Front Page Titles (by Subject) PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION (1706) 1 - The Present State of Germany
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PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION (1706) 1 - Samuel von Pufendorf, The Present State of Germany 
The Present State of Germany, trans. Edmund Bohun, edited and with an Introduction by Michael J. Seidler (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2007).
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PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION (1706)1
This small book lays aside its mask now that the author has been removed from human affairs and no longer fears men’s hatreds. It was written in an impulse of indignation when a professorship which the author believed he deserved was snatched away by another.2 Its publication followed the assessment and approval of the prince whom the author then served, and whose views and feelings are here and there expressed [in it].
In its youthful boldness, the work did not weigh sufficiently how dangerous it is for a private person to criticize the powerful. So later, in his maturer years, the author reviewed the book and expunged from it the things included there by a different sentiment, or without sufficient forethought, and elided here and there, by changing a few words, some things to which others had objected. It [also] seemed appropriate to omit the things that had been added toward the end of the book concerning religion,3 because that argument was more extensively and forcefully developed afterwards in the author’s other writings.4 For the work’s chief aim was to inquire about the form of the German republic,a whose irregularity will be the more easily acknowledged the more deeply one sees how this vast mechanism [machina ] is governed.
The author initially published the book under a fictitious name because, even though the Palatine censor approved of the work in itself, he nonetheless recommended that it be printed elsewhere. It was therefore sent to the author’s brother, Esaias Pufendorf, then the Swedish charge d’affaires at the French court. When the latter had given it to a certain typographer to be printed, a proofreader caught the words, in [Ch. I] §.3, “the inappropriate conceit of certain Frenchmen,” and had it submitted to the noted historian, Mézeray,5 for review. Since the latter did not dare to approve its printing in Paris, it was published soon thereafter by Adrian Vlacq at The Hague, without a scruple. It is worthwhile here, however, to append Mézeray’s judgment.
[1 ]This new translation is based on Samuelis L.B. de Pufendorf, De Statu Imperii Germanici, ed. Gundling, the so-called editio posthuma, or posthumous edition.
[2 ]Pufendorf died in 1694. The story about his supposed ire at losing a coveted law professorship at Heidelberg to another candidate, and then writing the Monzambano to prove himself, became part of Treitschke’s (1886–97) influential nineteenth-century account (“Samuel Pufendorf,” 200–21). However, Döring, “Untersuchungen” (especially 185–95), has shown convincingly that it is not accurate. In fact, there is some doubt about whether this preface to the editio posthuma is even by Pufendorf himself.
[3 ]See VIII.5–10.
[4 ]Specifically, in Basilii Hyperetae [a pseudonym] Historische und politische Beschreibung der geistlichen Monarchie des Stuhls zu Rom [Historical and Political Description of the Spiritual Monarchy of the Chair at Rome] (Leipzig and Franckfurt, 1679), translated by John Chamberlayne as The History of Popedom and incorporated (as chap. 12) into Pufendorf’s Einleitung zu der Historie der vornehmsten Reiche und Staaten so itziger Zeit in Europa sich befinden (Frankfurt, 1682). The latter work was translated by Jodocus Crull as An Introduction to the History of the Principal Kingdoms and States of Europe, a title that will also appear in the Natural Law and Enlightenment Classics series, published by Liberty Fund. Already published by Liberty Fund are Pufendorf’s De habitu religionis christianae ad vitam civilem as Of the Nature and Qualification of Religion in Reference to Civil Society, and Jus feciale divinum, sive de consensu et dissensu Protestantium as The Divine Feudal Law; or, Covenants with Mankind, Represented, which present Pufendorf’s views on the state-church relationship and the possibility of religious unification (among Lutherans and Calvinists).
[a ]That is, respublica / Pufendorf also refers to the empire as a state [status ] and as imperium. This variation of terms itself indicates the difficulty of conceiving the empire in terms of traditional forms of the state. [Ed.]
[5 ]François Eudes de Mézeray (1610–83) was official historiographer of France and a member of the Académie Française (since 1649). He wrote histories of France and of the Turks.