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PRE FАСЕ.

THE

HE moft diftinguished feature of the Revolution in France, the prolific parent of changes and innovations in other countries, already noticed in our volume for 1792, has been verified by the events that have taken place from that to the prefent period. The revolutionary spirit of the French Republic, like a lighted torch, moved rapidly round, fcarcely leaves room for the contemplation of its particular phases, in the different ftages of its progrefs, and is feen as one circle of fire.

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The constitution of 1795 contained, indeed, certain principles, which feemed to promife fome degree of both ftrength and duration; and to be more favourable, than any of the preceding, to the interests of humanity, by guarding not less against the wildness ́of democracy than the chains of defpotifm. Subfequent changes, however, and particularly the late metamorphofis of the Republic into a dictatorial or military government, (which will of course be noticed in its proper place and time) fhew how little is to be expected from any forms, where fimplicity of manners, and other requifites to the existence of a genuine Republic, are wanting.

10

Thefe

Thefe defects, in the conftitution of 1795, appeared in the very moment of its birth; and became more and more glaring during the short period of its existence. The Hiftory of France has, for too many years, been a fevere illuftration of the maxim, that Nations, in order to be free and happy, must be just and moderate. To defcribe and record whatever may imprefs on the mind this folitary lesson, is a task attended with a mixture of pain and pleafure: pain, in contemplating the miferable effects of vice and folly; pleasure, in the reflection, that fuch warnings may prevent mifery to the prefent and future ages.

In making these selections, out of that vaft variety of materials which is prefented to the Annalist, at a period of fuch extended intercourse among men and nations, our Readers will perceive and acknow ledge, that we are guided, not by any prejudices in favour of particular fubjects, but, by a regard to the general views and conduct of the human understanding, and the common fentiments of the human heart. In the prefent volume there is an extraordinary occafion for the exercife and gratification of both in the fall, and final difmemberment and diffolution, of the Commonwealth of Poland; a very affecting, as well as inftructive, Episode in the History of Europe.

THE

ANNUAL REGISTER,

For the YEAR 1795.

THE

HISTORY

OF

EUROPE.

CHA P. I.

Effects of the new Conflitution established in Poland.-External and internal.-Notice to all the European Powers of the New Changes in Poland. Schemes of the Courts of Petersburgh, Berlin, and Vienna, for the complete Subjugation and Dismemberment of Poland.-Patriotic Affociations in that Kingdom, in Support of the New Conflitution.-Difficulties and Perplexities of the Poles.-Plan of Defence against an expected Attack by Ruffia.-Oppofed by the Nobles.-Interference of Ruffia, and Declaration of the Ruffian Ambassador to the King and Polifh Diet.-The Nobles defift from their Oppofition to the Plan for National Defence.A cordial Union between all Individuals and Parties.-The King of Poland invefted with the Command of the Polish Armies.-The Ruffian Army enters the Frontiers of Poland.-Various Actions between the Ruffian and Polish Troops.-Application of the Poles for the fipulated Succours to the King of Pruffia.-Thefe refufed.-Signal Victory obtained by the Poles over the Ruffians.-Inefficacy of this for the great End for which they had taken up Arms.-Prevalence of the Ruffian Power-Submiffion of the Polish Nation.-Proteft in the Diet against this Submiffion.-Popular Diffatisfaction and Indignation at the Proceedings of the Diet.

THE

HE eftablishment of the new constitution in Poland excited very different fenfations among its VOL. XXXVII.

various neighbours. Sweden and
Denmark, whofe dread of Ruffia
inclined them to wish for a diminu-
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tion of that influence which the ex-
ercifed with fo much defpotifm,
could not fail to behold with fatis-
faction a people eminent for their
long attachment to liberty, and
once of the first confequence in the
north of Europe, in a way of re-
covering their former importance;
and fetting bounds to the ambition
of the court of Petersburgh. The
Turks, lately humbled by the
Ruffian arms, and whofe preferva-
tion was entirely due to a fortunate
concurrence of accidents, were well
pleafed to fee that rapacious power
checked in her reftlefs progrefs to
aggrandizement. The powers at a
diftance from the fcene of action,
could not be altogether diffatisfied
that the balance of Europe fhould
promife, by this great event, to
regain that poife it had loft for
fome years in thofe northern parts.
The only confideration that could
poffibly obftruct this fentiment, was
the apprehenfion that Poland, in
order to refift that combination, of
which he had been the victim,
would have recourfe to the affift-
ance of France: and, rather than
fubmit to the tyranny which fhe had
fo long experienced, enter into the
ftricteft bonds of union with that
power; now become odious to all
crowned heads, and aiming at a
diffemination of its principles,
wherever it could procure them ac-

ndeed, was the fole rea-
Cone alleged for the
ty and indif-
iled in fo ma-
as in times
e felt themfelves
d in the tranfac-
Lo Poland, had not
more preffing import-
eir views nearer

home. This was vifibly the cafe in
everycountry bordering uponFrance.
In Spain, ever fince the meeting of
the States-General at Paris, and
their converting that denomination
into another more appofite to their
wifhes and defigns, the celebrated
name of National Affembly, the
public had affumed a liberty of
fpeaking that greatly alarmed the
courts. The example fet before the
fubjects of all abfolute governments
was of a nature to fill them with the
moft ferious apprehenfions, and to
engage them to unite together for
the fuppreffion of all attempts fimi
lar to thofe that had fucceeded in
fo fudden and unexpected a manner
in France, and changed it from the
moft abfolute to the moft limited
monarchies. Hence it happened,
that thofe powers excepted, of
which the immediate fafety re-
quired the depreffion of Ruffia
upon any terms, all the others con-
curred unanimoufly in hoping that
no power would ftart up of which
the intereft fhould lead it to efpouse
the caufe of the French; whom, in
the cabinets of the European po-
tentates, deep schemes were laid to
crush with all fpeed.

Little more than two months af-
held the famous convention of Pil-
ter the revolution in Poland, was
nitz, in which it is faid to, have
been ftrictly ftipulated or under-
ftood by the contracting powers, that
Ruffia fhould be at full liberty to pur-
fue her fchemes in Poland, while they
were occupied in the purfuit of
This fatisfactorily ac-
their own.
counts for the inactivity of the
crowned heads in Europe, during
the tranfactions that followed, in con-
go-
fequence of the alterations intro-
duced into the Polifh forms of
vernment, by the new conftitution.

In

72

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