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“He that seeks the truth and proposes to publish it, must not have the
ROBERT CLARKE & CO.
“ Asia counts her public experience by millenniums ; Europe by centuries ; America by decennials. Mark the distinction-it is the key to the understanding of their respective institutions."
-ROBERT VON MOHL.
“ Not to be offended at honest criticisms protects against flatterers."
The author having written the last chapter of this book, and its design and scope being fully before his mind, desires to offer, by way of preface, a few personal explanations.
It seemed to him that to American politics apply the words of Pope in his “ Essay on Man;" that they are
“ The glory, jest, and riddle of the world." Its “glory,” on account of the immense material progress that has attended the course of American society ; its “jest,” because self-overestimation possesses its popular mind; and its "riddle," for the reason, that the political premises and ideas on which they have acted, and which once the world applauded, are now seen to be erroneous and productive of great evils. The author had to presume, that a people thus situated, would take unkindly to a critic, especially if, like himself, he was foreignborn; that they would accuse him of a lack of patriotism, wherever he failed to share the national prejudices; and that if the expected praise would not be given, or blemishes were unexpectedly exposed, it would be ascribed to any but the true motives. He knew that moderation in national self-admiration is not regarded as a virtue in America, and that but few would appreciate the wisdom contained in the above quotation from Machiavelli. He had therefore frequent misgivings, while writing these pages, as to the reception they would meet when published; but he wrote on to the end, hoping that observations, dictated by an experience of forty years in public