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INTRODUCTION Of the great incidents of History, none has attracted more attention or proved more difficult of interpretation than the French Revolution. The ultimate significance of other striking events and their place in the development of mankind can be readily estimated. It is clear enough that the barbarian invasions marked the death of the classical world, already mortally wounded by the rise of Christianity. It is clear enough that the... more...

INTRODUCTION No library of Court documents could pretend to be representative which ignored the famous "Memoirs" of the Duc de Saint-Simon. They stand, by universal consent, at the head of French historical papers, and are the one great source from which all historians derive their insight into the closing years of the reign of the "Grand Monarch," Louis XIV: whom the author shows to be anything but grand—and of the Regency. The opinion of... more...

The accounts prefixed to the different editions of his works, down to the year 1805, are very imperfect; in that year a new, and, in general, far better edition than any of the preceding ones, was published in Paris, to which a sketch of his life was also added; but it contains rather just criticisms on his works, than any very novel or satisfactory anecdote concerning himself. It is not pretended here to gratify literary curiosity as fully as it... more...

ORIGINAL PREFACE. Our Author, John Francis Paul de Gondi, Cardinal de Retz, Sovereign of Commercy, Prince of Euville, second Archbishop of Paris, Abbot of Saint Denis in France, was born at Montmirail, in Brie, in October, 1614. His father was Philippe Emanuel de Gondi, Comte, de Joigni, General of the Galleys of France and Knight of the King's Orders; and his mother was Frances Marguerite, daughter of the Comte de Rochepot, Knight of the... more...

June 29th, 1833 I am going, if not too lazy, to note down the everyday nothings of my life, and see what it looks like. We dined yesterday at Greenwich, the dinner given by Sefton, who took the whole party in his omnibus, and his great open carriage; Talleyrand, Madame de Dino, Standish, Neumann, and the Molyneux family; dined in a room called ‘the Apollo’ at the Crown and Sceptre. I thought we should never get Talleyrand up two... more...


1830. London, July 16th, 1830 I returned here on the 6th of this month, and have waited these ten days to look about me and see and hear what is passing. The present King and his proceedings occupy all attention, and nobody thinks any more of the late King than if he had been dead fifty years, unless it be to abuse him and to rake up all his vices and misdeeds. Never was elevation like that of King William IV. His life has been hitherto passed... more...

When the first portion of the Memoirs of the late Mr. Charles Greville, consisting of a Journal of the Reigns of King George IV. and King William IV., was given to the world in the autumn of the year 1874, it was intimated that the continuation of the work was reserved for future publication. Those volumes included the record of events which Mr. Greville had noted in his Diary from the year 1818 to the accession of Her Majesty Queen Victoria in... more...

PREFACE BY THE EDITOR The Author of these Journals requested me, in January 1865, a few days before his death, to take charge of them with a view to publication at some future time. He left that time to my discretion, merely remarking that Memoirs of this kind ought not, in his opinion, to be locked up until they had lost their principal interest by the death of all those who had taken any part in the events they describe. He placed several of... more...

THE ACCESSION OF CHARLES X Thursday, the 16th of September, 1824, at the moment when Louis XVIII. was breathing his last in his chamber of the Chateau des Tuileries, the courtiers were gathered in the Gallery of Diana. It was four o'clock in the morning. The Duke and the Duchess of Angouleme, the Duchess of Berry, the Duke and the Duchess of Orleans, the Bishop of Hermopolis, and the physicians were in the chamber of the dying man. When the King... more...

December 20, 1848 On Thursday, December 20, 1848, the Constituent Assembly, being in session, surrounded at that moment by an imposing display of troops, heard the report of the Representative Waldeck-Rousseau, read on behalf of the committee which had been appointed to scrutinize the votes in the election of President of the Republic; a report in which general attention had marked this phrase, which embodied its whole idea: "It is the seal of... more...