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The Eve Of The French Revolution
by Edward J. Lowell
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There is perhaps no great country inhabited by civilized man more favored by nature than France. Possessing every variety of surface from the sublime mountain to the shifting sand-dune, from the loamy plain to the precipitous rock, the land is smiled upon by a climate in which the extremes of heat and cold are of rare occurrence. The grape will ripen over the greater part of the country, the orange and the olive in its southeastern corner. The deep soil of many provinces gives ample return to the labor of the husbandman. If the inhabitants of such a country are not prosperous, surely the fault lies rather with man than with nature.
There are two ways in which the French Revolution may be considered. We may look at the great events which astonished and horrified Europe and America: the storming of the Bastille, the march on Versailles, the massacres of September, the Terror, and the restoration of order by Napoleon. The study of these events must always be both interesting and profitable, and we cannot wonder that historians, scenting the approaching battle, have sometimes hurried over the comparatively peaceful country that separated them from it.
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