« 上一页继续 »
I T may not be unnecessary to inform the Reader,
that the following Reflections had their origin in a correspondence between the Author and a very young gentleman at Paris, who did him the honour of desiring his opinion upon the important transactions, which then, and ever since, have so much occupied the attention of all men. An answer was written fome time in the month of Otober 1789; but it was kept back upon prudential confiderations. That letter is alluded to in the beginning of the following sheets. It has been since forwarded to the person to whom it was addressed. The reasons for the delay in sending it were aligned in a short letter to the same gentleman. This produced on his part a new and pressing application for the Author's fentiments.
The Author began a second and more full discusfion on the subječt. This he had some thoughts of publishing early in the last Spring ; but the matter gaining upon him, he found that what be bad undertaken not only far exceeded the measure of a letter, but that its importance required rather a more detailed confideration than at that time he had any leisure to bestow upon it. However, having thrown down his first thoughts in the form of a letter, and indeed when he sat down to write, having intended
it for a private letter, he found it difficult to change the form of address, when his sentiments had grown into a greater extent, and had received another direation. A different plan, he is sensible, might be more favourable to a commodious division and diftribution of his matter.
some earnestness, for my thoughts on the late proceedings in France. I will not give you reason to imagine, that I think my sentiments of such value as to wish myself to be solicited about them. They are of too little consequence to be very anxiously either communicated or withheld. It was from attention to you, and to you only, that I hesitated at the time, when you first desired to receive them. In the first letter I had the honour to write to you, and which at length I send, I wrote neither for nor from any description of men; nor shall I in this. My errors, if any, are my own. My 'reputacion alone is to answer for them.
You see, Sir, by the long letter I have transmitted to you, that, though I do most heartily with that France may be animated by a spirit of