« AnteriorContinuar »
ed their mof christian and catholic time after, France and Spain jointly nsajellies to open their-eyes to the declared war against Portugal. crying injustice of pursuing againft We have dwelt some time upon Portugal, the war kindled against this transaction : we hope the reader Great Britain : he desired them to will not think the narrative drawn consider, that they were giving an into a blameable length. The fabexample which would produce the ject is interesting, the procedure detruction of mankind; that there uncommon, and the example alarmwas an end of the public safety, if ing. This war against Portugal neutral nations were to be attacked, was the firft fruit of the Bourbon because they have defensive treaties compact : they shewed very early to with the belligerent powers ; that the world, what it was a maxim so destructive would occa. pect from the maturity of this fion desolation in all Europe, the league ; when they were so elevated moment a war was kindled between by the superiority they imagined any (wo itates ; that, therefore, if they had attained, even in forming their troops should enter his domi- it, that they thought themselves difnions, he would, in defence of his pensed from those decorums, and neutrality, endeavour to repulse plausible appearances, which the them wich all his forces, and those most ambitious princes commonly of his allies; and he concluded make use of, in the execution of with this magnanimous declaration, their molt ambitious designs. If they that it would affeet him lefs, though had invaded Portugal without any reduced to the last extremity, of which declaration at all, it might, perhaps, the Great Judge is the sole arbiter, to be considered as a piece of convelet the last tile of his palace fall, and nient injustice, which they left the to see his faithful subjects Spill the previous neceflity, and subsequent laft drop of their blood, than to Ja- success of their affairs, to justify as crifice, together with the honour of his they could ; but fo many memorials crown, all that Portugal bolds most and reasonings on the subject, shew dear, and to submit, by such extrordi- that this oppression was deliberate, nary means, to become an unheard-of and they had not been driven to it example to all pacific powers, who by a sudden emergency, but that it will no longer be able to enjoy the be- became a regular and avowed part nefit of neutrality, whenever a war of their political system. shall be kindled between other powers, Having laid open the manner in with which the former are connected which the southern part of Europe by defenfive treaties, When this fo surprisingly became engaged final resolution was thus spiritedly in this war, it is now our buliness, declared, passports were demanded to relate in what manner some of
for the ambassadors of the the northern parts were as surpria.
two crowns, who imme- fingly extricated out of it. diately departed; and in a little
CH A P.
Death of the empress Elizabeth of Ruffia. Her charakter. State of the
power of Rusia on her decease. Her nephew, Peter III. fucceeds. Intire change of System. Peace with Russia. Peace between Prufia and Sweden. Pruffian conquests restored. The czar enters into an alliance with the king of Pruffia. War with Denmark threatened. Its canse. Extorted loan from Hamburgh. Campaign between Prussians and Austrians opens. Pruffiens obtain advantages in Saxony and Silefia. Sudden' revolution in Rulia.
Whave seen in the clofe of ter to Peter
the Great, and a descen. last year, that, by the taking dant not altogether unworthy of that of Colberg, on one hand, and illustrious founder of the Russian emSchweidnitz, on the other, the pire. From being little better than king of Prullia’s dominions were a prisoner, she became in a moment entirely at the mercy of his enemies; a despotic sovereign. At the achis forces were worn away, and even ceflion of this princess, the Russian bis efforts had gradually declined : power, so newly created, seemed to a complete victory, cho' this was be in danger of a decline, from the an event not at all probable, could many revolutions to which the emnot save him. The Ruflians, by pire had been subject; and the inwintering in Pomerania, and by the titutions of Peter the Great, by poffeffion of Colberg, which insured which that extensive part of the them supplies by a safe and expedi- world was drawn out of barbarism, tious channel, were in a condition began perceivably to decay, until to commence their operations much her accession to the throne, when earlier than usual, as well as to the former was put out of all ques. fuftain them with more spirit and tion by the vigour of her governuniformity. No resource of policy ment, and the latter cherished and could be tried with the least expecta- promoted by the encouragement tion of success. After such a re- which the gave to every valuable sistance for five years, of which the art and science. The academy at world never furnished another ex; Petersburgh is at present one of the ample, the king of Pruffia had no moft flourishing in Europe, and has thing left, but such a conduct as already enriched the learned world might close the scene with glory, with confiderable discoveries. fince there was so little appearance In fact, she governed the Ruflian of his concluding the war with safety, empire with more lenity than any
In the midst of these gloomy ap. of her predecessors; and perhaps, pearances, his inveterate and in- carried this amiable disposition to an flexible enemy, the empress of Ruf- impolitic excess. She regulated and
fia, died, in the fixty-third increased her finances; kept alive, Jan. 2.
year of her age, and the and even increased, the discipline of twenty-second of her reign.
her armies; and in all her transThis princess was second daugh. actions with foreign states, and in
the various faces which her politics thing is more evident, than that affumed, the always supported the Rusia would set up for a defender dignity and importance of her coun. of the liberties of Germany, if ever try at the highest point. For her she got any footing in its neighprivate pleasures, indeed, she has bourhood; that she would animate been much censured; but as they the powers there to affert a greater were merely pleasures, and of such degree of independence than they a nature that sentiment had little in do at present ; that she would renthem, they had little influence on der, by her machinations, the emher public conduet, which was al. pire in the Austrian family very preways manly and firm.
carious; and might even find means The part she took in this war, of setting some feeble prince on the though it might in some measure imperial throne, in order to embroil have been dičtated by resentment, the whole Germanic body, and to was at the same time the result of keep it in intire dependence upon the soundeft policy. No power, but Ruffia. On the whole, if the prothat of the king of Prussia, was ca- jects of Austria had succeeded in pable of checking hers. He was, their full extent, she would have very not only from his strength and cha- foon found in Russia a more powerracter, but from the situation of his ful restraint, than ever he had ei. dominions, the only prince in Eu- ther in France or Sweden, even in rope from whom it could be mate. the greatest heights of their power fially herinterest to make conquests. and credit in Germany. She would By the retention of Prussia, and by indeed have ruined the king of the dominion which, in another Prussia; but she would have purchaname, she held over the duchy of fed his ruin with her own indepen., Courland, me possessed a very great dency. Thare of the Baltic coast, and there- These were the prospects that lay by possessed the means of becoming before all political reafoners at the a maritime
of the first order. time of the death of the empress With these advantages she might Elizabeth. Charles Peter Ulric, of easily complete all that had been the house of Holstein, who had been wanting, towards establishing an un. created grand duke of Russia, and controulable power over Poland. appointed heir apparent to that vast By the same means she might en- empire, by the late czarina, suctirely over-awe Denmark and Swe- ceeded, under the name of Peter den ; and also, by her vicinity, the III. None but those who were inwould be enabled to interpose in the timately acquainted with the chaconcerns of Germany with much racter and disposition of the new more authority than she had hitherto czar, could have any reason to ima. poffeffed ; although her intervention gine that he would abandon the had always been of consequence. system of his predecessor, which was
In reality, the house of Austria certainly founded on the true inte. seemed to make far greater sacrifices rests of the country he governed. of her interest to her sefentment The king of Prussia himself seemed than Ruffia did, with whom those for some time to have entertained iwo principles went hand in hand, no great hopes from this change. and jupported each other. For no- The czar had, however, sometimes
discovered marks of esteem for the which one day a person is raised to character of this monarch. He had something almost above man, and the black eagle, of which order the the next is perhaps in a moment deking of Pruffia is grand master. But graded to the lowest ftation of huthe king of Pruffia could place very manity. little confidence in this: how- The new emperor proceeded in ever, with that air of pleasantry, bis reformation to abolith some severe which never entirely forsook him and tyrannical jurisdictions, and inin all his misfortunes, he said in a tending the fame benign difpofition letter to Mr. Mitchel, the British to all degrees of his subjects, he lefminifter at the Ruffian court, “ Is fened the tax upon falt, to the very not this a very extraordinary knight, great and universal relief of the poor. to feed 80,000 men at my expence ? These beginnings gave the mott He is the only one of my knights favourable impressions of his dothat takes that liberty. "If every mestic government. But Europe knight of the garter did the same, was principally concerned in his foyour England (England though it reign politics. It was not long is) would be devoured by them. I before his dispositions to peace bebeg you would endeavour to make came apparent. What astonished my knight more tractable, and tell the world, was the high rate at him it is against the inftitutes of the which he valued this blessing. In order, for a knight to eat up his a memorial, which he caused to be
delivered on the 23d of February, The eyes of all Europe were now
to the ministers of the allied courts, fixed upon the steps which the he declared, that, in order 10 the czar might take. With regard to establishment of peace, he was ready the government of his country, no- to sacrifice all the conquests made by thing could be more popular and the arms of Rusia in this war, aufpicious than his firft measures. in hopes that the allied courts will on The earlieft use he made of his ab- their parts equally prefer the restorafolute power, was, to set the Ruslian tion of peace and tranquillity, to the nobility and gentry free, and to advantages which they might expect put them on the fame footing with from the continuance of the war, but those of their rank in the other which they cannot obtain but by more moderate governments of continuanoe of the effusion of human Europe. Almost all the exiles were blood. recalled to court, and amongst the The allies praised the disinterest. reft the unfortunate count Biron, edness, spirit, and humanity of this who, from a sovereign prince, had declaration ; but recommended to been reduced to the most wretched his attention the fidelity to treaties, condition, in the most wretched which constitute a no less valuable country on the globe. He had part of the royal character, and a been many years a peasant of Sibe- no less considerable branch of sia, and may very probably once the duty of a monarch to his sub. more become a sovereign prince. jects. They shewed a disposition It is in those despotic governments to imitate his desire for we see the most striking excesses, by no means to follow the example and dismal reverses of fortune ; in in purchasing it by a cession of all
the advantages, wbich they had ac- In order to account for whatever quired,or hopedto acquire bythewar. was not the result of mere perso.
The czár having thus far com- nal character in this extraordinary plied with decency, and being of a revolution of politics in Russia, it character little fitted to wait the will be necessary to remind the reas Now produce of a joint negotia- der, that the czar Peter the third tion, gave way to his ardent desires was duke of Holstein ; and that the for peace, and to the sentiments of dukes of Holstein had pretenfions that extravagant admiration, which to the duchy of Sleswick. These he had conceived for the king of pretensions were compromised by a Pruffia. A suspension of hoftilities treaty in 1732. But as the cef. was concluded between them on the fion made by the house of Holftein 16th of March ; and it was followed in this treaty was the effect of nea
not long after by a treaty ceffity, it had been always appret May 5. of peace and alliancé. hended that the would make use of Nothing was Atipulated by the czar the first safe opportunity of reclaimin favour of his former confede- ing her ancient rights. The czar rates, whom he entirely abandon- feised eagerly on the great one; ed. He even agreed to join his which the poffefsion of the whole troops to those of the king of Pruf- Ruflian power afforded him, and he fia to act againd them. In a little resolved to enter into an immediate time a Russian army was feen in war for this object, to which his conjunction with one of Prussia, to predilection for his native country drive out of Silesia those Austrians, gave in his eyes a far greater imporwho had been a few months before tance than to all the conquefts of brought into that province by the his predecessor. As long as this Ruflian arms.
war with the king of Pruffia subThis was a miraculous revolu- fifted, it was impossible that his de tion. Fortune, who had so long figns againft Denmark could be abandoned the king of Pruflia to prosecuted with any hope of suchis genius, after having persecuted cess. Wholly indifferent therefore him for near five years, and over- to all others, and passionately fond powered him with the whole weight of this object, as soon as he came of her anger, at length made a- to the throne, without any dispute mends by a sudden turn, and did or negotiation, he offered the king for him at one stroke the only of Prussia in his great distress every thing, by which he could possibly thing he could have hoped from a be saved.
series of victories, and whilst he Sweden, who fince she has reco- joined his arms to those of that mo. vered her liberty has lost her politi- narch in Silefia, he caused an army cal importance, and for a long to march towards Holstein. time acted entirely under the di- Thus the peace with Ruffia, far rection of Ruffian councils, follow- from conducing to the general ed on this, as on all other occasions, peace of Europe, did very little the example of the court of Peters- more than change the face of the burgh, and signed a treaty of peace war. It brought in new fubjects of with the king of Prussia on the 22d dispute, and new parties, and of May.
by threatening Denmark, left not a