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parts of a correspondence on the state of the pamphlet which was supposed to como from country. He was, however, prevented from high authority, and was circulated by Ministers working on them, by the want of some authen- with great industry, at the time of its appeartic and official information, for which he had ance in October, 1795, immediately previous to been long anxiously waiting, in order to ascer- that Session of Parliament when his Majesty tain, to the satisfaction of the public, what 'for the first time declared, that the appearanco with his usual sagacity he had fully antici- of any disposition in the enemy to negotiate oated from his own personal observation, to his for general peace, should not fail to be met own private conviction. At length the reports with an earnest desire to give it the fullest and of the different Committees, which had been speediest effect. In truth, the answer, wàich appointed by the two Houses of Parliament, is full of spirit and vivacity, was written in the amply furnished him with evidence for this latter end of the same year, but was laid aside purpose. Accordingly he read and considered when the question assumed a more serious them with attention; but for any thing beyond aspect, from the commencement of an actuai this the season was now past. The Supreme negotiation, which gave rise to the series of Disposer of all, against whose inscrutable coun- printed letters. Afterwards, he began to resels it is vain as well as impious to murmur, write it, with a view of accommodating it to did not permit him to enter on the execution of his new purpose. The greater part, however, the task which he meditated. It was resolved, still remained in its original state ; and several therefore, by one of his friends, after much heroes of the Revolution, who are there cele hesitation, and under a very painful responsi- brated, having in the interval passed off the Sility, to make such an attempt as he could public stage, a greater liberty of insertion and at supplying the void; especially because the alteration than his friends, on consideration, insufficiency of our resources for the continu- have thought allowable, would be necessary to ance of the war was understood to have been adapt it to that place in the series for which it the principal objection urged against the two was ultimately designed by the Author. This former“ Letters on the Proposals for Peace.” piece, therefore, addressed, as the title origiIn performing with reverential diffidence this nally stood, to his noble friend, Earl Fitzduty of friendship, care has been taken not to william, will be given the first in the supattribute to Mr. Burke any sentiment which is plemental volumes, which will be hereafter not most explicitly known, from repeated con- added to complete this edition of the Author's versations, and from much correspondence, to works. have been decidedly entertained by that illustri- The tracts, most of them in manuscript, ous man. One passage of nearly three pages, which have been already selected as fit for containing a censure of our defensive system, this purpose, will probably furnish four or five is borrowed from a private letter, which he volumes more, to be printed uniformly with began to dictate, with an intention of compris. this edition. The principal piece is entitled ing in it the short result of his opinions, but "An Essay towards an Abridgment of the which he afterwards abandoned, when, a little English History;" and reaches from the earliest time before his death, his health appeared in period down to the conclusion of the reign of some degree to amend, and he hoped that King John. It is written with much depth Providence might have spared him at least to of antiquarian research, directed by the mind complete the larger public letter, which he of an intelligent statesman. This alone, as then proposed to resume.
far as can be conjectured, will form more than In the preface to the former edition of this one volume. Another entire volume also, at letter, a fourth was mentioned as being in least, will be filled with his letters to public possession of Mr. Burke's friends. It was in men on public affairs, especially those of fact announced by the Author himself, in the France. This supplement will be sent to the conclusion of the second, which it was then press without delay. designed to follow. He intended, he said, " to Mr. Burke's more familiar correspondence proceed next on the question of the facilities will be reserved, as authorities to accompany possessed by the French Republic, from the a narrative of his life, which will conclude the internal state of other nations, and particularly whole. The period during which he flourished of this, for obtaining her ends ; and, as his was one of the most memorable of our annals. notions were controverted, to take notice of It comprehended the acquisition of one empire what, in that way, had been recommended to in the east, the loss of another in the west, and him.” The vehicle which he had chosen the total subversion of the ancient system of for this part of his plan was an answer to a Europe by the French Revolution with all
which events, the history of his life is neces- been hitherto kept back, notwithstanding ro sarily and intimately connected, as indeed it peated inquiries and applications. It is, there. also is, much more than is generally known, fore, once more earnestly requested, that all with the state of literature and the elegant arts. persons who call themselves the friends or adSuch a subject of biography cannot be dismis- mirers of the late Edmund Burke, will have sed with a slight and rapid touch; nor can it the goodness to transmit, without delay, any be treated in a manner worthy of it, from the notices of that, or of any other kind, which information, however authentic and extensive, may happen to be in their possession, or within which the industry of any one man may have their reach, to Messrs. Rivington; a respect accumulated. Many important communica- and kindness to his memory, which will be tions have been received, but some materials, thankfully acknowledged by those friends to which relate to the pursuits of his early years, whom, in dying, he committed the sacred trust and which are known to be in existence, have of his reputation.
ADVERTISEMENT TO THE PRESENT EDITION.
A NEW Edition of the Works of Mr. The orthography has been in many cases Burke having been called for by the Public, altered, and an attempt made to reduce it to the opportunity has been taken to make some some certain standard. The rule laid down slight changes, it is hoped for the better. for the discharge of this task was, that when
A different distribution of the contents, ever Mr. Burke could be perceived to have while it has made the volumes more nearly been uniform in his mode of spelling, that was equal in their respective bulk, has, at the considered as decisive; but, where he varied, same time, been fortunately found to produna (and as he was in the habit of writing by dicmore methodical arrangement of the whole. tation, and leaving to others the superintenThe first volume contains those literary and dance of the press, he was peculiarly liable to philosophical works by which Mr. Burke was variations of this sort) the best received auknown, previous to the commencement of his thorities were directed to be followed. The public life as a statesman, and the political reader, it is trusted, will find this object, too pieces which were written by him between much disregarded in modern books, has here the time of his first becoming connected with been kept in view throughout. The quotations the Marquis of Rockingham, and his being which are interspersed through the works of chosen Member for Bristol. In the second Mr. Burke, and which were frequently made are comprehended all his speeches and pamph- by him from memory, have been generally lets from his first arrival at Bristol, as a can compared with the original authors. Several didate, in the year 1774, to his farewell address mistakes in printing, of one word for another, from the hustings of that city, in the year by which the sense was either perverted or 1780; and also what he himself published obscured, are now rectified. Two or three relative to the affairs of India. The remain- small insertions have also been made from a ing two comprize his works since the French quarto copy corrected by Mr. Burke himself. revolution, with the exception of the Letter to From the same source something more has Lord Kenmare on the Penal Laws against been drawn in the shape of notes, to which are Irish Catholics, which was probably inserted subscribed his initials. Of this number is the where it stands from its relation to the subject explanation of that celebrated phrase, “the of the Leiter acuressed by him, at a later swinish multitude :" an explanation which was period, to Sir Hercules Langrishe. With the uniformly given by him to his friends, in consame exception, too, strict regard has been versation on the subject. But another note paid to chronological order, which, in the last will probably interest the reader still more, as edition, was in some instances broken, to insert being strongly expressive of that parental affecpieces that were not discovered till it was too tion which formed so amiable a feature in the late to introduce them in their proper places. character of Mr. Burke. It is in “ Reflec
In the Appendix to the Speech on the Nabob tions on the Revolution in France," Vol. III of Arcot's Debts, the references were found to where he points out a considerable passage as be confused, and, in many places, erroneous. having been supplied by his “lost son." SeThis probably had arisen from the circum- veral other parts, possibly amounting all togestance that a larger and differently constructed ther to a page or thereabout, were indicated in Appendix seems to have been originally de- the same manner ; but, as they in general signed by Mr. Burke, which, however, he consist of single sentences, and as the meanafterwards abridged and altered, while the ing of the mark by which they were distinspeech and the notes upon it remained as they guished was not actually expressed, it has were. The text and the documents that supe not been thought necessary to notice hem port it have throughout been accommodated to particularly. each other