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Printed by J. & H. COX (BROTHERS), 74 & 75, Great Queen Street,
AUG 20 1991
These Lectures were held at Vienna, in the year 1810, by royal permission, and are now published, except a few alterations, precisely as they were delivered.
It was my first wish to place these Lectures in the hands of my hearers. To some passages, especially those which are entirely based upon special and novel researches, it would have been perhaps more appropriate to add remarks upon those topics of inquiry, which could not well be discussed in oral delivery, as well as to adduce the less known authorities. Such was at first my intention. Most of the remarks, however, would have swollen into treatises; the character of the work would thereby have become totally changed, and several years would probably have elapsed before its completion.
I believed, however, that several of those, who in Germany, or elsewhere, where the German language is known, pay attention to, and take an interest in, my labours, would preser to have these reflections on modern times at once, and in the very form in which they now appear.
As I have for several years devoted my leisure hours almost exclusively to history,—not to general history only, but more particularly to that of my country,- I trust to have leisure and opportunity subsequently to enter more fully into many topics, that in this work I could only lightly touch upon.