Eight and forty years have now elapsed since the date at which the narrative contained in the former volumes was suspended, and I am led by several considerations to the opinion that the time has arrived when it may be resumed. We are divided by a long interval from the administrations of Lord Melbourne, Sir Robert Peel, and Lord John Russell, and, with a very small number of exceptions, no one survives who sat in the Cabinets of those statesmen. Nearly half a century has elapsed since the occurrence of the events recorded in the earlier pages of these volumes, and in a few months from the publication of them, the nation and the empire may celebrate with just enthusiasm the jubilee of the reign of Queen Victoria. Those who have had the good fortune to witness this long series of events, and to take any part in them, may well desire to leave behind them some record of a period, unexampled in the annals of Great Britain and of the world for an almost unbroken continuance of progress, prosperity, liberty, and peace. It is not too soon to glean in the records of the time those fugitive impressions which will one day be the materials of history. To us, veterans of the century, life is in the past, and we look back with unfading interest on the generations that have passed away.