« ZurückWeiter »
HE backwardness, with respect to publication,
which the heavy business of the late extensive 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 bu, finess of two succeeding years into one volume ; 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 connections and policy, which appeared, within that period, to be taking place in Europe, presented an aspect not a little ominous to its repose; and necefsarily rendered our foreign history an object of much care, confideration, enquiry, and research. And however important foreign affairs were, our domestic concer is 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,
and we had the history of three sessions, filled with the most interesting matter, to recount. In that time, besides 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 signal 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 disinterestedness, and a testimony of the high sense which we entertain of our obligations to the Public : Our Publisher having liberally sacrificed his own emolument in giving the double volume without
and we having, no less chearfully, bestowed our labour and, 1 time for the same purpose.
ANNUAL REGISTER, For the YEARS 1784 and 5.
Retrospective view of the general affairs of Europe from the year 1780.
Emperor. Great sebemes of reform and regulation. Some general observations on them. Decree for extending the liberty of the press. Decree in favour of the Jews. Ordinances firiking 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 Holland was engaged, and of the new political System adopted by that Republic. Refumption of the Dutch Barrier among the principal objeets of the Emperor's journey. Observations on that measure. Barrier regned, and the fortresses dismantled. Alarm occafioned thereby in Holland. Great benefits derived by the Auftrian Netherlands, from becoming the medium of British Commerce, in consequence of the war between the maritime powers. Sudden rise of Oftend to commercial im. portance through the same cause. Great favours conferred by the Emperor upon the city and people of Oftend. Declares the port free ; orders a balon to be confructed; grants ground for building to foreign settlers ; and places of public worship to the Protestants. Emperor examines the obftru&tions to the navigation of the Schelde, and visits Holland. Returns to Vienna, Various wife and bumane regulations adopted in the course of the years 1781 and 1782. Enlargement of religious liberty to the Proteftants-of civil liberty to the peasants of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, and Austrian Poland, who are discharged from their ancient savery to the lords. Free exercise of their religion, with other advantages, granted by the Ele&or of Saxony to the Roman Catholics in his dominions. Inquisition abolished by sbe Grand Duke of Tuscany. Universities reformed by the Emperor, Vol. XXVII.
-Allots schools for the education of soldiers children. Measures for rene dering the city of Trieste a great commercial Emporium. Emperor lends four millions of florins to the merchants of that city. Suppression of religious houses in the Austrian Dominions. Ecclefiaftics in the Austrian
Netherlands discharged from all foreign jurisdiction. Imperial rescript, disclaiming all subordination, in fecular affairs, to the Holy See. Suppreffion of religious houses in the Duchy of Milan. Alarm at Rome. Correspondence between the Pope and the Emperor. Journey of the Sovereign Pontiff, Pius the Sixth, from Rome to Vienna. Received with great honours by the Emperor and Court; but fails in the objects of his journey. Returns to Rome. Reform of the religious orders continued ; and extended to the Hierarchy, and secular Clergy, as well as to the Regulars. Commission for administring the sequestered estates ; the produce destined to public purposes. Observations and
strictures of foreigners on some of these transactions.
HILE the four great mari- he should himself be cut off, to time
powers of Europe were place them out of the reach of fuexhausting their strength and facri- ture contingencies, but to obtain facing their subjects in that war, to a probability, if he lived, of partiwhich the revolt of the British colo- cipating in the benefits he intended nies in America gave rise, and which for his country. He was accordin its progreso spread such desolation ingly incessantly occupied in framthrough both the Old and the New ing, adopting, examining, or carWorld, the emperor of Germany rying into execution, numberless was more happily employed, in cul- projects of regulation and improvetivating the arts of peace, in the ment, of less or greater importance, improvement of his widely-extended but including some of such magnidominions, and in establishing upon tude, as went to the essential resure and permanent foundations form of the first departments of the the power, and consequently the state and government, whether ecsecurity, of his empire.
clesiastical, civil, or military. This In the laudable pursuit of these talk, fufficiently arduous in itself, objects, he was not contented with was rendered ftill more difficult by adhering to the beaten track marked the nature of his dominions, comout by others, or of waiting the posed as they are of separate kingdiftant effect of slow and progressive doms, and a number of distinct schemes of improvement. The provinces, obtained by different fertile and active mind of this means, and at different periods, prince, embracing at once a mul- subject to their own peculiar forms titude of objects, would
carry eve- of government, and still retaining sy thing directly to that ultimate many of their original rights and point of perfection which it held institutions. constantly in view; as if, ruminat- It would have been contrary to all ing on the shortness of human life, experience, and consequently to huhe had determined to establish his man nature itself, (of which expe. designs fo speedily, as not only, if rjence is our only evidence) if such,