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the “ economic heresies” of Protection. Another word of explanation may find a place here. Two or three of my critics in the daily and weekly press have censured me somewhat severely because my book does not contain a complete history of England since 1830. I can only say that it makes no pretension to be anything of the kind. All that I have attempted has been to tell as much of that history as was necessary for the due understanding of the share which Lord Beaconsfield had in making it; anything more would have been outside the plan of the book.
Whatever may be thought of the execution of the work, I am glad to have reason to believe that the principal object I had in view when writing it, has been to a great extent attained. A more just and generous view of the character and work of its subject now prevails alike in England and on the Continent, and in the creation of that new public opinion this book may fairly claim to have had a share. Since its publication several journals of unquestionable Liberalism have had the candour to confess that many of the current stories of Lord Beaconsfield's early days are malignant slanders, which it is a shame for an honest antagonist to repeat, and have given what is substantially the version of such stories which I have put forward. More than this, I have had the pleasure of seeing the ideas, the facts, the suggestions and the illustrations of this book quoted-almost invariably without acknowledgment-in the speeches of some public men and in the pages of many more or less important journals. The example set by English journalism has been liberally followed on the Continent. One ingenious German gentleman has boldly appropriated many pages of the earlier edition of this book with the faintest possible acknowledgment, and the editor of the Constitutionnel, M. Cucheval Clarigny, has freely translated its substance in a series of articles published at the close of 1879 in the Revue des Deux Mondes. It is true that in the volume into which M. Cucheval Clarigny has collected his detached essays he admits that he has received des renseignements from this work, but I would humbly submit that "hints" is a somewhat euphemistic description of some hundreds of pages of free translation.
With this brief explanation, I leave my work to the judgment
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.
of the English people. The national sorrow during the last week has proved that, however tardily, they have learned to appreciate the great statesman who spent a lifetime in their service, and I cannot but hope that there will be many who will be gratified to possess a biography of him written from the sympathetic point of view. I need only add that this edition was, except as regards half a dozen pages or thereabouts at the end, prepared for the press rather more than a year ago.
The portrait which faces the title-page is from a photograph taken by Messrs. W. and D. Downey, at Balmoral, in 1868, by it is presumed, the special desire of Her Majesty, on whom Lord Beaconsfield was then in waiting. It is generally acknowledged to be the most truthful portrait of the noble Lord in existence.
ST. GEORGE'S SQUARE, REGENT'S PARK.
April 25, 1881.