Feb. 18th, 2017

henry_flower: A melancholy wolf (Default)

"He [Charles II] immediately issued a declaration of war against the Dutch; and surely reasons more false and frivolous never were employed to justify a flagrant violation of treaty.

Some complaints are there made of injuries done to the East India Company, which yet that company disavowed: the detention of some English in Surinam is mentioned; though it appears that these persons had voluntarily remained there; the refusal of a Dutch fleet on their own coasts to strike to an English yacht, is much aggravated; and to piece up all these pretensions, some abusive pictures are mentioned, and represented as a ground of quarrel.

The Dutch were long at a loss what to make of this article, till it was discovered that a portrait of Cornelius de Wit, brother to the pensionary, painted by order of certain magistrates of Dort, and hung up in a chamber of the town-house, had given occasion to the complaint. In the perspective of this portrait, the painter had drawn some ships on fire in a harbor. This was construed to be Chatham, where De Wit had really distinguished himself, and had acquired honor; but little did he imagine that, while the insult itself committed in open war, had so long been forgiven, the picture of it should draw such severe vengeance upon his country. [...]

Lewis's [XIV] declaration of war contained more dignity, if undisguised violence and injustice could merit that appellation. He pretended only, that the behavior of the Hollanders had been such, that it did not consist with his glory any longer to bear."


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