Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/494

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once make up his mind to what was so disagreeable to him. He however opened a negotiation with the States General through the intervention of Sweden and Denmark, and sent a confidential emissary to confer in secret at Brussels with Dykvelt, who possessed the entire confidence of William. There was much discussion about matters of secondary importance; but the great question remained unsettled. The French agent used, in private conversation, expressions plainly implying that the government which he represented was prepared to recognise William and Mary; but no formal assurance could be obtained from him. Just at the same time the King of Denmark informed the allies that he was endeavouring to prevail on France not to insist on the restoration of James as an indispensable condition of peace, but did not say that his endeavours had as yet been successful. Meanwhile Avaux, who was now Ambassador at Stockholm, informed the King of Sweden, that, as the dignity of all crowned heads had been outraged in the person of James, the Most Christian King felt assured that not only neutral powers, but even the Emperor, would try to find some expedient which might remove so grave a cause of quarrel. The expedient at which Avaux hinted doubtless was that James should waive his rights, and that the Prince of Wales should be sent to England, bred a Protestant, adopted by William and Mary, and declared their heir. To such an arrangement William would probably have had no personal objection. But we may be assured that he never would have consented to make it a condition of peace with France. Who should reign in England was a question to be decided by England alone.[469]

It might well be suspected that a negotiation conducted in this manner was merely meant to divide the confederates. William understood the whole importance of the conjuncture. He had not, it may be, the eye of a great captain for all the turns of a battle. But he had, in the highest perfection, the eye of a great statesman for all the turns of a war. That France