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[262] of this his chief production. ‘A copy of his History was always on his table; and, retaining to the last his literary activity, and his interest in his favorite studies, he constantly had it in hand, for the purpose of making such revisions as were suggested by his own researches, or those of Spanish scholars in Europe. . . . Any one who will take the trouble to compare the two editions [the third and fourth] will see how carefully and conscientiously Mr. Ticknor labored, to the day of his death, to secure completeness to the work to which the best portion of his life was dedicated, with a singleness of devotion rare in these days of desultory activity and rapid production.’1

1 Preface to the Fourth Edition, by G. S. Hillard. This edition, prepared for the press by Mr. Hillard, appeared a year after the death of Mr. Ticknor, who left a special request that his friend might perform this office.

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