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BURKE'S) SPEECH

ON

AMERICAN TAXATION

EDITED
WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES

BY

JAMES HUGH MOFFATT
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF ENGLISH LITERATURE, CENTRAL

High School, PhiladeLPHIA

STANDARD
ENGLISH
CLASSICS

GINN & COMPANY

BOSTON · NEW YORK · CHICAGO · LONDON

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PREFACE

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William Hazlitt said: “There is no single speech of Mr. Burke which can convey a satisfactory idea of his powers of mind : to do him justice, it would be necessary to quote all his works; the only specimen of Burke is, all that he wrote.” If a specimen must be selected, it is wise to select his two speeches on American affairs, both of which should be read by every student of literature and of history. This edition of American Taxation has been prepared to meet the actual demands of the class room. Too often the student is content with reading Conciliation with America. Experience in class rooms for four years with six hundred students has shown that, notwithstanding the excellence of Conciliation with America, it gives students a one-sided impression of Burke as an orator and a debater, which can be corrected by a study of American

Taxation. His speeches were not always so calm, dignified, and temperate as Conciliation with America. The energy and wit of American Taxation are more typical of him. Like most of his speeches it was not prepared in advance, but spoken extemporaneously; what it loses in coördination of construction it gains in intensity of argument. It came white hot from the furnace of his convictions. It reveals his skill in detecting the weaknesses of his opponents, which long experience in the minority had taught him. It illustrates the historical method of debate which Burke applied to every question, and which appears to a less noticeable degree in Conciliation with America. In the latter Burke argued as if he were hoping against hope ; but American Taxation was delivered almost a

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