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sion of the Vigevanesco, with that part of the duchy of Pavia which lies between the Po and the Tessin, and to cede to him the towns of Placentia and Bombio, with all the territory from the source of the Nura to the lake of Maggiore, and the frontiers of the Swiss Cantons". She farther engaged to maintain thirty thousand men in Italy, as soon as the situation of her affairs in Germany would permit; and the king of Sardinia, on condition of his receiving from Great-Britain an annual subsidy of two hundred and eighty thousand pounds sterling, obliged himself to keep up an army of forty thousand foot and five thousand horse*8.
This treaty, which dissipated all hopes of peace, and the haughty behaviour of the queen of Hungary, who, not only refused to listen to any reasonable terms of accommodation with the emperor, but avowed her purpose of keeping possession of Bavaria and the Upper-Palatinate, as an indemnification for the loss of Silesia, produced a great change in the sentiments of the principal German powers. Their jealousy of the ambition of the house of Austria was revived, and their pride was wounded by the degradation of the Imperial dignity in the person of Charles VII. now no better than an illustrious beggar, depending on the bounty of France for a precarious subsistence. They resolved to. interpose in favour of the head of the empire, whose misfortunes had awakened their compassion. The court of Versailles, ever watchful, encouraged these new dispositions'9; and a secret negociation was successfully begun with the emperor, the elector Palatine, the king of Sweden, as langrave of Hesse-Casscl, and the king of Prussia, as elector of Brandenburg, who was become sensible, that unless a check was given to the growing power of Maria-Theresa, he must soon be stript of all his late conquests.
The issue of that negociation, which was conducted by Chevigny, the French minister at the Imperial court, or
27. Tindal'i Contin. of Sapitt, vol. ix.
28. Id. ibid.
rather asylum, in Frankfort, we shall afterward have occa„ sion to notice. In the meantime a family-compact,
OCT 25 •
'or perpetual alliance and mutual guarantee of possessions and claims, was formed between France and Spain at Fontainbleau,n; and the greatest preparations were made for carrying on the war with vigour both bv sea and land. , Twenty thousand French troops, under the prince of Conti, were ordered to join Don Philip in Savoy; and the French and Spanish squadrons at Toulon were commanded to act in concert, and attempt to recover the sovereignty of the Mediterranean3'. If successful, they were to join the Brest fleet, and having established a superiority in the channel, to assist at a projected invasion of England.
That enterprise which had for its remote object, the reestablishment of the house of Stuart, was more immediately planned with a view of obliging the king of Great-Britain to recal his troops from the continent, and apply his attentions the defence of his own dominions, instead of engaging in the support of foreign powers. A correspondence was accordingly entered into with the English and Scottish jacobites, who readily offered their assistance, and magnified the public discontents, at the same time that they endeavoured to inflame them; The real discontents, however, were very great. The people were enraged at1 the mysterious inaction of the last campaign, which they justly ascribed to the influence of German councils, and the political situation of George II.' as elector of Hanover. Nor were they less dissatisfied at the prospect of the continuance of a bloody and expensive war, in which Great-Britain was likely to become a principal instead of an ally, after an honourable peace might have been concluded with the emperor, and the queen of Hungary secured in the full possession of all the Austrian dominions in Germany, except
30. One of the principal articles of this treaty va*. that no peace should be concluded till Gibraltar was restored to Spain. (A/em. de Nuailtes, torn, iv.) .31. Millot. Voltaire.
Silesia, Silesia, which she had ceded to the king of Prussia. An universal disgust prevailed against the measures of the court.
Encouraged by these favourable appearances, the small number of troops in England, and the assurances of a powerful support from the jacobites, and even a general •revolt in favour of the pretender, Lewis, XV. entered seriously into the views of the cardinal de Tencin, who had projected the enterprise, and the highest hopes were entertained of its si;cccss. Tencin was warmly attached to the Stuart family, by whose interest he had been raised to the purple; and having taken the .lead in the French administration, on the death of cardinal Fleury, he was ambitious of shewing his gratitude to his friends, and at the same time of serving his master, by giving a new king to Great-Britain.
Nor did such a revolution seem impossible, with the force that was prepared, to those who were best acquainted with the situation of this kingdom, if France had possessed the sovereignty of the sea. An army of fifteen thousand men was assembled in Picaidy, under count Saxc ; and a number of transports were collected at Calais, Dunkii*k, and Boulogne. Charles Edward, eldest son of the chevalier de St. George, and to whom that prince had delegated A.d. 1T44. his pretensions, left Rome, and arrived in die January. French camp. A descent was ta be made on the coast of Kent; and M. de Roqucfeuille, with a fleet of twenty ships of the line from Brest and liochfort, sailed exultingly up the channel, in order to protect the transports and cover the landing of the troops. Seven thousand men were embarked, and the first division of the transports put to sea; but a sudden storm arising they were all driven back upon the French •coast. Many or them were shattered; some of the largest, with all the men, were lost; and a superior English fleet, commanded by sir John Norris, obliged M. de Roquefeuille to make the best of his way to Brest1: so that the young
32. Ccr.tin. of Papin, ubi sup. Smollet, vol. xi.
pretender, pretender, after having a sight of the promised land, found himself under the necessity of waiting for a more favourable opportunity, to attempt the recovery of the kingdom of his ancestors.
The alarm occasioned by this formidable, though abortive enterprise, united the whigs in the firm support of government. They were made sensible, that their opposition to certain unpopular measures, and their political jealousies of each other, had been represented by the enemies of Great-Britain as a proof of their dislike to the reigning family; and that the chevalier de St. George had founded his hopes of success in the projected invasion, chiefly on the division among the friends of the protcstant succession. This appeared by a letter which he wrote to John duke of Argyle, an inconsistent but zealous whig, whom the jacobites supposed ready for a revolt, on account of the violence of his speeches in parliament, and to whom the pretender desired to dictate his own terms33. But that harmony was of short duration. The intelligence which soon arrived of a naval engagement in the Mediterranean, and the judicial proceedings relative to it, gave rise to new divisions and discontents.
In consequence of the late alliance between France and ^Spain, concluded at Fontainbleau, the admirals of their combined fleet, in the harbour of Toulon, resolved to give battle to that of England, by which they had been blocked up, and which prevented them from carrying provisions or military stores to the Spanish armies in Italy. The Spanish squadron, commanded by Don Joseph Navarro, consisted of sixteen sail of the line, though twelve only were fully manned; and the French squadron, under M. de Court, of fourteen sail of the line, four frigates, and three fire-ships. The British fleet, commanded by the admirals Matthews and Lestock, were superior in force, but less fit for action, as the ships had
been long at sea. It consisted of twenty-eight sail of the line, six ships of fifty guns, four frigates, and two fire-ships. And if a misunderstanding had not prevailed between the admirals, the combined fleet must have been utterly ruined.
Matthews, who lay in the bay of Hieres, no sooner perceived the enemy leave the road of Toulon than he weighed anchor and bore down upon them. They did not decline the combat; and a desperate battle ensued, in which the British admiral behaved with great gallantry.' But he was ill supported by his captains, and Lestock, with his whole division, remained ail the time at a distance; so that the contest was long doubtful, and the most vigorous exertions only could have saved the ships that were engaged from being taken or destroyed. Victory, however, at last declared in favour of Matthews. The combined fleet, after an action of six hours, was obliged to retreat, •with the loss of one ship of the line, named the Poder3'. The Royal Philip, another disabled ship, might also, it is supposed, have heen taken, had the English admiral continued the chace; but his orders to guard the coast of Italy being positive, he did not think himself at liberty to neglect that important object, and run the hazard of being drawn down the straits, for the precarious possibility of making a single prize, all the other ships of the enemy sailing too fast to leave him any hope of coming up with them''.
The loss of so favourable an opportunity of breaking the naval power of the house of Bourbon occasioned the loudest complaints in England, and the failure of the British fleet to destroy that of the enemy, became the subject of a parliamentary inquiry. From a committee of the house of commons, the matter was referred to a court-martial. Several captains were convicted of misbehaviour, and subjected to different degrees of punishment; but, to the astonishment of the
34- Smollet, vol. xi. Contin. nf Rapin, vol. ix.