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THE

HISTORY OF FRANCE.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

LONDON:

THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCIETY:

Instituted 1799.

SOLD AT THE DEPOSITORY, 56, PATERNOSTER ROW,
AND 65, st. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD; AND

BY THE BOOKSELLERS.

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PREFACE.

CONSIDERED in its most simple form, history is the record of past events : the medium by which we are made acquainted with the rise and progress of nations. History, however, teaches more than plain matters of fact. Strictly considered, it has an intimate connexion with almost every province of human inquiry. With the stirring narrative of events it mingles the precepts of sage experience, derived from converse with former generations. From its pages may be gathered many important lessons for public and private use. It teaches by what laws human life is regulated ; lays before men the causes of the wreck and confusion which have taken place among the nations of the earth; and by the examples which it sets before them, instructs us how to avoid the evil and to choose the good. But the value of history is greatly increased by the circumstance, that if read wisely, it " will justify the ways of God to man.” If it be but partially read, it may serve only to magnify the power and counsels of the great among men; and the pride of political wisdom may then become a broad shadow, shutting out the view of God's eternal providence from the eye of the reader. To those, however, who look from secondary causes to the First Great Cause, for the clue which is to unravel the mysteries of human

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