« ForrigeFortsett »
TO LORD LYTTON.
MY DEAR EDWARD, The idea of this work, which I dedicate to you in testimony of the affection and friendship which have always united us, was conceived many years ago. I wished to give some general idea of modern history, from the period of the French Revolution of 1789 down to our own times, in a series of personal sketches. In these sketches I was disposed to select types of particular characters, thinking that in this way it is easier to paint with force and clearness both an individual and an epoch. The outlines of Talleyrand, Cobbett, and others, were then imperfectly traced; and Canning and Mackintosh have been little altered.
The manuscript, however, was laid aside amidst the labours of an active professional career, and only thought of since complete leisure created the wish for some employment. It was then that I resumed my task.
I need not say that the portraits I give here are but a few of those I commenced, but the constant change of residence, rendered necessary by the state of
health in which I left Constantinople, interfered with the completion of my design, and added to the defects which, under any circumstances, would have been found in the following pages.
I regret that the character of Sir Robert Peel, which I intended to place side by side with that of Mr. Canning, would have swollen these volumes to too great a size; it is reserved, therefore, for a future occasion.
Ever yours affectionately,
H. L. BULWER.
13 Rue ROYALE, Paris,
Oct. 10, 18
Different types of men. M. de Talleyrand, the politic man.
Character of the eighteenth century, which had formed him. — Birth, personal description, entry into church. — Causes of revolution - States-General. – Talleyrand's influence over clergy; over the decision as to the instructions of members, and the drawing up of the rights of man. Courage in times of danger. Financial knowledge. Propositions relative to Church property. Discredit with the Court party. Popularity with the Assembly. — Charged to draw up its manifests to the nation. – Project about uniformity of weights and measures,