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Mr. Burke's more familiar correspondence will be reserved, as authorities to accompany a narrative of his life, which will conclude the whole. The period during which he flourished was one of the most memorable of our annals. It comprehended the acquisition of one empire in the east, the loss of another in the west, and the total subversion of the ancient system of Europe by the French Revolution; with all which events the history of his life is necessarily and intimately connected; as indeed it also is, much more than is generally known, with the state of literature and the elegant arts. Such asubject of biography cannot be dismissed with a slight and rapid touch; nor can it be treated in a manner worthy of it, from the information, however authentick and extensive, which the industry of any one man may have accumulated. Many important communications have been received, but some materials, which relate b 3 to
to the pursuits of his early years, and which are known to be in existence, have been hitherto kept back, notwithstanding repeated enquiries and applications. It is, therefore, once more earnestly requested, that all persons who call themselves the friends or admirers of the late Edmund Burke, will have the goodness to transmit, without delay, any notices of that, or of any other kind, which may happen to be in their possession, or within their reach, to Messrs. Rivington; a respect and kindness to his memory, which will be thankfully acknowledged by those friends, to whom, in dying, he committed the sacred trust of his reputation.
NEW Edition of the Works of Mr. Burke having been called for by the Publick, the opportunity has been taken to make some slight changes, it is hoped for the better.
A different distribution of the contents, while it has made the volumes, with the exception of the first and sixth, more nearly equal in their respective bulk, has, at the same time, been fortunately found to produce a more methodical arrangement of the whole. The first and second volumes, as before, severally contain those literary and philosophical works by which Mr. Burke
was known, previous to the commencement of his publick life as a statesman, and the political pieces which were written by him between the time of his first becoming connected with the Marquis of Rockingham, and his being chosen member for Bristol. In the third are comprehended all his speeches and pamphlets, from his first arrival at Bristol, as a candidate, in the year 1774, to his farewell address from the hustings of that city, in the year 1780. 1780. What he himself published relative to the affairs of India occupies the fourth volume. The remaining four comprise his works since the French Revolution, with the exception of the Letter to Lord Kenmare, on the Penal Laws against Irish Catholics; which was probably inserted where it stands, from its relation to the subject of the Letter addressed by him, at a later period, to Sir Hercules Langrishe. With the same exception, too, strict regard has been paid to chronological order,
order, which, in the last edition, was in some instances broken, to insert pieces that were not discovered till it was too late to introduce them in their proper places.
In the Appendix to the Speech on the Nabob of Arcot's Debts, the references were found to be confused, and, in many places, erroneous. This probably had arisen from the circumstance that a larger and differently-constructed Appendix seems to have been originally designed by Mr. Burke, which, however, he afterwards abridged and altered, while the speech and the notes upon it remained as they were. The text and the documents that support it have throughout been accommodated to each other.
The orthography has been in many cases altered, and an attempt made to reduce it to some certain standard. The rule laid down for the discharge of this task was, that when