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for the present, called out for a short money bill of fix 1779* months only, and it became the general cry of Ireland. The representatives at length found, that it was indispensably requisite for them to comply* and the short money bill was accordingly passed. A necessity equally convincing, secured the passage of that humiliating and mortifying act. in Great Britain, on the 17th of December. Six days after, the king gave his assent to a bill for granting a free trade to Ireland. The golden opportunity admitting of it, the people of that kingdom have proceeded so far as absolutely to deny the right of the British parliament to bind that country in any case whatever. - i 1

. Government received advice on the 18th of December, that the fort of St. Ferdinando de Omoa, the key to the bay of Honduras, had been taken about the 20th of October, by the troops under the command of capt; William Dalrymple, who had been sent by the governor of Jamaica to the Musquko shore; . The men by the help of ladders scaled the walls, though 28 feet high, and thus made themselves masters of the fort. Two register ships, with the- cargoes of other vessels of note* worth three millions of dollars, were also taken; AH was gained with the loss only of about 20 killed and wounded on the British side* and very few more on the side of the Spaniards. .

. Intelligence having been transmitted to the British 178& administration, [by some, it is thought, whose duty, bound them to keep the secrets of the Dutch councils] that a number of Dutch ships, laden with'timber and. naval stores for. the French service, in order to escape the danger of British cruisers, accompanied..count By-, Vol. HI. D d land,

,78o'land, who was to escort a convoy to the Mediterranean* capt. Fielding was sent out with a proper force to examine the convoy, and to seize any vessels containing those articles, which the British deemed contraband. On the meeting of the fleets, capt. Fielding desired permission to visit the merchant ships; being refused, he dispatched his boats for that purpose, which were fired at: the captain then fired a shot ahead of the Dutch admiral, who answered it by a broadside. Count Byland having received another in return, and being in no condition to pursue the contest further, immediately struck his colours. Most of the ships which occasioned the contest, had already, through the length and darkness of the night, and by keeping in with tire shore, escaped the danger, and proceeded without interruption to the French ports. The few that remained with naval stores on board were stopped; and the Dutch admiral was then informed, that he might hoist his colours and prosecute his voyage: he did the first, but declined the other, and accompanied the British squadron to Spithead the fourth of January; where he remained till he received fresh instructions from his masters.

The right (whether supported by actual treaties or not) which the British claimed and exercised over the vessels of foreign powers, though not at war with therm when they suspected or found that they were laden either *<."-: with naval stores, and bound to the ports of their enemies, or with the property of the latter, suggested the idea of an armed neutrality. One of the diplomatic body assured my friend at Paris, that the sagacious king of Sweden communicated the first hint of it to count Panin, with whom it .slept for some time before it was 5 -'— --mentioned

Imentioned to the empress of Russia. At length it was 1789. matured; and on the 26th of February, the court of Petersburgh issued a manifesto or declaration, which has been the mean of forming, under the name of an armed neutrality, a naval and military alliance and confederacy between Russia and other neutral powers. The great principle of the piece, and of the confederacy to which it has given birth, is, that free bottoms make fret'goods; and is thus particularized—" Neutral {hips shall enjoy a free navigation even from port to port, and on the coasts of the belligerent powers:—All effects belonging to the subjects of the said belligerent powers shall be looked upon as free, on board such neutral ships, except only such goods as are stipulated contraband:—In order to determine what characterizes a port blocked up [into which neutral ships are not to have free ingress] that denomination shall not be granted, but to such places, before which there are actually a number of enemy's (hips stationed near, enough, so as to make its entry dangerous." Great Britain is not in a situation directly to contravene this grand principle, so that it will probably be henceforth settled as a part of the law of nations, in many respects essentially differing from what has, for several hundred years, been established among commercial kingdoms.

The courts of France and Spain have expresled the utmost approbation of the Russian system contained in the empress's declaration, so exactly calculated, and immediately suited to their own views. The court of London being obliged to suppress her indignation at an injury, which she was neither able to resent nor remedy, worded the answer to the declaration, sent to the British

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i7fi9*envoy at Petersburgh on the 13th of April, with-the greatest caution, and promised to "redress every hardship that may happen, in so equitable a manner, that her imperial majesty shall be perfectly satisfied, and acknowledge a like spirit of justice which she herself poP fesses." On the 3d of April, prince Gallitzin, the Russian envoy extraordinary at the Hague, remitted to the president of the States General a memorial with the copy of the declaration, inviting their high mightinesses to accede to an armed neutrality, and acquainting them, that the like invitation had been given to the courts of Copenhagen, Stockholm and Lisbon. - But the court of London determined upon adopting special measures, In order to prevent the accession of the republic to the confederacy, ana? to induce her to afford the- succourj that had been demanded: an order of the king in council was therefore published on the 17th. It relates,, that though their high mightinesses had been strongly Called upon by a memorial of the 21st of March, to grant the succours stipulated by treaty, they had not signified any intention of complying. The non-performance of the stipulated engagements is pronounced a desertion of the alliance subsisting between the two countries; and it is thence declared, that upon every principle of wisdom and justice, the republic must be considered on the same footing with other neutral states not privileged by treaty. - The order therefore suspends, provisionally and till further orders, all the particular stipulations respecting the subjects of the States General, contained in the several treaties now subsisting. The publication did not produce the desired effects.' The different provinces, after continued deliberations, were unanimously of opinion, that it was necessary for their high mightinesses to excuse them- 17812* selves from furnishing the succours claimed by Great Britain; that convoys should be granted to protect effec-, tually all trading ships bearing the flag of the republic, whatever may be their cargoes, excepting only such goods as are properly expressed in the treaties to be contraband; and that the invitation of the empress of" Russia should be accepted with gratitude. They highly resent in general the violence committed upon their con-, voy by capt. Fielding, in the execution of his orders,and the condemnation of the ships and cargoes carried: by him into the British ports. *

, Different transactions now demand our notice.

A convoy of about 26 ships sailed from Marseilles for the Weft Indies under the care of the Aurora. Be-tween 8 and 9 in the morning on the 18th of December, they were discovered by the Preston being between Mar-' tinicoandSt. Lucie; upon her making the signal for a fleet, the British ships in Gross Islet bay flipped their cables by order of Sir Hyde Parker and chased. Before four in the afternoon, about ten of the convoy run themselves on shore, and were set. on fire by the men of war's boats. The next morning the Boreas was engaged with the French frigate in. Fort Royal bay. On that, Mr. de' la Motte Piquet suddenly flipped his cables, put out to sea with three ships, bore down upon and obliged the Boreas to sheer off. By this dexterous manœuvre he saved the Aurora and some of the merchant ships. The French admiral then hauled his wind in good time, and kept plying for the road, which he gained. The British however had captured nine sail, beside those they burnt. "Within a fpw days after they took three French frigates,

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