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. Continue reading Tuesday, November 7. 1704