The Present State of Europe: Explaining the Interests, Connections, Political and Commercial Views of Its Several Powers, Comprehending Also, a Clear and Concise History of Each Country, So Far As Is Necessary to Shew the Nature O Their Present Constituti

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Excerpt from The Present State of Europe: Explaining the Interests, Connections, Political and Commercial Views of Its Several Powers, Comprehending Also, a Clear and Concise History of Each Country, So Far as Is Necessary to Shew the Nature O Their Present Constitutions

Reading the general Hiltories of all Nations, but more efpeciall thofe that are molt in Bfieem, is a readier, an caller, and a better Help than the former; but this mull be ufed with Caution. It will ferve to give us tolerable Notions of great Events, diltinguithed Charaéters, important Revolutions, and their Confequences. But we muft alwa s remember, that the Hifiorian has a natural, and perhaps a laudable Partiality for his Country; and that to be clearly Matter of the Truth, one o ht to compare his Accounts with thofe that are °ven by the riters of other. Nations, which is likewife a ork of much Labour and Fatigue. We lhould likewil'e refleet, that in neral Hiltories the Compafs, with Refpea' to Time and F 46596, is (0 large, that the Springs and Motives, which is what a Politician chiefly looks for, are feldom [ct down; and that where they are, it requires mwh Skill and great Cir cumfpeétion to difcern whether they are whol'ly', or even how far they may be depended upon. Yet this ay has its.ufes; and there is in Reality no better Method of forming a ri t Idea of the Spirit, Genius, and Temper of a Nation, thanfy peruling their Hiltories; for by knowing what a Nation has done or (uttered, when that comes to be the Point under Confideration, we ma belt judge what they can atchieve, _or to what Degree the will, bear.

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