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GENERAL LIBRARY UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN.
OF BOOKS RELATING TO
HISTORY AND POLITICAL SCIENCE
BOUGHT WITH MONEY PLACED BY
JAMES J. HAGERMAN OF CLASS OF '61
IN THE HANDS OF
Professor Charles Kendall Adams
IN THE YEAR
Printed by T. Burton, No. 31, Little Queen-freet,
for the Proprietors of Dodley's Annual Regifter,
W.OTRIDGE AND SON; R. FAULDER; J. CUTHELL; OGILVY AND SON
HE moft diftinguished feature of the Revolution in France, the prolific parent of changes and innovations in other countries, already noticed in our volume for 1792, has been verified by the events that have taken place from that to the prefent period. The revolutionary spirit of the French Republic, like a lighted torch, moved rapidly round, fcarcely leaves room for the contemplation of its particular phases, in the different stages of its progrefs, and is feen as one circle of fire.
The constitution of 1795 contained, indeed, certain principles, which feemed to promife fome degree of both ftrength and duration; and to be more favourable, than any of the preceding, to the interefts of humanity, by guarding not lefs against the wildness of democracy than the chains of defpotifm. Subfequent changes, however, and particularly the late metamorphofis of the Republic into a dictatorial or military government, (which will of courfe be noticed in its : proper place and time) fhew how little is to be expected from any forms, where fimplicity of manners, and other requifites to the existence of a genuine Republic, are wanting.
Thefe defects, in the conftitution of 1795, appeared in the very moment of its birth; and became more and more glaring during the short period.of its existence. The Hiftory of France has, for too many years, been a fevere illuftration of the maxim, that Nations, in order to be free and happy, must be just and moderate. To defcribe and record whatever may imprefs on the mind this folitary leffon, is a task attended with a mixture of pain and pleafure: pain, in contemplating the miferable effects of vice and folly; pleasure, in the reflection, that such warnings may prevent mifery to the prefent and future ages.
In making these felections, out of that vaft variety of materials which is prefented to the Annalist, at a period of fuch extended intercourfe among men and nations, our Readers will perceive and acknow ledge, that we are guided, not by any prejudices in favour of particular fubjects, but, by a regard to the general views and conduct of the human understanding, and the common fentiments of the human heart, In the prefent volume there is an extraordinary occafion for the exercise and gratification of both in the fall, and final difmemberment and diffolution, of the Commonwealth of Poland; a very affecting, as well as inftructive, Episode in the History of Europe.