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fity, attention and labour, in which the business of the coming year is constantly pressing upon the present, will easily conceive the difficulty of speedily recovering any considerable portion of lost time, even supposing things still to continue in their usual and ordinary course. But in the inAtance we mention, the occasional delay was immediately succeeded by an unexpected and extraordinary accession of business; which has since continually increased, until it has arrived at a magnitude before unknown. Thus the original difficulty was not only rendered insurmountable, but the evil itself became of necessity greater.
If the Annual Register were entirely a compilation, we should have much to answer for any failure in point of time. But the nature of the historical part, does not admit of such precision. It must, in that respect, as in all others, be governed by the importance and magnitude of its ob
. While the state of public affairs continues to render it the principal and most interesting part of our work, we shall run no race against time in its execution. We owe too much to the Public, to make them so bad a return for their favour; we owe too much to ourselves, to forfeit the high reputation in which the work now stands abroad as well as at home. We trust that the readers of our present History, will equally acquit us of remiffness in the execution, and of an undue presumption : on their favour in the delay.
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Retrospective view of the affairs of Europe in the year 1779. State of
the belligerant powers in Germany. Event of the late campaign, ina duces a disposition favourable to the pacific views of the Emprefs-Queen; which are farther seconded by tbe mediation of Russia and France. A fufpenfion of arms published, and the Congress.for negociating a peace afjembles aí Teschen. Treaty of peace concluded. Differences between Rusia and the Porte, threaten a new war. Negotiation conducted, and a new convention concluded, under the mediation of ibe French minifter. Naval preparations by Spain. Opens the war with the frege of Gibraltar. France. Consequences of the appointment of M. Necker to the government of the French finances. Successful expedition to the coast of Africa. Inefeitual attempt upon the island of Jersey. Threat of an invasion, and great preparations apparently for that purpose. French fleet fails from Breft, and proceeds to the coasts of Spain. Combined fleets of France and Spain enter the British channel, and appear in great force before Plymouth. Enemy quit the channel, return again; at length firally quit ehe British coafts, and proceed to Breft, THE little effect produced by if not entirely sufficient to pro
the contention of the great. duce an actual defire of peace on eft leaders, and of the greateit both sides, could not, however, armies in the world, during the fail to induce a kind of languor campaign of 1778, in Bohemia, and wearisomeness, and in lome VOL. XXIII.
considerable degree to wear away extended to all the other states that quick relill, and keen ap- that compose the Germanic body. petite for war, which great and Upon the whole it would almost untried force and talents, acting seem, as if fortune, who had so under the fanguine hopes of yet often wonderfully befriended that unfoiled ambition, are so emi- hero, and whose apparent defernently calculated to excite. tions of him in cases of great
We have heretofore shewn, that danger, (which were no less conthis .was not so much a war of spicuous than her favours) always choice, as of prudence, foresight, tended ultinately to the increase and political necessity, on the side of his fame, was now anxious to of the King of Prussia. He , affix a new stamp to the renown made no claims; he had no im- of her old favourite ; and of clomediate object of enlarging his fing his great military actions by dominions in view ; nor if he had, a war, in which he was to ?pwas the present state of public pear, rather as the generous pro. affairs in any degree favourable tector of the rights and liberties to such a design. Neither his of the Germanic body at large, time of life, his great experience than as adling-at all under the in' war, nor the full knowledge influence of any partial policy. he had of the power and ability On the other side, the past of his adversary, were at all cal- campaign had afforded a full conculated to excite a fpirit of en viction in the emperor, (a prince terprize. On the contrary, the prepared for war beyond almost delire of settling, improving, and any other, by the fine itate of his consolidating with his antient armies, and the refurces of his people and dominions, the new own indefatigable and refolute subjects and acquisitions he had fpirit) of the immense difficulty, gained on the side of Poland, to- · of making any successful impresgether with that itill stronger fion upon such an adversary as wish, of transmitting a peaceable the King of Prusia. With so poflellion, and undiminished force valt a force, and aflisted by such to his successor, were objects confummate commanders, he which tended powerfully to dif- could only act upon the defen
pofe him to the preservation, fo five; and could not prevent his : far as it tould be properly and own dominions from being ren
wisely done, of the public tranqui- dered the theatre, and being conlity.
sequently subjected to all the ca.... But no motives, however co lamities of war.
It was true ingent, could justify to him, in a deed, and no small matter of boast political view, the admitting of in such a conteit, that he had sufany
considerable addition of fered neither defeat nor disgrace ; strength and dominion, to the that the enemy had been obliged power of the house of Austria ; to abandon Bohemia, notwithmore especially, when this addi- ftanding their utinoit endeavours tion was to establim à precedent to establih a focure footing there of innovation and dismemberment, during the winter ; and likewise, which might in time be equally that the losses on both sides were