He is said to have rejoiced privately over Swedish victories, and certainly it was unerring instinct which told him that the great European conflict was no longer religious but dynastic. Anti-Spanish to the core, he became the greatest papal militarist since Julius II.; but Tuscany, Modena and Venice checkmated him in his ambitious attempt to conquer the duchy of Parma.
Charles Emmanuel was now checkmated by France, as he had formerly been by Spain.
A British fleet under Nelson, sent into the Mediterranean in May 1798 primarily for their defence, checkmated the designs of Bonaparte in Egypt, and then, returning to Naples, encouraged that court to adopt a spirited policy.
The issue of a programme so liberal, and notably the inclusion in it of the idea of universal suffrage, entirely checkmated the opposition parties.
There was, for instance, Mendovg (1240-1263), who submitted to baptism for purely political reasons, checkmated the Teutonic Knights by adroitly seeking the protection of the Holy See, and annexed the principality of Plock to his ever-widening grand duchy, which already included Black Russia, and formed a huge wedge extending southwards from Courland, thus separating Poland from Russia.