Saturday, November 4. 1704.

Numb. 70.

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. Continue reading Saturday, November 4. 1704.

Saturday, May 6. 1704.

Numb. 18.

OUR last ended with the Character of the profound Submission made by all the Gentry of France, to the Command of their absolute Monarch; Gentlemen who have travel’d in France too lately for History to come at the Heels of the Fact, tell us very diverting Stories of the Court of the Marshals in Cases of Personal Affronts, and the extraordinary Justice done by way of Reparation in Point of Honour, which the French call L’Amende Honorable.

I have often fancy’d there is something more of the Old Custom, which we call Lex Talionis, in this way of judging, than in any Proceedings I have read of – If I give the Reader the Particulars of some, from the many I have heard, I desire the Favour of the Censorious Part of Mankind to take this with them by the way.

I cannot satisfie my self to say any thing in Print, without either being very sure of my Authorities, or letting the World know upon what Foot, as to Credit, they are to take it. – ’Tis my Opinion, if an Historian relates a Falshood without the due Caution of telling his Reader how he had it, he pawns his own Reputation upon the Truth of it, makes himself answerable, and the Fraud becomes his own.

Wherefore, tho’ I may on the Credit of the Authors, tell the World I believe firmly the Instances I am going to give are Genuine; yet I shall always tell you when I have a Story from a Report of Gentlemen, or from a positive History. Continue reading Saturday, May 6. 1704.

Saturday, April 22. 1704.

Numb. 14.

THE impossibility of Relieving the Camisars, tho’ we were heartily willing to joyn in such an undertaking, seems to me so plain, that I never found any feasible Project laid down for the bringing it to pass.

Those who expected the Confederate Fleet when they went into the Straights, should relieve the Camisars, and reproach’d our Government for their coming back before it was effected; shew’d their want of Judgment, as well as their want of Manners.

The Mountains of the Cevennes being at least 25 Leagues from the Sea-Coast, and the nearest Places on the Coast altogether unfit to receive a Fleet; no Port, no Harbour for the Ships to ride in; no Town or Fort to Land any Forces; ’tis strange to me what those People expected.

The Mareshal de Montrevel lay about Nismes, and as any one who knows the Scituation“Scituation” is a relatively consistent alternative spelling for “situation.” Since both occur frequently the word will be rendered as printed in this edition. of the Country will allow, either was, or on the least Alarm, might be Posted with his Army between the Cevennois and the Sea, so that whatever force had Attempted their Relief, must at least have been strong enough to have fought the French Army; and allow that Army had been but 12000 Men, all Men know, that Sir Cloudesly Shovel did not go furnish’d to fight a Land Army of half that Force. Continue reading Saturday, April 22. 1704.

Tuesday, April 18. 1704.

Numb. 13.

THe Cevennois are not so much the Miracle of this Age, as ’tis a Wonder to me the Accounts we have had of them should obtain so much in an Age, so incredulous as this.

I cannot think ’tis my Business to enter into a Debate of Original Right in such an undertaking as this; and to concern these Sheets with an Enquiry into the Justice of their taking Arms, and the Reasonableness of their being Oppress’d for Matters of Conscience.

That the Christian Religion does no way justify the oppression of the Conscience, we who call ourselves Protestants generally grant; but how far those Oppressions justify the Subject in defending themselves, is a point so hotly debated, that in this Paper, wherein I carefully avoid the Strife of Parties, I shall not enter into the Dispute.

Besides, as I have frequently Ingag’d in the Argument on other occasions, I think ’tis needless to Examine a Case, here, which ought to take up a whole Volume by it self. Continue reading Tuesday, April 18. 1704.

Saturday, April 15. 1704.

Numb 12.

THE method for raising Men in France for the Land-Service, was the last Instance, of the Absolute Dominion of the King, and a Proof of its being Adapted, and particularly Useful to the promoting the Greatness of his Power and his Conquests abroad.

For the Sea, his Methods are equally Absolute, and as positively Obey’d, when first he Resolv’d to make himself Great at Sea; and if Fame belies not our Politick Managers of that day, receiv’d Helps and Instructions from England for that Purpose; I mean, for Building Ships of War; the Great Defect, which he found almost Insuperable, and an Obstruction which wou’d have Discouraged any Prince in the World but himself, was his want of Sea-men; and so far was he from being in a Condition to Supply himself by Ordinary Methods, that if I am rightly inform’d, upon a most Exact Scrutiny, in all the Ports of his Kingdom, he found, that if all the Ships belonging to his Subjects where wholly laid up, and Trade laid by, all the Seamen in his Dominions would not Man his Navy; that is, such a Navy as he then had designed to Build.

Measures were then immediately taken to Increase the Number of Seamen, and the Building of his Ships went on with the usual Success of all his Undertakings: The first Method for Encrease of Sea-men, was to Compel every Merchant’s Ship, Fishing-Boat and other Vessel in his Kingdom, to take on Board, over and above their usual Compliment, so many Men on the King’s Account, to whom the King allow’d Certain Wages, and the Merchant or Master, Victuals and Drink. This Project being begun in a Time of Peace, when France was full of Men; the Men crowded on Board the Vessels as a Favour, Happy was he could get to be Nam’d; and thus in 7 Years time, the King made above 20000 Sailors; by this time his Ships Encreas’d, and he always kept a Squadron at Sea, let there be Occasion or no; and if he had no Service ready, he often thought fit to make little Sea-Wars, to introduce his Men, to shew them some Action, and raise the Credit of his Sea Affairs: Such was the two or three Bombardments of Algiers, and one at Genoa, Convoys to Constantinople, Insulting Tunis, and the like; this was about the Year 1678, when these Additions were made, and his Sea-men from that time began so to Encrease, that in the Year ’91“the Year 91” in HRC 1 and HRC 2. In Secord there is what appears to be a vaguely visible apostrophe before “91,” but it is impossible to discern whether this is a correction or a happily placed stray mark on the page., we found them able to Man a Fleet of 80 Sail in the Line of Battle, and [62] Challenge both English and Dutch, to an Engagement at our own doors.

The next Article of Absolute Power, is the raising of Money; What may not that Monarch do, who has the Bodies of the Poor, the Purses of the Rich, and the Hands of his Nobility at his Absolute Command?

We find the Revenues of France, tho’ vastly Great, not equal to the more vast Designs of this Growing Monarch; we find, that at a Time, when we all thought he had enough to do, to find Money to Defray his prodigious Expences, he yet undertook the Regulation and Support of the Needy Craving Monarchy of Spain; but when it comes to the Test, we find also, if it be in the Nation, he will never want it. If half the Stories we have been told, of the Poverty, Ruin, Depopulation, &c. of France, were true, how could it be possible the King cou’d raise such immense Summs Yearly, and almost every Year Increasing, as we find he does. Continue reading Saturday, April 15. 1704.

Saturday, April 1. 1704.

Numb. 8.The main title changes to A REVIEW OF THE Affairs of FRANCE with the publication of Numb. 8. The subtitle continues to read: Purg’d from the Errors and Partiality of News-Writers and Petty-Statesmen, of all Sides. The title retains this wording through the end of the first volume, closing with Numb. 102, published February 24, 1705. The Review changes titles again with the publication of Vol. 2, Numb. 1, on February 27, 1705. At that point the main title remains the same, but the subtitle becomes With some Observations on TRANSACTIONS at Home, a reflection of the Review’s trend towards domestic topics.

OUR last broke off at the Beginning of the March of the Germans, who encamp’d the first Night 22 Miles from the French Army, and making but a short stop, continued advancing for three days together, without halting or refreshing their Men.

The Duke de Vendosme immediately address’d himself to follow them, and with his usual Expedition was in full March with 18000 Men the next day by Noon; and this must pass with Men of Judgment for very great Dispatch.

We need not trouble the World with the History of this March, which is to be found in Our Gazetts, and will, no doubt, be transmitted to Posterity in all the Histories of the Times, as the greatest Action of the Age, How 16000 Men with their Cannon and Carriages, with a more numerous Army at their Heels, march’d in the Depth of Winter, in a wet rainy Season, thro’ a deep dirty and almost impassable Country, where in many Places they were fain to draw their Cannon by strength of hand, compass’d about with Enemies, Garrisons, and several strong Bodies posted in their Front, at all the Passes and Places of Advantage.

Thro’ all these Difficulties and Hazards they mov’d on with incredible and unparallel’d Expedition; and had it not been for the Breaking of a Bridge at passing the Bornia, they had never so much as been fought with in their Way. The Brush they had there was inconsiderable, and no way impeded their March; Till at last having travers’d the Cremonese and Milanese, and march’d above 200 Miles, they join’d the Duke of Savoy’s Forces on the Frontiers, brought with them 1500 Prisoners, and Hostages for three Millions in Contributions. Continue reading Saturday, April 1. 1704.

Saturday, March 18. 1704.

Numb. 5.


IT is not for want of Matter wherewith to Entertain the World, that this Paper is thus reduc’d from a whole to half a Sheet, the vast Extent of the Subject we have Entred upon, rather gives us Cause to fear Life will hardly Extend to Finish the Undertaking, and at the slow Rate of now and then a Paper, this Age will hardly come to the End of the History.

But the Necessities of Trade, not Improperly call’d the Iniquity of the Times, compel us to this Alteration, the Publishers of this Paper honestly Declaring, that while they make it a whole Sheet they get nothing by it; and tho’ the Author is very Free to give the World his Labour for God’s sake, they don’t find it for their Convenience to give their Paper and Print away.

But this is not all, the common Sellers of News, from the unusual Size, and general Success of this Paper, took Occasion to Impose upon the World and Sell it for Two Pence; which; which as it was raising a Tax without a Legal Power was thought Scandalous by the Club, and accordingly is thus effectually suppress’d.

And to convince the World, these are the true Reasons, they will find, That we have by the help of a smaller Print, and a larger Page, taken Care to put as much into this half Sheet as was in the former, and so the whole of the Matter is only the Injury done to the Eye-sight, in obliging the Gentlemen to read it in a smaller Character; and if we find the Subject grow too fast upon us, we shall help it by bringing the Paper out twice a Week.At this point in the Review the print shrinks, the layout shifts from single column to two columns, and the move from printing a full sheet to a half sheet reduces the pages from eight to four. All of these moves, as Defoe mentions in the first paragraphs of this number, were in response to booksellers charging two pennies for the paper because of its larger than usual size. Continue reading Saturday, March 18. 1704.