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peculiarly interefting: While our humanity is deeply engaged in the cause of the Diffidents, we cannot but lament the fatality by which a great nation is furrounded in its capital by a foreign army; and the fenators of a republic that was once free and independent, carried off by a military force for a difcuffion of their own affairs. This is a fubject, that, notwithstanding the rectitude and integrity of the motives which guided thofe tranfactions, affords a full opportunity for the moft deep and ferious reflection.
Our home affairs have not been deficient in matters fufficiently interefting. Of thefe we give fuch an account as we hope will be agreeable to our readers; and have endeavoured to preserve that impartiality, which it will be always fo much our wish to fupport. And it fhall ever be our greatest happinefs, to have any opportunity of fhewing the grateful sense we entertain of the repeated indulgence which we have so constantly experienced from the public.
For the YEAR 1767.
General afpect of affairs. Prefent appearances pacific. Some ancient causes of contention removed. France. Holland. General state of the North. Germany. Italy. Expulfion of the Jefuits from Naples and Parma. The intereft of the court of Rome declining in Italy. Portugal. Scarcity of corn. Friendly intercourfe fubfifting between the learned.
E obferve with pleasure, that the event has happily juftified our prognoftication of last year; and that the general tranquillity of Europe is not in any immediate danger of being difturbed. A fpirit of improvement in the arts of peace, in manufactures, commerce, and the elegant embellishments of life, feems ot have taken place, for a while at VOL. X.
leaft, of that rage of conqueft, which had for fo many centuries plunged the different parts of the great European commonwealth in to all the calamities of devaftation and war. That martial difpofition, which fo entirely poffeffed the people of thofe ages, was the natural confequence of the hardy bodies, the active and intrepid minds, of the western and northern na
tions, when not otherwife engaged by a close attention to the useful, or mellowed by a knowledge of the fine arts.
It may now appear late to look back to the fubverfion or change of the feudal fyftem, and from thence to derive reafons for prognofticating the approach of a lefs martial age. This change was not indeed immediately productive of fo happy an effect. Many, however, of the causes of ancient quarrels were certainly removed, by the different modifications which that fyftem underwent in most of the countries of Europe. The two laft centuries were (partly through accident, and partly from thofe epidemic paffions, which have been obferved at particulareras to poffefs the minds of great bodies of mankind) fo peculiarly fertile in producing new caufes of diffenfion, that the confequences naturally to be expected from the decline of the feudal government could not be perceived amidst the continual din of fresh difputes. It t may be unneceffary to recapitulate thofe caufes of diffenfion; many of them are generally known. Religion, or the pretence to it, had its full fhare amongst them. The uncertain rights. of fucceffion in moft countries, together with the avidity with which all mankind were feized to grapple at the treasures of the new world, were fuch feeds of contention, as ferved, along with many others, to keep Europe in continual agitation. Several of the principal of thofe caufes, and happily, fome of thofe which occafioned the greatest mifthe midchief, are now no mu lence of religious animofity; that bitterness of zeal, which fet mankind to the deftruction of each
other's bodies, for the falvation of their fouls, is not only worn out, but almoft forgotten. Succeffions, boundaries, and rights of government, are fixed upon a more known and fettled foundation than ever they were before; and commercial nations have difcovered a more fuccessful and happy method of procuring gold, than by digging it themfelves from the mine, or foreing it from those that do.
Many other fources of contention of a later date, together with fome miftaken notions in politics, which have had their day and done füfficient mifchief, are exhaufted. Some jaft caufes of contention are alfo removed. The ideas attending a balance of power, feem to be at prefent very different from what they have been formerly. The dread of univerfal monarchy appears to be much abated, if not entirely at an end. With regard to England, to our happiness, the caufes of thofe fears which were once fo prevalent, with respect to the proteftant fucceffion; the danger of rebellions within, or invasions from without, from that cause, are fo entirely vanifhed, that they only ferve to endear to us our prefent fecurity.
Thefe circumftances feem in fome fort pledges of a greater tranquillity to our pofterity, than we or our ancestors have enjoyed. However, it must be confeffed that all fpeculations of this kind, however plaufible, are in their nature extremely uncertain, The natural inconftancy of mankind, the fport which fortune feems at fome times to make of every fyftem, deftroying in a day, or an hour, the best laid foundations, and trampling the labour of ages, and the wifett
inftitutions in the duft; all these may forbid the hopes of a lafting permanency to any fyftem of tranquillity, let the prefent appearances be ever fo ferene.
It must be admitted that this age feems to have a cause of contention more particularly its own, and which cannot fail to fupply in fome degree, thofe which are now by time and change of manners extinguished. The defire of naval pow. er, which at prefent acts fo strongly upon many of the nations in Europe, will generate daily difputes, and must become a fruitful fource of diffenfion. The fpirit of commerce will not be confined to the acquifitions of industry. The new adventurers in this field will encroach upon the old, while the fame paffion will act as powerfully with the old poffeffors, not to res linquith any of thofe profits which ufually came into their hands, and to which they will think that long prefcription has given them a right. With respect to other matters, the general ftate of affairs in Eu rope has fuffered no material change fince the conclufion of our last volume. The fame close union and alliance ftill fubfifts between the different branches of the houfe of Bourbon. The friendship and union between that family and the house of Auftria, is ftill more clofely cemented by a marriage between the young King of Naples, and a daughter of the Emprefs Queen. The hopes of this alliance might indeed have been fruftrated in a lefs numerous family, by 15th Oct. the death of the Arch1767. duchefs Maria Jofepha, who was feized with the fmall-pox in a few days after her being married by proxy and
declared Queen of Naples; but upon this occafion it made no great change, and the young Prince has been fince contracted to her next fifter the Archduchefs Caroline, who is about a year younger.
Unnatural as the prefent friendfhip and alliance between thofe ancient and hereditary enemies, the houfes of Bourbon and Austria, may appear, and dangerous as the effects of it might at first feem to many of their neighbours; it is not perhaps impoffible, but it may contribute to preferve that tranquillity, which feemed to be so much endangered by it. This will appear the lefs problematical, if we reflect on the many wars in which the bickerings and enmity of these two families have engaged for near two centuries the reft of Europe. Neither does this alliance appear fo very formidable to its neighbours, as it might have done in another fituation of things. The great weight which has accumulated in the northern balance of late years, may well prevent the fcale from preponderating exceflively in their favour.
It does not at prefent appear, that any of the three powers in question are difpofed, or indeed in a condition to disturb the public repofe. France has been long a lofer by her wars, nor do the late trials fhe has made of her ftrength, comparatively with that of her neighbours, give the leaft encouragement to her feeking for new. The fyftem of Europe is much changed fince thofe victo rious days of Lewis the 14th, when he was thuch the terror of it. Other nations have gained great additional ftrength, whilft France has without question rather loft  2
ground; yet it muft be owned, not in fuch a degree, but that her great natural refources, and the very valuable and improveable colonies fhe is ftill poffeffed of, will always make her very refpectable if not formidable. At prefent fhe is loaded with a very heavy debt, which will require length of time, joined with ftrict economy and clofe attention to her finances, to difcharge. Nor will her commerce, though greatly recovered, fuddenly forget the fhocks it received in the laft war. Agriculture has, through a feries of mifmanagement, been long on the decline in that country; it was the error of the famous Colbert, that he wanted to form the French into a nation of manufacturers, and forgot that agriculture is the principal ftrength of a ftate. The French miniftry, as well as the nation, feem now fully fenfible of this error; and agriculture meets with all that encouragement and attention which it fo justly merits. It will, however, require length of time, and all the leifure of peace, to bring it in any degree near the perfection to which it is capable of arriving.
Upon the whole it is evident, that nothing can be fo effential to the intereft of France, as the continuation of peace; and that they must be the moft pernicious politics, which could at prefent urge it to enter wantonly into a war.
With refpect to England, France feems at prefent to be in a state of perfect good neighbourhood; nor is there any apparent caufe of quarrel likely to difturb this har.mony. It may not perhaps be quite vifionary to imagine that the violent animofity and national prejudice, which has fo long fubfifted
betwen the two nations, is in fome degree wearing off; and it is observable, that more French of diftinction have vifited England fince the laft war, than at any other period fince the English loft their great poffeffions in that country.
The most interefting event which the past year has produced in Holland, has been the marriage of the Prince Stadtholder with the Prin cefs Royal of Pruffia. Nothing could be more pleafing to the whole republic than this marri. age, nor could any thing happen of a more interefting nature; the public and private rejoicings they made, and the marks of refpect and regard which they fhewed the princefs upon every occafion, fuf ficiently teftified the sense they had of it. By this marriage the commonwealth has entered into a nearer connection with a great, a powerful, and a neighbouring prince, whofe difpofition, if not a certain friend, was always to be dreaded; and the vicinity of whofe territories to those of the ftates, would always furnish fufficient matter for altercation, whenever he chofe to feek for it. At the fame time this marriage is juftly to be looked upon in a very interefting light with refpect to the Proteftant fyftem in general, and to connect that chain of union, which it will always be fo much the common intereft to preserve between the maritime and northern powers, and the Proteftant princes of Germany.
In the north, affairs at prefent wear the most benign afpect. The great difputes in Poland about the Diffidents, which feemed pregnant with fo much danger to the general repofe, are through the weighty and effectual mediation of the