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INTRODUCTORY WIEW OF THE EARLY REFORMATION.
L O N D O N :
The period to which this work relates is one of great interest in the history both of England and of France. The events recorded, and the characters of those by whom they were brought about, deserve to be closely examined. Nor are the judgments which may be pronounced upon them confined in their bearing to those remote times; they are of more general application. A careful consideration of the events may teach us how a great country may be brought to the verge of ruin by the follies and the crimes of faction; a dispassionate contemplation of the characters may show how little genius crowned with success is entitled to the admiration of reflecting minds when allied to cruelty and fraud. It has oftentimes been laid to the charge of authors that they encourage, when they should restrain, the propensity of the multitude, dazzled by the glories of war, to pass over the guilt of conquerors, the enemies of the human race. A sounder view, however, is not to be inculcated by passing over the talents of those men, and only dwelling on their faults. The historian must above all things be calm and impartial. For
bidden to extenuate crimes, he is alike forbidden to