Letter from the Roman Emperor Leopold I to King James II of England

Kaiser Leopold1
Kaiser Leopold1

“Leopold, the grace of God,” and so on.

We received Your Majesty’s letters from Sengermain from 6 last February, handed over to us by the Count of Carlinford, your messenger to our court: We have learned from them the state in which Your Majesty has been brought, that you, upon the arrival of the Prince of Orange in England, having been left by your army, your courtiers and even those whom you trusted most, and almost all your subjects, have been forced, for your own safety, to leave and seek refuge and protection in France, and that you are demanding our allowance to return the Kingdom to you. We assure Your Majesty that, as soon as we heard of this brutal turn of events, we were struck not only by the general feeling of humanity, corresponding to the sincere attachment we have always had to you. We sincerely regret that at last the same thing happened that our own unfortunate thoughts foretolded to us long ago, though we expected better. If Your Majesty were to offer our friendly advice to you through our messenger, Count Kaunitz, that the deceitful suggestions of the French were to cling only to the fact that, nourishing the unbroken discord between you and your people, it would be more convenient to make safe attacks on other Christian areas; if Your Majesty had by force and power placed an obstacle to their numerous breaches of the world in which you, according to the Nimwegen treatise, were the chief guarantor, and if you had entered into a meeting with us, and with the other Powers, as much rightly thinking about these matters; – we are quite sure that by this means you would have calmed down the thoughts of your people, who have already been insulted by your acceptance of our (Catholic) religion, and the general silence, both in your Kingdoms and here in the Roman Empire, would not have been broken. But now, on Your Majesty’s own judgment, we are judging whether we are able to give You any help: we are not only at war with the Turks, but at this very time we are seeing an unjust and barbaric attack on us by the French, who, considering themselves safe from England, undertook it against all treaties and peaceful treatises. We must not hide from you that the greatest harm done to our (Catholic) religion came not from another person, but from the French themselves, who not only honor themselves in the right to make treacherous alliances with the irreconcilable enemies of the Holy Cross, Those who worship the destruction of our and all of Christianity, so that they can only hold on to the exploits we have undertaken to glorify the name of God, and stop the progress that the Most High has made up to now, but also within the Empire itself, uninterrupted treachery and treachery. The imperial cities, ceded to them on known terms by the Crown Prince himself, are exhausted by exorbitant taxes; they are robbed, robbed, burnt and finally ruined. The princely palaces, which at any time and even during the most devastating wars were preserved, are now burned to the ground. Churches were plundered and the inhabitants who submitted to them were taken out of their places like captives in the most barbaric way. In short, the French find it pleasing and amusing to produce all kinds of rage and cruelty, especially in the Catholic lands, surpassing the cruelties of the Turks themselves (It is amazing what is a property, so to speak, natural to the whole nation, and only known has not prevented the French until now to recognize the most enlightened people in Europe. This question is solved by the fact that the French writers all the actions of their people and governments transform, pry or hide that the French have mastered the upbringing of children in all almost all the countries of the solid land of Europe, that no one else, except for the French books, does not read, and finally, that the same books are chosen by the same teachers such, which are the least thorough, and written only for deception or fun). Such actions must force us to defend ourselves and the sacred Roman Empire by all means possible, not less from the French than from the Turks. We expect from the justice of your agreement that it is not up to us to continue the righteous war, by which we are trying to acquire security, no treatise hitherto unattainable, and that we in these measures of protection have joined with all those who benefit equally with us it requires. It remains for us to pray to God to govern everything to our glory, and may He give Your Majesty a true and firm consolation in Your great misery today.

Vienna. April 9, 1689.

The text is reproduced from the following edition: Letter of the Roman Emperor Leopold I to the English King James II // Son of the Fatherland, Part 6. № 23. 1813

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