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The writer of the Historical Part of the Edinburgh An-
nual Register is informed by the Publisher, that the Public
may require some explanation why his volume so greatly ex-
ceeds that of the former year in ertent, and why its publica-
tion has been so long delayed. The year of which the annals
are here presented was fertile in important affairs both at
home and abroad, almost beyond any other of modern times ;
the contents of the volume will therefore account for the
bulk, and the bulk for the lateness of its appearance. It is,
however, necessary to observe, that a work of this kind, if
executed as it ought to be, cannot possibly be completed, even
in ordinary years, much earlier than the present volumes.
One year ought to elapse before the History of the preceding
one is committed to the press ; otherwise, if events were to be
chronicled as fast as they occur, newspapers would be the sole
authority of the chronicler. There must be time allowed for
the appearance of Parliamentary Papers, for obtaining docu-
ments from abroad, and

for the publication of works for which
we are indebted to travellers and to military men, whose Me-
moirs are happily becoming every year more numerous, as the
erertions of the country become greater in this inevitable

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and righteous contest. The annals of a less eventful year
may be published fifteen months after its conclusion,—that is,
as early as April ; earlier, the present Writer could not per-
form what he has undertaken, in a manner consistent with

respect which he owes to the Public and to himself.
He has neither spared diligence in collecting materials for
his task, nor industry in arranging them. For that portion,
especially, which relates to the affairs of Spain, he has been
favoured with ample and authentic documents from sources
which (if it were proper) he should feel himself honoured by
acknowledging. Many circumstances are now for the first
time brought before the English reader ; some have never
before been made public. A few subjects of importance, which
the reader may perhaps expect to see treated in the History
of 1809, are reserved for that of the following year : they
might with equal propriety form part of either, and the ar-
rangement was therefore merely a question of convenience. A
General View of the Conduct of the Supreme Junta is one of
these subjects; the Rise and Progress of the Guerilla System
is another. This is mentioned, that the omission of these and
other topics may not be imputed either to oversight or neglect.

JULY 27th, 1811.

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