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PRE FACE. ; ON
N the close of our last volume, we be
came apprehensive of a deficiency of materials towards furnishing an history of the succeeding years.
The peace seemed to be so well settled, that one might imagine, there could be little room for political disputes amongst the several powers, and none at all for actual war and hostility. In reality, Europe may be said to be perfectly quiet : but the extent of the commercial empire of Great Britain is such, and it engages her in such a vast variety of difficult connections, that it is almost impossible for any
considerable length of time to pass over, without producing abundance of events of a very interesting nature ; and we heartily wish we could Aatter ourselves, that we should be found as equal to our materials of history, as we are likely to be well supplied with them. The savage war, which has unfortunately broke out in America fince the conclusion of the general peace, has been fruitful of events; and it is not yet ended. Since then, troubles of
great consequence have likewise arisen in the East Indies, which threaten to afford us Vol. VI.
but wo auci employment for the enthing
As to our domeftic etencions, we have framed #sawiy as we could the points in conteit between parties. Little leated ourselves, we have not endeavoured to infame others. We have carefully adhered to that neutrality, which, however blameable in an advocate, is neceffary in an historian, and without which he will not represent an imge of things, but of his own pastions,
We have wholly omitted in the Historical part the legal disputes which arose on the profecutiou of the authors and publishers of the North Briton. The reader will easily fee, that these matters did not properly come within the design of that part of our work; but we have taken care to insert the best account, which has appeared, of that whole transaction, at the end of the Chronicle.
Plan of the year's history. Ivafion of the Philippines designed." Descrip
tion of those islands, and of the city of Manila. Preparations at Madrass. Part of the squadron sent before the rest. The fleet unites at Malacca. They arrive at Manila
N our last volume we were most other nations, lie at a great obliged to conclude o
distance from the hcad, expedicount of the peace, before we tions of the utmost moment were had fully related all the tranfactions to be undertaken in the remoteft of the war.
When Great Britain part of the globe. came to a rupture with Spain, the The nature of our plan, in which theatre of hoftility was infinitely en- the narrative, perhaps, presses too larged : As that war was in a great close upon the facts, constrains us measure a war upon commerce, it to relate things, not in the order of naturally became as extensive as its time in which they happen, but in object. And as the vital parts of that in which we come to the Spain, contrary to the condition of knowledge of them. In this in
stance, that plan has not been at- 1521, by the famous navigator tended with any material inconve- Ferdinand Magellan 6 they were nience. The fortune of the expe- added to the Spanish monarchy by ditions, depending during the ne- Don Lewis de Velasco, in 1564, gotiation of the peace, was not, in the reign of Philip the second, by the mutual consent of parties, under whom the Spanish dominion to have any influence on the terms was greatly augmented, and its of it. The places taken were to real strength, at the same time, so be reciprocally restored. We, impaired, that almost two centutherefore, thought it more pru.. ries have not restored it to its fordent to present to the reader anar- mer vigour. The Philippines are rative of that important transaction, scarce inferior to any of the other entire and unbroken, rather than islands of Afia, in all the natural postpone any part of it, until we productions of that happy climate ; had gathered in all the scattered and they are by far the best fituevents of the war. However, there ated for an extended and advantawere events, and some of them so geous commerce. By their posiconsiderable, to the knowledge of tion they form the center of interwhich we have arrived since the course with China, Japan, and the conclusion of our last year's labaur, Spice Islands; and whilst they are that they ought by no means to be under the dominion of Spain, they omitted. They will furnith fame- connect the Afiatic and American thing to the entertainment we pro- commerce, and become the genepose for the public in the present; ral entrepôt for the rich manufacand they are such, as not unwor- tures and products of the one, and thily close that great scene of na- for the treasures of the othe.
. Be tional glory, which Great Britain fides, they are well situated for a had displayed to the world, during supply of European goods, both the five last campaigns. The chief from the side of Acapulco, and by of these was the expedition against the way of the Cape of Good ihe Manilas. Its importance will Hope. juftify that detail, in which we In fact, they formerly enjoyed a propose to consider it.
trafic in some degree proportioned The Manilas, or Philippines, to the peculiar felicity of their fituform a principal division of that ation, but the Spanish dominion immenfe Indian Archipelago, which is too vast and unconnected to be confifts of many hundred islands, improved to the best advantage. . some of them the largest, and many The spirit of commerce is not of theni by nature the richest in the powerful in people. The 'world ;' and wilich lie in the torrid trade of the Philippines is thought zone, extending from the 19th de- to have declined. its great branch gree Of north
is. e atude, almost in a now reduced to two ships, which continued chain, to New Guinea, annually pass between these iflands and to the neighbouring shores of and Acapulco in America, and to the great southern contient. a. single port, that of Manila, in
The Philippines form the nor- an island of the fame name.. thernmost cluiter of these islands. But though declined, this trade They were discovered in the year is fil a vat object of protection
to Spain, and of hoftility to what all these islands, and, indeed, the ever riation is engaged in war with only respectable place in them, is her. In the war, which began Manila, situated to the south-east in 1739, and which was not dif- of the island, and lying upon a tinguished by fuch a series of won- very fair and Spacious harbour. derful successes as the last, the tak- The buildings, both public and ing of the gallean, which carries private, being mostly of wood, on the trade between Manila and have as much magnificence as such America, was considered as one of materials are capable of; and the the most brilliant advantages which churches, in particular, are very we obtained ; and it has, accord- splendidly adorned. The Spaniingly, been much in fifted upon in ards are discouraged from building all the histories of that period. with more durable materials by This galleon is generally worth the terrible earthquakes, to which more than 600,000 pounds sterling. the island is extremely liable. By
The principal island of the Phi- them the city has been more than lippines is called Manila, or Luco- once shaken to the ground. This nia; it is in length fonething more calamity is fo frequent and dreadthan 300 miles ; its breadth is ex- ful, as, in a great measure,'to countremely unequal ; at a medium it terballance all the advantages of may be about 80 or 90. The Spa- so rich a foil, and fo desirable a nish inhabitants, who are not nů: climate. merous, have the government and The Spanish inhabitants, 'withthe best part of the commerce; in the city, are about three thou, the Chinese are the artisans ; and sand. Ten thoufand Chinese occupy the soil is chiefly cultivated by the a large suburb called the Parian. natives. These latter are of vari- On the conquest of China by ous origins, and of different de. the Tartars, in the last century, grees of favageness, according as great numbers fled their country, they have been more or less sub- hlling all the considerable towns, dued by religion, or refined by not only of the Philippines, but of intercourse with strangers. For fo the Moluccas and Sanda islands, large and fertile an island the with an ingenious and industrious number of inhabitants are but people, who brought with them, small; and the whole, perhaps, not and diffused into all these countries, amountiroz to half a million ; and the skill of manufacture and the of those not' a third are in subjec- fpirit of commerce. The conqueft tion to the Spaniards...
of China had nearly the same effect The rest of the Philippine islands, in this part of the world, which the so far as the Spanish power pre- revocation of the edi&t of Nantes vails in them, are under the go- produced in ours. Besides the Pavernor of Luconia ; but there are fian, there are feveral other suburbs many of them, in which that 'na- of great extent contiguous to this tion has little authority, or even city, inhabited by forty thousand of influence. There are in all about the native Indians, or by that mixed fourteen of them which deferve breed so common in all the Spanish notice.
colonies, resulting from that great The capital of Luçonią, and of yariety of races of men, who ori