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LONDON:
PRINTED, BY ASSIGNMENT FROM THE EXECUTORS OF THE LATE

MR. JAMES DODSLEY, POR

BALDWIN, CRADOCK, AND JOY;
W. OTRIDGE ; J. CUTHELL; LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, AND

BROWN; E. JEFFERY ; LACKINGTON, ALLEN, AND CO.; J. BELL;
J. ASPERNE; AND SHERWOOD, NEELY, AND JONES,

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PREFACE.

THE latest events have at all times appeared the most important. Present scenes seem more crowded than such as are past ; and there are few periods, not imagined by the existing generation to be at least as worthy of a place in history as any that have preceded them. With a full recollection of this partiality, we hesitate not to affirm, that the years 1791 and 1792 are of singular, and even of unpre.' cedented interest and importance in the history of the world: no antecedent period, of equal duration, has presented so great a number of extraordinary revolutions: the intercourses of mankind were moreextended, and the means of their communication more generally diffused, as well as eagerly employed among all ranks of society, in all civilized nations. The changes that were produced by the prevail. ing opinions, and an artful address to those opinions partook of the quickness of thought from whence they sprung. Though many and various, and involving the most serious consequences, they were yet less remarkable for their number and magnitude, than for the extreme rapidity of their succession.

By means of the press, the grand forum on which all public affairs were agitated, a principle of restless discontent and endless commotion had been introduced into the most populous and centrical, the most refined, ardent, and inflammable nation in Europe ; and whose fashions, manners, and opinions most of the other nations were prone to follow.

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