EMERSON has dealt severely with his biographers. With full knowledge that his history must be written, he thought fit to lead a life devoid of incident, of nearly untroubled happiness, and of absolute conformity to the moral law. His correspondence is seldom very interesting, and his diary is out of reach. The injured biographer must rely on whatever charm may attach to the not too frequent figure of one who lived as he wrote. His main dependence for matters of fact must repose on Mr. J. E. Cabot, Emerson's literary executor and authorized historian, whose consummate knowledge (unfortunately for the above-mentioned biographer) is only rivalled by his consummate discretion. Cordial acknowledgments are also due to preceding writers -- Mr. Ireland, Dr. Holmes, Mr. Cooke, Mr. Conway -- whose works, if superseded as records of circumstance, are yet fresh with the aroma of the admiring love which led them to preoccupy the ground. Apart from these common obligations, the writer is specially indebted to the friend who prepared his index, and the friends who revised his proofs. April 27, 1888.