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HISTORICAL ESSAYS.

BY

JOHN COLEM A N.

“Concerning the materials of sedition. It is a thing well to be considered; for the surest way to prevent seditions, (if the times do bear it) is to take away the matter of them; for if there be but fuel prepared, it is hard to tell whence the spark shall come that shall set it on tire."

"It is good, therefore, that men in their innovations should follow the example of time itsell, which indeed innovateth greatly, but quietly, and by degrees scarce to be perceived. It is good also not to try experiments in states, except the necessity be urgent, or the utility evident; and well to beware that it be the reformation that draweth on the change, and not the desire of change that pretendeth the reformation. And, lastly, that the novelty, though it be not rejected, yet be held for a suspect; and as the Scripture saith, “That we make a stand upon the ancient way, and then look about us, and discover what is the straight and right way, and so to walk in it.'"

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PRINTED BY HENRY HARRIS, SNARGATE STREET, DOVER.

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“ It is a beautiful mark of a healthy and right understanding when a man is serious and attentive to all great questions, when he is with modesty and attention adding gradually to his conviction and knowledge on such topics; not repulsed by his own previous mistakes, not disgusted by the mistakes of others, but, in spite of violence and error, believing that there is somewhere or other moderation and truth--and that to seek that truth with diligence, with seriousness, and with constancy, is one of the highest and best objects for which a man can live. Well and happily has he conducted his understanding who has learnt to derive from the exercise of it regular occupation and rational delight; who after having overcome the first pain of application, and acquired a habit of looking inwardly upon his own mind, perceives that every day is multiplying the relations, confirming the accuracy, and augmenting the number of his ideas; who feels that he is rising in the scale of intellectual beings, gathering new strength with every difficulty which he subdues, and enjoying to-day as his pleasure that which yesterday he laboured at as a toil. There are many consoJations in the mind of such a man which no common life can ever afford; and many enjoyments which it has not to give !"- Rev. Sydney Smith's Essays.

PREFACE.

As the current of French politics is perpetually varying in its direction, it is necessary to inform the reader that the essay upon Socialism in this volume should be dated, May, 1850; for unless this mark were appended, many of the circumstances there referred to as being of recent occurrence, would as such appear unintelligible. A twelvemonth's farther experience of the present chaotic state of political government, which the French people seem now hopelessly condemned to endure, has only served to add stronger testimony to the fact, that the Revolution which displaced the Orleans dynasty, destroyed an efficient and practically free political constitution, only to substitute a miserable counterfeit that perpetuates all the evils of the deposed government, without preserving scarce any one of its virtues. Whatever might have been the errors of the inflexible policy,' which Louis Philippe is represented as having pursued during his reign, France, it is certain, has never been able to regain that general prosperity, either in her trade, her agriculture, or her finances, which she enjoyed under his able rule. At the present time, this is confessedly admitted by parties of every shade in French politics, and we have only to quote a

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