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PREFACE.

It is extremely difficult to obtain accurate information

respecting the character and conduct of those who occupy thrones. The views of writers are so influenced by political predilections, that the same character is represented by one as an angel, and by another as a demon. The author of the following sketches has spared no pains to obtain as correct knowledge as possible of the distinguished individuals of whom he has written, and he has introduced no illustrative actions which have not appeared to him to be well authenticated. He has not been careful to inquire whether the opinions he has expressed are generally entertained or not. He has only endeavored to give utterance to his honest convictions in reference to events and actions which have agitated and still divide the opinions of the world.

New York, May, 1848.

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