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PRINTED FOR BALDWIN, CRADOCK, AND JOY;
P R E F A C E.
A MONG'the striking examples of vicissitude in
human affairs presented by history, it would be difficult to produce any one more extraordinary in its circumstances and important in its effects than that which the present year has exhibited. The preceding year, indeed, which witnessed the discomfiture of a mighty attempt to ruin one empire by the accumulated force of another, followed by prodigious loss to the assailing power, closed with a prospect of great changes in the relative state of Europe; but the extent to which these changes have actually proceeded could scarcely have been contemplated by the most sagacious or sanguine political speculators. That the wild and unlimited schemes of ambition which had urged the French Ruler to annex remote provinces to his overgrown dominion, and trample upon all the rights of independent states, must sooner or later be crushed by their own vastness, and the universal alarm and odium they were calculated to create, might almost with certainty have been predicted from the undeviating course of events in the records of mankind; but that the wheel of fortune should revolve with so much rapidity, who could hope or foresee? In 1812 France led against Russia, along with her native and associated troops, the contingents of her allies, Prussia, Saxony, Austria, Bavaria, and the Rhenish confederates. In 1813 all these were leagued against her, and in conjunction with Russia, displayed hostile banners upon French ground on one frontier, whilst another, with its strong barrier of the Pyrenees, was forced by a combined army of English,