Page:15 decisive battles of the world Vol 2 (London).djvu/170

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162
BATTLE OF BLENHEIM.


hero,"* France had the general superiority in every war and in every treaty: and the commencement of the eighteenth century found the last league against her dissolved, all the forces of the confederates against her dispersed, and many disbanded; while France continued armed, with her veteran forces by sea and land increased, and held in readiness to act on all sides, whenever the opportunity should arise for seizing on the great prizes which, from the very beginning of his reign, had never been lost sight of by her king.

This is not the place for any narrative of the first essay which Louis XIV. made of his power in the war of 1667; of his rapid conquest of Flanders and Franche Comte; of the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, which "was nothing more than a composition between the bully and the bullied;"† of his attack on Holland in 1672; of the districts and barrier towns of the Spanish Netherlands which were secured to him by the treaty of Nimeguen in 1678; of how, after this treaty, he "continued to vex both Spain and the Empire, and to extend his conquests in the Low Countries and on the Rhine, both by the pen and the sword; how he took Luxembourg by

  • Bolingbroke, vol. ii. p. 404.

† Ibid. p. 399.