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It is generally acknowledged that the London “Times” is among the most accomplished intellectual products of England. Its leaders influence opinion throughout the world; not less by the force of conviction or prejudice than by the charms of a full, varied, commanding style. The reader of the following pages will perceive an equally high order of ability in a series of papers which have, from time to time, appeared in its columns, illustrating topics of a permanent biographical and historical interest. These papers, under the form of reviews, are really brilliant original Essays, frequently displaying the neat humour of a Sydney Smith, or the glowing narrative sweep of a Macaulay. The Essays in this volume exhibit a variety of treatment, and are models of their class. The sketch of the FRENCH REvolution of 1848, and the paper on the AMoURs of DEAN SwiFT are masterpieces in their different ways; the one as a forcibly painted, picturesque panorama of startling events, the other as a subtle investigation of
character. The story of Lord NELsoN's LADY HAMILTON is an example of pathos where the interest grows out of a clear firmly presented statement. The paper on EGYPT is an admirable resumé of the results of Antiquarian study, in a style at once learned and popular. This selection is, with the exception of two articles, for which three others of a less dependent form and of a more general interest have been substituted, the same with that recently published by Mr. Murray in London.
NEw-York, MARCH, 1852.