« PreviousContinue »
volumes more, to be printed uniformly with this edition. The principal piece is entitled “An Essay towards an Abridgement of the English History; and reaches from the earliest period down to the conclusion of the reign of King John. It is written with much depth of antiquarian research, directed by the mind of an intelligent statesman. This alone, as far as can be conjectured, will form more than one volume. Another entire volume also, at least, will be filled with his letters to publick men on publick affairs, especially those of France. This supplement will be sent to the press without delay.
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 a subject 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 to the pursuits of his early years, and which are known to be in existence, have been hitherto kept back, notwithstanding repeated inquiries 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
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. 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 Catholicks, 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.