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well, ceded to the English, and which, as we have already seen, was sold back to the French during the reign of Charles II. Along with Dunkirk, the Spaniards were deprived of several of their strongest towns in Flanders, and, mortified by their losses, concluded, in the year 1659, the celebrated treaty of the Pyrenees.

The principal article of this treaty, besides the cession of several towns on both sides, was, that Louis XIV. should marry the infanta of Spainwith a portion of two millions five hundred thousand livres-in consideration of which, that princess should renounce all rights which she might eventually have to the crown of Spain.

Thus the war was ended in the south of Europe by the treaty of the Pyrenees, and peace was restored to the North in the year following, by the treaty of Oliva.

About this time Christina, queen of Sweden, the daughter of the great Gustavus Adolphus, attracted the attention of all Europe by her voluntary retirement from the cares of government, at the age of twenty-seven. Christina was fond of literature and the fine arts, and to that passion she sacrificed both her crown and her religion. The court of Sweden, while she reigned, instead of statesman and politicians, was filled with philosophers and learned men: the cares of government were neglected. She spent her whole time in literary conversations, in the study of the learned languages, or in her cabinet of medals, statues, and pictures. It was not extraordinary that a woman of this disposition should wish to retire from the cares of government, that she

might dedicate her whole time to her favourite studies.

The States of Sweden solicited her to marry Charles Gustavus, her cousin. She declined the proposal; but gratified the inclinations of the kingdom by naming him for her successor, and, at a solemn assembly of the States, in the year 1654, she made a formal resignation of the government in his favour. She set out immediately, in man's apparel, for Rome; but soon after left that city for Paris, which she ever afterwards distinguished as her principal place of residence. The conduct of this singular woman has heen variously judged of: she herself thought it glorious-and her panegyrist Voltaire holds it forth as much to her honour-that she preferred living with men who could think, to the government of a people without literature. But how much nobler would it have been for this philosophic queen to have bestowed her attention on the introduction among her subjects of those sciences which tend to the good of mankind! was an argument of a little soul, to reproach those with ignorance, or barbarism, whom it should have been her study, as it was her duty, to have cultivated and improved. It was not, therefore, surprising that a woman, whose conduct was evidently regulated more by caprice than by a sound understanding, should repent of the step she had taken, and wish to resume that government she had abdicated. Upon the death of her cousin Charles X., she solicited the government from the States of Sweden, without success; and, mortified with the disappointment, she went back


to Rome, where she died in the year 1689. The example of Christina, it would appear, had been contagious; for a very short time after her resignation, John Casimir, king of Poland, abdicated his throne, and retired to the Abbey of St. Germain, near Paris, where he passed the remainder of his days; but the conduct of Casimir was more justifiable than that of Christina: he was of a weak constitution, and far advanced in life. He had been educated a churchman and a man of letters, and though naturally disinclined to the cares of royalty, he sustained the dignity of his kingdom during a pretty long reign, both as an able legislator and as a warrior. He shook off the burden only when age and want of health unfitted him to support it with honour and advantage.

Meantime Louis XIV. began to display some proofs of a genius which, till now, from the circumstance of a very faulty education, had lain entirely concealed. Mazarin had died in the year 1661, with the honour of having brought about the peace of Westphalia and the treaty of the Pyrenees; and Lewis, whom he had hitherto led about as a child, assumed himself the reins of government. He had borne the yoke of Mazarin with great impatience, and, in some instances, had shown that impetuosity of temper which strongly characterised his disposition. Upon occasion of a meeting of the parliament of Paris, where some of the royal edicts were called in question, Lewis, then a boy of sixteen years of age, entered the hall of parliament in boots, with a whip in his hand; and, confident of the


of an absolute prince, told them, with an air of high authority, that he was acquainted with the audacity of their procedure, and would take care to restrain them within the bounds of their just prerogatives. Upon the death of Mazarin, the first acts of the administration of Louis were rather violent than politic. An idle dispute about pre. cedency had happened in London between the Spanish and French ambassadors. Lewis immediately ordered the Spanish ambassador at Paris to quit the kingdom, and recalled his own from the court of Spain. Philip IV. was threatened with a renewal of the war, unless a proper submission should be made, and an acknowledgment of the precedency of France, to which that monarch was obliged to consent. A similar affront offered to the French ambassador at Rome was followed by a yet more humiliating satisfaction. The pope was obliged to beg pardon by his legate, and a pillar was erected at Rome to perpetuate the affront and the reparation.

It must be acknowledged that there was something very great and noble in the extent and variety of those measures which Louis pursued for the aggrandisement, the splendour, and the real advantage of his kingdom. He purchased Dunkirk from the English, and strengthened it with immense fortifications. At one and the same time he despatched an army to the aid of the Emperor Leopold against the Turks; another to the assistance of the king of Portugal against Spain; and a fleet to the aid of the Dutch against the English. Charles II., for the gratification of his people, had undertaken this war against the Dutch,

which, after it had been for some time prosecuted with no advantage to the nation, oppressed, at that time, with the dreadful calamity of the fire of London and the miseries of the plague, was concluded by the peace of Breda, in the year 1667.

From the time of Henry IV. the finances of France had been in a very ruinous condition. The abilities of the great financier Colbert now put matters upon a better footing. He granted protections to trade, established free ports, founded an East India Company, and set on foot a variety of useful manufactures in the kingdom. He reduced the interest of money to five per cent. With the assistance afforded him by this able minister, Lewis XIV. was in a condition to undertake a great variety of the most splendid and beneficial projects. The construction of the canal of Languedoc, which joins the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean; the paving of the principal cities throughout the kingdom; the establishment of a regular internal police; the foundation of the Academy of Belles Lettres and Inscriptions, as well as the Academy of Sciences, are all illustrious monuments of the genius and abilities of Lewis XIV.

Philip IV., king of Spain, died in the year 1665, and Lewis (though by the treaty of the Pyrenees he had renounced all claim to any part of the Spanish dominions in the right of his wife) now formed a design of seizing Flanders and Franche-Comté. The pretence was, that the money which was stipulated as the queen's portion had never been paid. He made his claim in due form, which was rejected by the queen-regent of



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