Front Page Titles (by Subject) Number XXXII.: The Letter of Monsieur D'Argenson to Mynheer Van Hoey, and that of the Mynheer to the Duke of Newcastle, paraphrased. - The Independent Whig, vol. 4 (1747)
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Number XXXII.: The Letter of Monsieur D’Argenson to Mynheer Van Hoey, and that of the Mynheer to the Duke of Newcastle, paraphrased. - Thomas Gordon, The Independent Whig, vol. 4 (1747) 
The Independent Whig. Being a Collection of Papers All written, some of them published During the Late Rebellion (London: J. Peele, 1747). Vol. 4.
Part of: The Independent Whig, 4 vols.
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The Letter of Monsieur D’Argenson to Mynheer Van Hoey, and that of the Mynheer to the Duke of Newcastle, paraphrased.
THERE can never be too much Justice done by Englishmen, to the Person and late Performance of that wonderful Statesman and Patriot to his Country, Mynheer Van Hoey. Sure I am, that the following Paraphrase will appear a just Representation of the French Minister’s Letter to him; such a Letter as no Minister but a French Minister could have written; nor even a French Minister have ventured to have written to any foreign Minister, but Mynheer Van Hoey. The French Letter is indeed truly French, a complete Specimen of French Insolence and French Pedantry, and hath not its Fellow in History, nor even amongst the Epistolæ Obscurorum Virorum.
Monsieur D’Argenson’s Letter to Mynheer, or rather Monsieur, Van Hoey, in genuine English.
THE King has commanded me to write to you, as the only proper Neutral Minister, either capable or willing to oblige his Majesty upon so nice and unheard of a Trial. Indeed his Majesty does not consider your Excellency as a Neutral Ambassador, but rather as a Natural Advocate for him and his Interest.
Every body knows, Monsieur, at least you do, that the young Pretender is the King’s Cousin, though the English Nation allow his Father to be Nobody’s Cousin, as his real Parents were unknown, and his pretended Parents were Outlaws. Now as the English Troops have gained some Advantage over him, by destroying many Thousands of his invincible Followers, and routing them all, at the desperate Expence of near Fifty killed on the other Side, this young Prince, who had the true Courage to despise Danger so much as never to appear in it, is by it intitled to the Favour of all Powers who can esteem him for it, especially to the Favour of the King of England, whom he only strove to dethrone. Moreover, the brave English Nation cannot but shew high Affection to that wandering Prince their Countryman, whom they do not own, one so personally mild as to fight with no Man that would fight with Him; one who advanced so daringly whilst there was no Opposition, and so tenderly shunned the Sight of Blood.
These,Monsieur, are unanswerable Reasons for Mercy, and even for Generosity towards this harmless brave young Prince, especially from the King of Great Britain, who had nothing to fear from him but the Loss of his Life and Crown, with the Liberties, Wealth and Blood of his Subjects. The same powerful Arguments must have equal Force in procuring Pardon to the Adherents of the said young Prince, as they did no more than rebel, and only endeavoured to overthrow a naughty Constitution, and to spoil and subdue English Republicans, for the Service of France their good Friend and Ally.
It was therefore but natural in them, and their Duty, to follow the said young Prince’s Standard, set up by France. That young Prince has to urge in his own Behalf, that when the Duke of Cumberland attacked and overturned that Standard, the above brave Prince never once appeared to support it, but behaving like his genuine Ancestors, and yielding to his and their great Complaisance and Humanity, hastened with Horror from the Uproar of Slaughter and a bloody Field. What though his Followers broke the Laws and desied their Sovereign and the Living God? It was all done in a Time of Confusion, which they themselves had raised: It is therefore reasonably hoped, that these poor Rebels, the more to be pitied for being implacable, will be subjected to no Prosecution or Rigour.
The King desires you, Monsieur, to represent to the English Ministry the great Inconveniency it will be to the French King, if his Cousin be imprisoned and the Rebels hanged; as neither He nor They have done more than was for the Advantage and Glory of that King. If they have forfeited their Lives by the Laws of England, yet his Majesty hopes to find nothing worse than Pardon and Benignity towards them from the King of Great Britain, whom they strove, by the Aid of the French King, to sacrifice to France and Popery. It will be highly generous in his Britannic Majesty, to extend the utmost Lenity to such who attempted to dethrone him, in Justice to a Family which does not exist in the English Annals, but a Family espoused by the French and the Highlanders.
But if, contrary to the Expectation and Interest of France, the said young Prince be laid in Durance, or his worthy Adherents be hanged, it is easy to apprehend that the French King will be angry; that he will do, what he has already done, and is doing daily, even all the Harm he can to the King of England; that if the King of England pretend to hinder him from doing more, and will not so much as pardon his implacable Enemies, the good Emissaries of France, still zealously bent to set France against the King of England; then will the French Forces, during the War, certainly kill all the English, who will let them. It is too certain, Monsieur, that if the English King do not spare the English and Scotch Rebels, raised, animated, and fed by France, it will discourage all Rebels in every Country in Europe, either to serve or to trust France, whenever she has Occasion to raise Rebellion; and will therefore be a bad Example set to all Europe against France. The King of England cannot but know, what a sincere Love the King of France has for the Stuarts; a Family who so long faithfully sacrificed England to France.
No Man, Monsieur, is fitter, no Frenchman is fitter, than yourself, to act this extraordinary Part, for the Honour of France. Your long Partiality to France; your known Zeal for any Peace which may be most for the Honour of France; and your wonderful Talents, so long the Admiration of all Europe, as well as of your own Country, will rouse your uncommon Spirit and Eloquence upon this important French Project.
Your Excellency, Monsieur, must be quick in your Application, else Dungeons, Axes and Halters, will be the immediate Portion of the best Friends that France has in England. Pray let me have your Answer from the English Ministry, that when that awful and profound Genius, the Monarch my Master sees it, he may set his sublime Wit to work, how to wreak more Vengeance upon England* .
In the mean time, Monsieur, he graciously condescends to wish, that the King of England may humbly submit to grant him whatever he desires, and give him particularly this Mark of Submission and Awe.
A Second Letter from that uncommon Genius, Monsieur D’Argenson, to that no less uncommon Minister, Monsieur Van Hoey, directing him how to instruct and terrify the English Ministry, upon another Affair of great Moment to France.
YOU cannot but know, Monsieur, what great and daily Advantages accrue to France from the continual Importation of English Money for French Commodities, Wines, Brandies, Silks, Brocades, Laces, Cambricks, &c. and what essential Detriment the Exportation of English Coin must be to our Enemies the English. His Majesty, who is sensible with what true Pleasure your Excellency must have observed this, commands me to desire you, to acquaint the English Ministry, how sincerely his Majesty interests himself in this Affair. Every body knows, that the Smugglers are his true Friends, and how much his Honour and Profit is concerned to protect their Persons, and to study their Prosperity. Now, as there are certain hard and unreasonable Laws subsisting in England against these his good Friends and Confederates, who only seek their own Advantages in a Trade which they bravely risk their Lives and Fortunes to carry on; and as they are, for such their brave and desperate Behaviour, intitled to the Favour of all brave Men, the King my Master reasonably hopes, that all the said hard Laws against them will be suspended; that a Practice which is only pernicious to the Trade and Interest of England, may not be abolished, or even rendered useless, nor the resolute Followers of it be subjected to the Rigor of Prosecution.
These, Sir, are cogent Reasons to abolish the Laws against Smugglers; to soften the King and Parliament of England in their Favour, and to procure them all Tenderness from the brave English Nation, which they have the Courage to defy and to rob. They do but follow the Impulses of their Wants and Industry, and seek the Glory of being Rich at the Expence of their Country. Whilst they are under such potent Temptations to break the Laws and the Peace, and to terrify and command the Coasts, they are surely intitled to the just Admiration of all Frenchmen, and to the Commiseration and Generosity of all Englishmen. It will be a particular Mark of Generosity in his Britannic Majesty, to shew Lenity to such courageous Offenders, who rob his Revenue, kill his Officers, and spurn his Authority under foot.
But if, contrary to all Expectation, Smugglers be punished, and Smuggling suppressed, then will the King of France be angry and disappointed, and frown, and threaten to hurt England more than he can: And it is a melancholy Truth, Sir, that if Severity be used against English Smugglers, it will discourage Smugglers all over Europe from assisting and inriching France, by hurting and exhausting their own Country.
The King of England cannot but know the sincere Friendship the French King bears to the Smugglers, and to all other English Criminals and Traitors, who have served him so usefully against their Native Country.
You are, Sir, the fittest Man, and the only likely Minister living to exert your singular Parts and Industry, and to display your matchless Eloquence and Piety, upon this great Point, so interesting to France. Your Excellence will please to be quick; else Smuggling may be checked, and Smugglers imprisoned. His Majesty, ever fond of Glory and universal Submission, pants to see your Answer from the English Ministry, that he may be prepared to support his Power by protecting Smugglers and Outlaws, as well as in exciting and employing them for the Honour of his Court and Reign, all over the World. Yet he truly wishes, that the Crown of England may be so courteous and wise, as, for the Honour of France, to spare Smugglers.
I have the Honour to be, with profound Regard, Monsieur, &c.
N.B.It is whispered at Paris pretty confidently, and universally believed there, that Monsieur D’Argenson, thinking nothing too arduous for his Abilities, especially when assisted by those of Mynheer Van Hoey, intends, when he has gained, or rather commanded, his Point for the Rebels and Smugglers, to require a Cessation of the Penal Laws in England against Papists, and then an instant Restoration of Popery.
The incomparable Letter of that inimitable Statesman, Mynheer Van Hoey, to his Grace the Duke of Newcastle.
I HAVE the Honour to transmit to your Excellency, a Letter from Monsieur D’Argenson to me; a Letter containing such a Strain of Politics as none but a refined French Politician could have sent to me; and I am fond of the Writer, and pleased with the Drift of it. It is to apply to the Protestant King of Great Britain, the good Ally of the States General, my Masters, in behalf of the Popish Pretender to his Throne, and of the Pretender’s Adherents, the Rebels; since they have been defeated by the Duke of Cumberland, in their Attempts to dethrone the King his Father, to extinguish the Line of Hanover, and to inslave the English, all by the deep Counsels and Succours of France.
TheFrench Ministers, who have long known me to be their Friend, and treated me differently from all Foreign Ministers whatsoever, as indeed they have found my Behaviour different from that of all other Ministers; have done me the Credit to trust me with what no other Minister would undertake, or be asked to undertake.
They know how long and zealously I have contended, that all Nations should implicitly submit to make Peace with France, because otherwise France would never have done making arbitrary War upon all Nations. They therefore judge me fit to forward the Commands of France to the King of England, for shewing Favour to the young Pretender, because he had the Courage, by the Persuasion and Assistance of France, to attempt to dethrone the King of England; the Courage to submit to go upon that French Exploit, to venture his Person in a single Ship, to seize the Royal Revenue, where-ever he found it unguarded; nay, the Courage to behold the utter Defeat of his Forces, the brave Highlanders, without once heading or rallying them, and to scorn Danger so much as never to appear in it. For the same Reasons, equal Favour is by France expected to the Rebels, who did nothing but by the Assistance and Dictates of France.
These, my Lord, are strong French Arguments why the King of England should favour brave Rebels, prompted by France to destroy him. I wish I had Eloquence to convince all Mankind, that the best Defence against all public Crimes, is to pardon all public Criminals; and that the surest way to secure Princes against Rebellion, is to spare and encourage Rebels.
Indeed different Measures and Maxims prevail in France, where Gallies, Banishment, Dungeons, Racks and Wheels, support the Throne, and awe the Seditious, and are duly exercised even against Opinions and Writings. But it is the Policy and Study of France, that the same Prerogative and Measures should not prevail in England. Monsieur D’Argenson well knows how much it imports the Interest and Safety of France, that your Court should be kept in due Awe by his Court, and return upon it none of its own Measures.
It is for this Reason, my Lord, that Monsieur D’Argenson expects from your Excellency a placid Compliance with this his Demand, and with my Request seconding the same. Here, my Lord, exert your Talents, and exhaust your Persuasion; and then He and I will thank you. You will then be happy in having successfully obliged the French Court; and it is what is expected from the English Ministry.
It is wretched Policy to shed the Blood of those who would shed ours. It will be to the Glory of the King of England’s Clemency, to wink at Treason, and to encourage Traitors, brave unhappy Men, such as the French Council will unwillingly see executed, for their Attachment to France, and for their laudable Efforts to serve France. Consider, my Lord, that Courage is called Virtue, and therefore they were virtuous in rebelling. Can the heroic King of England, can the brave English Nation, blame such Virtue?
Pray, my Lord, behold the young Pretender and his Adherents in this Light. The young Man would have conquered England for the Good of England, dethroned the King out of Humanity, and inslaved the English for their Glory. Such was his harmless Heroism, such his Clemency; if the King of England will duly return his Clemency, it will be acceptable to France.
I own I am rash in thus acquainting your Excellency with what your Excellency knew before. But I am performing a Task very interesting to me, considering from whence it comes. Let these two Kings contend equally together, the King of France in pushing with all his Might to give England another King; and the King of England in submitting to France. May the Former carry all his Views, so salutary to all Europe! And may the Latter be sensible of this, and acquiesce in it! May they both thus earn everlasting Praise, the one in awing all Christendom, and the other for permitting and encouraging him!
I have the Honour to be, &c.
The surprising late Correspondence between the French Ministry and the Dutch Minister Van Hoey, is nothing wonderful. They know Him, though he does not seem to know Them; and his boasted Credit with Them, is, I dare say, intirely conformable to their Opinion of Him: Nor has any Ministry in Europe a different Opinion of him. Sure I am, that the English Ministry have not.
As to Monsieur D’Argenson, he has made himself the just Wonder of all Europe, as he has wisely insinuated to every State in it, that there is but one Sovereign in it; that it depends upon the Pleasure of that one, how far they shall exert their Sovereign Power; and upon his Condescension, whether they shall exert any. Methinks I rejoice to find such a singular Minister at the Head of the French Councils; as I did, a few Years ago, to find that profound Statesman, Broglio, at the Head of the French Armies in Germany; a Statesman so long the diverting Admiration of the English, whilst he had the Honour of representing the French Politicians here, and entertaining the English Court; a Function in which he was not unequally assisted by his Lady, Madame L’Ambassadrice:
The Talents of Monsieur D’Argenson seem to be exactly of a Piece with those of the Bishop of Beauvais, in the Regency of Anne of Austria, the Queen-Mother of France. He was her Almoner, and so much in her good Graces, that at first he was considered as prime Minister, and even gave Audience as such: A Station in which he soon shewed his amazing Qualifications, especially to the Dutch Ambassador, who, upon some particular Application or Memorial from the States-General to the said Bishop, was smartly answered by that deep French Politician, that if the Dutch Nation expected any Assistance or Countenance from France, they must forthwith, and, de bon Cœur, all turn Roman Catholics.
I think the profound Bishop has left at least one genuine Successor in Monsieur D’Argenson, who has lately given an equal Specimen of his equally signal Abilities.
[* ]This bodes something very terrible. I hope he will not send that lively and ingenious Youth, the Dauphin, to meet the Duke of Cumberland in the Field.