The following essays, though not originally published in connexion with each other, will be found to embody a consecutive train of thought, and to follow one another in a connected and logical order. They have been written at various dates during the past five years. The first four appeared in the 'Edinburgh Review,' and are now republished through the courtesy of Messrs. Longman. The last appeared in 'The Nineteenth Century,' and is republished in accordance with an arrangement made by myself with Mr. Knowles.
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