Excerpt from Reign of Terror; Historically and Biographically Treated: Being a Compend of the French Revolution, From Its Commencement to the Fall of Robespierre; Compiled From the Most Authentic Writers
In the present instance, it has been the object of the compiler to give the reader a book free from historic pomp, and merely comprising the actually important and interesting events of an era in French history. He has not attempted a philosophical view of the Reign of Terror - impressed with the conviction, as he is, that those who are fit to read at all, can, if you will only put things distinctly before them, be trusted to understand for themselves and make their own reflections. He has, therefore, endeavoured to furnish a living and picturesque narrative of the heroes, actions and times of this important period. History, it has been said, is philosophy teaching by example. No history, it has also been said, can present us with the whole truth; but those are the best histories which exhibit such parts of the truth as most nearly produce the effect of the whole. The former remark is Bolingbroke's, the latter Macaulay's; and in this work the compiler has been guided by the implied advice of the latter, in order correctly to produce the effect attributed to history by the former.
The compilation, it will be seen, is based upon the works of Mignet and Thiers, but illustrated and annotated by means of various writers upon the French Revolution, both contemporary and of a later date.
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