Every history, and especially that of France, is one vast, long drama, in which
events are linked together according to defined laws, and in which the actors play
parts not ready made and learned by heart, parts depending, in fact, not only upon the
accidents of their birth, but also upon their own ideas and their own will. There are, in
the history of peoples, two sets of causes essentially different, and, at the same time,
closely connected; the natural causes which are set over the general course of events,
and the unrestricted causes which are incidental....