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The object of these few pages is not to recount once more the history of the Revolution: that can be followed in any one of a hundred text-books. Their object is rather to lay, if that be possible, an explanation of it before the English reader; so that he may understand both what it was and how it proceeded, and also why certain problems hitherto unfamiliar to Englishmen have risen out of it. First, therefore, it is necessary to set down, clearly without modern accretion, that political theory which was a sort of religious creed, supplying the motive force of the whole business; of the new Civil Code as of the massacres; of the panics and capitulations as of the victories; of the successful transformation of society as of the conspicuous failures in detail which still menace the achievement of the Revolution. This grasped, the way in which the main events followed each Other, and the reason of their interlocking and proceeding as they did must be put forward—not, I repeat, in the shape of a chronicle, but in the shape of a thesis. Thus the reader must know not only that the failure of the royal family's flight was followed by war, but how and why it was followed by war. He must not only appreciate the severity of the government of the great Committee, but why that severity was present, and of the conditions of war upon which it reposed. But in so explaining the development of the movement it is necessary to select for appreciation as the chief figures the characters of the time, since upon their will and manner depended the fate of the whole. For instance, had the Queen been French either in blood or in sympathy, had the King been alert, had any one character retained the old religious motives, all history would have been changed, and this human company must be seen if its action and drama are to be comprehended. The reader interested in that capital event should Further seize (and but too rarely has an opportunity for seizing) its military aspect; and this difficulty of his proceeds from two causes: the first, that historians, even when they recognise the importance of the military side of some past movement, are careless of the military aspect, and think it sufficient to relate particular victories and general actions. The military aspect of any period does not consist in these, but in the campaigns of which actions, however decisive, are but incidental parts. In Other words, the reader must seize the movement and design of armies if he is to seize a military period, and these are not commonly given him. In the second place, the historian, however much alive to the importance of military affairs, too rarely presents them as part of a general position. He will make his story a story of war, or again, a story of civilian development, and the reader will fail to see how the two combine

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