Page images

had received the author's last corrections: the subsequent part, to the middle of the page 63, is taken from some loose manuscripts, that were dictated by the author, but do not appear to have been revised by him; and though they, as well as what follows to the conclusion, were evidently designed to make a part of this letter, the editor alone is responsible for the order, in which they are here placed. The last part, from the middle of the page 63, had been printed as a part of the letter, which was originally intended to be the third on Regicide Peace, as in the preface to the fourth volume has already been noticed.

It was thought proper to communicate this letter, before its publication, to Lord Auckland, the author of the pamphlet so frequently alluded to in it. His lordship, in consequence of this communication, was pleased to put into my hands a letter, with which he had sent his pamphlet to Mr. Burke, at the time, of its publication; and Mr. Burke's answer to that letter. These pieces, together with the note, with which his lordship transmitted them to me, are prefixed to the letter on Regicide Peace.

II. LETTER to the Empress of Russia.
III. LETTER to Sir Charles Bingham.

IV. LETTER to the Honourable Charles James Fox. Of these letters it will be sufficient to remark, that they come under the second of those classes, into which, as I before observed, we divided the papers, that presented themselves to our consideration.

V. LETTER to the Marquis of Rockingham.
VI. An Address to the King.
VII. An Address to the British Colonists in North Ame-

rica. These pieces relate to a most important period in the present reign; and I hope no apology will be necessary for giving them to the public.

VIII. LETTER to the Right Honourable Edmund Perry.
IX. LETTER to Thomas Burgh, Esq.

X. LETTER to John Merlott, Esq. The reader will find, in a note annexed to each of these lettery, an account of the occasions on which they were written. The letter to T. Burgh, Esq. had found its way into some of the periodical prints of the time in Dublin.

XI, REFLECTIONs on the approaching Executions. It may not, perhaps, now be generally known, that Mr. Burke was a marked object of the rioters in this disgraceful commotion; from whose fury he narrowly escaped. The reflections

will be found to contain maxims of the soundest judicial policy, and do equal honour to the head and heart of their illustrious writer. XII. LETTER to the Right Honourable Henry Dundas;

with the Sketch of a Negro Code. Mr. Burke, in the letter to Mr. Dundas, has entered fully into his own views of the slave trade, and has thereby rendered any further explanation on that subject, at present, unnecessary. With respect to the code itself, an unsuccessful attempt was made to procure the copy of it transmitted to Mr. Dundas. It was not to be found amongst his papers. The editor has therefore been obliged to have recourse to a rough draught of it in Mr. Burke's own hand-writing; from which he hopes he has succeeded in making a pretty correct transcript of it, as well as in the attempt he has made to supply the marginal reference alluded to in Mr. Burke's letter to Mr. Dundas. XIII. LETTER to the Chairman of the Buckinghamshire

Meeting. Of the occasion of this letter an account is given in the note subjoined to it. XIV. TRACTS and Letters relative to the Laws against

Popery in Ireland. These pieces consist of, 1. An unfinished Tract on the Popery Laws. Of this

tract the reader will find an account in the note pre

fixed to it. 2. A LETTER to William Smith, Esq. Several copies

of this letter having got abroad, it was printed and published in Dublin without the permission of Mr. Burke, or of the gentleman to whom it was ad

dressed. 3. SECOND LETTER to Sir Hercules Langrishe. This may

be considered as supplementary to the first letter, addressed to the same person in January 1792, which

was published in the third volume. 4. LETTER to Richard Burke, Esq. Of this letter, it will

be necessary to observe, that the first part of it appears to have been originally addressed by Mr. Burke to his son, in the manner in which it is now printed, but to have been left unfinished; after whose death he probably designed to have given the substance of it, with additional observations, to the public, in some other form; but never found leisure or inclination to finish it.

5. A LETTER on the Affairs of Ireland, written in the

year 1797. The name of the person to whom this letter was addressed, does not appear on the manuscript; nor has the letter been found to which it was written as an answer.

And as the gentleman, whom he employed as an amanuensis, is not now living, no discovery of it can be made; unless this publication of the letter should produce some information respecting it, that may enable us in a future volume to gratify, on this point, the curiosity of the reader. The letter was dictated, as he himself tells us, from his couch at Bath; to which place he had gone, by the advice of his physicians, in March, 1797. His health was now rapidly declining; the vigour of his mind remained unimpaired. This, my dear friend, was, I believe, the last letter dictated by him on public af.

fairs :-here ended his political labours.
XV. FRAGMENTS and Notes of Speeches in Parliament.

1. SPEECH on the Acts of Uniformity.
2. SPEECH on a Bill for the relief of Protestant Dissen-

3. SPEECH on the Petition of the Unitarians.
4. SPEECH on the Middlesex Election.
5. SPEECH on a Bill for shortening the duration of Parlia-

ments. 6. SPEECH on the Reform of the Representation in Parlia

ment. 7. SPEECH on a Bill for explaining the Powers of Juries

in Prosecutions for Libels. *7. LETTER relative to the same subject. 8. SPEECH on a Bill for repealing the Marriage Act. 9. SPEECH on a Bill to quiet the possessions of the Sub

ject against dormant Claims of the Church. With respect to these fragments, I have already stated the reasons, by which we were influenced in our determination to publish them. An account of the state, in which these manuscrips were found, is given in the note prefixed to this article.

XVI. Hints for an Essay on the Drama. This fragment was perused in manuscript by a learned and judicious critic, our late lamented friend Mr. Malone; and under the protection of his opinion, we can feel no hesitation in submitting it to the judgment of the public.

XVII. We are now come to the concluding article of this

volume-The Essay on the History of England. At what time of the author's life it was written cannot now be exactly ascertained; but it was certainly begun before he had attained the age of twenty-seven years: as it appears from an entry in the books of the late Mr. Dodsley, that eight sheets of it, which contain the first seventy-four pages* of the present edition, were printed in the year 1757. This is the only part that has received the finishing stroke of the author. In those who are acquainted with the manner in which Mr. Burke usually composed his graver literary works, and of which some account is given in the advertisement prefixed to the fourth volume, this circumstance will excite a deep regret; and whilst the public partakes with us in this feeling, it will doubtless be led to judge with candour and indulgence of a work left in this imperfect and unfinished state by its author.

Before I conclude, it may not be improper to take this opportunity of acquainting the public with the progress that has been made towards the completion of this undertaking. The sixth and seventh volumes, which will consist entirely of papers, that have a relation to the affairs of the East India Company, and to the impeachment of Mr. Hastings, are now in the press. The suspension of the consideration of the affairs of the East India Company in parliament, till its next session, has made me very desirous to get the sixth volume out as early as possible in the next winter. The ninth and eleventh reports of the select committee, appointed to take into consideration certain affairs of the East India Company in the year 1783, were written by Mr. Burke, and will be given in that volume. They contain a full and comprehensive view of the commerce, revenues, civil establishment, and general policy of the company; and will, therefore, be peculiarly interesting at this time to the public.

The eighth and last volume will contain a narrative of the life of Mr. Burke, which will be accompanied with such parts of his familiar correspondence, and other oecasional productions, as shall be thought fit for publication. The materials relating to the early years of his life, alluded to in the advertisement to the fourth volume, have been lately recovered; and the communication of such as may still remain in the possession of any private individuals is again most earnestly requested.

Unequal as I feel myself to the task, I shall, my dear friend,

* This applies to the London edition in quarto, from which this is printeda


lose no time, nor spare any pains, in discharging the arduous duty, that has devolved upon me. You know the peculiar difficulties I labour under from the failure of my eyesight; and you may congratulate me upon the assistance, which I have now procured from my neighbour, the worthy Chaplain* of Bromley College, who, to the useful qualification of a most patient amanuensis, adds that of a good scholar and intelligent critic.

And now, adieu, my dear friend,
and believe me ever affectionately your's,

WR. ROFFEN. Bromley House,

August 1, 1812.

Letter from the Right Honourable the Lord Auckland, to the

Lord Bishop of Rochester.

EDEN FARM, KENT, July 18th, 1812. MY DEAR LORD,

MR. BURKE's fourth letter to Lord Fitzwilliam is personally interesting to me: I have perused it with a respectful attention.

When I communicated to Mr. Burke, in 1795, the printed work, which he arraigns and discusses, I was aware that he would differ from me.

Some light is thrown on the transaction by my note, which gave rise to it, and by his answer, which exhibits the admirable powers of his great and good mind, deeply suffering at the time under a domestic calamity.

I have selected these two papers from my manuscript collection, and now transmit them to your lordship, with a wish that they may be annexed to the publication in question.

I have the honour to be,
My dear Lord,
Your's, most sincerely,

To the Right Rev.
The Lord Bishop of Rochester.

* The Rev. J.J. Tallman.

« PreviousContinue »