Historical and Political Essays

Historical and Political Essays

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Historical and Political Essays

Historical and Political Essays

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Excerpt

When Mr. Lecky had finished his last work, 'The Leaders of Public Opinion in Ireland,' he did not intend to write another long book. His health was broken ; he had said most of what he wished to say. But he proposed collecting in a volume a few Essays which he had written at different times. As concentration was to him one of the first conditions of good work, he did not often allow his attention to be diverted from the book he was writing by giving addresses or contributing articles to reviews or magazines, unless he had some special reason for doing so. The number is, therefore, small. He began revising them; and made some additions to 'Thoughts on History,' 'The Empire,' 'The Memoir of the Fifteenth Earl of Derby,' 'Queen Victoria as a Moral Force'; but he unfortunately did not live to complete the revision of the others.

In publishing this volume I have endeavoured to carry out his intentions. Besides the Essays which he had revised, I have included all that seemed to me to possess a permanent value. Even though some of them deal with questions of the day, the philosophic spirit in which they are treated may give them more than a transitory interest, and the forcible arguments that are adduced may still have weight in the future.

ELISABETH LECKY.

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