Front Page Titles (by Subject) PREFACE. - The Political Writings of Richard Cobden, vol. 1
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PREFACE. - Richard Cobden, The Political Writings of Richard Cobden, vol. 1 
The Political Writings of Richard Cobden, with a Preface by Lord Welby, Introductions by Sir Louis Mallet, C.B., and William Cullen Bryant, Notes by F.W. Chesson and a Bibliography, vol. 1, (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1903).
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The storm of adverse criticism with which the first appearance of this pamphlet was assailed from certain quarters did not surprise me. My censors had joined in the cry of “a French invasion,” and my argument would therefore only prove successful in proportion as it impugned their judgment. Unless I could be shown to be wrong, they could not possibly be right. When the accuser is arraigned before the accused, it is not difficult to foresee what the judgment will be. Time can alone arbitrate between me and my opponents; but even they must admit that the three months which have elapsed since I penned these pages have not diminished my chances of a favourable award.
I have endeavoured with all humility to profit by the strictures so liberally bestowed on the historical part of my argument, by correcting any errors into which I might have inadvertently fallen. But I am bound to state that I have not found an excuse for altering a fact, or for adding or withdrawing a single line. I have been charged with an anachronism in having designated the hostilities which terminated in 1815 as “the war of 1793.” I must confess that I have regarded this objection as something very like a compliment, in so far at least as it may without presumption be accepted in proof of the difficulties in the way of hostile criticism—for who is ignorant that Napoleon, the genius of that epoch, was brought forth and educated by us—that he, until then an obscure youth, placed his foot upon the first step of the ladder of fame when he drove our forces from Toulon in 1793, and that it was in overcoming the coalitions created by British energy, and subsidised with English gold, that he found occasions for the display of his almost superhuman powers?
It is true that there were brief suspensions of hostilities at the peace, or, more properly speaking, the truce of Amiens, and during Bonaparte's short sojourn at Elba; but even if it were clear that Napoleon's ambition put an end to the peace, it would prove nothing but that he had by the ordinary workings of the moral law been in the meantime raised into a retributive agent for the chastisement of those who were the authors of the original war. I am bound, however, to add that, if we examine the circumstances which led to the renewal of hostilities, after the short intervals of peace, we shall find that our government showed quite as great readiness for war in 1803 and 1815 as they had done in 1793.
March 22nd, 1853.