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more and more remote, and to keep an eye not only on the affairs of one, society of men, but also on those of others.

Curiosity is in proportion to intellectual improvement.

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It may, we fear, appear at first sight to our Readers, that we had lost sight of the truth of these observations, when, in drawing up the History of Europe for 1797, we devoted so large a portion of our space to the affairs of Great Britain. But it will soon be perceived, that, the British history for that year comprehends events more important to Europe, and, to the British nation, particularly, more striking and alarming than those of any year preceding it, since the commencement of the Annual Register.—“ without 'were fightings, within were fears :" Not only the British constitution trembled on the pivot of fortune, but the political balance of Europe. An extension of the British history, beyond its usual limits, was unavoidable.-To swell this part of our Work, by copious accounts of parliamentary debates, with other domestic transactions; and, on the other hand, by a proportionable reduction, to confine the history of all Europe besides, to one-fifth, or even sixth, part of our narrative, would be a great saving of labour ;

and,

and, indeed, an easy matter. But it is impossible, that any intelligent and liberal mind should approve of such economy.

Our Readers will do us the justice to acknowledge, that our Annual volumes are not written on this plan: if, in the present, we have brought forward Great Britain, which, at all times, makes so conspicuous a figure in the circle of civilization, still more prominently than usual, this conduct, by the clouded aspect of the political horizon, in our quarter, is abundantly justified.

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From a combination of causes, to which we have been, at different times, compelled to allude, the publication of the Annual Register was every year more and more protracted : and the complaint was just, that it had become extremely dilatory, if not, as was apprehended by some, uncertain. The publication of this Volume at this time, in which we have faithfully observed, and even somewhat exceeded, the engagement we came under in our Volume for 1793, will, we trust, afford to our Readers an earnest of that assiduous zeal with which we endeavour to give them satisfaction.

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Comparative View of the Confederacy and the French Republic, at the

Close of 1796.—Spain, drawn into an Allianer with France. declares War against England.--Conjoined Efforts of the French, Spanish, and Dutch Fleets, for overthrowing the naval Domination of England. War in Italy. -Capture of Mantua.---Political Conduct and military Preparations of the Court of Rome. -Letters from Buonaparte to the Caritinal Mattei.- The Cardinal's Answer.The Court of Madrid rea fuses its Mediation, in Behalj of the Pope, with the French Republic Atpublican Party in Rome, and other Parts of the Ecclesiastical Stales. --Buonaparte ilt clares Iur against the Pope. - A French Army enters the Papal Dominions. -The Papal Troops completely routed.-Buonaparte, by Promises anıt Threats, induces the Romans to submit to the French, without the Effusion of Blood.--Takes Possession of several Provinces in the Ecclesiastical States.- Advan:es towards Rome.

Treaty of Peace uith the rope. THE Tapid progress of the the year, was completely turned.

French arms, in 1796, pro. On the termination of the armisduced different sensations on the tice, between the Austrians and opposite sides of the mountains. the French, in the month of May, The Italian states and princes were in that year, the army of the Same struck with terror. But a spirit bre and Mease, under Jourdan, of indignation and exertion was penetrated into Franconia; that of rouzed in Germany; where the the Rhine and Moselle. under Motide of fortune, towards the end of reau, into the heart of Germany, VOL. XXXIX.

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and seemed on a quick march to the year 1795, concluded a peace Vienna. The authority of the with the republic, had afterwards archduke Charles, bowcommander- entered into an alliance, defensive in-chief of the Austrian armies on and offensive, with it, that was the Rhine, restrained dissentions explicitly levelled at Great Briand contests among general offi- tain. This treaty, which took cers : his'example inspired courage place in August, 1796, was folinio every officer and soldier : and lowed, in the commencement of his courage, guided by cool delibe- October, by a formal declaration of ration, as well as prompt decision, war against England, and by the in the very throat of danger and preparation of a formidable naval fate, was victorious.

strength, to act in conjunction with Yet, on the whole, on weighing that of France. In Italy, erery the prosperous against the adverse prince and state was either in peace events of the year, the balance was or confederacy with the French, the greatly in favour of the French re- rope alone excepted; whose situapublic. Jourdan, though defeated in tion, however, was such, that he several eng genients, by the young could not long defer submission to Austrian hero, had been able to ef- their own terms. Germany could fect his retreat to Dusseldorf. And not be reputed hostile to France. Moreau, who, for want of a third Though certainly averse to the enFrench army, was exposed on his trance of its armies into the empire, flanks, to total excision or capture, yet the secondary ranks of princes had made a masterly retreat, and con- and states, of which it is composed, ducted main body of his army, were not dissatisfied at the humiliathrough many dangers and conflicts, tion of Austria, of which they dreadacross the Rhine, into a situation of ed the power and pretensions. safety, within the French frontier. These were permanent, and had Thus, though the French were re- often endangered the liberties of pulsed from Germany, the honour Germany : whereas, the irruptions of their arms, even in that quarter, of the French could never be more was unimpaired, while, in another, than occasional and transitory. The they were gloriously triumphant. precedents of former times had

The policy of France was not less shewn, that the politics of France, successful. Afier detaching Prussia which must continue the same, and Spain from the confederacy, whether it were a monarchy or a reshe had succeeded, through dint of public, would always aim at holdartifice and intrigue, in connecting ing the balance between the head herself with both of these powers and the members of the empire. by a close alliance. The former of In the north of Europe, the two these had not, indeed, publicly de- kingdoms of Denmark and Sweden clared in its favour, but was well were too conscious of the impendunderstood to be so intimately con- ing power of Russia, to lend themnected with the republic, that, in selves to the depression of France, case of absolute necessity, no doubt which they now considered as newas entertained of its determination cessary to preserve the dominion of to assist France to the utmost of the Baltic equally divided between its capacity. The latter having, in those three countries.

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