As a Harvard undergraduate I roomed for a time in Hollis 8, a room occupied in turn by William H. Prescott and James Schouler, and perhaps I may attribute to some contagion caught as a transmittendum in that apartment, an itch for writing history which has brought some trouble to me and to the rather limited circle of readers whom I have reached. I remember debating, as a boy, whether the more desirable fame fell to the hero in a conflict or to the scribe who told the story. Whose place would one rather have? That of Timoleon and Nicias or of Plutarch and Thucydides their celebrants? But the celebrants, no doubt, seemed to their contemporaries very insignificant figures compared to the champions whose fame they perpetuated. The historians of America are a goodly company, scarcely less worthy than the champions whose deeds they have chronicled. With most men who, during the last seventy-five years, have written history in America, I have had contact, sometimes a mere glimpse, sometimes intimacy. Washington Irving and Prescott I never saw, though as to the latter I have just been making him responsible to some extent for my own little proclivity, Parkman, I only saw sitting with his handsome Grecian face relieved against a dignified background as he sat on the stage among the Corporation of Harvard University. Motley I have only seen as he stood with iron-grey curls over a ruddy, strenuous countenance topping a figure of vigorous symmetry as he spoke with animation at a scholars’ dinner. But George Bancroft, Justin Winsor, and John Fiske I knew well, the last being in particular one of my best friends. I could tell stories too, of the living lights, but am concerned here with the ghosts and not with men still red-blooded.