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In preparing this—the fourth volume of Representative British Orations—a work which, in its three-volume form, has met with a large acceptance from the public, the editor has been embarrassed by fulness rather than lack of material. Indeed, in its former shape, the book fairly justified its title: it was representative rather than exhaustive of the subject. From the rich field of possible material the editor has selected specimens of oratory diverse enough in style and occasion, but each, it is hoped, typical of the general trend of the period covered (1813-1898),—of the change from the passionate, partisan forensics of O'Connell to the calm emphasis of Lord Rosebery.
Helps to the study of this period have naturally been many; but the editor must not fail to acknowledge his constant indebtedness to the brilliant and invaluable " History of Our Own Times " of Mr. Justin McCarthy, and in a lesser degree to Mr. Fyffe's " Modern Europe." To Charles Gorham Marrett, Esq., he wishes to record his personal obligations.