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The HISTORY of KNOWLEDGE, LEARNING, TASTE, and
PRINTED FOR JOHN STOCKDALE,
Ir would be insulting to the understandings, the principles, and the feelings of our readers, if we were minutely and elaborately to point out the infinite importance of the events which are recorded in the present volume of THE NEW ANNUAL REGISTER; or if we were to call upon them for congratulation and confidence in the prospect of restored independence, peace, and prosperity, which they open to the exhausted continent of Europe. We may, however, briefly remark, that the events of no year, since the commencement of our Register, have such claims on our interest, either as Britons, or as friends to the well-being and liberty of mankind.
These events we have endeavoured to narrate with that accuracy, connexion, and completeness, which may best present them to the minds of our readers in a distinct and luminous form; interspersing such reflections and general remarks as, we trust, will assist in tracing them to their real causes, and in anticipating at least some of their results.
In the Peninsula, after a long and arduous struggle, British perseverance, generosity, and military skill and bravery, have at last met with their due and most gratifying recompense :-the Spaniards and Portuguese are free: and the superiority of British soldiers over those of France is indelibly fixed by the battles of Vittoria and the Pyrenees ;~ while their conduct, now that they in their turn are the invaders, proves them to be equally superior, in moderation and forbearance. Of that general who has made them what they are in both these respects, it is the highest and most appropriate praise to say, that each succeeding campaign proves that his countrymen are still imperfectly acquainted with his military genius.