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no more than the common complaint made by every trader in regard to his gain, as well as by every great man in regard to his emoluments and his pensions. After a course of some years, ihe nett balance, formed by the profits in question, amounted to a certain sum, proportioned to the size of the performance. And, in fine, I must add to the account of the many favours I have received, that I was allowed to carry on the above business of selling my book, without any objection being formed against me from my not having served a regular apprenticeship, and without being molested by the inquisition.-Severál authors have chosen to relate, in writings published after death, the personal advantages by which their performances have been followed : as for me, I have thought otherwise ; and, fearing that during the latter part of my life I may be otherwise engaged, I have preferred to write now the account of my successes in this country, and to see it printed while I am yet living.
I shall add to the above narrative (whatever the reader may be pleased to think of it) a few observations of rather a more serious kind, for the sake of those persons who, judging themselves to be possessed of abilities, find they are neglected by such as have it in their power to do them occasional services, and suffer themselves to be mortified by it. To hope that men will in earnest assist in setting forth the mental qualifications of others, is an expectation which, generally speaking, must needs be disappointed. To procure one's notions and opinions to be attended to, and approved by
the circle of one's acquaintance, is the universal wish of mankind. To diffuse these notions farther, to numerous parts of the public. by means of the press, or by others, becomes an object of real ambition ; nor is this ambition always proportioned to the real abilities of those who feel it: very far from it. When the approbation of mankind is in question, all persons, 'whatever their different ranks may be, consider themselves as being engaged in the same career; they look upon themselves as being candidates for the very same kind of advantage: high and low, all are in that respect in a state of primæval equality; nor are those who are likely to obtain some prize, to expect much favour from the others.
This desire of having their ideas communicated to, and approved by, the public, was very prevalent among the great men of the Roman commonwealth, and afterwards with the Roman emperors ; however imperfect the means of obtaining those ends inight be in those days, compared with those which are used in ours. The same desire has been equally remarkable among modern European kings, not to speak of other parts of the world; and a long catalogue of royal authors may be produced. Ministers, especially after having lost their places, have shown no less inclination than their masters, to convince mankind of the reality of their knowledge. Noble persons, of all denominations, have increased the catalogue. And, to speak of the country in which we are, there is, it seems, no good reason to make any exception in regard to it; and great men in it, or in general those who are at the head of the people, are, we find, sufficiently anxious about the success of their speeches, or of the printed performances which they sometimes condescend to Jay before the public: nor has it been every great man wishing that a compliment may be paid to his personal knowledge, that has ventured to give such lasting specimens.
Several additions were made to this work at the time I gave the first English edition of it. Besides a more accurate division of the chapters, several new notes and paragraphs were inserted in it; for instance, in the Ilth chapter of the 2nd book; and three new chapters, the 15th, 16th, and. 17th, amounting to about ninety pages, were added to the same book. These three additional chapters, never. having been written by me in French, were inserted in the third edition made at Amsterdam, translated by a person whom the Dutch bookselleremployed for that purpose: as I never had an oppor. tunity to peruse a copy of that edition, I cannot say how well the translator performed his task. Having now parted with the copy-right of the book, I have farther added four new chapters to it (10, 11, B. I. 19, 20, B. II.) by way of taking a final leave of it; and in order the more completely io, effect this, I may perhaps give, in a few months,' a French edition of the same (which I cannot tell why I have not done sooner), in which all the abovementioned additions, translated by anyself, shall be inserted.
In one of the former additional chapters (the 17th, B. II.) mention is made of a peculiar circumstance attending the English government, considered as a monarchy, which is the solidity of the power of the crown. As one proof of this peculiar solidity, it is remarked, in that chapter, that all the monarchs who ever existed, in any part of the world, were never able to maintain their ground against certain powerful subjects (or a combination of them) without the assistance of regular forces at their constant command; whereas it is evident that the power of the crown, ia England, is not at this day supported by such means; nor even had the English kings a guard of more than a few scores of men, when their power, and the exertions they at times made of it, were equal to what has ever been related of the most absolute Roiran emperors.
The cause of this peculiarity in the English government, is said, in the same chapter, to lie in the circumstance of the great or powerful men, in England, being divided into two distinct assemblies, and, at the same time, in the principles on which such a division is formed. To attempt to give a demonstration of this assertion otherwise than by facts (as is done in the chapter here alluded to), would lead into difficulties which the reader is little aware of. In general, the science of politics, considered as an exact science; that is to say, as a science capable of actual demonstration,-is infinitely deeper than the reader suspects. The knowledge of man, on which such a science, with its preliminary axioms and definitions, is to be grounded,
has hitherto remained surprisingly imperfect: as one instance how little man is known to himself, it might be mentioned that no tolerable explanation of that continual human phænomenon, laughter has been yet given; and the powerful complicate sensation which each sex produces in the other, still remains an equally inexplicable mystery.
To conclude the above digression (which may do very well for a preface), I shall only add, that those speculators who will amuse themselves in seeking for the demonstration of the political theorem above expressed, will thereby be led through a field of observations which they will at first little expect; and, in their way towards attaining such demonstration, will find the science, commonly called metaphysics, to be at best but a very superficial one, and that the mathematics, or at least the mathematical reasonings hitherto used by men, are not so completely free from error as has been thought.*
Out of the four chapters added to the present edition, two (the 10th and 11th, B. I.) contain, among other things, a few strictures on the Courts of Equity ; in which I wish it may be found I have not been mistaken: of the two others, one 19th, B.
• Certain errors that are not discovered, are, in several cases, compensated by others, which are equally imperceived.
Continuing to avail myself of the indulgence an author has a right to claim in a preface, I shall mention as a farther explanation of the peculiarity in the English government above alluded to, and which is again touched upon in the postscript to this advertisement, that a government may be considered as a great ballet or dance, in which, as in other ballets, every thing, depends on the disposition of the figures.