1

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THE . *

«

ANNUAL REGISTER, V

OR A V I E W OF THE

HISTORY, POLITICS,

AND

LITERATURE,

For the YEAR 1792.

PART I. HI S 1 Y OF EUROPE.

LONDON:

I'lTnted for F. and C. Rivington, 62, St.

s Church -Yaidi

PREFACE. VS,

to hoftilities with Auftria; the report of M. Dumourier to the king in council, which im- mediately produced the declaration of war; and other pieces of inferior confideration.

The Appendix to the Chronicle has been fnnilarly enlarged. This has been done part^ ly to include feveral valuable documents of lefs folemn form, relative to the French hif- tory, and partly to preferve the principal de- clarations and refolutions which were pub- liflied in 1792, by the different aifociations of oppofite political tenets, into which our own kingdom was then unhappily divided.

We cannot prefent to the public thefe fruits, fuch as they are, of our affiduous refearches, without obferving, that during the time, which has been fpent in them, we have not been unmindful of our ulterior engagements. Two other volumes have been fome time in preparation, and are adually in the prefs. They will appear with all convenient difpatch. We have for each, authentic materials, which we know, to be in the poireffion of no other private perfons.

In the volume for 1793, which is in great forwardnefs, the part that contains the origin of the war between France and this coun- try, will be executed in the fame full man- ner with the French hiftory in the prefent

yolumco

X PREFACE.

volume. Afterwards when adlual hoflilities had commenced, and the French republic had acquired fomething of an eftablilhment, we ihall return to the general courfe and ftyle of our accuftomed narrative. Mankind have little comparative concern in knowing with accuracy the feries of crimes and follies com- mitted by immoral power of whatever form. Thefe are but neceflary confequences of fuch a domination. It is the tranfition of great Itates from one mode of exiflence to another, that furnifhes, perhaps, the moll inftracltive lelTon in hiflory.

The delay, which from the caufes thus fub- mitted to the public has taken place in the appearance of the prefent volume, has expofed us to the repetition of an attempt once before made to injure us. We fhall not, however, regret the time, labour, and expence beftowed to finifh the work in a manner fatisfadtory to ourfelves, if it fhall in any degree procure a continuance of that indulgent approbation, which we have had the happinefs fo long to experience, and the remembrance of which muft ever incite us to the mofl perfe- vering and diligent difcharge of our duty, confiftent with the great interefts of juftice and truth.

ABSTRACT

or THE

CONTENTS to the HISTORY of EUROPE.

Chaps,

in

HiJ!ory and Politics of tht North Polijh affairs from 1 789 III \ ^^ ^^^ declaration of --war by France againji Anjlria, and IV. L tf P-uJf a againft Poland - - - -

V. r

VI. I Account of the French revolution refumed, from the retreat of

Vll.< jl/. Neckerin 1790, and continued 1 0 the declarati n cf-war

IV- ^ ^-^ France againji the kitig of Hungary and Bohemia IX. (^

Y J War in India to its termination by a def nit I've treaty of \r o \ peace - - - - - - J

XL r Riots at Birmingham on commemoration of the French revo- *) [3^9

» r , ." < lution— -Parliamentary prcceedinps Domejic hijlory, L 3 9

XIII. J -^ ^ * -^ f ^4^

XIV. I i^c.i^c. J 364

Northern Politics refumed^Poland : Confedtratioa at Tar- goHuitz AJfaJfmation of the king of SiLcden—'Mo'vements XV^. \ cfthe French armies Coronation of the emperor— -Mani- V [382 fefto of the combined fovereigns— Declaration of the French princes \ Cifr, \2c. - . - -

- Civil hijlory of France refumed—Arts of the facobins—

Narbonne : Brijfot .' Condor cet : Bertrand : Dumourier :

Lacojle : Duranthon : Claviere : Roland : Peticn :

Louvet : Roberjpierre Danton : Fayette: Feuillans; l5c. . l4^t

XVII- } Civic fcaji by the Jacobins Attack on the ThuiUeries— > /-r

' Life of the king attempted : the queen^ s threatened— -Fede-

XVI

I Liouvet : K-ocerypierre uanton : r ayette: r euiuans; or. . i

/^ Civic fcaji by the Jacobins Attack on the ThuiUeries— >

I Life of the king attempted : the queen^ s threatened— Fede' s

I rates— -Behaviour and fetuation of the king—Maffacre at 1

L tht! Thuilleries-'-'King committed to cujlody ; l£c. i^c, - J

ERRATA, FIRST PART.

Page 94-. 2d col. line 11 from the bottom, for "the laft century," read, " the 1 6th century." J 55. ift col. line lo. for " M. Necker," read, " M. BreteuiL" 333. ill col. line 27. for *' to be able," read, " of being able." 245. 2d col. 8 lines from the bottom for " was figned," read, '• were

figned." 269. 2d col. laft line, after ** obtained," dele the comma, and put a full flop. 366, iftcol. line 6. for " detached efFe6ts," read, " detached efforts." 4.10. 2d col. 8 lines from the bottom, for '< was," read, " were.""

PREFACE.

THE portion of hiftory now prefentecl to the Public, occupies confiderably niore than double the fpace allotted to that head in our former volumes. It comprizes the tranfadlions of much more than a fingle year ; and the period to which it relates, is the mod critical and interefting in the prefent century, per- haps in the whole fucceffion of centuries from the reign of Charlemagne. With the events, here narrated, began a newcera in the fyftem of Europe. The long eftabliflied ba- lance of power, fhaken by repeated wars, and fettled again by renewed treaties, has been overturned both in the North and South ; the received law of nations has been antiquated; and not only forms of government, but the firft principles of politics, aqcj morals, have undergone a revolution.

On fach a fubjedl, we thought it our duty to fpare no pains in the compilation of docu- ments, and the inveftigation of facfts, which could, in the leaft refped:, tend to elucidate an epoch, likely to engage the particular atten-

a 2 tioa

ii PREFACE.

tion of future hiftorians, and to influence the happinefs or mifery of diilant generations. In the profecution of our enquiries, recourfe has been always had to immediate and original authorities, wherever fuch could be procured ; where that was not poffibie, we have never failed to confult the bell and moft authenti- cated accounts, occaiionally referring, in notes, to the various fources from whence our in- formation was derived. Between one and two hundred pubUcations of different defcriptions (fome among them coniifting of feveral vo- lumes) wdll be found to be exprefsly quoted; and many might itill have been added to the lift, if it had been thought proper to narhe more than one or two of the principal, which concurred in the fame teftimony. We have alfo profited not a little from the private com- munications of perfons, upon w'hofe veracity we can depend, and who have been a6tively engaged in the fcenes here defcribed, in Po- land, in France, at Home, and in the campaigns of the Eaft.

In the developement of the northern poli- tics, which finally led to the total deftrudlion of the old balance of power in that quarter, by the annihilation of Poland, as an indepen- dent ftate, much care has been beftowed ; and, it is hoped, not altogether in vain. A fuller, 3 as

PREFACE.

Ill

as well as more impartial hiflory of the revo- lution in that unhappy country, and of all the counfels and intrigues conne6ted with it, has been attempted, than has yet appeared in any work, foreign or domeftic, which has come to our knowledge. The narrative is taken up from the early rudiments of that meafure in 1789, and continued down to the firft fub- mifiion of Warfaw to the Ruffian armies in the autumn of 1792. It has been our endea- vour, according to the belt of our judgment, to preferve the degree of detail due to tranf- adlions of fo much moment, yet upon the prominent features of which there exifts no effential difference of opinion among man- kind.

The French hiflory, contained in this vo- lume, commences from the time when, by the expulfion of Necker and his colleagues, the original leaders of the revolution got the whole power of the Ifate into their own hands ; and it reacjies down to the adlual fub- verfion of the monarchy in Auguft 1792, by an open attack on the palace, the imprilbn- ment of the king, his provifional depofition, and the calling of a convention to ratify, by fome appearance of the general will, that anomalous democracy which was then in effed: eftabliflied by force. It is a period of

a 3 fome thing

iv ' P R E F A C E.

fomething lefs than two years. Yet in that iliort fpace, two factions, w^iich had fuccef- liveh^ rilen to popularity, after being compel- led to feek their own fafety by uniting to fup- port that throne^ which they had themfelves rendered infecure, were crullied together un- der its ruins ; and the fa6lion, which feemed moft triumphant in its fall, was already under- mined. This period is alfo marked by the breaking out of a w^ar which has involved the greater part of Europe, and broken in pieces the fylfem of the South.

The feveral fedls of revolutionifls in France, up to the end of 1792, have, each in its turn, had their admirers and advocates in this, as in every other neighbouring nation ; and many, wdio have long fuice been difgufted by the crimes that have followed, are dill as lavhh as ever in their praife of the principles, with \vhich the revolution fet out. Many too, who at this mo- ment fee wdth alarm and indignation the am- bition and injuflice of our enemies, yet afiert them to have taken arms originally in the juft defence of their own Hberty, and impute all their crimes and calamities to the war into which they are reprefented to have been forced. Some, though comparatively few, have uni- formly adhered to every thing, which has been done by all the different demagogues and tyrants a of

PREFACE. V

of that opprefTed country. Others (and we be- lieve them to be by far the greateft number) have, for a longtime, asuniverfallydifapproved alike the principles and conduct of the French revokition. On ail fides the paffions are kindled by the nature and importance of the queftions which are agitated, inflame the contention, and tinge every furrounding objecSl with the colour of their own light.

In fuch circumftances, the tafk of the con- temporary hiftorian, always delicate, is clog- ged with new difficulties. There is no evidence on which he can implicitly rely. There are no readers, who can coolly eftimate what he writes. He fhould keep a check on the bias of his own opinions : for opinions he mull: have: to be indifferent, in fuch a jundure of civil fociety, would be a crime. In all the more difputed paffages of the tranfa61ions, which he has to relate (fuch as are all thofe of the period comprehended in the prefent vo- lume) we fee but one way, which he can fafe- ly and honeftly purfue, though at the riik: of rendering his compofition cumberfome, dif- jointed, and fpiritlefs. He muft embody, as it were, the evidence in the flory itfelf, by in- ferting ample extracts from the fpeeches and declarations of the principal a6lors on each fide; he muft trace their proceedings ftep by ftep, and almoil: day by day, fcrupuloufly re-

a 4 garding

vi PREFACE.

garding the order of time ; and he mufl ac- cumulate every fa6t, which can ilhiftrate their deiigns and difpoiltions. In afcertaining his fadts, he fliould ufe more than ordinary cir- cumfpe6lion. The heft teftimony is that, which witneiTes furnifh againil themfelves; and on that he Ihould bottom himfdf wherever he can. What remains, he fliould fupply, as far as he is able, from folemn documents, and public ftatements, admitted, or at leaft uncon- tradicted by adverfaries, whofe intereft it was to refute them. He fliould ftudy the charac- ters, not only of oppoflte parties, but of indi- viduals, and receive nothing but with extreme jealoufy from thofe, whom he fliall have once found guilty of employing deliberate fraud. He muft compare all, coUedt from all, but fur- render his own judgment to none. Many things, unneceflTary to the prefent times, he muft preferve for the inilruclion of pofterity ; many more, which will appear tedious, when the general truth of the ftory fliall have been once agreed, he muft dilate to meet exifting prejudices, errors, or mifreprefentations. To thofe who fliall come after, it muft be left to catch the more ftriking refults, combine them with effed, difpofe them in harmonious maf- fes, and delineate them with a rapid, but firm pencil.

There is alfo a peculiar difadvantage un- der

PREFACE. vii

der which we labour, in writhig contempo- rary hiftory by detached pieces. What has been pafTed over in its proper place, as compa- ratively infignificant, will fometimes appear afterwards to be of the higheft importance ; and fometimes new light will be refiedted from new information. Some inftances, of both kinds, occur in the prefent volume. Such are, the account of the abortive inquiry into the crimes of the 5th and 6th of 06lober 1789, before the court of the Cliatelet, and the bloody tales of Nimes and Avignon : fabje«5ls, the complete knowledge of which feemed efiential to a true eilimate of the firft alTembly. We take the liberty too, of dired:ing the reader's attention to the review, which is attempted in the Vlllth chapter of the progrefs of the Re- volution, during the time of the firft affem- bly, the predifpofing caufes of that event, and its moral and political operation at home and abroad. The prefs was kept ftanding a long time, that we might avail ourfelves of fome very important authorities, which had been promifed to the world ; and which have occa- Honed that part to grow under our hands, to a magnitude which, if we had forefeen, we fliould have been induced to have formed it into a feparate chapter.

Our domeftic affairs we have aimed to treat,

as

viii PREFACE.

as they feemed to require, in a fort of middle manner; more than commonly full, but not fo minute as that which has been applied to the affairs of France.

The colle(fi[ion of Rate-papers is, of courfe, imiifually copious. Many of them, and thofe perhaps tl^e moll interefting, we do not recol- le6l ever before to have feen in the Enp^liih language ; and others have only been knowq by imperfe(ft and partial tranilations. Among the former are; the covin ter-complaints of the court of BruiTels againil: the French, for pro- tecting the Emigrants, ancl encouraging the malcontents of the Auftrian Netherlands ; the difpatches, which ftate the fatisfadlory con- du6l of the ElecSlor Palatine, and the Eledlor of Treves, in difperfmgthe affemblagespf French Emigrants, and thofe, which evince the pacific intentions of the court of Turin, and the un- prepared condition of Spain; the king's procla- mation on the furpenfiqn of Petion and Ma- nuel ; Briflbt's report on the negotiations wdth Geneva, and the principles of the new diplo-r macy ; the anfvver of the prefident Gregoire to the Savoyard deputies, which was printed and circulated as the manilefto of all nations againft kings ; and fome of the addirelTes from the f^nglifli focieties : among the latter are, the whole official correfpondence, which led

to

THE

ANNUAL REGISTER^

For the YEAR 1792.

THE

HISTORY

O F

EUROPE.

, . J

CHAP. I.

Connefiion of the Polijh re'volution nvith the ivar of the North already re- lated, and the fubfequent French ^Mar~ Situation of affairs before the diet in the beginning of 1 7 89. Character of the Poles of Frederick- William of StanijIau:-jiugnJiuS'--his fittiaticn and prudence-— his ad- monition to the diet againji precipitate reforms, 'when they nuere going; to confeder of the abolition of the perrnanent council. Motion for that abolition, and the repeal of all the regulations of 1 775 and ijyS, made by Count Stanijlaus Potocki, and after tivo days debates car- ried by a very large majority. Diet returns to the conf deration cf the finance f. Land-tax propofed. Generous beha-viour cf all parties and orders of men in the diet, particularly of the clergy. Strong fpi- rit Jheixin to protect the peafants, and encouraged by the king— his oivn liberality to the public treafury. Difputes nvith RuJJia about the e'va~ citation of the republic by her troops. Coffpiracy and irfurreSiion fo- mented by RuJJia. Pa/fage refufed to RuJJian troops. E?nprefs orders the compleat evacuation of the Polijh territories, and promifes Jatif- fadion for all damage done by them. Confequent influence of the kinjr ef Prujjia and the Britijh minifter at Warfauu, Profecution of Prince Poninjki, for his conduct as marjhal of the diet ivhicL fandioned the partition in 1 775. Profpe£ti--Vi re dud ion of the value cf the hi Jho pries nvhen they Jhould become -vacar,:, frailar in principle to the ceccnomical re- form here in 1782 ; directly oppofte to the confifcaticn of the property of the clergy in France about the fame time voith this ecclcfiajiical refoi w in Poland. Storming of the Bajlile no^<J knovjn in PolaJid. Efleits of the French revolution on Poland. Committee for reporting on the plan of ci conjiiiution appointed. Deputation of the royal free cities and towns to Vol; XXXIV. [^] ohdin

2] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1792,

obtain a rejioraticn of their a7itient prinjileges. Gefteral dijpcfition in their fwycur. 7 he deputies are i7itroduced at court, and their caufe patro- ni%ed by the king. They prefent a memorial to the diet. Their modera- tion. Injortnality in their mode of proceeding. They are direiled to apply through the proper legal channels ; and a ccmtnittee is named by the iing, frtm pcrj'ons favourable to them, to recei've and report upon their grie- iiances. Committee of the ccnjHtutio7i proceeds n/jitb great deliberation. King cf PiuJJla offers his alliance, but requires, as preliminary conditions^ the augmentation cf the Polijh army, and a go'venwient of more ftrength a7id ft ability. Report cf the committee called for : made by the bijhop of Ka.miniec, 'who, after recomfnending cautio7i, propofes certain principles of melioration, contained in eight articles. Short account of the 7noJi import a7it points. All the articles pafjed, at the recomme7tdatio7i of the king. Diet adjourns for the Chrijhnas recefs. Uni'verfals of the marjhals, recapitii- lati7ig all the meafures of the diet, and exhort i7ig the nation to internal union. Public thankjgt-ving in all the churches direSled by the kijig, far the una7iimity njoith 'which the diet had begun the reform of their conjii- tution.

IN the conclufion of the laft vo- lume it was obferved that the clofe of the year 1791 formed a fort of natural ep.'.ch. But in the train of human evenls, though many things happen which no wifdom Ihort of infinite could fon fee, yet nothing is abrupt ; no part of hiftory is wholly detached and Infulated from the reft. The tran^aftions of one period branch into, and inofculate- with, thofe of another; they follow from the paft as from their caufe, or they lead to the future as to their efFeft: and the fortunes of diftant countries, efpecially in that artificial fyftem which has long been maintained with {0 much jea- loufy in Europe, reciprocally in- fluence and are influenced, even where no diredt connexion or fym- pathy exifts.

The revolution of Poland is the link of union between the por- tion of hiftory, which ends with the general pacification of Europe in I79i> and that in which we now are, comprehending the origin.

progrefs, and iflue,whatever that fhall be, of the fanguinary and ferocious war, which was begun by France in 1792, and ftiortly after involved all the great military and maritime powers of Europe. It is the proper fequel of the one, and the beft intro- dudion to the other. It arofe by de- grees out of the circumftances of the North, already related ; and the remote confequences of it are ftill vifible in the afi^airs of the South. Though it by no means had that community of principle with the French revolution, which has been attributed to it from different mo- tives, alike by profelled admirers and declared enemies; yet in fome points the two events certainly did affe*.^ each other; again ft both a common league is fald, whether truly ©r falfely, to have been form- ed; and on the fubjeft of both, an appeal was made to aims nearly in the fame moment.

We have feen, * that in the latter, part of 1788, and the beginning of 1789, the confederated diet had al-

* Vol. x>:xi.

ready

V

HISTORY OF EUROPE.

[3

{■eady made fome progrefs in affert- ing the independence of their coun- try. But the great tafk yet remained: to fecure refpedl abroad as well as tranquillity at home, it was necefTai y to eftablifh a government capable of enforcing both.

To the fuccefs of this arduous and delicate undertaking the character of the people was very unfavourable, if we may believe the late king of Pruffia, who wanted neither induce- ment nor opportunity to Uudy ihem. They are reprefented by him, as * " heads withoutlogic, light and fri- " volous beyond every other people •' in Europe." In truth they were, (too many of them) at once venal and intraftable, fierce, jealous of their liberty, impetuous and reftlefs, while they felt the baneful operation of an internal evil which they knew not how to remedy ; running about to all the political theoriils who were the fafliion of the day, and requeft- ing from them a plan for the at- tainment of that public happinefs which could refult only from the dif- cipline of their own minds. But time and adverfuy, the two great inftruftors of mankind, had now taught the Poles the falutary lellbns of their fchool ; and a great majo- rity of the le ding nobles had fettled into a ftcady convidion, that the fource of all their calamities lay in thofe anarchical privileges which they had too long confounded with liberty.

With thefe good difpofiticns, they found in the reigning king of Pruf- fia, what they had never before ex- perienced, a powerful neighbour

capable of protefting them, who feemed now to have his eyes opened tohis true interefts, and tofee his own fecurity not in their weaknefs but in their profperity. Nor were they lefs fortunate in their own monarch. They beheld on their throne a na- tive prince, who to the ardent defire which he ever felt of being the be- nef'aclor and fathe- of his people, had now joined what he before did rot polTefs, the confidence and af- fedion of his fubjeds. " The king " was one with the nation, (as he " faid himfelf) and the nation all " with the king."

The part experience, however, of Staniflaus-Auguftus had rendered him cautious. Scarcely was the crown placed upon his head, when f, propofing to flrike at the root of their diftradions, by abolifhing the abfolute negative claimed by every nuncio in the free diets, he fell under the difpleafure of the two courts, which had concurred in his eleva- tion. Not long after, among other reforms, he ereded boards of com- milTioners for the management of the treafury and army, and he creat- ed a bench of judges learned in the law, to exercife the important ju- rifdidion of the marfhal's court. By thefe meafures he rexlored the fi- nances, brought the army, Imall as it was, to be an effedive force, and provided in fome menlire for the due admii^illration of juflice J : but he diffatisiied all the great piafts who afpired to the high offices which overfhadowed the throne. Ke fa- voured the petitions of the difTidents for a toleration; and the whole ca-

* Memoires de 1763, jufqu'a 1775, under the year 1773. •}• lb. under the years 1764. and 176^.

I Ih. and the able Letters on Poland, "publifhed by Payne in J773. Letter I, t«\v.irds the end.

[ J ] z tholic

4l ANNUAL REGISTER, 1792.

tholic church, which was the domi- nant religion, laity as well as clergy, railed a general cry againil him. 'l"he difiidents entered into a confe- deracy, under the proceftion of the emprefscf RulTia, the catholics ap- plied for aid to the court of Vienna, and the king of Pruffia amufed both parties : yet ultimately diflidents and catholics compromiied ilieir re- ligious differences to meet each ttuer in a grand confedemcy againil tne crown ; and the three neigh- bouring potentates forgot all their eld political jealoufies to unite in the plunder of Poland. After fuf- ierirg every diitrefs, and efcaping by little lefs than a miracle from a mo!"!: defperate attempt on his life, the virtuous and accomplifned king of tliis unfortunate country had the iiiorcihcation to behold an affliding fcene of civil confufion and devaf- tation only t>;rminated at lail; by the difraemberment of his kingdom, and the formal annihilation of all the little authority which he originally poffefled in its internal government. The crown -fiefs, called the Starof- ties, were taken out of his difpofal. He was no longer to have the free nomination of the bifhops, palatines, cailellans, and minifters who formed the fenate ; and who, fubjefl as they were to royal inRuence, conilituted the only cffeflive llrength and bul- \wirk of the throne. He could not even appoint comniiflioneis to tlie boards, or judges to the bench, which he had inllituted. All internal re- gulations intended to be fubmitted 10 a diet, and all foreign meafures, in every llage of their progrefs, were to be decided by the majority of a permanent council, in which, during the intervals of the diets, all power was now lodged, and v.hich, '.l.ough nominally the agent of the ifewB, was indeed a cejiimijr.an

for the execution of his office, thsft did not leave him the real efficiency left by himfclf to the great offi- cers of the realm at their refpeftive boards.

Looking back on thefe incidents of his life, he could not creduloully truil every flattering appearance of fupport either from within or with- out. He feenis therefore to have felt the ground under him before he advanced. Above all he fought, by a gentle refiftance, to put the firmnefs of his people to the teft, and to dif- tinguifh their ferious and deliberate wifhes from the fudden elFervefcence of the moment. The latter he em- ployed all his influence to allay, but by the former he guided his condu6l as far as wifdom and prudence would

allow\ In this fpirit it , ^,

, , ^ . fan. gth, was. that when mention -" ^

was firft made of im- ' "* proving the internal condition of the republic, he warned the diet, that the good intentions which they ma- nifelted, and which he highly praifed, might fail of all their eifed, if they Ihould at once attempt precipitate reforms in the whole frame of the government. And thus did he pre- pare them for the confideration of the great queftion which he fuggeH- ed, as to the manner in which the ftate fhould be adminiflered during the intervals of the diet; a queftion in truth involving no lefi than all the fplendour, dignity, and authority of the crown.

Count Staniflaus PotocI;i, nun- cio of Lublin, a nobleman muchanti very defervedly in the confidence of his fovereign, then propoied the abolition of the ,Per?}:ancnt Coimcil, together with all the re- gulations of 1775 and 1776; but leveral warm and tumultuous debates took place en different days, before this opening was mride to the revo-

It^tion

HISTORY OF

EUROPE.

[S

lution which followed. In the fcC- iion of the 17th, the mover of the propofitlon took occafion to exprefs his hopes, that from the day, which gave his majelly birth, the kingdom might alfo date the origin of a new and more happy defliny: yet true to his policy, the king once more recommended moderation. He ob- ferved, that the propofition was a direft infringement of the treaties with the neighbouring powers; and what other faf-ty have we, he afked ; to what other fupport and protedion can we look? Headvifedthem there- fore to reficd, and adjourned the fei- iion. The fubjeifl, however, coming at laft to be difcuffed, he declared, that " it was ever his intention, as " he thought it his duty, to partake " the weal or woe of his country, " but he wiflied to find unanimity *' in their refolves." A long and animated debate enfued, but in the conclufion the queftion for the abo- lition was carried by a majority of one hundred and twenty to eleven: thirty-one members arc faid to have been prefent, who did not vote.

This decifive meaiure having been taken, the diet paufed on the fcheme of government, which was to be iublUtuted, and reverted co the points which had previoully occupied the attention of the nation. Ac- cordingly they proceeded with the confideration ofthe ways and means for eitabl idling a permanent reve- nue, equal to the expenditure, which the new fituation of the country, and principally the projefted angmenta- tion of the army, might demand. The fubjeft was frequently renewed ; till ultimately a land-tax was im- pofed en the following plan: the Starofis, or pofieilors of the crown- fiefs, were in future to pay one half of their income, inllead of one

fourth, which they before paid; the clergy (with an exception favour- able to fome of the poorer eccleii- allical corporations) were ail'eiled at twenty/^;- cent.; and all proprietors of hereditary fiefs atid allodial lands at ten j>er ce?it. of the yearly value of their eilates.

In the courfe of the various deli- berations which led to this conclu- fion, fome circumftances occurred of too much importance in marking the temper of all ranks and parties i:i the diet, to be pafied over in filence. Many of the richeit Sta- roilies were in the hands of the lea- ders on both fides. It was natural therefore to expedl fome oppofition to (o heavy a burthen being laid on them, yet none appears to have been attempted. They m.ade the facri- fice required of them by their country with difinterelled alacrity. There was no difcord till the quei- tion came for the apportionment o{ the tax on church lands. Then fome of the more violent fpeakers on the popular fide wanted to carry the afleilbent ftill higher; but the king, the court party, and all the graver perfons of both houfes, com- bated the propofition, as contrary to all equity, indeed it was faid to be reafonable that tlie clergy Ihould even be relieved from the benevo- lence, called the gratuitous gift, which they had been accullomed to pay. The clergy however now came forward, and declared, that to give a new proof of their zeal for the profperity of their country, they were willing to let the gratuitous gift remain independently of the twenty per cent, to which they had not objefted; and this liberal ad- vance on their part rertored unani- mity to the public councils. Nei- ther did the great body of the diet,

[^] 3 on

6] ANNUAL REGISTER, 1792.

on whom the general land-tax fell, do themfelvcs lefs honour. Infor- mation having been given that feme lords had not only laid the newimpoib on their vaffals, but had even made them continue the payment of the temporary taxes which had now expired ; the aflembly inftantly took lire at the intelligence. Many members exprefled in lively terms their honour anddetefcation of fuch oppreffion; and the king, who by an early a£l: of his reign had lirft placed the lives of the peafantry under the protection of the law, feized this occafion of imprefling the miferies of their condition with all his eloquence on the feelings of the nobles. The refuk was, that the board of treafury was direfted to circulate, in the name of the afiem- bled ftates, a prohibitory edidt re- quiring the krds to abftain from thefe and all other oppreflions on their vaffals, who were in no way to be charged with the new land-tax. To complete the whole, in this con- left of generofity, the king made the public treafury a prefent of 300,000 florins a year from the lands appro- priated to the maintenance of his table.

In the mean time the evacuation of Poland by the Ruffian troops went on flow'ly. Count Stackelberg, the Ruffian ambaiTador, procraftinated and explained, in a tone of modera- tion not common to the diplomacy of his court, and ftiil lefs fo in cor- refpondence with the court of War- faw : while field-marfhal Romanzow, to whom the emprefs had given the command in the Ukraine, remon- ilrated a little more in the ftyle of a general at the head of a viflorious army. On the other hand, the Poles became more and more refolute^ ?-sA

menaces were thrown out in tlis diet of applying to the king of Pruffia, for fuccours to drive out the Ruffians by force. The negociation was rtill pending, when a plot to excite an infurrefiion among the peafants of the Greek religion was denounced to the diet, and imputed to the machinations of Ruffia. A prelate of that nation, who was alfq abbot of a Greek convent at Sluck in Lithuania, was feized and carried prifoner to Warfaw. charged with be- ing an accomplice in tlie confpiracy. He was demanded by the Ruffian mi- nifter,as an imperial fubjeft; but not- withftanding, proceedings were infti- tuted againll him before the proper ecclefiaftical tribunal. This inci- dent added new fuel to the flame, fuf- ficiently hot before ; and the oppor- tunity was not negledled of bring- ing forward additional n-ieafures to; eradicate the influence of the em- prefs. The Greek priefts, who ufed publicly to p'^ay for her in their churches, were forbidden to continue the pradice, as familiarizing their congregations to look up to a fo- reign power rather than to their own natural (bvereign ; and all members of that communion, who were not regularly domiciled in Poland, or who refufed to take the oath of allegiance, were ordei^d immediately to quit her territories. A pretext too was from hence taken by the <\\st, firfl for hefitating, and afterwards for declining to grant a free paffage, which the court of Pe- terfhurg had now the condefcenflon to a&, for a large body of Ruffian troops, whofe direft road lay through Poiiili Ukraine. An offer was indeed made after a time to al- low them a paflage, but under fuch reftridions as plainly could

not

HISTORY OF EUROPE.

[7

TiOl be accepted. At length count

, . Stackelberg, in the name

4th^J une, ^f i^j^ nrlftrefs, gave offi-

'" 5' cial notice, thac all the military magazines fhould be tranf- ported to the other fide of the Dniefter, and anotlier line of march be given to the troops, fo as to avoid the frontiers of the republic. He made ftill further rubmilfion to juftice and neceflity; and promifed com- penfation for the damages already done by the Ruffian armies.

The neceflary confequence of the fituation which we have jull: de- fcribed with regard to Rufiia, was •daily to draw the king and diet into a clofer union with Frederick- Wil- liam. His mediation with the court of Peterfburg was formally re- quefted. Every difpatch was tranf- mitted to him on its arrival, and no anfwer was fent without his privity and approbation; while at Warfaw his miniilsr, fupported by the minif- ter of Great Britain, held perpetual conferences of the moll confidential nature with the committee for fo- reign affairs, of which count Ma- lachowilci, the marlhal of the diet, and head of the country party, was prefident. Of circum'lauces like thefe it is not to be imagined that the king of Pruffia did not avail himfelf; and he managed the jutic- ture with dexterity. He haftened on the firtl application to give every affiirance calculated to confir^n the influence which he had already ob- tained. He declared * that, fetting the highelt value on the friendlbip of the republic, he would ever make it one of the iirll objefts of his reign to perpetuate and ftrengthen a con-

neflion no lefs expedient than mu- tually neceffary for the two fiates, and originating in common intorefls of the moileilentia ki d. Upon this principle he held forth a ne\v tre ity of alliance and guara 'tee to prote.l the independency and fovereignty of Poland, as well as a revidon of the comm.;rcial treaty; and inlliantiy upon his part propoied giving every reafonabienc lity in his power to the commerce of Litliuania with Eaftern Prulfia, on condition tiiat iome late regulations of the cuftom-houlss on the frontiers of the grand dutchy fhould be repealed. Yet, although he took care to let it be known how much he approved the dilpofition of Poland to vindicate her own inde- pendency, he nev.'ithelefs adviied a temperate and circumfped addrefs, a conciliatory appeal to the equity and magnanimity of the emprefs. His ambaffador at Warfaw even found it neceflary to defer.d himfelf as ag iinll: a ch.arge, from the impu- tation of having too much foftened one of the official anfwers to count Stackelberg. But the mailer- ftroke of Pi ufTian policy was th- deference which the king and his minillers, in all their tranfaiflions, often tatioufly paid to the court of London. No- thing could be better conceived to give tlie Poles a firm faith in the fm- cerity and uprightnefs of hi /'ews. For England, it was rememb r ;d, had formerly interfered on occ.iii )a of the partition in 1773; and could not feel any of the 1 itle partial in- tcreils wluch might be fuppofed liable fom tim' s to warp the inte- grity of a king of Pruflia. ''"h? co- operation of this country, therefore.

* Particularly in the note of the Fruffian miniftry to the Polifh ambaffador, dated Berlin, 7th March, 1789.

[^]4

was

S3 ANNUAL REGISTER, 1792.

was juftly confidered as the ftrongeft pledge of fair-dealing in the court of Berlin; and it was with the confidence, and to the fatisfaftion of all, that about the time of which we are fpeaking * Mr. Hailes in a manner direfted the whole foreign fyflem of Poland.

The Poles perhaps would have afted wifely in feeking an union among their own factions. They Ihould have granted an amnefty to all concerned in the part partition, and the fandlion finally given to it in 1775. Too many of their great nobles were more or lefs implicated ; and all afted under an irreiiftible force. But prince Poniniki, the grand treafarer, who had been mar- fhal of the diet in 1775. ^"*^ ^^ ^^^^ occafion had been notorioufly favour- able to the views of Ruffia, was upon this account now impeach- ed, after a lapfe of fourteen years. The charges were fupported with particular eagernefs by all the friends of the grand general count Branicki, who was the enemy of the treaiurer. So vigorous were the proceedings againft the ac- cufed, tha: he was at once put under arreft, in violation, as he complain- ed, of a cardinal law, which the Po- lifh nobility regarded with juft ve- neration, and which in words very iimilar to a paliage of our own Great Charter, fay£ " we will imprifon " no man unlefs convifted by law." Yet in his cafe the irregularity (if indeed the law did extend to profe- culions before the diet) was over- looked in the public indignation, which ran fo high, that the prince

was with difficulty faved from the fury of the multitude on the day when he was arretted. Still there were not wanting fome men of more temperate minds, who, anxious for that good fettlement of the country, which could only be procured by unanimity, favv this breach with a regret and alarm not to be conceal- ed. Conciliatory negocialions, there- fore, were attempted, and it is faid, that the bilhop of Smolenlko fuc- ceeded fo far as to efted a meeting between the chiefs of the parties: but they feparated without any nearer approach to each other. The trial was fixed to proceed.

When the lift of judges chofenby ballot was declared, the grand trea- furer found that from their known principles he had little to hope. He endeavoured in confequence to make his efcape, the opportunity of which was furnifhed by the filial piety of his fon ; but he was intercepted in his flight, not far from the borders, and brought back to Warfaw. Iii this exigency another plan