Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/465

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that could be done to keep him down, his influence and fame had been almost constantly rising and spreading. The most important and arduous enterprise in the history of modern Europe had been planned and conducted to a prosperous termination by him alone. The most extensive coalition that the world had seen for ages had been formed by him, and would be instantly dissolved if his superintending care were withdrawn. He had gained two kingdoms by statecraft, and a third by conquest; and he was still maintaining himself in the possession of all three in spite of both foreign and domestic foes. That these things had been effected by a poor creature, a man of the most ordinary capacity, was an assertion which might easily find credence among the nonjuring parsons who congregated at Sam's Coffee-house, but which moved the laughter of the veteran politicians of Versailles.

While Middleton was in vain trying to convince the French that William was a greatly overrated man, William, who did full justice to Middleton's merit, felt much uneasiness at learning that the Court of Saint Germains had called in the help of so able a counsellor.[440] But this was only one of a thousand causes of anxiety which during that spring pressed on the King's mind. He was preparing for the opening of the campaign, imploring his allies to be early in the field, rousing the sluggish, haggling with the greedy, making up quarrels, adjusting points of precedence. He had to prevail on the Cabinet of Vienna to send timely succours into Piedmont. He had to keep a vigilant eye on those Northern potentates who were trying to form a third party in Europe. He had to act as tutor to the Elector of Bavaria in the Netherlands. He had to provide for the defence of Liege, a matter which the authorities of Liege coolly declared to be not at all their business, but the business of England and Holland. He had to prevent the House of Brunswick Wolfenbuttel from going to blows with the House of Brunswick