THE EVACUATION OF TANGIER
LOUIS had won an incalculable victory. At last he had succeeded in sowing irremediable dissension between Charles and his Parliament. He had neutralised the only factor in the European situation that was beyond his strength, and the master of the seas was once more forced into the position of his pensioner, with no hope of escape. Charles, it is true, had finally triumphed in his ill-starred attempt to dominate the constitution, but it was at the cost of his position in Europe--the position which had been the one lofty sentiment of his life. On every side Louis was ready to pursue his career. In the Mediterranean he had never been better placed. The Languedoc canal was finished, and in the summer of 1681 it was opened with high festivity, while at Toulon Vauban had been at work doubling the capabilities and strength of the port and arsenal, and Du Quesne, ranging the Mediterranean with a formidable squadron, was at last asserting a real mastery over the Barbary corsairs. It was a moment of all others when Tangier should have reached the position that had so long been sought for it, and which, at the expense of so much blood and treasure, it had nearly attained.
For a couple of years longer it lay undisturbed under the governorship of Kirke, who succeeded Sackville. His relations with Fez, though salted with constant