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The Ancien Regime - Charles Kingsley

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THE ANCIEN REGIME

by Charles Kingsley

PREFACE



The rules of the Royal Institution forbid (and wisely) religious or
political controversy.  It was therefore impossible for me in these
Lectures, to say much which had to be said, in drawing a just and
complete picture of the Ancien Regime in France.  The passages
inserted between brackets, which bear on religious matters, were
accordingly not spoken at the Royal Institution.

But more.  It was impossible for me in these Lectures, to bring
forward as fully as I could have wished, the contrast between the
continental nations and England, whether now, or during the
eighteenth century.  But that contrast cannot be too carefully
studied at the present moment.  In proportion as it is seen and
understood, will the fear of revolution (if such exists) die out
among the wealthier classes; and the wish for it (if such exists)
among the poorer; and a large extension of the suffrage will be
looked on as--what it actually is--a safe and harmless concession to
the wishes--and, as I hold, to the just rights--of large portion of
the British nation.
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