable to the house of France; but, as this opinion was shown with a certain degree of circumspection, he had believed that the safest way would be that of partition, not doubting that the Austrian party which surrounded the king would determine his choice for a prince of the house of Hapsburg. The treaties of partition, without doubt, had for result neither the union of Spain to France, nor the foundation of a French dynasty

* See Dumont, Corps diplomat. tom. viii. part 1, p. 90. † See the Mémoires of M. de Torcy, and the Hist. de la diplomatie Française, of M. de Flassan, tom. iv. p. 196 et seqq.

beyond the Pyrenees, but they increased the territorial power of France and its preponderance in Europe; they hindered the reunion of the Spanish crown with the imperial crown, and Louis XIV showed himself satisfied. If he did not gain the Low Countries, he obtained a kingdom in Italy.

The French Cabinet, therefore, experienced great embarrassment when the will of Charles II arrived on the 9th of November, at Fontainebleau, where Louis XIV was at that moment. We may read, in the Mémoires of M. de Torcy, the recital of the invincible state reasons which decided the monarch to accept it. The following note was communicated immediately to the ambassadors of Holland and England:

"The state of affairs is entirely changed by the will of the king of Spain. If the princes of France refuse the crown after the Catholic king has rendered justice to M. le Dauphin, in calling to it the princes his sons, the subjects of that monarchy will consider it a duty to obey the archduke, and to acknowledge in his person the dispositions of the king their master. They will all be as faithful to him as they have been for so great a number of years to the preceding king of Spain. It will be necessary to conquer, not only places, but states, entire kingdoms, to execute the treaty. To undertake a long war against the monarchy of Spain reunited in all its parts, sustained by allies interested in maintaining the will, submitted to a king whom she will regard as legitimate, the first heirs having renounced their rights: nothing is more opposite to the spirit of the treaty of partition, nothing more contrary to that happy tranquillity which it has been the object of the king to maintain, conjointly with his allies.

"When his majesty accepts the will, the monarchies of France and Spain remain separate, as they have been for so many years. That equal balance, desired by all Europe, subsists much better than if France aggrandized itself by the acquisition of the frontiers of Spain, by that of Lorraine, and by that of the kingdom of Naples and Sicily. His majesty is persuaded that it gives a striking proof of his moderation in renouncing the great advantages which his crown received from such a treaty, and that the resolution he has taken to preserve the monarchy of Spain in its ancient lustre is still more in conformity with the general interest of all Europe."*

The will of Charles II was in truth but the legal expression of the independent will of a sovereign

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