Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/347

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British Catholics. He permitted prayers for the good cause to be read in the English College at Rome; but he insisted that those prayers should be drawn up in general terms, and that no name should be mentioned. It was in vain that the ministers of the Houses of Stuart and Bourbon adjured him to take a more decided course. "God knows," he exclaimed on one occasion, "that I would gladly shed my blood to restore the King of England. But what can I do? If I stir, I am told that I am favouring the French, and helping them to set up an universal monarchy. I am not like the old Popes. Kings will not listen to me as they listened to my predecessors. There is no religion now, nothing but wicked, worldly policy. The Prince of Orange is master. He governs us all. He has got such a hold on the Emperor and on the King of Spain that neither of them dares to displease him. God help us! He alone can help us." And, as the old man spoke, he beat the table with his hand in an agony of impotent grief and indignation.[295]

To keep the German princes steady was no easy task; but it was accomplished. Money was distributed among them, much less indeed than they asked, but much more than they had any decent pretence for asking. With the Elector of Saxony a composition was made. He had, together with a strong appetite for subsidies, a great desire to be a member of the most select and illustrious orders of knighthood. It seems that, instead of the four hundred thousand rixdollars which he had demanded, he consented to accept one hundred thousand and the Garter.[296] His prime minister Schoening, the most covetous and perfidious of mankind, was secured by a pension.[297]