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BY EDWARD LYTTON BULWER, ESQ., M.P.
“ PELHAM," “ EUGENE ARAM," “ PAUL CLIFFORD,” “ PILGRIMS
OF THE RHINE,” &c.
FROM THE LONDON FIFTH EDITION.
RUB DU COQ, NEAR THE LOUVRE,
PREFACE TO FOURTH EDITION.
November 25th, 1835. The great and undiminished demand for these volumes has not been the most flattering part of their success. I have been yet more gratified by tracing, through a hundred channels of imitation and plagiarism, the practical influence they have exercised upon the time. Advocating no particular party, and often differing from popular views, my opinions have had to fight their own way into notice, with little, I own to recommend them, but the evidence that they were not formed in haste, nor squared to marketable purposes. In the present edition, I have abridged or omitted a few of such passages as, being of little or no permanent interest, were adapted only to the circumstances of a particular time. Had I to re-write the work, I should not, indeed, devote any of its pages to those parts of political speculation which relate merely to the day: but what is writ, is writ ; and though it is true that in every work of this description much must obtain a place which the lapse of a little time suffices to divest of temporary and adventitious interest, yet a picture of England in a period so important as that succeeding the Reform Bill will have its value and importance, not less to those who come after us, than to the living generation. Doubtless, in such a picture the faults of the artist will be visible; but the main questions for posterity to decide will be, first, what opportunities had the artist to copy faithfully? what motives had he to flatter or to distort? To both of these questions I am willing to abide the answer.