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Altho' PERSIA be fituated in Afia, yet will it be proper to begin with that Kingdom, not because 'tis at present a Seat of Action, and Theatre of War ; but because that War will very much affect several European Powers, and influence and alter their Measures. This Kingdom had long been in a flourishing Condition; its most powerful Enemies were the Turks, who had often wag'd war against it ; but the Persians generally were Conquerors, and had taken several considerable Places from the Ottomans, and this had fecured to 'em a glorious Peace. But Pride and Ambition fired the Breast of Meriweys, a Persian General, who arm’d himself against the Sophi his Master ; and the better to colour his Designs, made use of the common Cloak, Religion. The Generality of the Persians, and amongst 'em the Royal Family, are not of the Mahometan Sect followed by the Turks, but are Disfenters of the Sect of Hali; and Meriweys, to engage the Turks on his Side, set up for a Musulman, and fucceeded so far in his Design, that he defeated and destroy's the old Sophi, and the greatest Part of his Family ; but one of his Sons, Schab Tamas, escap’d, who rais'd a small Army, and sent to beg the Assistance of the victorious Czar of Muscovy, offering him for his Succour several Places in Persia, which he readily accepted. The Turks, on the other hand, march'd an Army into Persia under Pretence of opposing the Muscovites, but with an Intent chiefly to retake those Places that had formerly been conquer'd from them, and to make what farther Progre's they could. In the interim, the Czar dies, and the Czarina, unable to pursue her Conquests on the other Side the Caspian Sea, is forced to abandon the farther Designs of the late Emperor on that Side. Meriweys is put to death by some of his own Party, with Esref, who succeeds him in Command at the Head of 'em. From hence arise new Confusions. The divided Persians become an easy Prey to their powerful Neighbours." Every thing falls before the victorious Arms of the Ottomans ; Cities surrender, and Provinces are conquer'd. They are now marching towards Ispahan, in hopes of réducing that Metropolis, and shortJy after the whole Kingdom. The Grand Mogul is arming for its Relief; but in all Probability his Forces will come too late. This additional Power will make the Grand Signior a more formidable Prince and the Turks flush'd with their Success, and looking upon their Work in Persia as good as finish’d, call out for the hold
ing a Grand Divan to concert proper Measures for the carrying on a War in Europe. Which of the Imperial Powers their Deligns are against, is unknown ; but the Apprehension of their Arms has already alter'd the Face of Affairs in Europe, as will appear by the Sequei.
• From hence let us turn our Eyes on POLAND, as on a Scene without which we neither can understand, nor unravel the Plot. Auguftus, Élector of Saxorzy, renounces his Religion to gain that Crown; but it proves to him a real Crown of Thorns. An unfortunate War begun against the late King of Sweden brings that Monarch with his victorious Army into Poland ; and nothing lefs could satisfy him than the dethroning King Augustus: The Throne is declared vacant, and Stanislaus Leczinski, à Grandee of the Kingdom, is elected to fill it; but his Fortune falls with that of his Patron, and whilst the one is Prisoner at Bender, the other is forced to seek Refuge in a foreign country. Augustus reascends the Throne. From hence follow perpetual Divisions, Cabals and Plots to disturb the Quiet of the Kingdom, and to make the reigning Monarch odious to his Subjects and Neighbours. The Poles are naturally very great Bigots, and notwithstanding that by several Treaties, especially by that of Oliva, they have engag'd themselves to protect the Protestants in their Rights, and the Exercise of their Religion ; yet has their chief Study been to exterminate them. A religious Quarrel happens at Thorn; the Jesuits are a Party concern'd, who never fail of compassing Revenge. The Zealots are influenc'd, and the discontented Politicia ans blow the Coals. A cruel and unheard of Sentence is pronounced against a Number of Perfons, whose only Guilt is their being of a different Religion. The Protestant Powers immediately appear for their innocent suffering Brethren, and apply in their Behalf to the Emperor as a Mediator; and to the King of Poland. Both promise to do whatever lies in their Power : but spite of that, the Sentence is executed, and that even before the Time appointed. In vain the Kings of England, Prusia and Sweden,the States of Holland,and the late Czar of Muscovy intercede and threaten ; their Bigotry makes 'em deaf to every thing; it blinds 'em, and they cannot see the approaching Danger. On a sudden the Poles take Courage, they threaten in their turn, they make Reprisals, they
despise the Laws of Hospitality, and the Respect due to the facred Character of Ambassadors; the Minister of one of the most powerful Monarchs in Europe is scarce safe in their Court; they will make no Concessions to the Reformed Princes, but defy 'em. to do their worst.
Some late Transactions at the Court of FRANCE must fhew us the rest of the fecret Springs which move all Europe. During the present King's Minority, he was married to the Infanta of Spain, then but three Years old ; in which it is generally thought private Views were more consider'd than publick Good; and besides, the Regent had an Opportunity, by the fame Treaty with Spain, of providing for two of his Daughters; marrying the one to the Prince of Asturias, the other to Don Carlos, Infant of Spain, and Heir to the Dukedom of Parma and Placentia. But the Regent's Death breaks all these Measures ; the Duke of Bourbon, who succeeded him as Prime Minister, knowing of what Importance it was that the King shou'd have Heirs, determines to provide him a more suitable Match ; and fpite of all that Spain can do, the Infanta Queen is sent back, and the Duke of Bourborn, willing to shew more regard to the Merit and Virtues than the Fortunes of a Queen, pitches -upon the Princess Mary Leczinski, the only Daughter of King Stanislaus.
which the one upon her Journeto return to her dead, the Young
· SPAIN, enraged at this Affront, meditates nothing but Revenge; the Prince of Asturias, who by the voluntary Resignation of his Father had ascended the Throne of Spain, being dead, the Young Queen Dowger obtains Leave to return to her native Country. Whilst she is upon her Journey the Infanta is sent back; upon which the Queen receives a Message from the King her Father in Law requiring her to make some Stay where she is, till her Sister Madamoiselle Beaujolois the contracted Wife of the Infant Don Carlos can reach her. These Princesses are conducted to the Frontiers by fome Spanish Troops, and are exchanged there with the Infanta, who had been guarded thither by French Forces. The Princesses proceed forwards, but the Troops remain on the Frontiers, and every Body's Eyes are fix'd upon them, expecting fome Action there, but the Commanders have an Interview, and
they were forming Fidelity they can rely uponclude an Alliance
come to an Agreement about sending back Deserters on both sides : However, both the French and Spaniards continue to fortify the Frontier Places, and seem to threaten each other with Preparations of War.
As the Alliances between the French and Spaniards are now entirely troken, the latter seek to strengthen themselves by new ones ; and weary with the delay of the Congress of Cambray, and no longer caring for the Mediation of France or England (the former of whose Usage they very much resented, and the latter they were forming Pretensions upon ) they pitch upon a Person, whose Secresy and Fidelity they can rely upon, and fend him to - the Court of Vienna, with Instructions to conclude an Alliance with the Emperor at any rate ; and it is accordingly done before any one knows there is such a Treaty on Foot. 'Tis uncertain whether there are any secret Articles favourable to Spain, which time may bring to light ; but by those which have been made Publick, the Emperor seems the only Gainer. The Succession to the Dominions in Italy and the Netherlands, is fecured to the House of Austria by a folemn Renunciation on the Part of Spain. Freedom of Conimerce is granted to all the Imperialists in the Harbours of Spain, which is chiefly calculated for the Service of the Oftend India Company ; and Don Carlos is to receive the eventual Investiture of Tuscany, Parma and Placentia, from the Emperor, as Fiefs of the Empire. Shortly after, a double Treaty of Marriage is proposed between the Crowns of Spain and Portugal, the Infanta who had been sent back by the King of France being contracted to the Prince of Brasil, and the Infanta of Portugal to the Prince of the Asturias; and this double Match threatens. an Alliance still more dangerous: the King of Portugal is invited to come into the Treaty concluded at Viennaj which would fortify the Spaniss Interest, and extent further the Commerce of the Imperialists ; but that Prince has not yet declared himself. • This Alliance feems to alarm Europe, and makes it absolutely neceffary that fome other should be concluded to balance it. His Britannic Majesty goes abroad, and has an Interview with the King of Prusia, the French Minister attends him, and at Hanover an Alliance is concluded between those three Crowns; the maine Design of which is a mutual Guarantee for the Defence of all the Dominions now in Poffession of any of the Allies, and of all their Rights, &c. And if any one of the contracting Powers fuffers:
from any Hoftility committed by another Power, they are all to join in procuring him Satisfaction and Justice. . And as to the Treaty of Oliva, the three Powers being Guarantees, they all promise to use the strongest Remonstrances possible to obtain Saw tisfaction for what has been done contrary to that Treaty.
To these two Treaties are all the Powers of Europe invited. Had the Czar lived till then, 'tis easily known to which of 'em he would have acceded; but his Death caus’d a considerable Altera.
tion in the Affairs of Europe. At first the Czarina appears very · warm in the Protestant Interest ; she threatens, she arms, and every body thinks her in Earnest ; but soon after she grows cool, her Threats end in an Alliance with Poland and the Emperor, and her warlike Preparations are now turn'd for the Defence of that Kingdom, against which they were at first thought to be design'd. The Reasons of the Czar's joining with the Protestants, and the Czarina's forsaking 'em, are very visible. The Czar was a powerful Prince; he had made an Alliance with Turky; this, join'd to his Victories on the Caspian Sea, left him nothing to fear on that Side ; his Navy was prodigiously increas'd; which made him not doubt but he was able to restore his future Son-in-Law to the Dutchy of Holstein, and one Day to set him upon the Throne of Sweden. He had some Pretensions upon Poland, and had Forces enough to support ’em; but in the midst of all this he dies. Affairs take a new Turn in Persia ; the Muscovites remain on the Defensive and the Turks make great Progresses. What has she not to fear from 'em after the Reduction of Persia? And what Alliance can be of so great Service to her against the Turks, as one with Poland and the En peror. Besides, in the late War the Czar conquer'd many Places, which to balance the Power of the North ought to have been restored: Who knows, but that some of the Protestant Powers, after having reduced the Poles to Reason, might have turn'd their Arms against her, to retake those Places, which seem'd very necessary for securing a more lasting Peace on that Side ? Nor are indeed her Pretensions upon Poland the most important; those upon Holstein in Favour of her Son-in-law, and the Desire she has of obtaining a free Passage throʻthe Sound, seem at present to require all her Attention.
As for the King of DENMARK, 'tis probable he'll accede to neither of the Treaties; the Czarina's whole Design feeming to