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EDMUND BURKE was born in Dublin, probably on January 12, 1729, though there is some dispute about this date. He passed his early school days in a town not far from his birthplace, under the tutorship of Abraham Shackleton, a Quaker schoolmaster of rare ability and moral worth, who had considerable influence in molding Burke's character. One characteristic which clung to him through life Burke manifested at an early age - when others were at play he was always at work. He entered Trinity College, Dublin, in 1743, and graduated in 1748. Much of his time at this period he spent in the libraries, gathering a store of useful information on many subjects which, later in life, proved to him a mine of intellectual wealth.
Burke's father was a solicitor, and Edmund prepared to follow in his footsteps; but, at the critical moment, his distaste for the law as a profession led him to abandon this career. He was, in fact, strongly attracted to literature, and he determined to adopt it as his calling. His father, indignant at this course, and angered at the overthrow of his most cherished plans, withdrew his allowance, and left his son to shift for himself in that most precarious of all callings. This was in 1755, and for the next year or so we hear little of Burke's doings. In 1756 he married Miss