صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


ON the clofe of our laft volume, we became apprehenfive of a deficiency of materials towards furnishing an hiftory of the fucceeding years. The peace feemed to be fo well fettled, that one might imagine, there could be little room for political difputes amongst the feveral powers, and none at all for actual war and hoftility. In reality, Europe may be faid to be perfectly quiet but the extent of the commercial empire of Great Britain is fuch, and it engages her in fuch a vast variety of difficult connections, that it is almost impoffible for any confiderable length of time to pafs over, without producing abundance of events of a very interefting nature; and we heartily wish we could flatter ourselves, that we should be found as equal to our materials of history, as we are likely to be well fupplied with them. The favage war, which has unfortunately broke out in America fince the conclufion of the general peace, has been fruitful of events; and it is not yet ended. Since then, troubles of great confequence have likewise arifen in the Eaft Indies, which threaten to afford us VOL. VI.



butt to much employment for the enfuing


As to our domeftic diffentions, we have fated as fairly as we could the points in conteft between parties. Little heated ourfelves, we have not endeavoured to inflame others. We have carefully adhered to that neutrality, which, however blameable in an advocate, is neceffary in an hiftorian, and without which he will not reprefent an image of things, but of his own pallions.

We have wholly omitted in the Hiftorical part the legal difputes which arofe on the profecution of the authors and publishers of the North Briton. The reader will eafily fee, that thefe matters did not properly come within the defign of that part of our work; but we have taken care to infert the beft account, which has appeared, of that whole tranfaction, at the end of the Chronicle.


[blocks in formation]

Plan of the year's hiftory. Invafion of the Philippines defigned. Defcrip tion of thofe islands, and of the city of Manila. Preparations at Madrass. Part of the fquadron fent before the rest. The fleet unites at Malacca. They arrive at Manila.


N. our laft volume we were obliged to conclude our account of the peace, before we had fully related all the tranfactions of the war. When Great Britain came to a rupture with Spain, the theatre of hoftility was infinitely enlarged: As that war was in a great measure a war upon commerce, it naturally became as extenfive as its object. And as the vital parts of Spain, contrary to the condition of

moft other nations, lie at a great distance from the head, expeditions of the utmost moment were to be undertaken in the remoteft part of the globe.

The nature of our plan, in which the narrative, perhaps, preffes too close upon the facts, constrains us to relate things, not in the order of time in which they happen, but in that in which we come to the knowledge of them. In this in

[B] 2



plan has not been at

1521, by the famous navigator

ftance, tha any material inconve- Ferdinand Magellan they were

nience. The fortune of the expeditions, depending during the negotiation of the peace, was not, by the mutual confent of parties, to have any influence on the terms of it. The places taken were to be reciprocally reftored. We, therefore, thought it more pru dent to prefent to the reader anarrative of that important tranfaction, entire and unbroken, rather than poftpone any part of it, until we had gathered in all the fcattered events of the war. However, there were events, and fome of them fo confiderable, to the knowledge of which we have arrived fince the conclufion of our last year's labour, that they ought by no means to be omitted. They will furnish famething to the entertainment we probofe for the public in the prefent; and they are fuch, a thily clofe that great fcene of national glory, which Great Britain had difplayed to the world, during the five laft campaigns. The chief of thefe was the expedition against the Manilas. Its importance will Juftify that detail, in which we propofe to confider it.

as not unwor

The Manilas, or Philippines, form a principal divifion of that immenfe Indian Archipelago, which confifts of many hundred iflands, fome of them the largeft, and many of them by nature the richeft in the world; and which lie in the torrid zone, extending from the 19th degree of north latitude, almost in a continued chain, to New Guinea, and to the neighbouring thores of the great fouthern continent.

The Philippines form the northernmoft cluster of thefe islands. They were discovered in the year

[ocr errors]

added to the Spanish monarchy by Don Lewis de Velafco, in 1564, in the reign of Philip the fecond, under whom the Spanish dominion was greatly augmented, and its real ftrength, at the fame time, so impaired, that almoft two centuries have not reftored it to its former vigour. The Philippines are fcarce inferior to any of the other iflands of Afia, in all the natural productions of that happy climate; and they are by far the best fituated for an extended and advantageous commerce. By their pofition they form the center of intercourfe with China, Japan, and the Spice Iflands; and whilft they are under the dominion of Spain, they connect the Afiatic and American commerce, and become the general entrepôt for the rich manufactures and products of the one, and for the treasures of the othe.. Be fides, they are well fituated for a fupply of European goods, both from the fide of Acapulco, and by the way of the Cape of Good Hope.

[ocr errors]

In fact, they formerly enjoyed a traffic in fome degree proportioned to the peculiar felicity of their fituation; but the Spanish dominion is too vaft and unconnected to be improved to the best advantage. The fpirit of commerce, is not powerful in that people. The trade of the Philippines is thought to have declined its great. branch is now reduced to two fhips, which annually pafs between thefe iflands and Acapulco in America, and to fingle port, that of Manila, in an ifland of the fame name...


But though declined, this trade is fil a vat object of protection


« السابقةمتابعة »