These Essays appeared in the Fortnightly Review at various times between the spring of 1865 and the first month of this year. I much wish that I were able to recast them, for such a series must have many defects when presented as a continuous book; but many occupations forbid me to hope that I could accomplish this within any moderate limits of time, and as the opinions here set forth (whatever may be their value) have at least cost me much time and thought, I venture to publish them in the only form I can.

The arguments of the first Essay, if it had been rewritten, might have been exceedingly illustrated by the present contest between the President and the Congress of the United States: but I leave it to stand as it was published just a few days after Lincoln’s death—when Mr Johnson was said to be a violent Anti-Southerner, and no such quarrel was thought of. There is a just suspicion in the public mind of principles got up to account for events just occurring; and I prefer to leave what I wrote as it stood, when no such events were looked for.

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