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He backwardness, with respect to publication,
which the heavy business of the late entensive war, and its succeeding consequences, occasioned, excited us to make a vigorous, and, as we hoped, decisive effort, for the recovery of our former situation in point of time. This was no less than to throw the whole business of two succeeding years into one volune; paying little regard to our own trouble, when put in competition with our engagements to the Public, the spirit of the undertaking, and the utility of the performance.
This experiment (for it was no more, and is not to be repeated) has by no means answered our expectation with respect to the saving or gaining of time. We have found the double work exceedingly heavy; and the business in its amount went far beyond our calculation. The critical circumstances, the extraordinary claims, and the alarming change in conne&tions and policy, which appeared, within that period to be taking place in Europe, presented an aspect not a little ominous to its repose; and necessarily rendered our foreign history an object of much care, consideration, enquiry, and research. And however important foreign affairs were, our domestic concerns were not less so ; and were still more interesting to Englishmen.
Within the period of which we treat, one parliament had been suddenly diffolved, a new one speedily called,
P R E FACE.
and we had the history of three seflons, filled with the molt interesting matter, to recount. In that time, befides the change of one administration, and the appointment of another (measures which in both cases were attended with new and extraordinary circumstances) an unexpected and fignal revolution took place in the state of parties, interests, and public opinions, throughout the kingdom. In this course of things, some new, and many great constitutional questions were agitated.
The complex and intricate state of East India affairs and the long course of enquiry which they produced, were not the least difficult or arduous parts of our task, In treating this subject, we were pledged, and indeed necessarily bound, to take a retrospective view of the proceedings in parliament relative to the Company, from the time that the Secret and the Select Indian Committees were appointed by the House of Commons in the year 1781, to the period which comes properly within the line of our narrative,
Whatever other effect our new experiment may produce, it will at least afford a proof of our disinterested. ness, and a testimony of the high sense which we entertain of our obligations to the Public: Our publisher having liberally facrificed his own emolument in giving the double volume without any additional expence, and we having, no less chearfully, bestowed our labour and time for the same purpose.
ANNUAL REGISTER, For the YEARS, 1984 and 5.
HIS TO RY
E U R O P E.
CH A P. I.
Retrospective view of the general affairs of Europe for the year 1980.
Emperor. Great fchemes of reform and regulation. Some general obfervations on them Decree for extending the liberty of the press. Decree in favour of the Jews. Ordinances Atriking at the authority of the court of Rome. Oftensible causes, and political motives, for the Emperor's journey to the Low Countries in the year 1781. Il consequences of the war in which Hollandwas engaged, and of the new political System adopted by that Republic. Refumption of the Dutch Barrier among the principal objects of the Emperor's journey. Observations on that meajure. Barrier resigned, and the fortresses dismantled. Alarm occafioned thereby in Holland. Great beneficis derived by the Austrian Netherlands, from becoming the medium of British Commerce, in consequence of the war between the maritime powers. Sudden rise of Ostend to commercial ima portance through the same cause. Great favours conferred by the Emperor upon the city and people of Oftend. Declares the port free; orders a bafors to be constructed; grants ground for building to foreign settlers ; and places of public worship to the Proteftant. Emperor examines the obstructions to the navigation of the Scheldt, and visits Holland. Returns to Vienna, Various wife and humane regulations adopted in the course of the years 1781 and 1782. Enlargement of religious liberty 10 the Protestants--of civil liberty to the peasants of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, and Austrian Poland, who are discharged from their ancient Navery to the lords. Free exercise of their religion, with other advantages, granted by the Elector of VOL. XXVII,
Saxony Saxony to the Roman Catholics in his dominions. Inquisition abolifbed by the Grand Duke of Iufcany. Univerjiriis , rtformed by the Emperor. Allots schools for the education of soldiers children. Measures for rendering the city of Trieste a grent commercial Emporium. Emperor lends four millions of florins to the merchants of that city. Suppreljion of religious houles in the iluftrian dominions. Ecclefiaftics in t?e sufirian Netherlands discharged from all foreign jurisdiction. Imperial refcript, disclaiming oll fubördination, in jicular affuirs, to th: Holy See. Super lli.n of religius horses in the Duchy of Milan. Alarm at home. Correspondence betwien 1h. Pope and the Emperor. Journey of the Sovereign Pont, Pins the Sixth from Rome to Vienna. Received with great honours by the Emperor and Court; but fails in the objects of his journey. Rearns to Rome. Reform of the religious orders continued; and extended to the Hierarchy, and fecular Clergy, as well as to the Regulars. Commission for administering the Pequeftered estates; the produce distined to public purposes. Observations and ftritiures of foreigners on fume of theje iransactions,
HILE the four great mari- signs fo fpeedily, as not only, if
time powers of Europe were he should himself be cut oit, to exhaufting their firength and sacri- place them out of the reach of future ficing their subjects in that war, to contingencies, but to obtain a prowhich the revolt of the British co. bability, if he lived, of participating Jonies in America gave rise, and in the benefits he intended for bis which in its progress spread such country. He was accordingly indelo'ation through both the Old ceffantly occupied in framing, adoptand the New world, the emperor ing, examining or carrying into of Germany was more happily ein- execution, numberlefs projects of ployed, in cultivating the arts of regulation and improvement, of peace, in the improvement of his lels or greater iniportance, but inwidely extended dominions, and in cluding fome of such magnitude, enablishing upon ture and perma- as went to the effential reform of nent foundations the power, and the first departments of the fiate and confcquently the fecurity, of his government, whether ecclefiattical, empire.
civil, or military. This talk, fufliIn the laudable pursuit of these ciently arduous in itself, was renobjects, lie was not contented with dered ftill more difficult by the naadhering to the beaten tracks ture of his dominions, compos d as marked out by others, or of waiting they are of separate kingdoms, and the distant effect of flow and pro- a number of distinct provinces, obgressive schemes of improvement. tained by different means, and at The fertile and active mind of this different periods, subject to their prince, embracing at once a mul
own p'culiar forms of
government, tilude of objects, would carry every and still retaining many of their thing dire@ly to that ultimate point original rights and inftitutions. of perfection which it held con- It w uld bave been contrary to all ftanıly in view : as if ruminating experience, and consequently to huon the shortness of human life, he man nature itself, (of which expehad determined to eliablith his de rience is oar only evidence) if luch,,