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LONDON: BRADBURY, AGNEW, & co., PRINTERS, WHITEFRIARS.

PREFACE.

Public opinion being at this moment almost entirely absorbed by the Eastern Question, it has been suggested to me by my publisher that a reprint of my work on the Austro-Hungarian Empire might, in the present critical state of affairs, be of interest to the public. Austria, whose very name suggests the prominent position she occupies with reference to the East, is more concerned than any other power in the maintenance of satisfactory political relations on the Balkan peninsula, and it is of essential importance for a proper understanding of the Eastern question to be accurately informed both as to her internal political organisation and the tendency of her foreign policy. This information, derived from authentic sources, and based on personal experience, obtained during a long residence in the country, will, it is hoped, be found in the following pages. I have added, in order to make the work more complete, a chapter on the present crisis in the East. It should be stated that in that chapter I do not profess to give any official information; it simply expresses my personal views. I have therefore thought it desirable to abandon the nom de plume, and publish the work in my own name.

LONDON, November 1st, 1876.

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