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Hence it seemed that the proper way of studying the Revolution was to forget, for a time, the France we see before us, and to examine, in its grave, the France that is gone.
That is the task which I have here endeavored to perform; it has been more arduous than I had imagined.
The nearer I drew to 1789, the more distinctly I noticed the spirit which brought about the Revolution.
The actual physiognomy of the Revolution was gradually disclosed before me.
Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. book I now publish is not a history of the Revolution.I have always fancied that they were less successful in this enterprise than has been generally believed abroad, or even supposed at home.I have always suspected that they unconsciously retained most of the sentiments, habits, and ideas which the old regime had taught them, and by whose aid they achieved the Revolution; and that, without intending it, they used its ruins as materials for the construction of their new society.I have undertaken to grope into the heart of this old regime.It is not far distant from us in years, but the Revolution hides it.