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The author of the following work had been engaged in the translation of Labaume's Campaign in Russia, and Giraud's Campaign of 1814, which contain an interesting and connected narrative of the rapid decline of the fortune of Napoleon, and his precipitate descent from that elevation to attain which. he had sacrificed every honourable principle and deluged the world with blood. Grateful for the kind reception which these translations had received from an approving public, he conceived himself pledged to present the English reader with the best account of the second and more extraordinary volume of the life of Buonaparte. For this purpose
he carefully perused every publication on the subject with which the French press teemed, but not finding one work which for independent thinking, or
impartial, accurate, and interesting detail, deserved to be placed on the same shelf with Labaume and Giraud, he was induced to attempt to compose a Narrative of the unparalleled Revolution of 1815.
The result of his efforts is now before the public. He claims no merit, but that of a faithful narrator of events, so far as he could collect them from the documents which so short a space of time has permitted to transpire: and none but they who have toiled through the innumerable, contradictory, and irréconcileable statements of the same transactions, which he has been compelled to collate and to compare, can imagine how difficult has been this apparently simple task. 11. The author has freely expressed his sentiments on men and measures.
He belongs to no political party. He courts no great man's favour; he fears no man's frown. His only ambition is to be found a faithful historian,'a determined enemy to tyranny, and a zealous advocate of that rational liberty which constitutes the security, the glory, and the happiness of Britain.
If the recluse of St. Helena may appear to some readers to occupy too prominent a place in the following work, the apology which the author offers is, that he was writing a history of France during the Spring of 1815, and': that the Ruler of France must necessarily play, the principal part in the grand and awful drama.
In relating the events of the short, yet glorious campaign which effected the deliverance of Europe, the author has been assisted by several valuable and original communications from those who shared in the honour of the day of Waterloo. He acknowledges his obligations with gratitude, and respectfully solicits any information that may enrich another edition (should the kindness of the public require one) with more accurate and fuller details of that brilliant triumph of British skill and valour.
The plan of the battle has been very carefully drawn from official documents of the highest authority, and is offered to the public with the full confidence of its being found most minutely and perfectly correct. The map of Belgium, and especially the minute delineation of the whole theatre of the campaign from the plan of Compte Ferrari, will, doubtless, be acceptable to the reader.
The author will conclude by recommending to those who may have formed different impressions of any of the transactions recorded in this work, and particularly of any of the details of the decisive victory of the 18th of June, the following anecdote, extracted from a very excellent summary of the campaign in the Quarterly Review for July, 1815. “ When after the victory of Aumale, in which Henry IV was wounded, he called his Generals round his bed to give him an account of what had occurred subsequently to his leaving the field, no two could agree on the course of the very events in which they had been actors; and the King struck with the difficulty of ascertaining facts so evident and recent, exclaimed · Voila ce que c'est que l'histoire ! • What then is history ?'”
Jan. 15th, 1815.
Landing at Frejus.-Progress to Grenoble.--His Proclama-
tions.-Treason of Labedoyere.--Noble Conduct of General
Marchand.-Entry of Napoleon into Grenoble, p. 82.
Arrival at Paris of the News of Napoleon's Landing.--Effect
which it produced.--Zeal of the Parisians.- Treachery of
Desnouettes.--Arrival of Monsieur at Lyons-Disaffection of
the Troops.--Flight of the Prince.--Entrance of Buonaparte
into Lyons.-Defection of Ney.-Appearance of Lewis at the
Hall of the Représentatives.-His noble Speech there.- Re-
view of the National Guard and regular Troops.--Progress of
Napoleon from Lyons.-Grand Defection of the Troops at
Melun.-Departure of Lewis.-Entrance of Buonaparte into