'Great is the glory, for the strife is hard,' should justly be the verdict earned by this very welcome attempt to investigate the dark backward and abysm of a most interesting branch of Revenue history. The task of retrospective research, always difficult, is rendered doubly so in the case in question through the scarcity of ancient departmental records, a scarcity attributable to the fact that the central Customs Office, with untold documentary treasures, perished in the Great Fire of London, and that a similar catastrophe occurred early in the nineteenth century. The registers and letter-books kept at the out-port custom-houses have in most instances been abandoned to moth and mildew, and those that have survived furnish pathetic testimony of the extent of the loss sustained. But at last, despite all difficulties, two members of the staff have merited the gratitude of all tariff students by producing that long-desired work, a popular history of the Customs. It is in no sense an ordinary departmental record, prepared during office hours and at the public expense, like Chisholm's great Blue Book of 1869 on the Public Income and Expenditure, or the more recent official 'History of the National Debt.' The work is purely a private venture; the credit and the responsibility alike rest with the authors, as in the case of any ordinary history.