England in the Mediterranean: A Study of the Rise and Influence of British Power within the Straits 1603-1713 - Vol. 2

By Julian S. Corbett | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXIV
TANGIER AND THE POPISH PLOT

LIKE the other treaties by which the powers had sought to curb the career of Louis, that of Nymwegen proved but a mere breathing place in his advance. Much as he had gained, it served only to whet his appetite and increase his confidence. With his army triumphant and unexhausted, his wealth increasing, and a navy that had just given signs of maturity, he was not likely to rest content, and least of all in the Mediterranean, where the promise was highest and the failure most marked. The pressure that had forced peace upon him had been irresistible, but in peace he knew how to work for his ends as well as in war. To oust the English from Tangier was still one of those ends.

How far his hand was in it we cannot tell, but it is certain that no sooner was the treaty of Nymwegen signed than a new and insidious form of attack upon the place began to make itself felt. There is no direct evidence that it was Louis's work; but, seeing what the condition of affairs was, it is impossible to believe that it had not at least his countenance. Since he had lost his hold on Charles, he had allied himself with the Anglican opposition. Indeed it was they who had forced him to make the peace, and it was still by secret influence in English political circles that he was trying to keep the British power out of his path. At the moment the situation was dominated by the notorious papist scare. The terror,

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