Some explanation is perhaps due from a writer who adopts the title of Comic in relation to a subject which is ordinarily considered to be so essentially grave as that of History. Though the epithet may be thought by many inappropriate to the theme, this work has been prompted by a very serious desire to instruct those who, though willing to acquire information, seek in doing so as much amusement as possible. It is true that professedly Comic literature has been the subject of a familiarity not unmixed with contempt on the part of a portion of the public, since that class of writing obtained the popularity which has especially attended it within the last few years; but as whatever disrepute it has fallen into is owing entirely to its abuse, there is no reason for abandoning an attempt to make a right use of it. The title of Comic has therefore been retained in reference to this work, though the author has felt that its purport is likely to be misconceived by many, and among them not a few whose judgment he would highly esteem, who would turn away from a Comic History solely on account of its name, and without giving themselves the trouble to look into it. Those persons are, however, grievously mistaken who have imagined that in this, and in similar books from the same pen, the object has been to treat History as a mere farce, or to laugh at Truth—the aim of the writer having invariably been to expose falsehood, and to bring into merited contempt all that has been injudiciously, ignorantly, or dishonestly held up to general admiration. His method of telling a story may be objected to; nevertheless, if he does his utmost to tell it truly, he ought not, perhaps, to be very severely criticised for adopting the style in which he feels himself most at home; and if his opinions are found to be, in the main, such as just and sensible persons can agree with, he only asks that his views and sentiments may be estimated by what they contain, and not by any peculiarity in his mode of expressing them.