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ed their most chriftian and catholic majellies to open their-eyes to the crying injustice of pursuing against Portugal, the war kindled against Great Britain: he defired them to confider, that they were giving an example which would produce the destruction of mankind; that there was an end of the public fafety, if neutral nations were to be attacked, because they have defenfive treaties with the belligerent powers; that a maxim so deftructive would occafion desolation in all Europe, the moment a war was kindled between any two ftates; that, therefore, if their troops fhould enter his dominions, he would, in defence of his neutrality, endeavour to repulfe them with all his forces, and those of his allies; and he concluded with this magnanimous declaration, that it would affect him lefs, though reduced to the laft extremity, of which the Great fudge is the fole arbiter, to let the laft tile of his palace fall, and to fee his faithful fubjects Spill the laft drop of their blood, than to facrifice, together with the honour of his crown, all that Portugal bolds most dear, and to fubmit, by fuch extrordinary means, to become an unheard-of example to all pacific powers, who will no longer be able to enjoy the benefit of neutrality, whenever a war fhall be kindled between other powers, with which the former are connected by defenfive treaties. When this final refolution was thus fpiritedly declared, paffports were demanded for the ambaffadors of the 27 April. two crowns, who immediately departed; and in a little

time after, France and Spain jointly. declared war against Portugal.

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We have dwelt fome time upon this tranfaction: we hope the reader will not think the narrative drawn into a blameable length. The subject is interesting, the procedure uncommon, and the example alarming. This war againft Portugal was the first fruit of the Bourbon compact: they fhewed very early to the world, what it was to expect from the maturity of this league; when they were fo elevated by the fuperiority they imagined they had attained, even in forming it, that they thought themselves difpenfed from those decorums, and plaufible appearances, which the moft ambitious princes commonly make use of, in the execution of their moft ambitious defigns. If they had invaded Portugal without any declaration at all, it might, perhaps, be confidered as a piece of convenient injustice, which they left the previous neceffity, and fubfequent fuccefs of their affairs, to justify as they could; but so many memorials and reafonings on the fubject, fhew that this oppreffion was deliberate, and they had not been driven to it by a fudden emergency, but that it became a regular and avowed part of their political system.

Having laid open the manner in which the fouthern part of Europe fo furprisingly became engaged: in this war, it is now our business. to relate in what manner fome of the northern parts were as furpri fingly extricated out of it.

CHAP.

CHAP. III.

Death of the empress Elizabeth of Ruffia. Her character. State of the power of Ruffia on her deceafe. Her nephew, Peter III. fucceeds. Intire change of fyftem. Peace with Ruffia. Peace between Prufia and Sweden. Pruffian conquefts reftored. The czar enters into an alliance with the king of Pruffia. War with Denmark threatened. Its canfe. Extorted loan from Hamburgh. Campaign between Pruffians and Auftrians opens. Pruffians obtain advantages in Saxony and Silefia. Sudden revolution in Ruffia.

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WE have feen, in the clofe of ter to Peter the Great, and a defcen

last year, that, by the taking of Colberg, on one hand, and Schweidnitz, on the other, the king of Pruffia's dominions were entirely at the mercy of his enemies; his forces were worn away, and even his efforts had gradually declined: a complete victory, tho' this was an event not at all probable, could not fave him. The Ruffians, by wintering in Pomerania, and by the poffeffion of Colberg, which infured them fupplies by a fafe and expeditious channel, were in a condition to commence their operations much earlier than ufual, as well as to fuftain them with more fpirit and uniformity. No refource of policy could be tried with the leaft expectation of fuccefs. After fuch a refistance for five years, of which the world never furnished another example, the king of Pruffia had no thing left, but fuch a conduct as might close the scene with glory, fince there was fo little appearance of his concluding the war with fafety,

dant not altogether unworthy of that illuftrious founder of the Ruffian empire. From being little better than a prifoner, fhe became in a moment a defpotic fovereign. At the acceffion of this princefs, the Ruffian power, fo newly created, feemed to be in danger of a decline, from the many revolutions to which the empire had been subject; and the inftitutions of Peter the Great, by which that extenfive part of the world was drawn out of barbarism, began perceivably to decay, until her acceffion to the throne, when the former was put out of all quef tion by the vigour of her government, and the latter cherished and promoted by the encouragement which the gave to every valuable art and fcience. The academy at Petersburgh is at present one of the moft flourishing in Europe, and has already enriched the learned world with confiderable discoveries.

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In the midft of thefe gloomy appearances, his inveterate and inflexible enemy, the empress of Ruf fia, died, in the fixty-third Jan. 2. year of her age, and the twenty-fecond of her reign.

This princefs was fecond daugh

In fact, the governed the Ruffian empire with more lenity than any of her predeceffors; and perhaps, carried this amiable difpofition to an impolitic excefs. She regulated and increafed her finances; kept alive, and even increased, the difcipline of her armies; and in all her tranfactions with foreign states, and in the

the various faces which her politics affumed, the always fupported the dignity and importance of her country at the highest point. For her private pleafures, indeed, fhe has been much cenfured; but as they were merely pleasures, and of fuch a nature that sentiment had little in them, they had little influence on her public conduct, which was always manly and firm.

The part fhe took in this war, though it might in fome measure have been dictated by refentment, was at the fame time the refult of the foundeft policy. No power, but that of the king of Pruffia, was capable checking hers. He was, not only from his ftrength and character, but from the fituation of his dominions, the only prince in Europe from whom it could be materially herinterest to make conquefts. By the retention of Pruffia, and by the dominion which, in another name, the held over the duchy of Courland, he, poffeffed a very great thare of the Baltic coaft, and thereby poffeffed the means of becoming a maritime power of the first order. With thefe advantages the might eafily complete all that had been wanting, towards establishing an uncontroulable power over Poland. By the fame means the might entirely over-awe Denmark and Sweden; and alfo, by her vicinity, the would be enabled to interpofe in the concerns of Germany with much more authority than she had hitherto poffeffed, although her intervention had always been of confequence.

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In reality, the houfe of Auftria feemed to make far greater facrifices of her intereft to her refentment than Ruffia did, with whom thofe two principles went hand in hand, and supported each other. For no

thing is more evident, than that Ruffia would fet up for a defender of the liberties of Germany, if ever fhe got any footing in its neighbourhood; that she would animate the powers there to affert a greater degree of independence than they do at prefent; that he would render, by her machinations, the empire in the Auftrian family very precarious; and might even find means of fetting fome feeble prince on the imperial throne, in order to embroil the whole Germanic body, and to keep it in intire dependence upon Ruffia. On the whole, if the projects of Auftria had fucceeded in th full extent,fhe would have very foon found in Ruffia a more powerful reftraint, than ever he had either in France or Sweden, even in the greatest heights of their power and credit in Germany. She would indeed have ruined the king of Pruffia; but she would have purchafed his ruin with her own independency.

These were the prospects that lay before all political reafoners at the time of the death of the empress Elizabeth. Charles Peter Ulric, of the house of Holftein, who had been created grand duke of Ruffia, and appointed heir apparent to that vast empire, by the late czarina, fucceeded, under the name of Peter III. None but those who were intimately acquainted with the character and difpofition of the new czar, could have any reason to imagine that he would abandon the fyftem of his predeceffor, which was certainly founded on the true interefts of the country he governed. The king of Pruffia himfelf feemed for fome time to have entertained no great hopes from this change. The czar had, however, fometimes dif

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discovered marks of efteem for the character of this monarch. He had the black eagle, of which order the king of Pruffia is grand mafter. But the king of Pruffia could place very little confidence in this: however, with that air of pleasantry, which never entirely for fook him in all his misfortunes, he faid in a letter to Mr. Mitchel, the British minifter at the Ruffian court, "Is. not this a very extraordinary knight, to feed 80,000 men at my expence ? He is the only one of my knights that takes that liberty. If every knight of the garter did the fame, your England (England though it is) would be devoured by them. I beg you would endeavour to make my knight more tractable, and tell him it is against the inftitutes of the order, for a knight to eat up his grand master."

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which one day a perfon is raifed to fomething almoft above man, and the next is perhaps in a moment degraded to the lowest flation of humanity.

The eyes of all Europe were now fixed upon the fteps which the czar might take. With regard to the government of his country, nothing could be more popular and aufpicious than his firft measures. The earlieft ufe he made of his abfolute power, was, to fet the Ruffian nobility and gentry free, and to put them on the fame footing with thofe of their rank in the other more moderate governments of Europe. Almost all the exiles were recalled to court, and amongst the reft the unfortunate count Biron, who, from a fovereign prince, had been reduced to the most wretched condition, in the moft wretched Country on the globe. He had been many years a peafant of Siberia, and may very probably once more become a fovereign prince. It is in those defpotic governments we fee the moft ftriking exceffes, and difmal reverfes of fortune; in

The new emperor proceeded in his reformation to abolish fome fevere and tyrannical jurifdictions, and intending the fame benign difpofition to all degrees of his fubjects, he leffened the tax upon falt, to the very great and univerfal relief of the poor."

Thefe beginnings gave the most favourable impreffions of his domeftic government. But Europe was principally concerned in his foreign politics. It was not long before his difpofitions to peace became apparent. What aftonished the world, was the high rate at which he valued this bleffing. In a memorial, which he caufed to be delivered on the 23d of February, to the minifters of the allied courts, he declared, that, in order to the establishment of peace, he was ready to facrifice all the conquests made by the arms of Ruffia in this war, in hopes that the allied courts will on their parts equally prefer the reftoration of peace and tranquillity, to the advantages which they might expect from the continuance of the war, but which they cannot obtain but by a continuance of the effufion of human blood.

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The allies praifed the difinterestednefs, fpirit, and humanity of this declaration; but recommended to his attention the fidelity to treaties, which conftitute a no less valuable part of the royal character, and a no lefs confiderable branch of the duty of a monarch to his fubjects. They fhewed a difpofition to imitate his defire for peace, but by no means to follow the example in purchafing it by a ceffion of all the

the advantages, which they had acquired,or hopedto acquire bythewar.

The czar having thus far complied with decency, and being of a character little fitted to wait the flow produce of a joint negotiation, gave way to his ardent defires for peace, and to the fentiments of that extravagant admiration, which he had conceived for the king of Pruffia. A fufpenfion of hostilities was concluded between them on the 16th of March; and it was followed not long after by a treaty May 5. of peace and alliance. Nothing was ftipulated by the czar in favour of his former confederates, whom he entirely abandoned. He even agreed to join his troops to those of the king of Pruffia to act against them. In a little time a Ruffian army was feen in conjunction with one of Pruffia, to drive out of Silefia those Auftrians, who had been a few months before brought into that province by the Ruffian arms.

This was a miraculous revolution. Fortune, who had fo long abandoned the king of Pruffia to his genius, after having perfecuted him for near five years, and overpowered him with the whole weight of her anger, at length made amends by a fudden turn, and did for him at one ftroke the only thing, by which he could poffibly be faved.

Sweden, who fince she has recovered her liberty has loft her political importance, and for a long time acted entirely under the direction of Ruffian councils, followed on this, as on all other occasions, the example of the court of Peterfburgh, and figned a treaty of peace with the king of Pruffia on the 22d of May.

In order to account for whatever was not the refult of mere perfonal character in this extraordinary revolution of politics in Ruffia, it will be neceffary to remind the rea der, that the czar Peter the third was duke of Holftein; and that the dukes of Holstein had pretenfions to the duchy of Slefwick. These pretenfions were compromifed by a treaty in 1732. But as the cef fion made by the houfe of Holstein in this treaty was the effect of ne ceffity, it had been always appre hended that the would make ufe of the firft fafe opportunity of reclaiming her ancient rights. The czar feised eagerly on the great one, which the poffeffion of the whole Ruffian power afforded him, and he refolved to enter into an immediate war for this object, to which his predilection for his native country gave in his eyes a far greater importance than to all the conquefts of his predeceffor. As long as this war with the king of Pruffia fubfifted, it was impoffible that his de figns against Denmark could be profecuted with any hope of fuccefs. Wholly indifferent therefore to all others, and paffionately fond of this object, as foon as he came to the throne, without any difpute or negotiation, he offered the king of Pruffia in his great diftrefs every thing he could have hoped from a feries of victories, and whilst he joined his arms to those of that mo narch in Silefia, he caufed an army to march towards Holstein.

Thus the peace with Ruffia, far from conducing to the general peace of Europe, did very little more than change the face of the war. It brought in new fubjects of difpute, and new parties, and by threatening Denmark, left not a fingle

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