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My dear lads: Although so long a time has elapsed since the great civil war in England, men are still almost as much divided as they were then as to the merits of the quarrel, almost as warm partisans of the one side or the other. Most of you will probably have formed an opinion as to the rights of the case, either from your own reading, or from hearing the views of your elders.
For my part, I have endeavored to hold the scales equally, to relate historical facts with absolute accuracy, and to show how much of right and how much of wrong there was upon either side. Upon the one hand, the king by his instability, bad faith, and duplicity alienated his best friends, and drove the Commons to far greater lengths than they had at first dreamed of. Upon the other hand, the struggle, begun only to win constitutional rights, ended—owing to the ambition, fanaticism, and determination to override all rights and all opinions save their own, of a numerically insignificant minority of the Commons, backed by the strength of the army—in the establishment of the most complete despotism England has ever seen.
It may no doubt be considered a failing on my part that one of my heroes has a very undue preponderance of adventure over the other. This I regret; but after the scale of victory turned, those on the winning side had little to do or to suffer, and one's interest is certainly with the hunted fugitive, or the slave in the Bermudas, rather than with the prosperous and well-to-do citizen.
Yours very sincerely,

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