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A Popular History of France from the Earliest Time

Dubois yielded on all the points


character of our Regent," wrote

Dubois on the 10th of March, 1716, "leaves no ground for fearing lest he should pique himself upon perpetuating the prejudices and the procedure of our late court, and, as you yourself remark, he has too much wit not to see his true interest." Dubois was the bearer to the Hague of the Regent's proposals; King George was to cross over thither; the clever negotiator veiled his trip under the pretext of purchasing rare books; he was going, he said, to recover from the hands of the Jews Le Poussin's famous pictures of the Seven Sacraments, not long ago carried off from Paris. The order of succession to the crowns of France and England, conformably to the peace of Utrecht, was guaranteed in the scheme of treaty; that was the only important advantage to the Regent, who considered himself to be thus nailing the renunciation of Philip V.; in other respects all the concessions came from the side of France; her territory was forbidden ground to the Jacobites, and the Pretender, who had taken refuge at Avignon on papal soil, was to be called upon to cross the Alps. The English required the abandonment of the works upon the canal of Mardyck, intended to replace the harbor of Dunkerque the Hollanders claimed commercial advantages. Dubois yielded on all the points, defending to the last with fruitless tenacity the title of King of France, which the English still disputed. The negotiations came to an end at length on the 6th of January, 1717, and Dubois wrote in triumph to the Regent, "I
signed at midnight; so there are you quit of servitude (your own master), and here am I quit of fear." The treaty of the triple alliance brought the negotiator before long a more solid advantage; he was appointed secretary of state for foreign affairs; it was on this occasion that he wrote to Mr. Craggs, King George's minister, a letter worthy of his character, and which contributed a great deal towards gaining credit for the notion that he had sold himself to England. "If I were to follow only the impulse of my gratitude and were not restrained by respect, I should take the liberty of writing to H. B. Majesty to thank him for the place with which my lord the Regent has gratified me, inasmuch as I owe it to nothing but to the desire he felt not to employ in affairs common to France and England anybody who might not be agreeable to the King of Great Britain."

At the moment when the signature was being put to the treaty of the triple alliance, the sovereign of most distinction in Europe, owing to the eccentric renown belonging to his personal merit, the czar Peter the Great, had just made flattering advances to France. He had some time before wished to take a trip to Paris, but Louis XIV. was old, melancholy, and vanquished, and had declined the czar's visit. The Regent could not do the same thing, when, being at the Hague in 1717, Peter I. repeated the expression of his desire. Marshal Cosse was sent to meet him, and the honors due to the king himself were everywhere paid to him on the road. A singular mixture of military and barbaric roughness with the natural grandeur of a conqueror and creator of an empire, the czar mightily excited


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