It is not impossible that other collective editions of The Fœderalist, beside the twenty here referred to, have sometime been issued from the press in America or Europe; but a careful search through the various public and many of the private libraries in this vicinity, and as careful an examination of the catalogues of various libraries in more distant parts of our own country and in Europe, have failed to produce any evidence of the existence of any other edition or impression.
A new edition, probably the twenty-first in book-form, differing in its text from all others except the originals, and possessing other features which are even more peculiar to itself than its text, is contained in these volumes.
It is the result of a careful examination of the work, in its various forms, editions, and versions, and of a long-continued and anxious study of the important subject on which it treats; it is confidently believed, therefore, that in no other form or edition has The Fœderalist been issued with greater correctness in the text, or with more useful and important apparatus for the use of the student and scholar.
In thus bespeaking for this edition of The Fœderalist the entire confidence of the reader, the Editor is actuated by no other motive than a desire to promote a general knowledge of the true principles of the Government of the United States; and as the learned John Selden once said, on a similar occasion, with equal sincerity he can say on this:—"He that knoweth the secrets of all Mens Hearts, doth know that my aim in this work is neither at Scepter or Crosier, nor after Popular Dotage, but that Justice and Truth may moderate in all. This is a Vessel, I confess, ill and weakly built, yet doth it adventure into the vast Ocean of your Censures, Gentlemen, who are Antiquaries, Lawyers, and Historians; any one of whom might have steered in this course much better than my self. Had my own credit