Tuesday, November 7. 1704.
I am oblig’d so often to Digress, by those Gentlemen that pretend to blame me for Digression, that I think they ought indeed to be call’d the Authors of it.
The Grand Cavil, of what’s all this to the Affairs of France, has been so often thrown in my way, that I think my self under an Obligation to say something to it.
If the Gentlemen Objectors expected, That in Treating of the Affairs of France, I should have confin’d my self to the Limits of their Country, and only wrote a History of the Kingdom, my Title ought to have been A REVIEW OF THE AFFAIRS in FRANCE, not OF it: He that will write only of the Actions of the French, within their own Country, will have his Memoirs, full of little else but Edicts for Taxes, Regulations, Creations and Dispositions of Old and New Offices; Orders for Te Deums for No-Victories; Promotion of Generals; Introduction of Ambassadors; Coining Vainglorious Medals, to the Honour of Immortal, Invincible Lewis XIV. These things interlac’d with Matters of Love, Intrigue, fine Balls, Entertainments, now and then a great Marriage, and not a little Whoring, must have been the Subject of my Worthy Undertaking.
Alas! How little of the active Part of the Affairs of France have been within their own Kingdom? The Glorious Duke of Marlborough has bid the fairest for bringing France to be the Scene of Action, of any Man in the World; and could his Grace, that has conquer’d like Joshua, done one thing more that Joshua did, viz. Cause the Sun to have stood still; could he have Commanded the Season to have gone back, and added three Months more to the Summer, that the French might not have had a Winter to Recruit their Cavalry, Regulate and Refresh their Old Troops, and raise New, I dare not Mention how far he might have push’d, this most advantageous Campaign. [Read more →]
I Am very sorry to see any of the Readers of this Paper so impatient, that they cannot give leave to have the proper parts of this history, take their full Extent.
’Tis endless to repeat the many Interruptions the author has met with, from Gentlemen of sundry Opinions; some say we injure the Hungarians, some the Emperor; tho’ the Author presumes neither can be prov’d: Some say ’tis an unpleasant History, and some have nothing to say, but that ’tis too long: To these Lovers of Novelty, he can say but little, but the main Objection is, what’s all this to the Affairs of France?
To these Gentlemen I would reply, by asking them a Question, what’s the Description of a Mill? What’s the Picture of a Bridge, without laying down the Draught of the River that attends it? – The Author can never be charg’d with Incoherence in the Story he tells, till the Gentlemen have heard it all told; and they whose Patience will not permit them to go thro’ with it, are like to be little the Wiser for what they have read.
’Tis the Application makes the Sermon; if I do not bring the Coherence of the Story to be as plain as the Story it self; if I do not make it answer my Title; if I do not make the Affairs of France appear in a Connection with those of Hungary; if I do not make it appear, that the King of France is as really a Party in the Hungarian Revolt, as in the Bavarian, and as effectually concern’d in the Battle near Lanisia, in Lower Hungaria , as that of Hockstet in Franconia; nay, if I do not make it out, that a Review of the Affairs of France would have been imperfect, without this Hungarian Story; and that the Title would have been absurd, and should rather have been a Review of some of the Affairs of France; If I do not perform all this by the end of the Story, then I do nothing; and am content to have it call’d a needless Digression. [Read more →]
THE poor Protestants in Hungary, when Count Teckely took Arms, were something, in my Opinion, like the disciples of our Saviour, who thought he was come to restore the Temporal Kingdom to Israel: The Innocent People had been Insulted, and ill Treated by the Germans, but especially by the Priests; who always taking Care to misrepresent them to the Emperor, as the Principals in the Discontents and Disturbances of the Hungarians; took Care, also that whatever Breaches happen’d between the Hungarians and the Germans, were upon all occasions, plac’d to the account of the Protestants: Upon these suggestions, the Priests, like Satan in the Case of Job, got the Power of them, and had them committed, as it were, to their Discretion, with a Behold! He is in thy hands.
Nor did the Emperor in this Case, imitate the Merciful part of the Almighty’s Commission to Satan, in the Case of Job, but save his Life; for these poor Miserables were deliver’d over, without any Restriction, to the Soldiers, and to the Priests; the first it may be suppos’d, had little compassion for their goods, the latter had less for their Lives and Posterity; and in the Prosectution of this Latitude, their churches were seiz’d, their Schools dissolv’d, their Estates and Honours sequestred, their Persons imprisoned, and drag’d to Publick Executions; all manner of Injuries and Oppressions practised upon the People, and all sorts of Cruelties upon their Ministers, 200 of which we find at one time in the Spanish Galleys, coupled with Turks, Moors, and Malefactors, and Condemn’d to the Miseries of the Oar, a Martyrdom, if I may be allow’d to be Judge, much worse, and more intolerable than the severest Tortures of a Dioclesian Persecution.
Yet under all these Extremities, the horror of which I cannot pretend to describe by words, nor can the 24 Letters, be capable of such a Position, as to Convey true and proportion’d Idea’s of their Sufferings, to the Mind; yet I say, under all these Extremities, the Protestants of Hungary never offer’d to take Arms, or to rise in their own Defence; never Oppos’d Force to Violence, or Defended the Just and Native Right they had, as Men and Christians, to the Freedom and Independency of Conscience; but Patiently, and with a Passive Fortitude, unexampled in these latter Ages of the World, submitted their Necks to the Yoke of Persecution, and became Martyrs to their Cause, chearfully Suffering all the Indignities, Tortures and Distresses, that a Cruel Ecclesiastick Tyranny, which is always the worst, could Invent.
Not that it was not Lawful for them to have, by Force, repell’d such unjust Oppressions; and that Murther, Tyranny and Injustice, may not be withstood by the Innocent Oppress’d People, whenever they find all Peaceable, Legal  Methods, ineffectual to Secure their Civil, or Religious Right – This is a Doctrine so rooted in the Laws of Nature, so confirm’d from Heaven, and so constantly Practised by all People, and Nations in the World, of what Religion or Profession soever; that to Oppose it, must be to extinguish Reason, obliterate Nature, contradict the Practice of Immemorial Custom, and give up the Power God has intrusted every Man with, to defend the Blessings bestow’d, and which it must be as Lawful to Maintain as Enjoy. [Read more →]
In all the Embassies the Emperor made to the Port, and in all the Treaties with the Turks, there was not one Pretence ever offered, why the Port was disgusted; no such thing as Reparation or Satisfaction Demanded, but in the last offer, which the Turk ever made to the Emperor; this was the main thing the Bassa insisted on, viz. That it should be Lawful for the Turks to assist the Malecontents of Hungaria.
Now let any Man but consider, what sort of a Peace this must have been, that the Emperor must have been ty’d up to have acted no Hostilities on the Turks, and at the same time they were at Liberty to have brought down the whole Force of the Ottoman Empire upon him, under the specious sham of assisting the Hungarians– [Read more →]