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ANNUAL REGISTER,

OR A VIEW OF THE

HISTORY,

POLITICS,

AND

LITERATURE,

For the YEAR 1807.

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PREFACE.

IT is an observation of Mr. Hume's, that History, being a collection of facts which are multiplying without end, is obliged to adopt, like most other Sciences, Arts of Abridgment; to retain the more material events, and to drop all the minute circumstances which are interesting only during the time, or to the persons engaged in the transactions. It is not pretended that our Annual Sketches of the succeeding years, which aim only at aiding the memory, by tracing such connections and relations as may be perceived in so short a time, after the events described, attain to the solidity, importance, and dignity, of just and legitimate history: for which they are only intended to supply materials, and, in the mean time; in some measure to supply their place. But a tolerable execution of even our design, requires the aid of abridgment in proportion to the variety of scenes to be described, and events to be recorded. We had not lost sight of this maxim in the composition of the History Of Europe, for 1807 ; which has however extended to a length, for which perhaps we ought, at least to our most accomplished and refined readers, to make an apology.— Certainly if the scale of narration were to be in proportion to the multiplication of facts, History would totter under its own weight, and endless details would prevent attention to those general conclusions or results, that bestow on particular details their principal importance. Never perhaps, ■ince the contest between religious tyranny, and religious liberty, the sister and powerful ally of political freedom, in the reign of the Emperor Charles V, was there so eventful a crisis. France and Russia contended on the banks of the Vistula, for the empire of the political world ; and this—we hesitate to sav whether it was settled, or only put in a train

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