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HE year which is the subject of this
volume, is not without interesting events, especially with regard to our internal politics. Among these, the decisions of the parliament, upon a subject of the highest importance to the peace, wealth, and prosperity of the whole British empire, naturally claim the preference. We have therefore been particularly attentive to this part of the work, and have spared no pains to render it as clear and instructive as possible ; at the same time strictly observing that impartiality which we have hitherto professed, and to which we shall always inviolably adhere.
Whilst we bestowed on this part the extraordinary attention which it justly meritted, we have not however been negligent in our relation of the transactions of other parts of Europe ; of these we have given a full, and we hope not an unsatisfactory account, In this volume we have closed our account
of the war in the East Indies ; but have purposely omitted entering into any of the disputes which arose at home, in consequence of the affairs of that company. These disputes, it is true, arose in the year of which we treat; but they were confined to, and within the company itself during the course of that period. They have now a wider extent; are continued on a more conspicuous theatre ; and are become a very great and interesting object. But these difputes, as well as their final determination, if they shall happen to be foon determined, must naturally fall into the accounts of the year now begun, and will be part of the subjeet of our next volume. Upon the whole, we have fpared neither diligence nor labour, and this is all we pretend to, to render this volume worthy of the fame favour with which the former were received.
General aspect of affairs at the beginning of the year. Commotions and
insurrections in various parts of the world. State of Europe. France. Close union of the house of Bourbon fill continues. Protestant System strengthened, by the Prince of Orange's being of age, as well as by the
late marriages. Denmark. Rusña. Germany. Italy. Present apa pearance of things in general pacific, HOUGH the great changes to be an æra of
great revolutions. in the general political fyl- A spirit of liberty, which no time tem have not taken place, which nor oppression can entirely efface the aspect of the times seemed to in the human breast, dawned forih indicate, when we closed the hil- in regions and amongst people, jorical part of our last volume; where, it might have been imaginyèt it will be allowed, that the ed, the term was scarce ever heard, beginning of the year 1766 ap- much less understood. peared to teem with the most in The dissatisfactions which had teresting events, and threatened unhappily fubfifted between Great VOL. IX.
Britain and her colonies, were not appear insurmountable obstacles 1ubsided, when disturbances of a to such an attempt. To which molt alarming nature, and which may be added, the vast extent of might have been attended with the the countries in question; the nummost dangerous consequences, hap-bers of their inhabitants, infpiritpened in Spain. These diftur. ed" by the desire of liberty, as well bances appeared the more serious, as by a consciousness of their naas they were so very unusual in a tyral advantages; covered, nation, which has been always they are by immeasurable seas, or characterized by the most inviola- by deserts, almost-as boundless, ble loyalty and attachment to its and more impassable. It is possible monarchs.
too, that in such an event they Before the general surprise might have some foreign fupport. which this event naturally occa
The commercial world would fioned, could wear off, an ac- scarcely, it is to be feared, have count was publicly circulated on this occasion shewn an instance throughout all Europe, of a revo of disinterestedness, which the his. lution in the Spanish dominions tory of mankind has not yet afin South America. A report had forded, in refusing so many lucrabeen spread, circumstantial enough
tive branches of commerce, from to gain no light degree of credit, which they have hitherto, with so that the colonists inhabiting those extreme a jealousy, been shut out. vast countries, had entirely thrown About the fame period of off the yoke of their European time, accounts were received eve. masters, and even proceeded to the ry day, of insurrections
the establishment of a regular form French in St. Domingo; provoked, of government amongst them as it was said, by the tyranny of selves.
the Count d'Estaing, their GoIt is scarcely necessary to be ob
Those who look back served, if such a revolution had upon the narratives of the late really taken place, what a total war in the East Indies, will see, change it must have introduced in with some indignation, the court the political syftem of power and of France rewarding with one of commerce, in the old, as well as its best governments, a person so the new world. Had the defec- justly obnoxious for violating one tion been so universal as it was at
of the most facred obligations of first represented, there is great rea
the laws of war between civilized son to suppose, that in the present nations. The disturbances in their ftate of the Spanih monarchy, that colonies might seem naturally crown would have found the great and justly enough the effects of est difficulty in reducing the re such a proceeding. bels to obedience. The immense Insurrections were not confined distance of the scene of action, the to the western parts of the old difficulty of transporting troops, and the new world. The spirit of together with the various changes liberty seemed to have walked of climate and food, which Eu forth over the face of the earth, ropean soldiers must undergo, be
and to threaten revolutions in evefore they could at all act, would ry part. In the east, which had
ever been the natural soil of def- less than the subversion of thë potism, the martial Georgian whole Ottoman empire. Prince Heraclius, famous fome The insurrections which hapyears since for his victories over pened in Egypt and Cyprus, the Persians, formed the glorious seemed to confirm, that the disa project of attempting to deliver temper was epidemical through. his country from the bondage of out the greatest part of the globe. the Turks.
We shall, under their respective The Georgians (who are a heads, give the best accounts we Chriftian nation) had long sub- have been able to collect, of such mitted to an ignominious tribute, of these commotions as
come of delivering up every year for the within the plan of our observation; use of the Turkish seraglios, a and as the clouds are now dispersed great number of their noblest and without any considerable effects, most beautiful virgins ; their coun which, from so many different try having in all ages been famous quarters, seemed to darken the for producing the finest women in political hemisphere; we shall the world. The Georgians, fpi- now consider the general state of rited by Heraclius, refused to con- affairs, as they appear at present. tinue this shameful tribute, and Europe, still fore with
the offered to commute for it, by pay. wounds it received in the last war, ing a certain sum of money ; which seems as yet desirous of rest and proposal was rejected by the Turks. peace. There have been in diffe. In the war which ensued, Hera- rent periods of history, and diffe . clius bravely asserted the rights of rent parts of the world, some vea mankind in the liberties of his ry poor, and very military nations, country, and is said to have den who had no other road 'to riches feated the Turks in many battles. or confideration but war. No Our accounts of these transactions, experience of the mischiefs attend. passing through a barbarous and ing it, can affect people of that confused medium, are hitherto, character ; it would be ridiculous and will probably continue for to caution a man against danger, some time, imperfect and inaccu- wounds, or even death, who had rate. There are no authentic ac no possible manner of living, buc counts of national affairs published by encountering them. To the in Turkey. The stories of the vic- happiness of mankind, Providence tories obtained by this prince, has now circumscribed these hunwere probably something exagge- gry nations within very narrow rated, and the great consequences bounds ; like the birds and beasts which were supposed to be the re
their numbers are far fult of them much more so. It from being considerable, and Eu. was faid, that Heraclius having rope at present is infested with subdued several of the neighbour- but few of them. On a review ing countries, had extended his of the wars of this century in Euconquests to the coasts of the Black- rope, and their consequences, it sea, had taken the imperial city would be difficult to prove any of Trebisonde, and, at the head of nation at all a gainer by them. a vast army, threatened nothing Ambition indeed is not very at