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P R E F A C E.
A VOLUME bearing the same title with this, published in 1852, and now nearly out of print, contained the principal Speeches and Addresses delivered by me, during fifteen or sixteen years of public life, as a member of the State or National Legislature. In the present volume are collected my Addresses and Speeches during an equal number of years of private life. They may, perhaps, do something towards illustrating the history of the times, by recalling events of local or National interest, and by the notices which they contain of distinguished persons, or of important institutions. They will at least leave no room for misapprehension hereafter, as to what I may have said about men or things, when I have been called upon to say any thing. Like those in the previous volume, they are given here just as they were spoken, and many of them printed, at the time; with no other change than the correction of a few errors in form or substance.
It would be idle to pretend that no modifications of opinion have been produced by the progress of events, even were none such apparent in these pages; but I have preferred now, as heretofore, to let the record stand, as it has been made up from time to time, rather than afford ground for the imputation, that any thing had been suppressed or altered to suit any change of political circumstances or of public sentiment.
ROBERT C. WINTHROP.
Boston, 12 May, 1867.