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V* PREFAGE *Do
In this volume is depicted the great drama of the History of the World, with the parts played by each of its nations-Greek, Roman, Teuton, Celt, and the rest.
“Histories,” says Sir Francis Bacon, “make men wise.” “History,” says Dionysius, “is philosophy teaching by examples.” ' “ History,” says Fuller, “maketh a young man to be old, without either wrinkles or grey hairs, privileging him with the experience of age, without either the inconvenience or infirmities thereof.” “To study history,” says Wilmot, “is to study literature. The biography of a nation contains all its works. No trifle is to be neglected. A mouldering medal is a letter of twenty centuries. Antiquities which have been beautifully called history defaced, composed its fullest commentary."
It concerns us to know that there were once such men as Alexander, Cæsar, and Cato, and that they lived in this or that period. It concerns us to know that the Empire of the Assyrians made way for that of the Babylonians, and the latter for the Medes and Persians, who were themselves subjected by the Macedonians, as these were afterwards by the Romans. It concerns us to know by what methods these empires were founded; by what steps they rose to that exalted pitch of grandeur which we so much admire ; what it was that constituted their true glory and felicity, and what were the causes of their destruction and fall.
It concerns us to know the humanizing influence of the Greeks, the mighty conquests of the Romans, and the rugged strength of the nations that built up the world anew after the downfall of Imperial Rome. It concerns us to study attentively the manners of different nations, their genius, laws, and customs, and specially to acquaint ourselves with the character and disposition, the talents, virtues, and even vices of those by whom they were governed, and whose good and bad qualities contributed to the grandeur or decay of the states over which they presided. Such are the great objects which THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD presents, causing