« AnteriorContinuar »
P R E F A CE.
THE Year of which we treat, presented the
1 most awęful appearance of public affairs, which this country had perhaps beheld for many ages. All ancient systems of policy, relative to any scheme of equality or balance of power, seemed forgotten in Europe. Friends and allies were no more with respect to us. On the contrary, whe, ther it proceeded from our fault, or whether it was merely our misfortune, inankind seemed to wait, with an aspect which at best bespoke indifference, for the event of that ruin which was expected to burst upon us.
It has happened fortunately, that the expected evil and danger, were less dreadful in the encounter, than in the distant appearance. The great combination of the House of Bourbon with the American Colonies, was far from producing all thofe effects which were undoubtedly expected. If our own successes were not great, and rather negative than direct in their nature, our losses, however considerable, were still less than might have been
apprehended. apprehended. It affords no small room both for satisfaction and hope, that no diminution of national glory has taken place, through any failure of native valour in our Seamen and Soldiers. They have supported in all cases, and under whatever circumstances of disadvantage, their antient character.
With the importance and variety of the work, our labour has increased; and every year of this period, fo full of trouble both abroad and at home, has produced so much matter, that the business of one has run in upon the other. The Reader will thus account for the delay which has annually increased. Perhaps we ought rather to apologize for bringing out the matter fo crudely, as we are obliged to do, to keep tolerably within time, than for a delay rendered necessary by the magnitude of our task. Happy shali we deem the hour, when, recurring from the horrors of war to the pleasant ways of peace, we shall have the pleasure of announcing to the Public, the glad tidings of return ing tranquillity.