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to whose professions their country may listen with delight, because much profit may be expected from their services; but he trusts his assertion will not, by those to whoin he is known, be thought unbecoming or misplaced, if he ventures to say, that no motive less pure than an anxiety to stamp with its true character a system of aggression, whose apparent success may serve for a precedent fatal to our own liberties, has prompted him to undertake a task, which he laments that some other person, more qualified than himself, has not been enabled, from similar opportunities, to perform.
It is not impossible that the reader may be startled at the variableness, or, if the expression may be used, the shadow of changing, discoverable in the conduct and characters here described, and, as it may seem to him, in the opinion of the writer; who, if the inconsistencies be in himself, and not in his subject if his story has varied, except with varying facts, must submit, and is contented, to be condemned. He must, however, be judged by those whom local and cotemporary knowledge has enabled to decide upon his statements, and who shall be proved to have had immediate means of information, equal, at least, to his own. He asks no fairer trial-but he shall appeal from any critic not so qualified. He may easily be supposed to have thought sometimes better, sometimes worse, of the personages before him, and, by communicating his present impressions, he conceived that, so far from perplexing his correspondents, he enabled them to collect one important truth--the partial fluctuation of character and opinion in the Parisian world.
Before this preface is concluded, notice should be taken of a work, entitled “ A Narrative of Events which have taken place in France, from the landing of Napoleon Bonaparte, on the 1st of March, 1815, till the restoration of Louis XVIII."--which work, though it made its appearance after this collection of letters had been prepared for the press, seemed to the writer to add to the urgency which he imagined to exist, for attempting to disabuse his fellow.countrymen, on the subject of the return and last reign of the Emperor Napoleon. Certainly the author of that work and the writer of these letters did not look at the same side of the shield, and it is possible that one city in the diversities of civil discord may, like Pope's single nymph, present many
por- . traits.
“ All how unlike each other, all how true."
But it must be permitted him to declare solemnly, that, were it not notorious that the composer of the Narrative was a spectator of the events she describes, he would not hesitate to aver, that she had employed the optics of the editors of some ministerial journal, rather than those eyes which beamed with delight at the dawn of conti. nental freedom, and communicated their animation to so many admirers of revolutionary France.
It may be necessary to add, that, although that narrative will appear to be directly contradicted by many positions contained in these letters, yet not a line of them was written in the contemplation of such a controversy, nor, except in one solitary instance, where the assumed fact was too important to be left uncontradicted, has been retouched, in consequence of any statements advanced by the above author.
The writer concludes this preliminary notice, by stating, that, at the advice of his friends, he has reprinted some public documents in the original French, and that he trusts the interest which they must command, from being, in some measure, an official account of the last reign of the Emperor, and from having, as yet, been only very partially communicated to his fellow couptrymen, will excuse the appendix, which they compose at the end of this volume.
A SON of an English archbishop once told me, that during the siege of Gibraltar his father was dancing at the balls of Paris. Since the commencement of the revolution war the animosities of governments seem to have been communicated to whole nations, and, especially as far as concerns France and England, each individual has become a belligerent. The mutual civilities of their diplomatists at neutral courts have long been dropped, and, without any attention to the want of civilized intercourse or the decency of christian communion, the war has been carried on, to the scandal of the barbarous and Mahometan world, even by their residents at Pera and Tihiran. It may not be easy to say with whom this pitiful practice commenced, but personal experience has taught me that the worthy members of our missions have carried it into most full and painful effect; so much so, indeed, as to exclude from the benefit of their protection, and to refuse the light of their countenance to those found guilty of holding even parley with any Frenchman, whose attentions, like those of the devil, seem to convey a supposition of preaptitude for such evil communications; and to be judged therefore sufficient cause for excommunication from the society of all the good, the loyal, and the true. Certainly, however, neither the
interests of humanity nor of policy have gained by this universal diffusion of antipathies : for although it might have served the turn of our statesmen in 1793 to represent every Frenchman a man-eater and an atheist, whose existence was incompatible with modern civilization ; yet for us, who are not the cotemporaries of Legendre and Danton, to treat all our neighbours as if they were the accomplices of those miscreants, cannot be just nor profitable: it cannot be just, because the Frenchmen of the revolution are no longer to be found in France; it cannot be of service to our policy, for such a persuasion must originate from an entire ignorance of existing national character, the knowledge of which I presume to be the first and most indispensable quality in those concerned in the management of political inter
I will say nothing of the selfish and presumptuous feelings, the bad passions and prejudices which the encouragement of such a hatred tends naturally to produce and nourish in the mind of the whole nation. Fortunately the humanity of Englishmen has thwarted every effort to diffuse this savage principle, as far as relates to persons and circumstances which are not within the controul of politicians either at home or abroad; their generous nature associates itself with none so easily as with their immediate neighbours; nor does war ever assume so civilized a form as in the contest with the armies of France: our soldier considers that he does not serve the cause of his country or his king by cherishing principles of animosity and revenge against the individuals of the opposing enemy; whom, in spite of the suggestions of the brave warriors of the two Houses and their applauding journalists, they look upon as men very much like themselves, engaged in a stated duty, with a certainty of subsistence, and a hope of advancement and reward. Those who have lived much with our army know there is a liberality in the opinions of our military men relative to France, which would scarcely be tolerated in some ministerial circles, or perhaps in the walls of parliament. This liberality at all times renders their victories more dear to us, because less dangerous. Were they liable to adopt all the prejudices of cold blooded politicians, and, sinking the citizen in the soldier, to receive the maxims of a corrupt court as their only rule of civil conduct, then indeed might we tremble at their prowess. But, since the example of the army of James, we need not fear that British soldiers should ever be true to tyranny; nor, to serve their monarch, betray themselves. The horror which it has been the fashion either to feel or to affect at the name of a Frenchman, without being taken off the nation at large, has been latterly concentrated and accumulated upon the head of Napoleon ; whom, after exhausting every opprobrious epithet before unapplied to