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PREFACE.

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would be taking too great a liberty with our readers, to trouble them with any detail of the caufes which have unfortunately delayed us in the production of this Volume. Private misfortune and calamity can afford no fatisfaction in the recital, and are too common even to gratify curiofity. We have been long in the fervice of the Public, and have at length felt the "cankered tooth of time," and experienced fome of thofe viciffitudes incident to his progress, which, however grievous, muft he endured,

We trust the perufal of our Work will afford fufficient conviction, that whatever deficiency

deficiency in point of time we have been unavoidably subject to, there has been none in the diligence and industry which we have exerted in the discharge of our duty. The great and extraordinary affairs of War, Politics, or Revolution, which have agitated almoft every part of Europe, neceffarily fwelled our History far beyond its proper and cuftomary limits; while these, and other correfponding circumftances, rendered it, by many degrees, the moft arduous task we had ever undertaken. Happy, however, fhall we always deem ourfelves, and count all labours and difficulties light, if we continue to receive from the Public that favour and kindness which we have fo long experienced, and which it is our utmost wish and ambition to appear in some degree worthy of receiving. With refpect to gratitude and intention we fhall never be found deficient !

THE

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Retrofpective view of the affairs of France from the year 1787. Confidence of the parliament of Paris on their fuccefs in invalidating the royal edicts for the new taxes. Remonftrance on behalf of their exiled members. Answer. Refolutions, in violation of the King's injunctions. Confequences of the parliament's declaration of its own incompetence to levy, or to concur in levying taxes. Spirit of liberty general, and accompanied with a rage for innovation. Nothing but reforms heard. Admirable reform in the codes of civil and criminal justice. Edict in favour of the Proteftants, happily passed. Flame already raifed on the subject of Lettres de Cachet, much increased, by the feizure and committal to prifon of M. de Catalan, prefident of the parliament of Tholoufe. Long remonftrance from the parliament of Paris to the King, difcuffing many points relative to the conftitution. Some remarks on that piece, with an account of the origin of enregistering edicts, and of the cause and manner of bolding beds of justice. Anjwer from the King to the remonftrance. Administration deeply but fecretly engaged in framing a new conftitution. Some particulars of this fyftem, and of the form, compofition and nature of the new fupreme court, which was to juperVOL. XXXI.

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fede parliaments in all matters relative to government. Silence, and apparent inactivity of the court, excite fufpicions, which are increafed to general apprehenfion and alarm, by circumstances obferved at the royal press in Paris. M. d'Efpremenil, by indirect means, becomes mafter of the whole fecret, which he communicates to the parliament. Sudden meeting of that body; various refolutions passed; order copies of their proceedings to be tranfmitted to all parts of the kingdom. Meet again fuddenly on an attempt made to arrest M. d'Efpremenil, and M. de Monfambert. Strong proteft, ordered to be presented by a deputation to the King. King refuses to receive the deputation, and the parliament are fuddenly furrounded by a regiment of guards. Commanding officer enters the affembly, and commands, in the King's name, the two obnoxious members to be delivered up. After a long filence, the prefident answered, that they were all Monfamberts and d'Espremenils; upon which the officer returning for fresh orderrs, the parliament continues locked up in its chamber for near twenty-four hours. On the officer's return, charging them, under the penalty of high treafon, to deliver up the two members, they still continue filent, but the two gentlemen give themfelves up. Bed of justice ordered to be held at Verfailles on the 8th of May. Protefts entered, and address prepared by parliament. King feverely reprehends the conduct of parliament in his introductory Speech: Announces the new conftitution: Ordinances read and registered: Farther particulars of them. Strong proteft of Parliament, dated at feven o'clock the following morning. Proteft feconded by a letter figned by a number of the peers, declaring their utter disapprobation of the reforms in government, and their determination to take no part in the functions affigned them by the new ordinances. Clergy no lefs difpofed to adhere to the parliaments than the peerage. Another proteft and memorial from parliament, who order their proceedings to be fent to a notary, and effectual means used for their publication. Governor of Paris enters the chambers of parliament at the Palais Royal, feizes their papers and archives, then locks and feals up the doors. All the parliaments in the kingdom about the fame time fufpended. Chatelet iffue a ftrong declaration against all these proceedings that were inimical to the parliaments. Memorial of an extraordinary nature, figned by fortyJeven peers and bishops, prefented perfonally to the King. Alarming afpect of affairs. Seditious and treasonable papers continually posted upon the gates and in the freets of Paris. Publication of an incendiary libel of the most obnoxious and dangerous kind. Great diforders and tumults in the provinces. Bretagne. Count de Perigord, governor general of Languedoc, obliged to fly from Tholoufe, and the troops to withdraw from that place. At Grenoble the exceffes carried to the highest pitch of violence; much blood faid to be Jhed; Duke de Tonnere javes his life by furrendering the keys of the palace; his large and valuable cabinet of medals and curiofities plundered and destroyed. Arfenal and magazines feized by the rioters. Parliament of Britany meet in defiance of the

King's

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