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CONTENTS OF No. LXVII.
THE EDINBURGH REVIEW,
Art. I. 1. Recherches sur les Causes qui ont empeché les Fran
çois de devenir libres et sur les Moyens qui leur restent pour le · devenir. Par MR MOUNIER. 1792. 2. Statistique Elémentaire de la France, 8c. Par MR JACQUES
PEUCHET. 1805. 3. Rapport fait au Conseil-General des Hospices par un de ses
Membres sur l'Etat des Hopitaux et des Hospices, ainsi que des secours à domicile, du ler Janvier 1804 au ler Janvier 1814.
Paris, 1816. 4. Administration des Hopitaux, Hospices civils secours à domia · cile, enfans trouvés, fc. au 31 Murs, 1819.. 5. Rapport Général sur les Travaux du Conseil de Salubrité
pour 1819. 6. Mémoire sur le Cadastre et détails Statistiques sur le nombre
et la division des taxes de la contribution fonciere, sur le revenu commun des Proprietaires de Biens Fonds en France, &c. Par MR LE DUC DE GAETA, Membre de la Chambre des Dé
putés. 1818. 7. Reflexions sur l'Organisation Municipale et sur les Conseils
Generaux de Departemens et les Conseils d'Arrondissemens. Par MR DUVERGIER DE HAURANNE, Deputé de la Seine
Inferieure. 1818. 8. Considerations sur la Politique et sur les circonstances as
tuelles. 1820. 9. Petit Catéchisme à l'Usage des François, &c. Par MR DE
PRADT, Ancien Archevêque de Malines. . 1820. i
There is nothing so common as to mistake a knowledge of
the recent events in a nation's history for a knowledge of VOL. XXXIV. NO. 67.
its true state and condition. But there can scarcely be a greater delusion. Where the events have been numerous and important, it is generally extremely difficult to ascertain what has been their general result, even in what is called a political point of view, or as to the parties and principles immediately concerned so much and so variously do they modify and balance and neutralize each other and so frequently do parties change their names, and qualify their principles in the alternations of success and defeat that occur in a protracted struggle. This, however, is a kind of equation for which, at all events, a diligent study of the history will furnish the necessary terms-and to which a reasonable approximation may generally be made by proper pains and precaution. But it is a thousand times more difficult, and in fact often impossible, to gather or infer from the modern annals of any country, what is the actual condition of its people, or even what are the changes which the events there recorded have wrought in its condition. The practical results of political innovations are often so different from what had been contemplated, either by their advocates or opposers—the collateral effects of all exclusive changes are generally so much greater than the direct, and the new interests that are silently generated from the contention of old ones so often of far more importance than those to which they have succeeded, that events which would have been of the greatest moment in the former state of things, become altogether insignificant in the present, and inen continuie fighting and debating about measures which can no longer exert much influence on their fortunes.
All these remarks, we think, are eminently applicable to the recent history and present situation of France. For the last twentyfive years, the world have been occupied almost exclusively with the great events of which that country has been the theatre and the spring and yet there are very few, we are persuaded, even among its own politicians, who are thoroughly aware either of the changes which these events have produced on the bulk of the population, or of the effects which these changes must still have on the institutions which are now on their trial. We have all heard of its Revolution of its long and unexampleil successes in war-of its reverses of the fate of its ambitious rulerof restoration the first and restoration the second-of charters
of chambers of deputies and chambers of peers-of ministries and parties and laws of election. But it has seldom been considered of what elements those things were compounded, or in what way the changes in the state of the nation rendered other changes indispensable or insignificant. Our travellers indécd