Letter of the Roman emperor Leopold I to the English king Jacob II

“Leopold, Grace of God, and so forth.
We received the letters of your Majesty from Saint Jermain of 6 last February handed to us by the count Karlinford, your envoy at court ours: from which we learned a state to which your Majesty it is brought that you, on the arrival of prince Oransky to England, were left by your army, your court and even those to whom you most trusted, and almost all your citizens, were forced, for own safety, to be removed and look for a shelter and protection in France and that you demand our help for return of the Kingdom to you. We assure your Majesty that as soon as we heard about such cruel turnover of affairs, were struck not only the general feeling of human participation corresponding to that sincere attachment which we always to you had. We warmly regret that, at last, there was that that our own regrettable thoughts foretold to us long ago, though we expected the best. If whether your Majesty to our friend advice which we offered you through our envoy count Kaunits, that deceptive suggestions of French tended only to that, feeding continuous disagreement between you and your people to get more udobnost to do safely attacks on other Christian areas; if your Majesty by force and the power put a barrier to numerous violations of the world in which you, according to the Nimvegensky treatise, were the main guarantor, and for this purpose if you entered a meeting with us, and other powers, it is as much fair about these affairs conceiving; – that we are absolutely sure that this means you would calm thoughts of your people which are only already offended by adoption of our (Catholic) religion by you very much, and the general silence as in your Kingdoms, and here in the Roman Empire, it would not be broken. But now, we on own judgment of your Majesty give whether we are able to give you any help: we not only wage war with Turks, but in the most this time we see unfair and barbarous attack of French on us who, including themselves safe from England, undertook it contrary to all contracts and peace treatises. We should not hide at this case from you that the greatest harm done to our (Catholic) religion came not from another whom, but from French who not only esteem themselves the perfidious alliances having the right to conclude with irreconcilable enemies of a cross of the Saint tending to our destruction and all Christianity only to hold the feats undertaken by us for glorification of the God’s name, and to stop progress with which God topped it hitherto but also in the Empire continuous perfidies and unfaithfulness make. The imperial cities ceded to them on the known conditions, the crown prince of signed are exhausted by unreasonable taxes; after exhaustion are robbed, after a robbery are burned and are completely ruined. Princely palaces which and even at the most devastating wars were kept at any time are burned to the basis now. Churches are plundered also the inhabitants who obeyed them brought in the most barbarous way out of the places as slaves. In a word, French find pleasure and the entertainment in making everyones fury and cruelty, especially in Catholic lands, surpassing cruelty of Turks (It is surprising that such property, so to speak, natural all nation, and only known did not prevent hitherto to recognize French as the people who are the most educated in Europe. This question is resolved by the fact that the French writers turn all actions of the people and the government, eulogize or hide that French seized education of children in all almost the countries of the firm earth of Europe; that from that nobody, except the French books, reads others, and at last, as the most those books are chosen these teachers such which are least thorough, and are written only for deception or for an entertainment). Such actions force us to protect themselves and the sacred Roman Empire, all possible means, both from French, and from Turks. We expect from your justice of consent that not continuation of just war which we try to gain safety, any treatises hitherto not reached and that we in these measures of protection united to all those which the advantage evenly with us demands that depends on us. It is necessary to ask to us to arrange God everything to the glory and to give to your Majesty in your current great disaster true and strong consolation”.
Vienna. April 9, 1689.
(The Harleian Miscellany, vol. 1, pag. 18)

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