Life and Times of Stein: Or, Germany and Prussia in the Napoleonic Age - Vol. 1

Life and Times of Stein: Or, Germany and Prussia in the Napoleonic Age - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Life and Times of Stein: Or, Germany and Prussia in the Napoleonic Age - Vol. 1

Life and Times of Stein: Or, Germany and Prussia in the Napoleonic Age - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

It is not to set forth the merits of a great man who has been too little known that I write the life of Stein at such an unusual length, but on account of the intrinsic importance of the revolutions in which he took part. It has been my object to consider the transformation of Germany and Prussia in the Napoleonic age, which has usually been contemplated by us only as a part of the life of Napoleon, in its proper place as a part of German history.

When I first asked myself how this subject might best be treated, I remarked that it wits one which especially needed to be gathered up in a person. I soon satisfied myself that the only person who could be taken in this way to represent his nation and his time was Stein.

Hence arose the plan of this work. When it was formed I had no clear opinion as to Stein's claim to be admired or regarded as a great man. It was enough for me that his central position, his important achievements, and his strongly marked character made him more interesting than any of his German contemporaries. As I proceeded with my task I gradually formed an estimate of his merits. It was a very high estimate, as the reader will see, but it was formed in perfect freedom of judgment. I was not influenced by the consideration which so often makes a biographer partial, viz., that if the subject of the biography is not made out to be a very extra-

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