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PREFACE TO THE SEVENTH EDITION.
The History of Europe during the French Revolution naturally divides itself into four periods :--..
The first, commencing with the Convocation of the StatesGeneral in 1789, terminates with the execution of Louis, and the establishment of a republic in Franee, in 1793. This period'embraces the history and vast changes of the Constituent Assembly; the annals of the Legislative Assembly; the revolt and overthrow of the throne on the 10th August; the trial and death of the King. It traces the changes of public opinion, and the fervour of innovation, from their joyous commencement to that bloody catastrophe, and the successive steps by which the nation was led from the transports of general philanthropy to the sombre ascendant of sanguinary ambition.
The second opens with the strife of the Girondists and the Jacobins; and, after recounting the fall of the former body, enters upon the dreadful era of the Reign of Terror, and follows out the subsequent struggles of the now exhausted factions, till the establishment of a regular military government, by the suppression of the revolt of the National Guard of Paris, in October 1795. This period embraces the commencement of the war; the immense exertions of France during the campaign in 1793; the heroic contest in la Vendée; the last efforts of Polish independence under
Kosciusko; the conquest of Flanders and Holland; and the scientific maneuvres of the campaign of 1795. But its most interesting part is the internal history of the Revolution; the heart-rending sufferings of persecuted virtue; and the means by which Providence caused the guilt of the Revolutionists to work out their own deserved and memorable punishment.
The third, commencing with the rise of Napoleon, terminates with the seizure of the reins of power by that extraordinary man, and the first pause in the general strife at the Peace of Amiens. It is singularly rieh.in splendid achievements, embracing the Italian campaigns of the French 'bero, and the German ones of the Archduke Charles; the båttleş:of. St Vincent, Camperdown, and the Nie ; tlie-expedition to Pegres, the wars of Suwarroff in Italy, and Plassena on the Alps; thé, campaigns of Marengo and Hohenlinden;. the Northern Coalition, with its dissolution by the victory of Copenhagen; the overthrow: pf. the French in Egypt, and their expulsion from it by the arins of England. During this period, the deritocratic passions of Francehad exhausted themselves, and the natiani groaned under a:work but relentless military despotism, the external disasters and internal severities of which prepared all classes to range themselves under the banners of a victorious chieftain.
The fourth opens with brighter auspices to France, under the firm and able government of Napoleon, and terminates with his fall in 1815. Less illustrated than the former period by his military genius, it was rendered still more memorable by his resistless power and mighty achievements. It embraces the campaigns of Austerlitz, Jena, and Friedland: the destruction of the French navy at Trafalgar; the desperate struggle in Spain, and the gallant, though abortive, efforts of Austria in 1809; the degradation and extinction of the Papal authority; the slow but steady growth of the English military power in the Peninsula; the persevering, and at last splendid career of Wellington; the general suffering under the despotism of France; the memorable invasion of Russia ; the convulsive efforts of Germany in 1813; the last campaign of Napoleon, the capture of Paris, and his final overthrow at Waterloo.