The Life of Richard Cobden (Classic Reprint)by John Morley
Owing to various circumstances, with which I have no right to trouble the reader, the publication of this work has been delayed considerably beyond the date at which I hoped to bring it to an end. As things have turned out, the delay has done no harm. My memoir of Mr. Cobden appears at a moment when there is a certain
Excerpt from The Life of Richard Cobden
Owing to various circumstances, with which I have no right to trouble the reader, the publication of this work has been delayed considerably beyond the date at which I hoped to bring it to an end. As things have turned out, the delay has done no harm. My memoir of Mr. Cobden appears at a moment when there is a certain disposition in men's minds to subject his work and his principles to a more hostile criticism than they have hitherto encountered. So far perhaps it is permitted to me to hope that the book will prove opportune. It is possible, however, that it may disappoint those who expect to find in it a completely furnished armory for the champions of Free Trade. I did not conceive it to be my task to compile a polemical handbook for that controversy. For this the reader must always go to the parliamentary debates between 1840 and 1846, and to the manuals of Political Economy.
It will perhaps be thought that I should have done better to say nothing of Mr. Cobden's private affairs. In the ordinary case of a public man, reserve on these matters is possibly a good rule. In the present instance, so much publicity was given to Mr. Cobden's affairs - some of it of a very malicious kind - that it seemed best, not only to the writer, but to those whose feelings he was bound first and exclusively to consider, to let these take their place along with the other facts of his life.
The material for the biography has been supplied in great abundance by Mr. Cobden's many friends and correspondents.
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