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In closing this volume, i think it proper, considering the great interest which we must all, at this time, necessarily feel as to the transactions between nation and nation, to point out the utility of this work, as a Register of those transactions. One of the principal objects of the undertaking, was, to insure to my readers the possession of all the authentic documents, which should, during the continuance of the work, appear
in print, relative to transactions between nation and nation; and, so unremitted has been my attention thereunto, that, I think I may safely a sert, that no document of that description has been omitted; an assertion, which, I am persuaded, cannot, with truth, be made in favour of any other work extant. In every other work, professing to be a Register of the times, the compilers have, for some reason or other, contented themselves with a selection of documents. For most present purposes this
may be suh jent; but, every selection must depend upon the taste, or the opi. nion, of the person selecting; and, from one cause or another, it must produce a representation, which, in a greater or less degree, is deficient in point of impartiality, though, perhaps, contrary to the wishes of the compiler. The great source of error as to transactions of past times is the want of a collection of ult the documents relating to them. This must have been perceived by every reader of history. For the want of such a collection, what great and mischievous errors have descended to the present day! To what acrimonious and disgraceful disputes; to what doubts, what distrust, what unsettled notions, and to what inconsistency of action has this deficiency of record given rise ! To prevent those evils, as far as may relate to the times of which this work will be a Register, has been an object of which I have never lost sight. In the opinions and the statements of my own, I am not inclined to deny that prejudice and passion have frequently had their influence; but, in giving all the authentic documents, I have done my best to guard future times, at least (if my work should happen to outlive its author) against the effect of such influence. The same motive has been my guide in collecting and recording the documents relating to the internal concerns of foreign nations, as well as those relating to the internal concerns of our own country; and, I fear not to re