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PRINTED BY SPOTTISWOODE AND CO., NEW-STREET SQUARE

LONDON

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06-2 ao EF

PREFACE

THE EDITOR.

Ix compliance with the wish of an old and valued friend my name appears on the title-page of these volumes to authenticate (if that were necessary) their contents, and to recommend them to English readers as a faithful record of the political transactions of an eventful period. But I hasten to add that my share in this publication is a very slight one. The translation has been executed by other and very competent hands, with the assistance of the author, and the only merit I can claim is that I saw at once the importance of the work, and took some steps to introduce it to the British public in our own language.

Twenty years ago it would have required no such introduction. At that time the members of the diplomatic body at the Court of St. James formed a con

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