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P R E F A C E.
HE of which
, standing the peaceable aspect of the times, has not been unproductive of events which claim a considerable degree of attention. Of these, the expulsion of the Jesuits from Spain and Naples is not the least extraordinary, nor likely to be the least considerable in its consequences. The affairs of Poland have attracted much of the general attention of Europe; and, it is to be hoped, are now settled upon an happy and permanent basis. The origin of the late disputes, the past and present state of the Dissidents, and many particularities relative to the history and government of that country, which were requisite to be known, to form a proper judgment of those transactions, were but little considered or understood in this part of the world. We have therefore given our readers all the satisfaction on those heads, which the materials that we could procure would afford, and the plan of our work allow. The subject is indeed peculiarly
interesting: While our humanity is deeply engaged in the cause of the Dissidents, we cannot but lament the fatality by which a great nation is surrounded in its capital by a foreign army; and the senators of a republic, that was once free and independent, carried off by a military force for a discussion of their own affairs. This is a sub, ject, that, notwithstanding the rectitude and integrity of the motives which guided those transactions, affords a full opportunity for the most deep and serious reflection.
Our home affairs have not been deficient in matters sufficiently interesting. Of these we give such an account as we hope will be agreeable to our readers ; and have endeavoured to preserve that impartiality, which it will be always so much our wish to fupport. And it shall ever be our greatest happiness to have any opportunity of fhewing the grateful sense we entertain of the re. peated indulgence which we have so constantly experienced from the Public.
General aspect of affairs. Present appearances pacific. Some ancient canses
of contention removed. France. Holland, General state of the North. Germany. Italy. Expulsion of the Fefuits from Naples and Parma,
The Interest of ihe court of Rome declining in Italy. Portugal. Scarcity - of corn. Friendly intercourse subsi;ting between the learned.
E observe, with pleasure, . while at least, of that rage of conthat the event has hap- quest, which had for so many centu,
pily justified our prog- ries plunged the different parts of noftication of last year ;, and that the great European commonwealth the general tranquillity of Europe into all the calamities of devastais not in any immediate danger of tion and war. That martialdifpofi. being disturbed, A spirit of im- tion, which so entirely poffessed the provement in the arts of peace, in people of those ages, was the natumanufactures, commerce, and the ral consequence of the hardy bo. elegant embellishments of life, dies, the active and intrepid minds, seems to have taken place, for a of the western and northern na. VOL. X.
tions, when not otherwise engaged other's bodies, for the salvation of by a close attention to the useful, their fouls, is not only worn out, or mellowed by a knowledge of the but almoft forgotten. Suceeffions, fine arts.
boundaries, and rights of govern. It may now appear late to look
ment, are fixed upon a more known back to the subyersion or change of and' settled foundation than ever thie feudal system, and from thence they were before ; and commercial to derive reasons for prognosticatnations have discovered a more ing the approach of a less martial fuccessful and happy method of age. This change was not indeed procuring gold, than by digging it immediately productive of so hap. themselves from the mine, or forcpy an effect. Many, however, of ing it from those that do. the causes of ancient quarrels were Many other sources of contencertainly removed, by the different tion of a later date, together with modifications which that system fome mistaken notions in politics, underwent in most of the countries which have had their day and done of Europe. The two last centuries sufficient mischief, are exhausted. were (partly through accident, and Some juft causes of contention are partly from those epidemic par. also removed. The ideas attend. fions, which have been observed at ing a balance of power, seem to be particular æras to possess the minds at present very different from what of great bodies of mankind) fo pe. they have been formerly. The culiarly fertile in producing new dread of universal monarchy apcauses of dissension, that the con- pears to be much abated, if not sequences naturally to be expected entirely at an end. With regard from the decline of the feudal go- to England, to our happiness, the vernment could not be perceived causes of those fears which were amidft the continual din of fresh once fo prevalent, with respect to disputes. It may be unnecessary to the protestant fucceffion; the dan. recapitulate those causes of diffen- ger of rebellions within, or invafifion; many of them are generally ons from without, from that cause, known. Religion, or the pretence are lo entirely vanished, that they to it, had its full share amongst only serve to endear to us our prethem. The uncertain rights of fuc- sent security. ceflion in most countries, together These circumstances 'seem in with the avidity with which-all fome fort pledges of a greater tranmankind were seized to grapple at quillity to our pofterity, than we cr the treasures of the new world, were our ancestors have enjoyed. Howfuch feeds of contention, as served, erer, it must be confessed that all along with many others, to keep fpeculations of this kind, however Europe in continual agitation. plausible, are in their nature ex.
Several of the principal of those. tremely uncertain. The natural causes, and, happily, some of those inconftancy of mankird, the sport which occasioned the greatest mis. which fortune seems t some times chief, are now no more. The vio. to make of every system, destroy. lence of religious animosity; that ing in a day, or an hour, the best bitterness of zeal, which ser man. laid foundations, and trampling kind to the destruction of each the labour of ages, and the wifest