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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 fupposing things still to continue in their usual and ordinary course. But in the inItance 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
jects. jects. 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 remifsness in the execution, and of an undue presumption on their favour in the delay.
Retrospective view of the affairs of Europe in the year 1779. Stati of
the belligerant powers in Germany. Event of the late campaign, iña duces a difpofition favourable to the pacific views of the Emprefs-Queen; which are farther seconded by the mediation of Russia and France. A fufpenfion of arms published, and the Congress for negociating a peace aljembles aí Tefcben. Treaty of peace concluded. Differences between Ruffia and the Porte, threaten a new war, Negotiation conducted, and a new convention concluded, under the mediation of the French minister. Naval preparations by Spain. Opens the war with the frege of Gibraltar. France. Consequences of the appointment of M. Necker in the government of the French finances. Successful expedition to the coaft of Africa. Ineffettual 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 finally quit ibe 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 greatest 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 como VOL. XXIII.
considerable considerable degree to wear away extended to all the other states that quick relish, 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 ultimately to the increase and political necessity, on the side of his fame, was now anxious to of the King of Pruflia. 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 apwas 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 acting 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 excire a spirit of en- vi&tion in the emperor, (a prince terprize. On the contrary, the prepared for war beyond almost defire of fettling, improving, and any other, by the fine state of his consolidating with his antient armics, and the refources of his people and dominions, the new own indefatigable and resolute subjects and acquilitions he had fpirit) of the immense difficulty, gained on the side of Poland, to- of making any successful impresgether with that still fironger fion upon such an adversary as with, of transmitting a peaceable the King of Pruflia. With so poffeflion, and undiminished force vait a force, and asisted by such to his successor, were objects consummate commanders, he which tended powerfully to dif- could only act upon the defenpose him to the preservation, so sive ; 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 caBut no motives, however co
lantities of war.
It was true ingent, could justify to him, in a deed, and no finall matter of boast political view, the admitting of in such a contest, 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 utmoit endeavours ition was to establish a precedent to establih a secure footing there of innovation and dismemberment, during the winter; and likewise, which might in time be equally
that the lofles on both sides were