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ANNU AL REGISTER,
OR Á VIEW OF THE
For the YEAR 1799.
Printed by T. Burton, No. 31, Little Queen-Areet,
THE campaigns, or rather combined campaign of
1 1799, in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, for extent and variety of action, is distinguished even among those of the present war, and unprecedented in the annals of the world.
In the history of a war, carried on by so many armies, on so extended a theatre, it is impossible, without confusion, and losing sight of those combinations and designs, which alone can give interest to the subject, to be so copious and circumstantial as in that of wars, in which, the campaign is bounded by the occupation of a few passes, and the reduction of one or two fortified towns. What would have been formerly the whole of a plan, for one season, has now become only a part of a more comprehensive system. The Annalist must therefore write his accounts of military designs and operations on the same general scale on which they are conceived and executed. Marches, fieges, battles, and retreats, which might, in former times have served, each of them, for the subject of a fe. parate narrative, or perhaps, some of them of a heroic poem, must, in the history of the present, and probably of future, wars, be considered as only companent parts of one more general action. If books were extended in proportion to the multiplication of facts and reason
ings, the republic of letters would sink under its own weight. Classifications, results, conclusions, and maxims, long perhaps the subjects of discussion, become the elements of new compositions.
The necessity of compression, in our European campaigns, is not lessened by the co-incident movements of armies in Syria, Egypt, and India ; nor yet by the negociations at Rastadt and Seltz: a scene of political intrigue bearing some analogy to the wide and various field of action.
The time that was necessary for the arrangement of so many materials into a plan, not entirely dispropors tionate to our usual dimensions, and for the correction of errors, by recent and undoubted information, will, we: trust, afford not only an apology for being somewhat, later in the publication of this volume, than was promised in our last; but afford a new proof of our earnest desire, by all means, to render our work as complete and satisfactory as possible. On the whole, our engagements to the public, with regard to the time of bringing up this work, which had indeed fallen greatly behind, have been now fulfilled. It may be said that we have now very nearly overtaken time, It shall be our care to keep an equal pace with this in future: though at a due distance. The Annual Register is not addressed to the same curiosity that thirsts after newspapers, but to curiosity of a higher order : that of seeing plans and systems unfolded by events; and these events, from new relations and combinations, deriving not only a degree of novelty, but greater interest and importance.